Swimming Lessons


The Dolphin Centre Swim4Life Scheme is based upon a framework known as the National Plan for Teaching Swimming (NPTS). The NPTS has been produced by Swim England (formally ASA), the UK’s National Governing Body for all Aquatic Disciplines.

Our Swim4Life lessons are for children aged 3 and above, starting at foundation and going up to stage 10. Once stage 7 is achieved we have other aquatic lessons available; water polo, rookie lifeguard and advanced rookie lifeguard. 

To book onto our swimming lessons please contact our reception team (01325 406000) who can advise on the correct stage for your child. Once we have you booked on you will received a unique Swim4Life card, which will enable you to register onto our online swimming portal known as the Swim4Life Hub.

Swim4Life Hub

If you have any queries about swimming lessons you can use our online form below.

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Basic Info
Contact information


An important principle behind the new National Teaching Plan is FUN. Rather than simply learning strokes and distance, the Swim4Life Scheme will now adopt fun and games to help children learn to swim.

The NPTS is aimed at developing a wider range of skills that lead to children becoming more competent swimmers. Consequently, parents should notice an increased emphasis on fun and games being adopted as it is proven that the use of fun activities in the water leads to a better and more confident outcome.

The NPTS is 'an all inclusive programme'. It is designed to get children water confident from a young age and hopefully keep them in a form of aquatic discipline maybe leading to the Long Term Athlete Development Plan.

The NPTS begins at the Foundation stage whereby early years water confidence is encouraged through the use of sessions such as parent and toddler classes. Following this, there are 7 key stages based around FUNdamental movement skills. Within these stages, children will learn the basics of swimming such as the different swimming strokes, water confidence and water safety knowledge. Finally, there is stages 8-10 that address FUNdamental Sports Skills. It is at these stages that children can try different aquatic disciplines such as water polo, competitive swimming, diving and rookie lifeguard.

Course Days and Times

Dolphin Centre swimming lessons run 7 days per week. Lessons days/times are as follows:

  • Monday: 3.30pm - 7.30pm
  • Tuesday: 3.30pm - 5pm
  • Wednesday: 3.30pm - 7.30pm
  • Thursday: 3.30pm - 7.30pm
  • Friday: 3.30pm - 7.30pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 6.30pm
  • Sunday: 9am - 4pm


  • Foundation and stages 1-6: 30 minute lessons.
  • Stage 7: 45 minute lessons.
  • Stages 8-10: 1 hour lessons.

Please be aware that 5 minutes of the session is allocated for the teacher to complete notes on each student within the group. this allows for progress to be monitored carefully.

Please note the scheme is for children aged 3 and upwards. We also offer lessons to 0-3 years, better known as MyFirstSwim Academy.


There are ten stages - when you register your child we will determine what level your child is at.

  • Stage 1: Developing basic safety awareness, the ‘class’ scenario, basic movement skills and water confidence skills. Swimmers may use aids such as arm bands and floats
  • Stage 2 : Developing safe entries to the water, including jumping in, basic floating, travel front and back up to a distance of 5 metres, plus rotation to regain upright positions. Swimmers may use aids such as arm bands and float
  • Stage 3: Developing safe entries including submersion, travel up to 10 metres on the front and back, progress rotation skills and water safety knowledge. At this stage, the swimmer will be assessed without the use of aids or support
  • Stage 4: Developing the understanding of buoyancy through a range of skills, refining kicking technique for all strokes, and swimming 10 metres to a given standard as directed by the ASA
  • Stage 5: Developing ‘watermanship’ through sculling and treading water skills and complete rotation, also performing all strokes for a distance of 10 metres to the given standard as provided by the ASA within the NPTS resources
  • Stage 6: Developing effective swimming skills including coordinated breathing across all strokes plus swimming a distance of 25 metres using a stroke of the swimmer’s choice; developing the water safety aspects and understanding of preparation for exercise
  • Stage 7: Developing quality stroke technique up to 100 metres, incorporating skills learnt and combining them to develop a linked routine and complete successfully an obstacle course that combines a variety of skills accomplished throughout stages 1 - 7
  • Stages 8-10: Once the swimmer has developed the core range of skills required to be confident, competent and safe in the water through stages 1 - 7, the swimmer may then have the choice to take part in different aquatic disciplines like diving, water polo and lifeguard skills

How to Register

To register onto our lessons simply speak to a receptionist who will be able to advise you on the appropriate stage that your child should be on. A form will then need to be completed and handed into reception along with payment for the first 10 credits, a Swim4Life card will then be created for your child. With the unique card number you will then be able to register online and track your child's progress, purchase further credits and move your child to the next stage when ready.

For further information about the registration process or any other queries regarding the Swim4Life Scheme please contact reception on 01325 406000.

Payments and Bank Holidays

Swimming lesson credits are purchased in groups of 10, with one lesson per week, these can be topped up online or at reception. Please note first payment must be made at reception upon registration.

Where a bank holiday occurs or a lesson is cancelled, no credit will be taken.


Badges and certificates will be awarded if the child has achieved the necessary distance or level (email notification will be sent). Awards are not included in the course fee and can be purchased at the Dolphin Centre Reception. This is not compulsory.

Adult Swimming Lessons

Wednesday: 7.00pm - 8.00pm and 8.00pm - 9.00pm (maximum of 18 people in each lesson)

Friday: 6.30pm - 7.30pm (maximum of 12 people in lesson)

Throughout these lessons, the teachers will talk with each individual and offer advice and guidance on how the individual can become more water confident, improving their skill and stroke development at the same time.