Children's swimming lessons

Swimming is the only sport that children can do from birth and the only sport that can save their life! It's a great exercise that helps to build strength, flexibility and stamina. And most importantly of all, it's fun!

From getting their faces wet to swimming 100m in four different strokes, GO Gateshead swimming lessons teach children the key skills and techniques they need to become strong swimmers.

Children can learn to swim at any of our GO Gateshead leisure centres, from babies through to teens. Lessons run all year round and your child is welcome to join at anytime. Better still, any child enrolling on our swimming lessons gets unlimited free swimming during public sessions at all of our pools!

Swimming lessons for under 5s

Babies have a natural affinity to water and are born with the reflexes to help them instinctively kick and wave their arms when supported. Our under-5s lessons are designed to help nurture these natural abilities and build a lifelong friendship with water. Don't worry, at this stage we're not expecting your babies and toddlers to swim. It's all about getting children used to water, social time (for you and baby!) and encouraging a lifelong swimming habit. Outside of lessons you can bring your child swimming to practice for free, and the accompanying adult also swims for free.

Our Under 5s classes are split into three types:

  • Adult and baby - these classes are aimed at babies from birth to 18 months with an adult accompanying in the water. These will be groups of up to 12 adult with babies so there is an important social element as well. The adult does not need to be the same each week so mums, dads and grandparents can all experience the pleasure of bringing baby swimming. 'I Can' and Discovery Duckling 1 and 2 awards will be followed.

  • Adult and toddler - these classes are aimed at toddlers from around 19 months old to around three years old, still accompanied by an adult. 'I Can' and Discovery Duckling 3 and 4 awards will be followed.

  • Adult and Child - these classes are for children aged three to start building more independent swimming skills while still accompanied by an adult. Duckling 1 and 2 awards will be followed.

All of the above classes run on weekday mornings: Blaydon on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dunston on Monday and Friday and Heworth on Tuesday and Thursday.

  • Duckling - these classes are aimed at four year olds to give them their first independent swimming experience without an adult accompanying them. Classes will be in small groups of six and the teacher will be in the water with the children. Duckling 3 and 4 awards will be followed. Children who pass Duckling 4 will be able to progress into the main stages of the Learn to Swim Framework (minimum age four) and possibly bypass one or more of the main stages at the discretion of the teacher.  

Duckling classes run on weeknight evenings from 4-6pm and on weekends.

Children's swimming lessons (Age 5+)

The Learn to Swim Framework (opens new window) is where confident splashers are transformed into accomplished swimmers. Across seven stages our qualified Swim England (opens new window) teachers work with children to swim confidently in a fun, safe and engaging environment.

Children work through a clear set or outcomes (which you can monitor online via our HomePortal), collecting badges and certificates at every stage with eventually aim of becoming proficient in all four strokes: front crawl, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke. And it's all done in the way that kids learn best... through fun!

As well as teaching children the skills and techniques needed to perform all four strokes, we also focus on core aquatic skills such as breathing, health and fitness, rotation and orientation, flotation and balance, and water safety.

Children that complete the seven stages gain the skills to enjoy a lifelong love of water and a healthy, happy lifestyle.

Stage 1 to 7 lessons run on weeknights 4 to 7pm and weekends 8 to 11am, 12 to 3pm and 4 to 7pm. In most cases all stages run at the same time so children can progress through all seven stages in the same time slot. Siblings will also be prioritised to swim at the same time.

Swimming activities for older children

Older children and teenagers who want to learn to swim can join our Age 9 to 15 swimming lessons so they can swim with other young people closer to their age and in the more appropriate setting of the main pools.

Older children who have completed Stage 7 will have all the skills needed to be able to access variety of aquatics activities. Go Gateshead offers Swim Challenge weekly swimming groups and RLSS UK Rookie Lifeguard groups, or children can seamlessly moving into a trial with our partner clubs - club swimming with Gateshead and Whickham Swimming Club or Synchronised Swimming with Gateshead Synchronised Swimming Club.

Lesson costs and booking information

If you book swimming lessons with us you get all of the following benefits included in the cost:

  • Free swimming during public sessions at all of our leisure centres for the child and an accompanying adult. Come and practice completely for free as many times as you want!
  • Free Swim England badges and certificates and accompanying MyLearntoSwim app to unlock further rewards
  • 45 minute lessons from Stage 4 upwards
  • Online progress monitoring on our HomePortal
  • Fixed time slot  - in most cases we can allow children to progress through Stages 1 to 7 on the same day and time
  • Siblings together - in most cases we can allow siblings in Stage 1 to 7 to swim at the same time as each other
Swimming lesson monthly direct debit price 
Juniors (50 lessons per year - £8 per lesson)£8 per lesson
One time joining fee (if joining multiple members at the same time we will only charge one joining fee)£16.55

Reduced prices apply for GO Gateshead Access cardholders, LPDC cardholders and children and young people who are looked after by Gateshead Council and either live with foster carers, or in a residential childrens home within Gateshead (CIOC card required). 

Join our lessons today - there's nothing to pay upfront and no minimum term contract!  You can pre-register for children's swimming lessons and we will send you a booking link and information.  

If you join today your first payment will be the 1st of the next month. Your child can continue for as many or as few months as you want. If your child doesn't enjoy the lessons you can cancel within 14 days with absolutely nothing to pay. Unlike some other local pools we don't charge  a 'month in hand' which increases your first payment and means that you're still paid up for over a month when you decide to cancel. With us, when you want to cancel just let us know by the 20th of the month - no further payments will be taken and you can attend lessons until the end of the month.