Welcome to swimming lessons

Useful info

Welcome to swimming lessons with Places Leisure!

Thanks for choosing to learn to swim with us - we’re proud to work with Swim England and follow the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme and Awards Scheme.

Before you get started here is some helpful information that will make your swimming lessons journey smoother.

Course Hub

First things first! Please make sure you're registered with an online account so that you can access Course Hub to track performance and move between each stage/level of the swimming programme.

How to register

Continuous assessment

Our teachers use the latest technology to update your child’s progress throughout the lesson against the key competencies for the level e.g.Travel on their back for 5 metres, aids or equipment may be used.

The devices you see them updating on poolside then feed through to the Course hub so that you can track progress.

Child in a swim cap smiling in pool

What to expect

Before you arrive

Most of our centres operate access control turnstiles that require a QR code/membership card to gain access. If you are new to us you'll need to download our Places Leisure App to access your digital membership card. Simply create your online account then download the app. More details can be found on our Places Leisure App page.

On arrival

Please arrive in good time for your lesson so that you are ready on poolside on time. Recent feedback from parents said they would recommend a 10-15 minutes to get children ready. Remove outdoor shoes before entering the changing rooms and don’t leave any clothes or bags in the changing rooms - please use the lockers provided. Please ensure your child has visited the toilet and showered prior to getting into the pool.

Children under 8 must be supervised in the changing rooms by their parent or adult (16+). A maximum of 2 children is permitted per parent/adult.


Please take your child, once they are ready for their lesson, to the signposted ‘Drop off point’ area just before the start time. From here their teacher will collect them and take the register.

Our lessons are traditionally a 30 minute session with 5 minutes set aside for handovers of children, taking registers and getting the children into the water.  We aim to deliver 25 minutes of teaching time in each of our lessons.  Some more advanced stages or aquatics activity classes may run for longer but each of these will have the same 5 minute handover period.

During the lesson

Parents/guardians are requested to remain in the viewing areas throughout the duration of the lesson, unless accompanying your child in the pool!  If you are watching, why not grab a coffee before the lesson? Whilst watching your child please ensure any young children are kept a safe distance away from the pool and under your constant supervision.

Parents of children under 8 years old must be available to take their children to the toilet if required during the lesson.

End of the lesson

Please be ready at the signposted ‘pick up point’ at the end of the lesson where the teacher will bring your child once the lesson has finished.

If you have any questions, our staff will be happy to help.

What to wear?

Practical one piece swimming costumes (for girls) or non-baggy shorts (for boys). When purchasing swimwear for lessons, please consider the practicalities of swimming – costumes should not restrict movement in any way or cause additional drag in the water. We have a great range of swimwear available in reception from Zoggs, designed with swimming in mind.

For children still in nappies, we stock Huggies Little Swimmers and Zoggs Swimsure neoprene nappies for a ‘double up’ approach to avoid embarrassing leaks in the pool keeping it clean and safe for everyone.  

View our swimwear guidance.

Please ensure that any jewellery is removed where possible or securely taped to avoid injury.


Children are required to wear swim hats in lessons and will be issued with a coloured hat which relates to the current stage of lessons they are in.  Please ensure that your child's hat is fitted before they go into their lesson as teachers cannot help fit them. Watch our top tips video on how to fit a swimming hat.

Pre Swimming Lesson Check-list

  • Costume/trunks
  • Swim hat
  • Towel
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Hairbrush
  • Goggles
  • Swim nappies
  • £1/Padlock for lockers (your centre can advise you of which style of lockers they operate)

Additional Information

School Holidays

Most of our lessons run throughout the school holidays with a 2 week break at Christmas. We will advise you by email each year of when this break is.

How your direct debit is calculated

Most of our centres run swimming lessons 50 weeks a year (some run less).  Your direct debit is calculated by multiplying the individual lesson price by the number of sessions your centre runs in a year and then dividing this total cost by 12 months of the year to give a monthly cost. 

Occasionally your centre may have gala bookings or closures for maintenance.  In these instances your next direct debit will be reduced to account for this.

Cover Teachers

Sometimes we may need to have an alternate teacher for your child’s class due to annual leave or sickness. We provide our cover teachers with assessment data for your child prior to the lesson so they are fully aware of their ability and what they need to work on, as well as a scheme of work for each stage so they can easily pick up what needs to be covered that week. Any cover teachers are fully qualified and will record your child’s progress in their lesson.

Incorrect class bookings

There may be a number of reasons why the class you’ve selected for your child is not suitable. If the teacher thinks you/your child would better suited moving to another class, we will endeavour to find an alternative for your child. If this is not possible, we will cancel your membership and refund any money you have paid. When space becomes available you can make a new booking into the recommended class.

My Learn to Swim App

As a participant on our lesson programme you and your child can also benefit from the Swim England My Learn to Swim App.  Watch our video at the bottom of this page for a preview of all the exciting features.

Find out more and download