Boy swimming

Swimming lessons

We offer a large selection of swimming lessons at 9 pools across Vancouver. All swimming lessons offered follow the Red Cross Swim program and was designed to offer age-appropriate learning, focus on safety and comfort, and skills that help you and your child to develop a healthy lifestyle through swimming. 

Unsure about what level to register in?  All indoor pools provide a complimentary swim assessment service during public swim times. Assessments take between 5 to 10 minutes and children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the water.

Swimming lessons are grouped into four age groups:

Register online or in person at any Park Board recreation facility, including facilities without a pool.

Class What swimmers learn and develop in class

Starfish
(4 -12 months)

  • Experience buoyancy, movement, entries, songs, and play in the water
  • Parent/caregiver will learn age-specific water safety

 To enter this level, babies must be able to hold their head up.

Register for Starfish

Duck
(12 -24 months)
  • Build confidence while enjoying the water through games, songs
    and active water play
  • Swimmers learn how to use floating objects for support and explore different water movements

Register for Duck

Sea Turtle
(24 -36 months)
  • Develop skills in swimming, glides, floating, and kicks
  • Build awareness of deep water and safe entries

Register for Sea Turtle

Class What swimmers learn and develop in class

Sea Otter
(3 -5 years)

  • Open eyes under water
  • Develop front and back floats and glides
  • Swim 1 metre
  • Learn age-appropriate water safety skills

Register for Sea Otter

Salamander
(3 -5 years)
  • Swim 2 metres
  • Further develop basic floats
  • Increase distance on front and back glides with kicking
  • Front swim and roll-over glides
  • Water safety skills (such as how to jump into chest deep water and how to use a personal flotation device)

Register for Salamander

Sunfish
(3 -6 years)
  • Swim 5 metres
  • Increase distance using buoyant objects
  • Increase front and back glide with kick
  • Develop roll over glide, side glide, and front swim
  • Deep water safety skills
  • Learn to swim with a PFD/life jacket

Register for Sunfish

Crocodile
(3 -6 years)
  • Swim 5 metres on their front and back
  • Swim with a floatation device
  • Begin using rhythmic breathing
  • Work on progressing swimming distance to 10 metres
  • Jump into deep water and swim with flotation device

Register for Crocodile

Whale
(3 -6 years)
  • Swim 10 metres on their front and back
  • Develop flutter kick 
  • Work on progressing swimming distance to 15 metres
  • Sitting dive and surface support
  • Surface support for 20 seconds and return to safety
  • Jump into deep water and swim 5 meters

Register for Whale

Class level What swimmers learn and develop in class
Swim Kids 1
  • Front and back float
  • Front and back glide
  • Flutter kick for 5 metres (assisted)
  • Shallow water entries and exits
  • Submerge head
  • Rhythmic Breathing (5 times)
  • Swim 5 metres continuously

Register for Swim Kids 1

Swim Kids 2

  • Front and back glide with flutter kick
  • Front swim
  • Rhythmic breathing both ways
  • Flutter Kick for 10 meters (assisted)
  • Complete deep-water activities (assisted)
  • Swim 10 metres continuously

Register for Swim Kids 2

Swim Kids 3

  • Increase distance on front and back glide with flutter kick
  • Perform flutter kick unassisted
  • Wear a personal flotation device in deep water
  • Float in deep water and surface support
  • Rhythmic breathing (15 times)
  • Introduction to diving
  • Swim 15 metres continuously

Register for Swim Kids 3

Swim Kids 4
  • Back swim with shoulder roll and front crawl (10m)
  • Flutter kick on back (15m)
  • Perform kneeling dive
  • Introduction to sculling
  • Rhythmic breathing (15 times)
  • Front and side glide
  • Front crawl (10m)
  • Swim 25 metres continuously

Register for Swim Kids 4

Swim Kids 5
  • Front crawl (15m)
  • Back crawl (15m)
  • Whip kick on back
  • Stride dive and treading water
  • Flutter Kick (25m)
  • Rhythmic breathing (20 times)
  • Perform head-first sculling on back
  • Swim 50 metres continuously

Register for Swim Kids 5

Swim Kids 6

  • Increase distance on front and back crawl (25m)
  • Elementary back stroke (15m)
  • Dolphin kick
  • Tread water in deep water
  • Perform front dive
  • Head first sculling on back
  • Swim 75 metres continuously

Register for Swim Kids 6

Swim Kids 7
  • Increase distance on front and back crawl (50m)
  • Increase elementary back stroke (25m)
  • Front scull
  • Perform whip kick on front
  • Perform dolphin kick (15m)
  • Learn stride entry and rescue assists
  • Swim 150 metres continuously

Register for Swim Kids 7

Swim Kids 8 

  • Increase distance on front and back crawl (75m)
  • Increase elementary back stroke (25m)
  • Breast stroke (15m)
  • Eggbeater/tread water
  • Perform feet-first surface dive and standing shallow dive
  • Swim 300 metres continuously

Register for Swim Kids 8

Swim Kids 9 
  • Increase distance on front and back crawl (100 m)
  • Increase elementary back stroke (50m)
  • Increase breast stroke (25m)
  • Sidestroke kick
  • Perform head-first surface dive
  • Swim 400 metres continuously

Register for Swim Kids 9

Swim Kids 10 
  • Increase distance on front and back crawl (100 m)
  • Increase elementary back stroke (50m)
  • Increase breast stroke (50m)
  • Sidestroke (25m)
  • Perform dolphin kick (vertical)
  • Feet- and head-first surface dives with underwater swim
  • Swim 500 metres continuously 

Register for Swim Kids 10

Adults

Class What swimmers learn and develop in class

Adult Basics 1

  • Learn front and back float
  • Learn front and back glide with a kick
  • Front swim (10m)
  • Shallow water entries, exits, and submerge under water
  • Deep water activities (assisted)

Register for Adult Basics 1

Adult Basics 2
  • Learn back swim with shoulder roll
  • Front and back crawl (15m)
  • Sitting dive, kneeling dive, stride dive, and front dive
  • Treading water
  • Swim 25 metres continuously 

Register for Adult Basics 2

Swim Basics 3 - Swim Strokes
  • Choose the stroke you wish to focus on
  • Participation-based program with individuals goals
  • Improve your stroke technique as well as increase distance

Register for Swim Strokes

Teens

Class What swimmers learn and develop in class
Teen Basics 1
  • Learn front and back float
  • Learn front and back glide with a kick
  • Front swim (10m)
  • Shallow water entries, exits, and submerge under water
  • Deep water activities (assisted)

Register for Teen Basics 1

Teen Basics 2
  • Learn back swim with shoulder roll
  • Front and back crawl (15m)
  • Sitting dive, kneeling dive, stride dive, and front dive
  • Treading water
  • Swim 25 metres continuously 

Register for Teen Basics 2

Swim Basics 3 - Swim Strokes
  • Choose the stroke you wish to focus on
  • Participation-based program with individuals goals
  • Improve your stroke technique as well as increase distance

Register for Swim Strokes