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T: 01308 427464

Bridport Swim School


With effect from Monday 23 March 2020 ALL Children’s Activities will be suspended until further notice.  This includes:

  • Swim School (including Adults)
  • Rookie Lifeguard
  • Junior Water Polo
  • Gymnastics
  • Gym Tots
  • Trampolining
  • Holiday Activities
  • Squash camp

The team here at Bridport Leisure Centre thank you for your continued support during this time.

Bridport Swim School provides swimming lessons for children in Bridport. It runs throughout the year from Mondays to Saturdays (with a 2-week break at Christmas). Lessons are delivered by our team of qualified, expert swim instructors.

We follow the award-winning SWIM ENGLAND National Plan for teaching swimming. This well-structured and progressive scheme is constantly reviewed in line with good practise guidelines and feedback, encouraging continuous learning and a love of swimming. In addition, Bridport Swim School students (under 16) benefit from FREE swimming on weekends and school holidays.


DUCKLINGS is the first stage of Bridport Swim School and takes place in our Learner Pool. Through fun games, songs and activities, children will use woggles, animal floats, toys and armbands to develop core aquatic skills whilst building water confidence and developing independence.  Ducklings are split into two different stages:

Ducklings 1 & 2 is aimed at new swimmers with little or no water confidence.  Parent/carers accompanying the child in the water at this stage is optional, the swimming instructor will be in the water at all times.   Children will develop core aquatic skills and will be encouraged to become confident and independent in the water, by moving around the pool through fun games, songs and activities.  By the end of this stage, children will be jumping into the pool with adult support, learning to listen and respond to basic instructions whilst gaining confidence moving in the water.

Ducklings 3 & 4 is aimed at water confident children without an accompanying adult with them in the pool.  Children will move freely and confidently in the water with or without the use of flotation aids using games, songs and activities, whilst developing core aquatic skills.  These core skills will be taught throughout each session so children will be able to continue their swimming journey safely.  During this stage, the instructor will remain in the water at all times.

Swim School members under the age of 4 also benefit from HALF-PRICE GYM TOTS!

Swim England Pre-School Framework Awards are a natural follow on from the PAYG Discovery Duckling Award. They are aimed at children who are old enough to follow instructions and can move on their own. This class helps toddlers prepare for independence in the water by building confidence. The Duckling awards are used to slowly build up your child ready to start the Learn to Swim Framework Stages 1-7.  By the end of Ducklings Stage 4, young swimmers will be jumping in, going underwater, floating and swimming five metres without support.

Swim England further information

Swim School Stages 1 – 7

The Learn to Swim Framework is is the most widely known nationwide, and is the backbone of swimming lessons for primary school-aged children.  It aims to develop confident and competent swimmers through fun and enjoyment, and Learn to Swim Stages 1-7 are at the heart of the Bridport Swim School.

In small classes of no larger than 8:1, the qualified swim instructors guide children through criteria aimed to improve their confidence and technique, whilst having fun with friends.

Children can join the swim school at any age or stage; our instructors will assess their ability and place them in the stage they are best suited to.

Each of the seven stages of the Learn to Swim Framework has a clear set of targets for the pupil to meet, with various awards given as they progress through the levels.


If you are looking for a programme to get your children more confident in and around water, look no further than the #BeaRookieLifeguard Programme.

The Royal Life Saving Society’s Rookie Lifeguard programme gives your child the skills they need to be confident in the pool or the sea – which means peace of mind for you.
With colourful materials and fun, varied activities, the Rookie Lifeguard scheme teaches children how to swim and enjoy the water safely, whether in shallow or deeper water.

As your child progresses through the programme they will achieve many awards from Bronze stage 1 through to Gold stage 3. As they work through the stages, the criteria will get tougher, so they will increase their knowledge and perform more skills. Certificates are awarded at each stage.

The awards teach Rookies:
• Survival and self- rescue
• Simulated emergency response
• Sport and fitness

Each child will receive a logbook to log their progress through each stage.
The course runs for 50 weeks of the year with a 2-week break over Christmas.
Fees are payable by direct debit at £25 per month.

The Rookie Lifeguard programme is for children aged 7 to 14 years and will take place on Tuesdays from 4pm to 5pm.
There is a maximum of 12 children per class.
Visit https://www.rlss.org.uk/rookie-lifeguard for more information. Call the membership team on (01308) 426900 to sign up.

Swim School Stage 8 – 10

The Aquatic Skills Framework (Learn to Swim Stages 8-10) are about building sport-specific skills to encourage a focus on aquatic sports.

At these levels, swimmers are encouraged to build sport-specific skills. Competitive swimming, water polo, synchronised swimming, diving and rookie lifeguard training are all available.

Swim England further information

Adult Lessons

Are you nervous in the water? Do you want to enjoy the pool or sea more on holiday? Are you preparing to compete in a triathlon? Whatever your goal is, our adult swim classes help you become the swimmer that you want to be.

Bridport Swim School offers an easy and affordable payment scheme by monthly direct debit. Swimmers (under 16) also benefit from free swimming at weekends and during school holidays.

All courses run for 50 weeks of the year with a 2-week break over Christmas. Fees are payable by direct debit at £25 per month (£6.00 per lesson).

Bridport Swim School £25 per month (Direct Debit)

For all Bridport Swim School enquiries please fill in the form below and our membership team will contact you. Alternatively please contact reception on 01308 427464.

Bridport Swim School enquiry

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Private swimming lessons

If you’re looking for private swimming lessons in Bridport, the leisure centre has fully qualified instructors who can help children with all aspects of swimming, from learning the basics to improving technique.

We offer one-to-one and two-to-one lessons, for those who want to come with a friend.  Book on an individual basis or as a block. Contact reception or call 01308 427464 for more information.

Private swimming lesson prices (30 minutes)

1:1 private lesson £16.00
1:1 private lessons (block of 5) £72.50
2:1 private lesson £24.00
2:1 private lessons (block of 5) £105.00

Learning to swim

Teaching your child to swim encourages an active lifestyle and builds a strong foundation for good health. Swimming enhances strength and flexibility, and it helps keep lungs and hearts healthy. It also promotes self-esteem and confidence, as children progress, make friends and have fun in a new environment.

Swimming is an essential life-saving skill. Drowning remains one of the most common causes of accidental death for children in the UK – teaching them to swim could one day save their life.

Children can start to learn to swim from an early age.  If you’re thinking of teaching your child to swim but don’t know where to start, here are some tips for making the transition to the pool go smoothly:

  • Make bathtime fun, so they associate water with having a good time. Sing songs, play games, splash around.
  • Let them pick their new swimming costume or try on a new swim nappy in the bath, so they get used to the feeling. Fewer issues around clothes = more relaxed swimmers.
  • Familiarise them with the pool before they start lessons, either with a family splash about or just taking a look around. New sounds and smells can sometimes be overwhelming.
  • Introduce them to our swim teachers before their first lesson. You can usually do this when you sign up for Bridport swim school.
  • Give them plenty of time to get changed beforehand – being in a rush makes everyone flustered. Meeting other children in the changing rooms before a lesson can also help them make new friends.
  • Make sure they’re not hungry or thirsty before the lesson as this can be distracting. And have a snack ready for afterwards as they’re guaranteed to use plenty of energy.