Learn to swim in Wigan and Leigh

What you'll find on this page

Swim school starts here

Swimming is a fantastic way to get fit, whatever your age or ability.

Teaching your child to swim is not only a great way to meet new friends and take part in fun activities, it's the only sport that can save your child's life.

It's also a wonderful way to improve your child's fitness for other sports.

No matter if they love splashing around in the shallow end or venturing out into the deep, swimming and aquatics has it all.

The Swim England Learn to Swim Framework is a national syllabus supporting the delivery of swimming lessons.

Inspiring healthy lifestyles has implemented this programme and we feel it’s the best way to teach children and adults to swim.

We offer an all inclusive programme which takes the non swimmer from his or her first splash to developing confidence and competence in water.

Swimming is a life skill. Whatever your age, whatever your ability we have a range of swimming to options to help you take the plunge.

Which of our pools do you prefer? *
Can the learner swim without the use of swimming aids? *
Has the learner already had lessons? *

Any medical conditions? If yes, please specify:

To view our privacy policy click here.

Swimming lessons for children

We teach the Swim England Learn to Swim framework meaning as a parent you can understand easily the progress made by your child in the pool.

Lessons are available at our four leisure centres with pools across Wigan and Leigh:

Here's a guide to the various Swim England Learn to Swim stages.

Swim England Learn To Swim Pathways

Stage 1

Swimmers will develop basic movement skills, water confidence and safety awareness. Don't forget the swimmers will be able to use aids e.g arm bands and floats to help complete all outcomes at this stage.

Stage 2

Swimmers will develop safe entries to the water including jumping in, floating practices, rotation skills and be able to travel over a distance of 5m in the water on their front and back without the use of aids.

Stage 3

Swimmers will work towards being able to swim 10m on their front and back and will be able to fully submerge to pick up objects from the bottom of the pool. Rotation skills and water safety knowledge will also be developed.

Stage 4

Swimmers will develop a better understanding of buoyancy through a range of skills, refining kicking techniques for all four strokes and swimming 10m on one stroke to a given standard as directed by Swim England.

Stage 5

Swimmers will focus on swimming all four strokes to the Swim England expected standards over a distance of 10m. Swimmers will also develop skills in sculling, treading water and complete rotation.

Stage 6

Swimmers will focus on developing effective swimming skills including co-ordinated breathing for all four strokes, water safety and an understanding of how to prepare for exercise.

Stage 7

By the end of this stage swimmers will have developed quality stroke techniques up to 100m, incorporating skills learnt and combining them to develop a linked routine and an obstacle course that combines a variety of skills accomplished throughout Stages 1-7.

Stages 8 - 10

Once your child has mastered the basics which allow them to be competent and confident in the water there's plenty of reasons why they should keep on developing their swimming skills into adulthood. Why? Because it's a great way to keep fit, improve performance in other sports and even get a job.

Find out more about the Swim England framework.

Children's swimming lessons are delivered on a rolling programme that allows pupils to join at any stage and progress at their own pace. Lessons operate for 50 weeks of the year with a gap in lessons over the Christmas period.

If you're jetting off to the sun and want your child to learn the ropes fast, we also offer one-to-one swimming tuition - as well as intensive courses during the holidays. Email us for more information about one-to-one swimming tuition and intensive swimming courses.

When are children's swimming lessons available?

Children's swimming lessons are available at our four pools across Wigan and Leigh:

  • Monday to Friday from 3.40pm
  • Saturday from 8.15am
  • Sunday from 8.15am

Since starting lessons both of my children have made excellent progress and are both keen to reach each new level of achievement. Pawel gives lots of praise and encouragement to all in his class and is always smiling. He makes the environment safe and challenges each swimmer every lesson. The booking process is quick and easy and the reception staff are always very helpful. Now I can access the children’s progress at home via the home portal it makes it easier for us to see what we can practice when we go swimming as a family and gives the children more motivation.

Child admission policy

A responsible adult should accompany all children under the age of 8. The adult must go into the water with the children they are accompanying and maintain a constant watch over the children for whom they are responsible. The maximum number of children under the age of 8 that can be supervised by one adult is two. A responsible adult must accompany children aged 3 years and under on a one-to-one basis. The sole exception to this is if both children are wearing armbands or other approved buoyancy aids.

A parent is defined as someone over the age of sixteen or younger if the person is the biological parent of the child or children. The parent must be in the water with the children. They must maintain a constant watch over them and be in close contact with those of the children who are weak or non-swimmers. Parents who are supervising children must themselves determine that they have the required competencies to undertake this task. . The maximum number of children under the age of 8 that can be supervised by one adult is two. A responsible adult must accompany children aged 3 years and under on a one-to-one basis. The sole exception to this is if both children are wearing armbands or other approved buoyancy aids.

Disability swimming lessons

Disability swimming lessons are aimed at children that need a smaller group environment 1:6 ratio with the parent/guardian in the water supporting their child if required.

Our Disability swimming lessons offer a progressive aquatic awareness programme by combining a flexible mix of lessons and activities through the Swim England Learn to Swim Framework.

Lessons are available at:

For more information or to discuss your child’s needs please ask to speak to one of our swim coordinators at your preferred leisure centre, or contact us here.

Swimming lessons for adults

If you haven't swum before, or simply want to improve your strokes, our adult swimming lessons are right for you.

Swimming is a great way to stay healthy, socialise and relax. All our leisure centres offer instruction for adults with professional teachers who understand and appreciate your needs.

Every half hour lesson is suitable for every level of ability.

If you've never got round to learning to swim, lack confidence or want to improve, we've got you covered.

How much do swimming lessons cost?

Price of children's swimming lessons

All children's swimming lessons are payable via direct debit, meaning once you're set up, all you need to do is turn up to lessons with your children.

Special offer: casual swimming sessions for young learners is free - so they can learn, practice and have fun at one low monthly price. To enjoy this offer children must attend casual swim sessions with a paying adult, or current member - unless they are over the age of 8. Offer applies when casual swim sessions are available for children of the age of the learner.

  • Stage 1 to 7: £23 per month (direct debit) - as of 1st Jan 2020
  • Stage 8 and Rookie: £26 per month (direct debit)
When and where adult swimming lessons are available
Monday 9.30am Wigan Life Centre: Healthy Living Zone
Monday 2.50pm Ashton Leisure Centre
Monday 3.10pm Leigh Leisure Centre
Tuesday 9.30am Ashton Leisure Centre
Tuesday 12.00am Howe Bridge Leisure Centre
Wednesday 7.30pm Howe Bridge Leisure Centre
Thursday 2.50pm Ashton Leisure Centre
Thursday 3.10pm Leigh Leisure Centre

Our swimming teachers

All our teachers are fully qualified to Level 2 and are professional, passionate and pupil focused. Our experienced, qualified teachers follow the Swim England framework and go through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, for your peace of mind and the safety of your children.

Teachers also have Continual Professional Development (CPD) to keep them up to date with all the latest aquatic developments.

With the focus on fun and enjoyment, swimmers progress faster, with greater confidence and with increased self-belief.

Don't take our word for it. Here's what one of our many happy parents had to say about children's swimming lessons with Inspiring healthy lifestyles:

When my 4 year old son Nathan first started the lessons they were in the big pool and he would only go in the water if someone was with him.

The lessons changed to the small pool and no one could go in with him, but with Dom's guidance and support the change has been brilliant. He loves going now, and Dom (his teacher) is hugely patient and always encouraging him and the others to do their best, and makes the lessons fun which I think is important for kids of that age.

Dom doesn't put too much pressure on them and manages to help out with all of the kids and keep them under control but at the same time explaining what they need to do.

I want to take my swimming to the next level

At Inspiring healthy lifestyles we offer stage awards in competitive swimming and rookie lifesaving.

To support youngsters interested in swimming competitively we will also help your child with their aquatic aspirations by working with community swimming clubs.
Our RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society) UK's rookie lifeguard programme gives your child the skills they need to be confident in the pool or in the sea.

Our 6 and 4 year old girls have had swimming lessons previously and didn’t really progress or feel confident in the water. Since starting swimming lessons with Simon late last summer they have progress massively with their confidence and swimming ability. Simon is a fantastic swimming teacher and he really gets the best from all the kids. I also love the online system where we can view the progress the girls have made. It also shows us what to work on with the girls when we take them swimming.

Pool sessions for little ones

We offer a wide range of ways for young ones to get their water wings. You will need to accompany the child for each session. Choose from:

  • Swim Tots. Fun, innovative and effective programme for introducing adults with babies or very young children into the world of aquatics. The main concept of Swim Tots is to teach children how to swim through "song and rhyme" within fun adult and child swimming. Swim Tots is suitable for babies from 4 months old up to 4 years of age. Swim Tots sessions are available at selected leisure centres.
  • Parent and Child. These are structured lessons for children aged 2-4 years of age which focus on developing water confidence and basic movement skills. These lessons are suitable for children old enough to follow instructions and who move independently.

Swim Tots and Parent and Child classes are all about having fun in the water, building water confidence, playing games and making friends before progressing to the Learn to Swim Framework Stage 1. Awards are available for each programme.

Check out pool timetables at your preferred leisure centre from the list below to find out when these sessions are available.

Track your child's swimming progress

We've introduced a new and fun way for you to check out how your child is progressing at their swimming lessons.

Log in to Home Portal to get the latest news on their achievements.

If you haven't received information about Home Portal, please speak to child's swimming teacher.

Get in touch

We have a team of swimming coaches and advisors here to help. Get in touch before starting your swimming journey and we'll tailor a package to suit you.

Choose from one of the following three options - whichever suits you best:

  1. Drop in to one of our leisure centres in Wigan and Leigh for a chat.
  2. Call 01942 828508
  3. Email swimming@ihlmail.org

Leisure centres with pools

  Location Postcode Phone number  
Ashton Old Road WN4 9TP 01942 720 826 Join
Howe Bridge Eckersley Fold Lane M46 0PJ 01942 870 403 Join
Leigh Sale Way WN7 4JY 01942 487 800 Join
Wigan Life Centre College Avenue WN1 1NJ 01942 489 611 Join
Hindley Pool   Borsdane Avenue  WN2 3QN  01942 404 886