Department of Sport

Swim School


Early Years Swim 714 x335

We offer an extensive Swim School programme for all ages and abilities from 6 weeks old to adults. Our expert coaches aim to provide all swimmers and outstanding experience in our comfortable, safe and fun environment.

There are a variety of options available, including 1-2-1 private lessons and group sessions. 

For babies and toddlers, we have a special programme which is delivered in our heated hydrotherapy pool and focuses on building confidence in the water through activities with colourful toys and nursery rhymes.

Working closely alongside Swim England, our programme is focused on Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD), providing high-quality tuition focussed on stroke technique.

Early Years Swim

Early Years lessons

Sessions in our heated hydrotherapy pool for children aged 6 weeks - 4.5 years.


Children's Lessons

Sessions in our spacious 25m swimming pool for children aged 4.5 years - 14 years.

Adult Swim

Adult Lessons

Available for swimmers aged 14 and over, learn to swim or improve your existing skills and technique.

School Holiday Lessons

School holiday courses

During school holidays we offer a variety of courses and lessons to improve swimming skills.

1-2-1 lessons

1-2-1 Lessons

Available to all ages and abilities, our 1-2-1 and private bubble sessions offer personalised learning.



Swim School Re-opening FAQs

When will the Swim School programme resume?

 Our Swim School programme will resume from week commencing 12th April on a phased approach to allow everyone to adjust to the new measures. 

 All Swim School customers will be emailed directly with the start dates and details of their lessons. If, due to new safety measures your class is now oversubscribed, we will contact you directly with available options. 

 Please ensure you check your junk / spam folders, please email us on

 Do I need to do anything regarding my / my child’s place?

 No – the money you have already paid is holding your place on our programme and will be credited towards your lessons in 2021. 

 How is the Swim School programme being made safe?

We have introduced a range of measures to ensure the safety of our staff and customers including specific changes for our Swim School. 

 For our Early Years lessons we’ve reduced our class sizes and at the main swimming pool, lessons will be spread across our spacious pool to ensure safe social distancing can be maintained. We’re following Swim England guidelines carefully in all lessons. 

Our instructors will also now only teach from poolside. 

Clear one-way systems are in place throughout the building and we’re also asking only one parent/ guardian maximum to attend with our younger swimmers. We ask that siblings only attend if they have their own lesson that day.  

No equipment will be shared during our lessons and all equipment will be cleaned at the end of each lesson. You can also bring your own equipment - please ensure it is cleaned beforehand. You’ll also see our cleaners and staff ensuring everything is kept spotless.

All our facility and Swim School team have completed additional training to support them to safely deliver our new measures. Please do ask them if you have any queries at all.

Finally, all of our return to swimming plans have been developed using certified industry guidance and have been approved by Swim England. 

Please click here for a short video explaining all the new measures our team have put into place for our Swim School customers. 

Will my / my child’s lesson time and length have changed?

Yes – so we can manage our new safety measures including flow through our changing facilities, we have had to adjust the majority of our lesson times. All the details for your class times will be on the Swim School website – please click through to your lesson type. 

We’ve also slightly shortened lessons by 5 minutes e.g. 30 minute lessons will now be 25 minutes. 

Will I / my child have the same teacher?

The teacher for your lesson may have changed to support us in adhering to key safety guidelines. Please check the Swim School website for details – please click through to your lesson type.

If the instructors are no longer teaching in the water, what does this mean?

Having instructors in the water was an additional service we chose previously to offer to swimmers – all swimming lessons can be safely delivered with instructors poolside.

Under the important new safety measures from Swim England, we have been advised that all instructors should teach poolside and maintain safe social distancing at all times. Hence they will not be able to offer hands-on support during lessons as previously. 

If your child is a beginner and cannot confidently submerge under the water, please bring armbands for them and ensure these are fitted before you leave poolside. 

Are there new routes / guidance to follow when we arrive?

For the main pool lessons, we ask that all swimmers please arrive no more than 10 minutes before their swimming lesson. For Early Years lessons, we ask that you arrive no more than 20 minutes before your lesson and be on poolside changed 5 minutes before your lesson. 

Please wear a face covering at all times in the building when not swimming (for young people, please adhere to current government guidelines). 

Please continue to enter via our David Ross Sports Village main entrance, using your membership card to swipe through. If you don’t have a card, these will be prepared for you to collect on your first lesson.

We’ve added new routes to the pools, please follow our signs and then exit via our one-way systems. Don’t forget to scan our NHS Track and Trace QR codes with your app when you arrive.  

If you would like to use the toilet before your lesson, please use the facilities available throughout the building before you arrive at the swimming pool area – our new one way systems mean you will only be able to access pool toilets once departing poolside. 

What changing facilities are available? 

Limited changing facilities are available to all customers using the swimming pool with new measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

We ask all swimmers to please arrive 'beach ready' (with swimwear on underneath clothes) and having showered at home. 

- For our main swimming pool, please remove your shoes before entering the pool area you are welcome to bring your own flip flops.

You will then enter poolside via our Health and Wellbeing Suite entrance – this will be clearly marked and our staff will be on hand to support. 

Please get changed for your lesson or help your child get ready at the designated drop off point, please take any personal belongings with you to the parents waiting area. Adult swimmers are asked to leave their belongings on poolside so please bring a single bag only.

Please also ensure that your child’s hat and goggles are securely fitted before leaving poolside. As our instructors are no longer in the water to support, if your child is a beginner and cannot confidently submerge under the water please bring armbands for them.

Parents / guardians will then need to please exit through the changing rooms and wait in our new waiting area by the squash courts. If your child needs you during the session, our team will come to get you from here.

Please remember all lessons are finishing 5 minutes earlier.

After the lesson, please follow the same one-way system back onto poolside and once you have collected your child, head to the changing facilities. Please spend a maximum of 10 minutes in the changing rooms. There will be no showers or hairdryers available and we ask that swimmers also do not use personal hairdryers. 

- For our Early Years programme, changing facilities will be available on the way in and out but we ask all customers to change quickly as possible to ensure that there is no overlap in the changing rooms.

Please arrive for your lesson as ready as possible (adults to arrive beach ready and children where possible) and enter poolside changed for your lesson 5 minutes before the start time. Please bring all belongings poolside with you. After your lesson, please change promptly in the same changing room, showers will not be available and we ask that no personal hair dryers are used. 

Our accessible changing and showers are available for customers with a disability or long-term health condition. Please speak to a member of our team for assistance upon arrival.

Can I still watch my child’s lesson from poolside?

Due to new safety measures, we are not able to permit spectator poolside for our lessons. Please ensure only one parent / guardian attends per swimmer and siblings are only present if they are attending their own lesson that day.  

For lessons in the main pool, after supporting your child to get changed poolside we ask all parents / guardians to please exit through the changing rooms and wait in our new waiting area by the squash courts. If your child needs you during the session, our team will come to get you from here.

For our Early Years programme, we ask that only the parent / guardian accompanying the swimmer in the pool attends the lesson. 

What happens if my child needs assistance with their hat or googles during the lesson?

Please ensure you child’s hat and goggles are securely fitted before leaving them poolside. To maintain important safety measures, our instructors will support swimmers to adjust their own hat and googles, or if absolutely necessary will assist using the appropriate PPE protection. 

I / my child have had a long break from the pool – will this be taken into account?

Yes – we understand many swimmers have had a long break from the pool, therefore building confidence and developing skill will be our top priority when you return. 

We’ve carefully redesigned our lessons to focus on the foundations of swimming to regain skills and stroke techniques

The shallow end will be available for all swimmers who may wish to swim in this area, rather than returning immediately to the deep end. 

If you / your child is anxious about returning to swimming, please let our team know. We’re there to help, support and reassure to ensure our swimmers feel comfortable at all times. 

What if I / my child feel the lesson level is too easy or too hard, or my child is now older than their previous lesson age group?

To begin with all swimmers will return to their previous lesson age group / level.

Our focus will be on building confidence, developing skills and supporting stroke techniques rather than any assessments. 

Please rest assured, our team will work with all swimmers and parents / guardians closely upon the return of the programme and look to move swimmers if appropriate and where capacity allows. 

What should we do if we’re self-isolating or have Covid-19 symptoms?

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 as detailed by the NHS, please do not attend your lesson. If you do test positive for COVID please notify the Front of House team so we can take appropriate action. We will not be able to offer refunds for missed lessons in line with our existing illness policy. 

We advise when attending lessons that you use the track and trace app.

What happens if I’m not ready to return or I am in the high risk category?

If you / your child are not ready to re-join the programme or are in a vulnerable category, then you will have the option to join a priority waiting list however please be aware that we cannot guarantee the same day and time when you return. We will however work with you to find a space that is suitable for you. 

I’d like to join the Swim School as a new customer – are places available?

Please note, we’re not currently able to accept new customers onto our Swim School programmes. Our waiting list will be closed until June 2021 to new customers wanting to join. For those customers already on our waiting lists, we will contact customers as soon as we have spaces available.

My child is on Early years lessons and is now a year older?

For those children who are still under 4.5 years old, we will update the class names to reflect the age of the swimmers in the group. For swimmers who were in Early years 4 and Early years 5 who are now over 4.5 years old, we will be contacting you directly to arrange your move to the next stage in the Learn to Swim programme


Swim School Terms and Conditions Contact us

University of Nottingham Sport

David Ross Sports Village
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 74 87000