underwater swimmer

CHILD Swimming lessons

Join the University of Portsmouth Swim Academy and reach your full potential in the water

Ravelin Sports Centre is opening in October 2022 with early access for students and current members

Ravelin Sports Centre will open on:

Saturday 3 September to students, staff, associate (including all UOP graduates) and current public members

Saturday 1 October to new public members

Being able to swim is not only a valuable life skill, it can also help your child with staying fit and healthy. At Ravelin Sports Centre, we are launching our brand new University of Portsmouth Swim Academy in 2022. The aim of our Learn to Swim programme is to provide high quality swimming lessons for the Portsmouth community.

Whether you are looking for the best way to build your child's confidence in the water, or if they've never swum before, our University of Portsmouth Swim Academy instructors can help them with reaching their goals whilst having fun at the same time. 

Who can sign up for swimming lessons?

Lessons will be available for children from aged 4, of varying abilities. The ratio of swimmers to teachers will be as low as 3:1 in beginner groups and up to a maximum of 8:1 in the more advanced groups. We also offer adult swimming lessons too. 

The Programme

  • The University of Portsmouth Swimming Academy will initially offer Stages 1 – 5 of the Swim England programme with a view to extending with a Pre-School and Stage 6 – 8 programme later in 2022.
  • Each Stage of the programme has a list of outcomes that need to be completed in order to gain an award or to move to the next Stage.

Check out more information about what is involved in each of the stages in the Swim England programme.

When does the swimming lesson programme run?

It is continuous for 50 weeks per year, with closures at Christmas for 2 weeks. Lessons will still take place on Bank Holidays.

Prices - child swimming lessons starting in 2022

Swimming lessons (child)  Ultimate member Member PAYG fee
UOP Swim Academy lessons (30 minutes) £26.10 per month £29 per month £29 per month
Aqua holidays (5 consecutive 30 minute sessions during school holidays) £28.75 £28.75 £32.50

Frequently asked questions

Parents/guardians/spectators can view lessons from designated areas and should not enter poolside at any time.

Photography and videoing of swimming lessons within Ravelin Sports Centre is strictly prohibited.

To ensure safety and to keep belongings secure, nothing should be taken poolside.

Swimmers ability and progression will vary for individual swimmers. We strive for consistency within our lesson programme to the set standards within Swim England National Swim programme. Progressing swimmers before the are ready will not benefit swimmers and may affect their confidence and safety, along with the effective delivery of lessons.


Parents/guardians must notify the team of any issues that may affect the swimmer’s ability in water including health or learning behaviours.

Parents/guardians are responsible for the supervision of children in all areas of the building prior to, and after the swimming lesson.


Swimmers should wear appropriate swimwear for their lessons. Ideally, boys should wear trunks and girls a one-piece swim costume. Long hair should be tied back and the swim academy swim hats should be worn. No jewellery should be worn during lessons.

The governing body for swimming lessons, Swim England, recommends that children within our programme are examined continuously.

The programme offers parents a greater input as to when their child’s lesson will take place.

The booking system removes the need to queue at reception for re-enrolment, children will move stages when they reach their attainment level throughout the course, rather than waiting until the end of each term.


Swimmers must change in the group rooms and not in other areas of the sports centre, including poolside or café areas.

Swimmers under the age of 8 may use either gender changing rooms when accompanied by a parent/guardian. Swimmers aged 8 and above must use the correct gender changing rooms. Lockers are provided for swimmers’ belongings. Clothes, bags and other similar items should not be left unattended in the changing rooms.

If you have any more queries about swimming lessons, you can talk to a member of our team at the reception of Ravelin Sports Centre (once we are open, soon). Alternatively, you can email us: swim-lessons@port.ac.uk. Please do not disturb the swimming instructors at any time.