In line with the Scottish Government’s Physical Activity Strategy 2018 our Aquatics programmes look to develop physical confidence and competence in water from the earliest age.

Classes start from birth and give babies and children the opportunity to experience the joys of movement, and the social, emotional and physical wellbeing that comes through play. Starting from a young age enhances learning, creates happy memories, and forms good habits and positive attitudes which can last throughout life.

Why Aquatics Aberdeen?

Aquatics Aberdeen follows the Scottish Swimming Framework which enables your child to work through exciting and progressive stages designed by the national governing body for swimming.

Aquatics Aberdeen are the proud winners of the Scottish Water Learn to Swim Provider of the Year 2017 as awarded by Scottish Swimming. The programme has also been awarded SwiMark Plus which is Scottish Swimming's quality aquatic development programme for learn to swim programmes and clubs.

When should you start your baby’s swimming classes?

Learning to swim is an essential skill that can mean the difference between life and death. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death world-wide. These statistics could be improved if more children were taught to swim at an early age.

Classes start from birth and there are many key benefits to starting this journey as early as possible:

  • Swimming is fun – babies and children love getting in the water and enjoying themselves
  • Encourages the stages of development and skills in a safe and supported environment
  • Having a child that is skilled at moving through water, and confident around water, is the best way to reduce the risk of accidental drownings
  • Builds relationships and develops social skills
  • Contributes to brain development and learning. Children who participate in swimming lessons have been found to hit language and numerical milestones earlier than expected
  • Enhances bone development
  • Swimming keeps your child’s heart and lungs healthy, improves strength and flexibility, increases stamina and even improves balance and posture
  • Learning to swim early has a powerful impact on children’s motor skills, and helps them exercise muscle groups that would normally be ignored. This can help kids balance, jump, run, and walk earlier than non-swimming peers
  • Improves sleep
  • It is a more accessible and enjoyable activity for children with additional needs than most other sports / activities
  • Learning to swim early helps prepare children for school. Listening, following instruction and self-regulating their behaviour are all skills that children can transfer from swimming into the classroom
  • Learning to swim early opens a wealth of opportunities for your child; they may want to pursue an Olympic dream and there are many aquatic sports to choose from!

Encouraging your child to learn to swim is one of the most important opportunities you can give them. If you get children interested in swimming when they’re young there’s a good chance they will enjoy water safely for the rest of their life.

What should you expect from an Early Years swimming lesson?

All children should be having fun. The lessons involve game-based activities to help them learn core swimming skills such as breathing, submerging and moving in the water. Swimming strokes will be introduced gradually once children have learned the basic core aquatic skills.

What are the Core Aquatic skills?

These are the building blocks for learning more complex practices and they are fundamental to your child becoming a confident and competent swimmer. For example:

  • Blowing bubbles in the bath / pool is the first stage for aquatic breathing
  • Floating helps a child establish good body position for strokes to be developed and is key to teaching children safety

What do I need to bring?

Swimming costume/trunks, towel, shampoo, swimming nappy (if required) and an adult with their swimming kit too. Change for lockers will be required at most pools.

The Early Years Programme

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The Early Years programme is designed to introduce you and your child to the water in a fun way, making it exciting and enjoyable for you both. It will provide you as the parent with confidence and skills to help teach your child to swim.

The programme follows the Scottish Swimming Framework which enables your child to work through exciting and progressive stages.

This consists of the following levels:

Adult & Baby (0 - 12 Months)

Parent is in the water with the child.

To introduce the adult and baby to a swimming environment and develop the confidence and skills of the adult to ensure the safe and effective handling of the baby in the water.


  • The adult will have the range of skills and knowledge necessary to handle their baby confidently and safely in the water
  • The 'quality time' aspect will be a key element of the adult and baby aquatic experience
  • Adult and baby will have experienced basic supports, body positions and a range of movements in the water
  • Adult and baby will have developed water confidence and enjoyment in the aquatic environment

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participants in swimming lessons at Cults Sports Complex

Adult & Toddler (1 - 2 years)

Parent is in the water with the child.

To encourage independent movement and develop the water confidence and core aquatic skills of the toddler through structured play.


  • The toddler will have been involved in interaction with other adults and children
  • The toddler will have experienced independent movement with buoyancy aids
  • The toddler will have developed some basic core aquatic skills through structured play focusing on enjoyment, fun and self-discovery
  • The toddler will have developed greater water confidence

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Adult & Child (2 - 3 1/2 years)

Parent is in the water with the child.

To further develop the core aquatic skills through structured play and develop the independence necessary for the next level (without an adult in the water).


  • The child will demonstrate independent movement and a range of core aquatic skills
  • The child will have developed confident submersion and aquatic breathing
  • The child will have been involved in interaction with other adults and children
  • The child will be become more attentive to the teacher's instruction and less reliant on adult support in

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Pre School A and B (3 – 5 years)

Pre School A - Parent is in the water with the child
Pre School B * - Child is in the water without a parent.

To become water confident and develop core aquatic skills (without adult assistance but with buoyancy aids as required.)


  • Introduce complete non-swimmers to the aquatic environment and establish an understanding of safety in and around water
  • Develop and progress water confidence
  • Establish an understanding of basic core aquatic skills
  • Encourage independent movement
  • Develop skills through enjoyment, fun and self-discovery

* Entry to Pre-school B is by teacher recommendation and successful completion of Pre-school A only

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School Age Programme

The school age programmes can start from 4.5 years.

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swimming lesson at Bucksburn Swimming Pool