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Frequently Asked Questions about our Learn to Swim lessons (refer also to Downloads or email us at:

1. Why should I or my child learn to swim?

New Zealand is an island nation. We are no more than 40 minutes to a beach, river, lake or stream. A lot of our recreational activities are water-based and being able to swim will ensure that you or your child can safely be part of the fun.

2. When should I or my child stop swimming?

Water Safety NZ have recommended that every person in NZ should be able to confidently swim 200m continuously and competently – ie. 10 lengths of our pool. However swimming is an activity that needs continual practice. If you stop you may go backwards in fitness and technique.

3. I am really fit – I run and bike a lot, why do I find it so hard to swim?

Swimming fitness is very different to land based activities. In the water you have to control your breathing and co-ordinate your limbs.

4. At Kings up to Level 6 you only swim to halfway. Why?

We believe that technique at the early stages is VERY IMPORTANT! If a beginner swimmer swims one length poorly – without feed back they are learning bad habits. We stop swimmers at half way so we can communicate with them and give them feedback on how to improve.

5. We are going on holiday, can my child have a make up lesson?

We do not and cannot provide catch-up lessons for swimmers who choose to do other activities at their lesson time. We will however consider a credit missed through medical reasons; if three or more consecutive lessons are missed. A medical certificate is required. Credits are not transferable. Each swimmer is entitled to two weeks leave at no charge. To activate this leave a leave form is required to be completed (four weeks notice must be given), available to download on this website or from reception. There is no charge for lessons during the close down period over Christmas and January each year.

6. Why doesn’t my child improve like others?

Simple. We are all different in all areas. You should never compare your child to other children as everyone has different learning and physical capabilities. Developmental stages must always be considered. Just like school…children are in different reading and math groups.

7. What size are your classes?

Babies and Preschool

Snugglefish 6:1
Cuddlefish 6:1
Wigglefish 6:1
Pufferfish 6:1
Bubblefish 6:1
Clownfish 5:1
Tiddler 3:1

After School ratio as follows:

Level 1 to 3 – 3:1.
Level 4 – 4:1
Level 5 – 5: 1.
Level 6 to 11 – 6:1

8. How long and deep are the pools?

The main pool is 20 x 6 metres, .9 —1.35 metres deep (heated to 30.5 degrees).
The small pool is 6 x 5 metres, .75 —.85 metres deep (heated to 33.5 degrees).

9. Do you teach school group lessons?

Yes we do – we can send your school out an information pack. Please contact

10. Do I need to stay for my child’s lesson?

Yes. This is not a public pool so you need to supervise your child/children before and after lessons.

11. Will my child have the same tutor ?

Just like your childs’s primary school as the “School in the Pool”, we try our best to ensure your child/children are able to have the same teacher each week. However due to our teachers attending university we need to support them when changes are made to their program. Our SwimOlution Program at SwimKings easily enables our teachers to relieve for each other due to our rigorous training and lesson plans.

12. Will my child’s tutor change during the year?

We understand that consistency is an important factor for development. However, we cannot foresee illness or staff moving on. We do our best to not change class tutors during the year; however due to sickness and exams this can occur.

13. My child wants to do competition swimming. How far can they go?

That’s fantastic. We can guide you to any of the clubs in Christchurch. Swim Canterbury run ‘Have a go swim meets‘. See Todd for further information. Todd has taught and coached two Olympic Swimmers and Sophie Pascoe learned to swim here, (she won 3 Gold and 1 Silver at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008). Todd currently coaches the Vikings Swim Club which is based at Kings Swim School. For information regarding the Vikings Swim Club contact

14. Is Kings privately or council owned?

Kings Swim School is privately owned and operated by Todd Mason and Pam Berry-Mason.

We aim to provide an inclusive, safe, and friendly, “learn to swim” experience.  We aim to be the most successful Learn to Swim School in Christchurch; being recognised as leaders of aquatic education in New Zealand. Learning to swim does not fit into the same leisure category as rugby, tennis, ballet, gymnastics, piano lessons etc. “It is a skill that can SAVE your child’s life!” For about the price of a movie ticket per lesson your child can receive a swimming lesson towards them…”swimming to survive”.

It’s never too young to start. Pam and Todd’s grandson was in the water from seven weeks of age. If you have any other questions or would like to know more about our Learn to Swim swimming lessons for beginners, or anything else regarding our Swim School, please contact us, we would love to hear from you!

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