Aqua Education

Hamilton City Council and Swimming Facilities are committed to providing opportunities for all school children to experience and learn Swimming and Water Safety skills.

Our programmes have been designed in conjunction with Swimming New Zealand, Surf New Zealand, Underwater New Zealand, Water Safety New Zealand, ACC and Coastguard New Zealand and are designed to educate our children early to equip them with practical skills and experiences to ensure a lifetime of enjoyment in, on and around our waterways.

Our extensive program and multiple pool facilities ensures that we can design a programme to meet the needs of your school.

If you would like any extra information, or would like to meet to discuss how we can tailor a programme to meet your schools needs please do not hesitate to contact me.


Aquatic Education (Aqua Ed) programme

This is our core teaching programme that caters for children through a sequential 10 level learn to swim and personal survival programme, designed to allow students to enter and advance through the programme at their own rate. The emphasis of this programme is to develop confident, competent swimmers in the main strokes (Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly). The programme generally runs over 5 days (40 minute lessons each day) and caters for students aged 5 – 13years.

Extension Programmes

Below is an outline of the “Extension Programmes” we are able to offer your school. 

Select from them to develop a curriculum that meets the specific learning needs of your students – choosing a combination of the programmes if you wish.

These programmes can be offered either at Waterworld, Gallagher Aquatic Centre, your own school pool or one of our partner pools (Fairfield, University, Te Rapa, Hillcrest)  

  • MiniDippers

    This programme has been designed to bring the fascination of underwater life a step closer to children by introducing them to snorkelling.

    Through the Minidippers programme, school children from around the age of 8 years and up will be given the opportunity to learn basic snorkelling skills including buoyancy, surface resting, streamlining, underwater communication, equalizing and the use of fins, masks and snorkels.  Students focus on open water safety, the buddy system and practice the skills through pool activities and games.

    The programme consists of both pool and theory sessions where the emphasis is on having fun in a relaxed enjoyable learning environment, but at the same time increasing water competence and water safety knowledge. Additional teaching resource material can be provided to school, carrying the learning into many areas of the curriculum. At the completion of all modules students can receive a certificate from Under Water NZ.

    Other avenues will open up for our young snorkeller’s, as the skills and knowledge they will learn from the programme will lead them towards other underwater based activities, such as recreational snorkelling, underwater hockey and SCUBA diving. 

  • Riversafe

    Rivers are a feature of the land we live in and having a broader understanding of them provides your students with valuable information to enable them to stop and think before taking risks. 

    More people drown in rivers than in any other New Zealand water environment.  Rivers present a completely different range of potential dangers compared to the ocean and swimming pools.  When you combine this with the fact that unlike surf beaches and offshore waters there are no agencies responsible for rescues in rivers you can easily understand why the need for river safety education is vital.

    The ACC Riversafe programme is a classroom and pool based learning programme focusing on enjoying rivers safely.  The key elements of the programme include:

    • Students learning and practicing the critical decision–developing skills they need to make a safe decision. 
    • Providing a decision making framework students can use for taking sole/shared responsibility for others whilst in, on or around water.
    • An activity based teaching programme supported by essential skills which are practiced in a pool
    • Includes interactive teaching mediums.
  • Kayaking

    This teaches practical kayaking skills to enjoy and safely kayak in open waters.  Skills include using the paddle for help, rafting up, paddle techniques (forward paddle strokes/sweep strokes/sweep stroke for turning and low brace), capsized boat skills and the use of life jackets. Students practice these skills in confined water  and will enjoy slalom races to test their skills!

  • Safe Boating

    This programme is aimed at students developing knowledge, skill and attitudes about safe boating that will prepare them for a boating experience.

    Partnered with Coastguard Boating Education this programme aimed at Years 5-8 students involves practical skills using inflatable boats, lifejackets, throw ropes and deep water, also individual and group survival initiatives in the water, giving confidence even for non-swimmers.

    All students receive a certificate at the completion of this course. 

  • Water Safety

    Fundamental safety skills educating our students as they begin to explore and experiment different aquatic activities at our beaches, lakes and rivers.  Skills such as treading water, sculling, individual and group survival skills, clothed swimming  are integral in keeping our students safe in on and under the water.  These skills will be taught in the 50 m pool then the students will take these skills to pools out of their depth to give them a true  “deep water”  experience.