Children’s Swimming Lessons in Bristol

If you are interested in swimming lessons with the Bristol Penguin Swim Academy or finding out more information please email Polly at

General Information

The Swim Academy teaches children of ages 6-10 to swim between Stages 5 and 7. Once they have reached Stage 7, most swimmers then will have another trial to move into the competitive squads to compete for Bristol Penguin Olympic Swimming Club.

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There are one or two sessions a week for the Swim Academy swimmers, one on Sundays at Bristol University pool between 4.30pm and 5.00pm or 5.00pm and 5.30pm or 5.30pm and 6.00pm. The other session is at St. Mary Redcliffe and Temple School pool on Wednesdays between 6.30pm and 7.10pm or 7.10pm and 7.50pm (depending on the group). Stage 7 have an option to swim on Fridays at Easton from 6.30pm to 7.15pm instead of Wednesdays.


2015-12-16 18.56.28 amendedOur enthusiastic and experienced ASA qualified teachers enjoy delivering fun swimming lessons that are challenging and competitive. It is great to see a young person blossom from a beginner into a swimmer. We have seen many of our Swim Academy swimmers compete and win races with Bristol Penguin Olympic Swimming Club.

Class sizes are quite small, beginner swimming lessons entail smaller groups sometimes with teachers in the pool to enable swimmers to feel safe and happy in the water. We work through the ASA National Plan for Teaching Swimming and also include distance and timed events, as well as water safety work.

Every year there are Club Championships, which is an opportunity for some swimmers in Stages 5, 6 and 7 to join in with the competitive squads to see how it feels to race in a swimming gala. As it is an in-house gala, the atmosphere is really friendly with everyone cheering everyone else on. It is always a great event and younger swimmers really appreciate seeing the older swimmers perform – a taste of their swimming to come! There are also additional opportunities for swimmers in Stages 6 and 7 to compete in friendly galas with other clubs.

Bristol Penguin Olympic Swimming Club is a great place to learn to swim and we look forward to hearing from you.

Swim Academy Extras

After our successful distance badges were completed on Sunday 18th March 2018, we have put another date in the diary. The next distance badges will be completed on Sunday 16th September 2018 and will be for all swimmers in the Swim Academy.


Our last water safety challenge for Stage 7 was on Sunday 26th November 2017. The next water safety challenge will be on Sunday 13th May 2018 and then another one on Sunday 25th November 2018. Swimmers will need to bring pyjamas or a t-shirt and shorts over their swim suits for use in the water. A variety of different challenges will be given for swimmers to complete such as calling for safety, collecting objects and swimming without goggles. It is always great fun and a very different experience to try swimming in pyjamas!