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 6 and 8. Once they have reached Stage 8, 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 and families can choose from swimming at the following places and times:

  • Sundays at Henbury Leisure Centre at 5-5.30pm or 5.30-6pm
  • Sundays at Easton Leisure Centre at 6-6.30pm or 6.30-7pm
  • Tuesdays at Henbury Leisure Centre at 7-7.30pm or 7.30-8pm
  • Wednesdays at St. Mary Redcliffe and Temple School pool at 6.30-7.10pm or 7.10-7.50pm
  • Fridays at Henbury Leisure Centre at 7-7.40pm
  • Fridays at Easton Leisure Centre at 6.30-7pm


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 6, 7 and 8 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 7 and 8 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 Friday 14th and Sunday 16th September 2018 and will be for all swimmers in the Swim Academy.


Our last water safety challenge for Stage 8 was on Sunday 13th May 2018. The next water safety challenge will be on Friday 23rd and 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!