Swim school

BHSC Swim School runs termly on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and each night is divided into two sessions – 1 swimming widths and the 2nd swimming lengths. The widths session is geared towards entry level swimmers (usually 5 years +) and developing the strokes and skills necessary for them to progress in to length swimming. Upon moving into the 2nd session the focus then turns more to preparing the swimmers for life in the Junior squads – lane etiquette; lap timing etc as well as reinforcing learnt skills and developing the stamina required at squad level. BHSC Swim School is grouped in to coloured hats, with each stage working on both specific and general elements of the overall programme – a programme that is set in line with National Standards yet further developed uniquely to meet the needs of the wider club structure and effectively prepare swimmers for squad training.


The 5 colour groups are white, green, blue, black and red and each group is subdivided so that there are 2 stage processes within that colour (see graphic). Progression can be made at any time at the discretion of the teachers and Head Coach and following assessment periods that run once termly. The assessment strategy is not only to support group movements but also to aid the teachers in their ongoing screening protocols required to ensure the effective development of each swimmer.


Assessment is both timetabled and ongoing and reflected by swimmers abilities to meet specific criteria as laid out by the scheme of work appropriate for that group. Occasionally swimmers will be moved groups outside of allotted assessment weeks where the Teacher and Head Coach are in agreement that the swimmers ability surpasses the requirement of the current stage in consistency and is in no further need of skill reinforcement at that level. Timetabled assessment weeks will usually take place over consecutive weeks towards the end of term allowing all swimmers to be gauged against set criteria for both ongoing development within their group and to facilitate group movement.



Normally the lowest age of intake is 5 years old. All swimmers are required to be able to swim unaided front and back in order to qualify for selection – although no specific stroke ability is required at this stage. Progress though the stages is individualised and dependant upon each individuals abilities and learning rate. In order for a successful transition into club swimming it is extremely important that swimmers are able to understand and perform the progressions as this facilitates the ability to perform more advanced skills at later stages. Most swimmers who become ready for club swimming do so at age 9 or 10, although to allow for later development some swimmers may remain in swim school until aged 11. Swimmers at this age who have not previously been selected for club will be either offered a place if they meet set standards or given advice on where they may continue to participate and develop their skills. At the younger end, swimmers may be introduced to club at age 8 (or possibly younger) although this will be done in open agreement with parents and with attention to lifestyle/school commitments and will also usually be a graduated progression.


Learn to swim

Although BHSC Swim School does not offer learn to swim sessions, we do work closely with Bristol University and their swim school that does offer this facility. We also have links with other swim schools in the area and we are happy to offer advice and assistance of lessons and locations most suitable for you.

For further information or to arrange a trial please email us on enquiries.bhsc@gmail.com. We look forward to receiving your application.