General Information

Harlow Penguins are a SwimMark accredited Club which is Swim England’s quality standard for clubs. It recognises high standards of governance, sustainability and effectiveness.

Quality Swimming Lessons

As part of that accreditation, Penguins Swim School offers high quality learn to swim lessons following Swim England’s Learn to Swim Programme to children aged 4 & half and over at Harlow Leisurezone and Burnt Mill School pools.

Learn to Swim Programme

Following Swim England’s Learn to Swim Programme, we use fun and games to take children from their first splash to full competence in the water.

Within Penguins Swim School, we have classes catering for Stage 1 to Stage 5 level swimmers. Stage 6 and upward swimmers are managed within our Academy.

All of our classes are 30 minute lessons, class sizes are small and pupils are grouped by both age and ability.


At present we run the following classes:

  • Harlow Leisurezone – Friday 6:00 to 7:00,  (Stage 1 to Stage 4)
  • Burnt Mill School – Tuesday 4:45 – 5:15, (Stage 4 and 5)
  • Burnt Mill School – Thursday 4:45 – 5:45,  (Stage 4 and 5)

New members will be allocated a suitable time slot.

Generally each swimmer will be assessed for their Swim England Stage badges in weeks 9 or 10. In addition, swimmers may also be given the opportunity to achieve a distance badge.

Details of the Swim England Framework can be found on the following webpage:

Swim England Learn to Swim Framework

Staff – Teacher & Helpers

Penguins Swim School is co-ordinated by Sarah Stringer, Head of Swim School.

All of our class teachers are either Level 2 or 1 Swim England qualified teachers and as part of our accreditation process will have:

  • a current DBS check.
  • attended a Safeguarding and Protecting Children CPD.

In addition, as part of our workforce development programme we have numerous assistants working in the pool within our classes. These are generally our senior swimmers who are trained to the level of Swim England Helper Certificate. 

Teachers will use games and fun techniques to take your child through their aquatic journey; from their first splash to fully competent, confident and safe swimmer. We assess our teachers and coaches regularly, sending them on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses to ensure that skills and practices remain current.