1. The Swim Team are available to deal with any enquiries and will be the route of contact to the Swimming Instructors. You can contact them on 01284 757484 for Bury St Edmunds, 01440 765132 for Haverhill, 01638 782502 for Newmarket and 01638 712515 for Mildenhall
  2. To make sure that swimmers gain the most from their lessons, please provide the Swim Team with any information regarding special needs or medical history.
  3. All swimmers should use the showers and toilets before the lessons. Swimmers should not enter on to the poolside until a few minutes before their lesson is due to begin for safety reasons and so as not to distract any other swimmers.
  4. The Children must not enter the water until the Instructor tells them to do so.
  5. All parents accompanying their children to a swimming lesson will be admitted to the spectator area free of charge. Parents should be aware that they are responsible for their children whilst they are in the changing area.
  6. Spectators and Parents are not allowed on poolside during lessons and should avoid disrupting the lesson by communicating with the swimmers. On the rare occasions a parent is invited onto poolside by the teacher PLEASE REMOVE OUTDOOR SHOES.
  7. Regular visits to the pool to practice between lessons will help swimmers to gain the most from the course.
  8. Swimmers will be provided with a swimming hat which must be worn during lessons. Jewellery should not be worn.
  9. The use of goggles should be discouraged at the beginning, as it hinders the building of water confidence and basic water safety and ill fitting goggles cause a distraction to young swimmers. If your child comes with goggles, the teacher may ask him/her to remove them for all, or part, of the lesson.
  10. Once the course has commenced there will be no refunds or transfer of lessons following a non attendance. If a doctor’s note is provided that states that the swimmer is unable to attend owing to illness, Abbeycroft Leisure will issue a credit for use against future swimming courses. A 25% administration charge will be applied to all refunds.
  11. Free assessments are available for swimmers enrolling for a course. If the swimmer does not attend an assessment and is booked by the parent / guardian into the wrong ability level group (against the advice of the co-ordinator) then Abbeycroft Leisure and Anglia Community Leisure will endeavour to find a place to match the swimmers needs BUT if there are no places available Abbeycroft Leisure will issue a voucher for use against future swimming courses. No refund will be allowed.
  12. The Centres have a NO Photograph policy.
  13. A locker system is in operation in the changing area. We recommend all swimmers use the lockers provided as Abbeycroft Leisure does not accept liability for items lost or damaged in the changing area. NOTHING SHOULD BE LEFT IN THE CHANGING Area/Cubicles.
  14. Abbeycroft Leisure has a Child Behaviour Policy for swimming lessons. Our teachers continually strive for excellence in managing their classes and children’s behaviour, below is an outline of the process that will happen if a child does not adhere to instructions given. • On the first instance of bad behaviour the teacher will correct the behaviour. • On the second instance of bad behaviour, that is similar to the first, the teacher will reprimand in a firmer manner. • If there is a third instance the child may be asked to sit out of the class for a period of up to 2 minutes. • If there is a fourth instance the teacher will report the issue and steps taken to the co-ordinator who will speak to the parents to ensure a plan is put in place for the child’s continued attendance. If a negative behaviour is deemed dangerous or wilful enough the teacher has the option to advance to the stage necessary to ensure the safety of all pupils. These measures are intended to ensure all pupils in a class receive the high level of tuition they expect and is not a method to punish.

Due to the inclusive nature of our lessons there will be occasions when it appears that we deviate from these guidelines, if this is the case a course of action will have been agreed previously with the parent/guardian of the child.



Swimming is ideal for everyone, whether you want to relax after a hard days work or compliment your fitness training programme, or even just entertain the kids! It’s a hard activity to beat when it comes to finding something that tones the body, relaxes the mind and is such good fun!

Not everybody has the time to swim regularly though, which is why we offer casual swimming at all of our pools. This means that you can use the pools as often as you like and just pay for the times you use them, rather than needing a full membership. You can take part in a lane swimming workout or simply have fun splashing around in the pools or using the flumes*.

We run lots of different sessions which you can take part in with casual swimming, including Aqua Play for under 5s, Big and Little Splash for families with disabled and special needs swimmers, and Lane Swimming for those who want more of a workout. Visit our Swim Timetables for more information.

*Flumes only available at Bury and Haverhill Leisure Centres.


If you want information on swimming lessons, please visit our Swim Academy site. 


Disabled Swimming 

We have designated times set aside within the swim timetable for people and families with disabled or special needs swimmers. These are our Little Splash (children with disabilities) and Big Splash (adults with disabilities) Sessions. All disabled or special need swimmers are welcome to attend any of our casual or lane swim sessions too as we are full equipped with hoists and wheelchairs within the changing rooms. All carers are free when accompanying a disabled or special needs swimmer.

Please refer to our timetables for disability swim times.



Go to Swim Academy Website
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The Swim Academy is a great place to learn to swim! Our Academy runs at Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Mildenhall and Newmarket swimming pools.

The Swim Academy allows more scope to continually raise standards while providing fun, quality based swimming lessons for all.

Lessons run for 50 weeks of the year - this gives all swimmers the opportunity to realise their full potential and gain maximum benefits from regular physical activity. PLUS, we're offering new payment structures to make the process seamless and easy for you as a parent.

Benefits of the Swimming Academy are:

  • All Swim Academy lessons will run for a minimum of 50 weeks per year
  • There will be continual progression and ongoing assessment of individual swimmers
  • A variety of payment options and the introduction of Direct Debits
  • Increasing the choice of lessons, making it easier to book
  • Extending swimming development pathways, both top and bottom
  • Regular communication with parents

We've made some slight changes to our development pathways, with clearer links to West Suffolk Swimming Club and other external options.

Click here to read our Terms & Conditions


These lessons are for children that are aged up to 5 years and are designed to develop and broaden the range of learning experiences in the water, so that they become confident, eager and enthusiastic learners

  • Swim-a-Song – For children under 18 months accompanied by an adult. The aim of these sessions is to introduce the adult and baby to the world of swimming, fostering both enjoyment and confidence.
  • Ducklings 1 & 2 – For Children 18 months to 5 years accompanied by an adult. These sessions will reinforce or introduce practices learnt in the previous stage. Group activities will encourage social interaction and build confidence levels even higher.
  • Ducklings 3 & 4 – For Children 3 to 5 years. This is the first independent lesson introducing independent movement in the water with the use of floatation devices. The class scenario is introduced so the pupils are aware of what is required of them, but this will also be the start of what is considered to be more swimming lesson type outcomes – moving away from the fun experienced based learning.

Junior Scheme

These lessons are for children aged 4 and above who attend full-time school. Lessons are for varying durations depending on the age and ability level of the swimmers. To progress to the next stage they will need to achieve the required standard and the appropriate ASA National Swim Award of the group they are enrolled in.

  • Stage 1: For pupils who are school age with little or no water experience. In this class the pupil will develop their safety awareness, the ‘class scenario’, basic movement skills and water confidence skills appropriate to their age.
  • Stage 2: For pupils who have passed Stage 1 or have had an assessment. Pupils will develop safe entries to the water, including jumping in, basic floating, travel and rotation unaided to regain upright position.
  • Stage 3: For pupils who have passed Stage 2 or have had an assessment. This class will see pupils develop safe entries including submersion, travel up to 10 metres on their front and back, progress rotation skills and water safety knowledge.
  • Stage 4: For pupils who have passed Stage 3 or have had an assessment. In this class pupils will develop their understanding of buoyancy through a range of skills, refining kicking technique for all strokes and kick 10 metres to a given standard as directed by the ASA. A 10 metre swim is also included but can be done in a choice of stroke.
  • Stage 5: For pupils who have passed Stage 4 or have had an assessment. Pupils will learn and develop ‘watermanship’ through skills including sculling, treading water and complete rotation, they will also perform all strokes for a distance of 10 metres to a standard directed by the ASA.
  • Stage 6: For pupils who have passed Stage 5 or have had an assessment. All four strokes will be refined further in this stage with specific milestones for each stroke required, developing aquatic safety and understanding of the preparation of exercise is also developed.
  • Stage 7: For pupils who have passed Stage 6 or have had an assessment. This is the final stage before the introduction of alternative disciplines, at this stage all four strokes need to be swum for a distance of 25 metres, amongst other skills which really do test the skills learnt so far.
  • Stage 8, 9 & 10: For pupils who have passed the previous Stage or have had an assessment. It is at this stage that the separate disciplines of Competitive Swimming, Diving, Water Polo & Rookies are introduced giving the swimmer a broader understanding of aquatics in order to inspire participation throughout their lifetime. Newmarket – Disciplines are treated as separate classes giving a greater depth of skills and knowledge. Bury, Haverhill & Mildenhall – Disciplines are taught together giving each pupil a broader understanding sooner.


Beginners – For non swimmers/beginners. Aimed at improving water confidence and introducing basic stroke techniques.

Improvers – For the more able swimmer. Aimed at improving stroke techniques, building stamina and introducing dives and turns.


Direct Debits

Spread the cost of swimming lessons with easy, regular, monthly payments. Secure your space at each stage without needing to 're-book' - that means no more queuing at reception or hanging on the phone to book!



We know this information is a lot to take in and there are many questions you may have. We've got a list of frequently asked questions below. If you still find you need more information, please don't hesitate to contact our teams.


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Why do you run your programme throughout the year?

It has been clearly demonstrated that children progress more quickly in an all year programme. Long breaks, for example, summer holiday periods, can have a negative impact on a child's progress in swimming lessons. We are also responding to ever changing demands and social patterns such as both parents working and grandparents involved in child care which demands more consistent activity.

How will my child's progress be assessed? 

Our teachers are experienced and qualified to deliver progressive, structured lessons, which follow the national plan for the teaching of swimming. Your child's progress will be continually assessed which means they can progress at any point rather than having to wait for everyone to meet the criteria.

What changes are there to how I book and pay for lessons?

You will still be able to pay for lessons in person or over the phone at the reception desk. We have added two additional payment options, you can now pay online as well as by direct debit. Full details are available when you sign up.

Will there be a start date and end date to a term?

Continuous assessment means there are no start and end dates to a term as the programme runs throughout the year with only a two week break at Christmas.

Will you still be running Holiday courses?

Yes we will be offering swimming courses during school holiday periods, we also offer opportunities to try other aquatic sports such as snorkelling and diving.

Do you offer 1 to 1 lessons?

Yes we will continue to offer 1 to 1 swimming lessons which can be booked at reception at a time to suit you. For a small increase on the cost of a group lesson we also offer small group sessions which guarantees no more than 4 children in a group.

What if I don't want my child to have swimming lessons all year round?

If you are paying by direct debit you will be entitled to give 1-months' notice to cancel your child's session. The introduction of continuous assessment will make access to your preferred session easier when you decide to return.

Don't you think that children need a break, especially those just starting school?

There is an element of truth in this for some children and for those where this applies they can stop at any time and take a break. However, most parents recognise the value of regular exercise for their children, especially when they are learning new skills.

I have a payment issue or question.

If you have a payment query, please click here to email a member of the team. 

I wish to cancel my membership.

If you wish to cancel my membership, please click here for The Swim Academy Refund and Cancellation Policy