About us

GBS is a family run swim school which has been running well-respected lessons in the Reading area since 2003.

We have taught many thousands of children and adults to swim with great confidence, technique and style.

We are an ASA/Swim England affiliated Swim School and follow the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme.

We provide high quality children’s swimming lessons at Leighton Park School. Our courses run during term time only.

Welcome! I have been a swimming teacher for 25 years and have a real passion to teach children to swim well. I come from a swimming background and have now run my own swim school for over 15 years.

I have put together a team of experienced, dedicated and likeminded professionals that I have worked alongside for many years. We deliver high quality swimming lessons whilst retaining a sense of fun. I am extremely passionate about what I do and care about each individual child that passes through my swim school. For me it’s not just about the swimming, it’s about developing a child’s confidence and helping them grow.

I pride myself on running an organised and efficient swim school where I value all of my parents. Customer service is extremely important to me and I take time to build individual relationships.


Our sessions include:

We offer 30 minute lessons for children from 3 years upwards in small groups and for all ability levels. Our courses run term time only.

Swim school lessons from 4 years
Stamina Swimming
Parent and toddler classes
Adult Classes
Summer Crash Courses
GBS Lifesaving delivering RLSS Lifesaving awards

Parents recommend us because we have systems and teachers that deliver great results.

These are the main reasons:

Unique GBS Assessment

Children are assessed prior to joining our swim school so they start off in the class most suitable to them. Your child will swim with children of similar ability. The result of this is our lessons are well balanced and fast paced, which progresses the children quickly.

Small Groups

We believe one of the biggest keys to our success is that our groups are kept small to ensure our teachers give your child that individual attention. Usually there are just 5 children in our beginners section, with two teachers always in the water supporting them.
We have low teacher to pupil ratios. In our higher levels there are no more than 6-8 children in a class.

Continuous Assessment

We use a process of continual assessment in our swim school.
We make sure we review your child’s progress throughout the term and, when they are ready to move on to the next class/stage, they do not have to wait until end of the term if they are ready.

Distance Testing

At the end of each term the children are given the opportunity to be distance tested according to the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme. Children love receiving their certificate and badge as a mark of their achievement.

Parent Involvement

Parents are always welcome to watch lessons from poolside. You will see first-hand how your child progresses and how they interact with the swimming teachers. In this way, you’ll quickly see how your child progresses in confidence, technique and fitness.
We want you to be involved and will always explain when your child is ready to move up a group.

The Outcome We Achieve For You and Your Child

We truly care about all the children and who they are as individuals.
We learn very quickly about their little ways, how they learn and the little things that make them unique.
Most importantly though we see the tremendous progress our swimmers make.
Children may start out lacking confidence and technique but you can be sure your child will become a confident swimmer and will learn a lifelong skill that might one day save their life.
Where they take that skill is up to them.

They might swim the channel, join a competitive swimming club or simply enjoy swimming for pleasure on holiday or at the local pool.
Their swimming will give them the confidence to try more extreme sports if they wish such as surfing, kayaking or sailing. Whether they get to swim with dolphins or become a triathlete our teachers will ensure that your child will be prepared to experience all water sports with confidence and an invaluable new skill.

"The best swimming school and the best swimming teachers in Reading.
My children both went to GBS Swim School. To say they are fantastic is an understatement."

"My children can swim all strokes, with great technique and it makes their enjoyment of holidays and all watersports effortless.
It is a great peace of mind for us that they are strong swimmers and that it will stay with them for all of their lives."

Boyd Butler

"Having had disappointing swimming lessons with a different company, we immediately saw an improvement in the skills my son learned with Sam, his teacher at GBS Swim School at St Joseph’s.

There is a clear structure to lessons and although we’ve only been attending for one term, my son has progressed far quicker than previously. Both the teachers and assistants are trained to the highest standard and clearly very experienced.

Not only are they good at teaching, they’re good at teaching children. Sandra is highly organised and always available to speak to at the lessons too; her communication about lessons and payment is exemplary."

- Alison Payne

"All of our children, one boy and two girls, benefited enormously from the excellent teaching at GBS Swim School.

They started at a young age and quickly gained confidence in the water. And because they enjoyed their lessons so much they soon became safe and accomplished swimmers.

During the summer crash courses their skills and techniques visibly improved in a matter of days.

As they got older the emphasis changed from teaching to coaching. The stamina classes increased their endurance and by the time they left the school they had all reached a very high swimming standard.

The benefit of this confidence and fitness is with them still today and I have no hesitation in recommending the effectiveness and professionalism of this fantastic swim school to any parent."

- Dr H Hepburne-Scott

Our girls have collectively spent over 10 years swimming with GBS. The youngest started with the parent and toddler classes and the eldest ones now stamina swim once a week.

They are not only accomplished swimmers but are confident in the water and can dive, scull and tread water effectively.

The GBS teachers at all levels are supportive and kind whilst challenging each child to progress and continue to develop whether it be the distance they can swim or the technique of each stroke.

We highly recommend Sandra and her GBS team and the quality of the teaching they all provide and I have referred many friends to the swim school over the years.

- Sara Sarai

Over a period of 7+ years my three children have all attended GBS swim school; they have made fantastic progress throughout. The initial focus was on getting the basics in place and they then subsequently improved tremendously in terms of both technique and stamina. Sandra puts a huge amount of effort and thought into making sure children are put into an appropriate group, taking ability, stamina, the child’s temperament/confidence and age into account, ensuring that the potential for progress is maximised. On a more personal note I’ve always been impressed by Sandra approach – and that of her team - in dealing with children who are initially reluctant to enter the pool or are perhaps just suffering from an occasional blip in their confidence. She is always at pains to talk to the child (not just the parent) to get the bottom of the issue and to ensure it is resolved appropriately and efficiently. My children have really enjoyed their lessons and I have no hesitation in recommending GBS to any parent looking for a Swim School for their child.

Caroline Windley

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