Swimming Academy

The Talbot Heath Swimming Academy Programme was launched in 2019 in conjunction with Poole Swimming Club and is now producing National and International winners – in May 2022, the Under 13 team became the World School Champions.

The programme offers a fantastic opportunity for any girl to pursue their swimming aspiration within an outstanding academic school.

Swimming Academy pupils can live at Talbot Heath and are cared for in a small family environment:
Academy pupils from out of the area, or those who would find the early morning training easier, can enjoy living amongst teammates and Talbot Heath day pupils, in our award winning Boarding House where friendships flourish. Pupils not only thrive in their sporting career, but perform well in class and are extremely well cared for and supported. Families have the option of full, weekly or flexi boarding, imagine – no more early morning drives to the swimming pool!


Swimming academy pupils may qualify for up to 40% discount. Candidates will be called for scholarship assessment after success in the entrance exam and based upon supporting evidence provided, including references. See our fees page for costs before discount.

Swimming Academy Overview

Talbot Heath School Academy: Year 1-Year 13

This is a before and after school swimming academy for school pupils who can swim, which will provide a route to progress to competitive swimming. The School Academy athletes will compete in inter school galas at County, Regional and National Level, including IAPS (Independent Association of Preparatory Schools) and ESSA Competitions (English Schools Swimming Association) and qualify for Dorset County and South West Regional events.

The Talbot Heath School Academy is directed and coached by British Swimming and Poole Swimming Club Head Coach Barry Alldrick (pictured left) and his team of coaches.

If swimmers wish to go beyond this level they can join Poole Swimming Club Competitive Squads that train at Talbot Heath.

Talbot Heath National Swimming Academy

This is for pupils that are ranked in the top 20 for their age in an Olympic Swimming Event from Year 7 onwards.

Following a trial where the athlete’s ability, future potential and coachability will be assessed, pupils will join the Poole Swimming Club Performance Squads who train primarily before and after school with a “Total Swimming” package, with activities such as video analysis, strength and conditioning, lifestyle and nutrition support and mindset workshops run around the school day timetable. Athletes will travel around the country competing for Poole Swimming Club and Talbot Heath School with the ultimate aim of earning success on international junior and senior teams.

The Talbot Heath National Academy in conjunction with Poole Swimming Club will attract girls from around the world who can board and develop their Academic and Swimming journeys in a highly supportive and achieving environment. Scholarships are available, offering up to 50% off school fees – visit our scholarships page for more information



Recent Talbot Heath Swimming Academy recent achievements include:

  • World School Games U13 Female Champions 2022
  • ESSA Senior School Relay Finalists
  • ESSA Primary School Relay Finalists


  • Barry Alldrick, Head Coach – Swim England National Junior Head Squad 2021
  • Jan – Swim England National Event Camp Coach 2021 and 2022
  • Chris – Swim England Regional Camp Coach 2021

Poole Swimming club recent achievements include:

  • Coach Jacob Peters 21st 100m butterfly Tokyo Olympics 2021
  • Head Coach, Barry Alldrick, crowned Swim England Coach of the Year 2018 and South West Coach of the Year 2018
  • Swim England Performance Club of the Year 2017
  • Multiple Coaches selected for British and National Competitions and Programmes
  • Multiple World and European Junior Championships swimmers Multiple British, English, Regional, County Record Holders
  • Multiple British and English National, Regional and County Champions
  • National Open Water Championship
  • Medallists
  • Home of Bournemouth University Swim Team


Fiona Hardie – Former TH pupil
PSC member, National Competing Swimmer

“I fully believe that it was the combination of all the ways Talbot Heath supported me, the academic work ethic that was installed in me, as well as the passion, quality of coaching, and atmosphere at Poole Swimming Club that kept me in the sport.”

I started competitive swimming because of Talbot Heath, I wanted to make a school sports team, and swimming was something that I not only enjoyed but I realised, after our summer term lessons and the annual school gala, I had a chance of making the team.

I soon represented TH at the schools competitions. We raced in the Bournemouth and Dorset championships, and later to the national championships. I will never forget that first trip that I made to Sheffield in the school minibus. While we didn’t win that weekend, but we did exceed our own expectations by making a final, and perhaps more significantly for my swimming career, I left knowing that I wasn’t going to let that be my only time racing at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.

My swimming commitments grew exponentially. I started training more sessions each week, both before and after school for 2 hours each time and was away at competition most weekends. TH helped me out with these commitments – I was able to eat breakfast at the boarding house after morning training, and spend PE lessons in the library working on my academic work, not to mention the support the teachers and staff gave me. This support heavily contributed to me reaching my first long term goal as I revisited Ponds Forge in lower 4, then started my 12 year streak of competing at the British National Championships.

When I was studying for my GCSE’s, I was selected to compete at the UK School Games, as well being a candidate for the 2 year Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE).

As a member of Poole Swimming Club, I completed the prestigious AASE program and then attained a full sports scholarship to NCAA Division 1 Universities in America. I attended Villanova University in Pennsylvania where I was given the opportunity to continue my swimming career with the support of a respected academic institution.

It was because of both Talbot Heath and Poole Swimming Club that I was able to compete at a national level for so many years, have the amazing opportunity to live, study, and compete nationally in America for 4 years. And ultimately, it is because of these 2 institutions that I now have a masters degree from Southampton University, a professional career that I am proud of at Arup, and still get in the water when I can and compete in relays for Poole, where it all began.

The Swim Academy is a wonderful addition to Talbot Heath, and with Barry at the helm, will go from strength to strength – if his protégé Jacob Peters is anything to go by, as he’s off to the Olympics!