About Alex Lawrence Swim School

I have always been passionate about swimming and water sports in general.  Growing up I was more often in a swimming pool than out of it.

Having swum for both my schools and Sevenoaks I took a break from swimming other than leisure until I had my first child in 2009. It was when I took my daughter to parent and child classes I had a lightbulb moment that teaching swimming was very much what I wanted to do and the rest as they say is history.

I took my first qualification with Swim England in 2012 and set about working for a number of swim schools in Kent working alongside some great teachers and children. The more I did the more I enjoyed helping children and adults become the best swimmers they could be whilst having some fun in the pool too.

I am passionate that every child should have the right to swim. With one in five adults in the UK unable to swim this skill should be learnt at the earliest opportunity. There is no one that is unable to swim and I enjoy working alongside children and adults. Whether children go down the competitive club route of swimming or continue simply for enjoyment and fitness swimming is a life skill that everyone should have.


I firmly believe that swimming should be about fun as this is the best basis to learn. The benefits of swimming are numerous and can certainly aid development both physically and mentally in children. Parent and child swimming especially provides a special bond from a young age and mirrors the early years foundation in terms of developing vital cognitive and physical skills.

Swimming is the only sport that could potentially save a life but it’s imperative to me that all children or adults are safe in the water.

When I am not teaching; I have three children aged 7 to 14 who keep me fairly busy but I also enjoy yoga, baking and travel in my spare time!

  • Swim England level 1 teaching
  • Swim England level 2 teaching
  • Swim England baby & preschool
  • Swim England coaching assistant
  • NRASTC (National Rescue Award Swim Teachers Certificate)
  • Aquafit
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Breastroke CPD
  • Diving fundamentals CPD
  • Butterfly CPD
  • STA CPD swimming with Cerebral Palsy
  • Full DBS check

Alex is a great supportive, patient and encouraging teacher, she makes the lessons fun and built a great rapport with my son. He progressed really well with her and I’d highly recommend her!

Mrs K Goddard

Mike Allen

Mike and I have worked together for just over four years now. I am always impressed with Mike’s calm nature and the rapport he builds with each of his swimmers. Mike goes above and beyond to ensure those that swim with him always achieve their full potential.

Mike was a latecomer to swimming aged 9 until a brilliant teacher took him from being a non swimmer to a length swimmer in just a few hours. From then on Mike was rarely out of the water catching up on lost time! As a child he loved swimming underwater usually collecting peoples dropped money at the local lido which brought him numerous ice creams when he finished his swimming. Mike holds his Swim England level 2 and parent and child qualification, which he loves to teach. Away from the pool Mike is a qualified sports massage therapist. In his spare time he enjoys running having completed distances from 5k to Ultras and is a member of Tonbridge Canoe Club.

  • Swim England Level 1 teacher
  • Swim England Level 2 teacher
  • Swim England Parent and Child
  • Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
  • First Aid at work
  • Mental Health Awareness for sport and physical activity

James Bell

James and I have worked together for over seven years now. His unfailing dedication to swimming and the children he teaches is second to none. James brings a love of swimming and wealth of knowledge at all levels which is both infectious and enthusiastic but also gets great results for anyone who is taught by James, my own children included.

James started his life long passion at just 4 years old on holiday; with his father chasing him up to the deep end before jumping in. After a few frights for his parents they decided to get him lessons where he took to swimming like a fish to water. James worked his way through the different classes before joining Larkfield as a club swimmer going on to achieve county times and being selected as part of a Medway team to compete abroad. James started his teaching career as a volunteer coach at Larkfield swimming club before becoming fully qualified in 2017. James taught swimming alongside other jobs before concentrating on just teaching. James competes in the water regularly both in galas and open water, recent trips include swimming in Italy and he plans a swim through Paris next.

Away from the pool James enjoys music, dabbling with several instruments but chiefly the guitar.

  • Swim England level 1 teaching assistant
  • Swim England level 2 Swimming teacher
  • Breaststroke CPD
  • NPLQ
  • Full DBS check

Donna Portman

Donna joins our team from February 2022 and brings a wealth of swimming teaching knowledge and experience with her. Donna has been teaching swimming to children and adults for just over 27 years and feels lucky to have such an enjoyable and rewarding vocation, likewise we are fortunate to have Donna on board.

I am very impressed with both the patience and the fun element that Donna brings to swimming lessons that really engages her pupils in the pool and gets results.

Alongside swim teaching Donna makes amazing mud kitchens which contrasts nicely to teaching swimming but also stems from a love of seeing children out in the fresh air learning through play.

Donna has four children of her own which keeps her busy but also means she brings a parent’s perspective on how to get the best from children in her lessons.

  • Swim England level 1 Swimming assistant
  • Swim England level 2 Swimming teacher
  • Swim England parent and child
  • Introduction to Safeguarding
  • Full DBS check

Jo Hogg

Jo joined the team in September 2023 and has already built her own fan base with both her swimmers and the team.

Jo’s passion and enthusiasm for teaching really shines through! Her knowledge of swimming and stroke technique is excellent and she delivers her lessons in a fun and informative way. Most of her swimmers have already seen fantastic improvements in a short space of time but don’t always realise they are learning because her lessons are so engaging and fun.

Jo loves all things aquatic and enjoys open water swimming in her spare time. Jo is looking forward to teaching at Chiddingstone in the summer.

  • STA level 2 Award for Open Water Safety
  • STA level 2 Swimming teacher
  • Full DBS check

Caitlin Bell

Caitlin joined us in the summer of 2022 and now leads her own classes both at Moor House and Chiddingstone. Caitlin has a calm but knowledgeable approach to her lessons which puts all children at ease and ensures they have a great deal of fun whilst learning how to swim. I am continuously impressed at the rapport Caitlin quickly builds with all her swimmers.

Caitlin began swimming at four years old, where she learnt to swim at the club her brother James competed with. Rising quickly through the ranks she began competing at swim meets aged just 7 and still regularly competes in galas today; mostly in freestyle and backstroke.

Caitlin has an undeniable passion for all things swimming. She enjoys swimming herself and the lifelong friendships she has forged at the pool. Caitlin began teaching for Larkfield swim club as a volunteer before undertaking her formal Swim England qualifications. She enjoys meeting new swimmers and helping them to become the best swimmers they can be and sharing this important life skill.

Away from the pool Caitlin enjoys all dance but particularly ballet, she is an avid reader and enjoys a variety of music.

  • Swim England level 1 teaching assistant
  • Swim England level 2 Swimming teacher
  • Full DBS check

Tavia (Bird) Lincoln

Tavia (known as Bird) is a welcome addition to the team from the summer term 2023.

Bird is a great hit with children of all ages instilling confidence one lesson at a time. The children love her lessons that are both fun and she really takes the time to explain technique so children feel confident to take their first steps swimming unaided. Her fun approach is a always a hit and there are not many aquatic games she doesn’t have up her sleeve to engage her swimmers.

Bird is currently studying for her A-levels. Her enjoyment for sharing her swim knowledge and engaging with children is always lovely to watch; many of her swimmers return for private lessons with her time and time again.

  • Swim England level 1 swimming teacher
  • Swim England level 2 Swimming teacher
  • Full DBS check

Steve Edwards

Steve is a welcome addition to our team from September 2022. Steve is especially kind and brings a great sense of humour to all his lessons, yet he is very methodical in his approach to his lesson planning helping each student reach their full potential in the pool.

Steve spent over seven years at a large leisure centre teaching a mixture of private lessons and adult non swimmer groups alongside marketing swim galas and holiday swim courses.

Alongside Steve’s swimming he has enjoyed a successful career in estate agency for twenty years, but remains passionate about teaching correct swim techniques and life saving skills. He is consistently continuing his professional development through study, developing and refining his teaching skills, which his swimmers all benefit from on a weekly basis.

Steve has taught many family members to swim, including his teenage daughter so understands first hand the requirement to have your child swimming safely and correctly..

  • STA Level 2 Teaching Swimming
  • Safeguarding children
  • Full DBS check

How to Find Us

Hurst Green, Oxted, Surrey

We are operating out of Moor House School & College, Mill Lane, Oxted RH8 9AQ

This is a 25m 4 lane pool with diving.

There is plenty of parking on site in the school car park. Enter via the large green gates and you will see the sports hall. Changing rooms are on the left as you enter and access to poolside is via the changing areas. There is limited seating poolside to watch the lessons and also a viewing gallery upstairs.

Godstone, Surrey

We are operating out of the newly refurbished pool at St Stephen’s Church of England Primary School, Hunters Chase, South Godstone, Surrey RH9 8HR.

There is on road parking near the entrance to the pool site. We ask that you park considerately to those using the school for access and local residents.

Chiddingstone, Kent

We are operating out of Hoath House, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge Kent TN8 7DB.

There is ample parking on site for up to 80 cars just past the pool which is signposted on arrival.

This pool features a low level enclosure so we can partially close the roof in case of inclement weather. There is a patio and small lawn area adjacent to the pool for parents to wait whilst their children swim, please keep to these areas only. Bench seating and a small gazebo is available on the patio. No glassware is permitted around the pool area. We suggest children arrive at the pool swim ready before towelling off and straight into a onesie or similar before leaving after their lesson.