Swimming Class Levels

Our class levels

Our lessons are held over three terms (Summer, Autumn and Spring) and run for a period of 12 – 14 weeks (in addition to our intensive holiday swim courses).

Once they have passed the ‘Learn to Swim’ award of that stage, they are able to move on to the next stage. These are only awarded when the skills are obtained correctly, and may not necessarily mean they move up each term.

After achieving Stage 8+ (competitive swimming) and the teacher feels they are strong enough. They will have the opportunity, if they so wish, to join a swimming club squad where they can continue to work within the National Teaching Plan.

In addition to the ‘Learn to Swim’ stage awards, they will also have the opportunity to achieve swimming awards in the following;

  • I can awards
  • Discover Ducklings: 1,2,3 and 4
  • Water skills: Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • Distance awards
  • Speed awards
  • Water safety and survival awards: personal survival 1 and 2
  • Swimming challenge awards: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Honours
  • Swim Stroke Awards: front, back, fly and breast

Duckling Stage - Non swimmer

The Duckling stages help children between 30 months to 5 years old explore and enjoy the fun of learning to swim. Lessons are aimed to develop general confidence both in and out of the water through informal play, prior to joining the NTPS (National Plan for Teaching Swimming) stages.

Teachers will be in the water with children at this level

Stage 1 - Beginner

Learners cover the initial process of introducing those with no or very little experience of swimming to the new water environment, developing confidence and being at ease in the water. Achieved to a great extent through informal play, the main outcomes involve moving around quite freely, submerging and opening the eyes, floating, and using the arms and legs to achieve a simple form of travelling through the water.

Teachers will be in the water with children at this level

Stage 2 - Beginner+

Learners are able to travel around 5 metres on both front/back (with no aids) but not necessarily using recognised strokes. They are at home in the water and confident in the environment – without holding on to the side, and can submerge completely.

Teachers will be in the water with children at this level

Stage 3 - Improver

As above, but the emphasis moves from initial confidence to building a sound foundation in those aspects of watermanship, which later on will underpin the performance of sound swimming technique.

  • Must be able/aiming to swim 10m on both frontcrawl and backcrawl
  • Basic recognisable strokes on frontcrawl, backcrawl plus breaststroke legs
  • Frontcrawl breathing will be introduced/developed
  • Butterfly will be introduced

Teachers will start in the water with children at this level

Stage 4 - Improver+

As above, and now developing control in the water through breathing, and beginning to experiment with the different methods of using the limbs for propulsion.

  • Must be able/aiming to swim 20m on both frontcrawl and backcrawl
  • Must be able to swim breaststroke legs (using no aids), and is confident on top, and underneath the water
  • Butterfly will continue to be developed
  • Perform a forward somersault, tucked, in the water

Stage 5 - Improver++

The focus is now on building competence in the basic elements of using the main swimming strokes with a continuing emphasis on the importance of good streamlining and breathing control. Stage 5 will be swimming lengths of the pool.

  • Learners swim lengths of the pool using any of the 3 strokes and maintain an effective/efficient style, and butterfly is further developed
  • Sink, push off on side from the wall, glide, kick and rotate into backstroke and frontcrawl

Stage 6 - Advanced

As above, and is accompanied by the introduction of a range of aquatic skills such as sculling, treading water and swimming underwater which are useful for water safety and personal survival.

  • Must be aiming to swim 25m on both frontcrawl, backcrawl, breaststroke
  • Good developed stroke co-ordination in three of the strokes
  • Has fair understanding/further development of the butterfly stroke, and technique
  • Feels confident to try a wider range of other aquatic disciplines leading to the development a greater awareness and expertise in general water safety and survival swimming

Stage 7 - Advanced+

The aim here is essentially to consolidate the aquatic skills and to develop the kicking and pulling learned in the previous stages. Along with controlled breathing, so that pupils can swim competently, using the correct basic technique on three of the main strokes over the standard distance of 25 metres and on butterfly over 10 metres. In addition, turns and diving is introduced.

Stage 8+ - Competitive Swimmming

The aim of this stage is to develop the competitive swimmer. Here you will develop specific stroke technique ensuring the streamline position is maintained as well as developing stamina/strength through distance swimming. In addition, greater emphasis will be placed upon starts/diving, turns and finishes.

child swimming with float-web
child swimming under the water


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