Children who complete our pathway will have mastered all four swimming strokes, developed stamina and have basic water and personal safety skills. Learning to swim is key life skill, not only does it keep children active but will also give them the ability and knowledge to be safe in and around water.
Throughout our swimming lesson programme, there are seven stages to work through based on age and ability.
Please note that some of the award activities will depend on the pool that is being used. Age range is given as guidance only and may vary.
All of our swimming teachers are Swim England (or equivalent) qualified, DBS checked and all lessons adhere to Swim England’s learn to swim framework. Our teachers receive continuous training to deliver effective and enjoyable lessons.
Adult and child classes (birth to 36 months)
Our adult and child classes are aimed at promoting water confidence. The lessons help both you as the supporting adult, and your child to enjoy swimming in safety and with confidence.
Pre school classes (three to four/five years old)
Pre school classes are for children aged three to four years (or for those children that are not in full time education). This stage will help children gain independence and confidence in the water. (Please note that some sites will require a parent or carer to provide support in the water.)
Your child will be awarded the Duckling Awards.
This class is for non-swimmers and for children who have started full time in school. Stage 1 will teach confidence and independence in the water.
When this stage is complete, your child will be awarded stage and Puffin Award.
This stage further develops water confidence and teaches swimmers to breathe confidently while in the water. Learning to be happy in the water at an early stage will allow swimmers to develop other skills more quickly later on.
This stage also introduces various safety skills, such as being able to float, while also developing a swimmer’s kicking ability, leading to independent travel in water.
When this stage is complete, swimmers will achieve the Stage 2 award and the Rainbow 5 m distance award.
In this stage, swimmers will develop safe entries into the water, including submersion, and travel up to 10 metres on their front and back. Water safety knowledge and rotation skills will also be progressed.
When this stage is complete, swimmers will achieve the Stage 3 award and the Rainbow 10 m distance award.
In this stage, swimmers perfect their leg kicks for all four strokes and further develop push and glides, while also being introduced to sculling and some of the basic swimming techniques, including swimming underwater. Your child will be working towards being able to swim 20 metres unaided on their front and back.
When this stage is complete, swimmers will achieve the Stage 4 award.
In this stage, swimmers will develop their skills in treading water, progress in the correct arm pulls for all four strokes and learn how to do handstands and somersaults. The emphasis is on improving on all the previous swimming.
When this stage is complete, swimmers will achieve the Stage 5 award.
In this stage, swimmers will develop an efficient technique for all four strokes and further developing surface dives. Swimmers will also work on streamlining, coordination, breathing, and improving their technique with both their arms and their legs.
When this stage is complete, swimmers will achieve the Stage 6 award.
This stage will focus on fully developing all four swimming strokes, as well as building stamina and improving diving skills.
Swimmers should develop a quality stroke technique for up to 100 metres, incorporating the skills they have learnt throughout the stages and combining them to develop a linked routine.
They should successfully complete an obstacle course, which combines a variety of skills they have learnt from stages 1 to 7.
When this stage is complete, swimmers will achieve the Stage 7 award.
A youth club style session for those that have passed stage 7 who wish to continue their aquatic skills in a non-competitive type session. Discipline tasters will be incorporated into the sessions including competition, water polo and synchronised swimming.
Rookie lifeguards is the next step in our learn to swim pathway after stage 7. The sessions will teach swimmers to develop skills and knowledge in water safety, rescue, resuscitation and lifesaving. Rookie lifeguards work for bronze, silver and gold awards.
The aim is to teach swimmers how to stay safe around water and how to safely assist others who may have got into difficulty in both in and out of the water. The awards are structured to teach foundational skills and then progressively build up.