Swim Stages

ASA Swim Stages 1 – 8

Our comprehensively planned teaching programme follows the Amateur Swimming Assocation’s (ASA) Learn To Swim Pathway. Children are assessed on their ability at the end of each term for progression on to the next level and written reports are provided to parents. Achievement is rewarded through the ASA awards scheme.

These stage awards follow the national syllabus produced by the ASA. They are designed to work on building confidence in the water, improving skills and ability until children can swim effortlessly with good technique. A guide to learn to swim stages:

Stage 1

  • Water confidence
  • Face in water blowing bubbles
  • 5m front crawl and backstroke kick with long, straight legs and pointed toes
  • holding a float
  • 5m rocket

Stage 2

  • Submerge with confidence
  • Push and glide on front and back
  • Breathing to the side on front crawl
  • 5m basic kick on all four strokes
  • 5m basic front crawl and backstroke swims

Stage 3

  • 10m kick on all four strokes (breaststroke kick with a float, fc kick must be with breathing to the side)
  • Swim 10m backstroke using arms and legs without feet touching the bottom of the pool
  • Swim 10m front crawl, arms recovering over the surface of the water and without the feet touching the bottom of the pool

Stage 4

  • 10m butterfly kick on front and back.  Kick must originate from the hips not the knees
  • Introduction to butterfly under water pull and snow angels
  • Kick 10m breaststroke on both front and back, good symmetry, feet turned out, knees not tucking under stomach
  • 10m front crawl swim, starting from a push and glide, breathing to the side
  • 10m backstroke swim, starting with a push and glide, with thumb exiting and little finger entering on the arm pull
  • Developing buoyancy through a range of skills

Stage 5a

  • 10m front crawl and 10m breaststroke swim to ASA standard
  • Developing ‘watermanship’ skills through treading water, sculling and rotation

Stage 5b

  • 10m swims on all strokes to ASA standard

Stage 6

  • Swim front crawl with various breathing patterns (both unilateral and bilateral)
  • 4 widths front, back and breast, 2 widths of fly. All with correct starts and finishes
  • Swim 25m, choice of stroke is optional
  • Developing effective swimming skills

Stage 7 

  • Swim 25m of all four strokes
  • Swim 50m continuously using one stroke
  • Swim 100m continuously using a minimum of 3 strokes. Minimum of 25m per stroke
  • Tread water with ease, using an egg beater kick for 30 seconds

Stage 8

  • Effective kick 25m of all four strokes.
  • Improved stroke technique.
  • Turns for all strokes.
  • Swim 400m on one stroke.
  • Complete a 400m set on a specific turnaround time.

More detailed information on the testing criteria for any of the stages is available on request from Connie Standen.

Testing is carried out for all students towards the end of each term. However students don’t have to wait until the end of term to move up. Instructors will recommend to the lessons supervisor if at any point they feel a student is ready to progress to the next level.

A child entering the programme in stage 1 at 3 years of age can be expected to progress between stages on average once every 2-3 terms. Children that have swum continuously throughout the year will generally reach stage 8 by about age 9 or 10.

Once swimmers have completed stage 8 they are offered the opportunity to enrol in one of the 1 hour advanced classes. Those displaying the potential and enthusiasm are encouraged to consider entering a competitive squad which involves training several times a week and taking part in galas.