Learn to Swim Stage 1 is the first step of the core Swim England Learn to Swim Stage 1-7 Awards. Swim England Learn to Swim Stage 1 helps to build water confidence, while introducing water safety skills and the basic skills needed to build swimming ability. Learners will develop basic safety awareness, learn basic movement skills and water confidence skills.
They will also be introduced to a structured class setting. Swimmers may use flotation equipment, such as arm bands and floats, throughout this stage. The early stages are really important for developing the building blocks for future technique and the skills that are learnt should be fun and enjoyable.
During Learn to Swim Stage 1, children will be encouraged to move around the pool and become confident with water on their face.
Swimmers are also introduced to aquatic breathing and taught to make safe entries into the water, including jumping. They will develop basic floating and learn how to rotate to regain an upright position without support. All travel must be achieved without the use of flotation equipment, though buoyancy aids may be used when swimmers aren’t travelling. Stage 2 further develops water confidence and teaches swimmers to breathe confidently while in the water.
Being confident with the face in the water, or having water on the face, is crucial to stroke development. 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.
During Swim England Learn to Swim Stage 3, swimmers will develop their kicks, on both their front and their back. They streamline through push and glides, whilst also swimming underwater.
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. One of the fun areas of this stage is learning to go under the water to pick up an object.
This helps develop skills for a number of different disciplines, including synchro, diving and competitive swimming.
Swimmers will have their first opportunity to earn the Rainbow Distance 10m Award.