Swimming Stages

Proud to be a member of Swim England

At Wessex Swim School we pride ourselves in offering high quality swimming lessons with fully qualified swimming teachers!

We work on stages from the Swim England framework to access our swimmers. As part of our Wessex Way, we also add additional competencies onto some of our stages to ensure swimmers are ready to move up to the next stage.

Please check out our stages below to get your swimmer booked into the right class with us! If you are unsure about what stage your child should be in Book Your Poolside Assessment!

young swimming Student
Swimming teacher teaching a young Student

Extra tuition

A chance to recap and advance the skills from your child’s weekly lessons. If there is a particular area that needs improvement, these lessons are a great way to focus

Busy parents

We often find parents are unable to commit to weekly lessons as they have busy lives but a Holiday Swim Course can give your child the support they need

New swimmers

A gentle introduction to water and swimming. A maximum of 3 children per class and the teacher in the water, this could be what your child needs to give them the confidence to start swimming

Duckling 1

  • Make a supervised safe entry with adult support if required
  • Float on back with adult support behind the head without aids
  • Blow bubbles at the water surface
  • Wet the head without submersion
  • Kick five metres on back with adult support
  • Travel without assistance five metres to a floating object
  • Enter the pool, rotate and return to the side with adult support
  • Exit the water safely with minimal adult support
Duckling 1 Swimming award badge

Duckling 2

  • Make a sitting entry with adult support if required
  • Using a buoyancy aid, rotate through 180 degrees without assistance
  • Submerge the face with confidence under adult supervision and without force
  • Blow an object for a distance of two metres
  • Travel 3 metres using arms and/or legs without assistance
  • Move five metres along the rail or wall without assistance
  • Enter the pool, rotate and return to the side with minimal adult support
  • Exit the water safely with minimal adult support
Duckling 2 Swimming award badge

Duckling 3

  • Make a supervised jump to an adult with or without support
  • Float on front or back without adult support
  • Show a streamlined shape on front or back when push off from a supporting adult
  • Blow bubbles with the mouth and nose underwater
  • Travel 5 metres on front to the side of the pool without assistance
  • Kick 5 metres on the front holding a float (the adult may hold the other end of the float)
  • Enter the pool, rotate and return to the side without adult support
  • Climb out of the water with assistance if required
Duckling 3 Swimming award badge

Duckling 4

  • Jump in unaided but supervised into the water
  • Show a mushroom or star float
  • Rotate 360° either horizontally or vertically
  • Push and glide achieving a streamlined position on the front or back
  • Submerge completely
  • Travel without assistance 10 metres on the front or back
  • Show the sequence to jump in the water, turn around, swim back to the point of entry and hold on to the side or rail
  • Climb out of the water with assistance if required
Duckling 4 Swimming award badge

Stage 1

  • Enter the water safely
  • Move forward for a distance of 5 metres, feet may be on or off the floor
  • Move backwards for a distance of 5 metres, feet may be on or off the floor
  • Move sideways for a distance of 5 metres, feet may be on or off the floor
  • Scoop the water and wash the face
  • Be comfortable with water showered from overhead
  • Move from a flat floating position on the back and return to standing
  • Move from a flat floating position on the front and return to standing
  • Push and glide in a flat position on the front from a wall
  • Push and glide in a flat position on the back from a wall
  • Give examples of two pool rules
  • Demonstrate an understanding of pool rules 13. Exit the water safely

WESSEX EXTRA: Front paddle with flat body position.
WESSEX EXTRA: Back flat body position leg kick with pointed toes, hands by side
WESSEX EXTRA: 5-10m on both front paddle and back kick, minimum 5m to be able to move up to Stage 2

Learn to swim level 1 award badge

Stage 2

  • Jump in from poolside safely to a minimum depth of 1 metre
  • Blow bubbles a minimum of 3 times rhythmically with nose and mouth submerged
  • Move from a flat floating position on the back and return to standing without support
  • Move from a flat floating position on the front and return to standing without support
  • Push from a wall and glide on the back – arms can be by the side or above the head
  • Push from a wall and glide on the front with arms extended
  • Travel using a recognised leg action with feet off the pool floor on the back for 5 metres
  • Travel using a recognised leg action with feet off the pool floor on the front for 5 metres
  • Perform a tuck to rotate from a flat floating position on the front, to a back floating position, then return to standing
  • Perform a tuck to rotate from a flat floating position on the back, to a front floating position, then return to standing
  • Perform a log roll from the back to the front
  • Perform a log roll from the front to the back
  • Exit the water without support Blank White Box
Learn to swim level 2 award badge

WESSEX EXTRA: Over arm front crawl with basic breathing
WESSEX EXTRA: Full backstroke
WESSEX EXTRA: Breast stroke legs feet turning out (with floats)
WESSEX EXTRA: Minimum 15m Frontcrawl, 15m full stroke backstroke

Stage 3

  • Jump in from poolside and submerge to a minimum depth of 1 metre
  • Sink, push away from wall and maintain a streamlined position
  • Push and glide on the front with arms extended and log roll onto the back
  • Push and glide on the back with arms extended and log roll onto the front
  • Travel 5 metres on the front, perform a tuck to rotate onto the back and return on the back
  • Fully submerge to pick up an object
  • Answer correctly 3 questions on the Water Safety Code
  • Push and glide and travel 10 metres on the back
  • Push and glide and travel 10 metres on the front
  • Perform a tuck float and hold for 3 seconds
  • Exit the water without using steps Blank White Box

WESSEX EXTRA: Front crawl full stroke with breathing to the side
WESSEX EXTRA: Breast stroke arms and legs (timing and breathing in stage 4)
WESSEX EXTRA: Basic dolphin for 5m
WESSEX EXTRA: Minimum 25m front crawl, 25m backstroke to be performed as 50m
WESSEX EXTRA: 15m breast stroke

Learn to swim level 3 award badge

Stage 4

  • Perform a sequence of changing shapes (minimum of three) whilst floating on the surface and demonstrate an understanding of floating
  • Push and glide from the wall towards the pool floor
  • Kick 10 metres backstroke (one item of equipment optional)
  • Kick 10 metres front crawl (one item of equipment optional)
  • Kick 10 metres butterfly on the front or on the back
  • Kick 10 metres breaststroke on the front (equipment optional)
  • Perform a head first sculling action for 5 metres in a flat position on the back
  • Travel on back and log roll in one continuous movement onto front
  • Travel on front and log roll in one continuous movement onto back
  • Push and glide and swim 10 metres, choice of stroke is optional
  • Travel on the back and roll in one continuous movement onto front
  • Travel on the front and roll in one continuous movement onto back
  • Swim 10 metres, choice of stroke is optional

WESSEX EXTRA: Breast stroke full stroke with timing and breathing
WESSEX EXTRA: Dolphin legs with start of basic butterfly arm pull
WESSEX EXTRA: Minimum of 50m frontcrawl 50m backstroke to be performed as 100m
WESSEX EXTRA: 25m breast stroke

Learn to swim level 4 award badge

Stage 5

  • Perform a flat stationary scull on the back
  • Perform a feet first sculling action for 5 metres in a flat position on the back
  • Perform a sculling sequence with a partner for 30-45 seconds to include a rotation
  • Tread water for 30 seconds
  • Perform 3 different shaped jumps into deep water
  • Push and glide and swim 10 metres backstroke (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Push and glide and swim 10 metres front crawl (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Push and glide and swim 10 metres breaststroke (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Push and glide and swim 10 metres butterfly (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Perform a handstand and hold for a minimum of 3 seconds
  • Perform a forward somersault
  • Demonstrate an action for getting help
  • Minimum 200m swim
Learn to swim level 5 award badge

Stage 6

  • Give two examples of how to prepare for exercise and understand why it is important
  • Sink, push off on side from the wall, glide, kick, and rotate into backstroke
  • Sink, push off on side from the wall, glide, kick and rotate into front crawl
  • Swim 10 metres wearing clothes
  • Push and glide and swim front crawl to include at least six rhythmical breaths
  • Push and glide and swim breaststroke to include at least six rhythmical breaths
  • Push and glide and swim butterfly to include at least three rhythmical breaths
  • Push and glide and swim backstroke to include at least six regular breaths
  • Push and glide and swim 25 metres, choice of stroke is optional (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Perform a “shout and signal” rescue
  • Perform a surface dive
  • Exit from the water without using steps. Swim minimum 400m
Learn to swim level 6 award badge

Stage 7

  • Push and glide and swim 25 metres backstroke (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Push and glide and swim 25 metres front crawl (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Push and glide and swim 25 metres breaststroke (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Push and glide and swim 25 metres butterfly (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Perform a movement sequence (linking skills with strokes and sculls) of one minute duration, in a group of 3 or more, incorporating a number of the following skills: Sculling: head first, feet first Rotation: forward or backward somersault, log roll Floating: star on the front or on the back, tuck float, create own Eggbeater: moving, lifting one or both arms out of the water
  • Perform a sitting dive or dive
  • Push and glide and swim 50 metres continuously using one stroke (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Push and glide and swim 100 metres, using a minimum of three different strokes (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  • Tread water using eggbeater action for 30 seconds
  • Complete an obstacle course (using minimum of four objects) with feet off the pool floor throughout Remove Swim minimum 800m
Learn to swim level 7 award badge

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