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A Bit About the ASA Swimming Awards

by Jo | 06/10/2015 | News

At SwimExpert we follow the ASA Learning Pathways, focusing on 3 awards; Ducklings, Learn to Swim levels 1-7, Rainbow Stroke, and Rainbow Distance Awards to guide our lessons, however many of our instuctors have experience in teaching more competitive swimming finesse and othe specialist techniques, so please ask when you book lessons if you would like to improve your swimming technique for Syncro, Diving, or Water Polo purposes.  

Here’s a break down of the different pathways and stages.

We have the Ducklings levels which help track toddlers progression through the water, with adult support and supervision as your little ones get to grips with the water.

Ducklings Grade 1 helps your child  make a supervised safe entry, kick 2m, float on your back, blow bubbles, wet your head with support- and travel 2m towards a floating object. Bouyancy aids are also allowed.

Ducklings Grade 2 help you make a sitting entry with assistance, and then blow an object 2m, rotate 180% with a buoyancy aid, move 5m along a wall, travel 3m using arms and legs, and be confident submerging your face.

By duckling Grade 3 your child will need to be able to make a supervised jump to an adult with or without support, kick 5 meters on the front holding a float, blow bubbles with the mouth underwater, float on front OR back without adult support, travel 5 meters on the front to the side of the pool, show a torpedo shape on front or back when pushed to a partner; all of which helps give them confidence.

Through Duckling Grade 4 your child will be able to jump unaided into the water and submerge themselves completely. They will also be able to rotate 360° either horizontally or vertically, demonstrate a mushroom or star float, and travel 10m.  They can also climb out of the water, with assistance if required.

By Ducklings Grade 5, they can show the sequence of getting into the water, and swimming back to the side in a safe position, submerge completely and blow bubbles, and push and glide 2m on their front or back. They will be able to float on either their front or their back, and then transition from that into a standing position. They should be able to swim 5m using an over water arm recovery, and exit the pool safely using steps or a ladder. This should all be without assistance or buoyancy aids.

As you can see, Ducklings levels help guide your little one through transition and basic water skills, setting them up for further lessons which will carry them through the ASA Learning Pathways.

The ASA Learn to Swim Stages reward your child’s effort in their swimming lessons.

ASA Learn to Swim  Stages are designed to reward you for the effort you put into each stage.  We concentrate on levels 1-7 which teach the fundamentals of each stroke- which combine to form a competent knowledge and practice of swimming; which is both fun, and can be potentially lifesaving!

Level 1 helps develop safety awareness, the ‘class’ scenario, basic movement skills and water confidence skills. 

Level 2 is a continuation of the previous, and your child will progress to jumping in the water, basic floating, and during the course of your child’s swimming lessons they wil learn to travel 5m on their front and back, as well as being confident in standing up from a floating position.

 The aim of level 3 is to have children  completely confident to enter the water, progressing to full submersion through their swimming lessons, and increase the distance they swim to 10m.

Through level 4 the child develops an understanding of buoyancy, which aids their learn to swim progression. Refined kicking is taught, and they have to swim 10m of one stroke to an ASA standard.  

 By Level 5, your child will have developed their sculling skills in their swimming lessons. They also will be able to  tread water, and comple a full body rotation. They will also be confident in swimming all strokes for 10m to an ASA standard.  

In Level 6, the focus of swimming lessons is in developing effective swimming skills including bilateral and integrated breathing, across all 4 strokes. They also need to swim 25m in a stroke of their choosing.  

Level 7: This is the final level which we teach by default. In this children develop quality stroke techniques up to 100m, and help children link skills together. This culminates in an obstacle course, where each child should demonstrate skills learnt in all stages and swimming lessons prior.

With our 1-2-1 swimming lessons we offer lessons covering the skills of stages outside of this, please ask for more details. For example, lots of our instructors are able to teach the skills required to the competitive swimming award. To gain this, in their swimming lessons we help children develop advanced techniques, continuously over longer distances sustaining a single stroke, and starting to develop advanced starts and turns.


Alongside this the Rainbow Stroke Awards reward your child when they accomplish different distances the strokes.

The Rainbow stroke awards show that your child can sustain each of the four swimming strokes over up to 4 lengths (5m, 10m, 15m, 20m, 25m, 50m, 100m)

The Rainbow Distance Awards focus on swimming ability and stamina, helping your child work through different distances, from 5m to 5,000m- depending what stage you are at.  We stock all awards in 5m-5000m, in our web shop. Please talk to your instructors about your child’s goals, and you can make a plan with them as to how to achieve them!




All badges and certificates which your child achieves in their swimming lessons can be brought at the Swimming Shop

Well done to Ethan, Josh, Ruby, and Nathanial who are just some of our swimmers who have recieved their badges recently!