What is the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme?

The Swim England Learn to Swim Programme is the leading national teaching syllabus for delivering safe, inclusive and effective swimming lessons for all ages. While learning how to stay safe in water, building on their swimming skills and getting exercise.

The swimming lessons will be the highlight of your child’s week – the structured programme is based on a games-led approach so children enjoy learning.

A child’s experience in a swimming pool should always be fun, memorable and safe, which is why at Bluecoat Sports Club we’ve decided to implement these fantastic classes.

swimming lesson at bluecoat sports

The UK’s most successful swimming course for children

How would you like to sign up your child to the most successful swimming programme in the UK? Well, that’s exactly what you can do right here at Bluecoat Sports Club. We’ve teamed up with the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme to ensure that all the little ones at Bluecoat Sports grow up to be accomplished swimmers.

The course provides motivation and support for children along the way, Children will earn a range of badges and certificates along the course to keep them excited for the next step.

We are incredibly thrilled and excited to be able to offer this incredible programme to young people in the Horsham area.

When are courses available to start?

The Learn to Swim Programme launched at Bluecoats in January 2020, and it will run on 50 weeks of the year.

Parents will be able to access the Learn to Swim portal so they can keep up with their children’s progress online. Sessions are paid by a regular direct debit.

To find out more information, including our prices, and to sign up, contact us at Bluecoat Sports today and one of our team would be happy to talk you through your options.

You can call us on 01403 247 572 or email us on bluecoatsswimacademy@christs-hospital.org.uk. You can also drop by and speak to one of our reception team.

mixed age group swimming session

Who can sign up?

Anyone can sign up for our courses. You don’t have to be a member, however, members do receive a discount

Swim England’s range of courses are designed to progress children from preschool age to 10 years and above, whilst offering a tailored course plan for adults of different abilities.

We detail the different stages for swimmers below, and if you have any questions, just get in touch with our friendly team.

Swim England Courses Available at Bluecoat Sports

Learn to Swim Framework (Stages 1-7)

Learn to Swim Stages 1-7 are at the heart of the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme and cater for a wide range of school-aged children. It is the most widely known part of swimming lessons for children and is typically the backbone for swimming lessons for those in primary school.

This part of the programme not only teaches a child to swim using the four strokes (front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly), it also gives them a number of other skills.

When put together, the skills give children the ability to do a range of other water-based sports. Each of the seven stages of the Swim England Learn to Swim Framework has a clear set of targets for the pupil to meet so they can get to the next stage.

Overall, the Learn to Swim Framework will help children to work on:

  1. Entry
  2. Exits
  3. Floatation and Balance
  4. Rotation and Orientation
  5. Streamlining
  6. Aquatic Breathing
  7. Travel and Coordination
  8. Water Safety
  9. Health and Fitness

boy preparing to swim 5 metres

Stage 1

By completing this award, with or without floatation equipment or support, children will be able to:

  1. Enter the water safely
  2. Move forward for a distance of 5 metres, feet may be on or off the floor
  3. Move backwards for a distance of 5 metres, feet may be on or off the floor
  4. Move sideways for a distance of 5 metres, feet may be on or off the floor
  5. Scoop the water and wash the face
  6. Be comfortable with water showered from overhead
  7. Move from a flat floating position on the back and return to standing
  8. Move from a flat floating position on the front and return to standing
  9. Push and glide in a flat position on the front from a wall
  10. Push and glide in a flat position on the back from a wall
  11. Give examples of two pool rules
  12. Exit the water safely

Stage 2

By completing this award, with or without floatation equipment or support, children will be able to:

  1. Jump in from poolside safely
  2. Blow bubbles a minimum of three times rhythmically, with nose and mouth submerged
  3. Move from a flat floating position on the back and return to standing without support
  4. Move from a flat floating position on the front and return to standing without support
  5. Push from a wall and glide on the back – arms can be by the side or above the head
  6. Push from a wall and glide on the front with arms extended
  7. Travel using a recognised leg action with feet off the pool floor on the back for 5 metres, without the use of floatation equipment
  8. Travel using a recognised leg action with feet off the pool floor on the front for 5 metres, without the use of floatation equipment
  9. Perform a tuck to rotate from a flat floating position on the front, to a back floating position, then return to standing
  10. Perform a tuck to rotate from a flat floating position on the back, to a front floating position, then return to standing
  11. Perform a log roll from the back to the front
  12. Perform a log roll from the front to the back
  13. Exit the water without support

level 3 learn to swim test

Stage 3

By completing this award, without floatation equipment or support, children will be able to:

  1. Jump in from poolside and submerge
  2. Sink, push away from wall and maintain a streamlined position
  3. Push and glide on the front with arms extended and log roll onto the back.
  4. Push and glide on the back with arms extended and log roll onto the front
  5. Travel 5 metres on the front, perform a tuck to rotate onto the back and return on the back
  6. Fully submerge to pick up an object
  7. Correctly identify three of the four key water safety messages
  8. Push and glide and travel 10 metres on the back
  9. Push and glide and travel 10 metres on the front
  10. Perform a tuck float and hold for three seconds
  11. Exit the water without using steps

*The four key water safety messages include:

  1. Always swim in a safe place
  2. Always swim with an adult
  3. If you fall in, float, breathe, relax
  4. If someone else in trouble, call 999/112

Stage 4

By completing this award, without floatation equipment or support, children will be able to:

  1. Perform a sequence of changing shapes (minimum of three) whilst floating on the surface and demonstrate an understanding of floating
  2. Push and glide from the wall towards the pool floor
  3. Kick 10 metres backstroke (one item of equipment optional)
  4. Kick 10 metres front crawl (one item of equipment optional)
  5. Kick 10 metres butterfly on the front or on the back
  6. Kick 10 metres breaststroke on the front (one item of equipment optional)
  7. Perform a head first sculling action for 5 metres in a flat position on the back
  8. Travel on back and log roll in one continuous movement onto front
  9. Travel on front and log roll in one continuous movement onto back
  10. Push and glide and swim 10 metres, choice of stroke is optional
  11. Head to our Learn to Swim Stage 4 page to find out more about this Award

learn to group swimmers performing backstroke

Stage 5

By completing this award, children will be able to:

  1. Perform a flat stationary scull on the back
  2. Perform a feet first sculling action for 5 metres in a flat position on the back
  3. Perform a sculling sequence with a partner for 30-45 seconds to include a rotation
  4. Tread water for 30 seconds
  5. Perform three different shaped jumps into deep water
  6. Push and glide and swim 10 metres backstroke (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  7. Push and glide and swim 10 metres front crawl (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  8. Push and glide and swim 10 metres breaststroke (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  9. Push and glide and swim 10 metres butterfly (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  10. Perform a handstand and hold for a minimum of three seconds
  11. Perform a forward somersault.Demonstrate an action for getting help

Stage 6

By completing this award children will be able to:

  1. Give two examples of how to prepare for exercise and understand why it is important
  2. Sink, push off on side from the wall, glide, kick and rotate into backstroke
  3. Sink, push off on side from the wall, glide, kick and rotate into front crawl
  4. Swim 10 metres wearing clothes
  5. Push and glide and swim front crawl to include at least six rhythmical breaths
  6. Push and glide and swim breaststroke to include at least six rhythmical breaths
  7. Push and glide and swim butterfly to include at least three rhythmical breaths
  8. Push and glide and swim backstroke to include at least six regular breaths
  9. Push and glide and swim 25 metres, choice of stroke is optional (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  10. Perform a ‘shout and signal’ rescue
  11. Perform a surface dive

Swimming group performing front crawl

Stage 7

By completing this award children will be able to:

  1. Push and glide and swim 25 metres backstroke (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  2. Push and glide and swim 25 metres front crawl (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  3. Push and glide and swim 25 metres breaststroke (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  4. Push and glide and swim 25 metres butterfly (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  5. Perform a movement sequence (linking skills with strokes and sculls) of one-minute duration, in a group of three 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
  6. Perform a sitting dive or dive
  7. Push and glide and swim 50 metres continuously using one stroke (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  8. Push and glide and swim 100 metres, using a minimum of three different strokes (performed to Swim England expected standards)
  9. Tread water using eggbeater action for 30 seconds
  10. Complete an obstacle course (using minimum of four objects) with feet off the pool floor throughout

My child is already with the Bluecoats Swim Academy. How will this affect my child’s lesson?

Well, the key factors that will change are:

  • The names of the classes- classes will now be referred to as Stages 1-7
  • How your child is assessed as they go through the new stages. The Swim England LTS Framework allows us to check your child’s progress and ability level on a continuous basis
  • Teachers will now be able to offer a more inclusive swimming programme which is designed to ensure that your child is making better progress. The new inclusive programme means we will be able to make decisions on an individual basis, ensuring that your child isn’t held back when moving onto the next stage due to not ticking one box on an assessment tick list

The key things that will stay the same are:

  • We will have the same fantastic teachers who your children know and love
  • We will be working hard to ensure as little disruption to the timetable as possible and classes will stay at the same times wherever possible

Find out more

To find out more about the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme, head to their website where there is plenty of information, including PDFs you can download.
For more information on Bluecoat Sports’ swimming facilities head to our swimming page.

Call us today on 01403 247 572

If you have any questions or would like to enquire about swimming lessons, please email us on bluecoatsswimacademy@christs-hospital.org.uk or call us on 01403 247 572. Contact us