Stage 1 (Equivalent to ASA Level 1)

In Stage 1 the swimmer will develop basic movement skills, water confidence and safety awareness:

1.     Enter the water safely.

2.     Move forwards for a distance of 5 metres.

3.     Move backwards for a distance of 5 metres.

4.     Move sideways for distance of 5 metres.

5.     Scoop the water and wash face.

6.     Be at ease with water showered from overhead.

7.     Move into a stretched floating position using aids, equipment or                         support.

8.     Regain an upright position from on the back, with support.

9.     Regain an upright position from on the front with support.

10.  Push and glide in a horizontal position to or from a wall.

11.  Take part in a teacher-led partner orientated game.

12.  Demonstrate an understanding of pool rules.

13.  Exit the water safely.

Stage 4 (Equivalent to ASA Level 3)

​​In Stage 4 the swimmer will focus on refining kicking techniques for all four strokes and develop a better understanding of buoyancy:

1.     Demonstrate an understanding of buoyancy.

2.     Perform a tuck float for 5 seconds.

3.     Perform a sequence of changing shapes (minimum of three) whilst floating at the                       surface.

4.     Push and glide from the wall to the pool floor.

5.     Kick 10 metres Backstroke (one item of equipment optional).

6.     Kick 10 metres Frontcrawl (one item of equipment optional).

7.     Kick 10 metres Butterfly on the front or on the back.

8.     Kick 10 metres Breaststroke on the back (equipment optional).

9.     Kick 10 metres Breaststroke on the front (equipment optional).

10.  Perform on the back a head first sculling action for 5 metres in a horizontal position.

11.  Travel on back and roll in one continuous movement onto front.

12.  Travel on front and roll in one continuous movement onto back.

13.  Swim 10 metres, choice of stroke is optional.​

Stage 3 (Equivalent to ASA Level 2)

​In Stage 3 the swimmer will work towards being able to swim 10m on their front and back, and will be able to swim underwater to collect objects from the bottom of the pool. Rotation skills and water safety knowledge will also be developed:

1.     Jump in from poolside and submerge (min depth 0.9m).

2.     Sink, push away from wall on side 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 on the front, tuck to rotate around the horizontal axis to return on               the back.

6.     Fully submerge to pick up an object.

7.     Answer correctly three questions on the Water Safety Code.

8.     Travel 10 metres on the back.

9.     Travel 10 metres on the front.​

Stage 10*

By completing this Award you will be able to:

  1. Complete a set lasting 1600 metres (either 16 x 100 metres, 8 x 200 metres, 4 x 400 metres) on a specific timed turnaround set by the teacher or coach (e.g. 2.30 minutes for 100 metres), focus on stroke technique and consistency.
  2. Swim 1500 metres continuously using one stroke.
  3. Perform a continuous 100 metre individual medley kick (4 x 25 metres) without using a kick board.
  4. Swim a continuous 200 metre individual medley (4 x 50 metres) using recognised turns.
  5. Perform a front crawl relay take over – as an incoming swimmer.
  6. Perform a front crawl relay take over – as an outgoing.


* Delivery will depend on the pool design and facilities available. 

     Learn to Swim: Swim England

Award Programme (Badge Testing)

Stage 2 (Equivalent to ASA Level 1)

​​In Stage 2 the swimmer will develop safe entries to the water and will continue to practice floating, travel and rotation in the water:

1.     Jump in from poolside safely.

2.     Blow bubbles a minimum of three times rhythmically with nose and mouth                               submerged.

3.     Regain upright position from the back without support.

4.     Regain an upright position from the front without support.

5.     Push from wall and glide on the back.

6.     Push from wall and glide on the front.

7.     Travel on the back for 5 metres, aids or equipment may be used.

8.     Travel on the front for 5 metres, aids or equipment may be used.

9.     Perform a rotation from the front to the back to gain an upright position.

10.  Perform a rotation from the back to the front to gain an upright position.

​At Little Dolphins we teach our learners against the criteria and outcomes set by Swim England: Learn to Swim Award Programme. (Formerly ASA National Swim Awards)

The Swim England Learn to Swim Awards are a nationally recognised awards system and are broken up into stages.  They are designed to reward children for their development of the essential skills they need to be confident, competent and safe in the water.

​Every term, your child/ren is/are 'Badge Tested' against the specific outcomes and criteria set by Swim England which must be completed before an award can be presented.  For example, the Puffin Award is awarded to a swimmer who can “travel 5 metres using any buoyancy aid”.

All of our learners are awarded with something at the end of an academic term.  If they don't meet the criteria or outcomes then the learners are either awarded a 'Certificate of Achievement' for their efforts to a particular part of their journey or they are awarded a 'Distance Award' from 5 Metres to 25 Metres. All certificates come with badges.

Please note that we only supply 1 certificate and badge per term. If these are lost, damaged or need replacing then a charge will be made for replacements.

For more information on the Swim England: Learn to Swim Awards, these can be sought via the Swim England website at www.swimming.org/swimengland

Please see below for all the awards and criteria needed to be met to receive a certificate and badge:



Stage 8*

By completing this Award you will be able to:

  1. Complete a set lasting 400 metres (e.g. 16 x 25 metres, 8 x 50 metres, 4 x 100 metres) on a specific turnaround time agreed by the teacher or coach (e.g. 1.00 minutes for each 25 metres) with a focus on stroke technique and consistency.
  2. Swim 400 metres continuously using one stroke.
  3. Push and streamline then kick 25 metres backstroke with or without using a board.
  4. Push and streamline then kick 25 metres breaststroke with or without using a board.
  5. Push and streamline then kick 25 metres butterfly without using a board.
  6. Push and streamline then kick 25 metres front crawl with or without using a board.
  7. Perform a backstroke turn from 10 metres in to 15 metres out.
  8. Perform a breaststroke turn from 10 metres in to 15 metres out.
  9. Perform a butterfly turn from 10 metres in to 15 metres out.
  10. Perform a front crawl turn from 10 metres in to 15 metres out.
  11. Perform a dive track or grab start, and kick butterfly underwater in a streamlined position for 5 metres with the focus on progressing it to 10 metres.*


*Delivery will depend on the pool design and facilities available.

Stage 5 (Equivalent to ASA Level 4&5)

​​In Stage 5 the swimmer will focus on swimming all four strokes to the ASA expected standards. Swimmers will also develop skills in sculling, treading water and complete rotation:

1.     Perform a horizontal stationary scull on the back.

2.     Perform a feet first sculling action for 5 metres whilst horizontal 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.     Swim 10 metres Backstroke (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

7.     Swim 10 metres Frontcrawl face in the water (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

8.     Swim 10 metres Breaststroke (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

9.     Swim 10 metres Butterfly (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

10.  Perform a handstand and hold for a minimum of three seconds.

11.  Perform a forward somersault, tucked, in the water.

12.  Demonstrate an action for getting help.

Stage 6 (Equivalent to ASA Level 5&6)

​​In Stage 6 the swimmer will focus on developing effective swimming skills including co-ordinated breathing, water safety and an understanding of how to prepare for exercise:

1.     Demonstrate an understanding of preparation for exercise.

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 Frontcrawl.

4.     Swim 10 metres wearing clothes.

5.     Swim Frontcrawl to include at least six rhythmical breaths (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

6.     Swim Breaststroke to include at least six rhythmical breaths (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

7.     Swim Butterfly to include at least three rhythmical breaths (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

8.     Swim 25 metres, choice of stroke is optional (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

9.     Perform a ‘shout and signal’ rescue.

10.  Perform a surface dive.

11.  Exit the water without using steps.

Stage 7 (Equivalent to ASA Level 7)

​​In Stage 7 the swimmer will develop quality stroke technique whilst swimming up to 100m:

1.     Swim 25 metres Backstroke (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

2.     Swim 25 metres Frontcrawl (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

3.     Swim 25 metres Breaststroke (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

4.     Swim 25 metres Butterfly (refer to the ASA expected stroke standards sheet).

5.     Perform a movement sequence of 1 minute duration, in a group of three or more, incorporating a number of the following skills:
Sculling: head first, feet first
Rotation: forward/backward somersault, log roll
Floating: star on the front/on the back, tuck float, create own
Eggbeater: moving, lifting one or both arms out of the water link skills with strokes and sculls.

6.     Perform a sitting dive.

7.     Swim 50 metres continuously using one stroke.

8.     Swim 100 metres, using a minimum of three different strokes.

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.

Stage 9*

By completing this Award you will be able to:

  1. Complete a set lasting 800 metres (either 16 x 50 metres, 8 x 100 metres, 4 x 200 metres) on a specific turnaround time as agreed by the teacher or coach (e.g. 1.30 minutes for 50 metres) with a focus on stroke technique and consistency.
  2. Swim 800 metres continuously using one stroke.
  3. Swim a continuous 100 metre individual medley (4 x 25 metres) using recognised turns with a focus on stroke technique and consistency.
  4. Perform a 15 metre underwater kick on front from a push and glide in a streamlined position.
  5. Perform a backstroke start then butterfly kick in a streamlined position underwater up to a maximum of 15 metres from the start point (wall). Transfer into stroke and complete the remainder of the 25 metres.*
  6. Perform a front crawl start then kick in a streamlined position underwater up to a maximum of 15 metres from the start point (wall). Transfer into stroke and complete the remainder of the 25 metres.*
  7. Perform a butterfly start then kick in a streamlined position up to a maximum of 15 metres from the start point (wall). Transfer into stroke and complete the remainder of the 25 metres.*
  8. Perform a breaststroke start then perform a one and a half pull underwater. Transfer into stroke and complete the remainder of the 25 metres.*


*Delivery will depend on the pool design and facilities available.