What swim levels will my children cover in lessons?

  • [Posted: June 11, 2018]

    Our levels start at Beginners Level and continue through to Level 7. The child will receive a certificate each time they pass a level.

    Our levels are based on an amalgamation of Swim Ireland and Water Safety Ireland objectives, underpinned by four years of discussion and development at our school. Education and social objectives are also very important.

    At Splash Swim School, your child will learn Front Crawl, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly. We also develop submerged swimming, race starts and finishes, turns and tumbles, dives and ensuring their swim technique is perfect, by the time they reach Level 6. Level 7 involves increasing stamina and ability.

    Beginner: at beginner level, we will focus on ensuring your child begins to feel comfortable in the water. Our teacher is present in the water to help scaffold self-confidence. Blowing bubbles and using floating equipment (noodles or woggles) are the main focuses of the first few weeks. (A pool noodle is a cylindrical piece of polyethylene foam, sometimes hollow.) Pool noodles are used by people of all ages while swimming. We will perform the starfish each week, both supine (face up) and prone (face down) and we will focus on breathing and lung function to help the child understand buoyancy. An understanding of pool rules and water safety is integral to all our levels. Towards the end of this level, they will begin to use floats, initially aided and then independently.

    Post-beginner: At this level, your child will progress to using a pool noodle independently and will begin to build up the strength to kick horizontally. The swimmer will comfortably be able to submerge their face, blow bubbles and wave at each other under the water. After building up the strength to kick with a float, with the aid of the teacher, the child will progress to use a float independently both supine (face up) and prone (face down). At this stage, they will attempt a few strokes on their front, often grabbing the wall for support. A ‘push and glide’ start on both front and back is introduced at this stage and perfected as the child improves. Treading water helps contribute to a sense of security in the water. An understanding of pool rules and water safety is integral to all our levels.

    This is a very important period in the development of a swimmer. We believe in proceeding at the rate of each individual swimmer, not the pace of a group. As the groups are so small, and because we focus on patience and consideration between our pupils, children can progress at different stages, within the same class. This does not present a challenge for teacher or class members.

    ‘Practice makes Permanent.’

    Building up strength and confidence allows our swimmers progress to swimming up to five meters, ten meters and then fifteen metres. We encourage our parents to view the importance of perfecting technique over distance. It doesn’t serve anyone to have a child continually swim ten meters, if the swim stroke requires improving. We practice all strokes for short distances, building up distances as the stroke improves.

    Intermediate level; By intermediate level (Level 3-4+) our swimmers will work on mastering Front Crawl, Backstroke, Breaststroke, with a good degree of breathing, timing/ rhythm and fluidity. They will also enjoy performing the Butterfly, with varying degrees of success. Submerged swimming, preparing for competitive starts, is very important as is diving for object retrieval and for fun! Perfecting somersaults and treading water is very important at this stage.
    Pull buoys are introduced to help stroke development. A pull buoy or leg float is a figure-eight shaped piece of closed-cell foam used in swim workouts. We are also focusing on increasing the distance and the intricacy of instruction. An understanding of pool rules and water safety is integral to all our levels.

    Advanced: Depending on availability, your child, currently in a 30 mins class, will aim to change to a 45 minute format and then to a 60 minute class. There is an element of lifesaving built in.

    Level 5-7 involves perfecting technique, building up distance and stamina and preparing for competitive swimming. The majority of these classes involve lane swimming and repeated drills to build up strength and endurance. As the child progresses, they are expected to have an adequate comprehension and application of advanced skills introduced and taught in each session. An understanding of pool rules and water safety is integral to all our levels.

    By Level 6, we will discuss your child’s swim future with you. Some children are interested in swimming competitively, whereas others are more interested in developing swimming as an aid to further sport development, i.e. surfing, scuba-diving or canoeing.

    Our closed pool sessions, from 7-8am on Saturday mornings and 8-9pm on Sunday evenings, are also designed to prepare children for competing. The pool is closed to the public and sessions involve continuous swimming for an extended period.

    We are the feeder school to County Sligo Swim Club and have pre approved all our levels with CSSC, to ensure your child will enter the competitive arena fully prepared for the challenges of competitive swimming.

    Once a term, our eligible swimmers get to participate in a training session with the swim club, to see if the experience is something which they would like to develop. Competitive swimming isn’t for every child but it is a fantastic opportunity for capable swimmers to maintain their fitness and use their hobby to make new friends and develop their swimming skills further!

    County Sligo Swim Club.

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