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Swimming lessons

There are three Alpha Step Awards in total, covering swimmer entry to the pool, aquatic breathing, spatial awareness, rotation, buoyancy, co-ordination and exit from the pool.

By completing this Award, with or without floatation equipment or support, you 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.

By completing this Award, with or without floatation equipment or support, you will be able to:

  1. Jump in from poolside safely to a minimum depth of 1.0 metre.
  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.

By completing this Award, without floatation equipment or support, you will be able to:

  1. Jump in from poolside and submerge to a minimum depth of 1.0 metre.
  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.

By completing this Award, without floatation equipment or support, you 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.

By completing this Award you 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.
  12. Demonstrate an action for getting help.

By completing this Award you 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.

By completing this Award you 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.

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.

For the following grades Sections A and B may be completed on two different occasions, but each section must be completed without pause and in the order listed. This group of skills test the pupil’s ability:

Section A

  1. Jump into water of at least full reach depth.*
  2. Swim 10 metres, followed by a surface dive into water of at least full reach depth* and underwater swim for a distance of 5 metres.
  3. Tread water in a vertical position for three minutes.
  4. Scull head-first on the back for 15 metres with the feet at, or near, the surface throughout.

Section B

  1. Swim 400 metres using two strokes. (Changes of stroke can only occur at the completion of a length of the pool. A minimum of 100 metres is to be swum with each stroke.)
  2. Climb out at the deep end without assistance.

* Full reach depth is the distance from feet to fingertips of hands reaching above the head.

By completing this Award, you will have shown your ability to complete each of the following sections in the order listed without pause:

Section A

  1. Plunge dive into water of at least full reach depth.*
  2. Swim 100 metres in less than three minutes using any stroke. A change of stroke may only occur at the completion of a length of the pool.
  3. Tread water for two minutes with one hand behind the back.
  4. Swim 10 metres, followed immediately by two surface dives into water of full reach depth*, one head first and one feet first, bringing an object to the surface on each occasion.
  5. Scull head first on the back for 10 metres and return by sculling 10 metres feet first. A horizontal position must be maintained throughout.

Section B

  1. Swim 800 metres: 400 metres on the front and 400 metres on the back. A change of stroke may only occur every 50 metres.
  2. Climb out at the deep end without assistance.

* Full reach depth is the distance from feet to fingertips of hands reaching above the head.

By completing this Award, you will have shown your ability to complete each of the following sections in the order listed without pause:

Section A

  1. Plunge dive into water of at least full reach depth* and swim 100 metres in two minutes 30 seconds or less, using two different strokes, 50 metres of each.
  2. Tread water for three minutes with one hand remaining above the head throughout. The arm raised may be changed no more than five times.
  3. Scull head first on the back for 10 metres, move into a tucked position and turn through 360 degrees keeping the head above water. Return to the starting point by sculling feet first with the feet at or near the surface throughout and the hands close to the hips.
  4. Swim 10 metres, perform a forward somersault without touching the pool bottom and continue to swim in the same direction for a further 10 metres.

Section B

  1. Swim 800 metres using three of the following strokes: front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, English backstroke or sidestroke for a minimum distance of 200 metres per stroke. A change of stroke may only occur every 100 metres. This swim to be completed in 25 minutes.
  2. Climb out at the deep end without assistance.

* Full reach depth is the distance from feet to finger tips of hands reaching above the head.

By completing this Award, you will have shown your ability to complete each of the following sections in the order listed without pause:

Section A

  1. Make a straddle entry into water of at least full reach depth*, swim 5 metres into a piked surface dive to retrieve an object weighing approximately 2kg from water of full reach depth*; carry the object using a backstroke or sidestroke for a distance of 20 metres, to place it on the poolside.
  2. Scull 10 metres head first on the back; complete a back somersault finishing in a back layout position; perform a roll to take up a front layout position; carry out a front somersault finishing in a front layout position; tuck and rotate backwards into a back layout position and continue to scull feet first for 15 metres. Throughout all sculling and layout positions, the hands must remain close to the hips and the feet must be kept together on or near the surface of the water.

Section B

Complete the following in a total time of 20 minutes without a pause:

  1. Swim 200 metres front crawl, 200 metres backstroke and either 100 metres breaststroke or 50 metres butterfly. A change of stroke may only occur every 100 metres (except for butterfly).
  2. Swim 500 metres freestyle during which surface dive twice head first and twice feet first; on each surface dive, swim through two hoops 4 metres apart without surfacing. The tops of the hoops are to be at least 1 metre below the surface of the water.

* Full reach depth is the distance from feet to finger tips of hands reaching above the head.

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 Opening TimesShared UseWomen and Children OnlyClosed Times
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Tuesday 06:30 - 19:00     13:00 - 15:00
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Sunday 09:00 - 12:00   15:45 - 16:45  

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Email: Unique@bradford.ac.uk

Tel: 01274 234871