Swimming Lesson Level Descriptions

SWIMMING LESSON LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS

The Waterloo Community Pool offers 3 different types of lesson development for your child. This guide should help you decide which level is appropriate for your child based on their age, skill level, and comfort level in the water.

  • Parents and Tots

  • Tots Level A, Tots Level B & Tots Level C

  • Levels 1 through 5

Parent & Tot Lessons | Ages 6 months to 3 years

Parent & Tots is a program for parents and children who have either no water experience or one previous session of water adjustment lessons, are reluctant to enter the water or submerge, requires flotation support at all times, or may benefit from parental presence and support in the water.

This program is intended to help your child become more comfortable in the water with introduction to basic swim skills such as entering and exiting the pool, blowing bubbles with face submersion, front and back floats/glides. *Adult (at least 18 years old) must accompany child in the water. 

Tots Level A | Typically 3-4 years old or no/little previous swim experience

The objective of Tots A is to focus on water adjustment, safety and basic swimming skills. *Child is in the water with swim instructor; Adults do not accompany the child in the water. Child must be able to sit independently on the pool gutter while other students are taking their turn. Flotation belts are worn.

Skills:

  • Enter/exit water using ladder, steps, or side

  • Blowing bubbles through mouth and nose for three seconds

  • Submerging mouth, nose and eyes

  • Front and back glides with recovery to a vertical position

  • Roll from front to back and back to front

  • Treading with arm and hand actions

  • Alternating leg actions on front and back

  • Simultaneous leg actions on front and back

  • Combined arm and leg actions on front and back

  • Safety topics

  • All skills can be performed with support

 

    Tots Level B | Typically 3-5 years old or little swim experience

    The objective of Tots B is to start to develop fundamental skills. *Child is in the water with swim instructor; Adults do not accompany the child in the water. Flotation belts are worn.

    Skills:

    • Enter water by steeping in,

    • Exit water using ladder, steps, or side

    • Bobbing three times

    • Open eyes under water and retrieve an object

    • Front and back floats/glides

    • Roll from front to back and back to front

    • Tread water using arm and leg actions for five seconds

    • Combined arm and leg actions on front and back

    • Finning arm actions

    • Safety topics

    • All skills can be performed with assistance

    Tots Level C | Typically 4-6 years old with previous swim experience

    The objective of Tots C is to begin stroke development. *Child is in the water with swim instructor; Adults do not accompany the child in the water. Flotation belts are worn.

    Skills:

    • Enter water by jumping in

    • Fully submerging and holding breath for five seconds,

    • Bobbing five times

    • Front and back float, jelly fish float, tuck float with recovery to vertical position

    • Change direction while swimming

    • Treading using arm and leg actions

    • Combined arm and leg actions on front and back

    • Finning arm actions

    • Safety topics

    • All skills must be done independently



    American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program

    Level 1 - Introduction to Water Skills | Typically 7-8 yr olds with some swim experience

    The goal of Level 1 is introducing water skills that help students feel comfortable in the water and to enjoy the water safely. Your child will still be able to wear a flotation belt in this level.

    Skills:

    • Submerge mouth, nose, and eyes

    • Exhale under water

    • Floating on front and back with support

    • Open eyes underwater and pick up a submerged object

    • Explore arm and hand movements

    • Swim on front and back using arms and leg actions

    • Water entry/exits

    • Safety Topics

    Level 2 - Fundamental Aquatic Skills | Typically 6-8 yr olds

    Prerequisites include p
    assed Level 1, or be able to perform a front float with face in water, back float, and swim on front and back using arm and leg actions. 

    The goal of Level 2 is to give students success with fundamental skills. Your child will be encouraged to perform skills without the use of a flotation belt in this level.

    Skills:

    • Enter water by stepping or jumping from the side

    • Exit water from ladder safely

    • Submerge entire head

    • Open eyes under water and pick up submerged object

    • Perform front and back glide

    • Roll over from front to back, back to front

    • Tread water using arm and leg actions

    • Floating on front and back without support

    • Swim on front and back using combined arm and leg actions

    • Swim on side

    • Self-help and basic water rescue skills

    • To move on to Level 3, swimmers must pass above skills, plus be able to continuously swim across & back the width of Waterloo Community Pool independently without use of flotation device using above water combined arm and leg actions learned in Level 2.

    Level 3 - Stroke Development | Typically 8-10 yr olds
    Prerequisites include passed Level 2, or can float on front and back, swim 15 yards on front and back, swim 15 yards using front and back crawls, using kick and alternating arm movement, and can perform rhythmic breathing.

    The goal of Level 3 is to build on the skills in Level 2 by providing additional guided practice.

    Skills:

    • Jump into deep water from side

    • Dive from kneeling and standing position

    • Submerge and retrieve an object

    • Bob with head fully submerged

    • Use rotary breathing in a horizontal position

    • Front and back glides with kicks

    • Survival float

    • Change from horizontal to vertical on front and back

    • Butterfly kick and body motion

    • Treading water

    • Front and back crawl

    • Safety skills

    Level 4 - Stroke Improvement | Typically 9+ yr olds
    Prerequisites include Passed Level 3, or can swim 15 yards of coordinated front and back crawls using kick and alternating arm movement, perform rhythmic breathing and can jump into deep water.

    The goal of Level 4 is to develop confidence in the strokes learned and to improve other aquatic skills.

    Skills:

    • Swim underwater

    • Perform feet first surface dive

    • Open turns on front and back using any stroke

    • Tread water using sculling arm motions and kick

    • Perform front crawl, breaststroke, butterfly, back crawl, elementary backstroke

    • Use safe diving rules

    • Perform compact jump with life jacket

    • Perform throwing assist and care for conscious choking victim

    Level 5 - Stroke Refinement (offered based on swim instructor availability)
    Prerequisites include passed Level 4, or can swim 25 yards back crawl and front crawl, 10 yards elementary backstroke, breaststroke kick and sidestroke kick, standing dive into pool and deep water bobbing.

    The goal of Level 5 is coordination and refinement of strokes.

    Skills:

    • Tread water using two different kicks

    • Shallow dive

    • Survival swimming

    • Act out rescue breathing

    • Standing dives, pike surface dive, tuck surface dive

    • Front flip turn, backstroke flip turn

    • Refining and developing endurance for front crawl, breaststroke, butterfly, back crawl, elementary backstroke, develop sidestroke

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