NPTS: "Journey through Aquatics"

The Swimmer’s ‘journey through aquatics’ starts with FOUNDATION, a programme for developing early years water confidence, which is encouraged through sessions such as ‘parent and baby’ and ‘pre-school’ sessions. The emphasis is upon development of very basic motor skills and introduction to water and the swimming environment through fun and games. The ‘ASA Duckling’ Awards provide rewards appropriate for this section.

The next stage along the ‘journey’ takes a Swimmer through FUNDAMENTAL MOVEMENT SKILLS, STAGE 1 – 7 of the National Plan for Teaching Swimming. There are smaller stepping-stones for Swimmers who are not yet ready for Stage 1 of the NPTS and who may have ADDITIONAL NEEDS requirements in order to progress into Stage 1 of the NPTS. The Awards range specific to this section is the ’ASA Alpha Awards’.

A Brief Overview of Stages 1 – 7:

STAGE 1 – Developing basic safety awareness, the ‘class’ scenario, basic movement skills and water confidence skills. Swimmers may use aids, e.g. arm bands, floats etc.

STAGE 2 – Developing safe entries to the water, including jumping in, basic floating, travel and rotation unaided to regain upright positions. Swimmers may use aids, e.g. arm bands, floats etc.

STAGE 3 – Developing safe entries including submersion, travel up to 10 metres on the front and back, progress rotation skills and water safety knowledge.

STAGE 4 – Developing the understanding of buoyancy through a range of skills, refining kicking technique for all strokes, and swimming 10 metres to a given standard as directed by the ASA.

STAGE 5 – Developing ‘watermanship’ through sculling and treading water skills, and complete rotation, also performing all strokes to the given standard as directed by the ASA.

STAGE 6 – Developing effective swimming skills including coordinated breathing; developing the water safety aspects and understanding of preparation for exercise.

STAGE 7 – Developing quality stroke technique up to 100 metres, incorporating skills learnt and combining them to develop a linked routine and complete successfully an obstacle course that combines a variety of skills accomplished throughout stages 1 – 7.

Once the Swimmer has developed the core range of skills required to be confident, competent and safe in water through Stages 1 – 7, the Swimmer may then have the choice to take part in different aquatic disciplines. FUNDAMENTAL SPORT SKILLS, STAGES 8 – 10 of the National Plan for Teaching Swimming are available in competitive swimming, water polo, synchronised swimming, diving and rookie lifesaving. Dependent on each leisure facility, all or some of these opportunities may be available.

As a result of completing ALL the outcomes detailed within each Stage of the National Plan for Teaching Swimming, a set of awards are available, called the ASA ‘National Plan Awards’.

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