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Alpha Step Awards

Although not strictly a stage of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework, the Alpha Step Awards are a great way to encourage swimmers who may be struggling to reach other milestones.

These awards are a great incentive for those people who need to be rewarded for the achievements they are making in swimming and developing water confidence or water safety awareness.


The Alpha Step Awards recognise the achievements of outcomes in 7 categories:

1. Enter the water with support
2. Enter the water with assistance
3. Enter the water unassisted

Aquatic Breathing
1. Blow to move a floating object over 3m
2. Tolerate face being (splashed) wet
3. With mouth submerged, blow bubbles

Spatial Awareness
1. On the spot move selected object around
2. Whilst travelling, move objects in/through the water
3. Move objects to/from a partner in various directions

1. Be rocked through the water with support
2. Turn 360° with minimal assistance
3. Lie back and move to a vertical position with support
1. Float with support
2. Float on front with support
3. Float on back with support
1. Be towed (forwards, backwards and sideways) in a variety of directions
2. Travel through the water using limbs with minimal support
3. Travel 3m on front with or without aids
4. Travel 3m on back with or without aids
1. Exit the water with support
2. Exit the water with minimum support
3. Exit the water with no assistance

The  Kellogg's ASA Alpha Step 1 Award is given if 6 out of 22 skills (maximum 1 skill from each section) is achieved). Alpha Step 2 for 12 out of 22 skills (maximum of 2 skills from each section) and Alpha Step 3 for 17 out of 22 skills (1 skill must be gained from all sections). 


Games are a great way to encourage your pupils to develop their skills. "Keep moving" is a simple game to encourage confidence early. It's an action song sung to the tune of 'one finger, one thumb, keep moving' (see below), where your pupils carry out the words you sing. Actions can cover one finger one thumb, one arm one leg, one nod of the head, pop up and go down. Just remember some swimmers may need adult support.

"One finger, one thumb keep moving
"One finger, one thumb keep moving
"One finger, one thumb keep moving
"We’ll all be merry and bright."

More details on teaching tips, equipment, rules and safety and ways to make the game easier or harder can be found in the ASA Learn to Swim Framework Games Pack.

Tips for the Alpha Step Awards 

Before awarding an Alpha Step award make sure each swimmer has completed the required outcomes. Try and get your pupils to repeat them and don't forget skills may be performed using buoyancy aids if needed. A number of CPD’s are available to support teacher delivering to swimmers with special needs.

Teacher's ToolkitReturn to the NPTS

If you are looking for more information, you might find the ASA Teacher’s Toolkit useful. It contains the criteria of every award in the Kellogg’s ASA Awards Scheme as well as useful information such as contact details, education services and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

>>Go to Stage 1 of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework

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