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FAQs for the ASA Learn to Swim framework

This part of the FAQs section answers questions about the ASA Learn to Swim framework.

ASA Learn to swim Framework FAQs

We would like to implement the ASA Learn to Swim Framework. What should we tell parents so they are supportive of a new syllabus? 

The new syllabus is based around the FUNdamentals and is a multi-aquatic and multi-skill programme. The aim is to add more variety to your swimming programme and therefore enhance the sessions offered to customers, which could help improve customer retention and increase demand. It is important the new changes are communicated clearly to customers and parents. Whilst the focus is on “fun”, children will still develop the key skills they need to ultimately help them swim the recognised strokes and give them a base of other skills that can also be transferred to other sports.
There is an ASA Learn to Swim Framework Parents' Guide to provide parents with the framework so they can follow their child’s progress through the programme.

We have bought the ASA Learn to Swim Framework Aquatic Programmers pack. What are the next best steps? 

Inside the pack there is a 5 Step Plan to help support implementation. We recommend you follow these steps:

  • Assess your swimmers
  • Plan your class sizes
  • Organise pool layout
  • Ensure all teachers attend ASA Learn to Swim Framework Training
  • Communicate the changes and their benefits to customers and parents before they happen

We are a swim school and would be keen to meet other swim schools in our area who have already implemented the ASA Learn to Swim Framework – can the ASA help us to do this? 

The ASA has a Swim School Membership scheme and are aware of many swim schools using the ASA Learn to Swim Framework. Some swim schools are listed in our ASA Learn to Swim Framework case studies but for more information on other swim schools, please contact your representative from the ASA for more information. The same can be applied to primary schools, leisure trusts, private operators, clubs and local authorities. The ASA works in partnership with over 1,000 different swimming providers so please contact your representative from the ASA for details of other organisations like yours that have implemented the plan already.

There seems to be a big gap in the ASA Learn to Swim Framework between Stage 4 and 5. How do you help pupils stay motivated if they have not yet learnt butterfly?

Swimmers who have transferred from the old ASA Learn to Swim Framework (or similar programme) to the ASA Learn to Swim Framework may have reached Level 4 without developing the core skills to help them swim some of the strokes competently, so it may take longer to develop these skills.

We recommend that teachers motivate these swimmers with other badges, such as the Rainbow Stroke Awards, between stages. It may also be useful to have two classes to cover stage 4 of the new plan, this way swimmers will still move onto a new class whilst they continue to learn the necessary skills to complete the stage, but will not receive the Stage 5 badge until they have completed the required element. It is recommended that elements of the butterfly stroke, e.g. dolphin leg kick, are introduced in an earlier stage to help facilitate learning. 

Another option would be to provide a fast track opportunity to support the skills gap and help the learner to stay motivated. For example, a short block of additional lessons specific to the skill required can be undertaken before moving into a new class, or additional 1-1 support from a teacher could be offered, either within the lesson or in addition to their lesson.

Motivation comes from the teachers themselves, therefore they must not only understand the learning issues that may arise, but be able to prepare and provide fun and innovative lessons with great enthusiasm. Educating the parents and the swimmers prior to the changeover will also help.

What advice would you offer to programmers who feel there is a skills gap between other stages of the plan? 

We would encourage programmers to use their experience to alleviate problems like this. As already suggested, other badges could be used to keep swimmers motivated between stages. Click here to see the badges in the Kellogg's ASA Awards catalogue.

A stage could be broken down into two classes to ensure a swimmer still progresses through the programme. Also, the skills gaps that are encountered could be incorporated into lower stages to ensure swimmers get more practice before they reach the next stage and are therefore better equipped.

Teachers need to avoid just teaching the outcomes for each stage and recognise that the stage outcomes are the national expected standard, but swimmers in that programme may need more help with some core skills earlier in the stages to help them be executed successfully at a later date.

Regular teachers meetings will help address this, with planning and preparation being key to address any skills gaps as soon as possible. While running the ASA Learn to Swim Framework, add the skills that may be missing within the stages in the relevant levels and let swimmers attempt them to give you a better understanding of the level they are at. Then look at pool programming to see if it’s viable to address the gaps by putting on an “a” and “b” class within one stage.

Many of the swimmers in the DVD seem to be significantly older and are therefore able to execute the strokes better. Why have these swimmers been used and not swimmers at the relevant stages? 

The DVD was made as a reference tool to help demonstrate the expected standards. Older swimmers were used who could reliably execute the necessary skills for the purpose of the filming and as a demonstration for those using the DVD. One of the principles of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework is that an ASA/UKCC Level 2 Teacher has the necessary skills to be able to assess swimmers at each stage of the plan based on their experience. The DVD should therefore be used as a reference and training tool to assist Level 2 Teachers to make the correct assessments based on the principles of Long Term Athlete Development relevant to the age/development of each individual child. 

What awards complement the ASA Learn to Swim Framework? 

Many of our existing awards complement the ASA Learn to Swim Framework. At foundation stage, many centres still use the Duckling Awards and Adult & Child, but more recently the Swim a Song awards have proved popular. For swimmers that need smaller stepping stones and are not ready for stage 1 of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework, the Alpha Step Awards have been developed to be particularly useful for children with additional needs or those who take longer to develop water confidence. The ASA Learn to Swim Framework awards complement each stage of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework, with the Rainbow Stroke and Rainbow Distance awards being available to help motivate swimmers between stages. There are also adult awards available for those who are learning to swim or learning new skills.
Please refer to the Kellogg's ASA Awards Catalogue for full details on all our awards. 

Are there other resources being developed to support the ASA Learn to Swim Framework? 

The ASA is always looking for ways to develop the ASA Learn to Swim Framework and support customers. If you have any particular needs for new resources please feed these back through to npts@swimming.org where your feedback will be recorded and reviewed. CLICK HERE to see current resources.

What happens if a swimmer has not achieved the entire outcome in the stage by the end of the programme? 

A swimmer must complete all of the outcomes in order to be awarded an ASA Learn to Swim Framework award. However, if a swimmer is struggling over a period of time to complete one particular outcome, we do ask teachers to consider whether it makes sense to move the swimmer into the next group on the condition the new teacher is aware of the outcomes that the individual swimmer has not achieved and seeks to further develop these skills.

What can a UKCC Level 1 Teacher assess on the ASA Learn to Swim Framework? 

The framework has been written for UKCC Level 2 teachers to deliver and whilst the ASA actively encourages UKCC Level 1 teachers to support Level 2 teachers, the assessment outcomes have to be authorised by a Level 2 teacher. The ASA Learn to Swim Framework recommends continuous assessment which means the learning outcomes are being measured constantly by the expected standards and lesson plans are written each week to encompass this progression and eventually achievement. Therefore, a Level 2 teacher can mentor the Level 1 Teacher in this learning process but will have the final say on each individual assessment.

What Continuing Professional Development (CPD) titles are available for topics related to the ASA Learn to Swim Framework? 

The titles relating to the ASA Learn to Swim Framework are:

  • Overview & FUNdamentals (now combined)
  • Aqua Fun
  • Flip n Fun
  • mini-polo!
  • Competitive Swimming

All CPD seminars are bite-sized training courses and run between 3-5 hours in length. Ideal to get yourself up to date! Details on CPD courses are covered in pages 50-52 of our Swimming Education & Training Course Prospectus syllabus.

How do I find a CPD Seminar?

Click here to access the CPD section of the website, which has listings for all organised seminars and can be filtered by region. 

You may be looking to hold a seminar for your staff. For further details speak to your representative from the ASA.

When assessing Stages 1–10 of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework, what qualifications does someone need in order to deliver and assess Stages 1–7? 

It is recommended that to deliver and assess stages 1-7 of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework, the Teacher MUST BE a minimum of ASA/UKCC Level 2 qualified.

What qualifications does someone need and what would you recommend in order to deliver and assess Flip n Fun (Diving), Aqua Fun (Synchronised Swimming), mini-polo! (Water Polo) and Competitive Swimming: Stages 8–10? 

They need to be an ASA/UKCC Level 2 Teacher and have attended the Discipline CPD (e.g. Flip n Fun, mini-polo, Aqua Fun or Competitive Swimming).
Be an ASA/UKCC Level 2 Teacher AND ASA Level 1 in the relative discipline (e.g. diving, synchro, water polo, swimming coaching)
Be an ASA/UKCC Level 2 Coach in the relative discipline (diving, synchro, water polo or competitive swimming).  However, in this instance that person is also advised to attend the CPD for the relative discipline (Flip n Fun, Aqua Fun, mini-polo! or Competitive Swimming).

What qualifications does someone need to deliver and assess RLSS Rookie Lifesaving Awards that now ‘dovetail’ into the ASA Learn to Swim Framework stages 8-10?

To deliver Rookie Lifesaving, the RLSS state you must have the ‘Rookie Instructor Qualification’. If a Teacher has an ASA/UKCC Level 2 qualification, would like to deliver and assess Rookie Life Saving and does not have an RLSS approved Life Saving/Life Guarding award (NRASTC/NPLQ), then they will have to attend a short in-house RLSS Trainer Assessor led course, or attend the ASA Rookie Life Saving CPD seminar.

If a Teacher has an ASA/UKCC Level 2 qualification, would like to deliver and assess Rookie Life Saving and also has an approved RLSS qualification (NRASTC / NPLQ), then they will need to register as a Rookie Instructor by purchasing the Instructor Pack, which will come with a distance learning orientation pack.

Anyone who is interested can register his or her details via the RLSS.

Click here for Pack Information and Prices

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