Stage 1 of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework

In Stage1 of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework your pupil should will develop basic movement skills, water confidence and safety awareness. Don’t forget the swimmers will be able to use aids e.g. arm bands and floats to help complete this stage.


By the end of Stage 1 of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework your pupils should have reached 13 outcomes (full details are contained in the Teacher's Complete Framework). Swimmers can complete these outcomes with or without aids, equipment or support:

  1. Enter the water safely
  2. Move forwards for a distance of 5 metres
  3. Move backwards for a distance of 5 metres
  4. Move sideways for distance of 5 metres
  5. Scoop the water and wash face
  6. Be at ease with water showered from overhead
  7. Move into a stretched floating position using aids,equipment or support
  8. Regain an upright position from on the back with support
  9. Regain an upright position from on the front with support
  10. Push and glide in a horizontal position to or from a wall
  11. Take part in a teacher-led partner orientated game
  12. Demonstrate an understanding of pool rules
  13. Exit the water safely

Don't forget a child who can complete all of these outcomes is eligible for an ASA National Plan Award for Stage 1. You can also encourage them through the stage with an ASA Rainbow Distance Award 5m.


Games are a great way to encourage your pupils to practice the skills needed to complete this stage. The "Bean Game" is particularly useful for Stage 1 if you as the teacher take the lead and put the pupils into pairs.

Each child takes turns to copy the bean shape that the teacher calls out the name of. The player performs the movement or shape suggested by the type of bean e.g.

  • French: (standing streamlined like the Eiffel Tower)
  • Kidney: (performing a mushroom float)
  • Runner: (running round the pool)
  • String: (pencil float)

Agility, balance and co-ordination will be just some of the skill your pupils will improve with this game.

More details on the FUNdamental Movement Skills, along with teaching tips on 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 Stage 1

As a general rule it is recommended swimmers should not stay in any one stage longer than 2 school terms, 3 at the very most. Many centres now include dates alongside individual swimmers on their registers to highlight how long a swimmer has been at each stage. This is an effective way of ensuring your swimmers are progressing

Teacher's Guide

Don't forget the Teacher's Complete Framework contains the most relevant information for teachers delivering the framework and theiosonline offers the most up-to-date training around the framework.

>> Go to Stage 2 of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework

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