Learn to Swim Companion

A guide for parents and learners

Learn to Swim Stages 8-10

All Awards

The Learn to Swim Stages 8-10 continue the swimmer’s journey past Learn to Swim Stage 7 of the Learn to Swim Framework.

Swimmers are encouraged to take part in different aquatic disciplines that develop their fundamental sports skills. You can find out more about the sports on the Swim England sport ‘hubs’ by clicking or tapping here: swimming, synchro, water polo, and diving.

The 12 Awards comprising the Learn to Swim Stages 8-10 are:

  • Learn to Swim Stages 8, 9, 10 Swimming
  • Learn to Swim Stages 8, 9, 10 Diving
  • Learn to Swim Stages 8, 9, 10 Synchronised Swimming
  • Learn to Swim Stages 8, 9, 10 Water Polo.

Objectives of Swim England Learn to Swim Stages 8-10

Below you can find the objectives for each stage of the different disciplines in the Swim England Learn to Swim Stage 8-10 Awards.

Learn to Swim Stages 8-10 Water Polo

Stage 8

By completing this Award, learners should be able to perform:

  1. Tread water vertically and comfortably for 30 seconds, using eggbeater kick.
  2. Maintain a vertical position whilst moving forwards, backwards, left and right, using sculling and eggbeater kick for 5 metres.
  3. Maintain a horizontal position whilst moving forwards, backwards, left and right, using sculling and eggbeater kick for 5 metres.
  4. Perform 5 metre horizontal lateral slides, to the right, return to centre and then left and return to centre.
  5. Swim 5 metres head up front crawl.
  6. Swim forwards 5 metres whilst controlling a ball in front.
  7. In vertical eggbeater, pick up the ball from underneath the surface with alternate hands into a throwing position.
  8. Hold a tripod position, with a ball, for 30 seconds.
  9. Play a simple water polo game, score by placing ball on the side of the pool and demonstrate skills learnt during this stage.

Stage 9

By completing this Award, learners should be able to perform:

  1. Swim 5 metres head up front crawl, change direction 90 degrees left, swim 5 metres change direction 90 degrees right.
  2. Swim 5 metres head up front crawl, change direction through 180 degrees, swim 5 metres.
  3. Swim 5 metres water polo backstroke.
  4. Swim 5 metres water polo head up front crawl, turn onto back, continue in same direction for 5 metres and turn back onto front and swim 5 metres.
  5. Swim 5 metres head up front crawl with breaststroke legs.
  6. Pass and catch a ball accurately with a partner, with one hand, over a 3 metre distance while maintaining a strong body position.
  7. Swim 10 metres head up front crawl, receive a ball on the water, and continue to swim whilst controlling the ball.
  8. Swim 5 metres with a ball, pass ball to target, and continue to swim 5 metres.
  9. Pick up a ball, shoot at a target from a 2 metre distance and repeat five times. The target may be a player, kick board, plastic bottles, etc.
  10. Play a simplified water polo game, score by hitting a target on the side of the pool or some other adaptation and demonstrate skills learnt during this stage and in Learn to Swim Stage 8 Water Polo.

Stage 10

By completing this Award, learners should be able to perform:

  1. Swim 5 metres, receive a ball on the water, control the ball in front for 5 metres, change direction one way, swim 5 metres, change direction the opposite way, swim 5 metres and then pass to a partner.
  2. Pick up a ball, shoot at a target five times from a 2 metre distance, using an off-water shot. The target may be a kick board, plastic bottles, a player or into a goal.
  3. Jump vertically, sideways and forwards.
  4. Jump ½ turn and pass ball while on back.
  5. Marking during game-play situation.
  6. Understand concepts of long walking and short walking and when to apply in a game situation.
  7. Play a water polo game, with full rules and goals, and demonstrate skills learnt during this stage and in Learn to Swim Stages 8 and 9 Water Polo, showing good technique throughout.

Learn to Swim Stages 8-10 Synchronised Swimming

Stage 8

By completing this Award you will be able to perform the following:

  1. Demonstrate two stationary floating positions, one with good body extension and one tightly tucked into a mushroom float.
  2. Perform a handstand with hands on the bottom of pool, legs together and feet pointed.
  3. Demonstrate stationary eggbeater – floatation equipment may be used.
  4. Swim 5 metres using synchro backstroke (or variation), into 5 metres synchro breaststroke (or variation).
  5. Perform a back layout, scull continuously for 3 metres head first, followed by a rapid back tuck somersault.
  6. Perform the figure tub.
  7. Perform a sequence individually, in pairs or in a group, using a variety of skills (minimum of three) learnt previously and in this stage.

Stage 9

By completing this Award you will be able to perform the following:

  1. Perform a handstand with hands on the bottom of pool and back against the wall of the pool demonstrating a vertical line.
  2. Perform a back layout into a bent knee position and back to back layout – floatation equipment may be used (bottles).
  3. Scull continuously in a back layout position for 3 metres feet first, followed by a 180 degrees tub and a rapid back tuck somersault.
  4. Perform the figure oyster.
  5. Perform 3 metres synchro breaststroke (or variation) with a smooth transition into eggbeater travelling sideways for 3 metres.
  6. Perform an entry from the poolside, surface the water on the back, perform 3 metres using synchro backstroke.
  7. Perform a sequence individually, in pairs or in a group using a variety of skills (minimum of five) from this stage or from Learn to Swim Stage 8
  8. Synchro, to include at least one stroke, eggbeater and one figure.

Stage 10

By completing this Award you will be able to perform the following:

  1. Perform a stationary handstand or vertical holding the side of the pool, back against the wall with good extension.
  2. Perform the figure ballet leg with floatation equipment or use of pool side to support horizontal leg.
  3. Perform the figure back tuck somersault.
  4. Swim 5 metres using straight arm backstroke synchronised with a partner. Music may be used.
  5. Demonstrate support scull standing on bottom of the pool.
  6. Perform a stationary back layout for five seconds, into sculling head first moving into bent knee, followed by a rapid ballet leg into a rapid back tuck somersault.
  7. Perform a sequence individually, in pairs or in a group starting with an entry from poolside using a variety of skills (minimum of eight) from this stage or from Learn to Swim Stage 8 or 9 Synchro. Include at least two strokes, travelling sculling, eggbeater; a fast figure and a controlled figure.

Learn to Swim Stages 8-10 Diving

Stage 8

This stage of the Learn to Swim Awards 8-10 Diving refines the Fundamental Movement Skills learned during the Learn to Swim Framework Stages 1-7. It adds the diving hand grab and introduces the concept of a dive.

Basic floats, glides and movements in the water, and on poolside, to refine the basic body positions for diving. If you are after more detail about Stages 8-10 Diving download the Parent Guide (PDF) here.

By completing this Award, learners should be able to perform:

  1. Front push and glide with hands grabbed.
  2. Back push and glide with hands grabbed.
  3. Tuck float to stretched position.
  4. Forward somersault in the water.
  5. Push and glide into a forward tucked somersault to finish upright.
  6. Sitting forward dive with hands grabbed from poolside.
  7. Sitting pike line up on dry land.

Stage 9

This stage of the Learn to Swim Awards 8-10 Diving introduces jumps, rolls and falls from poolside as well as further developing and applying body shapes.

By completing this Award, learners should be able to perform:

  1. Forward jump straight from poolside.
  2. Back jump straight from poolside.
  3. Pike float to stretched position.
  4. Forward jump tuck from poolside.
  5. Forward tuck roll from poolside.
  6. Forward pike fall from poolside.
  7. Push and glide with a half twist – front and back.

Stage 10

This stage of the Learn to Swim Awards 8-10 Diving introduces the arm swing to jumps from poolside, and builds on both forward and backward skills in the water and from poolside.

By completing this Award, learners should be able to perform:

  1. Armswing forward jump straight from poolside.
  2. Back jump tuck from poolside.
  3. Back push and glide into back circle.
  4. Armswing forward jump tuck from poolside.
  5. Push and glide into a forward piked somersault to finish upright.
  6. Back tuck roll from poolside.
  7. Crouched forward dive with hands grabbed above head to start from poolside.*

*This is an optional skill and should only be taught in water of a minimum depth of 3 metres.

Learn to Swim Stages 8-10 Swimming

Stage 8

By completing this Award you will be able to:

  1. Complete a set lasting 400 metres (e.g. 16 x 25 metres, 8 x 50 metres, 4 x 100 metres) on a specific turnaround time agreed by the teacher or coach (e.g. 1.00 minutes for each 25 metres) with a focus on stroke technique and consistency.
  2. Swim 400 metres continuously using one stroke.
  3. Push and streamline then kick 25 metres backstroke with or without using a board.
  4. Push and streamline then kick 25 metres breaststroke with or without using a board.
  5. Push and streamline then kick 25 metres butterfly without using a board.
  6. Push and streamline then kick 25 metres front crawl with or without using a board.
  7. Perform a backstroke turn from 10 metres in to 15 metres out.
  8. Perform a breaststroke turn from 10 metres in to 15 metres out.
  9. Perform a butterfly turn from 10 metres in to 15 metres out.
  10. Perform a front crawl turn from 10 metres in to 15 metres out.
  11. Perform a dive track or grab start, and kick butterfly underwater in a streamlined position for 5 metres with the focus on progressing it to 10 metres.*

*Delivery will depend on the pool design and facilities available.

Stage 9

By completing this Award you will be able to:

  1. Complete a set lasting 800 metres (either 16 x 50 metres, 8 x 100 metres, 4 x 200 metres) on a specific turnaround time as agreed by the teacher or coach (e.g. 1.30 minutes for 50 metres) with a focus on stroke technique and consistency.
  2. Swim 800 metres continuously using one stroke.
  3. Swim a continuous 100 metre individual medley (4 x 25 metres) using recognised turns with a focus on stroke technique and consistency.
  4. Perform a 15 metre underwater kick on front from a push and glide in a streamlined position.
  5. Perform a backstroke start then butterfly kick in a streamlined position underwater up to a maximum of 15 metres from the start point (wall). Transfer into stroke and complete the remainder of the 25 metres.*
  6. Perform a front crawl start then kick in a streamlined position underwater up to a maximum of 15 metres from the start point (wall). Transfer into stroke and complete the remainder of the 25 metres.*
  7. Perform a butterfly start then kick in a streamlined position up to a maximum of 15 metres from the start point (wall). Transfer into stroke and complete the remainder of the 25 metres.*
  8. Perform a breaststroke start then perform a one and a half pull underwater. Transfer into stroke and complete the remainder of the 25 metres.*

*Delivery will depend on the pool design and facilities available.

Stage 10

By completing this Award you will be able to:

  1. Complete a set lasting 1600 metres (either 16 x 100 metres, 8 x 200 metres, 4 x 400 metres) on a specific timed turnaround set by the teacher or coach (e.g. 2.30 minutes for 100 metres), focus on stroke technique and consistency.
  2. Swim 1500 metres continuously using one stroke.
  3. Perform a continuous 100 metre individual medley kick (4 x 25 metres) without using a kick board.
  4. Swim a continuous 200 metre individual medley (4 x 50 metres) using recognised turns.
  5. Perform a front crawl relay take over – as an incoming swimmer.
  6. Perform a front crawl relay take over – as an outgoing swimmer.
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