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Duckling Awards

The Duckling Awards are designed to help babies and toddlers enjoy learning to swim with help from parents or guardians. Your child can work towards five grades of awards, each with its own certificate, sticker and badge. Buoyancy aids, such as armbands, can be used for the first four grades as the child learns to float and gets used to the water. The fifth and final grade has young swimmers jumping into the water, submerging, and floating and swimming five metres without aids.

Awards are pre-stage 1 of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework.

Duckling 1

  • Make a supervised safe entry with adult support
  • Kick 2 metres on the back with adult support
  • Float on the back with adult support behind the head
  • Blow bubbles at the water surface
  • Wet the head without submersion
  • Travel without assistance 2 metres to a floating object.

Duckling 2

  • Make a sitting entry with adult support
  • Blow an object for a distance of 2 metres
  • Use a baby seat or other buoyancy aid and rotate through 180degrees without assistance
  • Move 5 metres along the rail or wall without assistance
  • Travel 3 metres using arms and/or legs without assistance
  • Submerge the face with confidence

Duckling 3

  • Make a supervised jump to an adult with or without support
  • Kick 5 metres on the front holding a float
  • Blow bubbles with the mouth underwater
  • Float on front OR back without adult support
  • Travel 5 metres on the front to the side of the pool
  • Show a torpedo shape on front or back when pushed to a partner

Duckling 4

  • Jump unaided, but supervised, into the water
  • Submerge completely
  • Rotate through 360 either horizontally or vertically
  • Show a mushroom or a star float
  • Travel without assistance 10 metres on the front or back
  • Climb out of the water with assistance if required

Duckling 5

  • Show the sequence to jump in the water, turn around, swim back to the point of entry and hold the rail or side
  • Submerge completely and blow bubbles under the water
  • Push and glide achieving a distance of 2 metres on the front or back
  • Float on the front or back and regain standing/vertical position
  • Swim 5 metres on the front or back using an over water arm recovery
  • Exit safely showing correct use of the ladder (or steps if no ladder is available)

Learn To Swim Stages 1-7 Awards

Stage 1

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

Stage 2

  • Jump in from poolside safely
  • Blow bubbles a minimum of three times rhythmically with nose and mouth submerged
  • Regain upright position from the back without support
  • Regain an upright position from the front without support
  • Push from wall and glide on the back
  • Push from wall and glide on the front
  • Travel on the back for 5 metres, aids or equipment may be used
  • Travel on the front for 5 metres, aids or equipment may be used
  • Perform a rotation from the front to the back to gain an upright position
  • Perform a rotation from the back to the front to gain an upright position

Stage 3

  • Jump in from poolside and submerge (min depth 0.9m)
  • Sink, push away from wall on side and maintain a streamlined position
  • Push and glide on the front with arms extended and log roll onto the back
  • Push and glide on the back with arms extended and log roll onto the front
  • Travel on the front, tuck to rotate around the horizontal axis to return on the back.
  • Fully submerge to pick up an object
  • Answer correctly three questions on the Water Safety Code
  • Travel 10 metres on the back
  • Travel 10 metres on the front

Stage 4

  • Demonstrate an understanding of buoyancy
  • Perform a tuck float for 5 seconds
  • Perform a sequence of changing shapes (minimum of three) whilst floating at the surface
  • Push and glide from the wall to the pool floor
  • Kick 10 metres backstroke (one item of equipment optional)
  • Kick 10 metres front crawl (one item of equipment optional)
  • Kick 10 metres butterfly on the front or on the back
  • Kick 10 metres breaststroke on the back (equipment optional)
  • Kick 10 metres breaststroke on the front (equipment optional)
  • Perform on the back a head first sculling action for 5 metres in a horizontal position
  • Travel on back and roll in one continuous movement onto front
  • Travel on front and roll in one continuous movement onto back
  • Swim 10 metres, choice of stroke is optional

Stage 5

  • Perform a horizontal stationary scull on the back
  • Perform a feet first sculling action for 5 metres whilst horizontal on the back
  • Perform a sculling sequence with a partner for 30-45 seconds to include a rotation
  • Tread water for 30 seconds
  • Swim 10 metres backstroke
  • Swim 10 metres front crawl face in the water
  • Swim 10 metres breaststroke
  • Swim 10 metres butterfly
  • Perform a handstand and hold for a minimum of three seconds
  • Perform a forward somersault, tucked, in the water
  • Demonstrate an action for getting help

Stage 6

  • Demonstrate an understanding of preparation for exercise
  • Sink, push off on side from the wall, glide, kick and rotate into backstroke
  • Sink, push off on side from the wall, glide, kick and rotate into front crawl
  • Swim 10 metres wearing clothes
  • Swim front crawl to include at least six rhythmical breaths
  • Swim breaststroke to include at least six rhythmical breaths
  • Swim butterfly to include at least three rhythmical breaths
  • Swim 25 metres, choice of stroke is optional
  • Perform a 'shout and signal' rescue
  • Perform a surface dive
  • Exit the water without using steps

Stage 7

  • Swim 25 metres backstroke
  • Swim 25 metres front crawl
  • Swim 25 metres breaststroke
  • Swim 25 metres butterfly
  • Perform a movement sequence of 1 minute duration, in a group of three or more, incorporating a number of the following skills:
  • Sculling: head first, feet first
  • Rotation: forward/backward somersault, log roll
  • Floating: star on the front/on the back, tuck float, create own
  • Eggbeater: moving, lifting one or both arms out of the water link skills with strokes and sculls
  • Perform a sitting dive
  • Swim 50 metres continuously using one stroke
  • Swim 100 metres, using a minimum of three different strokes
  • Tread water using eggbeater action for 30 seconds
  • Complete an obstacle course (using minimum of four objects) with feet off the pool floor throughout

Rainbow Stroke Awards

Covering distances of between five and 100m, the Rainbow Stroke Distance Awards complement Stages 1-7 of the ASA Learn to Swim Framework. The Rainbow Stroke Distance Awards offer swimmers a further challenge after they have attained the Rainbow Distance Awards. Covering front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50 and 100m, the awards have been graded to offer your child achievable steps to help develop technique while having fun.