Swimming Awards

At Baby Paddlers we follow two award programmes. These are both described below; the Baby Swim Foundation is designed for children from birth up until about 2 and a half years old. From that point we follow the STAnley series of awards set out by the Swimming Teachers Association (STA). Below you will find the achievements needed to be awarded each certificate.

PLEASE NOTE – we have only recently moved from STARFISH over to Baby Swim Foundation Programme in some locations. Therefore some customers will continue to follow the STARFISH track before moving over to STAnley. The STARFISH achievements are described below also.

baby swimming foundation logo colour

The BSFP is aimed at children from birth to approximately 2 and 1⁄2 years old. Children are taught various subjects that will help them develop skills that enable confidence and safety in water, plus it acts as a foundation for learning to swim.

There are 4 levels to the scheme; Bronze Fish -> Silver Fish -> Gold Fish -> Star Fish. And there are 10 common elements that children focus on at each of these levels:

Submersion – Hold – Turn – Kick – Paddle – Swim – Breathing – Back – Recognition – Jumping

AreaBSF Bronze FishBSF Silver FishBSF Gold FishBSF Star Fish
Submersiono At surface, wet face
o Upright hands on
o Arms length hands on
o Adult and baby together
o Teacher to adult/adult to teacher
o Hands off with/without push
o Drop in
o 2-3 adult and baby
o Solo hands off
o 2-3 Arms length hands on/off
o Travel hands on
o Adult and baby dive
o 2-3 Travel, breathe, hands on/off
o Sitting dive
Holdo Yoke hold (front)
o Safety hold
o Side/extended hold
o Seat hold
o Harbour hold
o ‘Hold On’ adult assisted
o ‘Hold On’ baby take weight
o ‘Hold On’ unaided
o Kick to ‘Hold On’
o Noodle/barbell hold
o Extended arm hold
o Let Go, ‘Hold On’‘
o ‘Hold On’, travel along bar
o ‘Hold On’ to wall
o Climb out
Turno Walk, turn and boo!
o Turn to friend, boo!
o At surface, ½ turn
o At surface, full turn
o Turn, at bar aided
o Underwater ½ turn
o Turn at bar, to adult, unaided
o Underwater full turn
o Drop in, turn underwater aided to hold
o Drop in, turn underwater unaided to hold
o Swivel Entry
Kicko Kick with assistanceo Reacting to ‘Kick, Kick’ commando ‘Hold On’, kick with support
o Sit, kick, splash, kick
o Kick with aid(s)
o ‘Hold On’ kick independently
Paddleo Eye contact to toy
o Reach with assistance
o Reach towards toy
o Assisted digging actiono Pulling independently on commando ‘Digging’ alternating action with aid(s)
Swimo Yoke hold, moving around
o Swing dip
o Splashing and kicking
o Tug swim
o Front ride
o Pulling and kicking together with aidso Independent pulling and kicking together
Breathingo Watching adult blow bubbleso Attempting bubble blowingo Bubbles underwater with submersions
o Blow bubbles on command
o Face in when asked
o Face in, breathe, face in, breathe
Backo Back float/back sway
o Cheek dip/roll
o Back rotation
o Flip Flop
o Back swim on adult
o Re-enforce back skillso Adult holding child, legs kick on back
o Back with aid(s)
o Back floating
Recognitiono Recognise ‘Ready Go’, eyes closing on entryo Recognise ‘Hold’, ‘Reach’, Kick’, Ready Splash’o Equipment awarenesso Understanding of commands
o Using aids independently
Jumpingo Sitting ‘Ready Splash’ with assistanceo Baby throw
o Sitting ‘Ready Splash’ submerge, hands on
o Sitting ‘Ready Splash’, hands offo Standing up ‘Ready Splash’, hands on/off
sta starfish award schemee

The STARFISH Awards are suitable for introducing babies as young as 6 months to swimming. The series is undertaken in shallow water with the guardian in the water holding and supporting the baby. Buoyancy aids may be worn but they are not necessary as the guardian is holding the baby throughout. It is important that the baby is also supported properly, including the head; eye contact should always be maintained and words of encouragement frequently given.. For more information on STARFISH click here. Below is a list of the components that make up each of the awards.

STARFISH 1

1. Safe entry into the pool by both adult and baby
2. Using swing dips to introduce baby to the water
3. Supporting baby on the front and move freely around the pool
4. Supporting baby on the back and move freely around the pool
5. Cueing baby and washing face with water
6. Exiting pool safely

STARFISH 2

1. Holding baby facing you and submerging yourself in the water for baby to see
2. Move freely around the pool using the safety hold
3. Move around the pool using the seat hold, bobbing baby up and down
4. Supporting baby on the back while walking backwards and zigzagging through the water
5. Encouraging baby to wash their face with water or submerging baby in the water, holding baby towards the adult
6. Encouraging baby to hold onto the poolside, with assistance, if necessary

STARFISH 3

1. Supporting baby under the arms and encouraging baby to flop gently into the water from a sitting position on the poolside
2. Encouraging baby to move from a front position to a back position using flipflop rhythmical movements
3. Encouraging baby to reach for a toy while moving around the pool, supporting baby on the front
4. Helping baby to use a kicking action to move through the water while supporting baby on the back
5. Using the safety hold to support baby and rolling baby away from you, then gently back towards you
6. Using a buoyancy aid to support yourself, float in the water and lay baby on your chest or have baby sit on your tummy, all the while making eye contact

STARFISH 4

1. Supporting baby by the arms or hands to encourage movement into the pool from a sitting
position
2. Using a forward hold to encourage and gently submerge baby
3. Using the Little Harbour hold to move around the pool while encouraging movement from baby
4. Encourage baby to roll from a front position to a back position with support
5. Encourage movement from baby by swiftly walking backwards while supporting baby on the back
6. Assisting and encouraging baby to hold onto the poolside and climb out (if baby has the physical ability)

STARFISH 5

1. Holding baby’s arms or hands, encouraging baby to jump into the water from a standing position on the poolside
2. Supporting baby while encouraging them to roll from a back position to a front position
3. Encourage baby to make kicking movements with support either in a front surf hold or using a woggle
4. Encouraging baby with cues to submerge in a Duckling Dive
5. Swimming around the pool with baby holding onto an adults back
6. Cueing baby to submerge vertically and rotate 180° in the pool
7. Supporting baby in a front hold, encouraging baby to move forwards and grasp a toy, then return with support in a back float position

STARFISH 6

1. Encouraging baby to enter the water freely from a sitting position on the poolside
2. Encouraging baby to move freely through the water, either with minimal support or with the use of a buoyancy aid
3. Cue baby to submerge vertically and rotate 360° in the pool
4. Supporting baby by the hands and encouraging movement in a figure of 8 or snaking pattern through the water
5. Taking baby for a front or back ride through the water, with or without support
6. Cueing baby to submerge in a Duckling Dive towards the poolside and encouraging baby to hold onto the poolside and climb out (if baby has the physical ability)

Stanley Swimming Awards

A child’s first learn to swim experience is one of the most important in terms of capturing and retaining their interest. We believe the best way to achieve this is to create safe environments in which children can be introduced to the water whilst having fun and by providing a progressive learn to swim programme that is both challenging and rewarding. The STA have used their extensive experience of developing young learners swimming and water safety programmes and understanding the importance of these first introductions to the water, so have developed the STAnley – First Steps Series. For more information on STAnley click here. Below is a list of the components that make up each of the awards.

STAnley 1

1. Identify the teacher
2. Enter the water safely
3. Splash feet at water’s surface while supported by wall/ woggle/adult and then return to a standing position
4. Walk forwards, backwards and sideways through the water unaided for 5 metres. If in deeper water, unassisted walking actions may be substituted
5. Move through the water on the front for 2 metres, turn around and move back to start position
6. Move through the water for 2 metres on the back, roll to regain feet.
7. Blow a small object across the pool for 2 metres
8. Travel under a woggle bridge and through a shower created by a watering can
9. Push and glide on the front
10. Exit pool safely

STAnley 2

1. Show an understanding of poolside safety
2. Enter the water from the poolside safely
3. Blow bubbles into the water, with mouth or nose and mouth submerged
4. Move through the water for 2 metres on the front while blowing bubbles, return to an upright/standing position
5. Move through the water for 2 metres on the back using an alternating leg action, ears in water and return to an upright/standing position
6. Perform a star floating position on front or back
7. Use front paddle action to move a ball across the pool
8. Push and glide on the back
9. Roll from front to back, looking at the ceiling
10. Climb out of the pool safely

 STAnley 3

1. Answer a question on poolside safety rules
2. Enter the water from poolside, move forward 1 metre, then return and exit the pool unassisted
3. Blow bubbles into the water with face submerged
4. Perform a star float while on the back and regain the feet
5. Move through the water while on the back, using an alternating leg action for 5 metres
6. Use a front paddle action to move through the water for 5 metres on the front
7. Complete a 360° turntable with feet off the pool floor
8. Roll from back to front and back onto the back
9. Jump or step into the water from poolside with hand support from a swimming teacher or assistant
10. Show treading water action with legs on woggle – (seahorses)

STAnley 4

1. Answer 2 questions on poolside safety
2. Swim 5 metres of front paddle, roll onto back and swim 5 metres on the back
3. Bob up and down, submerging the face 4 times, exhaling underwater
4. Pick up an object from below the water surface
5. Perform 2 float positions, which may be in a sequence and performed on the front or the back
6. Push and glide on back, tuck and roll forward to return to poolside
7. Tread water, using arms and legs
8. Attempt a circular action of either arms or legs
9. Jump or step into pool safely unaided
10. Climb out of the pool safely unaided

STAnley 5

1. Answer 2 questions on poolside rules
2. Swim 2 metres of front paddle or back paddle, without support
3. Hold 3 different types of floating positions, each for 3 seconds
4. Breathe rhythmically for 4 cycles, either supported or moving
5. Jump or step in from poolside, tread water, turn and swim back to poolside
6. Push off on the back and kick with a simultaneous leg action for 5 metres using a woggle or float
7. Perform a push and glide on the front, keeping the face in the water and blowing bubbles
8. Retrieve an object from bottom of pool
9. Demonstrate front crawl arm action
10. Demonstrate back crawl arm action

STAnley 6

1. Answer 2 water safety questions
2. Push and glide on the back, arms by side, ears in water
3. Swim through a submerged hoop
4. Swim 3 metres on front using a breaststroke type leg action, holding 2 floats or woggle
5. Swim 2 metres on the front and 2 metres back, paddle with a smooth transition in between (log roll)
6. Step, star or pencil jump into the pool, tread water then return to poolside
7. Hold the side of the pool and push off on the side under water
8. Swim on the front, tuck up and return swimming on the back
9. Swim 5 metres of either front crawl or back crawl
10. Scull forwards, backwards or in a circle, using a woggle

STAnley 7

1. Answer 3 water safety questions
2. Perform a star float, slowly change to a narrow float and return to a star float on either the front or back
3. Push and glide on back with arms stretched then roll onto front
4. Swim 2 metres, dolphin leg kick on the front or back
5. Tread water for 10 seconds
6. Swim 5 metres using a frog breaststroke type action of the arms and legs
7. Swim 10 metres of front crawl confidently, attempt side breathing
8. Swim 10 metres on the back confidently
9. Swim through a submerged hoop and retrieve an object
10. Use a woggle and scull head first, using arms only