Encouraging your child to learn to swim is one of the most important skills you will teach

them. If you get children interested in swimming when they’re young there’s a good
chance they’ll enjoy the water for the rest of their life, and remain fit and healthy.

Scottish Swimming has developed a new National Framework for swimming in Scotland,
which provides a clear set of National Standards and a pathway which allows you to see
how your child is progressing, and what this actually means in terms of their swimming
ability. Enrol your child in swimming lessons today and you’ll also have peace of mind
that they’re safer when they’re near water.

What should you expect from a swimming lesson programme?

All children should be having fun! They should be involved in games-based activities to
help them learn core swimming skills such as breathing, submerging and moving in the
water. The swimming strokes should be introduced gradually once the child has acquired
the basic core aquatic skills. Most lessons last around 30 minutes and children should
be as active as possible throughout the lesson.

What are the Core Aquatic skills?

These are the building blocks that are the foundation of learning more complex practices,
they are fundamental to your child being able to become a competent swimmer. For
example, blowing bubbles in the bath/pool is the first stage for aquatic breathing; floating
helps a child establish good body position for strokes to be developed and is key to teach
children in terms of safety. It is imperative that the core aquatic skills are taught well to
establish a base to enable swimmers to advance to more recognised techniques like
swimming the four strokes.

“Developing and delivering a progressive Learn to Swim programme is critical for the continued success of aquatics in Scotland. This new framework develops fundamental aquatic literacy skills before developing stroke technique and proficiency in other water based activities.Swimming is a sport for all and a sport for life and adopting this framework will encourage individuals to remain in the sport, whether as a competitor or for the fun, fitness and friendship element, as well as producing new role models on the world stage.” 

Alan Lynn, Scottish Swimming National Coach

National Framework for swimming in Scotland

Within the National Framework there are three programmes: Early Years, Learn to Swim
and Adults.

Early Years Programme:
This consists of three levels: Adult and Baby, Adult and Toddler and Adult and Child, the
earlier you introduce your child to water the more familiar and confident they will become.
The Early Years programme is designed to introduce you and your child to the water in
a fun way making it exciting and enjoyable for you both. It will provide you as a parent
with confidence and skills to help teach your child to swim.

Learn to Swim Programme:
This consists of six levels: Preschool, Swim Skills 1, Swim Skills 2, Swim Skills 3,
Swim Skills 4, Club Ready (Swim, Dive, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo) with
three overarching national standards: Gold, Silver and Bronze. The programme provides
a fun, progressive and all-inclusive pathway for children to participate in any aquatic
discipline to whatever level they aspire to.
It has the core philosophy of being fun, child-centred and based on establishing the
core aquatic skills, which are fundamental to a child learning more complex skills

Adults Programme:
This programme is designed to help teachers formulate an all-inclusive pathway, providing opportunities for all adults to participate in swimming from beginners to masters. It follows the same template as the full Learn to Swim framework and has been adapted to suit adults.