Teaching & Training
  Portway Swimming Club’s ASA qualified teachers and coaches follow the NATIONAL PLAN FOR
  The NPTS has been developed by the ASA to provide a template for learn to swim schemes. It has been
designed to assist qualified teachers whose own experience and training will enhance the implementation of
the plan.The NPTS is a comprehensive, integrated, progressive teaching programme based upon sound
technical and educational principles and provides a standard reference for those responsible for planning
swimming programmes. There are 8 levels of development and swimmers are assessed on a 14 week basis:
FOUNDATION – Adult & Child
Fun and enjoyment are critical at any stage of learn to swim but particularly at this stage. The main emphasis is placed on developing water confidence whilst working with the parent or accompanying adult. The stage takes babies from the initial introduction to the water through to achieving independence. Children who complete this stage may be ready to move straight on to level 2, the beginner stage.
LEVEL 1 – Non Swimmer
This category covers the initial process of introducing those with no previous experience of swimming to the new water environment, developing confidence and being at ease in the water. Achieved to a great extent through informal play, the main outcomes involve moving around quite freely, submerging and opening the eyes, floating, and using the arms and legs to achieve a simple form of travelling through the water.
LEVEL 2 – Beginner
In this category, the emphasis moves from initial confidence to building a sound foundation in those aspects of "watermanship" which later on will underpin the performance of sound swimming technique. As well as becoming completely "at home" on and under the water, these include developing control in water breathing and beginning to experiment with the different methods of using the limbs for propulsion.
LEVEL 3 – Improver 1 (Blue Hat)
The focus is now on building competence in the basic elements of propulsion, using the main swimming strokes with a continuing emphasis on the importance of good streamlining and breathing control. This is accompanied by the introduction of a range of aquatic skills such as sculling, treading water and swimming underwater.
LEVEL 4 – Improver 2 (Yellow Hat)
The aim here is essentially to consolidate the aquatic skills along with controlled breathing, so that pupils can swim competently, using correct basic techniques on three of the main strokes over the standard distance of 25 metres and on Butterfly over 10 metres. In addition, turns and essential safe foundation practices for diving are introduced.
LEVEL 5 – Advanced 1 (Yellow Hat)
Once an acceptable degree of basic competence is achieved in the fundamental skills at Improver 2, it is time to progress to the development of more efficient swimming. This level also consolidates the wider range associated aquatic disciplines, synchronised swimming, water polo and diving as well as providing for the development of a greater awareness and expertise in personal water safety and survival swimming. From this stage, pupils with the interest and enthusiasm will be ready to move on to participation across the range of swimming and aquatic sports with a solid foundation.
LEVEL 6 – Advanced 2 (Green Hat)
As well as the further development of the main swimming strokes, this category acts as an introduction to the early stages of training in competitive swimming; provides a basis for swimming as part of a healthy lifestyle and continues with some more advanced activities in the other disciplines. The development of both basic aerobic swimming endurance and of swimming speed are integrated within the programme.
LEVEL 7 – Pre-competition Development (Green Hat)
This level leads logically on from Advanced 2 and has been designed specifically to lay the foundation required to prepare young swimmers to take part in the developmental coaching and training programmes run by swimming clubs in preparation for taking part in competitive swimming. The stage focuses on the consolidation of effective technique, the racing skills associated with them and a suitable range of drills and practices. The final stages introduce the more demanding aspects of training development.