Badge scheme

Find out about our badge scheme.

We follow the STA’s international learn to swim programme, which we use as a guide for your child’s progression through the swim school. We love the STA scheme as it gives us flexibility on where to place your child, so the sole focus isn’t on getting their badge for a particular stage, but making sure they’ve developed each swimming stroke well. If a child is doing really well, we can also award them a higher badge to show you and your child how much they’ve come on.

Even though we think the badges we have our great, our focus is on swimming and enjoyment rather than just ticking each badge off through the swim school. If you want to find out more about each badge and what it involves, check out the descriptions below.

STA badge scheme

How the STA’s badges link together – please note, we may not strictly follow this scheme.

Stanely First Steps

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.

This series culminates with the STAnley Star award, which covers all the skills in the 7 awards, ensuring that the learner is competent and confident in and around water.

The STAnley awards 1-5 covers Swim England’s Stages 1-3.

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Learning Outcomes
  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
Learning Outcomes
  1. Show an understanding of poolside safety
  2. Enter the water safely from the poolside
  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
Learning Outcomes
  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. Move through the water 5 metres on the front, using front paddle action
  7. Complete a 360° turntable with feet off the pool floor
  8. Roll from back to front and return 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)
Learning Outcomes
  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 pool safely unaided
Learning Outcomes
  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
Learning Outcomes
  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
Learning Outcomes
  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. Scull/scoop head first ,using a woggle, and arms only
Learning Outcomes
  1. Answer 4 water safety questions
  2. Push and glide into a confident 10-metre swim
  3. Push and glide or swim, travel through a submerged hoop, retrieve an object, and return to poolside
  4. Use a float and kick on the front to collect 4 floating objects that are scattered around the pool. Return to poolside
  5. Swim 2 metres on back, rolling over horizontally to swim 2 metres on front, rolling over horizontally to finish with a back star float
  6. Push and glide from poolside on the back and kick for 2 metres, tuck up and roll forward on the vertical to swim back to poolside
  7. Kick for 5 metres on the back, balancing a toy on a float
  8. Jump into the water, swim to a raft (play raft) and climb onto it to sit down
  9. Jump into the water, tread water while turning around, swim back to poolside
  10. Exit the pool safely – over the poolside if possible or as the pool environment dictates – and continue off poolside to changing room

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Octopus series

This enables older children to access the Learn to Swim pathway and develop their confidence, knowledge and skills. 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.

On completion of the Octopus series, learners can progress through the Learn to Swim journey and move on to the Goldfish, Angelfish and Shark series. A child’s first learn to swim experience is one of the most important in terms of capturing and retaining their interest.

The Octopus 1 and 2 awards are similar to Stages 1 and 2 Swim England awards.

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Learning Outcomes
  1. Answer 2 water safety questions
  2. Enter the pool safely, steps, ramp, swivel
  3. Move through the water confidently in different ways – walk, hop, jump, skip, gallop, march
  4. Use a woggle to swim front paddle and back paddle for 5 metres
  5. Push and glide on the front and back
  6. Attempt a simultaneous circle action with legs while on the back for 2 metres, using a woggle or floats
  7. Travel under a woggle waterfall, experiencing water over the head
  8. Return to standing from a star float on the back
  9. Perform a treading water action with legs using a woggle (sea horses), or floats
  10. Exit the pool safely and unassisted
Learning Outcomes
  1. Answer 2 water safety questions
  2. Enter the pool safely with a step or jump
  3. Swim 2 metres of front paddle, and 2 metres of back paddle, unaided
  4. Use a woggle to kick across pool while blowing bubbles
  5. Demonstrate front crawl arm action while standing
  6. Demonstrate back crawl arm action while standing
  7. Push and glide on the front with face in the water
  8. Push and glide on the back arms by the side
  9. Rotate from back float to front float, and return back to a back float, using a woggle
  10. Submerge under water and retrieve an object
Learning Outcomes
  1. Answer 2 water safety questions
  2. Enter the water with a step or jump entry, turn around and swim back to poolside
  3. Push and glide into either front crawl or breaststroke for 5 metres
  4. Push and glide into back crawl, and swim for 5 metres
  5. Perform a star float on the front or back, and hold for 3 seconds
  6. Perform dolphin leg kick on the front or back for 2 metres
  7. Scull head first, using a woggle
  8. Attempt breaststroke – may use a woggle for support
  9. Tread water for 10 seconds
  10. Swim forward for 2 metres and then roll onto back, swim on the back for 2 metres and roll into a standing position (regaining feet)

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