Below you can find answers to our most commonly asked questions regarding the Learn to Swim Wales Framework we use for our swimming lessons. 

Why choose the Learn to Swim Wales Framework?

By choosing the Learn to Swim Wales Framework providers and parents can expect a varied programme and therefore enhanced sessions keeping children engaged in the learn to swim process. Learn to Swim Wales is a nationally recognised programme designed by industry experts covering all ages and abilities. The pathway incorporates all the aquatic disciplines and widens opportunities available for children. 

What is the Learn to Swim Wales Framework?

The Learn to Swim Wales Framework is a nationally recommended programme for the delivery of learn to swim lessons. The Framework covers all vital skills required for participation in aquatic activities and disciplines, starting with Adult and Child water confidence classes through to early competitive participation in aquatic clubs and fitness participation. The programme incorporates all of the recognised fundamental movement and aquatic skills, the four strokes, personal survival and water safety. 

The Learn to Swim Wales Framework aims to ensure that regardless of any differential factors or circumstances every child can learn to swim and therefore can choose aquatic activities as a part of a healthy lifestyle. 

What are the sections of the Learn to Swim Wales Framework?

There are 5 sections of the Learn to Swim Wales Framework: 

  1. Bubbles – Bubbles provides a fully supported introduction to the aquatic environment for babies and young children with an accompanying adult, specifically aimed at children aged 0-3 years.  
  2. Splash –Splash encourages a young child’s increasingly independent and guided discovery of the aquatic environment to develop water confidence, specifically aimed at children aged 3+.  
  3. Wave – the main ‘Learn to Swim’ area. Children typically aged from  4/5 years are taught the necessary swimming and aquatic skills to teach them to swim, skills to take part in other aquatic activities such as water polo and also are taught vital water safety skills so that they learn how to be safe in and around water. 
  4. Skills – This section of the pathway breaks into the various aquatic disciplines of swimming, water polo, diving, synchronised swimming and lifesaving. Skills taught in the Waves are progressed and developed with specific emphasis on being discipline specific. These classes can either be delivered in a Learn to Swim programme or at the introductory section of clubs. 
  5. Nofio Ysgol – This is the school swimming plan for Wales at Key stage 2. There are 8 levels of assessment for the Nofio Ysgol. These levels directly link to the Learn to Swim Wales Waves that swimmers will work towards.  
What is the scheme of work for the Learn to Swim Wales framework?

Week                 Main Theme                           Contrasting activity

1 & 6                 Frontcrawl technique                  Floating / rotating / streamlining

2 & 7                  Backstroke technique                 Jumping / travelling

3 & 8                  Butterfly technique                      Floating / Water safety

4 & 9                  Breaststroke technique               Sculling actions / treading water

5 & 10                IM / Multi-stroke technique       Multiskills (inc. movement literacy)

How long will it take for my child to learn to swim?

How long is a piece of string? Like any new skills that we learn, different people take different amounts of time and find some skills easier to learn than others. If your child experiences more time in the swimming pool environment outside of lessons there is a high probability that they will progress more quickly as they will have additional opportunities to practice and in the early phase increase their confidence surrounded by close friends and family. It is recommended that each centre records the date that a swimmer starts each Wave and if necessary, identifies ways to support any swimmers that are in any one Wave for longer than 40 weeks. 

Will there be a change to the costs of swimming lessons?

The price of a 10-week block of swimming lessons is £48. We have a direct debit option available which many of our swim lesson parents and guardians prefer, is £20 per month, payable on the 1st of the month; or the nearest day after the 1st should the 1st be a Saturday or Sunday. There is an added benefit of paying via a direct debit as you also get free access to book for public swim sessions, this will help your child to further develop your swimming skills. 


Will there be a change to the length of swimming lessons?

The length of the swimming lessons will remain at 30 minutes in duration in line with current industry guidance. 


How will this affect Aqua Tots & Pre-Ducklings?

The Aqua tots classes and Pre ducklings will follow the Learn to Swim Wales Bubbles structure.  This will allow for an introduction of guidance criteria to follow for the parents and children. 

How will this affect Ducklings and all other stages?

Ducklings and all other Stages will now follow the Learn to Swim Wales Splash structure.  There will be some changes in the intitial launch phase to help parents and children with the introduction of the programme alongside getting back to swimming lessons.


How will this affect Stages?

The current lesson stages will now change to become the Learn to Swim Wales Waves.  There will be some changes to the current outcomes of each stage in the 6 weeks leading towards the Launch on the 6th April 2020. 

How will this affect Swim Club?

The new Learn to Swim Wales Waves will support all aspects of aquatics and allows children to learn the simultaneous strokes earlier in their development.  This will help them to have a smoother transition through the whole pathway.  Academy 7 & 8 will work towards Waves 7 & 8 of the new Learn to Swim Wales Waves.  They will also be able to work on skills and distance awards. The Newport Live Swimming Academy allows a seamless and integrated pathway for all swimmers to be a part of the swimming club. 

What is the age range for each section of the pathway?

The new Learn to Swim Wales Waves are designed to focus on the swimmer’s stage of development as opposed to their age.  However, as a guide the age ranges are: 

Bubbles – 0-3 years.  
Splash – 3+ years  
Wave – typically aged from 4/5 years 
Skills – Swimmers at this level can be 5+ dependant on ability 
Nofio Ysgol – This will follow our current swimming programme for schools at Key stage 2 

If I have just passed a stage, could my child move backwards?

We aim to ensure that all swimmers retain their current stage on the new Wave programme and thus shouldn’t be moved backwards. 

Will my childs % achievement change?

As children have been out of the water for some time, our swim teachers during the reintroduction phase of our swimming lessons our swim teachers will be assessing children in line with the new criteria, alongside supporting children with a return to the water. We may see some changes in children’s ability, however we will adjusting some of the criteria in transition towards the Swim Wales Waves outcomes. 

Will my child need to change class or stages?

With children being out of the water for some time, it is likely that they will need additional support when they return to the water, however we will reintroduce children to the equivalent stage or Wave  with our child will progress to the next stage or Wave accordingly.  

Can children still move stages while the transition is happening?

Yes, upon completion of the assessment criteria, children can still move through the stages whilst the transition is happening.  We aim to have a seamless transition.

Will there be less cancellations on the new pathway?

We are regularly training and developing new and current instructors in order to ensure that cancellations are limited.  We envisage that there will be less cancellations moving forwards on the new pathway. 

Will the new pathway affect how quickly my child learns to swim?

The new pathway has been designed by Swim Wales who is the National Governing Body for Swimming in Wales and follows the most up-to-date information on swimmer development.  Therefore, we envisage that whilst swimmers will always progress at different rates, they should all progress and learn to swim accordingly. 

Will the pathway affect the Older Ducklings and Juniors lessons?

The new Wave programme focusses on the swimming ability of the swimmer as opposed to the age of the swimmer.  However, at Newport Live we see the value that having our Junior lessons in place has had and we aim to continue with these.  Each swimmer will be considered on an individual basis when required.  

Will this change the number of children in the group?

We follow industry guidance with regards to the ratios of swimmers to instructors and the lessons and this will be constantly reviewed and updated as required. 

How do I access Home Portal to view my child’s progress?

The Home Portal is a system parents can use to access their child's current progress in their swimming lessons.  
To access this you will need to register on the Home Portal using the following link:  
You will need:  
-the child's membership card number  
-an email address already set up in their member record in Gladstone.  
If you do not have a card ID, visit our reception teams on your next visit to be issued a card.  

How will my child’s progress be assessed and rewarded?

The Learn to Swim Wales Framework outcomes should be continually assessed as your child attends lessons. There should not be a final assessment however to progress into the next level all outcomes need to be achieved competently and consistently.  

As your child progresses through the programme their achievements will be rewarded with different awards in the form of badges, certificates and depending on your organisation progressive online interaction if your lesson provider uses technology. 

Depending on the organisation they may choose to implement other rewards to acknowledge achievements and to enhance the experience of your child and to increase motivation and confidence. 

What happens if by the end of a block of lessons a swimmer has not achieved all the outcomes in the class they have been working on?

The child must complete all outcomes in order to receive the Bubbles, Splash, Wave, Skills or Distance award. If a child continues to struggle to complete all outcomes over a considerable amount of time an individual plan of support should be discussed between the teacher and parent.

What can I do to help my child?

The earlier that a child becomes familiar with the aquatic environment and being in and around water the better. Even if you are not a strong swimmer just taking your child to the pool and playing and having fun in the water will help them develop their confidence and enjoy the positive experiences that the water can bring them.  If you are a direct debit customer, you will have free access to the public swimming sessions. 

In the home, encourage your child to have a bath and play in the water. Encourage them to get their hair wet and introduce them to putting their face in the water.  

Does my child need to learn all four strokes?

Yes, There are four recognised strokes used to move through the water. Different people naturally find different strokes easier to learn than others. It is necessary to teach and learn all four strokes to demonstrate competency and confidence in the water. To help with the development and progression of this, the new Learn to Swim Wales structure allows earlier opportunity to develop the simultaneous skills required to help achieve all four strokes sooner. 

How will consistency be guaranteed when teachers are assessing?

Teacher resources detail the expected standards for passing an award. Videos are available for teachers to view to help with interpretation of the assessment criteria. All teachers who deliver the Learn to Swim Wales Framework will have undertaken a CPD seminar to ensure that all providers are aware of the delivery requirements and assessment standards. The provider has a part to play in supporting consistency between sites and teachers for example by holding teacher meetings, delivering in house training and supporting teachers to access CPD training relevant to their needs.