Red Cross - Swim Lesson Levels

The American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Program features six levels of learn to swim instruction to participate in the progressive learn to swim portion of the program Levels 1-6, children MUST be 6 years of age and older.  Children not yet six must participate in the preschool level for their age, regardless of ability.  (this is a red cross rule)  It is designed to give students a positive learning experience. American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim teaches aquatic and safety skills in a logical progression. The objective is to teach people to swim and to be safe in, on and around the water.

Skills are Categorized in the following way:      
  • Water Entry and Exit
  • Breath Control and Underwater Swimming
  • Buoyancy
  • Changing Directions and Positons
  • Treading Water
  • Swimming on Front, Back and Side  
  • General and Personal Water Safety
  • Helping Others 


Students in Pre-School Classes are grouped by age and must remain in preschool until they turn 6 years old.  Level 1 students are oriented to the aquatic environment and gain some basic skills in each category. At later levels, students build on their basic skills to learn propulsive movements on the front, back and side. They learn different strokes at various levels and then refine them at later levels. Personal safety and rescue skills are included to help students meet safety goals. By the end of Level 6, students have all the prerequisite skills and have developed the necessary fitness level for entrance into the American Red Cross Lifeguard Training and Water Safety Instructor Courses.

All Children in the "Progressive Learn to Swim Program" must be a minimum of 6 years age.

  • Level 1 Introduction to Water Skills - Helps students feel comfortable in the water and to enjoy the water safely
  • Level 2 Fundamental Aquatic Skills - Gives students success with fundamental skills.
  • Level 3 Stroke Development - Builds on the skills in Level 2 by providing additional guided practice.
  • Level 4 Stroke Improvement - Develops confidence in the strokes learned thus far and to improve other aquatic skills.
  • Level 5 Stroke Refinement - Provides further coordination and refinement of all the strokes. Flip turns on the front and back are also introduced.
  • Level 6: Swimming and Skill Proficiency - Refines the strokes so students swim them with ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distances. Level 6 is designed with "menu" options. Each of these options focus on preparing students to participate in more advance courses, such as Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard Training. 

These Options Include

The Level 6 classes are designed as a program that will require the same swiming abilities entering and completing each level 6 program.  The other portion of the class is designed to concentrate on the basics included in the title.  Diving will teach basics of springboard diving, Fitness will teach basics of how to stay fit and use swimming as a lifetime fitness choice and Personal Water Safety concentration is geard toward elementary forms of self rescue. 






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