Learn to Swim

Our lessons take place at New Earswick Pool (Hawthorn Terrace, New Earswick, York YO32 4AQ).  This pool is 20m x 9m and has a depth of 0.9m in the shallow end and 2m in the deep end.  There is free parking immediately outside of the pool entrance.  The pool is on the No.1 and No.14 bus route. 

The criteria for each of the Club’s ‘cap’ groups in the Learn To Swim scheme is based on the FUNdamental Movement Skills, Stages 1-8 of the ‘National Plan for Teaching Swimming’ (NPTS) . This is a national syllabus for aquatics produced by the governing body for swimming, the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA). 

At each stage of the ASA NPTS, all skills are crucial and must be comfortably and repeatedly achieved prior to moving on to the next stage.

Within NESC we have always operated a different colour of caps to distinguish between different ability groups, starting with white caps and finishing with black.  Each cap (white through to red) relates to one, or more, of the NPTS stages (1-7).  The last cap group, black, relates to Stage 8 of the NPTS.

The cap group exit criteria are:

Entering water safely; Moving forwards, backwards and sideways for 5 meters; Be at ease in the water, water on face; Stretched floating position using aids; Regain an upright position; Push and glide from a wall; Take part in a game; Exit water; Pool rules; Jump in; Blow bubbles, nose and mouth submerged.

Regain upright position from back and front with no support; Push and glide from wall on front and back; Travel on back and front for 5 metres aids may be used; Rotation front to back to upright and front to back; Jump in and submerge; Pick up a submerged object; Water safety code.

Yellow Caps practising backstroke leg kick

Sink, push away from wall on side into streamline; Push and glide on front and back and log roll; Travel on front, tuck to rotate; Travel 10m on front and back; Understand buoyancy; Travel on back and roll onto front in a continuous movement, same front to back; Floating and changing shapes; Tuck float for 5 secs.


Push and glide from wall to pool floor; Kick 10m all strokes; On back a head first sculling for 5m; Swim 10m own choice; Three different shaped jumps; Perform a handstand; Perform a forward somersault; Action for getting help; Horizontal stationary scull on back.

Feet first scull on back for 5m; Sculling sequence with partner for 30-45 seconds; Tread water for 30 secs; Swim 10m all strokes; Swim front crawl and breast to include at least six rhythmical breaths; Swim fly to include at least three breaths; Swim 20m own choice; Shout and signal rescue; Sitting dive.

Blue Caps – in the water and ready to learn!

An understanding of preparation for exercise; Sink, push off on side from the wall, glide, kick and rotate into backstroke / front crawl; Standing dive; Exit water without steps; 20m all strokes; 40m continuously using one stroke; 100m using a minimum of three strokes; Tread water using eggbeater action for 30 secs; Swim 10m wearing clothes.

Kick 20m all strokes with/without board; Complete a set lasting 400m (20 x 20m) on a specific turnaround time set by the coach (e.g. 1 min for each 25m); Swim 400m continuously using one stroke; Perform a backstroke turn from 10m in to 15m out; Perform a breaststroke turn from 10m in to 15m out; Perform a butterfly turn from 10m in to 15m out; Perform a front crawl turn from 10m in to 15m out.

It is very important that parents understand that the NPTS concentrates extensively, particularly in the early groups, on developing water confidence and the basic techniques of swimming and that may not always involve stroke work.  Without developing these techniques (breathing, streamlining etc) development of strokes and of swimming technique in general will be inhibited.

Session plans and assessments

At each NESC Learn To Swim session our Teachers are prepared with a set plan for that session. This may involve practising, or repeatedly practising, some activities.   Children are under continuous assessment by their Teacher who will be recording their achievements.

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