TAISM Learn to Swim
The purpose of the TAISM Learn to Swim program is to teach students of different ages and abilities how to swim and be safe in, on and around water. Our goal is to provide a safe, developmental and challenging environment that helps swimmers improve their stroke technique, proficiency in the water and swim stamina.
Our TAISM Learn to Swim program has two sessions comprised of approximately eight lessons each, scheduled across the school year. Our TAISM curriculum is developed around the American Red Cross materials. TAISM Learn to Swim has six levels of development that teach aquatic and personal water safety skills in a logical progression. Students are assessed and placed in classes based on demonstrated swimming proficiency. Our High School instructors are trained to teach lessons that meet individual students’ needs, including their readiness and skill level. Throughout the lessons, instructors assess student progress, and at the end of the session, students perform an exit skill assessment. Instructors use this information to determine each student’s class placement for the following session.
Level 1: Safety and Basics
The objectives of Level 1 are to learn basic personal water safety information and skills, to help students feel comfortable in the water and to enjoy the water safely. In Level 1, students learn to float without support and to recover to a vertical position. At this level, students start developing positive attitudes, good swimming habits and safe practices in and around the water.
Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills
The objective of Level 2 is to give students success with fundamental skills. This level marks the beginning of true locomotion skills. Students develop arm and leg actions on the front and back that lay the foundation for future strokes. As in all levels, students learn additional safety skills.
Level 3: Stroke Development
The objective of Level 3 is to build on previously learned skills by providing additional guided practice. Students learn how to swim Freestyle, Backstroke and Elementary Backstroke. In addition, students learn to Survival Float and are introduced to treading water. Students also begin to learn how to dive from a seated or kneeling position from the side of the pool. As in all levels, students learn additional safety skills.
Level 4: Stroke Improvement
The objectives of Level 4 are to develop confidence in the strokes students have learned thus far and to improve other aquatic skills. In Level 4, students improve their skills from the previous level and work to increase endurance by swimming longer distances. Students work on improving Freestyle, Backstroke, and Elementary Backstroke. Students will also learn Breaststroke, Butterfly, Sidestroke Scissor Kick, Stride Position and Standing Dives. Students are introduced to open turns for Freestyle and Backstroke. As in all levels, students learn additional safety skills.
Level 5: Stroke Refinement
The objectives of Level 5 are the coordination and refinement of strokes. Students refine their performance of ALL strokes (Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly, Breaststroke, Elementary Backstroke, and Sidestroke) and increase their swim stamina. Flip turns on the front and back are also introduced. Students will perform various surface dives and will also learn to do a racing dive. As in all levels, students learn additional safety skills.
Level 6: Swimming and Skill Proficiency
The objective of Level 6 is to refine each stroke so that students can swim with ease, proficiency, stamina and increased speed. Students are introduced to swim equipment including pull buoys, fins, paddles and pace clocks. As in all levels, students learn additional safety skills. Level 6 focuses on preparing students for other aquatic activities such as competitive swimming.
Learn to Swim Registration happens twice per year for both new and continuing swimmers. Only TAISM students are eligible to sign up for the swim classes (siblings not attending TAISM are not eligible). On Registration day, new students are assessed and parents will sign up for a class time based on the child’s assessed swim level. Returning students should sign up for the class level recommended by their swim instructor from the previous session. Classes are offered for Levels 1-6, New and Continuing.
TAISM Learn to Swim offers lessons in six levels. High School students are the instructors for the swim lessons. They participate in instructor training sessions, and are supported by the program supervisors as they teach.
The rate at which your child progresses in swimming will depend on individual development and experience. It is our goal to place children in the level that is “just-right” for them. Parents should understand the importance of not expecting a child to change levels until they are ready. Learning to swim is a life-long learning process.
Please see the schools’ weekly newsletters for more information regarding Learn to Swim.
Cori Lee, TAISM Aquatics Coordinator