Swim Level Descriptions

Use this page as a tool to help you determine what level your swimmer/s should be and see what exciting swim skills are in store for your swimmer/s in each of the City of Culver City's Learn to Swim levels.

Swim lEvel 1

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Learn To Swim Level 1

For children 3 and older that have not had lessons before or may be uncomfortable/fearful of the water. 

Learn-to-Swim Level 1 Introduction to Aquatic Skills

Water Adjustment, Entry and Exit

  • Enter water using ramp, steps or side
  • Exit water using ladder, steps or side

Breath Control and Submerging

  • Blow bubbles, 3 seconds
  • Bobbing, 5 times
  • Open eyes underwater and retrieve submerged objects in
    shallow water, 2 times

Buoyancy

  • Front glide, 2 body lengths
  • Recover from a front glide to a vertical position
  • Back glide, 2 body lengths
  • Back float, 5 seconds
  • Recover from a back float or glide to a vertical position

Changing Direction,
Position and Treading

  • Roll from front to back
  • Roll from back to front
  • Arm and hand treading actions, in chest-deep water

Swim on Front and Back

  • All—2 body lengths
  • Alternating leg action
  • Simultaneous leg action
  • Alternating arm action
  • Simultaneous arm action
  • Combined arm and leg actions on front

Exit Skills Assessment

  1. Enter independently, using either the ramp, steps or side, travel at least 5 yards, bob 5 times, then safely exit the water. (Participants can walk, move along the gutter or “swim.”)
  2. Glide on front at least 2 body lengths, roll to a back float for 5 seconds, then recover to a vertical position. (This part of the assessment can be performed with assistance.)

Learn To Swim Level 2

For children 3 and older that are comfortable in the water, can submerge their head, hold their breath for 5 seconds and float on their front and back comfortably.

Learn-to-Swim Level 2 Fundamental Aquatic Skills

Water Adjustment, Entry and Exit

  • Enter by stepping or jumping from the side into shoulder-deep water
  • Exit using ladder, steps or side from chest-deep water

Breath Control and Submerging

  • Fully submerge and hold breath, 10 seconds
  • Bobbing, 10 times
  • Open eyes underwater and retrieve submerged objects in chest-deep water, 3 times
  • Rotary breathing, 5 times

Buoyancy

  • Front glide, 2 body lengths
  • Float in a face-down position, 10 seconds
  • Front float
  • Jellyfish float
  • Tuck float
  • Recover from a front float or glide to a vertical position
  • Back glide, 2 body lengths
  • Back float, 15 seconds
  • Recover from a back float or glide to a vertical position

Changing Direction and Position and Treading

  • Roll from front to back
  • Roll from back to front
  • Change direction of travel while swimming on front or back
  • Tread water using arm and leg actions, 15 seconds in shoulder-deep water

Swim on Front

  • Combined arm and leg actions on front, 5 body lengths

Swim on Back

  • Finning arm action, 5 body lengths
  • Combined arm and leg actions on back, 5 body lengths

Exit Skills Assessment

  1. Step from the side into chest-deep water, push off the bottom, move into a treading or floating position for at least 15 seconds, swim on front and/or back for 5 body lengths, then exit the water.
  2. Move into a back float for 15 seconds, roll to front, then recover to a vertical position.
  3. Push off and swim using combined arm and leg actions on front for 5 body lengths, roll to back, float for 15 seconds, roll to the front, then continue swimming for at least 5 body lengths.

Learn To Swim Level 3

Level 3 participants are able to float on their front and back independently, kick and glide on their front and back for 3 body lengths independently, and also know the basic crawl stroke. 

Learn-to-Swim Level 3 Stroke Development

Water Entry and Exit

  • Enter water by jumping from the side, fully submerge, then recover to the surface and return to the side
  • Headfirst entry from the side in a sitting and kneeling position

Breath Control and Submerging

  • Bobbing while moving toward safety, 15 times
  • Rotary breathing, 15 times

Buoyancy

  • Survival float, 30 seconds
  • Back float, 1 minute

Changing Direction and Position and Treading

  • Change from vertical to horizontal position on front
  • Change from vertical to horizontal position on back
  • While in a vertical position, rotate one full turn
  • Tread water, 1 minute

Swim on Front

  • Push off in a streamlined position, then begin flutter kicking, 3 to 5 body lengths
  • Push off in a streamlined position, then begin dolphin kicking Front crawl, 15 yards
  • Breaststroke kick, 15 yards

Swim on Back

  • Elementary backstroke,15 yards

Swim on Side

  • Scissors kick, 15 yards

Exit Skills Assessment

  1. Jump into deep water from the side, recover to the surface, maintain position by treading or floating for 1 minute, rotate one full turn, then turn as necessary to orient to the exit point, level off, swim front crawl and/or elementary backstroke for 25 yards, then exit the water.
  2. Push off in a streamlined position, then swim front crawl for 15 yards, change position and direction as necessary, swim elementary backstroke for 15 yards, then exit the water.

Learn To Swim Level 4

Level 4 participants are able to swim 25 yards of freestyle, 15 yards of backstroke, 15 yards of breaststroke kick, and can tread water in deep water.

Learn-to-Swim Level 4 Stroke Improvement

Water Entry and Exit

  • Headfirst entry from the side in a compact position
  • Headfirst entry from the sidein a stride position

Breath Control and Submerging

  • Swim underwater, 3 to 5 body lengths, without hyperventilating
  • Feet first surface dive

Buoyancy

  • Survival swimming, 1 minute

Changing Direction and Position and Treading

  • Front crawl open turn
  • Back crawl open turn
  • Tread water using 2 different kicks (modified scissors, modified breaststroke or rotary), 2 minutes

Swim on Front

  • Front crawl, 25 yards
  • Breaststroke, 15 yards
  • Butterfly, 15 yards

Swim on Back

  • Push off in a streamlined position and begin flutter kicking, 3 to 5 body lengths
  • Push off in a streamlined position and begin dolphin kicking, 3 to 5 body lengths
  • Elementary backstroke,25 yards
  • Back crawl, 15 yards

Swim on Side

  • Sidestroke, 15 yards

Exit Skills Assessment

  1. Perform a feet first entry into deep water, swim front crawl for 25 yards, change direction and position as necessary and swim elementary backstroke for 25 yards.
  2. Swim breaststroke for 15 yards, change direction and position as necessary and swim back crawl for 15 yards.
  3. Submerge and swim a distance of 3 to 5 body lengths underwater without hyperventilating, return to the surface, then exit the water.

Learn To Swim Level 5

Level 5 participants are able to swim 50 yards of freestyle, 25 yards of backstroke, 25 yards of breaststroke, 15 yards of butterfly kick and can tread water in deep water.

Learn-to-Swim Level 5 Stroke Refinement

Water Entry and Exit

  • Shallow-angle dive from the side
  • Shallow-angle dive, glide 2 to 3 body lengths and begin any front stroke

Breath Control and Submerging

  • Tuck surface dive
  • Pike surface dive

Changing Direction and Position and Treading

  • Front flip turn while swimming Backstroke flip turn while swimming
  • Tread water, 5 minutes
  • Tread water, using legs only, 2 minutes

Swim on Front

  • Front crawl, 50 yards
  • Breaststroke, 25 yards
  • Butterfly, 25 yards

Swim on Back

  • Elementary backstroke,50 yards
  • Back crawl, 25 yards
  • Standard (back) scull, 30 seconds

Swim on Side

  • Sidestroke, 25 yards

Exit Skills Assessment

  1. Perform a shallow-angle dive into deep water at least 9 feet deep, swim front crawl for 50 yards, then swim elementary backstroke for 50 yards using appropriate and efficient turning styles throughout.
  2. Swim breaststroke for 25 yards, change direction of travel as necessary and then swim back crawl for 25 yards using appropriate and efficient turning styles throughout. 

Parent and Me

Participants 6 months to 3 years old will work on developing swimming readiness through water exploration activities geared to create a fun experience for both parent and child.

Parent and Child Aquatics Level 1 and 2

Holding and Support Techniques

  • Face-to-face position
  • Hip support on front
  • Back-to-chest positions
  • Hip support on back
  • Back support
  • Arm stroke
  • Hug position
  • Chin support
  • Shoulder support on front
  • Cuddle
  • Side-to-side position
  • Hip straddle
  • Shoulder support on side

Working with the Child

  • Cueing

Water Adjustment, Entry and Exit

  • Getting wet
  • Getting wet with toys
  • Getting wet kicking
  • Water entry
  • Lifting in
  • Walking in
  • Out-of-water exploration
  • In-water exploration
  • Water exit
  • Lifting out
  • Walking out
  • Using a ladder
  • Seated position—rolling over and sliding in
  • Stepping or jumping in
  • Using steps or a ramp—independently
  • In-water exploration—independently, in shallow water
  • Using side of pool—independently
  • Using steps or ramp—independently
  • Using a ladder—independently

Breath Control

  • Blow bubbles on the surface
  • Blow bubbles with mouth and nose submerged
  • Underwater exploration
  • Submerge mouth, nose and eyes
  • Underwater exploration—in shallow water
  • Open eyes and retrieve objects below the surface
  • Open eyes and retrieve submerged objects
  • Bobbing—explore, independently

Buoyancy on Front

  • Front glide
  • Front glide to the wall
  • Front float

Buoyancy on Back

  • Back glide
  • Back float

Changing Direction

  • Roll from front to back
  • Roll from back to front

Swim on Front

  • Passing from instructor to parent
  • Drafting with breathing
  • Leg action—alternating or simultaneous movements
  • Arm action—alternating or simultaneous movements
  • Combined arm and leg actions on front with breath in
  • explore, with assistance

Swim on Back

  • Leg action—alternating or simultaneous movements
  • Arm action—alternating or simultaneous movements
  • Combined arm and leg actions on back—explore