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Must see

  • Know how to assess the environment where activities are planned.
  • Understand the causes of hypothermia and how to avoid hypothermia.


Must see

Correctly Answer Oral Questions:

  • Confident and safe entry.
  • Confident movement in water.

Deep Water Exit:

  • Kick vigorously and fully extend arms to support body, use knee or foot on edge of pool to climb out.

Fall In Entry:

  • Confident and safe.
  • Looking at point of entry.
  • Knees relaxed when touching bottom.

Step In Entry:

  • Confident and safe.
  • Looking at point of entry.
  • Knees relaxed when touching bottom.

Keeling Dive:

  • Ensure at least one toe is at edge of pool, knees are bent, head between arms, arms forward.

Crouching Dive:

  • Ensure at least one toe is at edge of pool, head between arms, arms forward.



Activity One: Discussion

  • Discuss who can help if you or others are in trouble in the water.

Activity Two: Step In Entry

  • Step gently out and down with knees slightly flexed to give when pool floor touched.

Activity Three: Fall in Entry

  • Practise fall in entries.

  • Emphasise tucking chin to chest, hold head with hands to protect face, press arms to chest, knees bent towards chest.

Activity Four: Deep Water Exit

  • Practise exiting from deep water by kicking legs vigorously and using arms to lever body out of water.

Activity Five: Kneeling Dive

  • Practice kneeling dive with correct arm and head position, arms steering up out of dive while in streamline.

Activity Six: Crouching Dive

  • Practise the crouch dive in deeper end of the pool.

  • Sitting on the edge of the pool into deeper water, practice the various entry techniques then move as fast as you can to the other side. Exit and repeat.

  • Discuss aquatic dangers at home.

Game: Tag

One student is in. They stand in the middle of the pool and all the rest of the students are on the side of the pool.

On “Go”, they all must enter the pool via designated entry type and make it to the other side without getting tagged, becoming the new tagger.

Game: Noodle dives

One noodle per pair, get one to practice dives off the side of the pool (sitting / kneeling / crouching) whilst the other is in the water with
a noodle as marker away from the edge. 

The goal is to have the diver dive over the noodle correctly without touching it.

Game: No two entries

Participants line up on the edge of the water. Each person performs an entry.

No two entries can be the same until all possible entries have been done.



Must see

  • Submerge whole face in water.
  • Open eyes underwater.
  • Blow bubbles (exhale through mouth and nose).
  • Blink eyes to remove water on surfacing.



Activity One: Submersion

  • Pick up dive rings from bottom of the pool, pick up as many as possible in one go.

  • Submerge, push off wall, and swim through hoop under water.

  • Sink to bottom and sit on pool floor.

  • Sink to bottom and lie on pool floor.

  • Activity Two: Conclusion
  • Discuss dry rescue principles.

Game: Don't catch me

Play chasings underwater with partner, taking turns to see how many times you can touch each
other’s knees.

Game: Hoop bob

Spread several hoops out around the pool, with two teams.

On “Go”, one player from each team must submerse and move underwater to a hoop where they can come up, have a breath and bob back under to move to the next hoop.

Once they have popped up in each hoop, they swim back and tag the next teammate.


Must see


  • Submerge whole face in water.
  • Open eyes underwater.
  • Blow bubbles (exhale through mouth and nose).
  • Blink eyes to remove water on surfacing.

Relaxed fluid body movements:

  • Lie on back with steady breathing, eyes up and chin off chest.
  • Body should be at the surface of water.



Activity One: Floating

  • Practise a range of front floats (star, mushroom, jellyfish).

  • Back float and recover to stand.

  • Float without an aid for 90 seconds, signal for help.

  • Practise the mushroom float with a partner and get them to move you in different orientations.

Activity Two: Sculling

  • Practise sculling on front and back without kicking, practise moving body head first then feet first.

  • Maintaining strong, flat body position at surface. Minimal kicking, fast hands with small upper arm movement.

Game: Basketball

In pairs, one person will be the basketball and the other the basketball player.

On the count of ‘3’, the ‘basketball’ tucks themselves into the ball position and the ‘player’ will gently bounce them under water, allowing the ‘ball’ to pop up to the surface before bouncing them underwater again.Keep repeating until they reach the other side and then swap over.

Game: Kicking tug 'o' war

In pairs, each holds opposite ends of a kick board. Use the flags as the centre line.

On “Go”, they will try to propel themselves past the flags by kicking strongly.


Must see

Horizontal Rotation:

  • Body position; hips up and horizontal position.
  • Sculling of hands and feet.
  • To initiate flip, kick strongly before bringing knees to chest quickly, tuck head down and use arms to flip upper body over.



Activity One: Horizontal Rotation

  • Pushing off wall in horizontal position, kick or scull on front for 10 kicks, then rotate 180 degrees onto back, kicking or sculling on back for 10 kicks, then rotating back the way you came to repeat.

Activity Two: Somersaults

  • Demonstrate a somersault in deep water. 

  • Students practice somersaulting. 

Activity Three: Vertical Rotation

  • Pushing off wall in horizontal position, kick or scull on front for 10 kicks, then do a forward flip, stand up, breathe and repeat.

Activity Four: Advanced

  • Can they perform set without standing up - 10 kicks, or sculls forward flip back into horizontal.

Game: Spinning tops

Students stand in the pool away from each other.

Standing up they must twirl in the water to the left and to the right (360 degree rotation each way).

When they are done, they bob under the water and stand up.

Raise their arm in the air when done.



Must see

  • Students able to recall / identify an adult must be there at all times when they are by the water.

  • Correctly answer oral questions. Responses may be prompted.

  • Reassuring person needing rescuing.

  • Lifejacket is fitted correctly and student knows why.

  • Students being able to throw an object into the water safely.

  • Survival Sculling with arms, no legs, and legs, no arms. 

  • HELP Position with knees tucked up to waist. 

  • Huddle position and rotation of person in the middle. 

  • Rope rescue.



Activity One: Discussion

  • Discuss the importance of always having adult supervision in and around water.

  • Discuss and ask questions on a range of water safety topics.

  • Discuss who can help if you or others are in trouble in the water.

  • Discuss why the students must NEVER enter the water to help someone in trouble.

  • Students being told how they can reassure the person in the water needing rescuing. 

Activity Two: Safe Entry & Exit

  • Discuss the depth of the water and the best entrance and exit point. 

  • Get students to imagine the pool is a river and the sides are slippery rocks. Where would the students exist the ‘river’?

  • Enter the water by the best method to suit the student’s ability.

Activity Three: Survival Sculling

  • Practise in deep end of pool, try to maintain a stationary horizontal position - with arm sculling and minimal kick. Maintain for 3 minutes.

Activity Four: Signalling for Help

  • Students practice the Signal for Help gesture – Arm up and waving. Yell ‘Help’, ‘Help’ ‘Help’

Activity Five: Throwing a Regular Object in the Water to Help Someone Float

  • Have a number of objects at poolside such as: a chilly bin, empty milk bottles, plastic chair, ball, bucket.

  • Students practice throwing objects into the water to a student in the water. Student in the water floats with the object.

Activity Six: Rope Rescue

  • Students practice the rope rescue by throwing rope to a student in the water. 

  • Student lies on tummy poolside and pulls the student in the water towards the pool edge.

Activity Seven: Fit a Lifejacket

  • Students select their own lifejacket and put it on themselves. Does it fit correctly?

  • Show students whether their choice fits well and if not explain why. 

  • Once lifejacket is correctly fitted, students to enter the pool safely.

Activity Eight: HELP Position

  • Students to bring up their legs in the HELP position and float. 

  • Students to move about the pool in their lifejackets.

  • Students to form a huddle (groups of 4, 5 or 6) with one person in the middle. Who should be in the middle? Should positions be rotated?

  • Students to scull with their arms with minimal kicking in their life jackets. 

  • Students to scull with their legs and minimal arm movements in their lifejackets. 

  • Students to form lines of 6 or 7 in their lifejackets. Floating on their back, each line of students hook their legs around the next person’s waist. Once the line is formed, the line moves down the pool by the students sculling with their arms.  

  • Students jump into deep water in their lifejackets. 

Game: Rescue races

Divide class into two teams. Half a  team is poolside and the other is in the water.

Object of the game is for poolside students to perform a rope rescue on their teammates in the water.

Once all students are ‘rescued’ and out of the water, that team is the winner.

Game: Line races

Divide class into teams of 6 – 8. Teams in in life jackets and start in the water at one end of the pool.

On Go, the teams must form a line and perform arm sculling to get to the other end of pool. If the line breaks the team is disqualified. 

Team which reaches the end without breaking is the winner. 

Game: Object floating

Half the students are in the water. The other half are poolside. Poolside students throw object to water student. Water student floats on the object and doggy paddles to poolside.


Must see

  • Confident movement in any position.



Activity One: Moving in the Water

  • Move across the pool and from end to end with feet off the ground using any form of propulsion.

  • Keep students moving using any form of propulsion (back, front and side) for as long as they can.

  • What did they experience when they got tired? How did they feel?

Game: Torpedo play

In teams, stand one in front of the other, with the first player touching the wall with their foot

On “Go” the teammate lies in a streamline position and the rest of the team pulls the teammate to the front of the line.

Once the teammate stands up at the front of the line it’s the next player’s turn. 

The winning team is the team that goes through in entirety.

Game: Chain tag

Two people are “it”. They try to catch as many classmates as possible in the pool. When a classmate is caught, they join that person’s ‘chain’
by linking arms with them and trying to also tag people.

If the chain breaks, they have to stop and reform before catching anyone else.

The human chain that is the longest, wins.

Game: Whirlpool

Players start running in a circle, creating a current.

Once the whirlpool is formed, they can stop and float on their front, back or side, or stop and try to swim against the current.


Level Three Lesson Plans


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