For many years, the Swimming Teachers Association (STA) have operated an incentive based swimming skills scheme, and millions of children worldwide have learned to swim using this system.

 At Farnborough Swimming Club, we recognise that pupils learn to swim and progress at varying paces, and we have found this particular system with its five different progressive schemes (four of which are interlinked) works well with the pool space and hours available for teaching. Alongside this, we integrate the Seal awards to introduce the pupils to survival techniques. The swimming teachers may have slightly different methods of achieving the standard required, but at no stage is safety or teaching standards comprimised. The pupils will be introduced to new skills, reinforce those learned in previous awards, and develop new techniques, stamina and understanding.

After the pupils have completed all of the STA award stages, we offer a small speed class where awards from the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) and the British Schools Swimming Awards can be earned. Pupils may then progress onto Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) lifesaving award, RLSS Survive and Save.
More information on the awards available from the STA can be found on their website here


The octopus badge series is the first award that swimmers can achieve. There are three levels of varying difficulty and are designed to gain confidence on standard strokes, such as front/back crawl and breast stroke. The octopus award is also designed to give knowledge on swimming pool safety, including entering safely and water safety.
Once swimmers have completed octopus one, candidates will be able to:

-Answer two water safety questions.                                                                    -Perform a sit and swivel entry.
-Push and glide on the front and swim 2 metres; pupil’s choice.               -Swim on the back for 5 metres.
-Push and glide on the back and swim 2 metres backstroke.                     -Fully submerge beneath surface.
-Swim on the front for 5 metres; pupil’s choice.                                               -Scull headfirst for 3 metres.
-Hold the rail and breathe rhythmically for 6 cycles.                                     -Identify objects under water.
-Perform a mushroom float.

The goldfish award builds on skills learnt in the octopus award and increases distances, stamina and stroke progression. Once swimmers have completed Goldfish three, candidates will be able to:

-Answer two water safety questions.
-Perform two different types of entries, tread water for 15 seconds each time; performed in chest deep water.
-Swim 15 metres backstroke.
-Swim 15 metres of a recognised front stroke; pupil’s choice.
-Swim 10 metres holding a float under each arm using life saving backstroke leg kick.
-Swim 5 metres dolphin leg kick on front or back.
-Push and glide on the surface, pike sharply and assume a handstand with both hands on the bottom of the pool; performed in chest deep water.
-Perform a horizontal float on the back and hold for 5 seconds roll on to the front hold for 5 seconds, roll to the original back float position and hold for 5 seconds


The angelfish awards include personal survival skills, while building on stroke technique and swimming distances. In the angelfish awards there is an introduction of swimming with clothes, which helps build stamina of the swimmer and how to cope with clothing while swimming. By the end of angelfish three, candidates will be able to demonstrate:

  • Be rescued by catching a rope.
  • Perform a straddle entry and tread water for 30 seconds whilst wearing a T-shirt. Remove T-shirt and climb out unassisted. Performed in at least chest deep water.
  • Perform head first and feet first surface dives.
  • Scull feet first 10 metres then head first for 10 metres.
  • Swim 25 metres back crawl incorporating a correct finish.
  • Swim 25 metres of a recognised front stroke, incorporating a correct finish.
  • Swim 20 metres of a different recognised front stroke, incorporating a correct finish.
  • Swim 5 metres butterfly.
  • Start in a crouch position in the water, spring up, pike and glide to the bottom of the pool, place both hands on the bottom and assume a handstand; performed in chest deep water.

The shark awards build on the personal survival skills learnt in the angelfish awards and continue to get swimmers to swim longer distances, up to 100 metres. On completion, candidates will be able to:

  • Swim at least 100 metres on their front and back
  • Perform all four competition strokes
  • Perform a an additional two strokes
  • Swim in a t-shirt and shorts
  • Perform rescue and survival skills
  • Perform a competitive dive from the poolside

Life Saving and NPLQ

We offer our swimmers a program of life saving qualifications:

- Farnborough Life saving

-RLSS Survive and Save program

The Farnborough life saving award is a collection of techniques to bring confident swimmers an insight into life saving. After swimmers achieve this award, they are able to progress onto the RLSS survive and save program.

The Survive and Save is recognised as the flagship award for lifesaving. This assists in developing fitness, knowledge, skill and judgement. The candidate pack contains all the resources for the course. The successful candidates receives a certificate.

The National Pool Lifeguard Qualification is occasionally offered to our swimmers graduating from the Award of Merit. We are affiliated with the Royal Life saving society and are able to offer the course to other candidates from outside the club. Every candidate, prior to commencement of training for the NPLQ must:

  • Be 16 years of age;
  • Be able to meet the following basic fitness criteria:-

    - jump / dive into deep water
    - swim 50 metres in less than 60 seconds
    - swim 100 metres continuously on front and back
    in deep water, tread water for 30 seconds
    - tread water for 30 seconds
    - surface dive to the floor of the pool
    - climb out unaided without ladder / steps and
    where the pool design permits

Currently, we are not running the NPLQ course. Please check back for further dates when this course will be run.

Adult Lessons

Adult lessons are an hour in duration, running from 9:00pm-10:00pm. We teach adults to swim, improve and personal survival skills.