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Starfish Series - Baby and pre-school lessons

Formally known as Aqua Babies and Tots

East Riding Leisure have launched  the STA International Learn to Swim Programme throughout its swimming lessons from baby and preschool swimming sessions through to platinum awards for advanced swimming and junior lifeguard courses.

Come and join us now as we work through the STARFISH awards. STARFISH is an innovative series of 6 progressive awards designed to introduce babies from a few months old with the accompanying adult to a water adventure where water confidence and safety skills are introduced.  

Success Tracker!

STA Learn to swim programme comes with a new way of tracking progress. To download the STA swimming tracker click here


Starfish Series 1

Learning Outcomes

  • Safe entry into the pool by both adult and baby
  • Using swing dips to introduce baby to the water
  • Supporting baby on the front and move freely around the pool
  • Supporting baby on the back and move freely around the pool
  • Cueing baby and washing face with water
  • Exiting pool safely
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Starfish Series 2

Learning Outcomes

  • Holding baby facing you and submerging yourself in the water for baby to see
  • Moving freely around the pool using the safety hold
  • Moving around the pool using the seat hold, bobbing baby up and down
  • Supporting baby on the back while walking backwards and zigzagging through the water
  • Encouraging baby to wash their face with water or submerging baby in the water, holding baby towards the adult
  • Encouraging baby to hold onto the poolside, with assistance, if necessary
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Starfish Series 3

Learning Outcomes

  • Supporting baby under the arms and encouraging baby to flop gently into the water from a sitting position on the poolside
  • Encouraging baby to move from a front position to a back position using flip-flop rhythmical movements
  • Encouraging baby to reach for a toy while moving around the pool, supporting baby on the front
  • Helping baby to use a kicking action to move through the water while supporting baby on the back
  • Using the safety hold to support baby and rolling baby away from you, then gently back towards you
  • Using a buoyancy aid to support yourself, float in the water and lay baby on your chest or have baby sit on your tummy, all the while making eye contact
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Starfish Series 4

Learning Outcomes

  • Supporting baby by the arms or hands to encourage movement into the pool from a sitting position
  • Using a forward hold to encourage and gently submerge baby
  • Using the Little Harbour hold to move around the pool while encouraging movement from baby
  • Encouraging baby to roll from a front position to a back position with support
  • Encouraging movement from baby by swiftly walking backwards while supporting baby on the back.
  • Assisting and encouraging baby to hold onto the poolside and climb out (if baby has the physical ability)
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Starfish Series 5

Learning Outcomes

  • Holding baby’s arms or hands, encouraging baby to jump into the water from a standing position on the poolside
  • Supporting baby while encouraging them to roll from a back position to a front position
  • Encouraging baby to make kicking movements with support either in a front surf hold or using a woggle
  • Encouraging baby with cues to submerge in a Duckling Dive
  • Swimming around the pool with baby holding onto your back
  • Cueing baby to submerge vertically and rotate 180° in the pool
  • Supporting baby in a front hold, encouraging baby to move forwards and grasp a toy, then return with support in a back float position
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Starfish Series 6

Learning Outcomes

  • Encouraging baby to enter the water freely from a sitting position on the poolside
  • Encouraging baby to move freely through the water, either with minimal support or with the use of a buoyancy aid
  • Cueing baby to submerge vertically and rotate 360° in the pool
  • Supporting baby by the hands and encouraging movement in a figure of 8 or snaking pattern through the water
  • Taking baby for a front or back ride through the water, with or without support
  • Cueing baby to submerge in a Duckling Dive towards the poolside and encouraging baby to hold onto the poolside and climb out (if baby has the physical ability)
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