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Junior Lifeguard Academy

Dear Parents

The Junior Lifeguard Academy is a brand new survival and rescue training program that has been specifically created by the Swimming Teachers Association (STA) for young people aged from 7/8 years upwards and able to swim at least 50m without stopping.

We are one of the first swim schools in the South East to introduce this into our program and intend to roll this out for next term (January 2015).    

I would be interested to hear your views and whether this would be something you would like your children to be involved in.  It varies from the traditional International Learn to Swim Program but would be ideal for those children who have been swimming for a long time and are looking for a new challenge.  

We can tailor the program to individual classes so that elements of the program are included throughout the term depending on what your children would like to focus on or enjoy the most.

It is a fun packed programme offering something for everyone, regardless of ability; from lifeguarding skills and first aid, to snorkelling, ocean awareness, distance, sports skills (water polo, boogie boarding etc) and health and wellbeing. Swimmers start on a new Seal pathway (this is different from the old Seal certificates) and work through 5 different levels – alongside these awards there are 40 different “special missions” to choose from, culminating with the top President’s Seal certificate.   

The program gives youngsters the opportunity to extend their aquatic journey, as well as gaining important lifesaving skills in a fun and progressive environment.  

The Seal certificates 1-5 are all based around survival and rescue skills and the swimming techniques taught will be adapted stroke techniques such as side stroke, lifesaving backstroke etc.   All of these will be performed wearing clothing of some kind, depending on swimming/skill ability.  The special missions include not only water based activities but also “dry” elements.  

The Aqualife team are all fully qualified as Junior Lifeguard Instructors enabling us to teach every element of the program including Emergency First Aid – this can even be taught in classrooms and covers all first aid rather than just relating to aquatics.  The course can be tailored to each group of children depending on age/ability etc.  The following is an over view of the program and missions: 

1. Life Skills – Junior Medic Series – First Aid – covering help given to a sick or injured person until full medical treatment is available.   Within the program there are two levels of Junior Medic awards – first aid and resus.  This is a combination of theory – what is first aid, role of a medic and the initial elements of dealing with an emergency.  First aid kits and how to use them, covering various issues that may have caused the emergency and how to recognise them (breathing, wounds, burns, bones, epilepsy, diabetes, stroke, shock, heart attack, heat stroke etc).  Recovery position, treatment and also resuscitation.

2. Skills Development – Water Polo – skills are used to build endurance, introduce sport and competition but impost importantly it is used to broaden and sharpen skills already learnt within lifesaving and swimming – while having fun!  Water polo is great for developing swimming skills, co-ordination and balance.  Within water polo, swimming effectively is vitally important – during an average game a player could swim up to 2.5km and their feet often do not touch the ground! Skills taught are water polo front crawl (head up); water polo backstroke; changing direction; side stroke; balls skills. Diving is also taught under this section and covers safety aspects and all the different types of dives (sitting, kneeling, crouch, squat, lunge and plunge dives). Starts and Turns also feature in the program giving the opportunity to develop competitive swimming skills including the correct dive starts and turns for each of the main strokes.

3. Lifeguard Skills – This covers rescue skills used primarily by lifeguards undertaking rescues from land and in the water using rescue tubes/ropes etc for conscious and unconscious casualties.  This re-enforces all the first aid elements of the what to do with the casualty once rescued. Fin Swimming is also covered in this section and can be used in connection with rescues, competition and snorkelling skills – types of fin, safety of getting into/out of water, surface and underwater swimming, buddy fin swimming are also covered. Boogie Boarding (or Bodyboarding) is another element to this section.  Compared to a regular surfboard the boogie board is smaller in size making it easier to change speed and direction.  Boogie boards are a great way to introduce bodysurfing and they can also be used for rescues.  Elements included are: introduction to equipment, basic skills (paddling, changing direction, stopping), rescues, surf skills (oncoming waves, ducking under, rolling) and safety information about open water activities. Communication is the final element of this section.  How to communicate to other members of a rescue team or the emergence services by using whistle signals, hand signals and two-way radio/walkie talkies.  There are a variety of signals to learn which can be used in a range of situations from on land, on water, on the beach or in the pool.

4. Health & Wellbeing – this is a motivating series of awards supported by fun and engaging booklets that can be either completed at home or during a “dry” session and compliment the learning of all the skills and elements listed above.  They cover general water, pool, surf, sun and environment safety skills.

We will initially look to roll this out for your age group of children (Angelfish Level and above) and introduce elements to our other classes in the Spring term.  It would be fantastic to get your feedback ahead of the re-enrolment process so we can plan the best way to introduce this within our sessions. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.  

Kind regards.




"It is a fun packed programme offering something for everyone."

" The program gives youngsters the opportunity to extend their aquatic journey, as well as gaining important lifesaving skills in a fun and progressive environment. " 

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