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What to expect from lessons

The Red Cross swim program allows students to progress comfortably and have tailored programs for their age groups. For this reason, the City does not allow age overrides for any swim program. Talk about your lessons with your child. Have realistic expectations so your child does not feel pressured to ‘pass' a level or get a badge; focus on completing the skills at a progressive pace.

Select an age group from the list below for further information.

Preschool - Parent Assisted

Program

Length

Starfish

30-minute lessons

4-12 months of age, able to hold their head up, and participating with a parent or caregiver (assisted). Babies and their caregivers work on getting wet, buoyancy and movement, front, back and vertical position in the water, and shallow water entries and exits.

Duck

30-minute lessons

12-24 months of age, participating with a parent or caregiver (assisted). Babies and their caregivers work on rhythmic breathing, moving forward and backward, front and back float with recovery, and shallow water entries and exits.

Sea Turtle

30-minute lessons

24-36 months of age, participating with a parent or caregiver. Toddlers and their caregivers work on submersion, front and back floats and glides, jumping into chest-deep water with assistance, kicking on front and front swim.

 

Preschool - 3-6 Years

Program

Length

Sea Turtle

30-minute lessons

2-3.5 years of age, participating without a parent or caregiver. Toddlers work on submersion, front and back floats and glides, jumping into chest-deep water with assistance, kicking on front and front swim. Please note this is an optional level and not a requirement for Sea Otter.

Sea Otter

30-minute lessons

3-5 years. Swimmers work on front and back floats and glides, kicking on front with a buoyant object, and will be able to swim 1m upon completion of this level.

Salamander

30-minute lessons

3-5 years, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Preschool Sea Otter. Swimmers work on improving their front and back float and jumping into chest-deep water unassisted. Kicking is added to the front and back glide and swimmers will be able to swim 2m upon completion.

Sunfish

30-minute lessons

3-6 years, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Preschool Salamander. Swimmers work on kicking and can perform glides (front and back), enter deep water safely, float in deep water, swim with a PFD, and swim 5m continuously.

Crocodile

30-minute lessons

3-6 years, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Preschool Sunfish. Swimmers further develop the front and back glide with kick, front and back swim, jump into deep water, swim with a PFD in deep water, and swim 10m continuously.

Whale

30-minute lessons

3-6 years, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Preschool Crocodile. Swimmers increase their distance on front and back glide with kick, increase distance on front and back swim, learn the sitting dive, and will be able to swim 15m continuously upon completion of the level.

 

Kids - 5 Years & Older

Program

Length

Swim Kids 1

30-minute lessons

At least 5 years of age, no previous swimming experience required. Swimmers develop front and back float, front and back glide, flutter kick (assisted), shallow water entries and exits, and swim 5m.

Swim Kids 2

30-minute lessons

At least 5 years of age, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Kids 1.  Swimmers learn front and back glide with flutter kick, develop front swim, complete deep-water activities (assisted) and swim 10m continuously.

Swim Kids 3

30-minute lessons

At least 5 years of age, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Kids 2. Swimmers increase their distance on front and back glide with flutter kick, perform flutter kick unassisted, wear a PFD in deep water, float in deep water, and swim 15m continuously.

Swim Kids 4

30-minute lessons

At least 5 years of age, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Kids 3. Swimmers learn back swim with shoulder roll and front crawl (10m),  work on flutter kick on back, perform kneeling dive, introduction to sculling and swim 25m continuously.

Swim Kids 5

45-minute lessons

At least 5 years of age, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Kids 4. Swimmers develop front crawl (15m), learn back crawl (15m) and whip kick on back, learn stride dive and treading water, perform head-first sculling on back, and swim 50m continuously.

Swim Kids 6

45-minute lessons

At least 5 years of age, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Kids 5. Swimmers increase their distance on front and back crawl (25m), learn elementary back stroke (15m), learn dolphin kick, tread water in deep water, perform front dive, and swim 75m continuously.

Swim Kids 7

60-minute lessons

At least 5 years of age, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Kids 6. Swimmers increase their distance on front and back crawl (50m) and elementary back stroke (25m), learn front scull, perform whip kick on front and dolphin kick, learn stride entry and swim 150m continuously.

Swim Kids 8

60-minute lessons

At least 5 years of age, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Kids 7. Swimmers increase their distance on front and back crawl (75m) and elementary back stroke (25m), learn breast stroke (15m), learn eggbeater/tread water, perform feet-first surface dive and standing shallow dive, and swim 300m continuously.

Swim Kids 9

60-minute lessons

At least 5 years of age, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Kids 8. Swimmers increase their distance on front and back crawl (100m), elementary back stroke (50m) and breast stroke (25m), learn sidestroke kick, perform head-first surface dive, and swim 400m continuously.

Swim Kids 10

60-minute lessons

At least 5 years of age, successful completion of the skills in Red Cross Swim Kids 9. Swimmers increase their distance on front and back crawl (100m), elementary back stroke (50m) and breast stroke (50m), learn sidestroke (25m), perform dolphin kick (vertical), learn feet- and head-first surface dives with underwater swim, and swim 500m continuously.

 

Teens & Adults - 15 years & Up

 

Program

Length

Swim Basics 1

45-minute lessons

No previous swimming experience required. Swimmers learn front and back float, front and back glide with kick, front swim for 10 metres, shallow water entries and exits, and deep-water activities (assisted).

Swim Basics 2

45-minute lessons

Some swimming experience and can perform front swim 10 metres comfortably. Swimmers learn back swim with shoulder roll, front and back crawl (15m), sitting dive, kneeling dive, stride dive and front dive, treading water, and swim a minimum distance of 25 m.

Swim Strokes

45-minute lessons

Able to swim front crawl at least 15m continuously, back crawl 15m and is comfortable swimming in deep water. Swimmers choose the stroke(s) they wish to focus on. Participation-based program with individual goals.

 

Leadership / Certification

Program

Ages/Prerequisite

Lifesaving Society Canadian Swim Patrol

8 - 12 years

The Canadian Swim Patrol program provides enriched training for those who are ready to go beyond learn-to-swim. Swim Patrol has three levels (Rookie, Ranger, and Star) that continue to develop participants' swim strokes and provide the skill foundation that prepares them for success in the Society's Bronze medal awards. Each level of the Canadian Swim Patrol program has three modules: Water Proficiency, First Aid, and Recognition and Rescue. Swim Patrollers work on content appropriate to ability and interest.

Bronze Star

8 - 15 years

Bronze Star provides excellent preparation for success in Bronze Medallion. Participants develop problem-solving and decision-making skills both individually and in partners. Candidates also learn CPR and develop the lifesaving skills needed to become a lifeguard. The course also includes a 400m timed swim.

Bronze Medallion

13 years and up or Bronze Star

Bronze Medallion teaches the lifesaving principles embodied in the four components of water, rescue education, judgment, knowledge, skill and fitness. Bronze Medallion is recognized as the waterfront supervisory certification for Ontario's Recreational Camp Regulation 568.

Bronze Cross

Bronze Medallion

Bronze Cross is designed for lifesavers who want the challenge of more advanced training including an introduction to safe supervision in aquatic facilities. Bronze Cross is a prerequisite for all advanced training programs including National Lifeguard and Instructor certification. Includes a timed 600 metre swim. Bronze Cross is recognized as an assistant
lifeguard certificate in Ontario Regulation 565 governing public swimming pools.

National Lifeguard Service

16 years and up / Bronze Cross

National Lifeguard certification is Canada's professional lifeguard standard. National Lifeguard training develops a sound understanding of lifeguarding principles, good judgment, and a mature and responsible attitude towards the lifeguard's role.

National Lifeguard Instructor Course

16 years and up

The National Lifeguard Instructor course provides candidates with an understanding of the principles and practices on which the National Lifeguard program is based. The course explores teaching approaches and techniques appropriate for National Lifeguard candidates.

Standard First Aid

13 years and up

Standard First Aid provides comprehensive training covering all aspects of first aid and CPR. Standard First Aid incorporates all of Emergency First Aid and is designed for those who require a more in-depth understanding of first aid including: legal implications of first aid treatment, spinal injuries, heat or cold injuries, bone and joint injuries, chest injuries, and medical emergencies. Includes CPR-C certification.

Standard First Aid Instructor Course

16 years and up

The Lifesaving Society Standard First Aid Instructor course prepares candidates to teach first aid courses up to and including Standard First Aid and CPR-A, -B, -C.

Red Cross Water Safety Instructor

15 years and up

The Water Safety Instructor (WSI) course prepares candidates to instruct the Red Cross Swim programs. Candidates focus on strategies to introduce and develop fitness activities, skills and water safety, and swimming skills in the Red Cross Swim Preschool, Red Cross Swim Kids, Red Cross Swim@School, Red Cross Swim@Camp, Red Cross Swim for Adults & Teens, and Red Cross Swim adapted programs.

 

 

REGISTER: In person at Artillery Park or online at eCity/Registration.

What level should my child be in?

There are a few options to assist you in finding the right level:

  • On-site registration – show staff your child's previous report card with the swim instructor's recommendation
  • Let us assess your child's swim level during any Family Swim or Leisure Swim
  • Review the swim level descriptions above
  • Call 613-546-4291 ext. 1719 or 1722

If you are switching from a Pre-school program to Swim Kids here are the equivalents:

  • Sea Otter to Swim Kids 1
  • Salamander to Swim Kids 1
  • Sunfish incomplete to Swim Kids 1
  • Sunfish complete to Swim Kids 2
  • Crocodile incomplete to Swim Kids 2
  • Crocodile complete to Swim Kids 3
  • Whale incomplete to Swim Kids 3
  • Whale complete to Swim Kids 4

Low ratio Red Cross swim lessons

These are programs with a maximum of three participants. Each participant receives more individual attention and more of an opportunity to practice their skills.

Progress Cards

Progress cards are issued on the last day of lessons. Participants must complete all items on the progress card to move to the next level. If your child is away on the last day of classes, you can pick up your progress card at the facility front desk.

Cancellations and changes to programs

All programs and services are subject to change without notice. While every effort is made to ensure information is accurate at time of print, we reserve the right to alter, change and/or cancel programs and services as required.

Watching swimming classes

We encourage you to stay and watch your child's swimming lessons from the lobby area or pool deck. Note: Outdoor footwear, beverages and food are not permitted on the pool deck.

Cell phone & electronics policy

The use of electronic recording devices capable of rendering a photograph are prohibited on pool deck, in pool viewing area and in change rooms.

Artillery Park Aquatic Centre access card

Get your access card from the front desk to gain entry the change rooms.

Help prevent pool foulings

Please refrain from feeding children or eating large meals before swimming. All swimmers are encouraged to visit the washroom before entering the pool. Water diapers are required for children who are not toilet trained. Refrain from entering the pool if you child feels ill. Pool foulings result in a pool shutdown of 2-13 hours.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are a great way to develop specific swimming skills through personalized coaching. If your child has accomplished all but a few skills in a level, a private lesson might be right for you.

Private lessons are available for the following programs: Private; Semi-Private; Pro-Abilities and Adult Lessons. An additional fee is required for each participant in a semi-private lesson and participants should be at the same skill level. Please call 613-546-4291 ext. 1719 or ext. 1722 to book semi-private or adult lessons.

Pro-abilities – adapted swim lessons

One-on-one instruction tailored to meet individual special needs in a fun learning environment. Participants gain a new level of comfort in the water.  NOTE: Before registering please review the adapted programs page

Wait lists work

Have you ever tried to register for a program that had no spaces available? Adding your name to a wait list allows us to create new programs when possible and notify you when spaces become available.

Questions or concerns

Your feedback is important to us. A Head Instructor is available during lessons to answer any questions you may have. If you have a concern, speak with a Head Instructor right away so we can address it and ensure your child has a successful and positive experience.