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Tutor training for the Level 3 Diploma in Aquatic Teaching – Baby and Pre-School

Dear Members and Friends of Birthlight,

It is with great joy that we have joined with the STA to offer an Infant Aquatics swimming qualification that responds to the requirements of the PAS520. This document aims to become the recommended British standard for Baby Swimming. This new qualification will enable Birthlight Diploma holders to hold a baby swimming Level 3, in readiness to comply with this new recommended standard which is likely to gain international recognition.

Since the early days of its association with STA in 2003, Birthlight has worked tirelessly to ensure that as leading Infant Aquatics providers, we have a continued voice as this growing market develops. We aim to support our Teachers in providing lessons to the highest standards of safety and swimming practices, whilst maintaining our own exceptional delivery of materials with a high ratio of pool time to classroom teaching integrating relevant scientific research in easily accessible formats.

As expressed by Birthlight Tutor Alison Duff, Director of Calmababy "This is an exciting development and one I am proud to be a part of. Aligning the associations of Birthlight and STA on this Diploma make us an even stronger presence in the baby swimming world."

So where to from now?

As a Birthlight Teacher, you have already obtained the Birthlight certification. If you have completed your coursework and you are a Birthlight Diploma holder, the Level 3 is open to you for gaining the highest vocational qualification in the UK and abroad for Baby Swimming. Birthlight tutors will be offering this course among a selected bunch of specialised STA tutors so that you can have continuity of training.

So why choose to enrol for a Birthlight-tutor-led Level 3 course?

The reasons are many. Birthlight is a leading organization providing a holistic method on land and on water covering pregnancy, birth and the early years.  Our tutors are trained with in depth knowledge of neuro-physiological development, sensory integration and adult and child relationships in the aquatic environment. Birthlight has been and continues to be at the forefront of innovative teaching practices for babies and toddlers as well as for infants with additional and special needs. Why not get the teaching from the source?

Birthlight offers much more than a gentle but effective foundation for life long swimming: we form community around what we call ‘Water Parenting’, promoting optimal parent-infant communication as the basis for learning in a relaxed pool environment.

If I am new to baby swimming, why should I choose the more expensive and demanding Birthlight Diploma + STA/Birthlight Level 3 route rather than the STA parent/baby course + teaching experience + NVQ3 course?

This is a very personal choice, depending on your situation and your life goals.  At Birthlight we can guarantee that you will gain in depth knowledge on parent-baby interactions from birth to 4. This will make you a very rounded baby swimming teacher, with practical competencies enabling you to handle a wide range of babies of all ages. The knowledge you will have gained on the Birthlight course will equip you fully to make the most of the level 3 course as professional development after gaining teaching experience. We accept that this may be a considerable investment for you and for this reason we offer facilities for payment in instalments. Email [email protected] or phone us on 01223 362288 if you would like to discuss options or receive further information.

STA Press Release

During October, STA delivered the first standardisation tutor training for the Level 3 Diploma in Aquatic Teaching – Baby and Pre-School. A select group of tutors from STA and Birthlight were taken through course content, resources and delivery expectations to ensure all the required content is covered to the necessary standard.

The continued partnership between STA and Birthlight saw both sets of tutors working together and sharing knowledge to ensure the Diploma course covers all areas of expertise and experience, ready for the launch in January.

“All tutors were incredibility positive about the course and are looking forward to delivering the Diploma in 2017,” said Kayle Burgham, STA’s Aquatics Technical Manager who carried out the tutor training.

“The new Diploma course focusses on expanding a baby and pre-school swimming teacher’s current knowledge and ideas, and explores why we do what we do. It has been designed to give teachers the in-depth knowledge needed to take their lessons to a higher level,” explained Kayle.

“The baby and pre-school swimming world is currently moving away from outcome focused lessons and really looking at teaching a baby / pre-schooler to develop, communicate and learn through play within the swimming pool. This approach is welcomed by Birthlight and STA, and the Diploma course will focus on child development and how they learn.”

Topics that will be covered in the Diploma are:

  • Gentle approach to swimming
  • Adults and their role
  • Communication
  • Toddlers / pre-schooler
  • Babies and pre-schoolers with additional needs.

Diploma candidates will also be expected to complete post course case studies and a portfolio to show they have taken this new knowledge and applied it within their lessons.   Courses begin in 2017.

Feedback from tutor training by Ali Beckman

I always enjoy taking a break from tutoring and being the tutee and my latest training course did not disappoint.  I had been fortunate enough to be on the new Level 3 Diploma working group with the STA & Birthlight so had been involved in the development of this amazing qualification but actually sitting on the first tutor course where it was brought to life was very exciting. 

I’ve always been involved with swimming, either competing, teaching or coaching and have a huge interest in anatomy and physiology, the science behind swimming, the properties of water and most importantly, a baby’s swimming journey to foster a love of swimming for life.  The latter has always been at the forefront of the work we do – children should love swimming, it should never be a chore or forced, there should be a love of the water, the teacher, the environment in general and there should always be a choice.  I’ve written articles on choice in the past and it still guides everything I do in my role at Puddle Ducks: babies and children should have a choice and with the nurturing guidance of a great teacher, a love of swimming will develop.  That’s why I was so keen to be involved in the development of the first Level 3 Diploma in baby and pre-school, especially when I discovered the STA were partnering with Birthlight on the qualification.  Myself and the co-founders of Puddle Ducks are all Birthlight trained and whilst the business has grown into one of the largest franchising swimming businesses in the UK, we are still true to our Birthlight teachings.

The Diploma course is an exciting addition to the STA offering and the course is designed to take baby swimming to the next level, not so much in technical areas but in how we work with children, recognising their needs and physical/emotional development.  The training will empower teachers, allowing them to fine-tune their observational skills to enable them to work with children and get the best out of them.  I am very excited about the STA and Birthlight partnership and supporting the work both organisations do.