To safeguard more people from drowning, the National Water Safety Council has developed a new water safety programme, SwimSafer, with the aim of imparting Singaporeans, especially children, with the necessary water safety knowledge and a wide range of water survival skills.

Knowing just to swim is not enough. Swimmers need to know about water safety and what they should do when they run into difficulty in the water. Thus, this new programme, SwimSafer, aims to teach water survival skills and drowning prevention techniques, on top of swimming skills.

SwimSafer is an improved version of the Learn-To-Swim Programme (LTSP) and the National Survival Swimming Award (NASSA), and will replace both the latter to be the only national water safety programme. In addition, a programme that instructs both swimming proficiency and water survival skills is necessary in view of more than 65% of drowning incidences in Singapore (from 2005 to 2008) occurring in the seas, rivers and reservoirs.

The SwimSafer programme comprises six stages – SwimSafer Stage 1 and progressively, Stage 2, Stage 3, Bronze, Silver and Gold – that incorporate the essential elements of swimming, water survival and life saving skills to prepare students to react appropriately when faced with sudden and adverse aquatic situations. These six stages would be taught and tested within the confines of a swimming pool setting. Each stage will take roughly 3 to 6 months to complete.

In response to SwimSafer, Happy Fish Swim School will soon prepare a test for all students to gauge their swimming and water skills level in order to group them accordingly. We believe that this will promote a better learning environment and allow students to progress more effectively as they tend to learn from peers in the same class.

As such, our programme has been re-designed to be on a term-by-term learning basis. Each term will last for 3 months (12 lessons). Upon completion of a term, students will then take their SwimSafer test. Certificates will be issued to those who successfully pass the test.

This new programme design will also be of benefit because we realise that newcomers who join half way through a class session tend to interrupt the progress of other students who have been there longer. Now, with our new programme, you can be assured that there won’t be any newcomers joining your class after the second lesson of each term. Instead, they will be added to upcoming sessions for beginners. This means that every student of the same class will start, learn, and graduate together as long as they all pass their SwimSafer test.

At Happy Fish Swim School, we believe that learning to swim should promote lifelong skills and be fun! We love to swim, and our goal is to teach our students to love it too!