What are the ISA key sequences? And why are they so important?

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There are three ISA’s Key Sequences that form the core of our Water Safety programmes: Rollback-and-Float, Kick-Float-Kick (Guided) and Kick-Float-Kick (Independent).

“ISA’s key Sequences form the foundation on which your child learns to become a safe, confident and independent swimmer”.


  • This sequence is the main outcome of our Beginner Programme “Float like a Starfish”.
  • Teaches your child how to navigate themselves into a safe back-floating position from anywhere in the water. This means that if there were an accidental fall into a swimming pool (for example) your child would instinctively know how to move themselves into a floating position where they can rest, breathe and wait for help.
  • We regularly use this ‘safe resting position’ with your child throughout all of the programme levels.
  • Towards the end of every term, all children are asked to bring some clothes and shoes to swim in (or even a fancy dress costume if they feel like adding some extra fun). We like to call this our Fun Water Safety Check-Out.

Kick-Float-Kick (Guided)

  • This sequence is the main outcome of our Intermediate 1 Programme “Swim like a Dolphin”
  • Is added onto the rollback-and-float sequence once this first sequence has been mastered.
  • Your child learns how to swim through the water face-down, using their kicking action and, with the instructor’s guidance, pauses to rollback-and-float, take a breath and rest on their back before turning over and moving through the water using their kicking action again.

Kick-Float-Kick (Independent)

  • This sequence is the main outcome of our Intermediate 2 Programme “Swim like a Shark”.
  • Is mastered once the instructor no longer needs to give guidance to your child, meaning that they are now in control of their own rest and breathing and can swim longer distances, building on strength and stamina.
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