Parents Frequently Asked Questions
Parents Frequently asked Questions
Q: What experience does Belchamps have in working with schools?
A: Scouting is the largest co-educational youth organisation in the United Kingdom. It has been successful for 100 years now in teaching communication skills, decision making, teamwork, leadership and personal development. Participants follow our philosophy of “learning by doing” and our qualified staff work directly with groups of between 8 and 12 participants to achieve positive learning outcomes. It is our aim to make the experience fun, interesting and as exciting as possible.
Q: Will children need additional pocket money?
A: All children’s needs are cared for. We do have a shop where pupils can buy postcards, limited refreshments, pencils & souvenirs like key rings & bookmarks.
Q: What are your accommodation arrangements like?
A: Boys and girls sleep in bunk beds in separate rooms in warm, comfortable buildings. They need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow. Toilets are provided in the corridors. Further Toilet and shower facilities are close by to dormitories.
Q: Can parents telephone their children?
A: In special circumstances, of course. However, it has been our experience that parents phoning their children just to talk often makes the children’s time away from home harder, rather than easier. It is advisable to go through the School first if you wish to speak to your child.
Q: What care is available during the night?
A: Teachers are located in separate rooms in the same building and there is also a Duty Manager and First Aider on call throughout the night. Each building is exclusive to a school and can be locked internally at night. (Fire exits are not affected by this.)
Q: What is included in the booking fee?
A: The booking fee covers a fully supervised centre-based programme, evening entertainment, comfortable accommodation, good, healthy meals.
Q: When is bedtime?
A: The evening programme generally runs until about 8-30pm. We generally suggest a lights-out policy of 10pm, but this may vary depending on the age of the group and their teachers’ preferences. Once the evening programme is complete the teachers take responsibility for bedtime.
Q: Can you arrange insurance?
A: Whilst on site Belchamps provides, at no extra cost, our standard Public Liability Insurance. Some schools prefer our additional travel insurance or cancellation insurance.
Q: Will my child cope?
A: All Belchamps staff are trained to take responsibility for the well-being of the children who are in their care. We strive to create a warm & supportive environment at all times. For obvious reasons some activities, such as high ropes, are age restricted and/or subject to correct fitting of equipment. As a non profit making organization we focus more on ensuring our participants enjoy their stay than the money. No child will ever be refused a go because we run out of time, if a child hasn’t had a go at climbing for example and the session ends, the instructor will over run the session, if he still doesn’t get through the group, arrangements will be made for those who missed out to come back later.
Q: What about children with special needs?
A: Belchamps has a commitment to improving its ability to work with special needs groups. We can cope with many needs as long as teachers make us aware of them at the time of booking. Pupils with special needs who are used to taking part in activities with the rest of the class are given extra care and attention as soon as they are identified to us. We will advise if we think we are not equipped to cope with a specific situation.
Q: What’s the food like?
A: Breakfast, lunch & dinner are all created around food that children love to eat – but with health & nutrition foremost in mind. Meals are all home cooked. Meals are served in a communal dining room where there is always a choice of hot & cold dishes, vegetarian selections and fresh salad bars. We can also cater for children with special religious or dietary needs if we are informed well in advance. Whilst we can’t cater for fussy eaters en mass our catering staff will always do their best to find something for the really fussy eater.
Q: Do children from different schools mix?
A: In principle, no. There are usually several schools staying at a time, each remaining together with their own classmates throughout the day. Most importantly, children from different schools never share the same dorms. There are moments of free time when the schools may mix, play a game etc.
Q: What does my child need to bring?
A: A kit list is available from the school and is included in our information pack.
Q: What should my child not bring to Belchamps?
A: Mobile phones, expensive cameras, electronic games, iPods or mp3 players, expensive jewellery, expensive or favorite clothing or shoes.
Q: How secure are the centres?
A: Belchamps has a secure and clearly defined border, with perimeter fencing, and some with CCTV, to maintain the highest standards of safety at all times.
Q: What should parents do regarding illness?
A: We ask parents to be vigilant before your child’s trip to Belchamps. If your child shows symptoms of illness please inform their teacher or trip leader who can contact us directly for information.