Teachers Frequently Asked Questions
Teachers Questions and Answers
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. Belchamps has been specifically working with schools for the last 5 years.
Q: Why is a residential school visit so important to my class?
A: In addition to meeting several requirements of the National Curriculum, a visit to a Belchamps provides your pupils with a brand new learning environment that is exciting, challenging and fun. They will have opportunities to expand their horizons & build their confidence & independence by trying new adventure & educational activities in a safe, secure setting. Our residential trips promote self confidence, team building and awareness.
Q: Can you arrange insurance?
A: Whilst on site, all visitors to Belchamps are covered by our standard Public Liability Insurance. Schools are advised to take out further insurance to cover such losses as a child being ill and not being able to attend or transport issues delaying arrival.
Q: Do pupils from different schools mix?
A: In principle, no. We often have more than one school on site at a time, but they will be assigned their own building, their own meal times and their own activity programme. There is of course some free time particularly in the evenings when the children of both schools can mix and make new friends.
Q: What is included in the fee?
A: Your booking fee covers a fully supervised centre-based programme of educational courses, as well as adventure activities & evening entertainment, comfortable accommodation, good, healthy meals & discounted places for all teachers. The booking price does not include transport to and from the centre, or between the centre and off-site field locations.
Q: How secure are the centres?
A: Belchamps has secure & clearly defined borders with perimeter fencing, with CCTV, to maintain the highest safety standards at all times. Centre staff live on site.
Q: Do you have fire drills?
A: Arriving at the centre all schools receive a fire safety briefing, where all emergency exits & meeting areas are pointed out and procedures for evacuating buildings are rehearsed. This is followed by an emergency fire drill that involves everyone – pupils, teachers and staff alike.
Q: What are your accommodation arrangements like?
A: Pupils sleep in bunk beds separated by gender in different rooms in warm, comfortable dorms. Pupils should bring a sleeping bag and pillow. Toilet facilities are within the building and further bathroom and shower facilities are located close by.
Q: What about dates and prices?
A: For dates and prices, please call our reception team who will be happy to provide you with more information, answers to any questions and a quote for your chosen dates and centre.
Q: What is your payment process?
A: Once you have reserved your dates, the first, non-refundable deposit will be due within 21 days. The final, payment is due 8 weeks before you arrive.
Q: What care is available during the night?
A: Teachers are located in separate rooms but within the same building as their pupils and there is also a Duty Manager on call throughout the night.
Q: Will pupils need additional spending money?
A: All pupils needs are cared for. We do have a shop where pupils can buy postcards, limited refreshments, pencils & souvenirs like key rings & bookmarks.
Q: What’s the food like?
A: Our new and improved breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are all created with health and nutrition foremost in mind, in line with government recommendations. The choices vary from day to day, according to season and individual centre. 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 students with special religious or dietary needs if we are informed well in advance.
Q: What about emotional upsets?
A: All Belchamps staff are trained to take responsibility for the wellbeing of the pupils who are in their care & to offer them all the attention they need. We serve to create a warm & supportive environment at all times. As a non profit making organisation the delivery of our residential experiences outweighs the need to make money and as such the pupils needs are our priority.
Q: What about pupils 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 you if we think we are not equipped to cope with a specific situation.
Q: Can parents telephone students?
A: In special circumstances, of course. We advise that you set up your own policy on this and have a mobile phone available for them to call if this is to be allowed. We do strongly advise that pupils do not bring mobile phones on site.
Q: Do you have first aid cover?
A: There are fully qualified first aid staff on site at all times, Southend A and E is 10 minutes away, and there are 2 Doctors surgeries in the nearby village of Hockley.
Q: Can you assist with launching & promoting the trip to parents?
A: Once you have made a booking, we will send you a Welcome Guide and Launch Pack to help organise your trip and promote this to parents. In our experience, a Parent Evening is an invaluable element to launch your visit. Please contact us for any information and materials you need to assist with this.
Q: Do pupils need any specialist clothing?
A: No, but bearing in mind the great British climate, suitable wet weather gear and waterproof foot-wear are often an absolute must! The information pack you receive upon booking contains kit lists.
Q: I’ve heard Belchamps is part of the Scout Association?
A: Yes Belchamps is part of The scout Association and is owned by them. Our centre is managed locally though.
Q: Do your prices include VAT?
A: No, all of our prices are plus VAT. Schools may well be able to reclaim the VAT that is added to all our prices through the Education Department.