FAQ’s

Safety

We have an excellent safety record over 21 years of operation and currently more than 40,000 visiting pupils each year. All of our activities take place in safe secure environments that are appropriate to provide a safe introduction to adventure activities for groups of 7 to 11 year olds.

We are licensed with the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority, at our Barhaugh Hall Centre, Alston, Cumbria. The licence covers Gorge Scrambling and Open Canoeing at this venue. Licence details can be confirmed by calling The Licensing Authority on 029 2075 5715 or checking their website www.aals.org.uk.

The quality of our staff team and the extensive training programme they undergo is central to having and maintaining an outstanding safety record. We have a rigorous programme of activity session assessments to ensure everyone is working to the right standard.

We also instil an attitude of safety as a state of mind; such that all staff have safety as their highest priority whatever is happening.

Risk assessments

We have carried out detailed risk assessments of all aspects of a Robinwood course, including activity sessions and other areas. We review and update these assessments on a regular basis and ensure that children are not placed in risk situations. Copies of our risk assessments are provided within the party leader manual. We can also give full support as needed in the completion of any safety related documentation, required by your local authority or any other body, prior to your Robinwood trip.

Staffing levels

We feel that good levels of supervision from a high quality staff team are vitally important for the success of Robinwood courses. When centres are operating 7 days a week, we typically have 3 instructor team staff employed for every 10 children that could attend, so a centre with a capacity of 180, would typically have a total of 54 (3 X 18) instructor team staff. Additional to the instructor team staff we also have a number of support staff employed including catering, domestic and maintenance staff.

The level of supervision on activity sessions is appropriate to the nature of the activity taking place. For most activity sessions the group leader takes charge of their activity group, of between 9 and 13 children, without assistance from other Robinwood staff. For certain activity sessions including zip wire and stream walk for example a second, appropriately qualified, member of the Robinwood team is timetabled to work with the group leader. Although group leaders run a lot of sessions on their own, we do activity session observations on a frequent basis, to aid staff development and to look to improve standards wherever we can. Additional to all the Robinwood staff there are of course the teachers and other adults who accompany children on a trip to Robinwood.

A key team of staff working exclusively with your school

When we ran our first courses at Robinwood in Todmorden in 1994 we only took one school group, of around 25 children, at a time. Schools that attended then really appreciated the exclusive use of the centre and the exclusive attention of our staff team, so we continue to try and offer the same special attention and exclusive feel that we did in our first year.

It is most likely that there will be other schools resident and you will probably see them at meal times, at break times and generally around the centre, but the children are kept so busy there is very little time to mix.

Smaller schools

We recognise that some smaller schools may, on occasions, find it difficult to get a group together with at least 20 children to attend Robinwood. Some smaller schools overcome this by bringing two year groups or the whole of their key stage two together. We also have smaller schools that combine with other schools for their Robinwood visit. If you would like to attend but feel you may have difficulty getting the normal minimum number of 20 children to attend please phone to discuss this with us and we will do all we can to assist.

We do also have the option of a single activity group booking. Payment is required for a minimum of 10 children, with a maximum capacity of 13 children.

Insurance

We have comprehensive public liability insurance cover in place for up to £10m.

We also recommend that all visiting schools are covered by an appropriate travel insurance scheme that covers travel to and from the centre, as well as cancellation and curtailment benefits. A Robinwood travel insurance scheme is available for a small extra charge for any schools that require this option.

Food

The food is good and there is plenty of it!

As well as toast and cereals, we provide a full cooked breakfast. At lunch time we typically provide a chicken wrap or baked potatoes with fillings, sandwiches, soup, fruit and yoghurts. We provide a cooked evening meal, pasta bolognese or pizza for example, followed by a tasty dessert. Meals vary throughout the year with more hot food and hot soup available over winter time. Break time snacks are also provided by Robinwood.

There is always a vegetarian option and special diets can be catered for as required as long as we are notified in advance. We aim to provide healthy meals that will appeal to the children in order that they get the energy intake they need to fuel their three days at Robinwood.

Supervision outside of activity times

Children attending a Robinwood course are supervised by Robinwood staff throughout their stay; whether this is during activity sessions, break times, meal times or night times. We organise things so that when they’re not sleeping the children are kept busy all the time. Most of the time that means taking part in activity sessions, but in-between activity sessions the group leaders get the children involved in games, puzzles, songs and a variety of different challenges which are a key part of the whole Robinwood experience. Break times are also spent reviewing experiences and getting children kitted out for their next activity session.

Children sleep in dormitories with all bedding provided and toilet facilities close by. We recognise that children of this age do not always get showers of their own accord, so showers are timetabled in for all activity groups and group leaders ensure good standards of cleanliness are maintained.

Night duty staff supervise overnight assisted at relevant times by bedtime staff and wake-up staff. All dormitories have a call assistance button that can be pressed by the children, if they need a member of the Robinwood team overnight.

Do you provide further party leader information?

We provide a party leader’s manual which will guide you through everything involved with organising and leading a trip to Robinwood. The party leader’s manual covers a range of areas including;

  • Risk assessments.
  • Additional safety information.
  • Code of conduct for children.
  • A copy of our A.A.L.A. licence.
  • Teachers and Robinwood staff working together.
  • General party leader details.
  • Learning objectives on a Robinwood course.
  • Children with special needs at Robinwood.
  • A copy of our LOtC.
  • Sample copy of the optional insurance cover.
  • Suggested clothing list.

Your party leader’s manual is normally sent out when a provisional booking is made, but if you would like to see a copy before then please just ask.

Preview visits to Robinwood centres

We welcome inspection visits from prospective party leaders or LEA advisors at any mutually convenient time. A member of our management team will be happy to show you round the centre and answer any questions you may have. Simply telephone us on 01706 814554 to arrange a visit.

Meetings at school, for parents and children, before a Robinwood course takes place

If you are considering a Robinwood course for the first time, we are happy to come to your school, to do a presentation to parents and children, before or after you confirm a booking. The presentation includes a 30-minute talk, supported by lots of activity illustrations and examples of activity equipment used. There is also, of course, plenty of opportunity to answer any questions that parents and children may have.

Rail transport

Travelling by train is an option worth considering for both of our Todmorden centres which are both within walking distance of Todmorden train station. It is possible to gain significant discounts for group travel by train to and from a Robinwood course. We would be happy to meet any groups travelling by train from the station and to escort them back to the station at the end of their course. We would also arrange for luggage to be transported between the station and the centre as required. If you would like an information pack about planning your rail journey including information about specific railway stations en-route, please let us know. In order to make enquiries about group discounts for train travel to Todmorden station, please telephone Northern Rail on 0113 2479 659.