Frequently asked questions
What is your safety record?
We have an excellent safety record over 19 years of operation with more than 90,000 visiting pupils. 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.
Can you provide 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 with the whole staff team and ensure that children are not placed in risk situations. Copies of our risk assessments are provided. 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.
How do you adapt adventure activities to the junior school age group?
All of our activity sessions are carefully planned in such a way that 7-11 year olds can experience challenging adventures that are appropriate to their abilities and their stage of personal and physical development.
For example :
- Climbing sessions take place on purpose-designed walls that are no more than 10 metres in height, to provide an experience that is challenging, without being overwhelming.
- Teamwork activities are brought to life by the imaginative stories that our instructors tell, to capture the interest and enthusiasm of junior age children.
- Canoeing takes place on shallow sheltered water, with the bank always within easy reach and qualified instructors close at hand.
Specialising in courses for 7 to 11 year olds means that all our energy is directed into offering the best possible experience for this age group, whether in terms of the activity environments or staff expertise.
What are the educational benefits of a Robinwood experience?
The benefits are many and varied. There are curriculum links with many of the activities, which are developed by the instructors. We have additional information (as part of the Party Leader Manual) detailing learning objectives and outcomes, to show how a Robinwood course more than satisfies the outdoor and adventurous activities requirements of the national curriculum, with many additional benefits also gained. Teamwork forms a major part of the course, with the children often split into smaller groups to ensure maximum involvement and benefit. Children also learn new skills, gain self confidence and independence, develop their social and interpersonal skills and learn to appreciate the countryside and outdoor opportunities.
One of the best things for teachers is seeing children learning and working together in a different environment. This will often result in a few surprises, with some of the children who are quieter in the classroom succeeding well beyond what you and they had expected.
Can I speak to a teacher, who has already brought a group to Robinwood?
Please do. We will be happy to provide you with a list of this year’s customers, together with contact numbers. More than 90 per cent of schools that come to Robinwood re-book with us on a regular basis. Places that become available are generally filled by word of mouth recommendation.
Are your centres inspected and approved by independent bodies?
We are licensed with the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority, at each of our Activity Centres. The licences cover Gorge Scrambling, Rock Climbing, Abseiling and Open Canoeing at approved venues. Licence details can be confirmed by calling The Licensing Authority. Tel: 029 2075 5715.
What are your staffing ratios?
At our centres we employ 1 member of instructor staff for every 3 children who attend Robinwood. Due to the 24 hour nature of our supervision this does not mean that we work on a 1 to 3 ratio throughout. Most activities are run by the group leader on their own for their group of up to 13 children, but additional staff do come in to assist for key parts of sessions as required. For canoeing and stream walk sessions at the Old School centre a second instructor works with the group leader throughout the session. Outside of activity times for example, at mealtimes, bedtimes and wakeup periods we operate with around 1 member of Robinwood staff for every 20 children.
Staffing ratios are decided taking account of detailed risk assessment and relevant national governing body guidelines. The numbers quoted only refer to Robinwood staff, they do not include any school staff assisting with supervision.
Do different schools mix together at a Robinwood?
When we ran our first courses at Robinwood in Todmorden in 1994 we only took one school group, of around 30 children, at a time. Schools that attended then really appreciated the exclusive use of the centre, so we continue to 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 and occasionally at break times, but the children are kept so busy there is very little time to mix.
Are Robinwood Courses fully insured?
Yes. We have comprehensive public liability insurance cover in place for up to £5m. 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 (pdf 289kb) scheme is available for a small extra charge for any schools that require this option.
What about inspection visits to Robinwood?
It is our policy to welcome inspection visits from prospective party leaders or LEA advisors at any mutually convenient time. Simply telephone us on 01706 814554 to arrange a visit.
What is the food like?
It's good and there is plenty of it ! As well as toast and cereals, we always provide a full cooked breakfast. At lunch time we provide a packed lunch, which can be eaten wherever your activities are taking place. We provide a cooked evening meal, followed by a tasty pudding. There are always alternatives available with one meal designed to appeal particularly to the children (our homemade pizza is a favourite!), another that generally appeals more to adult tastes and a vegetarian option as well.
Do you provide further party leader
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. license.
- Teachers and Robinwood staff working together.
- General party leader details.
- Learning objectives on a Robinwood course.
- Children with special needs at Robinwood.
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.
Can you help with meetings at school 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.
What happens outside the activity times?
Children attending a Robinwood course are supervised by Robinwood staff throughout their stay; whether this is during activity sessions, breaktimes, mealtimes or night times. We also organise things so that when they’re not sleeping they are kept busy all the time. Most of the time that means taking part in activity sessions, but in-between the 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.
Children sleep in dormitories with all bedding provided and toilet and shower facilities close by. We recognise that children of this age do not always get showers of their own accord, so the group leaders ensure good standards of cleanliness with at least one shower a day for each child.
Anything we've forgotten to mention?
It's always difficult to include all the information needed on our website. If you would like to hear more or have any questions or queries, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Please Note: The pdf document above requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it, you can download this free
We run residentials from Y1 to Y6 and Robinwood is by far the easiest to organise. Our staff really enjoy this trip as they know the children are in safe hands at all times.
Skelton Primary School, Skelton