Parents Information 2017-12-06T16:50:41+00:00

Information for Parents

We’re pretty sure that we’re a refreshing organisation to deal with. We have no small print, and we really love what we do. We understand just what you would be trusting us with. This means that when you call the office you can talk to people who work on the holidays and train the staff. You can also talk to our friendly office manager who double and triple checks every dietary requirement and travel request. If it’s a weekend, we’ll make sure you have an emergency phone number to reach us, just in case, and we’ll send that lost scarf back after the holiday free of charge.

“I thought she may have been a little homesick – but she wasn’t. This was because the programme was so full and in particular the staff were so reassuring. They seemed to adapt to the needs and abilities of the children and whilst everything was planned and ran smoothly, the children’s perception was they had choice and it was all just spontaneous – not like school or an institution – just a fab holiday!”  

– Parent, 2014

Read more by clicking through the tabs below:

The majority of children attending Superweeks come on their own. They all get to know each other and make friends quickly (it is part of the Monitor’s role to make sure they do). It’s also quite common for a child to come with a sibling or one friend.

Very soon after arriving, children will be put into groups, and given their Monitor. This acts as a bit of a family unit for the children, and whilst they will spend time getting to know everyone else, within this group is where they will spend the most of their time, and will give them an important feeling of security.

Groups are usually grouped by age, and it is unlikely children under 12 or so will be put in a mixed gender group.

“ATE is an excellent organisation that spends a great deal of time and care ensuring each child is nurtured – thank you!” – Parent, summer 2015.

There will be a mixture of energetic and quieter activities, and of indoor and outdoor activities.  The pace of activities and duration of activity times will differ for the different age groups. All activities are carefully delivered and supervised.

Bedtimes are between 8.30pm and 10.30pm depending on the age group.

“I enjoyed the new friends and quiet time with my group because I got to spend time with them and become closer friends.” – Superweeker, summer 2015.

The children will be divided into small groups with a young adult monitor allocated to each group. There will be a Director in overall charge, helped by one or two Assistant Directors, also a Matron and a full catering/domestic staff. Though supervision will not be oppressive, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, children will not be allowed to wander off alone.

On the Superweek, children are divided into groups of between 6 and 9. Each group has its own Monitor, who is known by his/her first name, eats at the children’s table, sleeps in their dormitory, and is a real part of the group. He/she is seen more as an older brother or sister than a supervisor, but since the Monitor is there all the time discipline or safety problems can be minimised. For many children the friendship with their Monitor is a highlight of the week.

There has never been a significant accident on an ATE holiday. Our staff work hard to maintain this impressive record.

Read more about our staff here.

“I was especially impressed with the Monitors being with the children in the dorms and in all activities.” – Parent, summer 2015

ATE is happy to accept any child with additional needs providing the parent is confident the child can be adequately looked after by an ordinary, concerned 18 year-old. We aim to be as inclusive as possible, so do ring us to talk about a specific child’s care needs.

“It’s the happiest I’ve ever seen him. We recently tried one of your competitors and the level of care was so different – thank you” – Parent, summer 2015.

If you have asked that friends of a similar age should be together, we will do our best to see that they are in the same group and/or dormitory. We ask, however, that they make an effort to get to know everyone else as well, as most children come on their own.

It would be very unlikely that we would be able to accept a request for a large group of friends to be in the same group. This would make it hard for others who had come without a friend.

“It gave me all the confidence in the world which made changing schools a lot smoother.” – Superweeker, summer 2015.

These are kept to a minimum, but we do expect children to show consideration for each other, for staff, for the owners of premises and for local people.

  • Swimming will only be allowed in properly organised sessions. The swimming pools will be out of bounds at other times.
  • Children will not be allowed to buy cigarettes, tobacco or alcohol, even to take home as presents. We do not allow children to smoke on a Superweek.
  • In the unlikely event of any child’s behaviour being quite unacceptable, so that we are unable to keep him/her safe or so that his/her presence is spoiling the experience for others, we reserve the right to contact parents and ask that he/she be removed at the parents own expense. This has only very rarely been necessary, but parents and children should understand that the right is there.

>> ATE has an anti-bullying policy which can be found here. Any incidents will be dealt with consistently in accordance with this.

“Thank you for looking after him so well. He seems to be glowing from such a positive experience.” – Parent, 2014

If your child is staying with us for more than one Superweek, we will look after your child the night in between consecutive Superweeks in the summer for a small surcharge of £30.

During the stayover we’ll look after your child at the centre, make sure that we do a load of laundry for them if they need, provide all meals and snacks and if they are travelling to a different centre, a member of staff will take them to their next centre. Usually if a child is travelling to a new centre, they’ll travel on the final day of the first superweek, and stay the night at their next superweek centre.

Food will be nutritionally balanced and in line with current healthy eating guidelines. Quantities are plentiful and it is all good, home-cooked choices that children will be familiar with from home. It is important we know in advance about any special dietary requirements. We will ask you this on the personal and medical information send to you in advance of your child’s Superweek.
The Matron is on hand to deal with cuts and bruises as they arise and holds regular surgeries to deal with minor ailments and the taking of medication. Please give full instructions for any medication; all medicines will be kept in the surgery unless alternative arrangements have been requested and administered under supervision.

There has never been a significant accident on an ATE holiday. Our staff work hard to maintain this impressive record.

“It’s like packing them off to a much loved grandparent – lots of excitement but no anxiety.” – Parent, 2014

The centres we stay at on Superweeks are boarding schools, field study centres, etc., hired during holiday periods. They all have good grounds and plenty of room indoors. The standard of accommodation is usually more hostel rather than hotel, but clean and comfortable. Children will sleep in a dormitory or small group room. For all young groups, a Monitor will always be in the dormitory.

Children are not generally asked to do domestic chores other than keeping their own things and their own space tidy.

“I loved it when we had the ice cream factory, and making the secret den with my group.” – Superweeker, summer 2015.

Arrangements can be made for religious observance as requested. Please do make any wishes known to us. We will ask you this on the personal and medical information send to you in advance of your child’s Superweek.
>> Download a kit list here:

Superweek kit list – New Year 2018

Superweek kit list – general 2017

Superweek kit list – The Wild Things 2017

We sometimes advise slight changes to this list (ie for the Wild Things week it is good to have waterproofs!) but this list is a good guide to what your child will need for their Superweek.

“J. came home a happy, tired young man which sums it up for me. I thought the note from his Monitor was a great idea – it’s pinned near his bed.” – Parent, summer 2015.

Children may bring mobile phones, electronic toys and games etc. for use during journeys to and from the centre. We will then take them into safekeeping for the duration of the Superweek for two reasons:

  • As with other valuables, it is not a good idea to have expensive things lying around.
  • These items can work against the kind of community and atmosphere that we want the children to experience.

Children will be allowed to keep Kindles (and equivalent) and cameras for use during the week if they wish, but it will be the child’s responsibility to keep them safe. Children wanting to take photos should bring cameras. Please note phones will not be permitted to be used as cameras for safeguarding reasons.

Please do not send any of the following:

× Anything very valuable or jewellery, though, cameras, preferably cheap, are fine.

× Supplies of sweets and / or biscuits; there will be plenty to eat, we promise!

“Everything went smoothly. All the clothes came back in the same bag! Every year she has a great time, it’s so friendly and well-organised.” – Parent, summer 2015.

Please do not send more than £10.00.

There are many good reasons for a limit, in particular to avoid invidious wealth differences between children and not to have lots of money lying around. Superweeks really are not money-orientated holidays and opportunities for spending money are limited.

We encourage everyone to hand money in to be locked away and handed out again as needed.

“I was so impressed with the ethos of the holiday. It’s very good value for money.” – Parent, summer 2015.

If your child is travelling with our accompanied system, they will phone you either on the first evening or on the morning of the first day of the holiday to let you know they have arrived safely. If by any chance you have not heard from your child by lunchtime on the first day please phone the Superweek office.

“The travel arrangements were excellent. The whole organisation of the Superweek was very impressive.” – Parent, summer 2015

A number for the Superweek will be available from the office and on our answerphone for the duration of the holiday in case of emergency, but we would ask you not to ring your child, nor ask him/her to ring you, unless it is essential.

In the large grounds and the busy programme of a Superweek we could spend all our time finding children for phone calls if parents rang regularly.

It is our long experience and sincere belief that children settle better and benefit more, if they are ‘left to get on with it’.  We hope you understand and do not find this unreasonable.

Of the few children who are a bit homesick in the first day or two, ATE is able to help almost all get through it and be really enjoying themselves by the end – a real step forward in developing independence.

You are very welcome to ring the Director in charge of the Superweek at any time to check how things are going.

The Director would always call you if there was anything to be concerned about.

“I loved all the games and activities. It was great we weren’t allowed on our phones, it made me realise how much time we waste staring at a screen when we actually could be spending time with friends.” – Superweeker, summer 2015.

Please arrive on the first day of the Superweek between 4.30pm and 5.30pm. Details of how to find the centre will be sent to you as part of your personal and medical information in advance of the Superweek.

Parents will be offered a cup of tea/coffee on arrival, and some of the staff including the Matron will be available for a quick chat, but we would ask you not to stay too long as we find that a Superweek starts best if the children are left to settle in and meet new friends as rapidly as possible.

On the last day please collect children between 9.00am and 10.30am.

NB If a child is to be collected by someone OTHER THAN A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN, it is essential that we have a letter signed by the person who is legally responsible, authorising us to allow the child to leave with someone else.

“Everyone seems to have the time to speak to you properly”- Parent, 2014

Photographs, and sometimes videos, are often taken on a Superweek by both staff and children. On occasions it is very helpful for us to be able to use these photographs and videos in our promotional material or on our website, though names would never be disclosed. If you are not happy for this to happen please do contact the office.
We insure the group and all its members for public liability and meet all medical expenses.  We do not insure possessions (although if loss or damage was ATE’s fault some compensation would be considered). Most household insurances cover cameras and similar items even when taken on holiday. We would advise you not to send anything of great value with your child, and may not be able to consider full compensation if valuable items are lost. There is no insurance cover for cancellation. In the case of last minute withdrawal from a Superweek due to illness the original £80 deposit would be retained and any further refund would be at ATE’s absolute discretion.

There is no insurance for Personal Accident (automatic payments in case of accidents even where there is no blame to anyone). Anyone wanting such insurance for their children can get it through their child’s school for the whole year at a fraction of the cost we would need to charge.

ATE is happy to accept any child with additional needs providing the parent is confident the child can be adequately looked after by an ordinary, concerned 18 year-old. We aim to be as inclusive as possible, so do ring us to talk about a specific child’s care needs.

“It’s the happiest I’ve ever seen him. We recently tried one of your competitors and the level of care was so different – thank you” – Parent, summer 2015.

A member of senior ATE staff will be ‘on call’ outside of office hours during the Superweek and an emergency contact phone number will be available on our office answerphone for the duration of the holiday. Please note that this phone number is only intended to be used to speak to someone urgently in case of emergency. Please call 08454 561205 (local rate) to hear the answerphone message.
Included with every Superweek is free, accompanied travel from any of our 17 guaranteed travel points shown below. This means you can get to any Superweek, at any centre, easily. A Monitor will meet you at the station and travel with you all the way to your holiday. See a full list of travel points and estimated arrival and departure times on our Travel information page here.
You can find our full Child Protection Policy and Anti-Bullying policy on our safeguarding page here. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with us and we’d be more than happy to discuss this further. 
You can find our full Concerns and Complaints procedure here. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with us and we’d be more than happy to discuss this further. 
It’s really important to us that you have the chance to ask all your questions and speak to us if you would like to get a better feel for what a Superweek entails, or to discuss how we can best look after your child. Do feel free to call us on 08454 561 205 (local rate) if you have any more questions or if there’s any further information we could provide you with.

Read more