Serious fun

Millions of British children are “culture starved” as they have never been to an art gallery, theatre or museum, a study has claimed this week (Feb 2012) on BBC news.
The research, commissioned by Visit Birmingham, found four in 10 children had never been to an art gallery, while a quarter of parents had never taken their offspring to the theatre.
It also found 17% of children had never visited a museum, while one in 10 had not been outside their home town to visit other sites in the UK.
Half of parents said they made little effort to educate their children about culture or history and relied on schools to do so.
Whilst a Superweek, as far as the children on them are concerned, are all about fun, fun, and even more fun, ATE doesn’t stand for ‘Amazing Times in England’, or even ‘Always Totally Excellent’ as some Superweekers would have you believe.
In fact, ATE stands for Active Training and Education.
ATE believes profoundly in education. We are an Educational Trust. We have representatives from all the main Educational Bodies on our Council and many of our senior staff are experienced teachers and head teachers. A huge amount of our volunteers go on to a career in teaching as a result of working on Superweeks.
An ATE Superweek seeks to compliment mainstream education. We believe that learning should not be confined to the classroom. An average 12 year old spends 1,140 hours a year in school, which leaves a spare 7,620. Even if we let them sleep, that still leaves 4,335 to be doing something with.
We believe children should be encouraged to be interested in the world and exposed to new opportunities and challenges wherever possible. We are very ready to confess that a Superweek can be a kind of educational “con trick”. None of our staff seem like teachers.
The whole atmosphere seems to say: “this is a holiday, it’s nothing like school, so just relax and have fun”, but then it gets children playing team games, doing projects together, asking questions and seeking answers, singing, acting, making things and getting messy, and walking to see a castle or science museum.
We work hard training our staff and we see it as one of our most important responsibilities on a Superweek that interests are encouraged, questions are investigated and answered and something new is tried every day. In a safe, secure environment, we want children to use the Superweek as platform to launch themselves into the exciting unknown.

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