Frequently Asked Questions

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Children’s FAQs

Superweeks are brilliant! They are a week of fun and games with great people in amazing places. What more could you ask for?
We know a Superweek is quite different from your normal day-to-day, so we’ve answered some of the questions we get asked most often by children. Whether you’re feeling a bit nervous about your first Superweek, or you just want to know a little more about what you’ll find when you arrive, we’ve got the answer for you.

Who will look after me and who will I be with?

Your Monitor will be looking after you for the entire Superweek. A Monitor is like a really brilliant big brother or sister. You will be put in a group with 6 or 7 other people your age, plus your Monitor, who’ll be with you all the time; they eat with you, sleep in your dorm and do all the activities with you. Groups are usually either all boys or all girls so you can all be in the same dorm together too. Your group will spend lots of time with other groups, and so you’ll get a chance to meet everyone else on your holiday.

Can I come with a friend?

If you do want to come with a friend, then we will do our very, very best to put you both in the same group. Most people come on Superweek by themselves. We’re very good at making sure everyone gets to know each other quickly. No one ever gets left out on a Superweek.

Where will I sleep?

All our centres have dorms. They vary in size from centre to centre but will probably have between 4 and 8 beds in. Most have bunk beds, some are lots of single beds (a bit like in Hogwarts). There will be somewhere for you to put away your things.

Your dormitory is a very special room on Superweek as it belongs to just you and your group. Lots of exciting things will happen in there. You can even decorate it to make it even more special – previous groups have turned dorms into sweet factories, jungles, alien planets and even the inside of a computer!

What time will I go to bed?

Bedtime varies from about 7.30pm and 10.30pm depending on your age group.

What happens if I wet the bed?

This is not something to worry about at all. Your Monitor will have a chat with just you on the very first night about how you can easily (and secretly) let them know if it happens and it will be sorted out easily when no one is about.

Will I be able to keep in touch with home?

When you arrive at your Superweek you’ll get a chance to call home and let them know you’ve arrived safe and sound. After that, you wouldn’t normally call home. This is because, in our experience, it can be harder to really enjoy your Superweek if you’re worrying about the world outside your centre.

It’s always nice during the Superweek for you and your group to walk into town to buy a postcard to send home with all your news.

Can I keep my phone with me? What about sweets?

If you have one, you can bring a mobile or tablet to use during the journeys to and from the centre. When we arrive, they will be locked away for safekeeping for the Superweek. There are a couple of reasons we do this:

  • Because we’re extremely cruel and heartless
  • It’s not a good idea to have expensive things lying around on a Superweek. If your valuables are locked away, there’s no chance of them wandering off.
  • We really want everyone to spend time enjoying one anther’s company, and we find it works better when nobody is distracted by playing Tetris on their Gameboy Advance (is that the up-to-date technology?)

If you have an e-reader like a Kindle, you can probably hang onto that, and you can keep a camera to take pictures during the week – but it has to be a camera, and not a phone! It will be up to you to keep them safe.

Some of our centres are very old, and they’re all out in the countryside. We don’t keep sweets and food in your dorm, because they tend to attract unwanted and squeaky visitors! Don’t worry – we promise there’ll be plenty to eat.

What if I’m not feeling well?

Every holiday has a Matron – this person is usually a nurse and it’s her job to look after everybody’s medicine, do First Aid and generally make sure everyone is feeling OK (she’s a bit like the Superweek mum!). You’ll always know where to find her if you need her and she’ll always be happy to see you – even if you just need a hug.

Will I like the food?

What’s really brilliant about Superweeks is that you’re usually only ever a couple of hours away from eating! As well as lovely breakfasts, lunches and dinners, our catering team make sure you have morning breaks and afternoon snacks to keep you going through all the games. It’s all really brilliant, home-cooked food like you’ll be used to from home, like pasta bakes, fajitas, home-made soup, or chili. There’s always a good pudding after meals, and usually cake (or maybe even an ice cream) in the afternoon.

Sometimes in the evening we even get hot chocolate and biscuits in front of the fire!

Where will I be staying?

We stay in lots of different centres on Superweeks. Some of them are boarding schools, others are outdoor pursuits centres. They all have enormous grounds to explore and run around in, and plenty of room indoors where we can play or just relax and feel cosy. You’ll sleep in a dormitory with your group, and your Monitor will be in the dormitory with you.

I’m staying for more than one Superweek. What will happen between them?

If you’re staying with us for more than one week, you’ll stay in one of our centres with some of our brilliant staff and, with any luck, some of the people who were on your last week. We’ll look after you, and make sure you’re having a fun time, we’ll do a load of laundry for you if you’ve run out of clean pants, you’ll be well fed, and you’ll get the chance to recover from your last week if you need to.

Parent’s FAQs

We hope that we’re a refreshing organisation to deal with. There is no small print, and we really love what we do. When you call the office you can talk to people who work on the holidays and train the staff. During a Superweek, we’ll make sure you have an emergency out-of-hours phone number to reach us, just in case. We’ll even reunite you with that lost scarf back after the holiday free-of-charge.

We’ve put together some FAQs, but if there’s anything you’re still not sure about, please get in touch. You can email us on info@ate.org.uk or call us on 01684 562 400.

Questions before booking

What is the structure of a Superweek?

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.

Children are group by age and, usually, by gender. It is unlikely that children under 12 will be put in a mixed gender group.

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.

Will my child cope on a Superweek?

Leaving home for a week is a very brave thing to do, especially for younger Superweekers. We think our model makes is easier for children to feel safe and secure, and to enjoy being away from home.

The majority of children attending Superweeks come on their own, and most have never been on a Superweek before. Children can feel homesick when they are away, but our staff are experienced at dealing with homesickness. Every child is different, and you are best placed to predict how well your child would handle a Superweek. If you would like to discuss any specifics with us, please get in touch.

My child’s first language is not English. Can they come on a Superweek?

We are very happy to accept children onto Superweeks who speak English as an additional language, but we do require children on our camps to have a certain level of English. We don’t run specialist language camps, and we may not have any staff who speak your child’s first language on the Superweek.

We ask that children speak enough English to understand the rules of simple games and instructions relating to safety (for example, what to do in case of a fire). It is also important that children are able to tell a member of staff if they feel sad or unwell, or if they need something. We would not want to accept a child onto a Superweek if we couldn’t keep them safe, happy, and feeling well looked-after.

My child has additional needs. Can you look after them?

We will always accept any child with additional needs providing you are confident they can be adequately looked after by an ordinary, concerned 18 year-old. Our staff do not have any specialist SEND training, and we are unable to provide one-to-one care. Because of the active nature of our Superweeks, and the age of many of our centres, we are unlikely to be a suitable option for children with severe physical needs. We aim to be as inclusive as possible, so please do contact us to talk about your child’s specific needs.

My child is coming with a friend or sibling. Will they get to spend time together?

You will be able to ask for friends or siblings to be grouped together when you book. Providing they are of a similar age and gender, we will do our best to make sure 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. Making new friends is an important part of coming on a Superweek!

It is 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.

Even if friends or siblings are in different groups, they will have plenty of opportunities to see one another. We do lots of things all together on Superweeks, and children will have a chance to socialise with everyone on the holiday.

My child is staying for more than one holiday. What will happen in between the two weeks?

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. Price details can be found on our bookings and payments page.

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, and provide all meals and snacks. If they are travelling to a different centre, a member of staff will accompany them. 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.

Questions about domestic arrangements on Superweeks

What is the food like? Can you cater for special dietary requirements?

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. We can cater for different dietary requirements, provided we are made aware of these in advance. We will ask you this on the Personal and Medical Information Form sent to you in advance of your child’s Superweek.

Who takes care of medicine and medical issues?

Each holiday has a Matron who will be on hand to deal with cuts and bruises as they arise. They will also hold 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 and administered under supervision unless alternative arrangements have been requested.

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

I would like my child to take part in religious observance. Can you accomodate this?

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 Form sent to you in advance of your child’s Superweek.

Questions about what to bring

Do you have a suggested kit list?

We will send out a kit list a few weeks before your Superweek. In general, we would recommend packing comfortable and practical clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Please click here to a sample recommended packing list (updated February 2022).

Can my child bring valuables and snacks?

Children may bring mobile phones and electronics 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 e-readers 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, not mobile phones; phones are not permitted to be used as cameras for safeguarding reasons.

Please do not send any children with anything very valuable, including jewellery, or supplies of sweets or snacks; there will be plenty to eat, we promise!

Can my child bring pocket money?

Please do not send more than £10.00.

There are many good reasons for a limit, in particular to avoid conspicuous and divisive wealth differences between children, and not to have lots of money lying around. Superweeks 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.

Do I need to send bedding?

We will confirm bedding requirements a few weeks before your Superweek when we send out packing lists. At any of our 2022 centres, you will need to pack a pillow case, bottom sheet, and a sleeping bag or single duvet with cover.

Will I be able to speak to my child during the week?

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.

After the first day, we would ask you not to ring your child, nor ask them to ring you, unless it is essential. The Superweek Director will always call you if there is any cause for concern.

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.

More importantly, 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.

You are very welcome to ring the office and ask for an update; we will contact the Director in charge of the Superweek to check how things are going. In case of emergency, please contact the office who will put you in touch with the Superweek Director.

Will you share photos of the Superweek?

Photographs, and sometimes videos, are often taken on a Superweek by both staff and children. You will be able to indicate that you do not want pictures of your child to be shared when you complete the Personal and Medical Information Form.

We will share photos at the end of the week and, where feasible, during the week. On occasion it is very helpful for us to be able to use photographs and videos on our website and social media, though names are never be disclosed.

Please see the Photography and Filming Policy Statement on our Policies and Procedures page for more details.

Do you have insurance?

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.

Will I be able to contact ATE outside of office hours during the Superweek?

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 01684 562 400 to hear the answerphone message.

How can I make a complaint, raise a safeguarding concern, or find out about other policies?

Our full suite of policies and procedures is available on our Policies and Procedures page. Please contact us if you have any questions about our policies.

It’s really important to us that you have the chance to ask all your questions. Give us a ring on 01684 562 400 if there’s any further information you’d like to know.