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How safe and secure is Ardentinny Centre?
Ardentinny Centre has 24-hour duty instructor cover. On arrival all schools receive a fire and safety briefing, where all emergency exits and meeting areas are pointed out as well as procedures for evacuating buildings. All instructors are fully qualified in first aid, and there is a qualified member of staff on site at all times. All staff are trained to look after the emotional wellbeing of pupils as well as their physical safety. We create a warm and supportive environment at all times.
Are your activities safe?
It is not possible to make outdoor activities completely risk free, but you could say that about absolutely everything in life. Our activities are managed to reduce risk and to minimise the chance of mishap. Our equipment is the best, the operating procedures are rigorous, our staff training is continuous and external experts ( technical advisors, insurance underwriters, local authority health and safety officers and Adventure Activities Licensing Service inspectors) help to ensure the activities and the routines are safe.
How is the centre insured?
Activities Industry Mutual, an insurance provider specialised in providing insurance for outdoor centres, provides all our cover. Click here to see our certificate of insurance.
Are the instructors qualified?
All our instructors, regardless of the qualifications they bring to the job, are trained and, when ready, signed-off by the Head of Outdoor Education at the centre. This ensures that the members of our team are experts at the sites programmed for your activities and with the operations we employ.
How many activities can our group do?
There is a morning, afternoon and evening activity on each day of your visit. We plan our daytime activities to ensure that time is well used, nothing is rushed and participants have the necessary space to discover the real joys of what they are doing.
If your group is small or you want come for a short period of time and do more activities, please contact us and we will see if we can arrange something else.
Do you cater to any special dietary needs or requirements?
We can cater to most specialised diets, just let us know beforehand.
How is the day/week structured?
A normal day at Ardentinny consists of 3 activities spread over the day, with eating, cleaning up and free time in between. If you want to have a look at how exactly the days are structured, you can find an example here.
What should my child bring to Ardentinny?
All the specialised equipment will be provided by the Centre. For general clothes, please have a look at our Kit List. The school should also provide you with such a list shortly before the visit.
Will my child be supervised at all times?
Yes. There is a partnership working between the centre staff and party leaders that ensures young people are supervised at all times.
How much pocket money should my child bring?
We have a small tuck shop with a limited selection of confectionary and souvenirs. The school will inform you before the visit about how the shop works (normally there is a maximum amount a young person is allowed spend).
What happens if the weather is bad?
You probably have heard that there is no bad weather, just wrong clothes. At Ardentinny, we are used to changing weather, so most of our equipment is designed for all-weather use, and we provide wetsuits, wellies and other things children might need. In addition, each morning we will assess if the planned activities can be done according to the weather forecast and make changes if necessary.
What if my child does not like the food?
This happens less frequently than some parents may fear. If a main meal is not what a young person is inclined to eat there is always the packed lunch ingredients to fall back on: tuna, cheese, boiled eggs, ham and coleslaw are favourites. And of course, lots of bread and butter.
What happens if my child does not want to do an activity?
We will encourage all children to try out every activity, as we know that people can often achieve more than they think possible. However, if a young person really does not want to do an activity, s/he will not be forced to. But in the many years we have done this, we have found that most will be convinced to at least try.
What happens if my child gets ill or injured?
The same as happens at home or in school. The staff responsible for looking after your child in your place will decide what course of action is best. That may be just having a little quiet time or it may be going to the local health centre in Dunoon. If any kind of medicine or treatment is required, the party leader will contact you.
Does my child have to know how to swim?
No. But if a young person is afraid of the water, we should be told.
My child has additional needs. Can s/he still attend the residential course?
We can manage most additional needs as long as teachers make us aware of them at the time of booking. We will advise you if we think we are not equipped to care appropriately in a specific situation.
Can I keep in touch with my child during his/her stay?
You can keep in contact with the school and the party leaders, or by calling the centre if there is an urgent issue. However, we recommend that you don’t just ring for a chat as this can often made children homesick.
What if my child leaves personal belongings behind at Ardentinny?
Before the group leaves, our instructors collect left-behind items and try very hard to ensure they are returned to their owners.
All individual items should have the young person’s name on them. That way we can identify them if found later and post them back if your child forgets them at the centre (postage will be charged in this case).
What about pupils with additional needs?
We’re committed to work with you to ensure that everyone in the class or group is able to participate and to share the fullest experience and benefit of the trip. The centre has an accessible dormitory, as well as accessible bathrooms. We’ll let you know if we think we’re not equipped to care appropriately in a specific situation.
What do pupils need to bring with them?
You can download a suggested list here.
Do you do visits to schools to meet parents and teachers?
Yes, we consider it an integral part of the adventure that pupils and their parents attend a presentation event in the school before the trip. This helps ensure that pupils and their parents are making a shared as well as an informed decision about taking part.
Will our school have sole use of the centre?
Ardentinny accommodates up to 120 people. If you’re group is smaller you may be sharing the centre with other groups.
How many staff can/should we bring?
Normally party leaders attend in a ratio of 1 responsible adult per 10 pupils; most local authorities have recommendations about this in their management guidance to school.
What are teachers expected to do?
Teachers can take part in the group activities to the extent that they themselves are comfortable with: accompanying pupils on some of their adventures is the best way to share the excitement and the fun, but it may not be practical for teachers to go on every activity session. In addition, teachers do have to help with evening activities and are responsible for all the bedtime and early morning routines, so they usually need some time to themselves during the day. The general Visiting Staff Routine can be found here.
How and when do we need to pay?
When the school is ready to confirm its booking with us, we will ask for a small non-refundable deposit per person. Most schools run a savings scheme and the school will want to have the trip fully paid before it actually takes place. We will bill the school for the cost of the trip after it has taken place.
What happens if a child has to cancel?
Twelve weeks before the trip, we will ask for confirmation of the final numbers attending. We reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee for pupils who do not attend after final numbers have been confirmed.
Do you have risk assessments?
Organisations like ours need to have robust risk assessments for all the activities we provide. Risk assessments are not the whole story, however: it is the operating procedures and the staff training and monitoring that ensure safety and good practice. Ardentinny has risk assessments and well tried and tested operating procedures for every aspect of your visit.
Ardentinny Essential Information Pack
Click the link below to access all the information and forms you need for a trip to Ardentinny, including a Kit List.
Click the link below to access the Kit List for a trip to Ardentinny.
Click the link below to view our AALA Licence.
Ardentinny Sample Menu
Click the link below to view our sample dinner menu.
Ardentinny Sample Programme
Click the link below to have a look at how a course at Ardentinny looks like.
Diary of Stay
Click the link below to view our Diary of Stay.
Click the link below to view our insurance document.
Summer Camp Pack
Click the link below to view all the information and forms needed for our Summer Camp.