We take the Year 6 children to Robinwood Dobroyd Castle Activity Centre in Todmorden where the children take part in a wide variety of outdoor and adventurous activities which is a requirement within the PE National Curriculum. Below you will find more information about the residential including information about the cost and ways to pay, the types of activities the children take part in and finally there is a section with answers to questions we are frequently asked by parents. If you have any other queries regarding the residential, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We are aware that the cost of the residential is significant at £155 but we believe it is great value for money as provides the children with a wonderful opportunity to experience outdoor and adventurous activities in a safe and fun environment.
We always aim to give parents and carers a year to pay and we are very flexible about when the payments are made. We can create a payment plan to suit each family so the cost becomes manageable. Payments can be made monthly, quarterly, a one off payment or in any other way that suits you using ParentPay. We give full details at a meeting we hold for Year 5 parents in March/April each year.
Below we have put together answers to the questions we are frequently asked by parents about the residential to Robinwood. We hope you find the information useful. If you have any further questions that have not been answered here, please feel free to contact the Year 6 teachers, who will be happy to help with any queries.
What food do the children get at meal times?
Do I need to send them with any other food?
You certainly do not need to send your child with any food; the food is good and there is plenty of it! Robinwood aim to provide healthy meals that will appeal to the children in order that they get the energy intake they need to fuel their three days at Robinwood.
Breakfast - the children can have toast and cereals and they can also have a full cooked breakfast.
Lunchtime - the children have the option of a sandwich or jacket potato with a choice of fillings such as tuna, cheese or baked beans. There is sometimes an option to have soup and they will also get some fruit and yoghurt.
Evening Meal – the children get a hot cooked evening meal; there is always have a choice of meal such as pasta Bolognese or pizza and it is always followed by a tasty dessert.
With all the meals there is always a vegetarian option.
Break time snacks - Robinwood provide fruit that the children can access throughout the day if they need a snack. The children also get a flapjack during the middle day. There is also juice for the children so they can get a drink when they need one.
Bedtime - Before bedtime the children enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit.
My child requires a special diet, can this be accommodated for?
Yes, based on our previous experiences, Robinwood are fantastic at ensuring that any special diets or specific requirements can be catered for as long as they are notified in advance. Nearer the time of going, parents will be sent a form to complete that asks about any medical needs and special diets so please compete this and send it back to school- we will share any necessary information with Robinwood. If any parents have any concerns or just want a chat about any special diet requirements, please contact the Year 6 teachers.
How are the children supervised outside of activity times?
Children attending Robinwood are supervised by Robinwood staff throughout their stay; whether this is during activity sessions, break times, meal times or night times. The Robinwood staff organise things so that when the children not sleeping they’re are kept busy all the time. Most of the time that means taking part in activity sessions, but in-between 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. Break times are also spent reviewing experiences and getting children kitted out for their next activity session.
How are the children supervised at night time?
Robinwood Night duty staff supervise overnight assisted at relevant times by bedtime staff and wake-up staff. All dormitories have a call assistance button that can be pressed by the children, if they need a member of the Robinwood team overnight. Whilst it is the Robinwood staff who supervise the children over night, the bedrooms for our school staff are located close to the children so they are hand to help and support if needed.
How are the sleeping arrangements organised?
Children sleep in dormitories with all bedding provided and toilet facilities close by. A couple of weeks before we go to Robinwood, the children will be allocated the dormitory they are going to be sleeping in. We always let the children choose who they share a room with. We know that some children may feel nervous about being away from home and so sharing a room with friends can help they feel more comfortable.
Do the children have showers whilst they are away?
Yes they do. Showers are timetables in for all the children usually following on from activities where the children may get wet or dirty (e.g. Nightline and Piranha Pool). The children need to pack a towel, shower gel etc. The group leaders ensure good standards of cleanliness are maintained.
Can the children take a mobile phone with them and call home whilst they are away?
No we don’t allow the children to bring their mobile phone with them or call home whilst they away. There are exceptional circumstances when we have allowed a child to phone home but this is not the norm and would have been pre-arranged with school staff (E.g. once a parent was having an operation whilst we were away so the child did phone home to check their parent was ok). The main reason we do not children to call home is that if they hear their parent’s voice, they are likely to get upset or feel homesick whereas if they don’t speak to their parents, they are fine! Parents will have a school mobile number to contact if necessary and if there was an emergency school staff would always contact parents.
How is security managed at Robinwood?
All adult visitors to Robinwood have to sign in as part of their safeguarding procedures. At night-time, Robinwood Night Staff are constantly moving around the buildings. All the dormitory building are alarmed and these alarms are activated once the children go to bed. If the outside door is opened from the inside or outside at any time during the night, the alarm sounds (directly to devices that the Robinwood staff carry) and within seconds they are at the door to check who has either gone in or come out of the building.
How do Robinwood ensure all the activities are carried out safely?
Robinwood have carried out detailed risk assessments of all aspects of a Robinwood course, including activity sessions and other areas. They review and update these assessments on a regular basis and ensure that children are not placed in risk situations. Copies of their risk assessments are given to the school prior to our visit; parents are welcome to view the risk assessments on request. They ensure that there are good levels of supervision from a high quality staff team. The level of supervision on activity sessions is appropriate to the nature of the activity taking place. For most activity sessions the group leader takes charge of their activity group, of between 9 and 13 children, without assistance from other Robinwood staff. For certain activity sessions including zip wire for example a second, appropriately qualified, member of the Robinwood team is timetabled to work with the group leader. As well as all the Robinwood staff there are the school staff who accompany children on a trip to Robinwood.
Will my child be forced to do an activity that they do not want to do?
Being challenged and overcoming fears is all part of the Robinwood experience but no child will be forced to do an activity that they do not want to do. Some children get nervous or a bit scared when faced with activities such as the zip wire or trapeze and so the Robinwood and school staff will encourage the child to have a go. In some cases, success will mean that a child has managed to climb the first few steps of the trapeze when their initial reaction was not even to try. We tend to find that the vast majority of children manage to overcome any fear, once they have seen other children complete the activity and they then have a go themselves. The sense of achievement is huge if they completed an activity that they thought they couldn't. Pleased be assured that whilst encouragement and support are all part of the process, no child would be forced to do something they really didn't want to do.
Over the three days at Robinwood the children take part in a wide range of activities all designed to build confidence, develop teamwork skills and that encourage the children to challenge themselves.
The children are taught how to use the bows safely and then practice shooting at 120cm target boards. Once they have had the chance to practice their skills, they take part in archery challenges which are great fun.
The children are shown how to use the oars correctly to move the canoe backwards and forwards. They have to work as a team as they are in twos or threes so it is important to be able to work together to get the canoe moving in the right direction! They play lots of games such as canoe football which can be be quite a challenge but the children always rise to the occasion.
Robinwood have a specially designed indoor caving system so it is extremely safe. Along the tunnels are emergency exits so the children can get out if needed. Our children really enjoy caving and learn rescue methods which they then put into practice by having to rescue a figure within the cave system using their first aid skills and a stretcher.
The children thoroughly enjoy the climbing sessions. All the children challenged themselves and many make it right to the top of the indoor climbing wall. They also play bouldering games where they have a move along a low level climbing wall according to specific rules like only touching the blue hand holds. It is quite difficult and the instructors and very adept at adapting the rules to make it challenging for the children at different ability levels. The children need determination and perseverance to achieve.
This activity relies completely on effective team work as a small group of children have to build a tower from the crates, climbing up it as they go. The challenge is to see which team can build the highest one. Not easy...but always great fun!
The children love this one! Adventure and teamwork combine on the giant swing. Two children wearing full harness go on the swing together, securely attached to the swing bar. The children on the swing can choose when they pull the release cord to start. It's their choice whether they start from the highest point or release closer to the ground for a more gentle swing. However high they choose to go, the giant swing is one of the most exhilarating and popular activities.
This activity relies heavily on great communication between the team. The children always support and help each other through the course. With blindfold in place the children put one hand on the rope and then follow it wherever it goes. It goes to all sorts of interesting places! This activity provides the children with a real insight into what life may be like for people who have visual impairments which helps develop empathy. The surprises to be discovered on route as children worm their way over, under and through various obstacles ensure the session is also a lot of fun.
'Piranha pool' is always one of the most eagerly anticipated sessions at Robinwood. The children must demonstrate skills in planning, communicating, evaluating and problem solving whilst they tackle ‘crystal maze’ type challenges, going back and to across the 'piranha pool', without falling in. Don't worry the 'piranhas' never caused anyone any harm! Challenging, exciting and great fun!
The children have great fun during this activity. There are tunnels to crawl through, walls and scramble netting to climb over, rope bridges to cross and various other obstacles for each group to overcome. In order to make their way round, the group need to work together to overcome many of the obstacles they face.
There are a series of problems for each activity group to overcome and if they can manage to do this the Quest is achieved. To find solutions they will need brain power and physical skills, but most of all teamwork. There are problems for the whole activity group together and problems for smaller groups, which ensure that every child is involved.
The group need to escape together from the Dungeon of Doom; they can only do this through excellent teamwork, with some problems to be solved in small groups and other challenges to be overcome with the whole group working together. Tunnels connect some of the dungeon areas. Typical problems include a sensored dungeon floor with only one safe route through and a large tilt maze which needs total teamwork to solve. Another enjoyable activity!
Many of the children face and overcome their fears when they tackle the trapeze. They climb up to stand on a platform around 5 metres above the ground, then leap off and catch a bar, which is dangling a short distance in front of them. The buzz of excitement created throughout makes this a very popular activity session.
Zip wire is a real thrill activity! It is great for group support and encouragement, individual confidence and achievement. There are two zip wires from each platform, in order to reduce waiting time and maximise group involvement. The children love zooming down the zip wire and enjoy a real sense of achievement when they have completed it.