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Parents guide - your questions answered

Welcome to our parent zone!

Here you will find important information and the answer to many questions you may have.

If you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, please contact us and someone will be happy to help you.

Pied Piper camps are open to 4-12 year olds. We welcome all children provided that Health & Safety guidelines are not compromised in any way.

Pied Piper runs activity programmes with the whole week in mind. With this format the children all arrive on the Monday and have the opportunity to be introduced to each other, make friends and bond as a group, have one Camp Agreement/Swimming Assessment and safety session before we can get on with the fun for the rest of the week. Each week has an over-arching theme such as “Out Of This World” and the children take part in sequential activities leading up to our “Fantastic Friday” Mini Olympics and Friday camp Highlights video. We do feel this is what makes Pied Piper unique and special.

Understandably, one of the most frequently asked questions. Our staff are our greatest asset. They are hand-picked from the teaching profession, colleges and universities. They are chosen for their integrity of character, personality, enthusiasm, and a sincere wish to give your children a safe, fun time.

We achieve the high standards we have set ourselves through rigorous selection procedures and training programmes. All staff are cleared to work with children through the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Each site has an experienced Team Captain who heads up the team of lively and energetic staff. Many are teachers or are undertaking teacher training. We are extremely fortunate that many of our staff have worked with us before. They return each year sharing their experience and favourite games with new staff.

The focus on safety begins with the selection of our sites. The site must be large enough to offer our full range of activities in safety and comfort, but small enough to be closely supervised.

The first session on a Monday morning is used to demonstrate safety procedures including a full fire drill. Also, each Monday every group is given a full briefing on Pool Safety prior to swimming. The chanting of the “Do’s and Don’ts” can be heard all over camp!

The focus on safety runs throughout the week, at the beginning of every session the children are given an overview of the activity, including a detailed safety brief to ensure it runs without a hitch and for all to enjoy.

The overall ratio of staff to children is 1:8. In the younger age groups of 4-7 year olds, groups have a maximum of 16 children along with two Group Leaders. For those aged 8+, groups will have between 10-14 children with a Group Leader which enables more team games to be played as a group and with other groups.

All our camps are registered with OFSTED. Each camp is inspected to ensure all the requirements of the National Childcare Standards are met. There are interviews with the staff as well as the necessary clearance checks. Every aspect is looked into: Health and Safety procedures, fire drills and administration procedures are all examined. In short the Inspector ensures your child receives the quality care you expect.

One of the main concerns for any parent or carer, is what would happen if their child should fall ill or have an accident. At Pied Piper we understand that concern, and are well prepared for such eventualities.

There are a number of qualified First Aiders at each camp and they deal with any accidents or illnesses in strict accordance with our approved procedure. Fortunately, many of the accidents we deal with are knocks and bumps or grazes on knees. All of which can be dealt with by spending some time in the special “healing chair”. You will be told of any incident at the end of each day and asked to sign our Accident Book to acknowledge you have been informed.

However, if a child suffers an injury more serious than this, requires hospital treatment or falls ill at camp – you will be contacted immediately using the day/emergency contact numbers provided on the Child Details Form submitted before start of camp.

We want to create wonderful childhood memories for all the children at Pied Piper, in order to do that we need as much information about any medical conditions or additional needs as possible. We will take these details when you complete you booking so you are sure we have we need to know about your child’s health e.g., diabetes, epilepsy, serious allergies etc. as well as swimming ability and contact numbers. This confidential information is held in the Camp Office. Once groups have been allocated, the Group Leader reviews the appropriate Child Details Forms.

We understand in some cases a child may have to take medication whilst attending camp. To enable us to do this we ask you to complete a form detailing the medication with clear instructions for its use and giving consent to the Team Captain to make the necessary dispensations. We will email the relevant forms to all parents the week before your child attends camp. The medication also needs to be clearly labelled with the child’s name.

Should your child become ill and be unable to attend camp, we ask that you please contact the Team Captain as a matter of courtesy. If you have taken out the additional insurance, a claim can be made for the missed days, or subject to availability we can look to offer alternative days. If more than 2 days, we will require a doctor’s letter confirming the details of the illness.

Arrival at camp is staggered to allow for a smooth transition into camp. Your arrival time will either be between 9:15am and 9:30am or between 9:30am and 9:45am. Typically, this is dependent on your child’s group and you will be informed of your arrival and collection time in your ‘week before’ email. Our younger groups will be dropped off at the earlier time to allow them some extra settling in time.

If you have children in two different groups with different arrival times, we recommend arriving at the end of the first registration so that you are able to go directly to the second.

Collection is between 16:15pm and 16:30pm and during this time the Group Leaders will let you know all about your child’s day and the fun they have been having.

We also offer extended day hours which allows for an 08:30am arrival and collection until 17:45pm. This can be booked in advance or during your time at camp.

If you are delayed beyond your normal collection time, don’t worry. Arrangements will be made to look after your child/ren until you arrive. All we ask is that you contact the Team Captain as soon as you know that you are likely to be late.

On Fridays we like to finish off the week with a Camp Concert where each of the groups present a song and/or dance and highlights video that they have been preparing during the week.

Parents and siblings are always welcome to attend. The time of the show will be displayed on the camp noticeboard but is usually around 4:00pm.

Children are grouped, as closely as possible to their school year group prior to Camp. Activities can then be run for each group at a suitable level and pace so that the youngest child on the camp can have just as much fun as the oldest! Each group has its own Group Leader for the whole week, who gets to know each of the children really well. Each Group creates its own identity by choosing their own group name in line with the theme for that week. After the first day, Groups are reviewed and any changes required made.

In principle, yes. As long as their friend is approximately the same age and you let us know at the time of booking (Special Friend section on Booking Form), we can arrange for them to be together.

If there is more than an eighteen – twenty-four-month age gap, our experience shows that one of the friends/siblings does not get as much out of the camp, as either activities are too stretching or not sufficiently stimulating. However, we can be flexible, as each case is obviously unique.

If you need to change an existing booking, subject to availability we will do all we can to accommodate the changes. We can generally make any amendments quickly and simply over the telephone and there is no charge up to 14 days prior to start date.

Unfortunately, we cannot organise the weather! However we do have a wet weather programme which swings into action usually at least once each “British summer” ! We select schools that have excellent facilities to able us to continue with a fun time for all.

Upon receipt of the online booking and payment, an e-mail confirming the details of your booking will be sent to you along with Information Sheets providing all we hope you will need to know to ensure your child enjoys camp. This includes aspects such as sun care, lost property, the Camp Concert and what to bring.

The week before your booking you will receive an e-mail providing further information about the week ahead including Team Captain’s name and contact number, theme of the week and any other specific information for that week.

If this is your first experience of a Pied Piper camp; “Introductory Sessions” are run at 09:30 on Monday mornings of each week. Parents and camp attendees are shown around the facilities prior to the start of the camp in full, and any last-minute questions answered.

At the end of camp, we hope you will tell us what you did like and what things you think we could improve.

Pied Piper Activities Limited is a registered childcare provider and by booking your child(ren) on to a Pied Piper camp you could be eligible to receive Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC).

OFSTED registration numbers are:

Brambletye: 2739448
Cumnor: 2739434
Dulwich: 2739440
Farlington: 2723897
Walstead: 2739442
The Mead: 2739456
Windlesham School: 2728523
Westdene: 2727524
Hangleton: 2723398
Burgess Hill: 2728521
Brighton College: 2726727
Great Ballard: 2698449

If you think you may be entitled to WFTC but are not yet claiming, please visit where there is an on-line calculator so you can check.

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