Care of Under 18's
The safety and well-being of our students are our top priorities and we aim to provide an environment where the children feel comfortable and safe.
Here are some frequently asked questions about how we care for our young students:
WHO LOOKS AFTER THE STUDENTS?
The whole team at Sidmouth International School! The teachers, leaders, administration staff and homestay families are all involved in the welfare of the students. Daily meetings highlight any problems and good communication is central to the way we work.
WHO SUPERVISES THE STUDENTS OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM?
We have two teams of activity leaders who work with the Teenagers and Young Learners during the summer months and they supervise the students. Outside the summer months we have a smaller team led by our Social Activities Organiser.
The supervision ratios are as follows:
Teenagers (14-17 yrs) 1: 15
Tweens (12 -1 3 yrs) 1: 12
Juniors (8-11 yrs) 1: 12 in class, 1:10 on activities
HOW DO THE STUDENTS GET TO SCHOOL?
Most homestay families are an easy walk from the school (max 25 minutes). Those further than this qualify for a bus ticket available from the school office. These students will be given a bus timetable and shown where the bus stops.
The students are brought to school each day by the homestay family or by school minibus, and are met by a member of our staff when they arrive. At the end of the day they are returned to their homestay by the same means.
IS THE AFTERNOON SOCIAL PROGRAMME COMPULSORY?
Yes it is! for all students and this includes excursions.
All excursions are supervised by our staff.
WHAT DO THE STUDENTS DO IN THE EVENINGS?
Teenagers are offered 4 supervised evening activities from 19.30 – 21.30 hrs. Other evenings can be spent with their homestay family or they can make their own arrangements to meet up with other students from the school
Juniors 8-11 yrs have no evening activities. All evenings are spent with their homestay family
Tweens 12- 13 yrs have two supervised evening activities per week. Transfer to and from these activities is included.
WHAT DO STUDENTS DO ON SUNDAYS?
Sunday is a day with the homestay family for all students.
Teenage students: if the student chooses to make their own plans on Sunday, the homestay family will arrange ‘check-in’ times with the student who must obey these times. All students must be with other students from the school during this time and return to their family no later than 17.30 hrs.
DO THE STUDENTS HAVE ANY UNSUPERVISED FREE TIME?
Teenage students (14-17yrs) have some unsupervised time. They walk or take the bus to and from school, and they go into town to buy their lunch. In the evenings and on Sundays they can make their own arrangements although they must inform their homestay family of where they are going and obey the ‘check-in’ times that the family give them.
The Junior students (8-11 yrs) are fully supervised throughout their course.
Tween students (12-13 yrs) are able to leave the school and go into town for 45 minutes during their lunch break. They have to sign out with a leader before they go and must go with another student from the school. They can also go shopping in small unsupervised groups of students for up to one hour when on excursions if there is a suitable shopping centre.
AT WHAT TIME SHOULD A TEENAGE STUDENT RETURN TO THEIR HOMESTAY FAMILY?
- Evening meal – all students must return to their homestay family for the evening meal between 17.30 and 18.00 hrs
- At night – all students aged 14 -17 yrs must be in the house of their homestay family by 22.30 hrs. The family will contact the school emergency number if a student is late.
WHO CAN A STUDENT TALK TO IF THEY HAVE A PROBLEM?
They can speak to their activity leader or any other member of the school staff. The students will be made aware of the names and roles of all key staff on their first day in school.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM ILL?
We hope you won’t be! But if you are, the doctor, dentist and hospital are near the school. The Accommodation Officer will make an appointment for you and can go with you if you want her to.
HOW DOES THE SCHOOL RECRUIT HOMESTAY FAMILIES FOR THESE YOUNG STUDENTS?
These families are selected very carefully and have the following checks:
- Two visits by school staff
- Staff meet all members of the family
- All required checks are completed including checks by both a local and national government service to ensure the suitability of the family to host young students
TEENAGE STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE – students must:
- attend all classes, afternoon activities and excursions
- give their mobile phone number to both the school and their homestay family on the first day. The student must keep that phone with them, charged and switched on at all times when not in class or with the school staff
- carry their school ID card with them at all times during their stay at the school.
- be with at least one other student from the school during any unsupervised free time
- inform their homestay family of where they will be in their free time
We work hard to ensure that our students are happy and safe. We are a small school in a small town and communication is good between staff, homestay families, students and local residents and any concerns or feedback are noted and dealt with quickly.
If you have any other questions please contact us and we will be happy to help.
Sidmouth International School is proud to be accredited by the British Council for teaching English and is a member of English UK.