What is included in the cost?
Booked Schools and other groups will have access to a classroom area which seats up to 30 students and accompanying staff. If you have booked a taught course, a member of staff and teaching resources will be provided. Self taught groups will be loaned equipment and resources as per the course outline. We will invoice for any equipment loaned to visitors that is returned broken or damaged.
What do we need to bring?
Students will need to be prepared for the visit and expect to take part in the taught sessions. You will need to bring paper, pencils / pens. There are limited cafe facilities so students (and parents) must bring any food or drinks required. We will be going outside on some sessions so wear appropriate clothing for working outside and sensible footwear. If the weather is adverse sessions will still go ahead so please prepare accordingly and bring waterproofs or suncream!
What facilities are available?
Toilets are available on site. These are shared with other visitors to the site and members of the public. The cafe provide a range of light lunches and could offer catering for groups if booked in advance. They are not able to cater for large numbers on the day. You could link your visit to other activities on site. Bike Hire (and training) is also available. Full details can be found on theviewtube website.
We ask all our visitors to follow the guidelines. Please help us to reduce negative environmental impact by:
- Considering local, organic, fair trade produce for the lunch you bring and reducing packaging
- Taking any rubbish home with you as we have a limited refuse collection service
- Looking after the sites whilst you are using them
- Saving energy by turning off light and water by turning off taps
Damage/Loss of Property
View Tube Learn cannot be held responsible for loss or damage of personal property used or left on the premises or taken outside. Please do not bring valuables.
Code of Conduct / Behaviour
- cooperate with staff to safeguard the natural environment
- agree to follow safety instructions at all times
- recognise you have a responsibility to maintain your own safety and not to endanger other members of the group.
Misbehaviour is a major cause of accidents and View Tube Staff reserve the right to exclude pupils whose behaviour is regarded as being unacceptable.
School Group Leader Agreement. The purpose of this letter is to confirm View Tube Learn procedures and the responsibilities of FSC staff, Group Leaders and Students. It is important that all visitors are aware of the contents of this letter. This applies to all groups attending View Tube Learn although it refers to Field Studies Council policies.
Information for adult helpers This document contains information which you may find useful in briefing adult helpers that are assisting on the trip. Whilst this document should not replace any school guidance, it may enhance it and assist in making it specific to this location.
Health and Safety
We take the greatest care to ensure the safety of all visitors. Staff are trained in first aid and have access to a first aid kit. All activities and sites have been risk assessed and appropriate control measures are in place to ensure your safety. Further Health and Safety Guidance will be given on arrival. Students, teachers and parents are asked to note the information provided on the management of Infection.
Management of infection.
Staff are aware that certain diseases are present in soil, water borne or may be transmitted by small mammals. During a visit you may carry out investigations with soils, freshwater, and/or work with small mammals. We believe infection risks on led activities are very low however we are providing you with the following information for your reference.
We will instruct students to take simple practical precautions to prevent infection:
- individuals with recent large open wounds should not be directly involved in activities; they may act as recorders instead
- cuts/abrasions should be covered with micropore tape
- hands should be washed thoroughly with soap on returning from fieldwork and before consuming food and drink
- rubber gloves will be provided where appropriate
You may wish to check with your doctor whether tetanus immunization is appropriate prior to your visit.
Attention is drawn to the bacterial infection Leptospirosis, which in more acute forms is known as Weils Disease.
If you have undertaken one of the activities mentioned above and fall ill with the following symptoms up to four weeks after your visit you should seek treatment from your doctor and explain the nature of the activity undertaken and the concern regarding Leptospirosis. Treatment by antibiotics is completely effective in the initial stages, but early consultation with a doctor is essential. Symptoms may include:
- Above normal temperature and / or chill feelings
- Pains in joints and muscles (often calf muscles in particular)
- A feeling of influenza like illness
If you fall ill as a result of a visit please let us know in order that we can monitor the effectiveness of our safety procedures.
Compliance / Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority (AALA)
VTL complies with all relevant Health and Safety Legislation and Regulations. The activities undertaken fall outside the scope of Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority. The centre complies with the operational Codes of Practice of the Field Studies Council and has Unit Standing Orders, which regulate its normal and emergency operating procedures.
All staff are carefully recruited and trained to work in a safe manner and to ensure continuous compliance with safety procedures. They have been assessed as competent in performing their duties. Staff and Volunteers are subject to Criminal Records Bureau checks and given appropriate guidance in relation to child protection. Groups will have access to a currently qualified first aider and access to a first aid kit.
Public Liability insurance
All FSC Field Centres are covered under Public Liability Insurance, which (as at January 2009) has an indemnity limit of £5million for both the public liability and products. For further details request a copy of the insurance certificate.
All equipment is suited to the task and adequately maintained and checked to ensure that it will not compromise the safety of visitors.
There is public access to the View Tube Cafe / Toilets on the ground floor. Sites used for teaching are open to the public. They are not believed to be particularly hazardous and the precautions we take are greater than those likely to be taken by a prudent member of the public. There are no exposed rocky shores, ‘inaccessible’ areas or cliffs/sudden drops that present major hazards with fieldwork elsewhere. All sites are considered to be relatively safe. Nevertheless, special arrangements are made to minimise risks especially in relation to rivers, ponds, roads and the risk of abduction. Our risk assessment indicates that urban fieldwork is low risk with few significant hazards. Advice from the Geographical Association is that students live or regularly use urban areas and are already familiar with managing the associated risks.
None of the Centre’s activities are assessed as being intrinsically dangerous. In general, they can be classified as either low risk recreational activity commonly enjoyed by the public without special safety arrangements or educational activities undertaken by students with modest levels of supervision. Details of Risk Assessments can be provided. View Tube Staff are trained to undertake continuous dynamic risk assessments in the field, taking account of the prevailing conditions and the age, behaviour, medical conditions, special needs of groups in their care. Changes are made to the activities or to the control measures for the activities when a need to reduce the risk is identified.
Staff / Student Ratios
There is no legal requirement for any particular staff/student ratio. Health & Safety legislation/regulations require that a risk assessment is undertaken and appropriate control measures are put in place and supervision is clearly an important measure. Our practice is normally to provide are suitably experienced and qualified member of View Tube staff to lead the activity, to manage safety and provide First Aid cover. Emergency support will always be available.
View Tube staff will ensure that together with school staff/other adults, staff/student ratios are appropriate.
Staffing ratios are difficult too prescribe; the following factors should be considered to determine appropriate ratios in conjunction with school staff:
- site(s)/location(s) to be used
- ability and behaviour of students
- pupils with special educational or medical needs
- experience and competence of staff/other adults in outdoor supervision
- nature and duration of activities
- any other relevant factors
Staff are instructed not to attempt activities under circumstances where safety is in doubt. Planned activities, sites and class management arrangements are altered or other supervision obtained if prevailing circumstances indicate that staff/student ratios are not adequate. Experience indicates that the quality of adult supervision is more important than the quantity providing there are sufficient adults to provide for safe management and any foreseeable emergency response.
Some LEA’s set their own levels of supervision for school visits and schools may want to ensure that they are compliant. DFES guidance states that there should be 1 adult for every 15-20 pupils in year 7 and up. FSC guidance is compliant with this. Please note that the View Tube Member of Staff should not be included in your ratios.
Schools are deemed to be responsible for vetting the adults they bring to supervise groups.
Medical Conditions (including asthmatic visitors) / Special Needs
Visit co-ordinators are asked to ensure View Tube are informed of any medical conditions or special needs before the visit, and to ensure adequate supplies of any self administered medication are brought where this is appropriate. Any information disclosed will be treated in confidence and will only be used to help us prepare for your visit. We are unable to accept responsibility for any difficulties arising from not receiving this important information in advance of your visit.
Is there any further information you would like to know? Contact us if you have any further questions or suggestions for improving the content of this web site.