Premier Education

How to ensure a secure and supportive environment for your holiday camp

For busy working parents holiday camps provide essential childcare, for children they provide a place to learn new skills, make new friends and try just about every sport and activity under the sun. For schools, they’re about providing a safe and supportive environment that allows camp-goers to get the most out of the experience and ensure parents have peace of mind.

By thinking ahead and implementing clear measures, you can ensure the safety of your student’s health and wellbeing so that when they arrive they can focus on having fun.

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Why is a safe and secure environment important?

A safe and secure environment in a school holiday camp is vital for safeguarding children in your care. Not only does it protect children from physical harm and threats, it promotes learning by reducing anxiety and stress, and fosters positive relationships and trust among individuals.

Ultimately, keeping children safe is foundational to creating an optimal learning environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported in their, health, education and personal growth.

Provide the appropriate facilities

The key to providing a safe space for young people is making the effort to put in the prep work and it all starts with the venue itself.

Find the right sized space

Whether it’s outdoor sports that involve balls and bats, or an indoor performing arts activity, having the right space is essential. Too large and it can be difficult to keep an eye on all of the kids in your care, too small and there might not be enough room to carry out the activity safely.

For outdoor sports in particular the space should be large enough to accommodate the playing field as well as any equipment and resources, while also providing adequate buffer zones to prevent collisions and accidents.

The size of your space may limit the number of children you can have partaking in an activity at any one time.

Safeguarding holiday camps

Have the right safety equipment to hand

It goes without saying that any venue hosting a holiday camp needs to have the appropriate number of accessible emergency exits for the safety of both staff and camp-goers. The government recommends having at least two emergency exit points that are completely independent of each other and have separate escape routes so that there is always a way to evacuate the building in an emergency.

Aside from that, you should also assess whether your venue has the following essentials:

  • Fire extinguishers it’s recommended to have one in every 100m2 in the area
  • Functional fire alarms in addition to testing your alarm manually, you should also check that its sensors are working too
  • First aid supplies it’s a good idea to always have basic first aid supplies on hand to address minor injuries or medical emergencies
  • Adequate lighting to prevent accidents and create a sense of security.

Do regular maintenance checks

Regular maintenance checks should be performed on the venue both in the lead-up to your summer camp starting, but also across the duration of the camp so that you can spot issues before they become a problem.

As well as inspecting the safety equipment listed above, maintenance checks should also ensure no hazardous damage has occurred to flooring, desks and chairs, or the equipment being used regularly.

Catching these things early means you can put a plan in place to replace, repair or mitigate the risk of any damage to the venue.

Secure and supportive environment holiday camps

Give clear rules and guidelines

Having clear rules is always key to keeping children safe, and that’s not just for the camp-goers, it applies to your staff too.

Communicate staff expectations ahead of time

Clear communication can also be key in the prevention and reaction to potential accidents. When things don’t go to plan, having clear guidelines in place can be the difference between a minor issue and a complete disaster.

Make sure staff know the following:

  • What behaviour is expected from themselves and the students in their care, including guidelines on respectful communication, appropriate interactions with students, and maintaining professional conduct
  • Staff should be well-versed in emergency protocols, including evacuation procedures, first aid response, and communication channels in case of emergencies
  • They should also know their roles and responsibilities in different emergency scenarios to ensure a coordinated and effective response
  • Their supervision requirements, including guidelines on staff-to-child ratios, supervision duties and their responsibilities for monitoring student welfare and behaviour.
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Communicate your holiday camp rule to students upon arrival

It’s easy for kids to get caught up in the excitement of all the activities your holiday camp has to offer – which is a good thing!

But that makes it even more important for you to clearly communicate all the important rules and guidelines to them as soon as possible so that they can then focus on what they’re there for to have fun.

  • Talk to your students about expected behaviour, treating each other with respect, following instructions from staff members, and cooperating during activities this will help to enforce a positive and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected
  • Children should be aware of any guidelines for using equipment and facilities safely, staying within designated areas, and reporting any hazards, difficulties or concerns to an adult promptly
  • Clear instructions on emergency protocol such as evacuation routes, assembly points, and seeking help from staff members, empower children to respond effectively if challenges arise

Having qualified activity professionals overseeing your holiday camp activities can give you a head start as they’ll not only be fully equipped to teach new skills, they will have undergone specific training in clear communication with staff and children.

Maintain effective supervision

It goes without saying that when parents opt to enrol their children into a holiday camp, they expect them to be supervised and taken care of in the same way they expect it during school hours, with safeguarding at the heart of the provision.

Staff should be alert and responsive at all times to the pupils in their care when overseeing activities, which involves being near enough to see and hear the children and provide immediate assistance when needed. Staff should also be prepared to tailor supervision depending on the age, needs, capabilities, activities and location of students.

Check-in with student wellbeing

It’s not just physical safety that schools and teachers need to be aware of in a holiday camp setting. The emotional wellbeing and mental health of students during the holiday camp, also need to be prioritised.

Regular check-ins with students will go a long way to ensure they feel supported and comfortable participating in camp activities. Encouraging open communication and providing opportunities for students to express their thoughts and feelings, as part of a group or with you individually, will create a supportive environment.

As in the regular classroom, some children will likely need more guidance than others, or more one to one support.

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Premier Education holiday camps

The easiest way to safeguard children and ensure a safe and supportive holiday camp environment is to place your trust in Premier Education holiday camps. Our activity professionals are fully equipped to provide all the education and support needed to see children grow in confidence and ability throughout the camp.

With over 20 years of experience, enjoy peace of mind, knowing that pupils are in safe hands with our DBS-checked coaches who know the best ways to protect children and keep them happy and active. See what makes our school holiday camps the best for kids.


What is safeguarding children at school?

At its heart, for schools, safeguarding is about creating a culture at school, whether that be in the classroom, in an after-school club or as part of a holiday camp, that keeps its pupils safe so that they can benefit from all the program has to offer.

Statutory guidance advises working closely and transparently with parents, staff and the children themselves to first protect students from harm, and then to take prompt and proportionate action where necessary.

According to Ofsted, an open and positive safeguarding culture puts students’ interests first, with the staff around them being vigilant in identifying risks and reporting any potential concerns so that issues can be tackled quickly and with care.

What are the 6 principles of safeguarding in schools?

1. Empowerment students being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions

2. Prevention taking action before harm occurs

3. Proportionality taking the least intrusive response appropriate to deal with the risk

4. Protection supporting and representing those in greatest need

5. Partnership working with communities to promote preventing, detect and report neglect and abuse

6. Accountability being accountable and transparent in safeguarding practices

What is the role of student support?

Student support services offer advice for many of the problems children face, including problems relating to health, academic work and family concerns. They can provide a more specialised and tailored level of advice to students who have higher-level or special educational needs.