SciTech is an amazing experience for children. It is quite unlike many other holiday schools or activity courses. This is a guide for parents who may not have sent their children to one of our summer schools before, it is intended to give a picture of what we do and why more than 80% of children who come to SciTech return each year again and again.
“Children have curiosity and enthusiasm in abundance” – Philip Rose, the founder of SciTech. In an interview in a BBC magazine programme, Philip went on to say “Infected with the same enthusiasm, we create a safe, stimulating hands-on environment in which the children, fuelled by their own enthusiasm, explore and experience the world of science and technology using state-of-the-art equipment that is often the envy of their parents!”.
At SciTech we have excellent child to staff ratios of around 5 to1 and with our little ones, the Minis, it is around 4 to1.
A Typical Day
When children arrive at SciTech our first priority is to welcome them and give them their security badge. They already have their own special ID card badge that they keep and wear every day along with their SciTech polo shirt. The security badge is part of the meticulous security system that ensures the safe and proper handover and collection of children.
At 10 o’clock we have a brief registration period. This is a fun activity which not only confirms the numbers of children but also engages the children with their groups. The groups will number off and there is always competition to see which group will be the fastest.
The children now begin the first of four sessions that make up the SciTech day. Each day they follow one of the five science topics. The children learn so much! Not just the science of today’s topic but from the experience of operating in a group of equally enthusiastic learners.
Between the first and second sessions and between the third and fourth sessions, there is a short break where even the most inspired and engaged minds are encouraged to disengage for a drink, a biscuit and some time with friends.
At lunchtime the children have a play time which they take after having had their packed lunch.
Throughout the day the children collect the various things they have made. They also gather printouts and drawings.
At going home time the children are excited, exhausted, still full of enthusiasm and laden with all that they have gathered during the day! Before the children go we say goodbye and they hand in that security badge to an authorised member of staff. In this way we ensure the right children go home with the right people! Experience has shown that in the car on the way home, children will talk incessantly about all the things they’ve done or they’ll just fall asleep!
Before we begin – the booking procedures
Bookings are now taken exclusively online. This link will take you straight to our booking in page. You will not be asked to pay when you fill in the booking form.
When we receive the application form we check the details and the availability, make the appropriate reservations and then we send you an invoice.
As soon as we have received a payment from you we will send you another email which will confirm the place and echo some of the more important information that we are holding for your child. This gives you an opportunity to check we have got it right!
Nearer the time we will send you a Starter Pack email. This has all the information that you will need to prepare and bring your child to SciTech. There is information on what should be brought in and what must be left behind, where we are and how to deliver and collect your child and a lot of other information that you may need.
The Starter Pack letter (it’s a PDF file) is, initially, addressed to your child. The second part of the letter is for you.
That first Monday, if you’ve never seen it before, can be a genuinely ‘awesome’ experience! Because most of the parents and children will have been to a SciTech before, they will appear to know what they are doing and where they are going. For a younger child who is looking forward to SciTech but has not thought about the numbers of children involved, the Monday morning experience may lead to a separation anxiety. A reassuring conversation with your child in anticipation of coming to SciTech might be a good idea. Questions like “Do you think there will be lots of children there?” and “Do you think you might make some new friends?”, could be quite helpful in preconditioning a child for the Monday morning. At SciTech we are used to helping children who have this kind of apprehension. This is particularly true for our youngest children. We have staff on hand with whom the children come to bond until they are ready to join in; a process measured in minutes not hours.
On the Monday the children are registered, allocated to their groups and given a polo shirt. We have a session where we introduce the children to the 10 rules of safety and behaviour that we operate at SciTech. We explain the importance of the ‘The Deal’ where we treat children in a very adult way and expect in return, grownup behaviour from them. This works very well. We don’t get behaviour problems.
There is of course, so much more to SciTech than we can explain here. If you’re looking for more evidence of the effectiveness and pleasure of the course we would recommend you to speak to any parent who has ever sent a child to SciTech since we founded the organisation well over 25 years ago.
If you would like to contact us you can do so via this website or you can telephone us directly on (0161) 903 9133.