Information for leaders

Information for Leaders

This page contains useful information for teachers and leaders planning a visit to Braeside. Please click the links below for further information and downloads

  • General information and guidance for all group leaders

    Please find guidance below for visit leaders. There are two documents offering guidance that need to be read by Visit Leaders and passed on to other group staff. Please download using the links below.

    Information for Visiting Leaders – provides guidance and policy for ALL visit leaders to know before they visit Braeside.

    Guidance for Visiting Leaders – provides general accommodation guidance, fire safety and security arrangements.

  • Accommodation

  • Guest behaviour

    Behaviour Management Responsibilities

    The management of the group is seen as a team approach with potentially both the class teacher/group leader and the Braeside teacher jointly resolving issues as they arise, depending on the incident.

    During the day Braeside teaching staff will take an active role in educating the pupils/students; they are trained and experienced at dealing with pupils/students out of doors. They will expect to deal with any usual minor behavioural issues which may arise and which would usually be dealt with easily in a classroom setting. They will direct the pupils/students to ensure that they are safe whilst outdoors and will advise the adults on any changes as they are needed.

    However if a student behaves in a manner which cannot be dealt with quickly in front of the whole group or concerning a personal matter, they may feel it more appropriate for the class teacher/group leader to get involved. This may be particularly important if the situation requires the pupil/student to leave the main group.

    Outside of organised activities or after the Braeside staff inform you that they are finishing for the day it will be up to the resident supervising staff to take on the main responsibility for safe guarding their pupils/students. A member of the Braeside team is always on-call in the event of an emergency and can be contacted at home and this will be discussed during the introduction.

    It is very rare that bad behaviour should lead to serious sanctions being imposed, however, we feel that pupils/students should know that there is a clear policy for dealing with bad behaviour in the same way there would be in school/college.

    Braeside staff are not trained in restraining pupils but they will support appropriately trained visiting school staff to restrain should the need arise. In line with DfE advice, Braeside teaching staff will if deemed necessary use appropriate physical restraint to control pupils but this is only in rare circumstances where pupils put themselves, or others, in danger.

    Braeside staff will always liaise with the teaching team to discuss what would be an appropriate way of dealing with any issues that arise. Below is a set of procedures which will be followed as appropriate.

    1.    Pupil/student will be interviewed by a senior member of the Braeside management team and will be expected to apologise as needed and promise not to repeat the matter.

    2.    Pupil/student could lose free time.

    3.    The head teacher/group leader will be contacted to discuss the issue and it may be referred to them to deal with as appropriate.

    4.    Through liaison with the school/youth staff and head teacher/senior leader the parents may be contacted.

    5.    The pupil/student may be excluded from the centre (this is mainly only when the pupil/student would be seen as a risk to the rest of the group and staff in the centre).

    We wish to make this statement to alleviate any concerns which you may have about who is responsible for the visiting pupils/students. To date there have been no issues regarding this matter but it is best for everyone involved to be clear about their area of responsibility.

    Braeside Rules

    High standards of behaviour are required at all times but especially during activities and at night times. Whenever groups visit Braeside they are expected to observe the following rules below.  It is advised that you discuss the rules with your group prior to their visit to ensure that they are familiar with them. Braeside staff will remind groups of these during the first day.

    • Please look after Braeside. We have lots of visiting groups, so if you see something broken or damaged please tell a member of staff as soon as you can, so that it can be mended.
    • No children or young people must leave the Braeside site without permission from the Visit Leader.
    • The equipment in the Braeside grounds is out of bounds unless you are accompanied by an instructor. During free time you will not be allowed to use them. This includes the ropes course areas, climbing tower, pond and rocking platform.
    • It is expected that children and young people will be in bed by 11.00pm and not get up until told to do so by their leaders. Visit Leaders are free to set their own rules for their group but must ensure that they do not disturb those who are sleeping.
    • Beds must be stripped before breakfast on the last morning, this includes sheet, duvet and pillowcase.  The sheet, duvet cover and pillowcase must be folded neatly and piled outside the room in the corridor.  Please ask the group to ONLY strip the bed that they have slept in.

    As a partnership, Braeside staff will support the Visit Leaders with behaviour/group management to ensure that session outcomes are met. The Head of Centre reserves the right to exclude a person from activities where their behaviour endangers themselves or others. In exceptional circumstances an individual may have to be returned to their school or home. This is normally the responsibility of school/establishment and the parents/carers. Where this is not possible the centre will assist schools to facilitate.

  • Catering

    Braeside has an excellent reputation for good quality food.

    Our catering team freshly prepare homecooked meals on a daily basis and use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. Our meat is supplied by our local farm shop ‘Home | Poulshot Lodge Farm‘, our dairy is supplied by ‘Home | Planks (‘ and our fruit and veg is supplied by ‘Village Veg’, as well as Braeside’s on site gardens.

    New for 2022 – Self Service Salad Bar. On offer alongside all evening meals we offer Braeside’s salad bar which contains a variety of fresh, seasonal salad items.

    We aim to offer healthy balanced menu presented in a way that is familiar and appetising to young people. You can view our current 3 Day Sample Menu, or our 5 Day Sample Menu.

    Meal times are usually:
    Breakfast:     8.00 am
    Continental is offered as standard. Cooked breakfasts are available on request.

    Lunch:          12.30 pm
    (picnic lunch, times vary)

    Dinner:         5.30 pm
    (times may be altered to suit requirements)

    Picnic Lunches

    The Braeside picnic lunch aims to reduce non-biodegradable waste by using biodegradable sandwich boxes and other packaging wherever possible.  Resident groups follow the following arrangement:

    • After breakfast the group collect their sandwiches, fillings are chosen in advance. (It is essential that pupils bring a good lunch box about 2 litre in capacity)
    • Pupils choose other items for their lunch from fresh fruit, dried fruits, cut vegetables, cherry tomatoes, crisps and biscuit bars.  Paper bags are available to put these into if needed.
    • Drinks are not supplied unless specifically requested – pupils should bring and refill their water bottles.  Braeside has many water bottles to refill if pupils lose or forget theirs.  (In hot weather 2 water bottles are recommended).

    Snacks are provided at breaktimes including tea & coffee as well as homemade cake & biscuits for staff. Squash, fresh fruit and biscuits are provided for pupils. In the evenings, hot chocolate can be available on request.

    Any special dietary requirements can be catered for by prior arrangement (usually via the Group Summary Medical/Dietary Details Form).  Parents are invited to contact us directly to discuss any concerns regarding allergies or dietary requirements.  Should you require any further clarification or information regarding catering, please contact us.

    Individuals with Medical and Special Dietary Needs

    When bringing a group you are asked to provide Braeside with details of pupils’ specific dietary requirements and any medical needs in order that our staff can prepare for your visit.  This should include any allergies and alternative food they should eat, or specific guidance for the child concerned.

    The kitchen is a nut free environment, but not a gluten or dairy free environment. Although we are happy to cater for special diets we cannot guarantee against any cross-contamination. Parents are invited to provide specialist food for their child where necessary which can be prepared and served by the Catering team.  They are also welcome to discuss specific dietary requirements with their child’s School Visit Leader who can then contact the Braeside Catering Manager as needed. We always provide a vegetarian option and can cater for vegans.

    With regard to special diets we can supply:
    ·        Gluten free and dairy free bread (also suitable for vegans). We have a separate free from toaster.
    ·        Dairy free soya milk and oat milk (also suitable for vegans).
    ·        Dairy free spread (also suitable for vegans).
    ·        Gluten free pasta
    ·        Gluten free gravy
    ·        Free from cereal
    ·        Free from biscuits and snack bars

    We make our own gluten free and dairy free vegan biscuits/cakes/meals/desserts made with the above ingredients. These foods are prepared and cooked in a multi tasking kitchen.

    We are happy to refrigerate/freeze any other special diet foods that you would like to bring.


    If you have any queries with regard to special diets or meals please contact Braeside and we will be happy to advise.

    Due to the nature of what we do here, we have a lot of children and adults stay with us with various dietary requirements and we are very experienced in catering for all diets.
    Procedures we have in place:

    • Alternative meal options are as like for like as possible
    • Braeside staff are passed all dietary information from the school and this is distributed to the entire team.
    • Snacks/lunchboxes are labelled with children/staff names
    • Allergen preparation area in the kitchen with allergen chopping board, equipment and utensils (including gluten free toaster)
    • Allergen area in the dining hall for self-service breakfast with alternative cereals and milks (soya and oat)
    • Individual packaged consumables such as butter, flora, jam, sauces
    • Separate containers and tongs in the salad bar with clear labels for all allergens
    • Children with dietary requirements are served first for all meals (this is done respectfully with the aid of accompanying teachers)
    • Food is served by Braeside staff, with accompanying school teachers present
    • Full allergen matrix available
    • Staff are allergen trained
    • Food Hygiene Rating – 5

    Please see click here for a Group Summary Medical/Dietary needs form’.

    Sandwich order form

  • Equipment list

    Please bring with you

    A wheeled suitcase is most desirable as students are dropped off at the gate

    Waterproof coat                                       Comfortable walking shoes/wellies

    Warm jumpers/hats/gloves                  Slippers/trainers for indoors

    Changes of clothing                                Pyjamas

    Small rucksack                                        Towels, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste

    Torch                                                         Large plastic bag to take home damp/dirty clothes

    Plastic water bottle (refillable)            Sun hat/sun cream (if hot)

    Lunch box (with your lunch for Day 1)

    Cash for the Braeside Gift Shop (optional and to be decided by the group leader)

  • Risk assessments

    Risk Management Systems

    Braeside staff have taken all reasonably practicable steps to mitigate the risks associated with learning outside, and regularly review our systems (January each year) and practices to ensure that we conduct these activities as safely as possible. Our site and activities have all been risk assessed, and all appropriate control measures put in place, including first aid qualified staff with appropriate kits available at all times.

    Visiting groups should complete their own risk assessments based on their journeys to and from Braeside and the nature of the group they are bringing.

    Risk Management Statement

    Braeside Education Centre places safety as a top priority. Adventurous activities by their very nature involve an inherent level of risk for participants. Participants and Visit Leaders must be aware, that even after suitable and sufficient risk assessments have been undertaken, there remains a level of residual risk and it is often not practicable to manage the risk to zero. Our procedures aim to keep these risks as low as possible.

    Braeside Education Centre will minimise risks by:

    • Carrying out a sufficient annual written risk assessment before commencing the activity (available on our website) AND dynamically assessing the risks before and during an activity session.
    • Only using experienced instructors with appropriate qualifications to lead the activity adhering to National Governing Body guidelines covering ratios, practice and teaching.
    • Giving clear safety guidance to everyone participating.
    • Ensuring ALL safety and activity equipment is well-maintained, checked before use and suitable for the activity and environment.
    • Ensuring activities are within the capabilities of the participants.
    • Asking participants to supply both information about any medical conditions and necessary medication that may be required.

    For further information, advice and guidance please speak to the Braeside Team – 01380 722637.

    Risk Assessments (A-Z)

    Bedrooms and Bathrooms
    Bouldering Wall (indoor)
    Caen Hill Pond Dipping
    Climbing Wall
    Cold conditions and paved surfaces
    Contractors Onsite
    Coppice Crafts
    Drews Pond Day
    Food For Thought
    Free Time and Top Lawn Activities
    High Ropes
    Low Ropes Course
    Map Based Activities
    Mountain Biking
    Nightline / Lifeline
    Paddle Sports (including Canoeing)
    Pond Dipping at Braeside
    Problem Solving and Team Building Activities
    Roundway Hill Walk
    Security Arrangements
    Self-led Evening Entertainment
    Slackline Activity
    Survival Skills 
    Town Trail
    Vehicles Access Onsite
    Walking – Devizes Town and surrounding areas
    Water Slide
    Wildlife Trail Cameras

  • Security, Overnight and Emergency Arrangements

    Security, Overnight and Emergency Arrangements

    There are Braeside staff on site every weekday and often at weekends. Braeside is equipped with a 24-hr recording CCTV system around the buildings and accommodation areas.  All Braeside permanent staff, freelancers and those staff delivering AGAT and enrichment courses, are subject to an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) criminal records check.

    Overnight there will always be an emergency contact telephone number available for visiting resident staff to speak to a Braeside member of staff for advice or to solve a problem. Visiting resident staff are informed regarding who is on call and what contact numbers should be used. Please note that Braeside staff do not stay overnight whilst a group is in residence, however there is always a Braeside staff member on-call should an emergency arise, or advice be required.

    Visiting resident staff supervising the group will be given a list of room allocations, general guidelines and emergency telephone numbers etc.

    The Centre has a fire protection system and is regularly advised by the Fire Service concerning fire protection. Students will do a fire drill before their first overnight, to ensure they are aware of escape routes from the accommodation and buildings.

    All external ground floor doors and windows should be locked at night. If you leave the building in the evening, lock the outside doors and take your key with you.

    If the fire bell rings:

    All Centre occupants should gather in front of the main house on the front car park away from the house, where a register should be taken.  The exit should be sensible and prompt.

    The fire service must be called unless it is a known false alarm.

    Braeside staff on duty/call must be informed.

    The fire service will expect to gain access to the Braeside office for keys and information.  Group leaders (school staff) should ensure they have their Braeside keys with them.  An office key is available on request.

  • Medical and Dietary needs

    Medical and Dietary needs

    Braeside teaching staff are qualified first aiders. There are fixed first aid kits in all staff bedrooms but visiting staff are expected to bring a portable first aid kit for off site visits. When Braeside staff lead activities they will carry appropriate safety equipment, including a first aid kit. If a pupil has any particular needs then it is advised that visiting staff have a specialist first aid kit to cater for them.

    When bringing a group you are asked to provide Braeside with details of pupils’ specific dietary requirements and any medical needs in order that our staff can prepare for your visit.  This should include any allergies and alternative food they should eat, or specific guidance for the child concerned. Parents are invited to provide specialist food for their child where necessary which can be prepared and served by the Catering team.  They are also welcome to discuss specific dietary requirements with Braeside’s Catering Manager.

    To download a Braeside Medical and Dietary Form, please click here

  • Accessibility Statement

    Braeside believes that activities should be accessible to everyone, regardless of ability and we strive to make this possible. Braeside has been adapted to accommodate those with special needs and disabilities. The site itself is accessible with paths for wheelchairs. The centre can accommodate up to 33 people in two separate easy-access accommodation blocks with ramps. There is ramped access to the main house to allow access to the teaching and conference rooms, and associated facilities. Teaching staff are trained to work with groups of varying abilities and always aim for a positive outdoor learning experience.

    The visit programmes are designed with you to challenge, motivate and inspire people of all ages and abilities. Our aim is to create positive outdoor learning experiences and to help each individual achieve their potential and, of course, have lots of fun in the process!

    An overriding strength of Braeside Education Centre is the flexibility and adaptability to provide a quality residential outdoor education visit for a wide range of clients with a wide range abilities and needs. We are committed to providing a quality service and value for money.

    Your programme of activities will be tailored to fulfil your specific aims and expectations, whether a primary school, secondary school, a college or a youth group. If you have something particular in mind please let us know and we will do our best to help you. You are very welcome to visit us to find out more and how we can accommodate your requirements and the needs of the group. Please contact the centre to arrange a visit contact us.

  • Child Protection and Safeguarding

    Braeside Education Centre operates as a ‘safe’ organisation with regard to staffing and leading groups. Staff are checked and trained, and any concerns raised will be referred to designated Centre personnel.

    Download here