Course organisers

Schools, Colleges & Youth Groups

This page is for those organising a visit to Derwent Hill for a group of children or young people. You can download the Visiting Staff Handbook from our Resources section.

If you are organising a visit for a group of adults, please see the information for group/event organisers.

If there is anything missing from here that you think would help you or other course organisers in the future, please let us know.

Course organisers’ checklist

Up to 2 years ahead:
    1. Contact us to discuss and book your course.  You will want to make sure that you choose the right course for the learning outcomes you want, and that it is suitable for your group, including any individual with significant disabilities or special needs.  See our information about prices and booking.

Contact us to discuss & book your course

  1. We will send a contract for you to sign.  Please ensure that you understand the booking and cancellation conditions.
  2. Arrange insurance (many schools have blanket insurance for school trips; you should check that this meets your needs, including cancellation)

Up to 1 year before your course:

  1. If parents or participants will be paying, promote your course and organise a payment system.  We recommend that your agreement with parents/participants about deposits, payment schedule and cancellation reflects our contract with you.
  2. Book transport to and from Derwent Hill to fit the arrival and departure times on your contract.  We can arrange for collection from Penrith Train Station.
  3. If you are not leading the visit yourself, designate a Visit Leader from your staff team to have overall responsibility for the detailed planning and leadership of the visit.

At least 12 weeks before your course, if possible:

  1. Inform parents/participants about the full details including travel arrangements, emergency contact details, kit list, behaviour expectations.
  2. Obtain completed Personal Details/Consent forms from parents (or participants if they are 18 or over).
  3. Inform us of any significant behavioural, medical, disability or dietary issues so we can work with you to put in place the necessary support.

8 weeks before your course:

Confirm the final numbers of participants & staff including the gender split (see the booking conditions), and send us the completed Group Details Summary Form.

4 weeks before the course:

By this time we should have informed you about your allocation of dormitories/bedrooms and activity groups.  This will enable you to allocate individual participants and staff to their rooms and to decide on activity groups.  If you have booked a shared/joint course, you should discuss activity groups with the sharing schools(s).

Bring with you to the course:

  1. Completed Personal details and consent forms for all participants and staff.
  2. Completed dormitory/bedroom list.
  3. Completed activity group list.
  4. If there are any changes, an updated Group Details Summary Form including information about any recent injuries or illnesses.

Frequently asked questions

What is expected of visiting staff?

Visiting staff play a huge part in the success of the course.  Please see our Visiting Staff Handbook.

Where is Derwent Hill?

Derwent Hill is in the village of Portinscale about 1 mile from Keswick, Cumbria.  It is in the Lake District National Park, overlooking Derwentwater.  Please see the information for Getting Here.

What time should we arrive and depart?

Arrival and departure times vary depending on the nature of the course and what we agree with you.  When you make a booking, we send you a booking contract which includes these details – please refer to this.  If you wish to arrive or depart at a different time, please contact us.

How many staff should we bring?

In deciding on the number of staff you need, you should take into account the following:

  • The number of participants and their gender, age, anticipated behaviour, need for care and support
  • The number of activity groups
  • The aims of the course
  • The number of available staff places
  • The competence and experience of your staff team
  • Supervision on the journey to/from Derwent Hill
  • Supervision while at Derwent Hill, especially during the evenings and overnight
  • Your emergency plan, for example in the event of sickness or the need to send a participant home
  • Any arrangements you have made with a sharing school to share supervision

What do participants and staff need to bring?

See the Kit list.

Useful links