Schools & Youth

Information for Parents

We hope your child is looking forward to their stay at Brenscombe

Your child will have an amazing time at Brenscombe and we will work with the school to ensure that they are well looked after. Our aim is for them to leave with stories and friendships which last a lifetime.


Frequently asked questions

    • Brenscombe Outdoor Centre is a converted Purbeck Stone Farm, near Corfe Castle in Dorset. The centre was converted 30 years ago and is regularly being updated. Situated alone in the Dorset Countryside, half an hour’s walk from the nearest village and surrounded by farm and heathland.
    • We have five accommodation blocks which range from converted barns to traditional Purbeck stone farmhouses. The bedrooms are shared dormitory style with the majority sleeping between 4 and 6 children. The schools allocate who is sharing each room. We ask each of the children to make their own bed on the first day. This is part of the experience and has been known to take a little time!
    • All of the buildings have toilets within them, some also have showers. For those buildings without showers, nearby male and female shower blocks are allocated to each school.
    • Each of the buildings has a coded entrance for security and at least one staff member from the school will be staying within the building. Brenscombe also has a duty instructor available to support the school staff throughout the night.
  • Depending on the size of the group your child is with there may be other groups on site. Brenscombe has 160 beds but aims to limit numbers to between 100-120 students onsite in the summer term. At quieter times of the year there can be far fewer. We normally arrange for similar aged groups to be onsite at the same time, occasionally this isn’t possible. Whenever multiple groups are onsite at once, every school is allocated separate accommodation buildings, shower blocks, spaces for socialising and dining times helping groups feel like they have the place to themselves and ensuring each has a brilliant experience.

  • We work with the school to design a programme of activities suitable for the children in the group. Often we run activities in the evening as well. Some schools also choose to run some of their own activities or day trips as part of the programme. Outside of activity time, the teachers supervise the group. There is outdoor space on the field for games and indoor spaces within the accommodation for quieter activities.

    The activities are part of the outdoor experience with us. We encourage the children to do more than participate, we want them to learn about and understand the activities and the environments they are in. We hope to strengthen connections with the natural environment so they take away an appreciation and respect for it.

    Activities are run on a challenge-by-choice basis and we will not force anyone to do something that they do not wish to do. However, we do hope that your child will come with a willingness to get involved, and a desire to help the people around them succeed.

  • Please liaise with the school if you wish to contact your child whilst they are with us. Normally we encourage minimal contact so that your child can be fully immersed in the residential experience and get maximum benefit from this time away. If you are worried about your child, their teachers will be able to keep you updated.

  • We are able to run most of the activities all year round but occasionally make adjustments if the wind is too strong or the rain doesn’t stop. Please prepare your child for sunshine and rain, the show will normally go on whatever the weather.

  • We know how much energy gets burned up by combining outdoor activities with staying residentially in an outdoor centre, so we ensure that everyone is well-fed.

    • Breakfast includes a cooked option every day along with cereals and toast.
    • Packed lunches include a sandwich along with fruit, crisps and flapjack or brownie. Your child will be able to pre-order their chosen sandwich filling, organised by the teachers.
    • Evening meal is a hearty comfort style cooking such as big pastas, chillis, burgers, sausages etc…. All accompanied with a pudding.

    We regularly cater for a wide range of dietary requirements, which we need to know in advance. Please ensure that your group organiser has been given all the details.

  • During the activities, Brenscombe provides all the required specialist and safety equipment, which is inspected regularly.

    All clothing should be labelled with your child’s name, they are responsible for their personal belongings during their stay.

    We strongly suggest that your child does not bring jewellery or new/expensive clothes as the nature of the activities can get clothes wet, muddy or worn.

    During watersports activities your child will have to wear securely fitting closed-toe footwear that will get wet and muddy. We recommend old trainers are the best option. Flip flops, sliders and crocs are not suitable and easily get lost.

    An extensive kit list will be shared with the group leader which they will likely add to or adjust for their students. Below are a few things to think about while helping your child pack.

    • How many days/nights are they at the centre?
    • Are they doing any watersports?
    • What will they wear during the evening or when not in an activity session?
    • What will they wear to sleep in?
    • What will they keep wet and dirty clothes in after activity sessions?
    • What’s the weather likely to be like?
  • Please ensure the teachers/leaders are aware of any personal medication your child may need before coming to Brenscombe. Each school/group will have its own system for managing medication during the trip.

  • All our bedrooms come complete with pillows, duvets and linen so there is no need to bring any bedding. If your child is camping with us please make sure they bring your own sleeping bag.

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