Most of our programmes are designed as full-day courses (four hours with half an hour for lunch) although half-day courses (2 hours of fieldwork) are available on request at all sites except Fulham Palace. We suggest your full-day course starts at 10 am and finishes at 2.30 pm, but we can be flexible with timings if the tides allow – please let us know your preferred times when booking. If you have to arrive late and/or leave early due to transport considerations we can either shorten or omit activities. This should be arranged in advance of your trip. A full-day programme includes two 2-hour sessions and involves both indoor and outdoor activities; the order of your activities depends on the tides. All sessions are designed to be flexible so that we can tailor them to suit your learning objectives and pupils’ needs. Programmes may vary depending on the nature of the site, tides and weather conditions. Please supply us with your learning objectives in advance of your trip. In preparation for your river visit, we can provide classroom resources and advice as well as Inset training.
How To Book
BOOKEARLY TO AVOIDDISAPPOINTMENT!
Choose your preferred site, course and month to visit.
Phone 020 8742 0057 or email to check availability and to make a provisional booking.
Step 3 Once a provisional booking has been made you must complete and return a booking form (one per class).You must return the form within 7 days to secure your provisional booking. An electronic copy of the booking form can be found at www.thames-explorer.org.uk
Step 4 You will then receive an email containing written confirmation, an invoice, map, and health and safety advice. Please do not make transport arrangements until you have received confirmation.
Pay the invoice at least three weeks before the date of your visit to secure your booking.
Office opening hours
The office is open Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. During term time, we may be teaching but we will return calls and emails as soon as possible.
Maximum class size is 30 pupils. Depending on the tides and programmes we can cater for 2 classes on the same day at Chiswick, Greenwich, Kew Bridge, Fulham Palace, Southwark and Isleworth. At all other sites we can only accommodate 1 class per day.
To make the visit educationally effective and safe, we require the following adult to child ratios:
Pupils under 2 years of age, a ratio of 1 adult to 3 pupils.
Pupils aged 2-3 years, a ratio of 1 adult to 4 pupils.
Pupils under 8, a ratio of 1 adult to 6 pupils is essential.
Pupils over the age of 8, the recommended ratio is 1 adult to 6 pupils and a minimum of 1 adult per 10 children is essential.
One-to-one support staff and Thames Explorer Trust staff should not be included in these ratios. All attending adults must provide close supervision at all times, especially on the foreshore. Please bring an additional adult who is able to support the class in the event of an emergency. Please make adult helpers aware that the trip involves outdoor activities, working near open water, walking by roads and walking on a muddy, uneven foreshore. Please make sure everyone wears sensible footwear and clothing appropriate for the weather.
We aim to make all our programmes inclusive and all our river centres have disabled access. Unfortunately wheelchair access on to the foreshore can be tricky, especially at sites with step-only access. We are happy to provide alternative activities to pupils who are unable to accompany their class on to the foreshore. Please contact us in advance of your trip to discuss options and to arrange a pre-site visit.
Please provide us with details of all pupils with SEND, EAL and medical conditions prior to your trip. Please make sure that one-to-one support staff are not included in your adult-to-child ratios. We also have our River of Life outreach programme that can be delivered at your school for SEND classes. At Chiswick our Rivers and Environmental Issues programme can be combined with ‘meet the RNLI life boat crew’ (see KS2 Rivers and Environmental Issues session 1c for details). Programmes at our other river centres can also be adapted and we are happy to discuss this with you. Subject to funding being available, we can sometimes offer subsidised visits to special schools, please contact us for further details.
You will not be charged for the visit if you cancel three full weeks in advance. If you cancel or reschedule after this time you will incur additional costs or be liable for the full fee.
Health & Safety
We advise that you do a pre-site visit before your trip. Please contact us to arrange this. We are the authors of the Health and Safety guidelines for the Thames foreshore, which can be downloaded from our website www.thames-explorer.org.uk. Risk Assessments are available on request. You will be sent safety advice with your confirmation pack.