Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a question about life at Heathfield? Take a look at the answers to the following FAQs to see if we can answer it for you. If you need more information, just send us an email!
What is the difference between Summer School and Summer Camp?
The main difference is that Summer School includes English lessons and Summer Camp does not. The girls on Summer Camp are either native English speakers or they already speak fluent English and therefore do not need lessons. Some of the Summer Camp girls are boarders and some live nearby and come in every day. All Summer School girls are from overseas and board during the course. Whether you are on Summer School or Summer Camp, you will all mix together at certain points during the week (and every evening for the boarders) so you will all make friends.
How many girls are at Heathfield each week?
The numbers vary but in our busiest weeks we can have about 150 girls sleeping in school – both Summer School girls from many different countries and British boarders. There will also be lots of English summer campers coming in and going home each day. Many girls are returners – some come for many, many years! – but every year we welcome lots of new girls as well.
Where do girls come from?
Usually, about half of our overseas girls come from European countries and the other half from Asia, Africa and the Americas. You will be able to make friends with girls from different countries and cultures. Many of our former students remain friends as they become adults and they tell us about their friendships. We have had emails telling us about girls who keep in touch from Russia and Spain, England and Japan, Togo and Italy, Israel and Egypt. Our theme Friendship without Borders is very important.
I’m not coming with anyone I know – how will I make friends?
Most girls come to Heathfield without bringing a sister or a friend so if you don’t know anyone, you are in the majority! When you arrive, you will be introduced to other girls your age so that you can start getting to know people immediately and you will join in activities together. You will also be put into a House Group which is made up of girls of different nationalities so everyone will be speaking English and making friends with new people. New girls eat together at their first supper.
Who will help look after me?
There are almost 60 members of staff and although they are not all on duty at the same time, we have a very high ratio of staff to students so there are always enough members of staff around. Our ratio of staff:student is 1:6. There are always lots of people to help you, including staff Monitors who look after Junior and Senior new girls, and Helpers and young staff who are former students.
My English level is not very high – how will I understand what’s going on?
If your English level is not very high yet, there’s no need to worry! All the members of staff explain the rules and instructions very slowly and clearly and they use signs, pictures and even demonstrations to explain the most important things. The Monitors have a special job: to make sure that you are in the right place at the right time with everything you need. Don’t worry – Heathfield is all about learning English so you will never be in trouble for not understanding anything. Classes are created so everyone in your class will have a similar level of English.
Can my family come to visit me while I’m at Heathfield?
Your family can come and visit you and take you out of the school for a few hours but this only really happens if you have relatives or family friends who live nearby and want to see you. Your parents must email the office to tell us that they want to visit and to arrange a time to come and take you out. You are very busy at Heathfield and so we normally suggest Sundays for family visits so you miss as little as possible when they take you out.
Are there lots of older girls or is it mostly little kids?
There is a good mix of both older and younger girls. Summer School has girls from 8 to 17 years old. Your bedroom will be in an area where other girls of a similar age will also sleep.
Summer School classes are organised not just by level but by age as well and many afternoon and evening activities are organised for senior and junior girls separately. Older girls will sometimes go on different trips from the younger girls and some special activities are offered just for them too. There is a list of senior and junior sample activities here.
For more information, we suggest:
- Read ‘Your First Day at Heathfield’
- Look at the photos and short films in ‘Summer Fun’
- If you have quite a good level of English, watch the longer ‘One Big Family’ video (also in ‘Summer Fun’) to find out about life at Heathfield. It is also very good English practice!
A Student Welcome Letter will be sent to you in June with lots more information.