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Residential Life Skills Course – Summer 2018

29th July 2018 – 11th August 2018
Location: Ardingly College, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6SQ Age Group: 8-12 years

**Update – 11 places remaining** The residential course is £575 for 1 week or £975 for 2 weeks. Please indicate on the booking form which week(s) you are interested in. This fee includes all activities, accommodation and meals.

This multinational residential course combines all 4 of our leading Life Skills Courses in Collaboration, Resilience, Leadership and Creativity to offer a unique summer experience for children aged 8-12 years. The course will bring together Chinese and UK students, in order to provide opportunities for both sides to learn and grow from the exposure to different cultures. Each day will be a mixture of morning activities focused on developing life skills in the classroom and fun afternoon activities developing the same skills but using the Ardingly’s picturesque grounds.

What does the course focus on?

The course is designed to develop what we call the 4Cs. They help your children communicate more effectively and collaborate with others. They will also train your children to become brilliant creative problem solvers and how to think critically. Each week includes fun activities during which the children will work together in teams or groups in order to overcome or solve different challenges.

UK students will have the opportunity to be introduced to basic conversational Mandarin, through an optional daily language session. This will be suitable for those who have never spoken the language before and also for those who wish to develop their existing basic Mandarin. Throughout the course and activity sessions, both UK and Chinese students will be encouraged to mix and socialise together, helping to develop their language and life skills through building relationships. 

How will the multinational element of the course benefit my child?

In addition to the benefits of the course itself described above, working together in groups and teams with students from different schools, backgrounds and cultures will offer a range of other benefits.

  1. China is still one of the fastest growing economies and even without knowing the language, working people of the future will benefit from having a better understanding of their culture and how they work. The “collaboration” aspect of our courses will greatly help.
  2. Students have the option of learning some basic Mandarin or developing any prior Mandarin skills, if this interests them. 
  3. Your children will be able to experience real Chinese culture and share daily life with Chinese students in the safety of a British boarding school, with English teachers and staff around. This will make the environment familiar and comfortable for them whilst at the same time, affording them a real cultural experience.
  4. We offer special discounts (see the bottom of the page) for two or more children who want to go together, this is not to encourage them to stay within their safe zone and not interact with others. Interaction will be promoted throughout the day in all the various activities but the comfort of having a friend or two to share the experience will make it easier and less daunting for the child.

Which educational framework do we follow?

Our courses follow a well-established education framework developed over many years with input from teachers, education experts and business leaders. This framework defines the skills and knowledge that children need to thrive in the 21st century. The world is changing very quickly and preparing children for their life to come is critical. They are under pressure from an incredible array of things today. Your children need tools to help them develop the right levels of confidence and resilience to build a future for themselves. Communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creative problem solving and the ability to lead are not handed to them at birth. They are muscles they need to develop throughout their life if they are to fulfil their potential. The earlier they start to develop these skills and understand how important they are, the more chance they have to lead an extraordinary life full of passion and purpose. Our courses help children do that.

Our education framework corresponds to the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Learning. We’d encourage all parents to click here to take a closer look at their work.

Life and Career Skills

Learning and Innovation Skills - 4Cs
Critical thinking - Communication - Collaboration - Creativity

Information, Media, and Technology Skills

Key Subjects - 3Rs and 21st Century Themes

The framework we use recognises the importance of developing life and career skills. It focuses on learning and innovation skills alongside the key subjects and academic skills. Our ‘Learning to Fly’ courses are designed to help children develop the 4Cs – creative problem solving, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. We also teach and develop other essential character attributes such as leadership, resilience and growth mindset. We believe that talking and thinking should be given as much weight as reading and writing in any child’s development and our courses are designed to support that belief.

Learning To Fly with Role Models: The Course Curriculum​






Residential Life Skills Course – ‘Flying high’ – developing real skills for the 21st century

Why are Life Skills important?

We all know that people who communicate well, contribute brilliantly to teams and can bounce back from disappointment lead rich and fulfilling lives. Employers are crying out for these skills today.

Learning to work together with others towards a shared goal is essential for success – at school, at work and at home. We believe that confidence, communication and collaboration are the key to working effectively with others. Similarly, the ability to think creatively and develop ideas also serves us greatly in life. Whether it’s for use at school, university, as an entrepreneur or in the work place, the capacity to think creatively and to have confidence in our ideas is hugely important. Critical thinking is also essential in order to find solutions to problems, evaluate options effectively, assess risks and think strategically.


Helping your child to develop their resilience is one of the most effective ways to help them thrive in life. By developing a growth mindset, they can learn to push themselves outside of their comfort zone, embrace new experiences and persist within areas that might not be their strengths. Understanding that intelligence and ability are not determined in each person and understanding that mistakes can help us learn can have a huge impact on the way we approach life.


Leadership is about being able to support, encourage and motivate others to achieve a shared goal. It’s also about having a positive impact on others, in any context. One of the most important qualities in order to do this is a high level of empathy and emotional intelligence. This level of emotional awareness is an essential skill for building any type of relationship or interaction, whether with family, friends, peers, or work colleagues.

What can my child expect the course to be like?

Fast-paced, high energy and challenging. Your child will be active and moving around for most of the week. None of the tasks are easy; in fact, we don’t mind if the children struggle with many of the exercises at the first attempt. It’s through this process that resilience and strength of character can be built in a fun, pressure-free environment.

Our courses are always based on three things…
active learning

We want our courses to be about doing, trying, being engaged.

ambitious content

We want our courses to be challenging, never patronising.

serious fun

We want our courses to have serious content with a big dollop of smiles and laughter.

Our courses deliver three things…
they empower the children

The knowledge, understanding and insight gained from our courses should allow the children to think differently and make them feel that what they think and say really matters.

they embed sustained behaviour change

Our courses give children the tools to use the skills and strategies in their every day lives to form new habits of behaviour.

they give children a framework for future success

Through the content, language and skills that we teach, our children are given ways of working that they can fall back on and use time and time again.

Example Course Timetable

*subject to change

What type of child is the course designed for?

Our courses are not designed just for children who struggle with collaboration, resilience, leadership or creativity. We believe everyone should be developing these important life skills on an ongoing basis. Your child may already be a ‘team player’ but maybe needs to develop their communication skills or their sensitivity towards the needs of others. Developing the skills of collaborating and communicating is a great way to boost general self-confidence and self-awareness. The course is also a great way for children to explore being outside of their comfort zone within a fun environment.

What will my child get up to during the day?

The children will complete tasks from the Life Skills Course during the morning and after lunch, they will take part in fun games and activities (on and off site), which are largely based outdoors. Examples of such activities include raft building, archery, Go-Ape, survival skills, croquet and English sports day games, e.g. 3 legged race, sack race, egg & spoon race, etc.

We will also be doing a full day’s excursion each week to either Oxford, Cambridge, London or Brighton.

Who delivers the course?

All courses are led by a qualified teacher passionate about character education and supported by our top creative Role Models.

The quality of our Role Models is paramount to the success of our courses so we recruit people who inspire children. All of our Role Models undergo a rigorous application procedure and we are totally focused on recruiting people who are talented, engaging & fun. With academics, professional sportsmen and women, actors and musicians, we have a variety of personalities to suit every child and our Role Models are young enough for children to connect with. We look for people who celebrate unique thinking and resilience; whilst ensuring that a holiday course should, above all things, be a lot of serious fun.

Here are some examples of our course staff:


In addition to delivering our Life Skills Courses, Max has taught extensively at both Abingdon School and The School of St Helen & St Katherine in Oxfordshire. He has also led workshops at a number of primary and secondary schools, including Sittingbourne Community College, Bath Community College and Meadowside Primary. Whilst in London, he has also taught after-school drama for 4-8 year-olds with Perform. Click here for Max’s full profile.

Louise is our Head of Character Education and uses her experience as a qualified primary school teacher and coach to create the content for our programme of Life Skills Courses. She has taught in the independent sector for 12 years and has recently completed 5 years as Senior Deputy Head Teacher at a London Prep School. As a coach, Louise works 1:1 with children to help them move forward with specific goals, explore limiting beliefs and develop their direction and confidence. Click here for Louise’s full profile.



Adam has taught consistently in a variety of environments over the past 7 years, from Stage schools to Secondary schools. He teaches technical ability in performing arts alongside confidence in the arts workshops, with children of all ages up to 18. He is currently Head of Musical Theatre at PQA Crawley, helping children develop performance skills and he teaches during term time at Harris Boys Academy East Dulwich, enhancing individuals’ confidence. Click here for Adam’s full profile.

What do others say about the courses?

Our track record

We are proud of the difference we’ve made to thousands of children since we started. The results of our previous Confidence & Resilience course surveys reflect that:

  • 100% of survey respondents said they were interested in future courses and would recommend them to other parents.
  • 93% of survey respondents scored the course full marks for their child’s enjoyment.
  • 79% of survey respondents felt their child’s confidence or resilience had improved when asked 3 weeks after the course.
  • 90% of all of our parents would be highly likely to recommend our courses to a friend

“The positive feedback he received really boosted his confidence and on holiday he was not phased by asking staff for something whereas previously he would ask us to do it.”

“She has been a lot more tolerant & better at problem solving in a mature manner especially with her younger sister.”

“She seems more confident about attending senior school interviews and has said that the course really helped her to prepare.”

“She said she wished school was like this. She absolutely loved it. Thank you.”

“I love the detailed feedback for him and what you were able to get from him.”

“He came back home everyday in a very upbeat mood and very talkative about the day activities. His mood and behaviour during the school holiday was best we seen in a long time, listening more, showing maturity when asked to do chores, demonstrating empathy with his brother’s problems.”

Click here for additional testimonials.

Click here for course photos in our Gallery.

Course logistics

If children are attending both weeks, drop-off is approximately 11am on Sunday July 29th and pick-up is approximately 4.30pm on Saturday August 11th.  The exact timings will be confirmed nearer the time. 

If children are attending week 1, drop-off is approximately 11am on Sunday July 29th and pick-up is approximately 4.30pm on Saturday August 4th.

If children are attending week 2, drop-off is approximately 11am on Sunday August 5th and pick-up is approximately 4.30pm on Saturday August 11th.

Typically, breakfast is at 7.30am each day. After eating breakfast, the children will take part in the Life Skills Course between 8.30am and 12.30pm. Lunch will take place over 12.30pm – 1.30pm. The children will then participate in fun afternoon games and activities, before dinner at around 6pm. Following dinner, there will be fun evening activities until around 8.30pm, before going to bed.

The course focuses on ages 8 – 12 as this is a crucial period of their development and before their step up to secondary school.

1. Reflection

During the course there is time set aside for the children to reflect on their learning and progress and they are encouraged to set themselves targets with support and feedback from the Role Models staff.

2. Written Report

Parents receive a written report from the Role Model facilitators at the end of the week, highlighting their children’s strengths and areas of improvement.  They also have the opportunity for a one-to-one discussion with the Role Models at pick-up time at the end of the week.

3. Follow-Up

Parents receive email communication after the course which includes ideas and strategies for supporting their child at home within teamwork, creativity, resilience and leadership. They will receive three ten-minute follow-up videos which are designed to embed key themes from the course. These videos will be monthly and presented by our Head of Character Education who designed the content of each course. 

We are limited to only 15 children from the UK each week. 

Children will be typically be sleeping in same-sex rooms of 2-5 beds.  

Yes. Before the course begins, you will receive a pre-course form which will give you the opportunity to provide us with more details on your child’s allergies, intolerances and any special dietary requirements. Ardingly College caters for all dietary requirements.

The course is £575 for 1 week or £975 for 2 weeks (both prices include VAT). Both prices are also ‘all-in’ – they include all activities, accommodation and meals for the duration of the course.

There is the option to attend either one of the weeks, or both weeks of the course. The first week is Sunday July 29th – Saturday August 4th.  The second week is Sunday August 5th – Saturday August 11th.

Each week will cover all aspects of the Life Skills Course, i.e. during each week, children will participate in activities focused on developing Collaboration, Resilience, Leadership and Creativity. Both weeks will consist of different activities that do not repeat themselves, so that the course remains fun and exciting for those attending both weeks. You will be able to indicate which week(s) you are interested in on the booking form.

We also offer a multi-buy discount scheme:

  • A 12.5% discount if you purchase two course places in one transaction.
  • A 15% discount if you purchase three course places in one transaction.
  • A 17.5% discount if you purchase four or more course places in one transaction.

To take advantage of this discount scheme, all course places must be purchased at the same time (in one transaction).

If you are booking two or more places for your child and their friend(s), please complete the booking form for your child and then email Hannah Lewendon via to let her know you would like to purchase multiple courses.

For bookings, please click on the Book Now button to complete our online registration form. A member of the team will be in touch with a payment method.

For any questions, please contact Hugo Shephard – ( / 020 3637 7107).

If a customer wishes to cancel a residential course prior to its commencement, the customer needs to provide us with at least 28 days’ notice. If at least 28 days’ notice (prior to the course start date) is provided to Role Models then the customer shall receive 50% of their money back, because staffing and venue costs have been committed by this point. If less than 28 days notice is provided to Role Models then neither a reimbursement or credit note can be provided.

Please click here for access to our full T&Cs.

“Role Models shares Wellington’s pioneering attitude towards child development through holistic education, preparing their children for life’s challenges.”
Sir Anthony Seldon
Former Headmaster of Wellington College, Founder of Action for Happiness, contemporary historian, commentator & political author and Vice Chancellor of Buckingham University
“Your children’s school years really matter and they help them develop skills and tools that equip them for many of life’s challenges. Educationalists globally now recognise the critical importance of giving all of our children 21st century life skills. Those skills that will allow them to thrive in a new era of innovation. Those skills that will allow them to progress quickly in a new and digitally enabled workplace. Critically, those skills that also enable your children to make themselves valuable global citizens.

All of these courses recognise a new educational framework built around the importance of developing confidence and resilience in our children. As importantly, they also recognise and teach what has now become known as the 4 Cs of innovative education. Our children need to learn how to communicate, collaborate, critically think and creatively problem solve and almost every employer globally is telling us that these are the skills they want to see developed amongst this generation of young people.

I congratulate the Role Models team for putting these courses together and for giving young people globally the opportunity to start developing these important skills. I’m sure your children will benefit hugely from being a part of this important drive towards skilling as well as schooling the next generation.”
Jane Lunnon
Head of Wimbledon High School
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