Frequently asked questions

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Information about arrivals, school day, activities & welfare issues

Arrival & departure

Check before the weekend that you have all the information you need for your student arrival, school bus etc. All of this information is stored in the school office so it’s very difficult to obtain this information if you call at the weekend when the office is closed. However, please call the school emergency helpline if you haven’t managed to call the school office in advance of the weekend.

This means that the school has also been given the wrong arrival details from the student. Check the Jersey airport website for all flights landing around the time you have been given – it may mean that they will arrive at a different time on the same flight number or may be arriving at the time you have been given on a different flight number. If still in doubt, phone the school emergency helpline for advice.

1. Firstly check you have the correct day! Then wait until all the passengers have come through the arrival doors – sometimes passengers are still waiting for luggage or held at customs and are delayed coming through.
2. Leave your name, phone number and student name at the information desk so when your student does arrive, the airport can contact you to come and collect them.
3. Ask the airline at the airport to check the flight passenger list – sometimes students miss their connecting flights in London and are transferred onto a later flight to Jersey.
4. Telephone the school emergency helpline to inform your student hasn’t arrived.

1. We would really appreciate if you could ask them for their homestay details and telephone the host directly, explaining that their student has arrived.
2. If you can’t contact the host, call the school emergency helpline who will deal with this.

Use the arrival placard provided by the school. Your student will be expecting to see this with their/your name on.

Take junior students’ tickets from them when they arrive for safekeeping. You will realise at this early stage if they don’t have a departure ticket or if the departure time is different to what you were originally told. Bear in mind they may be part of a group and the group leader has the tickets. Email the school office for information if you are ever unsure. Ask adult students to check their departure tickets early on in their stay so you’re able to organise their departure accordingly.

1. All students should be helped with check in.
2. For junior students who haven’t come with a group leader, the airport and harbour request that you stay with your all students aged under 16 years, until they go through the security gates. In the summer months, there is usually a St Brelade’s College school representative at Elizabeth harbour on a Saturday morning dealing with Condor ferry departures who you can leave your student waiting with.

Arrive at the harbour an hour before departure and at the airport an hour and a half before departure.

School bus

You can download the bus timetable here www.stbreladescollege.co.uk/downloads/buses.pdf. The timetable changes weekly and is uploaded every Friday for the following week.

1. If you are able to drive them to school it would be greatly appreciated!
2. If they are old enough and capable to take a public bus, please help them to do this.
3. Phone the school office and we will give you an alternative solution.

School day

Explain to your student that they are not allowed to return home on school days before 16:30 and the school day is compulsory. If the problem persists, phone the school office.

Advise your student to approach their teacher or school director as soon as possible in order for us to resolve this issue early on in their course.

Report this immediately to the school who will then deal with the issue.

Junior BBQ

Out of summer, all juniors (aged 10 – 18 years) should be dropped off and picked up for the weekly school BBQ, by their host. However during the summer, students attending the teenage campus can make their own way using their public bus pass, students attending the young learner campus will need to be dropped off and picked up by their host.

Email the school in advance for phone numbers of hosts in your area who you can set up a car share with.

Not usually. They should go home and then be brought back for the BBQ. However, if you live very far from the school and it isn’t viable to do so – please contact the school office as it may be possible to arrange for your student to wait at the school.

Young learners 13 years and under must be picked up from the BBQ. Teenagers aged 14 years and over may stay out until their usual curfew time and make their own way home if they choose to. If they wish to come home when the BBQ finishes, it’s your duty to pick them up. It’s important you make firm arrangements with them in the morning so you know exactly what their plans are.

Summer evening and weekend school activities

In case of very bad weather, telephone the school emergency helpline around lunchtime to find out if it is still going ahead. This number will be given to you before the start of the summer in your summer pack. We will also announce cancellations on our Jersey Homestay Facebook page.

Your students will be given a welcome pack on their first day at school which includes their activity programme. On their first Monday evening, it would be useful to look at their programme with them and you can plan the week together.

Ask students at the beginning of each week which evening activities they have signed up to do – you will then know in advance if they need their dinner early on any evenings.

Adult students (age 18 years or above attending adult courses) can book weekend day trips in the school office. Students attending junior courses are NOT permitted to take day trips to other islands unless specially arranged by the school and the school will notify you in advance of this arrangement.

Missing or late students

1. Wait until at least 17:30-18:00 depending on how far you live away from the school. Sometimes the school bus is delayed in leaving or there is heavier traffic than usual.
2. Phone their mobile phone if they have one. Phone the school office to check the school bus hasn’t been delayed.
3. Have a look for them, taking the route they would usually walk home from their school bus stop.
It’s likely that your student has either got off the bus at the wrong bus stop or is still on the bus and missed their bus stop.

1. Phone their mobile phone if they have one.
2. Wait until the last bus has arrived at your bus stop as it’s likely they will have taken it!
3. Drive to Liberation Square and Station and look for them. If they usually walk home, drive the route they would walk.
4. If they are still missing, phone the school emergency helpline and report your student missing.  Call the police on 612612 and ask them to notify their patrol cars that your student is late home and to keep an eye out for them.
5. When your student returns home, make it clear that they must phone you if they have missed their bus or are experiencing another problem which may be causing them to arrive home later than their curfew time.

Explain to them that the curfew times are the school rules and must be followed. Depending on the circumstances, you may wish to ground them on the following night or follow an earlier curfew time (half an hour earlier). If the problem persists, discuss this with the Student Services department at the school, who will willingly speak with your student.

Teenage students and alcohol

You should have already informed your student on their arrival day of the school rules and alcohol laws in Jersey. Remind them of those rules including the consequences which may arise from their behaviour e.g. they could be sent home. Inform the school if you suspect your student has been drinking alcohol.

At your discretion, either put them to bed, giving water and monitoring or if you think they should be seen by a doctor, take them to the A&E department at the General Hospital or call an ambulance if you feel it’s inappropriate to drive. On arrival at the hospital, please call the school emergency helpline to inform them of the situation.

If you suspect your student has taken drugs, ask them what they have taken and immediately call an ambulance or take them to A&E. Please then notify the school. If your student tells you they have been offered drugs by anyone, please call the police and notify the school.

Hosting routines

On arrival, explain general house rules such as completely unpacking their suitcase and putting their clothes away in the storage provided, keeping their bedroom tidy, making their own bed each day etc.
A good time for your student to give their bedroom a thorough tidy is between end of school and the school BBQ each week. Explain that their bedroom has to be tidied in order for you to clean the room on Saturday.

On arrival, use the teenage first night questionnaire with your student, also going through your household routine such as what time is better for them to shower, what time dinner is, what time you or your children usually go to bed, what time you expect them to go to bed. Most of the time, problems exist through either a misunderstanding or a lack of communication – once your student is aware of your routine, it’s likely they will fit in and adjust better.

From the outset encourage your student to integrate into your home life, which includes helping to lay and clear the table, doing small jobs around the house. Sometimes students have unrealistic expectations of homestay or don’t know what to expect at all. They can therefore feel uncomfortable or find it difficult to adjust to your routine. With encouragement and gentle persuasion, most students start to relax and are able to become more involved.

Food

When your student arrives, give them the St Brelade’s College food translation list and ask them to write down any foods they don’t like/can’t eat. Use this list to plan meals.

Check that they like the filling in their sandwiches! Quite often, they will say they like something although they don’t understand what it is! Show them what you are proposing to give them for lunch.
Check how many sandwiches they want – some students prefer two rounds of sandwiches but others will only manage one round.
Offer a variety of lunch box items including fruit and yoghurt – often students prefer to take two pieces of fruit rather than one piece of fruit and a packet of crisps for example.

For the first few days, it’s a good idea not to dish up the all of the meal on their plate – leave salad/vegetables/potatoes/pasta on the table for students to help themselves. This will give you an idea of how much they usually eat for dinner and what to prepare for the rest of their stay. It’s important to always offer vegetables/salad with meals as most students will expect this.

Don’t allow teenagers to eat out in fast food restaurants more than twice per week. Explain to them that eating dinner with their host family is an important part of integrating themselves into British family life.

On arrival, tell your student to inform you in the morning if they are eating out or are going to be late for dinner. Often they forget the time or don’t think to inform you.

You are expected to provide lunches as well as evening meals at the weekend. If they choose to go out for the day, you should prepare a packed lunch for them and if they choose to stay at home, you should offer lunch at home.

Yes! Students should eat with at least one family member every evening, even if you are hosting more than one student.

Home telephone & contacting parents

If your student’s mobile phone isn’t working or they don’t have one, please help them help contact their parents to say they have arrived either by phone, text or Skype and ask them to arrange a suitable time for both you and them to call your home in future.

Politely explain that their parents are welcome to call them at home rather than them using your phone to call them.

Damages or breakages at home

Before you start hosting students, inform your household insurance that you have a temporary paying guest/student staying in your home. Accidental breakages/damage should be covered by your insurance. Don’t leave any valuable or sentimental items around your home as accidents can happen especially when hosting juniors.

Go into the student bedroom on a daily basis to empty the bin or open a window. This way you will notice any damage that may have occurred and deal with the issue while the student is still staying with you. It’s extremely difficult to prove who caused the damage once the student has left!

Write a short report of the damage / breakage immediately including when and how it occurred. Contact the school office and provide your report. The school will appropriately deal with the issue, looking at each case individually.

Pocket money

The school offers an extremely varied activity programme so students are able to visit a good selection of Jersey attractions each week. If you would like to take them out during their free time, we suggest “free” activities such as walking, island tour etc. In the case of juniors, they should have brought pocket money with them which you could ask them to use if you take them to an entrance fee site.

We do not recommend that you lend students any money. Phone the school office – the school will contact their parents and organise some pocket money.

Homesickness

It is really important that you offer a friendly welcome to all ages of students on arrival. This may include showing them around your local area, meeting all of your family members or sitting chatting over a cup of tea. Providing a friendly welcome on arrival really does help alleviate homesickness and quite often it can be the “make or break” of how a student settles in.

Younger students can feel homesick at the beginning of their stay especially if it’s their first trip away from home and their English is of a very low level. Generally after 3 – 4 days, you may see signs of improvement once the student feels more secure and settled both at home and at school. Inform the school immediately if you feel your student isn’t coping or settling in at all. Here are some tips which may help to alleviate homesickness:
1. Talk about their own family as much as possible, asking questions and being interested!
2. Keep them busy by playing games or going for walks – this will take their mind off thinking about home so much. Make a plan for the week with your student e.g. what they will be doing each evening or at the weekend so they can start to look forward to things.
3. Phone the school and ask for their friend’s homestay phone numbers – arrange with other hosts for them to meet up at each other’s homes for a couple of hours in the evening. You’ll be surprised at how much this will lift their spirits.

This could be a combination of homesickness and also a fear of trying “new” food. Start by preparing simple meals such as pasta or pizza which should be familiar to most students and then introduce other foods which they may not be familiar with. It’s a good idea to resolve this issue early on in the stay so it doesn’t escalate into your student becoming more anxious. Please call the school for advice if need be.

There are many reasons why a student may not be enthusiastic about integrating into your family life or offering much conversation. It could be that they’re struggling to adapt to a new culture or because they don’t have the language to express themselves or in fact they are usually a quiet individual anyway. Keep trying to involve them in your home life and discussions and don’t necessarily assume they’re behaving rudely if they don’t offer much conversation back. They could in fact be trying their best at that moment. Generally, once students sense they are staying in a safe and secure environment, they’re then able to explore new things such as speaking a new language or trying new food. Every student is different so it may take longer for some students to feel they are in a secure environment. However, if you’re concerned about your student please contact the school for advice.

Sickness / illness

Phone the school office on 741305 in the morning to report your student’s absence. For students under the age of 16 years who are unable to stay at home alone and you’re unable to stay at home with them, please discuss this with the school.

Make an appointment and take them to a local doctor. Tell your student they must pay the bill themselves – if they don’t have enough money with them, phone the school office.

For accidents or emergencies, please take them to A&E or call for an ambulance. For non–emergencies, please call an out of hours doctor to visit the home by calling the hospital on 622000 for an out of hours doctor or your own doctors surgery which offer an out of hours service. Students should pay for the visits themselves.

Phone for an ambulance or take them to the A&E department at the General Hospital straight away. Inform the school of your actions by calling the school emergency line.

Lost or stolen items

Visit St Helier police station with your student and report the loss. They will then issue a signed letter confirming the report of the loss which your student can then take to their local embassy in Jersey in order to obtain a temporary passport to travel home with.

Phone the police station on 612612 and report the incidence. They will then log the incident. Also ask them to check their lost property department in case the item has been handed in.

Phone the school office straight away and we will then deal with the incident.

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