The following are a list of frequently asked questions, please read them carefully before going on to the application form.
My Questions Answered:
- Why join Camphill?
- What about my English?
- What will I be expected to do?
- What about support and training?
- What kind of time off and social life is there?
- Will I be paid?
- What about holidays?
- Will my travel costs be met?
- Do I need a visa?
- When should I arrive?
- How do I apply?
Camphill has a long tradition of welcoming people from all over the world who wish to spend six months to one year as volunteers in our communities. For some this will be a short-term, life-enriching experience; for others it may be a step into a longer-term commitment to this work and life.
You may be considering a social/voluntary year or a career break, and wish to get involved in the lives of our amazing children and adolescents. You may be looking for an opportunity during a gap year following your period of professional training but before you embark on your career path, or you may be looking for a new direction, task and lifestyle later on in life. If so, then volunteering as a co-worker could be for you.
Most of our children and young people have communication difficulties and we, as co-workers, must be able to speak a reasonable amount of English to be able to help and communicate with our pupils. Many of their frustrations can be understood and resolved if the children and young people can be helped to express themselves. It is therefore important that those who do come to Camphill School have an adequate command of the English language.
Your major responsibility at all times is to the child or young person in your care, whether in the classroom, workshop or the house. The task is to care and support each child or young person to the fullest extent possible so that they can unfold their potential. As a new co-worker you will be helped by more experienced colleagues to learn how to establish a successful relationship with each child or young person, how to gauge what expectations to have for the child or young person, and how to unfold each child or young person's potential to the fullest extent possible, so that maximum independence and self-reliance are achieved. Think of it as a mutual process: you are setting out on a personal learning experience while helping the children and young people themselves embark on a similar voyage of discovery. Their needs, however, are paramount at all times.
Support for Co-workers
Especially in the beginning but also when you are more settled, there will be occasions when you will need the active help of a fellow co-worker, within your house, class and workshop, and within the larger community. Everyone needs this. Through regular house meetings, you will have regular opportunity to share your reflections and concerns with others and to make your personal contribution to the development of our communal life. In addition, you will have the assurance of knowing that all other co-workers are there to provide continuing daily encouragement and guidance, not only in the practical details but also in the emotional ups and downs of living. In particular, the senior co-workers should be regarded as your first line of support, whether you have a major problem or minor worry - or if you simply wish to suggest a new idea for improving the daily routine.
You will have regular support talks with your house co-ordinator/senior co-worker to ensure any issues you have will be discussed and explained.
Camphill School Aberdeen is committed to providing you with opportunities for regular and ongoing training and support. There will also be regular meetings and training sessions in your house as well as occasional conferences and training events during the year that you will be expected to attend. In-service training days are held at the beginning and end of each school holiday.
During your initial year here you will be expected to complete the Induction Process and participate in the Foundation Year. These consist of a series of learning activities designed to enable you to become competent and gain insights for your role as a co-worker.
The Induction Process is essential for anyone involved in the care and education of the children and young people within the community. Induction takes approximately 16 weeks to complete and forms part of the foundation year. It starts when you arrive with a course that goes over important elements of the Co-worker Training Portfolio, e.g. health and safety, child protection, house and school life. You will also participate in Emergency First Aid and Moving and Handling training at this time. Attendance at a two-day training course on Behavioural Support Strategies (BSS) is another important element in your early training and learning.
At an early stage you will be introduced to your new colleagues and to the children and young people with whom you will live and work. A key part of your learning in these early days will be regular supervision talks during which your supervisor will encourage you to think about how you are developing and seek to support and challenge you to grow further. You will be expected to keep track of your progress and demonstrate your skills and understanding through everyday activities, conversation, and completing written worksheets and notes. Completing induction is essential preparation for moving on to the Foundation Course
Foundation Course – Introduction to Social Pedagogy
All new co-workers take part in a Foundation Course either at a beginner or advanced level which is designed to enable you to further develop your knowledge, skills and understanding about your role.
Attendance at a minimum of 15 two-hour weekly lectures/workshops, which will entitle you to receive a Participation Certificate.
If you choose to undertake further personal reflection in relation to the issues raised during the lectures/workshops you will receive a Completion Certificate.
BA Social Pedagogy
In collaboration with Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, we offer a three-year BA in Social Pedagogy for which prior experience is required for admission. For those interested, and without the experience or qualifications, we run a one-year ‘Access’ course.
You will have two days off a week as well as an hour or two during each day.
The use of alcohol and drugs
Our policy is to discourage the consumption of alcohol on the premises; any alcohol on the premises needs to be secured. No one must ever be under the influence of alcohol when working within the School. Anyone who wishes to live and work in Camphill School Aberdeen should abstain from using narcotics and drugs of any kind, unless prescribed by the doctor for your personal use.
Please be aware that it is a criminal offence in Scotland to be in possession of, or to smoke cannabis or any other narcotic or drug, unless prescribed by a doctor.
Smoking is allowed out-of-doors in agreed designated areas.
You are not allowed, by law, to smoke when in the company of the children or young people.
You should have a lighter with your name on it. Matches should not be used.
Cigarettes should never be thrown away in the grounds but always placed in a suitable bin.
New co-workers receive personal expenses of £190 per month. You will receive free accommodation and food as well as all basic toiletries provided by the house.
After 12 months in Camphill you will receive a sum, which equals 4 weeks' personal expenses, as a contribution to your holiday expenses. Any other holiday expenses will have to be met by you. If you stay for a shorter period of time, the holiday contribution will be proportionally less.
Generally co-workers come for a 12-month period within which you have 6 weeks. Your holidays will need to be organised with your supervisor/house co-ordinator.
Journeys Home European Countries
If you stay for the agreed length of time, Camphill will refund, within reason, the cost of travelling home at the end of your year. You will be expected to meet all other personal travel costs yourself. If you decide to leave earlier than the agreed period, you are expected to fund your journey home yourself.
Journeys Home Non-EU Countries
If you come for 12 months, we will contribute to your home journey. Requests need to be made to the Finance Manager who will determine the amount. If you decide to leave earlier than the agreed period, you are expected to fund your journey yourself.
If you come from a country which is not a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) you will need a visa and a valid return ticket.
When we confirm your place and date of entry in our Community, a Certificate of Sponsorship number will be sent to you. This number will allow you to apply for a Tier 5 Charity Work visa. The cost of the visa is £225 plus a Health Surcharge of £200.
Visa processing times vary between countries; information is available on the UK Visa website. Once granted, a temporary 30-day entry vignette is inserted in your passport. On arrival in the UK, you have 10 days in which to collect your Biometric Residence Permit from a named Post Office in Aberdeen.
UK Immigration Officers exercise a great deal of discretion and granting entry clearance is by no means automatic.
The School closes for holidays at the end of each term, therefore you are expected to arrive here only a day or two before the beginning of the Induction course (please refer to our Term Dates).
We occasionally may have a vacancy in the middle of a term. For further information on this, please make direct contact.
After you have read the Information for Prospective Co-workers' PDF and all of the information in the First Steps section, you can then continue with the application path below or apply now, by using a downloadable form.
We hope that the previous pages have answered at least some of your questions about the life and work at Camphill School Aberdeen. If you're anything like as curious as we are there'll still be a whole host of questions to be answered. In the meantime ...
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