XUK’s full title is Cross Keys, and this company provides children’s day camps and residential holidays for children of all ages. They offer half term and school holiday cover, language schools and teen camps that will help boost your child’s self-esteem and give them experience at creative arts, performance and sport.

Cross Keys is based in North London and has OFSTED accreditation, which deemed it’s summer play scheme provision to be Outstanding. They intend to keep it that way, but encouraging clear communication between staff, parents and children, and working hard to ensure that every child feels welcome and comfortable throughout their time there.

The venue for Cross Keys is ‘The New Eccles Hall School,’ where a hearty breakfast includes a range of delicious options, and where there’s always a vegetarian choice available for lunch and dinner. The dorm arrangements are designed to ensure children get their own choice as to the friends they would like to stay with, and if they have come alone, staff will do their best to find a friendly group of a similar age to place them with.

As for language learning, this is an option that runs beside the other activities and Cross Keys makes sure that any child making use of language learning provision still has plenty of space and opportunity for fun activities and relaxation time.

Every residential camp, a child is chosen as ‘Citizen of the Week’ which qualifies them to an additional week’s stay free of charge sometime in the future. That’s a real incentive for some proactively good behaviour.

For children aged over six, there is the opportunity to specialise in one of these areas: visual arts, sport or drama. This ensures that every visitor feels at home in the activities they choose and can spend their time engaged in whatever skills and experiences will make them feel most at home.

Even senior management staff of Cross keys get hands on involved in leading and supporting the sessions, which means that there’s a strong awareness across the whole team of exactly how the centre is operating, what is working, and what needs further development. That’s a great boost for the staff involved, because they can feel more a part of the wider team, and that in turn brings motivation benefits for the children they are caring for.

At meal times, the whole camp gathers together in the communal hall, setting the scene for a strong sense of bonding and belonging. Subtle touches like this combine to communicate to children the value of belonging to something bigger and knowing that their small part has a place in the world. Similarly, the fact that parents have the space to drive right up to the front door makes a statement about welcoming them into the children’s experience.

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  • Colin Timms

    Sent the kids here, loved it. Kept talking about the hearty breakfast!

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