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JAN FEB 20 17

ISSUE 50

LEEDS’ FAVOURITE PARENTING MAGAZINE

STOCKELD

PARK

Where magic is made & adventures

INSIDE: Author Joanne Harris Ideas for keeping kids active this winter

27 January 19 February

Millennium Square

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JANUARY – FEBRUARY 2017 • ISSUE 50

Contents… 4–5

News

8–9

Get set go! How to keep your family active this winter

12 – 13

Make sure you pick up a copy of our March/April issue, out early March! CIRCULATION: We distribute 20,000 copies of the magazine free of charge through schools, nurseries, playgroups, clubs and classes, selected retail outlets and sports centres. Read by more than 48,000 parents. If you would like copies for your establishment please let us know. DESIGNED BY: JUSTIN LEEMING • 07745 038 005 www.jgl-design.co.uk PRINTED BY: CHARLESWORTH PRESS, Wakefield www.charlesworth.com Families Leeds Ltd is part of Families Magazines Ltd a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families® is a registered trademark of Families Magazines Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. The contents of Families Leeds Ltd are fully protected by copyright and non of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of the publisher. We take every care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequence.

The winner of our book bundle competition was Jacqui Smith, and our pantomime competition was won by Amanda Mackay. Congratulations to them and thank you to all who entered.

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

Tell me a story We talk to an author and an illustrator for National Storytelling Week

Please contact Claire Bottomley to advertise in this magazine… 07799 667 041 editor@familiesleeds.co.uk www.familiesonline.co.uk

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Homework time What’s the right approach?

17 – 19

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What’s On Our guide to what’s on for families in Leeds this January and February

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Welcome Back… “I have brrrought vith me six trrrunks stuffed full of Inklish banknotes, all new and crrrisp. And all of them,” she added with a fiendish leer, “all of them homemade.” Was there ever such a fantastic villain as the Grand High Witch? I had forgotten all about Roald Dahl’s The Witches, The Witches until my son started reading it at school, and then we went Photo: Catherine Ashmore to see the play. “You brrrainless bogvumper!” I said to myself. “How could you have forgotten what an utterly scarily gruesomely spine-tinglingly movingly brilliant book this is!” My grandmother refused to read me The Twits, because it said an old lady had a mouth like a dog’s bottom. Roald Dahl tells us stories of crime and neglect, child killers and fraudsters, rule breakers, eccentrics and lots of scary magic. And don’t we all love him for it? He ignites a love of reading with phenomenal language, outrageous characters and fantastic stories, capturing interest and fuelling imagination like nothing else. Our generation got to appreciate his books, and it’s pretty gloriumptious being able to rediscover them now through our children. “Are you a witch?” my son asked me, as we drove home. “No of course not, don’t be silly!” I laughed thinly, then surreptitiously scratched my hair. “Mummy! Are you???!!!!” And the really funny thing is, I started to scare myself…. Happy New Year everyone! Claire Bottomley www.familiesonline.co.uk 3


FAMILIES NEWS Froebelian’s Alice in Wonderland Summer Fair, which raised funds for the charity

Making Wishes Come True Pupils at The Froebelian School in Horsforth have raised £8,074 for The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to transform and enrich the lives of seriously ill children. Throughout the last academic year, the school community held a number of fundraising events to support the charity, having been inspired by the story of Luke Harrison, who has been diagnosed with leukaemia, and is the son of a friend of head teacher Catherine Dodds. Mrs Dodds said,“Watching Luke and his family battle against his leukaemia and seeing how they all benefitted from the wonderful work of Make-A-Wish, was the reason I selected it as last year’s chosen charity. His story inspired the whole school to want to do something to make a difference and help children like him through a difficult time.” Thankfully, Luke is now well on the way to recovery following a bone marrow transplant in September but the whole experience has had a profound effect on him, his family and friends. The Make a Wish Foundation helped to provide Luke and his family with a once in a lifetime experience – a trip to Barcelona and a guided tour of Camp Nou – home of FC Barcelona. Luke’s mum, Rosie, said,“Thank you so, so much to everyone at The Froebelian School for all your fundraising. This charity puts a smile back on the faces of the children and families going through a tough time and gives them something to focus on when they are having treatment. Thank you again everyone, what a fantastic amount!”

Pupils Win National Maths challenge Pupils from a Leeds primary school have come top of the class in a national maths competition. Key Stage Two children at Whingate Primary School in Armley came first out of 452 British schools competing in the Mathletics Numeracy Challenge. The team of 234 youngsters correctly answered over 492,000 questions in two weeks, totting up 10,959 points between them. Impressively, the mathletes collected most of their points outside of lesson time. Carol Newton, Mathletics co-ordinator for the school said, “The secret to our success is the children. We’ve got very enthusiastic pupils and they all wanted to do it, most of it in their own time at home or in after school clubs.”

Two of the winning Mathletics pupils from Whingate Primary

Leeds is the Best Place to Raise a Family Leeds has topped a list of hot-spots for families to live in a recent report. TheHouseShop.com have researched and ranked dozens of areas across the UK to reveal the best, and worst, places for families to live. The report looked at a variety of factors relating to housing, childcare, schooling, cost of living and quality of life. It ranked places using factors including the average price of three and four bed family homes currently on the market, affordability of childcare and the number of childcare providers rated ‘outstanding’ by D

Ofsted, Key Stage 2 scores, Key Stage 4 or GCSE achievement, cost of living, crime and safety indexes and more.  According to the report, the top five family hotspots in England are: 1. Leeds 2. Reading 3. Nottingham 4. Sheffield 5. Plymouth And the three worst were Brighton, Exeter and Cambridge.

For classes in HORSFORTH and ROUNDHAY contact Julia: 07734 940 610 For classes in BOSTON SPA contact Cath: 07917 757 566

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Families News

Should you let your Child use a Tablet? Karate Medals for Isabel at WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Seven members of a Leeds karate club have represented England at the World Karate Championships in Portugal. Eleven-year-old Isabel Hall (pictured on the left) won two silver medals at the event. Isabel has been doing karate for three years with the Karate International Black Belt School based in Alwoodley, Headlingley and Seacroft. “At the English open championships in January I got bronze medals in kumite (sparring) and kata, meaning I qualified instantly to represent England at the world championships in Portugal,” said Isabel. “I also got a bronze medal in kumite at the European championships in July.” In Portugal, there were around 100 competitors on the England squad. Isabel got one silver medal in Kata and one in Kumite (sparring).

Isabel is a purple with a white stripe belt (4th Kyu), four belts away from a junior black belt. She does Traditional Shotokan Karate and trains every Wednesday and also Thursday in the run up to the championships. Isabel added,“I honestly couldn't have felt more amazing! The event was held at a really big, five star hotel in Albufeira so when we weren’t training or competing, we could relax in one of the five pools or on the private beach!”

Don’t FORGET! If you have a child who is due to start primary school in September, the deadline for applying for a place is January 15. For information on how to apply, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/ Admissions-Primary-School

On Yer Bike for Brain Tumour Research Brain Tumour Research is looking for teams to take part in a national spinathon event on February 25. They can take place at anytime, anywhere and for any duration. You can host your spinathon in a gym of your choice or even at home on an exercise bike. The charity is looking for people to lead a team of spinners into a gym near you and help to raise £2,740 to fund a day of research. For more information, contact Carol Robertson, Head of Community Fundraising, on 07817 878 407 or email carol@braintumourresearch.org to express your interest in becoming a team leader or joining an event at your local gym.

A newly-launched research project aims to discover the influence technology has on children’s learning, social interactions and play, from birth to 47 months – and parents are invited to join in. Dr Elena Hoicka and PhD students from the University of Sheffield's Department of Psychology are looking to discover whether technology, such as tablets, is good for children's development, bad, or a bit of both. The survey asks questions about how long children use different types of technology – such as a tablet or a television the previous day. It also asks questions about how children prefer to learn, what children understand about other people, and whether and how children engage in pretend play. Parents of children with low activities levels, such as newborns, are also invited to participate, as the researchers are interested in how technology impacts children right from the beginning. All participants will then be invited to repeat the survey six months later, which allows researchers to determine whether or not technology has had an impact. At the end of the survey, parents will receive a summary of their child’s learning style, social understanding, and play. For every parent who completes the survey twice, six months apart, £2 will be donated to UNICEF. It only takes around 20 – 30 minutes to register and complete the survey. To sign up or read more, go to babylovesscience.com

Contact Sara Hall on 0113 834 6522 or email sara@pyjamadrama.com

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Viewpoint

MuM

in the Middle

Our columnist Becky Bond takes a realistic approach to making promises at the start of 2017 – and recalls a bad habit of hers which caused her mother to take drastic action. OT any New Year’s resolutions? Nah, me neither. I’ve already stopped smoking, I’m not prepared to endure a Dry January (a month? a month? – I don’t love my liver that much) and charitable giving doesn’t stand a chance vis-à-vis my Visa bill from Christmas. So that just leaves going vegan and I don’t really fancy that because I’ve always been pretty farty. A daily dose of eggplant, chai and mung bean granola would wipe out any positive effects on the environment by me scorching another hole in the ozone layer.  I suppose I could make vague promises about being more patient with the children, but they’re so annoying sometimes. Maybe I could adopt a panda or something? Ooh, I know, I know, I’d like to sponsor one of those scary chaser snakes from Planet Earth 2 – but not, if I’m honest, for it’s own well being; purely for the fun of letting it loose in the lounge during Frozen. Obviously, I wouldn’t say this to my daughters, but I reckon you can get away with smoking until you’re thirty or pregnant – at which point you reluctantly have to frame yourself. If you’re going to have a habit though, it’s healthier than crack cocaine or collecting Cliff Richard merchandise. None-the-less, my mum, having nearly croaked it with pleurisy in her forties, tried

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every trick in the book to make me turn my back on Nick O’Teen (remember those TV ads in the early 80s? ’Come on kids, if you want to grow up fast, smoke one of these...’. Guilt played a large part in mum’s war-on-fags and she was far from subtle. Once, she was being a bit off hand at breakfast. Nothing major, just not-chatty. It wasn’t until I got to the car that I saw my silk cut crumbled on top of a note which simply read ’disappointing and truly infantile’ – Mortified – momentarily. I just scraped the shreds into my handbag and sped off, pushing in the cigarette lighter before my choke had chance to splutter into action. Another favourite of the Fumes Führer was to be casually watching a programme on open heart surgery just as I was off to the pub. She tried the “heard about Phylis’s husband?” trick “CANCER. Really suffered towards the end. Smoked 30 a day. But I suppose when he started, nobody knew the dangers. Now of course, anyone would be crackers.” “It just looks so common” was trotted out regularly in various guises, along with (*insert exaggerated sniffing gesture here*) "Been to a bar-b-que dear? In February?". But she played her trump card with a letter of such withering scorn that for once, I thought twice. Two sides of A4 were pinned

to my bedroom door, full of phrases forever seared into my frontal lobe: you look and smell like a tramp... you are wasting your life and your body... you are ungrateful in the extreme... you can’t borrow the car anymore (whoa!)… and if you think for one minute that I’m chipping in for your trip to Ibiza, you can think again. Her parting shot was in capitals, underlined, in red pen – EITHER SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT! I was livid. How dare she? What was wrong with squandering my wages on Taboo and tobacco down the White Horse? How could I possibly enjoy a pint of snakebite if I didn’t have something smouldering between my spare fingers? And anyway, the boyfriend was a smoker so I’d have to ditch him first – and I wasn’t bored of him yet.  In the end though, she wore me down like only a mother on a mission can. Her constant onslaught of barbs finally brought me back to my senses. When the dust had settled, I grudgingly gave up the gaspers and pursued a less perilous pastime instead. I bought a motorbike.  To read Becky’s blog, go to www.beckybondwrites.com or follow her on twitter @beckymenston

Reader Offer from EXPLORE LEARNING A Fearless Start to the Year… “Why fearless you might ask? And what does this even mean? For us, a child’s educational journey goes beyond acing a quick spelling test or getting to the top of the class for a term,” writes Explore Learning. “It is about building long-lasting confidence that takes them through their entire life, whether it is through developing a ‘have a go attitude’, or knowing it’s ok to put their hand up without fear of a ‘silly’ question being mocked, or simply feeling excited about their next step. It’s about nurturing a sense of pride, and a fearless attitude to learning, so that every child can become their version of amazing. Our incredible tutors are there to support every step of the way. Rather than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, they will ask: “are you sure?” or “can you convince me of your answer?”,

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allowing children to explore and push the boundaries of their thinking each day. To celebrate the new year and all of the potential it brings, we would like to offer you a little something to help your child along their fearless learner journey. From January 16 until February 28, you’ll save £50 when you join any one of our maths and English tuition centres.” To find out which centre is closest to you and to book your free trial, visit: explorelearning.co.uk/offer


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Keep your Family ACTIVE this WINTER IIIn summer, it’s so easy to make sure your children get plenty of fresh airII IIand exercise. Give them a garden, park or beach and the job is done. But in winter,II IIthe urge to hibernate is all too great.II And when parents get anxious about the children staying ‘active’, we all know it’s not just their health we’re thinking about, but our own sanity when it comes to bedtime! So here, Families has come up with a few ideas for making sure you all get chance to let off steam in these cold, dark winter months…

Get WALKING…

When it’s cold outside, it’s good to wrap up warm and venture out with a sense of purpose. Our columnist, Becky Bond, has co-written two useful books for making walks accessible with young children. They are All Terrain Pushchair Walks: West Yorkshire and Adventure Walks for Little Children. Both books are by Rebecca Terry and Rebecca Chippendale (Becky’s maiden name!) and are available from good bookshops or online.

Get to THE GYM…. Get GEOCACHING… Geocaching is a worldwide high tech outdoor treasure hunting game. Geocaches are hidden all over the world. Using a GPS receiver, you can find a geocache (small waterproof container), take something from the it and leave something in return, and enter a log in the logbook. There are 14,784 geocaches near Leeds, just waiting for you to find them. To get started, all you need is a free Geocaching account and the official Geocaching app or a GPS. Visit www.geocaching.com

Get RUNNING… Junior Parkrun is a series of 2k runs for children aged between four and 14, a spin-off from the popular adult Parkrun events. They are open to all, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. In Leeds, they take place in Roundhay Park, Cross Flatts and Bramley at 9am on Sundays and at Temple Newsam at 10am on Sundays. For more information or to register, visit www.parkrun.org.uk

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COOKRIDGE HALL POOL

In winter, family gym membership can be particularly useful. Swimming is a brilliant, fun way to get some exercise when the weather is grim. At Cookridge Hall Health and Fitness, there are fun family sessions in the pool every weekend between 10am and noon, and during the week there’s family swim time from 8.30am – noon every morning and 1pm until 8pm every weekday evening, giving the family chance to exercise together. Away from the pool, there are classes for children after school and at weekends, including kids games, kids boxercise, flex and abs, gymnastics, karate and street dance. For 11 – 16-year-olds it offers a number of teen gym sessions of circuit type training in the gym. If adults want to get in the gym or a class without the children, there’s an OFSTED registered Creche open from 9am – 1pm from Monday to Friday. To trial Cookridge Hall, call 0113 2030 000.


Keep Active this Winter

Get FAMILIES OFFER JUMPING… Trampolining is a relatively new option for family fun time. Oxygen Freejumping recently opened at Cardigan Fields Leisure Park on Kirskstall Road, and offers a great way to get you all jump-started this winter – with a special offer for Families Leeds readers. The whole family – all abilities – can join in and jump. There are multiple jumping zones including mega airbags, dodgeball, speed reaction walls and practice and basketball hoops, or you can simply jump around the vast terrain of trampolines. Exclusively for Families Leeds readers, you can save 20% if you use code FAMILYTIME when booking. Visit oxygenfreejumping.co.uk for more information or to book.

Get SKATING… If you can’t beat it join it – embrace the cold weather with some ice-skating. There’s a fantastic opportunity to get your skates on in Leeds this January and February, with the Ice Cube ice rink returning to Millennium Square in the city centre. This year it will be covered, so it can be a wet weather option too. There are family friendly skate sessions each morning, with penguin stabilisers for the little ones. Open from January 27 to February 19. For information or to book visit www.leeds.gov.uk/icecube. And from February 17 to 26, you can take to the ice at Stockeld Park, where the large outdoor real ice rink is set in the magnificent parkland and fringed by the twinkling lights of the magical Enchanted Forest. For more information, visit www.stockeldpark.co.uk.

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C lubs and C lasses

VICKY’S got the MUSIC BUG… To some people, engaging with young children comes very naturally. Vicky Bannister is one of those people. When Claire Bottomley visited her MusicBugs class, she could easily see why they are so popular… Parents, grandparents and lots of enthusiastic tots gather at the Monday morning Family Bugs session in Alwoodley, ready for some serious fun. Very soon, the junior musicians are tottering up to choose an instrument as Vicky leads the first fun song of the day. The classes are interactive and sensory, using rhyme, actions, props, and songs familiar and new in each class. “We’re relaxed and allow children to explore, it can be quite stressful if children are expected to be glued to you when sometimes, for whatever reason, they don’t want to do that,” explains Vicky. But by and large, the children are very much interested in what is going on. “Children love music and movement, and it’s good for them socially, before starting school and nursery, to make friends and build relationships, learning to share and being in an environment where there are lots of other children,” said Vicky. “We have a lot that come into baby classes and they stay all the way through until they’re off to pre-school or nursery and it’s quite upsetting, like someone leaving home!” she added. “Because I’ve known them quite a few years and seen them develop to just being

MUSICBUGS CLASSES:

VICKY BANNISTER, LEFT

able to hold something, to being able to do everything themselves – singing, actions, all the counting, it’s wonderful.” She added, “Some just come for a term and like to do different things which is absolutely fine, there’s a variety.” Parents and carers are offered a trial of three consecutive classes for £10, so that they get a good insight into whether the children are happy. “With just one class it is difficult – the child could be having a bad day or the parent could be having a bad day,” explains Vicky. “Coming somewhere new can be overwhelming for the child, if they’re a bit shy it is very interactive, there’s lots of noise and energy, it can take them time to find their feet. After the second class the quieter ones come out of their shell and are not glued to mum.” Vicky also added that people can join the term at any point and do not have to pay the full term.

Baby Bugs Classes for babies aged from four weeks up to around one year. These multi-sensory classes provide a perfect introduction to music and singing. Babies will enjoy floor time, knee bouncers, and being rocked and swayed to lots of new songs and old favourites that can be enjoyed again together at home. “These classes are for non-walkers, and once a baby starts to crawl it may be that they’re ready for the next class,” explains Vicky. Mini Bugs Classes for six months to two years. Babies and toddlers are encouraged to interact and move around during the class as they explore a wide range of tactile and exciting props and get to grips with finger play rhymes, counting songs and action songs. Family Bugs For six months to four years, these classes are ideal for parents and carers bringing siblings along. They’re very popular and no-one is left out, with a real community feel. For more information, visit www.musicbugs.co.uk/leeds

NEW Teacher takes the stage at PYJAMA DRAMA Pyjama Drama has a new member of the team. Danni Trigg has more than ten years’ experience as a secondary school drama teacher. “I’m very excited about joining Pyjama Drama, having taken my own children, aged four and six, to lessons,” she said. “I have seen how engaging and fun the sessions are, encouraging children to use their imaginations from a young age.” She added,“I think that the skills learned in the sessions are for life. Interaction with others, confidence, listening and sharing, and being able to create a character or story are just some of the skills I'm looking forward to sharing with the children.”

Sara Hall, who runs Pyjama Drama said,“Due to Danni’s teaching experience and flexibility, we are now able to put the after-school sessions for five to seven-year-olds back on our timetable, which is fantastic!” “Helen Sweet is still continuing to deliver our baby Pyjama Drama sessions in the New Year which now means we have classes for children 10 months up to seven years.” For more information, visit www.pyjamadrama.com

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Celebrating Nationa IITo mark this year’s National Storytelling Week, from January 28 – February 4, we spoke toII IIa Yorkshire novelist and a Leeds-based children’s illustrator about creating stories…II

Interview: JOANNE HARRIS

Joanne Harris taught French at the Grammar School at Leeds before becoming a full time writer. KYTE PHOTOGRAPHY

International best-selling novelist Joanne Harris taught at The Grammar School in Leeds before her writing took over. Here, she speaks to Families about life as a writer and offers advice for those with a passion for writing stories. The success of Chocolat kick-started your career as an author – was it an easy decision to retire from teaching? Writing is generally a job that doesn’t make a lot of money, and nearly all writers have another job. For my first three published books I was a teacher and if one of my books hadn’t been unexpectedly successful I would have stayed a teacher. When you reach a certain level of success it’s very difficult to do the two things at once, so I gave up teaching. I thought then temporarily, and it turned out to be permanent. But it could have been different. Do you ever meet people and think they would make a great character in a book? I’m borrowing from people all the time. It’s part of being a writer, using the experiences you have with people and conversations; things you’ve noticed about them, and you filter them through this process. I don’t think I’ve ever actually put someone in a book, but I think we all borrow extensively from other people around us. How did it feel when you found out that Chocolat was being made into a film? I didn’t believe it at first, because books get optioned all the time, but very rarely do they end up making films. I started to pay attention when they started filming, and when they invited me on set, when it was clear something was actually happening. By then it didn’t really have much to do with me, so I was able to enjoy it in a different way. It was very nicely done, the cast was great, the direction was great, the score was great, and they deserved the success it had. 12

“Read a lot, because the more you read the more you realise how writing works and why it’s good and why it fails” You’re very active on social media, do you think this new digital age we’re living has changed the way people tell stories? I think it’s had an impact on the whole of the book business in a lot of ways, some good, some bad. What it has done is given us more access to each other and provides a much more interactive side to telling stories. I tell my #Storytime stories on Twitter, and you really feel as if you’re talking to people, because it’s a very conversational medium, which is its charm. It’s National Storytelling Week in January, what advice would you give to children or

adults if they have a passion for writing and want to take it to the next level? To be a professional writer you have to write, a lot, and understand that a lot of it will be bad but practice makes you better. So start writing, and don’t worry too much about where you are heading. Also read a lot, because the more you read the more you realise how writing works and why it’s good and why it fails, and just keep improving all the time. For more information on Joanne Harris and her work, go to www.joanne-harris.co.uk


Stor y tellin g Week

al Storytelling Week Interview: ALISON BROWN Allison Brown became a full-time children’s illustrator four years ago. “I love it. I feel very lucky that this is my job,” she said. She has illustrated several books by different authors, and also written and illustrated a book called Eddie and Dog. One of her recent collaborations has been with the author Tony Mitton, on The Snow Bear. “It’s a very gentle story, written in verse, of a little bear alone in the world, in the cold,” said Alison. “There’s a contrast because in the first half it’s blue and icy and the bear gets turned away from some nice places, and then the second half is warm and glowing and cosy.” She recently saw it brought to life by young children at the Stagecoach Performing Arts School Roundhay. “It was lovely to see how they’d approached the story and got inside it,” she said. “Even the youngest pupils were engaged in exploring the emotions, physical qualities and journey of their characters. “I feel really honoured that Tony Mitton’s and my book was given a brand new form of storytelling,” she added. “The performance was so well done, I was very impressed. And it was 100 per cent cute!” Stagecoach perform Snow Bear

Alison Brown with ‘Dog’ from her book, Eddie and Dog

EXAM TIME.

BRING. IT. ON. With individualised courses, mapped to the National Curriculum, our tutors will support your child in centres bursting with positive energy, wanting nothing more than to help them achieve their version of amazing.

COMPETITION! For a chance to win a copy of the Snow Bear signed by Alison, plus a free two-week taster trial at Stagecoach and T-shirt, email editor@familiesleeds.co.uk with the words SNOW BEAR in the title by January 31. There’s also a bundle of Alison’s other books up for grabs, including I’ll Love You Night and Day, I’ll Never Let You Go, Eddie and Dog and Little Owl’s Egg. For a chance to win, email editor@familiesleeds.co.uk with the works BOOK BUNDLE in the title, also by January 31.

Explore fearless learning today by calling 030 3003 4006 to book your free trial. explorelearning.co.uk

/explorelearning @exploretutors 13


Education

Outdoor learning at Richmond House More and more evidence suggests that spending time outdoors has a positive impact on a child’s physical and mental wellbeing and development. Richmond House School in Far Headingley has more than 10 acres of sports pitches and fields. But it doesn’t just use its outside space for sport and PE – often lessons are taken outdoors. The school even has a unique outdoor classroom in the form of a yurt. “The yurt offers the opportunity for our children to be involved in a multi-sensory experience where they are encouraged to touch, smell and listen to the surrounding world,” explained head teacher Helen Stiles (pictured).

Some of the Year 6 artwork

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“Parents and indeed children lead such busy lives today, that children often do not get to spend as much time outdoors as they have done in the past, children may still play sport outside, but many do not have the opportunity to roam and explore the natural environment,” she added. “Reports suggest that those who do get to spend time outdoors are more independent and socially aware, and we also find teaching outdoors helps to fuel the imagination and enhances creativity.” “At Richmond House we also recognise that children learn in a variety of ways and, taking learning outside often stimulates children in different ways, enabling them to feel inspired about their learning.” During the Autumn term, Year 6 children looked at Andy Goldsworthy and his use of the natural environment in their art lessons. They were challenged to create similar art on the school fields. Mrs Stiles added,“The school has timetabled sessions on its all-weather adventure playground for everyone from Nursery to Year 6, providing a challenging and engaging environment in which the children can develop confidence and acquire new skills.” To find out more about Richmond House School, visit www.rhschool.org.

Wildlife Project takes off Pupils at a Leeds primary school have been helping friends who fly find homes. Youngsters from Newlaithes Primary School, in Horsforth, have placed a collection of bat and bird boxes in its wildlife and pond area. Marianne Bastey, a teacher at the school, said the special sanctuary had recently been refurbished. “We have had the wildlife area for a few years now but it had become overgrown and untidy so, with the help of parents, we decided to try to get it back in order,” she said. “We have got extensive grounds and we wanted to expand the wildlife area to encourage children to think more about the environment and get involved in the world around them.” Newlaithes is already classed as a ‘green’ school, working for rewards for undertaking a variety of eco-projects. “We have grown our own vegetables and flowers, and the younger ones have previously had the chance to keep hens and collect eggs,” added Marianne. “But we want to offer more for pupils to get involved in and the bird and bat boxes,donated by Redrow Homes, will be great. Encouraging children to help and to learn this way broadens their spectrum, and by getting them involved extends the message that the school is for everybody – just like the world around them.”


Education

Have You Done Your Homework?

IIIt’s a familiar phrase for families, and not without its tensions for most. Here, Simon Bailey, head teacherII IIof Ashville Prep School in Harrogate, shares some advice on how best to handle homework…II Much has been written about homework in education and it has been a regular hot topic with the inevitable problems that parents (me included) have with our children completing their homework after a long day at school. Homework has many benefits, ranging from higher academic performance to improved study skills and stronger schoolparent relationships. However, it can also result in a loss of interest in learning, fatigue, and cutting into important personal and family time, which in turn can cause resentment between home and school. The key point is that parents should not feel that they are teachers. The homework is there for the children to complete on their own, that’s how they start to develop a little independence and resilience. Of course the encouragement, praise and understanding is still necessary as children thrive on this. Homework offers parents insight into what their children are learning and provides opportunities to talk with children about their learning. However if the issue of homework is causing them stress or affecting their children’s enthusiasm for learning I offer the following key advice. n Spend some time sorting through any conflicts related to your child not doing homework and discuss them with school, if necessary. n To start with, train your children in good habits and place time limits on how long

homework should take from the start. n Ask the school how long a child should spend on each subject at night. Then you can help keep those limits in place by telling children they can’t spend a minute more – or a minute less – than the allotted time. n Find the time of the day after school that works best for your child – either straight after arriving home or after a short break. Agree a start time every day so that the rule turns into a routine and there is less room for resistance and negotiation. n Don’t finish their homework for the

children. That will just mask the problem and get you dragged into a nightly conflict. Help them instead to take responsibility for their homework, while you provide guidance from the sidelines. A final word of warning: stressed overtired, overworked children don’t learn. Both families and schools should allow for homework to be an extension of enjoyment from the classroom. For more information on Ashville Prep School visit www.ashville.co.uk.

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Winter Warmer for all the family:

Roasted Vegetables Pasta Bake IISiobhan Berry of Mummy Cooks (mummycooks.ie) sharesII IIher tried and tested favourite that grown-ups will enjoy asII IImuch as kids.II Siobhan says,“Pesto is always a great hit in our house and this recipe allows for more vegetables to be added. I find that kids are more likely to try new vegetables with their favourite sauce on top. Roasting vegetables also makes them a little sweeter, so they are certain to enjoy this dish.”

Makes 8 Adult portions (freeze half for another day) • 2 large red onions • 1 large aubergine • 2 large courgettes • 2 red and orange pepper, deseeded and sliced • 4 tbsp olive oil • 4 tbsp pesto • 250ml crème fraiche • Freshly ground black pepper • 500g pasta, cooked (I use wholegrain pasta) • 150g cheddar cheese, grated

1. Chop all the vegetables and preheat the oven to 190ºC/375F/Gas 5. 2. On a roasting dish, toss the vegetables in a drizzle of olive oil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, until cooked and golden at the edges. 3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta for a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. 4. Put the pesto and crème fraiche into a saucepan, season with ground black pepper, then heat gently for 2 minutes, stirring. 5. Mix the pasta and vegetables into the sauce. At this stage, I divide the mixture in two using one portion straight away and the second I freeze. Spoon the mixture into ovenproof dishes, sprinkle with cheese. To freeze: Cool completely. Cover and freeze. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 190ºC/375F/Gas 5. Cook for 20 minutes, until piping hot To Serve straight away: Cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 190ºC and place in the centre of your table and allow your children to serve themselves, encouraging them to taste any new vegetables. Suitability: For babies six to nine months, not suitable due to large chunks. Nine months on as finger food – allow your baby to pick up the vegetables and pasta. Always supervise babies when eating.

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, What s on?

Why not take a trip to CRAG HOUSE FARM this Winter?

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What ’s On…

inter Fun! W e m so r fo n o s te ka S Get your lude ter themed-attractions inc now you can enjoy The Ice Cube is back and it whatever the weather… time attraction Yorkshire’s coolest winter in Leeds city are Squ returns to Millennium rink has the w no centre in January – and a cover. rink will have The new covered real ice each morning, ns sio ses family friendly skate for the little ones. with penguin stabilisers

This year’s win FM Snowslide, old favourites; the Capital and Glacier Run the North Pole Starflyer Ice Jet along with Simulator plus the new all ages. other rides for children of an appetite, the Once you’ve worked up ving hot drinks and Dolomites Café will be ser ing a cosy retreat tasty snacks; and provid w the on-ice action. where spectators can vie

Mad Science & more at STOCKELD PARK

Hands-on Biology at THACKRAY MUSEUM For an altogether section workshop t take part in a heart dis different day out, why no Museum? at the Thackray Medical museum, which element of a trip to the g itin exc That’s just one leries to explore the ough nine interactive gal takes you on a journey thr ine. incredible world of medic February 13 – 24. ce on weekdays between pla e tak The workshops lmuseum.co.uk. t www.thackraymedica For more information, visi

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uary 27 – Ice Cube is open from Jan on session n February 19. For informatio visit ok bo times, prices and how to e. www.leeds.gov.uk/icecub

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, What s on? DICK WHITTINGTON AT HARROGATE THEATRES – UNTIL JANUARY 15 (NOT MON & TUES) Oxford Street, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 1QF 01423 5027 10 • www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk Join Dick and his magical feline friend on their enchanting adventure to the nation's capital where the streets are said to be paved with gold. WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT AT KING'S HALL ILKLEY JANUARY 17 – 18 4 Station Rd, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 8HB 01943 436 224 • www.bradford-theatres.co.uk Popular book brought vividly and noisily to the stage in director Sally Cookson’s fun-filled adaptation set to Benji Bower’s versatile lively score. HYENA LOUNGE KIDS COMEDY AT HARROGATE THEATRES – JANUARY 21 Oxford Street, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 1QF 01423 502 710 • www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk The Hyena Lounge Kids Comedy Club with jokes that are suitable for children but funny. FAIRY TALES AND FANTASY AT ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM – FROM JANUARY 21 (EXC MONDAYS) Abbey Walk, Abbey Rd, Kirkstall , Leeds LS5 3EH 0113 378 4079 • www.leeds.gov.uk/fairytales This exhibition showcases some familiar fairy tales, including Aladdin, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.

STOCKELD PARK OPEN FEBRUARY 17 – 26

WINTER ABBEY TOURS AT FOUNTAINS ABBEY – EVERY SATURDAY AND SUNDAY Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY 01765 608 888 • www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey Knowledgeable guides bring to life the dramatic history of the beautiful Abbey. Meet at Porter’s Lodge. 1.30pm – 2.30pm. SLEEPING BEAUTY THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PANTO AT CITY VARIETIES MUSIC HALL – UNTIL JANUARY 8 Swan St, Leeds, LS1 6LW 0113 243 0808 • www.cityvarieties.co.uk Sing along to The Eagles, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye and more. With all the familiar characters, jokes and full-blown and now legendary ‘boulder fight’. CINDERELLA PANTOMIME AT CARRIAGEWORKS THEATRE – UNTIL JANUARY 7 The Electric Press, Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD 0113 376 0318 • www.leeds.gov.uk/carriageworks/Pages There’s still time to be charmed by the classic rags to riches fairy tale of downtrodden Cinders.. She’s off to the ball, so why don’t you go too? CINDERELLA AT YORK THEATRE ROYAL – UNTIL JANUARY 28 (NOT SUNDAYS) St Leonards Place, York, YO1 7HD 01904 658 162 • www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk See Cinderella on the brand-new stage in the newly refurbished York Theatre Royal. Incredible sets, stunning costumes, outstanding song-and-dance routines, jaw-dropping effects, and slapstick lunacy to amaze and delight all ages! FLOOD RESPONSE AT LEEDS INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM – NOT MONDAYS Armley Mills, Canal Rd, Armley, Leeds, LS12 2QF 0113 378 3173 • www.leeds.gov.uk/armleymills An exhibition co-curated by the community in Leeds that reflects upon December 2015’s floods. Images and stories from the worst incident of flooding in Leeds in living memory are complemented by the museum’s collections representing historic instances of floods. A programme of events and talks will run alongside the exhibition. PETER PAN PANTOMIME AT ALHAMBRA THEATRE – UNTIL JANUARY 29 Morley Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 1AJ 01274 432 000 • www.bradford-theatres.co.uk Billy Pearce boards the Jolly Roger and heads to Neverland to star alongside Darren Day, Charlie Hardwick and Jon Lee. THE WITCHES AT WEST YORKSHIRE PLAYHOUSE – JANUARY 3 – 21 (EXC MONDAYS) Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UP 0113 213 7700 • www.wyp.org.uk Roald Dahl’s scariest book is brought to life in a tremendously terrifying treat for the whole family. WINTER EXPLORER MAP AT FOUNTAINS ABBEY – JANUARY 4 – FEBRUARY 28 Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY 01765 608 888 • www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountainsabbey-and-studley-royal-water-garden Wrap up warm and head out with a winter explorer map to discover the best nature hot spots around the estate, including top 50 things to do before you’re 11 and 3/4. Normal admission applies. 10am to 4pm.

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ICE CUBE AT MILLENNIUM SQUARE – FROM JANUARY 27 – FEBRUARY 19 Calverley Street, Leeds, LS1 1UR www.leeds.gov.uk/c/Pages/IceCube/default The Ice Cube is back and now you can enjoy it whatever the weather! The ice rink in Leeds city centre returns to Millennium Square with a cover. There will be family friendly skate sessions each morning, with penguin stabilisers for the little ones. There'll be a snowslide, the North Pole Starflyer and Glacier Run Simulator plus the new Ice Jet along with other rides for children of all ages. FOR ALL SEASONS AT LEEDS CITY MUSEUM – FROM FEBRUARY 10 (EXC MONDAYS) Millennium Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8BH 0113 378 5001 • www.leeds.gov.uk/seasons Whatever the weather, go along and explore how the world around us changes with the seasons. From sunny, summery days to the cold chill of winter, this exhibition takes a look at how people and animals respond to the challenges of our weather. With lots of hands-on activities and events. HALF TERM AT LEEDS INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM – FEBRUARY 11 – 19 Canal Rd, Armley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2QF 0113 378 3173 • www.leeds.gov.uk/schoolholidays In February half term as part of the literature festival, have a go at printing your own book. There will be poetry trails, demonstrations and talks about literacy and printing. This event is in partnership with Leeds Central Library. 10am

CINDERELLA CONTINUES AT THE CARRIAGEWORKS UNTIL JANUARY 7

HALF TERM AT THWAITE MILLS – FEBRUARY 11 – 19 Thwaite Lane, Stourton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1RP 0113 378 2983 • www.leeds.gov.uk/schoolholidays The weather at Thwaite Mills can get pretty wild, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the perfect place for all-weather fun. All week they’ll have indoor games and a picnic area, self-led crafts exploring how animals get through the winter and ready for spring. Thwaite Mills will also host two special activities, on February 14, to learn how to make a wind chime and on February 16 get hands-on and experimental to explore what makes power. HALF TERM AT TEMPLE NEWSAM – FEBRUARY 11 – 19 Temple Newsam Estate, Temple Newsam Park, Leeds, LS15 0AE 0113 336 7650 • www.leeds.gov.uk/schoolholidays A real life ‘Cluedo’ mystery, magic carpet story time and a host of craft activities. On the opening weekend of half term visitors will get the chance to step into a real life mystery, as you follow the clues through the house to solve who committed murder! Sit on the magic carpet as part of Storytime on February 15, this time it will be about love and friendship. There’ll also be a host of craft activities throughout the holidays on the theme of love and secret liaisons. 10am to 3pm. LOVE BIRDS AT LOTHERTON HALL – FEBRUARY 11 – 26 Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 3EB 0113 378 2959 • www.leeds.gov.uk/schoolholidays Join the team at Lotherton Hall for their big bird bonanza as they deliver two weeks full of activities celebrating their feathered residents. Keep your family entertained throughout half term with a programme of events including Bird Keeper talks, feeder making, and feathery arts and crafts in the bird garden and house. 11am to 3pm. HALF TERM AT ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM – FEBRUARY 14 – 17 Abbey Walk, Abbey Rd, Kirkstall, Leeds, LS5 3EH 0113 378 4079 • www.leeds.gov.uk/schoolholidays Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell some family fun! In honour of its new – exhibition, the Abbey House February activities will be themed around fairy tales. On Tuesday there will be craft activities based on ogres, witches, giants and trolls, on Wednesday magical potions in Silly Science, on Thursday there will be a new family trail and on Friday more crafts inspired by dragons, unicorns and fairies. 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm. HALF TERM AT LEEDS CITY MUSEUM – FEBRUARY 14 – 17 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 8BH 0113 378 5001 • www.leeds.gov.uk/schoolholidays This year, February half term is all about celebrating the seasons. On February 14 the museum hosts a special day for families with The Grammar School at Leeds. Then the rest of the week you can embrace your inner Bear Grylls (or should that be polar bear grylls?) with crafts to test your survival skills. There is also an Urban Art Workshop on February 17 for those aged 11+.


ICE CUBE, MILLENNIUM SQUARE JANUARY 27 – FEBRUARY 19

HISTORICAL GADGET SHOW AT LEEDS DISCOVERY CENTRE Carlisle Road, Leeds, LS10 1LB 0113 378 2100 • www.leeds.gov.uk/schoolholidays Do you love gadgets? Discover how modern day gadgets have developed from humble beginnings. Can you invent the gadget of the future? Take a look at the social history collection for inspiration. Free, family-friendly event, to book call 0113 378 2100. 10am.

TRAILS AT BENINGBROUGH HALL AND GARDENS – FEBRUARY 18 – 26 Shipton by Beningbrough, York, North Yorkshire, YO30 1DD 01904 470 666 Two trails themed around finding your way with a map and compass – one for younger visitors and a more challenging option for older children. Eden from Stories Alive will be there on February 24 and 25 February for free story sessions throughout the day – not to be missed.

FEBRUARY FUN AT STOCKELD PARK – FEBRUARY 17 – 26 The Estate Office, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 4AN 01937 586 101 • www.stockeldpark.co.uk Get active in the great outdoors at Stockeld Park in the beautiful surroundings of the Yorkshire estate. During February Fun there will also be a Mad Science Week.

GET GEOCACHING AT RIEVAULX TERRACE – FEBRUARY 18 – 26 Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5LJ 01439 798 340 Get outside and have a go at geocaching through the woodland. You never know what you might find.

FAIRY TALE FUN AT ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM – FEBRUARY 21 – 22 Abbey Walk, Abbey Rd, Kirkstall , Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3EH 0113 378 4079 • www.leeds.gov.uk/schoolholidays Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell some family fun! In honour of their new exhibition, February’s activities will be themed around fairy tales. On Tuesday there will be craft activities based on ogres, witches, giants and trolls and on Wednesday magical potions in Silly Science. 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm.

POTS OF FUN AT FOUNTAINS ABBEY – FEBRUARY 18 – 26 Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY 01765 608 888 • www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountainsabbey-and-studley-royal-water-garden Prepare a plant pot for seeds by painting them at Swanley Grange. Check out the Swanley Grange medieval style garden for inspiration before heading into the workshop to decorate your own pot to take home ready for some spring gardening. Normal admission applies. 11am to 3pm.

BIRD BOX MAKING AT FOUNTAINS ABBEY – FEBRUARY 22 – 24 Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY 01765 643 189 • www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ fountains-abbey-and-studley-royal-water-garden Roll up your sleeves and make a wooden bird box for your garden. Our feathery friends will be looking around for places to nest pretty soon, at Fountains Abbey will be showing you how to make a home for them to put up in your own garden. Booking essential. 10am, 11am, 1pm & 2pm.

50 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU’RE 11 3/4 TRAIL AT BRIMHAM ROCKS – FEBRUARY 18 – 26 Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4DW 01423 780 688 • www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brimham-rocks Follow a trail of 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 at Brimham Rocks. Perhaps build a den or hunt for bugs around the rocks and in the trees.

SLEEPING BEAUTY THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PANTO UNTIL JANUARY 8 AT CITY VARIETIES

WILLOW PLANTING AT EAST RIDDLESDEN HALL – FEBRUARY 20 – 21 Bradford Road, Keighley, Yorkshire, BD20 5EL Take the family and join in with the community spirit on a willow planting morning.

MOLLY'S MARVELLOUS MOUSTACHE AT HARROGATE THEATRES – FEBRUARY 23 – 25 Oxford Street, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 1QF 01423 502 710 • www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk SPOT THE BIRDY AT FOUNTAINS ABBEY – FEBRUARY 25 Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY 01765 608 888 • www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountainsabbey-and-studley-royal-water-garden Drop by Studley Lakeside to take a peek through a telescope and see the water-loving birds dipping and diving. The Fountains Abbey wildlife team will be there to help you spot them and to tell you more about your feathered friends. 11am to 3pm. FAMILY MUCK-IN DAY AT BRIMHAM ROCKS – FEBRUARY 26 Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4DW 01423 780 688 • www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brimham-rocks Go along and help keep the scrub off the moorland. Find out why moorlands are vital parts of the entire ecosystem and what makes them so special in the UK. 10am – 12pm.

THE WITCHES AT WEST YORKSHIRE PLAYHOUSE Photo: Catherine Ashmore

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Ashville

A leading independent day and boarding school for girls and boys aged 3-18

‘Acorn Adventures’

Friday afternoons, 1:15pm - 2:45pm (during term time)

Join us for a sociable, fun play session for parents and toddlers held in our brand new Pre-School facility. Free of charge, no need to book, just turn up!

Pre-School Ages 3 - 4

Prep Ages 4 - 11

Ashville College, Green Lane, Harrogate Tel: 01423 566358 | admissions@ashville.co.uk www.ashville.co.uk

Senior Ages 11 - 16

Sixth Form Ages 16 - 18

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