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Back to School Tips and Advice

Bumper Local Clubs and Classes Feature!

Issue 130 September 2019

Welcome to the September issue!

CONTACT US: Families North West London Magazine Editors: Heather Waddington and Janine Mergler P.O. Box 2378, Watford WD18 1RF T: 01923 237 004 E: Listings and Features Editor: Anna Blackshaw E:


Back to School




Local Clubs and Classes feature



What’s On

Readership of over 60,000 local parents, carers and teachers every issue. Published seven times a year. For families from birth to twelve.

UPCOMING ISSUES: October 2019 - Education and Schools Deadline 6th Sept 2019

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Nov/Dec 2019 - Seasonal Celebrations Deadline 10th October 2019 Send in your news, stories and advertising bookings to the details left.

Where is Families North West London? Families North West London Magazine is distributed bi-monthly throughout north west London. An area bordered by the A40 to the south, by the A5/M1 to the east and out towards the M25 in the north and west. You can collect a copy FREE from scores of outlets: schools, nurseries, play groups, clubs and classes, sports centres, children’s libraries, family doctors and baby clinics, theatres, your local council offices and children’s shops. If you would like to stock copies to give to parents, please let us know.

NEWS Picky Eaters Still Grow Up Healthy

Feature images used under license from Other images have been supplied by independent sources.

Families North West London Magazine is part of Families Print Ltd, a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families is a registered trademark of LCMB Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. The contents of Families NW London Magazine are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families North West London Magazine. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but Families North West London Magazine, its distributors, the franchise company, Families Print Ltd, and LCMB Ltd cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents, or any consequence thereof.

Top Tips for Improving your Child’s Concentration Perform and parenting expert and child psychologist, Dr Claire Halsey offer their tips. Concentration is a vital life skill which develops from birth. Linked closely to brain development, it improves alongside a child’s memory and ability to organise their thoughts. Set Up for Success Reduce big distractions: television, music and screen time make it difficult to listen and concentrate, so limit these to set times. Make it Fun Make activities fun as your child is more likely to pay attention e.g. tidying up toys is less of a chore when you offer a tickle to the child who finishes first!

Picky eating in toddlers is a well-documented phase when children don’t want to try new foods and/or show very strong preferences. It can create much worry for parents, and has created a whole market for advice, guidance and tools to encourage young children to try lots of new tastes and textures. But researchers from the University of Bristol using data from a study of children between the ages of 7 to 17 have found that instead of being harmed by their diets, children who had been picky eaters at age 3 were growing normally as adolescents with a healthy height and weight. The researchers claim the study shows that even children who are picky as preschoolers usually eat well enough over time to ensure they grow properly.

Keep Practising Games and activities can build concentration. Choose turn-taking games like Snap or Picture Dominoes or those with simple instructions. Praise the Good Stuff Praise your child when they focus rather than highlighting when they don’t e.g. “Well done for sticking with that puzzle.” Seek Advice A small number of children have difficulty paying attention no matter how hard they try. Ask your child’s teacher for suggestions. If you’re still concerned, see your GP. More from Dr Claire Halsey at Perform offers concentration-boosting drama classes in your area. Try a FREE no-obligation class at

More info:

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NEWS School Children to Tackle Speeding Drivers

Free Family Fun with Heritage Open Days This year, Heritage Open Days is celebrating its 25th anniversary and will be the biggest and most diverse to date. Running from 13 to 22 September, this annual celebration of England’s history and culture, allows visitors FREE access to historical landmarks that are either not usually open to the public, or would normally charge an entrance fee. Nationwide there will be hundreds of FREE interactive activities for children, including dressing up, crafting, woodland walks and railway rides With a theme of ‘People Power,’ this year’s festival will offer visitors more opportunities than ever to discover the secret history of their towns, villages and countryside. Co-ordinated nationally by the National Trust with support from the People’s Postcode Lottery, the celebration brings together thousands of organisations and properties across England. For local events visit,

An initiative in London is getting primary school pupils to confront speeding motorists, in a bid to enforce the 20mph speed limit near schools. The Junior Roadwatch scheme involves drivers who are caught speeding and pulled over by police officers being given the option of receiving a fixed penalty fine and points on their license, attending a speeding awareness course or being told off by children. Drivers “deemed suitable” to speak to the pupils following a police national computer check will face questions such as “are you aware of the consequences of speeding” and “why do you think the speed limit is 20mph on this road?”. Collisions are a leading cause of serious injury, disability or death of children in the UK. In 2017, 48 children died in road collisions in the UK and over 15,700 children were injured. Similar schemes are being used elsewhere, including parts of Hertfordshire, West Yorkshire and Northumberland. More info:

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Family Life

Back to school, Back to Work

CV Hints and Tips


f you’re thinking about a return to work when the kids go back to school in September or changing your job for something more flexible, the first place to start is your CV.

Ten2Two, specialises in flexible working recruitment and they work with mums (and dads!) to help them find rewarding, flexible, officebased roles that allow time for family as well as a career. And they know that having a strong CV greatly improves your chances of securing that all important interview.

Here are their top tips for creating a great CV:

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Your CV has one purpose: to get you an interview. Keep this in mind when reviewing or rewriting yours.

A good CV will have an opening statement outlining who you are, a snapshot of your experience and what it is you want.


Focus on using relevant wording for the position you will be applying for. Ideally, you’ll have a job advert in front of you and be able to use terminology from this to ‘pepper’ your CV with the same words.


You may have many years of experience, but really the last few positions will be the ones recruiters focus on first so aim to keep everything on two pages (three maximum).


If you’ve had a gap in your career it’s important that you cover this. You don’t want any questions raised by missing information. You could say, ‘Career break to raise children’ or just ‘Career break’.

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Lay your CV out chronologically, most recent position first (even if this is a break).

Check, check and double check for spelling mistakes, typos and grammatical errors –Try reading your CV backwards to check for errors and make sure your dates are accurate

You’d be amazed that not everyone knows how to write a CV or takes enough care and attention over it. Make yours shine and your effort will be sure to pay off!

You can find more tips about how to write a CV and strong cover letter on the Ten2Two website –

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Top Tips for Settling into the New School Year

By Sarah West

It’s the beginning of a new school year and children up and down the country are embarking on the next (or even first) phase of their learning journey. Whether excited or nervous about what lies ahead, there is lots to think about so here are some top tips to help you start your children off on the right foot.

 Be Positive Children may be feeling a real mix of emotions as they begin the new school year. Try to be sympathetic to their feelings and give them space to express them, while at the same time being positive about learning and school. Be prepared to talk about what lies ahead. It helps children feel at ease and encourages them to share their thoughts and ask questions. By showing them that you are interested in their learning, you are sending a strong message about the value you place on their education and aspirations for the future.

 Be There for Them It’s completely normal to wonder how your child will get on at school in the coming year. Most children settle into the new school year relatively easily but it’s important to support them to be brave, try

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their best and help them develop the skills needed to cope with new situations and bounce back when things go wrong. Encourage your child to talk about how they are feeling. For younger children, teach them about different emotions and how to recognise how others feel too. For older children, whose feelings are likely to be more complex, show them you are ready to listen and support them whenever they need you. Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. Talk to your child about the ways they can behave when this happens, for instance, taking time out or knowing when and who to ask for help. Children cope better in different situations if they know there is support around them.

 Get Involved Research shows that parental participation in a child’s education has a very positive impact on children academically, emotionally and behaviourally. The good news is that there are lots of ways to get involved! Think about joining the PTA or another parent group or perhaps volunteer to help out with reading in the classroom or to accompany children on school trips.

Other ways to get involved could include becoming a governor or trustee of your school, responding to surveys in which you can share your views and opinions about school policies and initiatives. You could even take part in a project or task to help improve the school grounds or a classroom.

 Enjoy Yourself! Finally, schools bring communities together and provide families with the opportunity to make friends and socialise. By participating in your child’s education, no matter in what way or how much time you can devote, you will be supporting your child to achieve their potential, and most likely have some fun along the way. Sarah West is from Parentkind, an organisation which promotes parental involvement in education. For more tips on how to get involved in your child’s learning and education, visit


Call us to arrange an individual appointment

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Education Education - Independent School Open Days Please check school websites to confirm in advance of visiting advertised open days. Listings are subject to change. Aldenham School Elstree WD6 Boys and Girls 3-18 yrs (Boarding/Day)

Open Day: Sat 5 Oct, 10am-12.30pm. Prep School 01923 851664. Senior School 01923 858122

Alpha Preparatory School Harrow HA1 Boys and Girls 3-11 yrs.

Open Day: By appointment 0208 427 1471

Buckingham Prep School Pinner HA5 Boys School 4-11 years

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8866 2737.

Charlotte House Prep School Rickmansworth WD3 Girls 3-11 yrs

Open Day: Thu 19 & Sat 21 Sep, 10-11.30am. 01923 772101

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School Elstree WD6 Boys 5-18 yrs.

Open Day: Sat 5 Oct, 1-4pm (Sen & Prep); Sat 9 Nov, (Pre-Prep – appt only) 0208 266 1950

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girls’ School Elstree WD6 Girls 4-18 yrs.

Open Day: 4+: Wed 18 Sep, Thu 26 Sep, Wed 2 Oct, Fri 11 Oct, Thu 17 Oct, Tue 5 Nov. 7+: Tue 15 Oct. 11+: Tue 24 Sep, Thu 3 Oct, Thu 10 Oct, Fri 18 Oct, Thu 7 Nov, Mon 18 Nov . 020 8266 2302 email

Haberdashers’ Adams, Newport, TF10 7BD. Boys 11-18 yrs (boarding) Girls 6th form.

Open Day: Mon 3 & Tue 4 Feb. 01952 953810

High Elms Manor School Watford WD25, Boys and Girls 6 months – 11 years.

Open Day: Wed 9 Oct, 9.15am & 10am. 01923 681103

The John Lyon School Harrow on the Hill HA2. Boys 11-18 yrs.

Open Day: Sat 28 Sep, 9.30am-12pm. 020 8515 9400

Krishna Avanti Primary School Edgware HA8. Boys and Girls 3-11 yrs.www.

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8381 3344

Longwood School and Nursery Bushey WD23 Boys and Girls 3 mths – 11yrs.

Open Day: Every day is Open Day, just call to book a tour. 01923 253715

Merchant Taylor’s Prep Rickmansworth WD3 Boys 4-13. Northwood HA6 Boys 11-18yrs

Open Day: Sat 21 Sep, 10am-12.30pm (Sen Sch). Thu 3 Oct, 9.45am12pm (Prep). 01923 825648 (Prep) 01923 845514 (Senior)

North London Collegiate School Edgware HA8 Girls 4-18yrs.

Open Day: Sat 28 Sep, 10am-12.30pm (Junior). Fri 15 Nov, 1.30-3.45pm (Senior). Jun Sch 020 8952 1276, Sen Sch 020 8951 6481/6468.

Northwood College Northwood HA6. Girls 3-18 yrs.

Open Day: Sat 5 Oct, 1-4pm (Whole Sch), Thu 7 Nov, 9.30-11am (Early Yrs & Jun Sch), Fri 8 Nov, 9.30-11am (Sen Sch); 01923 825446.

North London Grammar School London NW9 Boys & Girls 11-18 yrs.

Open Day: By appointment. 0208 205 0052

Orley Farm Harrow-on-the-Hill HA1 Boys and Girls 4-13yr

Open Day: Sat 12 Oct, 10am. 020 8869 7634/7600

Quainton Hall School Harrow, HA1. Boys 2.5-13yrs, Girls 2.5-11 yrs. www.

Open Day: Sat 21 Sep, 10am-12.30pm. 020 8861 8861

Reddiford School Pinner HA5 Boys and Girls 2yrs 9months – 11 yrs.

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8866 0660

Roxeth Mead School HA2 Boys & Girls 3months-7yrs.

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8422 2092

The Royal Masonic School for Girls Rickmansworth WD3 – Ruspini House Pre School (boys and girls aged 2-4) Cadogan House Pre-Prep and Prep Department (girls aged 4-11), Senior School (girls aged 11-18)

Open Day: Sun 6 Oct (Whole Sch), Mon 7 & Tue 8 Oct (Sen Sch & Cadogan House) 01923 725354

St John’s CofE Primary School Watford WD17 Boys and Girls 4-11 yrs

Open Day: Wed 2 Oct, 9.15am. 020 8866 0067

St Helen’s College Hillingdon UB10 Boys & Girls 2-11 yrs

Open Day: Sat 21 Sep, 9.30am-12.30pm. Wed 6 & Thu 7 Nov, 9.30am-12pm. 01923 843230

St Helen’s School Northwood HA6 Girls 3-18 yrs

Open Day: Sat 21 Sep, 9.30am-12.30pm. Wed 6 & Thu 7 Nov, 9.30am-12pm. 01923 843230

St Hilda’s Preparatory School for Girls Bushey WD23 3-11yrs.

Open Day: Sat 21 Sep, 9.30am-12pm. 0208 950 1751

St John’s School Northwood HA6 Boys aged 3-13.

Open Day: Wed 2 Oct, 9.15am. 020 8866 0067

St. Margaret’s School Bushey WD23 Girls 4-18 yrs (boarding/day)

Open Day: Sat 21 Sep, 9-11am. 020 8901 0872

St. Martin’s School Northwood HA6. Boys 3-13 yrs

Open Day: Fri 4 & Sat 5 Oct, 10am-12pm. 01923 825 740

York House Rickmansworth WD3. Boys and Girls 3-13 yrs

Open Day: Sat 5 Oct, 9.30am-12pm. 01923 772 395

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The Key Components of a Mentally Healthy School By Dr Margot Sutherland


ealth and safety policies cover children’s bodies in schools – so why do they not exist for children’s minds and brains too? Neuroscience research is now sufficiently advanced that we have all the evidence we need on the adultchild relationship experiences that cause and heal mental health problems. Painful life experiences predominantly cause mental ill-health – especially when a child is not helped to process and make sense of what has happened. One of the biggest public health studies of our time, The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study), found that adverse childhood experiences are a leading determinant of all major mental and physical illnesses in the West. These experiences include childhood events like living with parental separation/divorce, suffering a major loss, witnessing domestic violence and living with a parent who has addiction issues or mental health problems. The more adverse childhood experiences a child has without an emotionally available adult to help, the more vulnerable they are to develop mental health problems. These adverse experiences also trigger toxic stress, which negatively affects the developing brain, immune system and endocrine system.

The answer is by introducing a whole-school mentally healthy culture. What Would a Mentally Healthy School Look Like? A school in which children feel listened to and understood at every level and are encouraged to engage in conversation with empathic adults about their mental state as well as being taught to label their feelings. A mentally healthy school would validate the feelings underneath a child’s behaviour and give children and parents information about the causes and diagnoses of mental health symptoms as well as working with them to relieve these. A Relationship Policy for Staff A mentally-healthy school would have a policy that ensures school staff consistently engage with children in an open, warm and respectful manner. It might include policies like ’meet and greet.’ Meet and greet in primary schools involves the teacher addressing each child individually by name, with a warm open expression at the school entrance. This intervention calms children and has also been found to dramatically increase attendance figures.** Practices that Reduce Stress Levels of Vulnerable Pupils

emotionally-available adult and knowing when/ where to find that adult can effectively bring down stress levels in pupils. Staff in mentally healthy schools would be trained to adjust their expectations and actions around vulnerable children to match their developmental capabilities and experience of traumatic events. This would include removing vulnerable children in a kind, non-judgmental way from difficult situations. A Policy around Testing and Exam Stress Mentally healthy schools would help pupils understand that their self-worth is not solely defined by tests and exams. Finally, if schools are to become mentally healthy places, the value of wellbeing has to start at the very top, with organisations like the Department For Education and Ofsted balancing the scales between outcomes and emotional wellbeing. There must be national recognition of the importance of monitoring wellbeing in schools, and the wellbeing of staff and pupils must be a key performance indicator for schools. Dr Margot Sunderland is a child psychologist, psychotherapist, neuroscience expert, award-winning author and the Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health, a non-profit organisation that provides mental health training in schools and Co- Director of Trauma Informed Schools UK. For further information visit:

However, a Government Green Paper* published in December 2017 makes the point that appropriately trained and supported school staff can achieve comparable results to trained therapists in helping children with anxiety, conduct disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, caused by adverse childhood experiences. So toxic levels of stress in a child can be reduced if a child’s school environment can offer such resources.

Many children arrive at school in an emotional state not conducive to learning. There are several research-backed practices designed to reduce stress levels in vulnerable children, best implemented at the beginning of the school day. These include time with animals, time outside, sensory play, mindfulness, Tai chi and accompanied drumming. A mentally-healthy school would make these practices available.

So how can schools provide these resources and help reduce the toxic stress of vulnerable pupils?

* Green paper entitled Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision

School Staff that are ‘Emotionally-Available Adults’

**When the Adults Change, Everything Changes Paul Dix 2017

Having daily, easy access to at least one specific

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Why Is Good Grammar (still) Important? By Andrew Campbell

When you went to school, it’s possible you didn’t get much grammar instruction and as a result didn’t absorb its importance. Alternatively, you may have had grammar drummed into you again and again, using a prescriptive rule-based approach which didn’t create an understanding of its significance or purpose. Either way, you may feel that you don’t know much about grammar and may wonder if it is really an essential component of your child’s education or future. The truth is that the use of correct grammar is important because it is the main feature within both our spoken and written communication that allows us to communicate our thoughts and ideas clearly and be understood. Using incorrect grammar can lead to meaningless sentences and unclear messages, which in turn can lead to misinterpretation or misunderstanding. Even something as simple as a misplaced comma can completely change the meaning of a sentence. For example: “Let’s eat Grandpa.” versus “Let’s eat, Grandpa.” Children who don’t develop a good grasp of grammar fall back on what they intuitively know about language; as a consequence they simply write like they speak. Whereas, with a good understanding of the different grammatical components of language, a child is able

to express themselves clearly and establish good foundation skills for written documentation like school essays, job applications and creative writing in later years. Grammar rules also help children develop the habit of thinking logically and clearly. They provides the building blocks for them to expand their vocabulary and understand and express themselves in longer, more interesting and more complex ways. When children increase their language complexity (with word endings, or longer/ more complex sentences), they can express and understand more complicated ideas. The rise of social media as a dominant form of communication amongst young people has given rise to much short-cutting of the English language. When sending texts or messages via Facebook or WhatsApp, simple sentences or fragments of sentences are the norm and it is unnecessary to use grammar. This short-cutting of language exposes children to a real risk of developing bad communication habits which could hold them back in the future.

Some Tips for Helping Your Child with Grammar: Bring grammar to life by asking questions to find out what your child knows about grammar. Do they know what a noun is? If not, show your child some objects. Explain that nouns are the names used for people, places and things. You can do the same with verbs by acting out some actions such as ‘jump’, ‘hop’ and ‘clap’. Do simple crosswords with your child using a dictionary to help you. The dictionary tells you what type of word you have looked up (verb, adverb, pronoun, noun etc.), and you can share this with your child. Play with punctuation. When you read, occasionally look at the punctuation and talk about what it is telling the reader to do. Show your child how a question mark tells you to raise your voice at the end of the sentence to indicate a question being asked. Play ‘i-spy’ with the focus on looking for nouns (e.g. dad, bridge, tree, shop, apple). Tell your child that you are going to ask questions about the noun they have chosen. For example, ‘Is your noun green?’, ‘Can your noun fit in my hand?’ In this way you introduce grammatical terminology in a fun way. Model. When your child says something that is grammatically incorrect, model to them the correct way of saying it.

For older primary school children: Opposites. Help your child understand antonyms (opposites) by calling out words like hot, big, slow, and getting them to shout out the opposite. Alternatively, get your child to shout words that mean the same as the ones you’re calling out (synonyms). Tense tents. Help your child understand verb tenses, by drawing some ‘tense tents’ on pieces of paper. Write down some verbs in their various tenses – present (play), past (played), future (will play) and get your child to move the verbs into the correct tent. Sentence Challenge. Challenge your child to write sentences of more than 25 words that only contain one verb. This helps them to understand how to control a sentence, rather than overcomplicate it. More resources at:

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Mummy on the Edge


his column is roughly the same age as Twitter, a site on which I now spend an inordinate amount of time sourcing news in a state of paralysed (apart from my scrolling finger) horrification. As a pastime I have to say, it has lots to recommend it. It’s something you can do truly anywhere: on the train on the way to work; at the hob while stirring soup; under the dinner table while pretending to listen to your partner; in the car to take your mind off all the secrets your kid is spilling to their therapist while you are outside. It’s brilliant. When one’s scrolling finger has cramp, one can just pull a pair of manky headphones from the bottom of one’s bag, dust off the crumby fluff and pop them in your ears, selecting a podcast to drown out the sounds of daily drudge. My own favourites, (being a woman in her mid-forties) include Feminist Current, anything with Brene Brown or Elizabeth Gilbert, Heavyweight and Clear + Vivid with Alan Alda (of all people!) For my trash Real Housewives fix it’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. For music, on the iPlayer Radio app it’s Trevor Nelson’s Rhythm Nation which is a podcast of his nightly show where he plays a lot of the best grooves from my own youth. I put it on in the car with The Teen on long drives to university open days and we sing out loud, in between discussing the merits of the people, labs, libraries and halls of residences we’ve seen. It’s hard to believe that this time next year my kid will (all being well) be packing for university. When I started writing this column, she was 4 and I called her MiniMe, but I should have just called her The Daughter because she was never a mini me, just herself, with her somewhat complicated family life but still raised with love and a myriad of opportunities ahead. Recently I met a woman who is creating a future of opportunity for young girls from all over

the world, many of whom might have had very little hope before she entered their lives. Julia Lynch worked for many years with young people as a social worker in the US. She started Global Girl Project, an international non-profit because she wanted to reach out to socially minded young women aged 15 to 18 from developing countries, many of whom live in extreme poverty. Why socially minded girls? Well, Julia’s big idea is to effect actual social change… through a ripple. At a location in Nepal, young women who have never left home before, let alone been on a plane, fly in from developing countries to undertake schooling and community development projects over a two month period. They also go on a long trek which is an extreme physical confidence builder. During this time, Julia helps them to select an issue that they feel is important in their own community and works with them to develop their very own project. The girls gain the skills, knowledge and the support necessary to return to their home country and implement their projects to the benefit of other girls in their community. So,

for every one girl that Global Girl Project helps, hundreds more reap the benefit. Julia’s ‘daughters’ have rolled out social programmes of their own in Brazil, Haiti, India, Sierra Leone, and more countries are on the list. Visit and find out more about this brilliant initiative and ways you can help with skills, company sponsorship or a simple donation. And on the Talks and Media page of the website you’ll find a link to an interview I did with her on The Pulse Hospital Radio which you can listen to on the train to work, while you’re waiting for your kid to finish their therapy session or stirring your soup on the hob.

Listen to Angelina’s popular chat show Dessert Island Discs on live on www. Thursdays at 10am or catch up at angelina-melwani *facebook. com/angelinamelwani * twitter @appleina * mynotesfromtheedge. *Instagram @ mynotesfromtheedge

Open: Monday – Friday 8am to 6pm Year Round/Term-Time Ages: 3 months – 6 years • Excellent Standard of Care & Education • Qualified Montessori Staff • Safe Play Areas

We are an Ofsted Registered Independent Montessori Nursery School

• Nutritious meals prepared daily by our on-site chef

St Michael’s Church Annex St Michael’s Church Road Cricklewood NW2 6XG

0208 830 7331

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How to Find Out How Your Child is

Really Getting on at School By Susie Ramroop


hether it is a new term, new class or new key stage, parents often get quite anxious to know what is going on with their child at school, and whether they are settling in OK. Trying to get your child to talk about their day at school, at any time of the year, can be a challenge. What do we ultimately want to know? That they are engaged and happy. If we ask too simple a question, we are at risk of getting a one word answer that tells us very little. For me personally, “good” has never satisfied my needs as the question poser, so I decided to create some better questions that help to understand more of what’s going on, whether they are engaged and happy, with the bonus of directing focus onto the positive. My intention is that these questions will open up or expand communication with your children, and put your mind at ease. To help, I have split the questions into two sections that mirror a coaching approach – reflection and intention. I recommend you start with reflection and move to intention once the children start to open up a bit more, and get used to your new approach.

 Reflection These questions are designed to connect after a day at school - this is walking home from school conversation, or dinner time chat in our house.

 Intention

This method of enquiry will help you get what you need, but will also encourage your child to pause and look back on the good things about their day, and, perhaps, let go of anything unhelpful.

• How would you like today to go?

All children will benefit, but may need to be varied according to age. See these as a starting point:

• Who needs extra kindness today?

• What did you create today? • What do you know now that you didn’t know this morning? • What did you predict accurately today? • (Apart from Lunch) What did you love most about today? • Who was kind to you today? • What happened today that you might like to let go of? After a while of doing this with my seven year old she started to set her day up for great things to happen. She often punches the air in the morning and declares that it is going to be a great day. Your child may not be as enthusiastic as this (yet), but they will have their own version of raising expectations for their day. Asking these questions will help them to do this, and will set up a much better reflection conversation in the evening, or at the weekend.

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• Why is today going to be brilliant? • What difference do you want to make today? Taking a moment to consider their responses will help them to realise they can shape how their day goes. Setting intentions sharpen their focus to do just that. This is not about being perfect, but about giving you a way to open up a line of communication or simply make it more fruitful. Just start with one reflection question. Experiment. See what style works for you and your child – if you have more than one child the same style or vocabulary may not work for all of them. Please do reach out and let me know which questions are working in your family, I’d love to know. Susie Ramroop is a Mindset Coach helping busy parents to focus on what truly makes a difference in life and at work. Please send any comments and questions to

Local Clubs and Classes Directory

Trying a New

Club or Class By Claire Winter


hatever the age of your child, trying a new activity or sport encourages them to be more adventurous and learn new skills. For parents of under 5s, classes and clubs can enrich a child’s day, giving them the chance to experience many different environments and activities. Vitally, these activities also provide social stimulation for parents too. Meanwhile, the lives of older children have been changed by modern technology, and we need to strongly encourage them to be more active and step away from their smartphone, Xbox, or PlayStation. Thankfully, there are a huge range of organised afterschool or weekend clubs and classes for children to attend, from pottery painting to coding.

Here are Families’ helpful tips for encouraging your child to try something new.

 Target their Interests A good starting point is to look at your child’s current interests. Their school may offer a wide range of classes and clubs from IT to sport. Additionally, local sports centres, libraries and art centres are often teeming with opportunities to join classes and clubs. So don’t be afraid to look outside the school environment for things to do.

For active kids, why not consider something more challenging, such as climbing, caving, or martial arts? Those interested in animals may find opportunities at your local zoo, petting farm or riding centre. While for the creatively inclined, investigate an art class, reading or book club or a school newspaper or blog. While it’s a little more difficult to assess the interests of pre-schoolers or toddlers, most enjoy sing and rhyme classes or activities that involve physical activity, like pre-school gymnastics or sports.

 Understand What’s Stopping Them Many children can be apprehensive about new experiences, but if your child is consistently shying away from trying new activities, sit down with them and try to find out why. It could be a fear of not making friends, being bullied, low self-confidence about their abilities, or being in an unfamiliar environment. Once you know the cause of their anxiety, you can help address it. If your toddler or pre-schooler is reluctant to join in a class, participate in the activity alongside them. It takes pre-schoolers time to get used to a new environment. Once they get used to the situation they will join in with gusto. I still have fond memories of my shy, twin girls dancing and singing at their first music class!

 Tap into the Demand Factor and Co-Ordinate with Others Many children simply want to fit in, so if this is important to your child, look for new or popular activities. Our local directory can help you find potential classes and clubs that you may not know about.

Try talking to other parents and see what activities their children are involved in. You could even co-ordinate for your children to participate in the activity together. Simply knowing that their friends are interested in a new club or class may mean your child will be keener to get involved. Emma, mum of an 8 year old says: “It took three years at school together before I discovered that one of my daughter’s friends attended a weekly roller-disco at our local sports centre and the opportunity to do something with her friend was enough to persuade my daughter to join in.” You could also introduce a reluctant child to an activity their sibling does, or for younger children nervous about being alone, you can attend the first session with them. For pre-school and toddler classes, coordinating with other parents in your network can feel more important than whether you feel your child will particularly enjoy an activity. Structured activities can keep your little one occupied for a while and give you a welcome chance to make friends with other parents who have children at the same age and stage.

 Highlight the Benefits Focus on the positive things your child will gain by taking part in a particular sport or activity. These could be a new social circle, certificates, medals or stickers, job or education opportunities in the future, greater confidence, getting fitter, or simply being with friends.

The following feature pages provide you with a whole host of local choice for clubs and classes to try! We are confident there is something for everyone in the next 8 pages!

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Local Clubs and Classes Directory PARTIES Perform Parties - Based around a colourful theme, Perform’s energetic party leaders use a magical mix of songs, games and laughter to create fun-filled, action-packed parties. Call 0207 255 9120 or visit The Windmill Studio Centre (HA4) Fun for kids, hassle-free for parents, birthday parties at The Windmill Studio Centre, Ruislip Manor, for 1-10 years boys & girls include invitations, party leader & assistant(s), freshly prepared food, decorations, music, lights, games, dancing, props and prizes. Optional extras - adult refreshments, face-painting and party bags. Lots of themes from Princesses and Super Heroes to Monsters, Trolls, Makers and Mad Hatters! Modern & clean venue.  01895 624755 

CLASSES FOR GROWN-UPS Adult Art Classes in Stanmore (HA7) Drawing, painting and mixed media art classes for adults. Weekday morning studio sessions in a relaxed, supportive environment.  020 8954 2897 or 07500 006 099  Capital Connection Chorus - female A capella harmony (HA4) Calling women who love to sing! Particularly need lower range voices at present. Perfect way to meet new friends and sing with a great group of women. Wed night 7.45pm to 10.30pm at Ruislip Community Centre.  Eggless Cake Delights (HA) offer eggless baking, cake decorating and dessert classes for kids & adults in Harrow. Classes are held in small groups in hands on and Demo format, during weekdays, weekends and during term holidays in a friendly environment.  07737847405 or  Meditation (HA5) Every FIRST Thursday of the month, 8.00pm at The Stables, Eastcote House Gardens, Eastcote Village, HA5 2FE. Everyone 18+ welcome. Just £5. Feel energised, increase happiness, improve mental clarity and memory recall. Flush out negative thoughts and improve physical and mental health. Ten minute stress relief treatment for newcomers FREE. No booking needed, just come along. For more information, contact Alexandra Barrett:  0775 334 90 24 Movers and Shapers (NW6) Fitness with babies in tow. Book online. 020 7624 8687  Yogabellies Aquabellies (various) Beautiful water based yoga classes for women throughout their lives. The sessions incorporate traditional yoga asanas (postures) adapted for water, water relaxations and positive life building experiences for women, mothers and mothers to be. There are AquaBellies - Aquanatal yoga for pregnancy, AquaMamas, post natal and AquaBelles aqua yoga classes suitable for all women. NEW YogaBelles: yoga designed for a unique women’s body.  07840 904887  members/anjli Zest For Life Studio is a new secret fitness oasis for vitality and wellness near you. Let me welcome you in my garden studio to share an invigorating hour of zesty fitness, a unique programme of toning circuit & zumba: enjoy a variety of class at 9am, a personal touch, small group of 6-8. In&outdoor classes. 

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First Aid MCS Training (HA1, HA5) Paediatric First Aid Course. Accepted for full and voluntary Ofsted Registration. Certificate valid for 3 yrs.  Margaret 07814 191 395 

LANGUAGES AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT All Saints Toddler Group (HA8) Every Thursday 10am11.45am. Everyone welcome. A small friendly group run by the pre-school, with qualified staff on hand to provide help and support if needed. At Waltham Drive, Queensbury, Edgeware, HA8 5PQ.  07985 284 498/07958 473 475.  Baby Lab (WC1E) Have fun for free with your baby making discoveries about brain development at the Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development. Birkbeck College, Malet St, London. Travel expenses refunded. 020 7631 6258  www. Chinmaya UK (HA) Do you want your children to connect to their Indian culture through stories, games and celebration of festivals? Go along to Bal Vihar classes to explore culture and values in an engaging, positive environment. Every Sunday in Harrow and Hendon for children aged 5-17.  www. 07812 146428

Easy Peasy Spanish is a fun, friendly and interactive language club. It’s never too early to start learning a new language and building the foundations that will last a lifetime. We appreciate children learn best when they are having fun! That’s why we teach through structured games, cooking, singing and story-telling activities. This approach allows our children to develop a real love of languages. Why not book a free trial session today? Children aged 3-11years old. Email us on: or Tel: 07704174609.

Giggling Panda Chinese School (UB5) offers fun, creative and engaging Mandarin classes for children aged 3-11. Small size classes are run on Sundays and the school is located conveniently off A40 with onsite parking. Alec Reed Academy Bengarth Rd, Northolt UB5 5LQ  07916165228  Gujarati Masti Maja classes by Sansaar (HA5) Fun and interactive Gujarati music, song and dance classes for 3 to 6 year olds in North London, to help your child speak Gujarati confidently. Saturday morning at 9am and 10am at St Lawrence Church in Eastcote, Pinner.  Little Stars Baby Club (HA9) A fun and friendly baby club where new mums with babies from birth to sitting can relax and meet new friends whilst babies play and explore with a range of lovely sensory toys. Every Friday 9:30-11:15am at Powell Suites @ Chalkhill Community Centre, The Welford Centre, 113 Chalkhill Road, Wembley Park HA9 9FX. £2.00  0208 385 1836  The Northwood Speech and Language Therapy Practice (HA6) An Independent Practice providing an exceptionally high quality, caring and individualised service for promoting the communication needs of children. We offer Speech and Language Therapy sessions within a modern clinic base, nurseries and schools. 01923 824 074 07956 994721  Portuguese for Children (NW6) Every Saturday, from 10am to 12pm, the International Gospel Church on Belsize Road will be open for children from 4 to 12 years of Brazilian-English parents to enrol. Lessons will include how to read and write and Brazilian culture, including music.  Guju Tots Swagatham! Kem Chho? Come along to a FREE taster of these fun-filled 45 minute classes in NW London to help kids 6 months to 5 years learn Gujarati through songs & stories! Interactive, relaxed classes, plus plenty of material to practice at home!  07956 385 316  Continued on page 16

Local Clubs and Classes Directory

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Outdoor Forest School Parent & Toddler Programme. Monday and Friday Oxhey /Northwood. Come and explore in the woods, led by experienced and qualified Forest School Practitioners. Developing learning, confidence and well being through fire, den building, song, storytelling, craft and tool use.  07900 215 512 

Sign Language Sing and Sign (Various) Fun classes combining the benefits of baby signing with music to develop language, memory and attention skills. Babies 6-30 months. Bushey, Rickmansworth, Stanmore and Harrow. 

HEALTH AND WELLBEING Wellbeing Kids Workshops (WD3) Well-being workshops for children aged 9-12yr and 13-17yr olds. Holiday masterclasses to support the holistic mind, body and spirit learning. By exploring emotional intelligence, imagination, yoga, mindfulness, role-play and many more creative/outdoor activities.For more information, please contact Anita  07956 849614, 

Massage & Yoga Human Values Based Yoga After school classes run in Harrow by a qualified yoga teacher with over 40 years yoga experience and over 30 yrs teaching yoga in various settings, including adult education and family learning, community clubs, hospitals and mental health centres. For adults and children 6-11 years.  Joyce on 07912 879 103 

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YogaBelliesKidz Family yoga (HA & WD) Share the mental and physical benefits of yoga...peace of mind, relaxation and increases body strength and flexibility! YogaBellies Mum and Baby yoga: Monday afternoons (birth to 10 mths) YogaBellies Little Angels pre-school yoga (18 mths to 4 yrs): Sat mornings, Bushey YogaBelliesKidz family yoga (4-12 yrs): Sat & Sun mornings, Bushey NEW: YogaBelles Mum and Daughter (13-16 yrs): Weekday evening, Bushey 07840 904887 ; www.

ACTIVITY CENTRES Aspire National Training Centre, Kidz Zone activities (HA7) Wide range of activities available from 6mths to 12yrs. 020 8954 5759  Wood Lane, Stanmore, HA7 4AP Cloud 9 Leisure (WD25) Imagine a giant inflatable world which combines the fun, challenge and excitement of Ninja Warrior, Gladiator and Total Wipeout! Cloud 9 at Francis Coombe School in Watford is an incredibly new, exciting, active leisure experience for all ages. From a giant inflatable obstacle course and dodgeball arena to a 1v1 battle platform, the fun is endless with plenty more surprises in store. 

Local Clubs and Classes Directory JAMtots (HA4) An interactive daytime activity centre for parents with babies and toddlers. All pay as you go with a variety of sessions that include Parent & Toddler Groups, Musical Tots, Gym Tots and one off events plus special visits from Jimmy the JAMtots Bear. 01895 624755  Jungle Monkeyz (HA5) offers a unique Indoor Soft Play Area that is a safe environment for children aged 0-9 years. There are special areas for infants and toddlers, as well as the Junior zone for bigger monkeyz which has a 3 tier play structure and exciting Adventure zone.  Rumble Tumble Harrow (HA1) Harrow’s only indoor supervised soft play children’s play group. Why not take advantage of the Drop & Shop facility and have a stress free shop, or book a special event in the Party Room available for all occasions. You can even relax and have a snack in the restaurant while your little ones are playing.  0208 427 8847  The Windmill Studio Centre (HA4) An exciting activity centre that has just about everything to offer for all ages from babies to adults including classes, courses, complementary therapies and room & studio hire. 01895 624755  www.

MUSIC & MOVEMENT Beat Building Vibrant & energising music classes using African drums and funky percussion. Great songs and games get the imagination glowing & introduce the concepts of beats, rhythmic patterns, time keeping & also encourage sharing, taking turns and listening. A wonderful introduction to music and rhythm, beat Building is brilliantly fun!  07721 623 171  Colourstrings (various) Music Kindergartens for babies, toddler, and children up to 6 yrs with small, age-related classes. Classes are enjoyable and inspire learning, developing inner hearing and core music skills. New class starting in Hendon in Jan 2017.  020 8444 9435  Diddi Dance Harrow & North Hillingdon (various) At diddi dance we enhance children’s endless energy and enthusiasm through funky, full of fun sessions that build confidence, co-ordination and creativity. Classes in Pinner,Ruislip & Stanmore with new ones opening soon. To book a FREE TRIAL contact tejal.

OB1 Rhythm & Rhyme (WD17 and HA8) Music and Movement classes are fun, tactile and engaging for both parents and children. Enjoy nursery rhymes, instruments, scarves, ribbons, parachute, stories and music, whilst delighting in puppets and bubbles. Children will learn positive social interaction and enhance their coordination and physical development, as well as excite curiosity. Classes are aimed at 3 months to 3 years and follow the EYFS framework. Join a class in Edgware or Watford.  07522405486  8

SPORTS AND EXERCISE All Stars Cricket Gives boys and girls aged 5-8 the chance to play, learn great skills and make new friends! 8 week course starts May 2018.  Capoeira Academy UK (HA) Classes in Stanmore providing outstanding and fun classes for children aged 4+years. A unique blend of martial arts, dance, acrobatics and music; capoeira develops skills for life with inspiring and nurturing teachers.  07841342874  www. Echo’s Equestrian Centre (SL0) A small friendly livery yard and Pony Club Centre in Iver, Buckinghamshire. Junior Pony Club and a Hoof Club during the holidays.  07895 706053  Enjoy-a-Ball classes (Various) Sports coaching for 3-9 yr olds in a fun, positive and noncompetitive environment. Ten ball sports for the perfect introduction to sport. Physi-ball classes - Ball skills and core skills for toddlers aged 18mths to 3 yrs. Classes run in Mill HIll, Finchley, Golders Green and Muswell Hill. Enjoy-a-Ball parties are for super-active 3 - 9 year olds. They are full of high energy games loved by boys and girls alike!  0333 334 0845 or 07763746886  Continued on page 18

KangaRooKids Music & Drama classes for 0-6 yrs. Active Drama, Music & Movement. P-A-Y-G classes for 0-4’s & after school drama for 3-6 yrs. Mill Hill, Finchley & Hampstead. 

Monkey Music (Harrow, Uxbridge and Watford) Award-winning Monkey Music introduces babies and young children to music in a way they understand and enjoy - and is brilliant fun for children and adults too! The unique four-stage curriculum designed for babies from 3 months – 4 years and written by classically trained musicians, ensures that classes are a good fit for your little one. Founded in 1993, many families have enjoyed the power of Monkey Music sharing precious time together. Classes run 6 days a week across venues in Ickenham, Eastcote, Harrow, Stanmore and Northwood and will be launching from September in Watford, Radlett and Bushey too. Book online, your first class is free! .  020 8427 6595 

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Everyone Active (various) Everyone Active’s awarding winning learn to swim programme offers lessons for all ages of swimmers, from child classes starting at 4 months right through to adult classes and are available at over 120 sites. All swimming teachers are Swim England level 2 (or equivalent) qualified. All stages are progressive and continually assessed, initially developing water confidence and then teaching children to swim. As they improve, this distance is increased and all strokes are introduced. They also have the opportunity to develop water safety skills and other aquatic disciplines such as Rookie Lifeguard, synchronised swimming diving and water polo.  Field End Flyers Saturday Morning Community Cycle Club (HA5) Saturday in Term Time, Field End Rd for ages 5–11 yrs. Join the friendly team of British Cycling Coaches at 9.45am, and learn fun skills, race on the amazing fully enclosed Cycle Track, make new friends and enjoy a whole morning of fun till 12.30 - (refreshment break half way through). All you need is your own bike, helmet, gloves and water bottle and a shower proof jacket.  Tracey Harrow Junior Hockey Club (HA1) run sessions for children aged 4- 16 years on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings at The John Lyon School Playing Fields, Sudbury Hill, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3NA. Everyone welcome please contact us for more information  Hertfordshire Sports Village (AL10) have plenty of activities and sports sessions to keep your children active throughout the year. They cater for all children between the ages of 0 – 17 years and offer everything from swimming lessons, Gymnastics, Mini Movers, Trampolining and Mini Boots.  Ignite Tennis (HA3) Coaching courses for ages 3+ at Kenton Lawn Tennis Club. Junior group coaching is for those who wish to improve their tennis skills with others of a similar age and ability. Each session will cover different aspects of the game and they will relate from one session to the next. All sessions include technical, tactical, physical and mental skills. Contact James  07852 180905 

Kaishi Karate School runs classes in North London for children and adults. From ages 4-94, absolute beginners welcome. Free trial classes are available and free karate suit upon becoming a member.Awarded the safe guarding code by Sport England, Kaishi looks after your child and promotes self discipline, self confidence and fitness amongst other benefits. See class details on or call Sheena on 0787 550 1674. Little Kickers (Various) Enabling children aged 18mths up to their 7th birthday to develop their coordination, balance and agility through football activity classes Mill Hill, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, Golders Green, Muswell Hill, Friern Barnet 020 8201 1084  Ruislip,

Northwood/Oxhey, Pinner, Harrow (HA2), Harrow on the Hill and Watford  0208 123 9346  jodiesloan@littlekickers. or Harrow (HA3) Bushey and North Wembley  0208 422 0676  SportsKids Academy (WD3 & HA3) SportsKids Academy provide 4 -16 year olds with an exciting and educational sports programme at weekends. We encourage and develop young people to grow as athletes and individuals. We have an extensive programme of team and individual sports as well as weekly team building challenges. All children participate in a wide range of different sports, grow in confidence through leadership skills and have fun making lots of new friends. Their programme includes; American Football,  Dodgeball, Handball,  Basketball, Rugby, Softball,  Gaelic Football, Rounders,  Athletics,  Cricket,  Gymnastics, Tennis,   Fencing, Lacrosse, Archery, Netball, Volleyball, Martial Arts, Football,  Badminton,  Hockey,  Orienteering and Golf.  07983392479 8 TISKA (HA1/9) Learn the fascinating art of Karate. Classes held in Wembley and Harrow. Families welcome, minimum age 4 yrs. 07739 572487 

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Local Clubs and Classes Directory

Y Active (HA2) New Harrow classes booking now for children and adults at the YMCA. A beautiful studio with free parking and a play garden. Baby, Ballet, Gym, Soft Play and Classes from £4.40. 020 8832 1576 

Swimmimg Aqua Vie are doing Regular weekly Tues Wed and Sunday classes in Bushey during term times. Spaces for new babies Tues, Wed and new group Adult swim classes. Learn mindful effortless swimming in a calm environment in warm water. Use less effort, swim further and experience the joy of water.   01923 245 773 Brent Dolphins (NW10/HA0) Swimming lessons for children 5 years and over at Willesden and Vale Farm. Sessions are held in a fun and friendly environment from beginner to competitive swimming level.Further details are available on our website  or you can email our Club Secretary at:

THEATRE AND PERFORMING ARTS Beverley School of Performing Arts (HA8) After school & Saturday classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Street, Singing & Drama for boys and girls aged 3-18years. ISTD and LAMDA examinations to advanced level. 07974 750 224  Future Stars Theatre Arts (various) Drama – Dance – Sing – LAMDA. Future Stars is an established stage school with an outstanding reputation for excellence. They provide fun, fresh and dynamic training in Drama, Dance, Singing and LAMDA taught by the very best in the industry. Ages: 3-18 years. Classes in Stanmore College, Northwood, Aldenham and Radlett. Visit the website to book your FREE TRIAL now! Limited availability!  07912538656 

Huzzah Performing Arts & Mindfulness Build confidence from the inside out with a Huzzah weekly class. Drama, dance, singing and a touch of mindfulness. Ages 4 - 7. Saturday 1 - 2.20pm in Queen’s Park. Sunday 10 - 11.30am in West Hampstead. Sign up for a FREE TRIAL  Creative, calm, confident kids.

JAM2000 Performing Arts and Agency (HA4) is an explosive and dynamic performing arts school where students learn to perform in dance and drama and enjoy amazing opportunities to appear in spectacular shows and special events including TV and film. Classes for boys and girls from 2½ years to adults are taught by world-class instructors in an air conditioned, mirrored dance studio complete with sprung floor amid the clean and modern surroundings of The Windmill Studio Centre 106 - 106A Pembroke Road, Ruislip Manor, Middlesex, HA4 8NW. Classes include Urban Jazz Fusion - an exciting fusion of dance styles including Hip Hop, Street, Jazz and Musical Theatre; Tap dancing and drama - acting for stage, TV & film. To book a trial session call on 01895 624755 or email

OB1 Theatre School offers affordable classes in SINGING, DRAMA, DANCE and MUSICAL THEATRE for students aged 4-18, as well as an accredited MUSICAL THEATRE QUALIFICATION! Our unique approach to teaching, combined with our small class sizes means that each student is given the training and attention they deserve. Classes are designed to build confidence, encourage creativity and curiosity as well as teamwork. We inspire our students to reach their full potential so they can excel in every aspect of life - not just the performing arts. All The World’s A Stage. Book your FREE TRIAL/AUDITION in Edgware: 07522405486 / TheatreSchool@ / OB1 Vocal & LAMDA Studio (NW7 and SG5) We offer 1:1 private singing lessons with Oren - an award winning singing teacher, as well as 1:1 LAMDA sessions with Georgina, our acting coach. Lessons focus on the individual, enabling students to learn new concepts and technique in a safe and expressive environment. Earn UCAS points through LAMDA exams, build confidence, diction, energy, and expression. Ages 8+ years. We inspire our students to reach their full potential so that they can excel in every aspect of life - not just the performing arts. Lessons in Mill Hill Music Complex and our own studio in Letchworth.  Perform weekly drama, dance and singing classes. Confidence building fun for 4-12s. A unique mix of drama, dance and singing specially formulated to bring out every child’s true potential. Classes are kept small to ensure lots of individual attention. Perform offer no-obligation FREE trial sessions. Venues in Croxley Green, Dartmouth Park, Golders Green, Eastcote, Northwood, Pinner, Harrow, Kensal Rise, Kentish Town, Stanmore, West Hampstead and Wembley. (020 7255 9120 / 8 Jigsaw Performing Arts Schools (Various) A new school year is here - time to try something new with your weekend? their popular dance, singing and drama weekend classes for 3-18-year-olds are designed to develop children’s confidence, self-expression, focus and social skills, while having fun and making lots of new friends. Parents share in the excitement and their children’s progress with regular presentations, shows and reports from their team of highly experienced teachers. For more information or to book a two-week trial, search for your nearest school on their website jigsaw-arts. or call 020 8447 4530. Sharpe Academy of Theatre Arts (HA1, HA4, HA7, WD3) Performance based theatre school with venues based in Harrow, Rickmansworth, Ruislip and Stanmore where children 3-21 attend weekly classes in preparation for full scale Musical Theatre productions. 01923 437693 

Paediatric First Aid Courses Sat 21 Sept, Wed 9 Oct, Sat 12 Oct - Harrow on the Hill

Suitable for Ofsted Registration. Includes some home study.

Certificate valid for 3 years Cost = £85

Contact Margaret at or on 07814 191 395 for bookings Other dates available

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Local Clubs and Classes Directory Art and Craft Club (HA5) Term time, Mon 4.30-5.30, Sat 10-11am or 11-12pm at Harrow Arts Centre. New activities introduced every term; drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, sewing, fabric printing and much more! For 5-11yr olds. Materials provided. Qualified teachers. 07946 055 422  Artzania Art and Craft Activity Club (HA) A new and exciting Arts and Crafts activity club for children ages 1-11 yrs open during term time and holidays. They offer and Mother Toddler Group art club (aged 1-4 yrs) and an After-school/ Holiday Club (ages 5-11yrs) Contact to book your place: Keshma 07419343105 

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Stagecoach (Various) Training in three disciplines: drama, dance and singing. Great for building confidence, making new friends and beginning to hone talent and enthusiasm for performing, or being coaxed out of their shell by having fun!  Harrow 020 3504 0100 Harrow on the Hill & Sudbury Hill 01923 248 294 Stanmore & Harrow Weald 020 3504 2154 Watford 01727 768 738 Queen’s Park 020 7723 5861 Northwood 01442 263 599  Sylvia Young Theatre School (W1H) A specialist performing arts school offering a high level of academic & vocational studies. The Sylvia Young Theatre School is committed to providing high-quality part time training for students aged 4 to 18 years old. Classes are held on Thursday evenings and Saturdays at their Central London school at 1 Nutford Place, and focus on singing, dance and drama.  Wordworks Studio (HA5) Individual and group classes in Speech, Drama and Communication Skills for children 3-18yrs.  Young A Listers (HA0) The UK’s first part-time Selfempowerment Drama School, founded by Actor/Writer/Director Samuell Benta, with an intention to raise young people’s awareness about their personal strengths and power. The school offers the chance for children to pursue a career in acting or simply learn some new skills and build their confidence as a person. Classes every Tues and Thurs at St Johns Community Centre in Wembley.  info@ 07508 031 672

Dance Instep School of Ballet (HA/WD) Trains students of all ages and abilities in ballet, tap, pointe and performance. The school offers examinations with the Royal Academy of Dance (ballet) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (tap), and all teachers are fully qualified and registered with the RAD and ISTD. They produce a summer show each year. Classes in Harrow, North Harrow and Bushey.  07814 793 772  www. Tartan Tots A fun introduction to Scottish dancing for 3 and 4 year olds. Encourages co-ordination, rhythm and keeping time to music. Experienced and qualified teacher. Saturday mornings in Watford. Classes also in Highland dancing for primary aged children.  07866 295694  Elina Patrou Academy of Dance (formerly The Van Niekerk Academy) (HA7) Ballet classes to develop poise, technique and expression through dance, for boys and girls aged 3-16 years with Royal Academy of Dance examinations, 07555861561

ARTS AND CRAFTS Art Classes for Kids (and Adults) in Stanmore (HA7) Drawing, painting and mixed media art classes for children and adults. On-going, small groups Mon–Thurs afternoons and Saturday mornings in Term Time for children from Year 1 up. Weekday morning studio sessions for adults in a relaxed, supportive environment. 020 8954 2897 or 07500 006 099 

The Bite Me Corner’s Confidence building cooking & Nutrition programmes! (HA9) Come, join our engaging Saturday cooking and nutrition sessions held in the heart of Wembley Park at The Yellow! 1 Humphry Repton Lane, Wembley Park, London HA9 0GL. Booking required for these sessions: 11am-12pm ; 12:30- 1:30pm. Ages 7+. Create a variety of quick and tasty recipes from great pizza to double chocolate muffins!  Healthy options start from being confident with your ingredients! Using organic and commercial food produce we’ll get you fired-up and back in the kitchen to create fantastic dishes! HEY, THERE’S MORE! If you would like to join on our After- school fun programmes which are held at: Cranford Park Academy, Phelps Way, Hayes, Middx, UB3 4LQ on Tuesdays 3:30-4:30pm or Friday 3:30-5:00pm or have one of our exciting Wellbeing Workshops contact Lauri on:  

Blank Canvas Art Club (HA4) Do your kids love Art? Want them to have quality Art tuition? For ages 6-18 yrs our weekly term time classes & holiday workshops teach art techniques & more using a variety of mediums and materials. Based in our lovely bright studio at Manor Farm in Ruislip, sign up is now open for September term. Adult classes are available too whether you are beginner or refresher. Special member’s benefits, sibling discounts and a refer a friend scheme are available so why not book now & develop a love of Art that will last a lifetime! Contact Suzi at  blankcanvasartclub@gmail. com,  0777  3819603 BlankCanvasArtClub   Messmakers! (HA5) A gentle and fun introduction to creative arts for the very young and their families, with lots of mess and none of the tidying up! Exploring different materials and textures each week. Ages under 5, come dressed for mess! 0208 416 8989 

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Local Clubs and Classes Directory Stitch Club (HA5) Stitch and Sketch Club for children and teens. Start with simple hand sewing then developing sewing machine and design techniques to design and create your own items. Saturday Sketch Club develops looking and drawing skills and confidence. Also parties and one-off workshops. Adults’ weekly Dressmaking sessions and occaisional Beginners workshops.  E:

Knowledge Above Standard (HA7) Maths, English, Verbal and non-verbal reasoning, 7+, 11+ 13+ exam preparation. 07985 588 085 


Number Works ‘n’ Words (Eastcote) Maths and English tuition classes which target identified needs to improve achievement levels. They set goals for your child, monitor progress and provide regular progress reports. Cater for all levels from Reception to Year 11.  www.

Academic Primary School Tuition (HA8 & WD23) in Maths/English or Phonics & Writing for 3.5 to 11 year olds at our Little Big Leaders Saturday School, Summer School and Winter School, in our 8th year of success. Tutors support and challenge pupils to improve their learning, and have a track record in enabling pupils to demonstrate progress in their mainstream setting and/or in 5+, 7+ and 11+ examinations. Childcare vouchers accepted. Free trial lessons. 020 3637 6266  All Saints Pre-School Queensbury (HA8) Free childcare for 2-5 yrs, 15-30 hours. Visit anytime Mon - Fri. Waltham Drive, Queensbury, Edgeware, HA8 5PQ. 07985 284 498/07958 473 475.  Brownies and Guides (Various) Rainbow, Brownie and Guide Units exist across the area which provide fun activities for girls aged from 5 onwards.  or Peggy Brand 020 8205 7597 Click IT! Computer lessons for Children (HA2) Fun, exciting and educational weekly computer lessons for children aged 2-5. Classes held at nursery schools all over North West London. Have fun learning with technology: mouse and keyboard skills and devices including graphic tablets, trackpads and digital microscopes. Every lesson is designed to complement the EYFS curriculum. Free trials available. 020 8434 7111.  DiscoG Coding Classes and Camps (various) Weekly Coding Programme teaches Primary and Secondary School children the basics of coding. Using the Python Programming Language and the Raspberry Pi 3 your child will create fun and engaging gadgets that spring to life with lights and sensors, and prototyping devices that will ‘amaze and inspire’. Tailored courses written to support the National Curriculum for GCSE and A Levels. Adult courses are also available. Gerard on 07767 300940 

Math’scool Award-winning Maths Tuition plus out-of-lesson homework support. 0333 12 33 445 

The Play Shelter After School Club Malorees Infant & Junior Schools (NW6) - 3.30pm-6pm term time. Play schemes available out of term-time. 0207 407 6744. admin@theplayshelter. Pinner Tuition Centre (Pinner) After school and Sat tuition for Reception to Year 11 by fully qualified teachers. Tuition in Maths, Reading, Spelling, Writing, SATS, 11+ and GCSE. Free assessment. Ofsted Registered.  Raviv Practice London (UB5) Catch up reading course. Improve reading age by 1 year in 3 months of home based work. The computer interventions is similar to having a tutor in your home with daily monitoring and feed back. Usha Patel on 07766 837 616  info@ravivpracticelondon. (registered therapist) Susan Daughtrey Education (SDE) SW Herts courses are based on more than 25 years experience preparing students for 11+ tests. All courses have been personally written by Susan Daughtrey M.Ed, author of the market leading verbal reasoning Technique and Practice series. Every year since 1987, over 90 per cent. of the students on the courses have achieved success.  020 7683 0734  Type IT! - Touch Typing Lessons for Children (HA2) Learn to touch type! Weekly lessons and intensive holiday courses for children from age 8-18. Highly recommended for children with dyslexia. Classes are held at their office in Harrow on the Hill, HA2 0JT. Free trials available. Adult classes also available.  020 8434 7111.  wendy@

Field End Flyers Saturday Morning Community Cycle Club (HA5) Saturday in Term Time adjacent to Field End Junior School, Field End Road, Eastcote, HA4, for children aged 5 – 11 yrs. Join the friendly team of British Cycling Coaches at 9.15am and learn fun skills, race on the amazing fully enclosed Cycle Track, make new friends and enjoy a whole morning of fun till 11.30 (refreshment break half way through). All you need is your own bike, helmet, gloves, water bottle and a shower proof jacket.  Contact Tracey at The Harrow Woodcraft Folk (HA) Elfin group for children, 6 to 9yrs. Parents wishing to join their children should contact the District Secretary; John Woolf: 020 8428 2409 or  www. Integratedbrain - Improve Co-ordination for learning! (UB5) Activities to help those with poor co-ordination, dyspraxia, dyslexia or fine motor difficulties. Small groups of 4/5 children working to develop better all-round motor integration. Usha Patel 07766 837 616 

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Karen Wilkin Tuition (HA) 4+/5+ tuition. One to one, tailor made, hands-on, fun sessions in the comfort of your home. Experienced Montessori teacher with excellent results in all the top schools. Term time and holiday sessions available. 07887 984 401,

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What’s On

listings for all the family Compiled by Anna Blackshaw

To promote your local event, coffee morning, nearly new sale, parenting courses or community group in the next What’s On listing (Oct 2019 issue) send your entry by 6th Sep 2019 .Email Listings in this section are FREE for most non-commercial ventures. Please check details of the events before setting off in case anything has changed since going to print. for all our local weekly regular events. It’s updated every day!

SEPTEMBER Until Sun 15 Sep Summer of Spitfire (NW9) This summer will see the Royal Air Force Museum paying homage to one of the most iconic aircraft ever built with a programme of family events and activities dedicated to the Spitfire. Weekend festivals, fun immersive adventures, close views of real Spitfires, and a series of nostalgic events including a Battle of Britain Day and Battle of Britain Night will transport visitors back to a time when the Spitfire protected Europe’s skies.

Mon 2 – Sun 29 Sep – Potato Shindig (AL4) Get your dungarees on, it’s time to harvest your FREE bag of potatoes at Willows Activity Farm. There will be more than 20 tonnes of creamy pink-eyed Picasso potatoes waiting to be harvested (that’s the equivalent of three and a half elephants), and, keen young harvesters are invited to grab a spade, start digging, and take home their own bag of delicious spuds.

Fri 6 Sep Cutty Sark Ceilidh (SE10) Back by popular demand, enjoy a night of high octane Scottish dancing and music beneath the hull of the Cutty Sark. 18+, 7pm.

Sat 7 Sep Northwood Craft Market (HA5) A wide variety of crafts to browse and buy, all handmade by local crafters. Crafts vary at each market and range from jewellery, fabric bags and purses, knitting, crochet, and watercolours, to embroidery, greetings cards, children’s clothing, soft toys, essential oils, home accessories and more. For children there are hands-on crafts to make something to take home. Market runs from 10am until 2pm at Northwood Methodist Church Hall.

Sat 7 Sep Virtual Reality Spacewalk (WD17) Soar through space with this epic Reading Challenge VR experience at Watford Central Library from 10am-12pm. Drop in, no tickets or booking required.

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National Martime Museum 7 Sept

Sat 7 Sep Big Sports (WD17) The FREE Big Sports event will be returning to The Parade for a sixth year with a whole host of sporting and fitness activities for you to try out alongside health and wellbeing advice. There are some exciting new additions to the day including a zip line, cave adventures, rope-a-phobia and a palm tree challenge as well as various sports stands where you can practice your tennis, golf, rugby and karate.

Sat 7 Sep – The Nomad Cinema: Bohemian Rhapsody (NW6) A screening of the Freddie Mercury biopic at Queen’s Park. Doors open at 6pm, screening starts at 7.45pm. Food and drinks available, fancy dress encouraged!

Sat 7 Sep – Croxfest (WD3) Croxfest is a yearly music festival in Croxley Green held on The Green. It is free for all to attend – enjoy a varied line-up of acts in a family-friendly atmosphere. 12-8pm.

What’s On

National Maritime Museum

Luna Cimena at Waddesdon

Sat 7 Sep Capital Letters: Poetry and Performance (SE10) Go along to the National Maritime Museum for an afternoon of reading, discussion and performance and explore the potential of poetry in progress. All are welcome to attend to perform or listen. 3-5pm, suitable for all ages.

Sat 7 Sep Dawnosaurs (SW7) A free event at the Natural History Museum for children on the autism spectrum to enjoy the Museum with their families and siblings, free from the hustle and bustle of the general public. Visitors have access to a wide-ranging programme of activities, including a chance to see, meet and even touch live animals. All activities are supported by experienced, autism-aware facilitators. 8-10am.

Sat 7 Sep Medieval Murmurings (TW9) The whole family can discover the magic of written and spoken language at the medieval day at The National Archives in Kew. Start by unlocking the secrets of the iconic Domesday book in our ‘de-coding Domesday’ workshop, then get creative in our medieval craft corner and dressing- up booth. Younger children can also enjoy an interactive re-telling of Chaucer’s classic tales with a professional storyteller. 10.30am-3pm.

Sat 7 – Sun 8 Sep Cutty Sark Flotilla (SE10)

Sun 8 Sep Mayhew Open Day 2019 (NW10)

Go and make your very own tall ship to add to a spectacular flotilla of masts and sails underneath the Cutty Sark! Work with a Boat Poet to write your own poem on your ship and listen out for poetry from students who took part in the Rivers of the World project. 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-4pm. Ages 4+.

Join Mayhew at their annual street party in Kensal Green, and enjoy a unique look behind the scenes at the animal shelter! You’ll be able to find out all about the work they do to help pets and people in the community, visit the Cattery, tour the Veterinary Clinic and relax in the garden with love music, outdoor games and a veggie barbecue. There will also be plenty of activities and stalls suitable for guests of all ages – including your beloved canine companions, who are more than welcome to take along! 11am-4pm, Trenmar Gardens, Kensal Green.

Sat 7, 14, 21 & 28 Sep Lego Club (WD19) Go along to Oxhey Library and let your imagination run wild! Use Lego to build what you never thought could be possible. Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, it’s your own creation! Come and show us your wildest builds come true! £2 per child, Adults free with every child. Every Saturday 10am-11am.

Sun 8 Sep Harefield Fun Run & Family Day (UB9) Dust off those trainers and join in a funfuelled day at the 38th annual Harefield Fun Run & Family Day at Harefield Hospital. Run, jog or simply meander the 5km course. Enjoy the delicious food on offer and soak up the sunshine (fingers crossed!). From arts & craft stalls to live dance displays, there is guaranteed fun for all the family to enjoy!

Fri 13 – Sun 15 Sep The Luna Cinema (HP18) The Luna Cinema returns to Waddesdon this year with ‘A Star is Born’, ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ set against the incredible backdrop of the House bathed in light.



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Families North West London 23

What’s On

National Maritime Museum 28 Sept

Continued from page 23

Sat 14 Sep Pinner Village Show (HA5)

Sat 14 Sep Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (SE10)

Sat 14 Sep Manor House Tours (HA2)

Fun for all the family in Pinner Memorial Park, organised by Pinner Rotary Club. Around 50 stalls selling goods and promoting local organisations plus children’s rides, climbing wall and petting farm. A wide variety of food and drink stalls and a licensed bar. Entertainment from Merrydowners Morris, Punch & Judy, the Glen Trew Pipe Band and popular local classic rock band Simply Gray. 11.30am5pm.

Celebrate September’s full moon at the National Maritime Museum with the Mid-Autumn Moon festival co-produced with Aluna in collaboration with local communities to reflect their unique cultural traditions associated with the Moon. Discover what the Moon means to people all around the world and take part in workshops, storytelling and performances for the whole family. 11am-4pm.

Come and explore the secret spaces at Headstone Manor, and hear a tale or two from Headstone’s amazing past. Join the expert guide and go behind the scenes where the public don’t usually get to explore! 1.30-2.45pm.

Sat 14 Sep Watford Memory Walk (WD18) Join in Memory Walk 2019! Every 3 minutes someone in the UK develops dementia. But you can change this. Walk for a world without dementia at Memory Walk this autumn at Cassiobury Park. A sponsored walk for all ages and abilities to unite together and raise money to defeat dementia. Event opens at 10am, walk starts at 11am.

Sat 14 Sep – Battle of Britain Night (NW9) A special after hours opening will give you the chance to explore the collection in an exclusive evening environment. The aircraft will be open to look inside the cockpits or engines and our eager team of Aircraft Access Volunteers will be on hand to give you a tour around the aircraft.

Sat 14 – 15 Sep WW1 Living History Event (HP8) Go along to the Chiltern Open Air Museum for a special WW1 living history event. See costumed re-enactors in the encampment. Watch sword and bayonet exercises and gas drills. Learn about the women’s auxiliary army core and find out what life would have been like. Visitors can take part in a poppy trail and dress up in WWI officer and nurse costumes.

Sun 15 Sep – Battle of Britain Day (NW9) Mark the Battle of Britain Day at the RAF Museum with a day of family activities, flypasts and displays. Bring the past to life and head to see some re-enactors highlighting significant points in the Second World War History. Listen to the roar of a Merlin Engine at our fantastic engine display. There will be 40s music and dancing, and you can dress up as a Spitfire Pilot. Don’t miss the Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast, the Spitfire will be flying over the Museum to mark this very special day.

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What’s On Sun 15 Sep Battle of Britain Day (UB10) Commemorate the 79th anniversary of the Battle of Britain Day by going along to the Battle of Britain Bunker for several talks, a screening of Spitfire, a special exhibit by the Royal Observer Corp Association, and family activities. The Bunker are excited to announce lectures by author Peter Sikora and display pilot Howard Cook. There will also be a wreath laying ceremony at 10am.

Sun 15 Sep Amazing Little Stars (HA5) If you are looking for a rare opportunity to hear some of the finest young Asian singers and musicians performing your favourite Bollywood songs, Bhajans, qawali and Swahili songs then join us for this amazing concert by the Amazing Little Stars and support two outstanding charities Great Ormond Street Hospital Childrens’ Charity and Education in Uganda.

Wed 18 Sep Scam Awareness Roadshows (WD3) The Roadshow is an opportunity to learn more about doorstep, phone and postal criminal cons and cheats – how to avoid them, and how to report a scam and get help. Advisors from Trading Standards, Neighbourhood Watch, Age UK, or the local Police Community Safety Officer are attending events to provide information. Topics include scam and junk mail, vitamin scams, and phone scams. At Croxley Green library, 11am-12pm.

Thu 19 Sep Bat Walks (SW13) WWT London Wetland Centre is one of the best places to watch bats in London as they have about seven species that hunt on site. Bat walks give you the chance not only to see these amazing flying mammals and their astonishing aerial acrobatics, but also learn more about them with a talk by one of the bat experts in the theatre before heading out to the reserve. We supply bat detectors to help you identify the species that are swooping around and to listen to them ‘chattering’ as they hunt for food. Ages 8+.

Willows Farm Potato Shindig 2-29 Sept

Sat 21 Sep Cheeki Monkeys Baby & Children’s Market Watford (WD18)

Sat 21 Sep Hillingdon In Bloom: Autumn Show (HA4)

Family Fun Day/ Indoor Pop-up Baby & Children’s Market at Westfield Academy, Tolpits Lane, Watford, WD18 6NS, 12-2pm. Pre-Loved, Craft, Business, Entertainment Stalls. Buy/Sell children toys, clothes, equipment. Goody Bags - first 50 visitors. Adult £1, Kids FREE.

Competitive exhibition of locally grown fruit, flowers and vegetables and art in the Great Barn at the Manor Farm site.

Facebook @ CheekiMonkeysRickmansworthandWatford

Sat 21 Sep Hertfordshire Fire Brigade Museum and Fire Station Open Day (WD17)

WatfordFest2019 is the first edition of connected entrepreneurs - a great platform for small to medium entrepreneurs who are local and homebased. The event will be a complete fun filled family day out with shopping, street food, kids entertainment, live entertainment, stalls and more. 11am7pm at PRYZM, The Parade, Watford.

The museum, in Watford, is the only one in the county that depicts the history of fire-fighting from the early days. There are manual fire engines, an 1896 horse-drawn steam fire pump and a WW2 trailer pump among the collection. There are uniforms that can be tried on and equipment that can be handled. There is also a large photographic collection of Watford Fire Brigade/engines and fires. Take a look at all the memorabilia kept pristine by the firefighters that work there. No booking necessary.

Sat 21 Sep Watford Fest (WD17)



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National Army Museum Open House 22 Sept

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What’s On


Continued from page 25

Sat 21 Sep Watford Palace Theatre Evening Tours (WD17) Everyone’s welcome at the Palace. They aim to inspire and entertain through inventive, ambitious and inclusive drama, new plays, musicals, dance and family shows; free outdoor festivals; diverse stand-up; and a much loved traditional pantomime.​ Booking required via 01923 225671 or

Sat 21 – Sun 22 Sep Glorious Garden Party! (HA2)

Sat 21 Sep Abbots Autumn Fest (WD5)

Go and celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Heritage Open Days at Headstone Manor! There will be two free talks ‘From the Mythical to the Merely Misguided: Garden Tips Ancient and Modern’, ‘From the Renaissance to Suburbia: The History of the Garden Gnome’, and a tour of the museum grounds. Or simply go and relax in the Glorious Gardens.

A fun filled day for all of the community celebrating local food and food producers, crafts and promoting sustainability and a healthy lifestyle. Live Music, a licensed bar and hot food, and lots of traditional games and entertainment. 11am – 4pm at School Mead, Abbots Langley.

Sat 21 – Sun 22 Sep Open House London 2019: Manor Farm Site (HA4) As part of Open House London, 2019 the Manor Farm site in Ruislip opens its doors to the 700-year old Great Barn, the Pram Shed exhibition of farming tools from the 18th and 19th century and the Manor Farm House itself. This is a free event - just turn up on the day!

Sat 21 – Sun 22 Sep HowTheLightGetsIn London (NW3) The world’s largest philosophy and music festival, HowTheLightGetsIn, returns to the heart of London for one weekend of mind-blowing debates between the world’s leading thinkers, alongside an enviable music line-up and an outrageously funny cast of comedians. It all takes place on the beautiful grounds of Kenwood House, a Georgian stately home on the crest of Hampstead Heath.

Sun 22 Sep Family Workshop (HA2)

National Maritime Museum 28 Sept

As part of Heritage Open Days go along and celebrate the glorious gardens at Headstone manor & Museum. Make a jazzy paper flower to add to the glorious garden or to take home! 11am-3pm.

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What’s On Sun 22 Sep Big Fish Little Fish ‘Vikings & Dragons’ Family Rave (WD18)

Sun 22 Sep Our Docks: local history family fun (E14)

Award-winning, pioneering Big Fish Little Fish family rave return triumphantly to the Watford Colosseum with a ‘Vikings & Dragons’ themed event. DJ Aston Harvey (Freestylers) will play acid house, techno, and drum ‘n’ bass throughout the afternoon. Also expect crafts, confetti, bubbles, pyrotechnics, club visuals, baby chill area, giant balloons and licensed bar for families with 0-8 year olds. Come dance, laugh, craft and be daft with us - see you on the dancefloor!

Voyage through the rich history of London’s docks at this local history family fun day at the Museum of London Docklands. Watch the past dance before your eyes in captivating performances by local community groups, inspired by the museum collection. Be enthralled by tales from the docks, join a family tour to discover the secrets of the impressive Grade I listed warehouse building, or take part in creative workshops at this vibrant event for the whole family.

Sat 28 Sep – Mum2Mum Sale Harrow (HA3)

Sun 22 Sep Open House London: Make Do and Mend (SW3)

Buy quality preloved baby and children’s goods at a fraction of the high street price. Sell your outgrown baby and kids stuff to other mums & keep 100% of the proceeds. Sale takes place at Weald Rise Primary School, Harrow Weald. For further information email harrow@

Sun 22 Sep Family Takeover: Make and Create (NW1) Time to take over the Learning Centre with creative family fun. Enjoy playful multisensory activities exploring the sound collection. A selection of children’s books will be available to read and even perform if you wish! A range of materials will be on hand to inspire you to make, create and invent something to take home. Plus don’t forget to pick up the Building Family Trail to explore the Library through puzzles, drawings and games. 12-4pm, free.

Build a structure using recycled materials in this family-friendly workshop at the National Army Museum. Mark Open House London by becoming an architect for the day. Inspired by the idea of ‘make do and mend’, you can take on the challenge of building a structure using recycled materials. Drop-in sessions: 11am to 1pm & 2pm to 4pm. Continued on page 28

Fri 27 Sep Maggie’s Culture Crawl London (W8) Experience a year’s worth of London culture in one night and help people with cancer. Along the route you’ll experience interesting buildings, live entertainment, food, and a taster of the life-changing support provided in the centres. Walkers will get exclusive access to exhibitions at Kensington Palace, The National Portrait Gallery, V&A, Royal Academy and the Science Museum on the 10 mile walk. Arrival from 6pm, set off at 7pm at Kensington Palace.

Sat 28 Sep Lots for Tots Sale Watford (WD25) Lots for Tots sale at Francis Combe Academy, Watford, from 10-11.45am. Wonderful bargains for your little ones just go and browse and buy direct from other local parents!

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What’s On

Willows Farm Continued from page 27

Sat 28 Sep New Hope’s Autumn Garden Open Day (WD18) Go and enjoy the many and varied creative achievements of the residents, and at the same time get your garden ready for winter by picking up a range of plants, produce and Christmas flowering and spring bulbs! There will also be music, children’s activities and refreshments available for a donation. Free entry. 64 Rickmansworth Road, WD18.

Sat 28 Sep Abbots Langley Spring Community Market (WD5) Abbots in Transition presents produce from local growers and producers. Cakes and bakes, jams and preserves, coffee and chocolate, seedlings, fruit and vegetables, and unique gifts. At Henderson Hub from 10am-1pm.

Sat 28 Sep Daito Kagura Performance (NW1) See a traditional Japanese theatrical dance and music performance at the British Library. Kagura is a Shinto theatrical dance and music performance dedicated to the deities of Japanese mythology. The repertoire includes ritual dances and narrative plays based on myths. The magnificent dance, up-tempo music, and flamboyant costumes are captivating, and although being a traditional performing art, it continues to evolve over times. 3-4.30pm, free.

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Sat 28 – Sun 29 Sep – ColourDome (WD17) Don a coloured cape and immerse yourself in a fusion of sound and colour as you wander through the labyrinth of coloured chambers creating your own journey and experience at the Parade in Watford. Musicians play in a large dome which will fill the chambers with music. ColourDome is for all ages, enjoyed by all from babies to 100 year-olds!

Sat 28 – Sun 29 Sep Astronomy and Islam: Family Special (SE10) Held before the predicted sighting of the next New Crescent Moon, in this special Astronomy and Islam show, a Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer will guide you through the steps to observe this phase, discuss the difficulties in defining a first sighting and will provide a general overview of the sky this month. Ages 7+.

Sat 28 – Sun 29 Sep Family Harvest Event (HP8) Discover the fascinating traditions of farming at Chiltern Open Air Museum. This popular annual harvest event provides a unique opportunity to explore the sights, sounds and smells of harvest past, with the Museum’s restored 1947 threshing machine working hard to process the year’s wheat crop – as long as the rain holds off!

next event Freaky Dancing, taking place at Artsdepot! In the Main Theatre there will be 3 DJs, percussionist, stage dancers, bubbles, balloons, confetti, snow finale and a special surprise! Discover arts and crafts, face painting, henna designs, glitter tattoos and glow accessories in the Creative Space. On the Terrace there will be a DJ, soft play area (for toddlers and babies), and a licenced bar.

OCTOBER Tue 1 Oct Mini Museum at Headstone Manor (HA2) Under 5’s and their grown-ups will have so much fun discovering Museum objects, singing and getting crafty! Each session has a different theme to do with the history of Headstone Manor and Harrow. 2-3pm.

Mon 7 Oct – Mon 9 Dec – Living with a Teenager (HA1) A course for parents and carers with a teenager or adolescent aged 12+, run by Hope Harrow. Tpoics include understanding the needs of pre-teens and teenagers, negotiating and setting limits, finding ways to communicate effectively, and peer pressure. Monday’s from 7-9pm at Hope Harrow, 64 Pinner Rd, Harrow. 0208 863 7319

Sun 29 Sep Freaky Dancing (N12) Following their sell-out Launch Party, Big Beat Playground is proud to present their

What’s On Mon 21 – Wed 23 Oct The Jungle Book: Perform’s three day October halfterm holiday course for 4-10s (HA5) This October, Perform have got the bare necessities of life covered. Your young cub will love putting on a show about Mowgli and his animal friends. Journeying deep into the jungle, our energetic team will fire your child’s imagination with lots of confidence-boosting songs and games to bring The Jungle Book to life. It’s going to be the wildest half-term ever! 10am-3pm each day at St Luke’s Parish Hall in Pinner, HA5 3EX. 020 7255 9120 enquiries@

NOVEMBER Sat 30 Nov – Mum2Mum Sale Harrow (HA3) Buy quality preloved baby and children’s goods at a fraction of the high street price. Sell your outgrown baby and kids stuff to other mums & keep 100% of the proceeds. Sale takes place at Weald Rise Primary School, Harrow Weald. For further information email



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What’s On

What’s On Children’s Theatre We couldn’t fit them all in! More online

Compiled by Anna Blackshaw

We aim to be as accurate as possible, but these listings are compiled several weeks beforehand and may be subject to change. Please check with the venue directly before setting out.

The Apollo Victoria 17 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, SW1V 0844 871 3001 Ongoing - Wicked Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two young women who first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University; the blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destines as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. With show-stopping songs by Stephen Schwartz and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman from the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked is an unforgettable musical that transports audiences to a stunningly re-imagined world of Oz, providing marvels beyond your imagination.

Artsdepot 5 Nether Street, North Finchley, N12 020 8369 5454 Sun 15 Sep - Roald Dahl and the Wurblegobblers All around the world Roald Dahlʼs words are disappearing, not only from books but children’s minds too! Now only a secret organisation known as the Ancient Guild of Tale Tenders can save the stories - and they need your help... Especially made for ages 6 and up, the show develops both creative and literacy skills through performance, games and creative play, while exploring Roald Dahl’s extraordinary stories, including The BFG and The Twits along the way. Fri 20 - Sun 22 Sep - The Scarecrows’ Wedding Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay are excellent scarecrows. Their wedding plans are all coming together until Harry leaves Betty’s side and the devilishly smooth Reginald Rake tries to take Harry’s place. Will Harry make it back in time to save their special day? This heart-warming and award-winning adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling book is bursting at the seams with Scamp Theatre’s inimitable style. Packed with live music and laughter, this is one hour’s magic that you and your children will never forget! Ages 3+

Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show


Sun 22 Sep - How Does This Politics Thing Work Then? Politics is boring. Politics is complicated. Politics is for adults...? Rubbish! Politics is actually super important and can be made really fun, if you know how. Luckily Tatton Spiller (Simple Politics) and Tiernan Douieb (Comedy Club 4 Kids, CBBC’s The Slammer) know exactly how and will show you just how to make sense of it all. A show that will keep you entertained, engaged and informed so you can also shout at the telly along with your parents during Question Time! Ages 6+

Chase Side Southgate N14. 020 8292 9222 Fri 6 Sep – Fri 18 Oct - Planet Play Autumn Season Welcome to Planet Play our magical world of sensory learning, wonder and exploration, for babies and toddlers aged 0-3 years. These 45 minute sessions will encourage young children to develop and explore the world around them through song, music, movement and a truly sensory experience. Ages 0-3yrs

Sun 29 Sep - Javier Jarquin: Card Ninja Riotous fun and a sweep of high-flying card tricks can only mean one thing: Javier Jarquin, otherwise branded as Card Ninja, is in town. Expect deadly and risky fun as he performs his extreme cardflicking stunts. Using genuine playing cards, comedian Javier Jarquin dazzles audiences with displays of decks as weapons. Extreme precision, impeccable timing and astonishing speed/distance – you will not believe what you’re seeing. Ages 6+

Fri 6 Sep – Sat 26 Oct - Tales from the Shed Autumn Season Tales from the Shed are vibrant, interactive theatre shows that are perfect for young children. They are informal, lively and amazingly engaging as the performers and audience share the same space - children are always encouraged to make a lot of noise and to make the story happen. Every show will be fun, really silly and that there will be plenty of colourful puppets and live songs. Fridays: 11.30am, Saturdays: 10am & 11.30am. Ages 0-6yrs

Cambridge Theatre 32-34 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 020 7087 7745 Until 20 Oct 2019 – Matilda the Musical Matilda The Musical is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. With book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, this is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Winner of a recordbreaking seven Olivier Awards in 2012, the show has won over 70 international awards since its opening in November 2011 when it received 5-star reviews across the board.

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Sun 8 Sep - Because We Can: Variety Show in aid of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice Chickenshed is delighted to welcome Nisa-Nashim who are raising money towards the creation of a multi-faith room at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice in High Barnet, which will open in the autumn. Recommended for all ages.

Compass Theatre Glebe Avenue, Ickenham UB10 01895 673 0200 www. Sat 14 Sep - Monstersaurus Live! One day Monty found a book, Inventions Very Rare - Create Yourself a Monster Friend BUT ONLY IF YOU DARE! Follow the young inventor Monty as he creates a whole world of wacky inventions and incredible monsters, but he has a problem - now he has made them all, what is he going to do with them?! This is a live, professional theatre show, suitable for ages 3+

Harrow Arts Centre Hatch End HA5 0208 416 8989 Thu 26 Sep - Bring Your Own Baby Comedy Bring Your Own Baby Comedy is the UK’s top baby friendly comedy club! All shows feature the funniest comedy stars from the circuit and TV and you can bring your baby! Soft flooring, toys, buggy parking and baby changing are provided, so that your baby is happy and you can relax, have a coffee (or a cheeky G & T if you prefer!) and be entertained!

Little Angel Theatre 14 Dagmar Passage, Cross St, N1 020 7226 1787 Until Sun 8 Sep - We’re Going On A Bear Hunt A family go on an expedition of a lifetime – running down the grassy bank, wading through the cold river, squelching over the oozy mud, stumbling into the dark forest, then peering into a cave… what will they find there? Little Angel Theatre’s acclaimed adaptation returns to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Rosen’s beloved book. Brought to life with beautiful puppets designed by Lyndie Wright and original music by Barb Jungr, this production is ideal for brave hunters and bear lovers alike. Age 3-8 yrs Thu 12 Sep – Sun 6 Oct - The Bed (Baby & Toddler versions) Curl up and get comfy for a bedtime story like no other. Go on a journey sprinkled with fantasy and escapism, where you will meet elephants, macaws and parakeets. Venture underwater, to the North Pole and even outer space without ever leaving the comfort of your own bed. Beds come in all shapes and sizes, from cots to king-sized, and some you might never have heard of before – see if you can discover them all along the way. This enchanting poem by Sylvia Plath, written for her own children, is brought to life in a special show for babies and toddlers. Ages 6 – 18 mths & 18 mths – 3 yrs

What’s On

The Radlett Centre 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 01923 859291

Wed 4 Sep - Tabby McTat Tabby McTat is a cat with the loudest of meee-ews and a best friend with a guitar. Together they sing their favourite songs delighting the crowds, until one day Fred disappears. Separated and alone, Tabby finds shelter and a new life with all the home comforts that any cat could dream of. However, memories of his life with Fred haunt him, and he sets off to search the streets for his long-lost friend. From the team behind Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Zog, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Tabby McTat is a heart-warming tale of friendship and loyalty interwoven with original songs and a sprinkling of magic. Suitable for children and families of all ages. Sat 21 Sep - Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show You think science is boring, think again; this is science like you have never seen it before. Designed for children and adults alike, Mark’s Spectacular Science Show explores the strange and magical properties of matter with exploding elephant’s toothpaste, vortex-generating dustbins and even howling jelly babies! Ages 4-7 yrs

Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre 1 Fulton Road, HA9 0844 815 4865

Thu 26 Sep – Sun 6 Oct – Soul of Shaolin Playing in London for the first time, Soul of Shaolin is an actionpacked theatrical experience featuring over 30 performers in a troupe direct from Shaolin, China. Combining dazzling martial arts expertise with a touching story of loss and redemption, Soul of Shaolin will amaze, excite and inspire the whole family.

Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street, SE1. 020 7645 0560

Wed 18 Sep – Sun 27 Oct - Anansi the Spider People say that in a time long, long ago, animals walked on two feet and spoke with words, like we do. And back then it was known by everyone that the cleverest of all the animals in the kingdom was a spider – the infamous Anansi – the original trickster and the master spinner of yarns. But sometimes Anansi could be a little too clever for his own good… In celebration of Black History Month, these classic West African and Caribbean tales about the spider hoaxster are brought vividly to life here in Artistic Director Justin Audibert’s newest production for the Unicorn. Ages 3-7 yrs

Sat 14 Sep – Sun 10 Nov - The Dong With A Luminous Nose Edward is a bit of an oddball. A shy and troubled boy, he makes no effort to get on with other people. Instead he is always watching the horizon, waiting for something to happen. Then one day “the Jumblies” arrive, and his life is turned upside down… then shaken about a bit… and then a bit more! With a huge and colourful cast of abstract and figurative puppets, this absurd take on Lear’s nonsense classic explores that difficult age between being a child and becoming an adult. Ages 7-adult Fri 27 Sep – Sun 17 Nov - The Further Adventures Of The Owl And The Pussy-Cat When their beautiful golden ring is stolen, the Owl and the Pussy-cat must travel far from the safety of the Bong-tree glade as their search for the thief leads them across the Sea, to the Chankly Bore and beyond. Find out what these two beloved characters did next and join them on a journey through a nonsensical land full of adventure. Julia Donaldson and Charlotte Voake’s sequel to Edward Lear’s classic poem is brought to life on stage for the first time with stunning puppetry, enchanting rhyme and original music. Ages 3-8 yrs

Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES 0844 482 9674 Until Sun 8 Sep - The Gruffalo Live on stage Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the high-spirited Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there? Songs, laughs and monstrous fun for children aged 3 and up and their grown-ups, in the much-loved show that’s toured Britain and the world!

Fri 29 Nov – Sun 5 Jan – Oi Frog & Friends! It’s a new day at Sittingbottom school and FROG is looking for a place to sit, but CAT has other ideas and DOG is doing as he’s told. Little do any of them know that chaos is coming... who knew there were so many rhyming rules and what will happen when FROG is in charge? Oi Frog & Friends! is an action-packed play with songs, puppets, laughs and, of course, rhymes! It is an ideal introduction to theatre and the perfect entertainment for families with children aged 3+.

The O2 Arena

Thu 26 Sep – Sun 27 Oct - Maggot Moon In a sinister 1950s Britain, dark government forces are at work, spies and surveillance are everywhere, and the truth is difficult to discern. Standish Treadwell is fifteen, he lives with his grandpa, and although his teachers are part of the regime, together he and grandpa are safe. But then one day, Standish’s best friend disappears. And suddenly all their lives are in terrible danger. Can Standish be the hero who will save them all? Live drawing, cameras and projection bring Sally Gardner’s dazzlingly original, award-winning novel to life, in this story about protecting the ones you love and having the courage to stand up for what you believe.Ages 9 - 13 yrs

Vaudeville Theatre

Peninsula Square, London SE10 0208 463 2000

404 Strand, London WC2R 0844 482 9675

Thu 26 Sep – Sun 6 Oct - Marvel Universe LIVE! Super Hero action, thrills and drama will soar, smash and burst into London next year as Marvel Universe LIVE! returns with a brand new show. The audience will witness cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, and impressive 3D video projection mapping in this completely new thrilling adventure. With aerial stunts, martial arts and daring motorcycle skills, fans of all ages will be immersed in the Marvel universe in a show unlike anything they’ve ever seen before!

Until Sun 8 Sep - The Worst Witch Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches is now accepting new students. So make sure you know the Witches’ Code, get yourself a familiar, and let Mildred Hubble show you the ropes! Featuring all of Jill Murphy’s beloved characters, this action-packed new stage adaptation includes original songs, music, magic and a dose of Mildred’s unique brand of utter pandemonium! Ages 7+

Puppet Theatre Barge Little Venice W9 (During the summer the Barge is at Richmond, TW10) 020 7249 6876

Until Sun 6 Oct - The Insect Circus Visiting company String Theatre invites the audience to forget reality and become immersed in the strange and beautiful world of the Insect Circus. Beetles and grasshoppers, wasps and dragonflies, demonstrate their dexterity with great skill and humour. Presented using marionettes, the show breathes new life into the traditional techniques used in Victorian trick marionettes. A show without words.



Families North West London 31

Profile for Heather Waddington

Families NW London Magazine issue 130 Sept 2019  

September 2019 Clubs, Classes and Activities feature; Education; Parenting; What's On for families; children's theatre; local news

Families NW London Magazine issue 130 Sept 2019  

September 2019 Clubs, Classes and Activities feature; Education; Parenting; What's On for families; children's theatre; local news