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Issue 113: March/April 2017

FREE North West London Including North Middlesex, South Hertfordshire, North Hillingdon, Brent, Harrow and South Barnet (Queens Park, Wembley, Edgware, Stanmore, Northolt, Northwood, Watford and all the areas in between)

PARTIES! Easter & Summer Camps


What’s On, Open Days and much more inside!

Welcome to the March/April 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:

IN THIS ISSUE: FamiliesNWLondon @FamiliesNW Circulation 30,000+ copies every issue. Published seven times a year. For families from birth to twelve.

6 8 10 12 16 20

Mummy On The Edge What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied School Open Days Home Alone? How old is old enough? Children’s parties feature Easter and Summer camps

23 Easter craft and trivia 24 What’s On 30 Clubs and Classes

UPCOMING ISSUES: May/June 2017 Camps, Childcare and Education Deadline: 1 April 2017 Send in your news, stories and advertising bookings to the details left.

Where is Families North West London?

Cover image:

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

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.

Distributed to over 30,000 families!

North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017


NEWS NSPCC Number Day at Aldenham Prep Aldenham Prep School was awash with numbers in support of the NSPCC Number day. From James Bond to football tops numerical dressing up has ever been so much fun. Numeracy activities all through the day for children from Nursery to Year 6 were enjoyed by all. Mrs Gocher, Headmistress, said “It is important for our children to understand the importance of supporting those less fortunate than ourselves and to recognise the hard work of such charities who help so many children. The fact that this can be achieved in an educational and fun way is wonderful”. She added ”We have raised over £300.00 which exceeds our target so that is tremendous!” The day coincided with three pupils being invited to take part in Primary

£1.5m funding boost for grassroots football - Grants available for three target groups Under-represented groups in grassroots football will soon have more teams to play in. The FA are investing £1.5m into the Grow the Game scheme – a programme that increases participation at the lowest levels of the game. Delivered by the Football Foundation, Grow the Game awards grants to grassroots football clubs that wish to create new teams. Applications are being encouraged from: • women and girls; • male teams of Under-14s-and-upwards; • disabled teams. Grow the Game grants lessen the burden of costs associated with starting new grassroots football teams. £1,500 is available for each new team that a club creates. Expenditure that the funding can help a club pay for includes: FA coaching courses; FA league affiliation costs; referees’ fees; first aid kits; and even football kit & equipment. England Men’s Senior Manager and Football Foundation Ambassador, Gareth Southgate, said: “For anyone wanting to create a new grassroots football team or even start up a brand new club, Grow the Game funding is vital. The money can help with the fundamentals of any burgeoning club, like buying new kit or training up coaches. The application window for Grow the Game applications will open on Wednesday 1 February and closes on Wednesday 29 March. Clubs seeking more information should contact their local County FA or visit

Mathematics Challenge Bonus Round. Over 63,000 pupils took part in the Primary Mathematics Challenge this year and only the top 1-2% of those were invited to take part in the Bonus Round. To end the day some of the children made a number of their own, 25, to mark the start of the celebrations for the Nursery’s twenty fifth year.

Peppa Pig and Save the Children

launch new Muddy Puddle Walk charity fundraiser for nurseries and families This spring, Entertainment One’s (eOne) Peppa Pig is teaming up with the world’s leading children’s charity, Save the Children, to launch a fundraiser like no other. Between 8 and 14 May 2017, nurseries, early years groups, families and children up and down the country are being encouraged to take part in a Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children. There are lots of easy ways to raise money on your Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children. The free fundraising pack is full of great activities and fundraising ideas, so you can choose which option will work best for you and your children. Your little ones can get sponsored to walk or splash in puddles at the park, or they can simply donate to join your muddy puddle walk. You can even top up your total by baking and selling Muddy Puddle cupcakes! Sign up your nursery or family now at to get your free Muddy Puddle Fundraising Pack, full of fundraising ideas and tips for great walks and activities indoors and out – including free Peppa stickers and Save the Children balloons too!

The Van Niekerk Academy of Dance • Ballet classes for boys & girls aged 3-18 • Outstanding Royal Academy of Dance examinations results • Established 14 years in Stanmore • • •

Successful places at Royal Ballet School, Tring Park, Central School of Ballet, London Senior/Junior Ballet, London Studio Centre, Ballet West Numerous cups/medallists – British Federation of Festivals Contemporary/Jazz classes

Classes are held in the Stanmore and and Bushey Area Suzanne Van Niekerk (RAD Qualified Teacher)

T: 020 8950 2457 “Develop poise, technique and expression through dance”

SportsKids - Multi-Sports Academy

Sports Activities for 4 to 16 year olds

Tel: 01923 255099 E: Sportscoach are celebrating 10 years by expanding and rebranding to

SportsKids Academy

American Football - Dodgeball - Handball - Basketball Tag Rugby - Softball - Gaelic Football - Rounders - Athletics Kwik Cricket - Gymnastics - Tennis - Climbing Wall - Fencing Lacrosse - Netball - Volleyball - Archery - Martial Arts - Kin Ball Football - Badminton - Tri Golf - Uni-Hoc We are located in Harrow and Rickmansworth 4

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NEWS Tree of Wishes at The John Lyon School to celebrate 140 years! Enter to win FREE coach travel to visit River Lee Country Park during a Discovery Day outing for your school group! To mark the Regional Park Authority’s 50th anniversary, its Youth and Schools service is calling for all Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils – children aged between 5 and 11 - to visit the Nature and Wildlife pages on Lee Valley Regional Park’s website, research the range of habitats and wildlife described and create a drawing, painting, collage or poem about the park’s thriving biodiversity. The winning entrants will secure free coach travel for their class and entire year group, to and from the regional park, to enjoy a fun and educational day in the great outdoors. The artistic submissions will be judged collectively by the Youth and Schools team and the winners will be revealed on the website in late March. The Discovery Day programme includes sessions themed around habitats, plants and rivers and lakes. Sessions take place between 10.00-14.00 with places priced at £7.90 per child; accompanying adults can attend for free. Primary schools and special needs groups wishing to enter the Find 50 competition must submit their entries no later than Monday 20 March 2017 by email to youthandschools@leevalleypark. or by post to Lee Valley Regional Park Youth and Schools Service, Abbey Farmhouse, Abbey Gardens, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1XQ. Photographs or scanned copies of work are acceptable. Additional information about the Find 50 competition can be found at

To celebrate and commemorate the 140th anniversary of the founding of the John Lyon School their newest boys in Year 7 held a very special tree planting. The 140th tree is a sapling with quite a heritage; it is part of Chiswick House & Gardens Trust’s Cedar of Lebanon Conservation project. Year 7 boys each wrote their wishes for the future on a postcard that they planted around Cedar. The Year 7 Tree of Wishes will thrive in the Red House Garden at this historic School for years to come. John Lyon School Head, Miss Katherine Haynes said, “It is wonderful to see the pupils’ inspiring and ambitious wishes for the future around this very special tree. I am delighted that the boys will see this sapling thrive during their time with at The John Lyon School, as indeed will they.” Clare O’Brien, The Director of Chiswick House & Gardens Trust said “It is very exciting that these elegant and ancient trees, through their propagation, will provide beautiful new landscapes. I do hope the pupils and teachers of the John Lyon School will enjoy seeing their cedar grow over the years and decades to come.”

NEW Colourstrings classes NEW Colourstrings classes arrive in Hendon with Music Kindergarten classes for children aged 17months–5 years at a new Colourstrings music school at Middlesex University on Saturdays. Kindergarten classes lead on to instrumental tuition if desired. Be one of the first to join this new centre and get a brilliant start in music for your child! Colourstrings is an internationally-respected Kodály-based approach to music that offers an excellent path for children’s long-term musical success. The new centre is being run as part of the North London Conservatoire (est. 1995), which has an outstanding reputation. To book your three discounted trial kindergarten lessons, please call Yvonne on 020 8444 9435 or email Kindergarten classes also available in N10, N6, N1 and N16.

SW Consortium

NEW 11+ Latymer & QE Boys

Saturday 8 April 2017............2.00pm - 4.30pm Saturday 1 May 2017.............2.00pm - 4.30pm Saturday 3 June 2017............2.00pm - 4.30pm Nascot Wood Junior School, Nascot Wood Road, Watford WD17 4YS Fee: £25 per paper including detailed feedback BOOK NOW FEEDBACK includes

✔✔Detailed report on your child’s ✔✔Strengths & weaknesses

✔✔Access to mock test questions and answers ✔✔Uniquely, all exam formats - just like the real exam!

North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017


Mummy on the Edge Another year, another birthday: Escape from Shepherd’s Bush.


any years ago (everything is a blur), I started writing a novel. A minor strand included a ridiculously inconceivable reality TV show called “Bed the Celeb”, the premise of which was that a number of plebs were marooned on a desert island with a d-list celeb and the winner was the one that did. And then whaddya know, Celebrity Love Island was born on ITV. (I know, you are blown away by my unparalleled prescience but where am I going with this in a magazine about kids. Stay with me...) An equally preposterous strand that I could have myself invented ten years ago in the plot of a dystopian novel set in 2017 (had I got ON my backside and actually written a whole one) is the idea of an Escape Room as an immersive entertainment experience. Picture it: Donald Trump has been elected Governor of Texas or somewhere (-even I would never have guessed POTUS). Spoilt kids, addicted to little portable flat-screens, bored with reality, choose to be locked in a room and made to solve clues, find keys and decode erm… codes in order to escape. Has the world gone mad?! Well, yes, it has. And have I, that I should spend money on this for Midi-Me and her friends? Yes but only partially, coz I got a deal on Groupon. And before purchasing the offer, I

Paediatric First Aid Courses Sun 12 March and Sat 8 April - 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


North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017

carried out an extensive cost vs benefit analysis on turning my entire house into a multi-layered escape room: I could lock them in the bathroom leaving them to polish all surfaces of congealed toothpaste and they would be released once they had figured out how to use the electronic weighing scale that has 3 buttons, the pressing of none of which currently makes the machine tell me how much I weigh when I stand on it. Next, my bedroom. The task? To decipher manufacturing codes on all skin care and make up, throw away anything more than 3 years old and arrange all remaining items by colour with no gaps in the Muji drawers provided. Next, Midi-Me’s bedroom. Change sheets (including hospital corners) and duvet cover, organise bookshelf alphabetically and locate missing bank card. Et cetera around the rest of the house. Anyway, this wouldn’t have worked for me because it would have required too much effort. I’m the type of person who has to pre-clean for an hour before the cleaner arrives and she still shakes her head as she enters. Having Midi-Me’s friends searching every dusty corner and top shelf for clues would send me over the edge. Escape room, here, take my money. Keep walking down Uxbridge Road away from Westfield and the tube station and as you pass the newish chain restaurants and the market, you edge closer to the less salubrious end of Shepherd’s Bush, where a drunk might (and did) whisper in your ear as they

pass you, dancing to the beat of their own footsteps. This is the location of Escape London ( The girls descended the stairs behind the black door and quickly shoved their stuff in the lockers provided. Nice Young Chap gave them safety spiel and basic instructions before locking them in the room which is serviced by two cameras. I sat in front of the CCTV next to Nice Young Chap, scoffing my Lebanese pastry, sipping tea, and chortling at the incompetence of Midi-Me and her friends rattling drawers, rummaging through papers and tapping keys on a manual typewriter. Every time they got stuck they had to wave at the camera and Nice Young Chap would feed them a part-answer which would appear on a screen inside the room. I felt like Big Brother. I wanted to grab the mic and say in my best Geordie accent “MidiMe, you have been evicted. Please leave the room.” But there wasn’t one. By the time they had finished, I was qualified for a job at GCHQ. The girls escaped only with lots of help and some extra minutes. (So much for all the verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills they supposedly acquired during the 11-plus.) The Da Vinci Room was tricky for these 14/ 15 year olds but they had a blast. If you plan to go with younger children you should probably opt for the Area 51 room and possibly go in with them (max 6 people). Alternatively, you could always lock them in your kitchen.

On the radio Thursdays from 10am to midday on angelinamelwani * twitter @appleina * *Instagram @mynotesfromtheedge *


WHAT’S NEW Tried and Tested Match a Track A fun and simple boxed game where the aim is to match 25 prints to their animal owners. Suitable for ages 4-7, it helps children learn about different species, as well as developing memory and cognitive skills. RRP £12.99

Little Brian paint sticks launch new colour packs Little Brian has introduced Day Glow and Metallic colour packs to its award-winning range of Paint Sticks. Paint Sticks provide a clean and convenient way to paint with no need for water or the mess that comes with it. The solid paint sticks twist up and down, like a glue stick, and allow vivid colours to be transferred directly onto surfaces like canvas, wood, paper, card and even glass, drying within minutes of use. RRP £4.99 (6 pack) £7.99 (12 pack)

LittleLife Family and Mini First Aid Kits According to St John’s Ambulance, up to 140,000 deaths each year could have been avoided if first aid had been administered. Designed specifically for family use, each of the LittleLife First Aid Kits incudes carefully chosen first aid components. In addition to antiseptic wipes, bandages, plasters and dressings, the kit includes essentials such as Sudocrem®, nappy bags, a forehead thermometer, ‘little star’ stickers for brave patients and a primary care leaflet offering advice on delivering basic first aid. RRP £14.99 for mini kit or £19.99 for family kit.

Baby X by Rebecca Ann Smith Alex Mansfield, the doctor leading a groundbreaking project to grow a human foetus in an artificial uterus, has gone on the run, taking the newborn baby with her. While the child’s parents wait anxiously for news, and the world’s media clamour for answers, Alex’s colleagues question her recent behaviour and begin to take action. An extremely thought-provoking tale about science and motherhood; raising issues that could arise if babies could be born outside of the human body. RRP £8.99 published by Mother’s Milk Books

North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017


Education Top tips for parents:

What to do if your child is being bullied To mark Children’s Mental Health Week last month, school nursing expert Trudy Cowan at the University of Derby, discussed the impact bullying has on young people and how it can be tackled.


t’s simple… with good mental health, children and young people do better in every way. They are happier in their families, find it easier to learn, do better at school, fulfil their potential and enjoy friendships and new experiences. Good mental health is as important as good physical health and needs to be everyone’s business. To have good mental health, children need love, security and understanding from


North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017

those who look after them. However, it’s not easy for children and young people to grow up in today’s complex world. They face pressures from family, friends, school, technology and changing values. Poor mental health can be triggered by many circumstances: separation, bereavement, disability, illness and bullying. The effects of bullying are often underestimated. They can leave children and young people feeling frightened and isolated with no voice.

“Good mental health is as important as good physical health and needs to be everyone’s business”

Education Facts: • It is estimated that more than 850,000 children and young people in the UK have been diagnosed with a mental health condition

Top tips for parents on what to do if your child is being bullied

• Three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem

1. Listen to your child

• One in five children will experience a mental health difficulty at least once during their first 11 year • Around one in 12 children and young people deliberately self-harm • One third of children are bullied at least once, leading to problems with selfesteem and anxiety. • Bullying is when one person intimidates, upsets or excludes another with the intention of being hurtful.

Bullying can take many forms:

It’s very important that you listen to your child and support them without offering opinions or judgement. You may experience your own feelings of fear, anger and sympathy. Harness these and be led by how your child (dependent upon age and severity of the bullying) wants this to be dealt with.

2. Tell the teacher If your child is being bullied at school, their teacher needs to be informed. All schools have to have a policy on bullying behaviour and many offer forms of support such as counsellors, mentors and listeners.

3. Ask your child’s school to take steps to address the bullies’ behaviour and protect your child

• It can include name calling, saying untrue things about the person

Schools have a responsibility to make it clear that everyone should be respected and children and young people have a right not to be bullied. Schools should have an ethos for children that it is not wrong to “tell”.

• It can be physical, hitting, kicking and can include serious physical violence

4. Seek external help

• Some bullies use their mobile phones to hurt others, by sending texts, filming or taking photos of the person they are bullying • Cyber-bullying is on the internet, using email, instant messaging or social networking sites to intimidate, expose or spread rumours about others • Children who are bullied often feel they deserve it. They feel isolated and anxious, which can lead to depression, poor selfesteem, self-harm and eating problems. Once experiencing this, children and young people often feel stigmatised.

Use the internet, visit a library, speak to other parents and contact bullying charities, such as Bullying UK or, to gain as much advice and help as possible.

Cyber-bullying Outside of school, cyber-bullying is on the increase and most young people will experience it or see it at some time. In a recent national bullying survey, 56% of young people said they have seen others be bullied online and 42% have felt unsafe online. Cyber bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it can go viral very fast Children’s mental health is so important and we should be doing everything we can for our children and young people to ensure they thrive in every way.

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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 17 Jun, 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

Bales College Kensal Town W10 Boys and Girls 11+

Open Day: By appointment 020 8960 5899 to register

Buxlow Preparatory and Nursery School Wembley HA9 7QJ Boys and Girls 0 - 11yrs (Day)

Open Morning: Thu 9 Mar, Thu 27 Apr & Thu 15 Jun, 6-8pm; Fri 10 Mar, Fri 28 Apr & Fri 16 Jun, 9.30am-12.30pm; Sat 11 Mar, Sat 29 Apr & Sat 17 Jun, 9-11am. 020 89043615

Buckingham College Preparatory School Pinner HA5 Boys School 4-11 years

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8866 2737.

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

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8266 1700

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

Open Day: Jun Sch - Fri 23 Jun, 9.15am. 020 8266 2302 email

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

Open Day: Tue 7 Mar, Tue 2 May, Tue 13 Jun – 9.15 & 10.15am. 01923 681103

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

Open Day: Tue 9 May, 5-7pm, Sat 23 Sep, 9.30am-12.30pm. 020 8515 9400

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

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8381 3344

Mariposa Primary School (opening Sept 2018) Harrow HA1 Boys and Girls 4-11 yrs

Open Day: By appointment.

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

Open Day: Thu 15 Jun, 9.30-11am (Nursery & Rcptn) Sat 7 Oct, 9.45am-12pm (Y1-Y8) 01923 825648 (Prep) 01923 845514 (Senior)

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

Open Day: By appointment. Jun Sch 020 8952 1276, Sen Sch 020 8951 6481/6468.

Northwood College Northwood HA6. Girls 3-18 yrs.

Open Day: Wed 1 Mar, Tue 27 Jun, 9.30-11am (Sen Sch). Tue 2 May, 9.30-11am (nursery & rcptn) Sat 7 Oct, 9.30am-1.30pm (Whole School) 01923 825446.

Call us to arrange an individual appointment


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

Open Day: Sat 13 May, 10am. 020 8869 7634/7600

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

Open Day: By appointment. 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 3-7yrs.

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: By appointment. 01923 725354

Saint Jérôme CofE Bilingual School Harrow HA1 Boys and Girls 4-11 yrs

Open Day: By appointment. 020 7932 1178

Stanborough School Watford WD25 Boys and Girls 4-18yrs. Boarding/Day.

Open Day: By appointment 01923 673268

St Christopher’s School, Wembley HA9 8HE Boys & Girls 4 – 11 years (day)

Open Day: Fri 28 Apr, 10am-12pm. 020 8902 5069

St John’s CofE Primary School (opening Sept 2016) Watford WD17 Boys and Girls 4-11 yrs

Open Day: By appointment. 01923 255 017

St Helen’s School Northwood HA6. Girls, 3-18 yrs. www.sthelens. london

Open Day: Wed 14 Jun, 9.30am-12pm (whole sch) 01923 843230

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

Open Day: Fri 19 May. 0208 950 1751

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

Open Day: Wed 24 May, 9.15am. 020 8866 0067

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

Open Day: By appointment 020 8901 0872

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

Open Day: Fri 3 Mar, 10am-12pm. 01923 825 740

St Nicholas Prep School and Nursery, Kingsbury NW9 8PN 3mths – 11 yrs.;

Open Day: 020 8205 7153

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

Open Day: Sat 11 Mar, Sat 13 May, all 9.30am-12pm. 01923 772 395

North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017




11+ Mock Exams As with most decisions, there are some basic questions parents should consider before entering their child for a mock exam. Here, JK Educate provide some answers:

 Are mock exams right for your child? Children should only sit a mock exam if they are prepared enough to enjoy a reasonable result at that point in time. A negative mock exam experience for an under-prepared child could demoralise them, when in fact they could still have plenty of time to get ready for the real exams. Parents should approach mock exams with caution and be clear as to why they are putting their child in for them. If you feel your child still has a lot of preparation to do and this will be done closer to the actual exams, it might be better to avoid a full mock exam. You could perhaps give your child experience of doing timed multiple choice papers by using an online service. However, if your child has been preparing steadily for the 11+, a successful mock exam can give them a valuable confidence boost for the final preparations.

 How can mock exams help? The 11+ entrance exams are often a child’s first experience of formal exams, so providing practice on a real paper in real conditions can go a long way to allay a child’s anxiety before the real thing. There are major benefits to learning to pace themselves through the paper and coping with the exam conditions. Receiving quality feedback through detailed results can also be very valuable. A mock exam shouldn’t be used to see if they’re ready; it should only be used for practising the various areas of strengths and weakness. The results will give an indicator of how much work is still needed, but shouldn’t be used to judge if a child is ready or not, because they may not be truly ready until the actual exams begin. So much depends on when they started preparing, which schools they are targeting and what the entry levels are.

 How can you choose the right exam for your child? A mock exam needs to be relevant to the exams set by the senior schools being applied for. This should ensure it will form a meaningful part of the learning and revision process. Find out whether the mock exam results will provide specific information on named strengths and weaknesses, with recommendations for continued learning and revision. Choose


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“Parents should approach mock exams with caution and be clear as to why they are putting their child in for them.” an exam provider that provides detailed results with enough information for the child’s teacher, tutor or parent to revise insecure concepts and teach new concepts that are still to be learned. Ensure that the mock exam you choose provides a similar experience to the real exams the child will be sitting, with a similar exam environment and rules. There are various types of mock exams available. Large pop-up exam centres, mock exams tailored to specific exam types (such as those offered by JK Educate), or online testing. Do your research and shop around to find the right one for your child and your budget. Don’t be tempted to make snap decisions about which exams to book, and remember to give scaremongering and school gate gossip a definite miss! Good luck! JK Educate specialises in bespoke support for children’s learning, with schools advice, child assessments, specialist subject tutoring, and entrance exam preparation including mock exams. Contact them on 020 3488 0754 or via

Expand your Vocabulary with Families and Farquhar’s Vocabulary Flash Cards ambiguous adj – having more than one meaning; unclear Synonyms: unclear; confusing, cryptic, dubious, enigmatic, equivocal, inconclusive, indefinite, obscure, uncertain, vague. unequivocal adj – having only one possible meaning; clear Synonyms: clear; absolute, categorical, definite, explicit, incontrovertible, indisputable, unambiguous.


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How to make the most of

parents’ evening


arents’ evenings - one of the most important events in parents’ lives - where they sit down with those people who know their children almost as well as they do - and find out how they’re doing at school. But, with only ten minutes or so to formally review all those hours of learning how can you possibly fit it all in? And how do you remember everything you’ve talked about when you get home later that evening? Carey Ann Dodah, Director of Curriculum Strategy at tuition provider, Explore Learning, has some top tips on how to maximise your allotted time. Carey says: “Parents’ events are such precious moments where you want to understand everything, cherish all the positive bits while helping your children learn from constructive feedback. Remember, your child’s teacher will always be available throughout the year to discuss any concerns or questions you have - you just have to ask and they will guide you. They may direct you to some information evenings coming up, guidance on the school’s website or book a slot in with you at a mutually suitable time. If you have a long list of questions you want to ask; parents’ evening may not be the best time.”

1. Come to parents’ evening with no more than three questions Do come with some set questions. Sometimes parents’ evening creeps up on us and we find ourselves sitting blankly in front of the teacher not sure what to ask and you know that half an hour later you’ll be kicking yourself for not discussing that important thing! So it’s a good idea to do a little preparation.

2. Chat to your child about school and their goals before parents’ evening Your child can give you the best insight into what’s happening in the classroom. Is there anything that they are concerned about? What are they really enjoying? What do they think their next goals are? Make some notes on what your child said. It’s really nice to see

if these align with the feedback from the teacher and there may be areas that you can fill each other in on.

3. Look for evidence of progress Progress is measured in different ways across schools now, following recent curriculum changes and so the way your school is demonstrating progress may have changed. Ask about this if it is not clear and find out what the next steps are for your child to reach the next targets.

4. Look through your child’s workbooks The best way to see evidence of progress is to look through your children’s books and compare work from the beginning of term to now. Read the teacher’s comments and see if there are any themes e.g. are they often running out of time, are there areas that they clearly don’t understand. Note down anything you want to look at with your child at home. If you don’t have time on the evening ask to take the books home overnight so you can review them properly.

5. Remember your child’s teacher is on your team It can be really hard to receive bad feedback and your child’s teacher will not enjoy giving it. They really do want the best for your child just as you do. If they have mentioned problems with behaviour or concentration, for example, try to see this as a positive opportunity to make a change with your child with another person who’s sharing your child’s upbringing with you. A parent/teacher combined approach can be such a powerful way to make a change that could be great for everyone. Explore Learning has 124 centres across the UK, providing maths and English tuition for children aged 4 to 14. Call 030 3003 4006 to book a free trial or visit to find your nearest centre.

Tell them you saw it in



North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017


When should you leave your child home alone?


ver the past few years there has been huge debate around when children should be left home alone. Knowing when your growing child is responsible enough to be left alone, even for a short time, can be difficult and there is no law that governs when this might be appropriate. For parents, in the absence of any hard and fast rules, knowing when it’s the right time to allow your children more responsibility can be tricky.

What the law says The Government’s advice is to follow NSPCC guidelines, although you are advised never to leave your child alone when they are ‘at risk’ and you may be prosecuted for neglect if you leave an unsupervised child ‘in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health.’ The NSPCC guidelines state that babies, toddlers and young children should never, under any circumstances, be left alone and that children under the age of 12 are rarely mature enough to cope with an emergency. Therefore they should not be left alone in the house for any length of time. Children under 16 should not be left alone overnight.

Leaving a child alone in the car

to know how they might cope. By having these conversations, you can work towards a plan of action if you do need to leave your child in the house alone.

Make a checklist If you and your child decide that they’re responsible enough to be left home alone, perhaps after school while you’re still at work, then work together on a checklist that covers both your concerns. • Double check that they’re happy to be left alone: it may be that they’d feel happier if a neighbour looked in on them from time to time. • Set some ground rules: your child may be as worried as you are about the responsibility of being left in charge. • Agree what’s safe and not safe to do: you might be happy for them to visit a friend or have a friend to visit. • Be clear that mentioning you’re home alone on social media is not a cool idea. • Let them know when you’ll be home: leave a number where you can be contacted, and let them know you’ll inform them if you’re delayed in any way. • Check in every now and again: give them a call to check that they’re OK.

Children should never be left alone in the car. Stranger danger is an ever present issue for young children - however well you teach them, young children can act quite differently when something tempting is apparently on offer. Leaving a toddler in the car runs the risk of them wandering off into traffic or a busy car park. And no child is safe from the risk of another car crashing into yours, even when your car is stationary.

Knowing when the right time to leave your child alone is never easy, but through planning and good communication you can both enjoy peace of mind.

Leaving your child home alone

For more information about keeping your child safe visit:

This is far trickier to navigate as growing children begin to want their independence from their parents. The important thing to remember, in the absence of a clear legal framework, is your child’s wishes. If they simply can’t cope with being left alone then you’ll need to make other arrangements. But when they reach the age of 12, you could experiment with leaving them for a short amount of time. If you do, make sure you’ve thoroughly discussed the kind of behaviour you expect from them - like not boiling a kettle - and that they know exactly what to do if there’s a problem. Take your mobile and make sure they have the number, plus a list of trusted adults to contact if they can’t reach you. If you have more than one child, make sure they’re engaged in a calm activity, like watching TV or doing homework so squabbles and problems are less likely to occur.

• Put potentially dangerous objects out of harm’s way before you leave.

Are they ready to be in charge? Some children actively enjoy showing how grown up they are, but it’s wise to run through a few scenarios to reassure yourself how they might genuinely cope in an emergency. Try asking them what they’d do in a power cut, or if the bathroom flooded. What if they’re hungry or a stranger knocks at the door? Have the conversations for a few minutes at a time, to try and gauge how they’d react. Remember, you don’t have to leave them alone at home if you don’t want to, but sometimes the situation is unavoidable so you’ll need

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We love this feature!

It is always so much fun to plan and hold a birthday party for children! We’ve listed everyone and everything you need to know in our local area to help you create a wonderful special day for your ‘someone special’…

Y Party Entertainers/Planners/ Activities

dropping bubble performances to enchant children of all ages in a world of interactive adventure. captaincalamitychildrensentertainer The Captain Calamity Adventures YouTube Channel: UCTfKI1CjzpsoAGR5TCrIpwA

Adam Ants – offers high energy parties. Adam Ants and his talented team make sure their parties are non-stop fun. With something for all ages: magic, balloon modelling, puppets, music, dancing, games and face painting. They also offer amazing disco/sports parties or the ever popular Build a Bear party. You can hire tables and chairs/bouncy castles/soft play and ball ponds. Why not invite your favourite character to the party, from Mickey Mouse to Peppa Pig and many more. “Just wanted to say a massive Thank You for today! It was such an amazing party and Kitty had the best time ever!!!” - Sarah 0208 959 1045 / 07969 121 094

BeatBuilding Percussion Party - Whether you are organising a birthday party, family gathering or just a get together, beatbuilding can run a party percussion workshop as part of your event for a fun filled experience that will leave you and your guests smiling and feeling energised. Games and activities using drums and percussion from around the world that culminates in a unique performance at the end of the workshop - lots of fun for everyone! 07721 623171

Captain Calamity - The scene is set for fun and laughter! Dov Citron (a.k.a. Captain Calamity!) utilises marvellous magic, interactive story telling, call-and-response games, crazy clowning, sensational science, incredible balloon twisting, hilarious puppetry, action-dances and jaw


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Cheeky Chops Cookery Parties Themed parties from the comfort of your own kitchen: Italian, Mexican, Baking, Sushi, Tea Parties and more! In North London, Herts and surrounding areas. All equipment provided, only quality ingredients. Birthday cakes and cookery-themed going home presents available on request for a small extra cost. Fully trained DBS cleared chefs with 15 years experience and collaboration with local schools. 07968 960 551 Craft Tub – Creative parties where they bring the magic to your door! Craft Parties include over 20 crafting options, where all items are supplied with a huge choice of decorative goodies to stick or paint. Maximum of 2 options per party. Pottery Painting - choose from a huge selection of pottery to enjoy painting with your group, in your chosen venue. We will drop off and collect your figures after your event, as these items need firing. The website price includes the item, paints and firing. Instructions are offered on the day plus a member of staff if you order over 10 items! Creative Fun Factory Toddler Parties (13 mths - 4 yrs) - These parties are run like their Toddler Fun & Music classes. They can entertain up to 30 children for one hour and supply two hosts. Cheeky Monkey is included too! Harrow/Pinner 0208 427 9797 Enjoy-a-Ball parties are for super-active 4 - 9 year olds. They are full of high energy games loved by boys and girls alike! 08452 26 26 94


Captain Calamity

Mini Picassos - offer exciting art courses, holiday workshops and birthday parties for children aged from 2-13yrs. Using the work of artists as inspiration, your child will experiment with a wide range of media including acrylics on canvas, drawing with charcoal, sculpting in wire & plaster & much more. They also run art classes for adults: Life drawing, Drawing & Painting sessions 07903 638817, Monkey Music – tailor-made musical parties with singing, dancing, playing instruments as well as colourful and sensory props - especially designed for 1 - 4 year olds. 020 8427 6595

Froggle Parties are high energy and non-stop fun, providing children with exceptional party entertainment that they’ll be buzzing about for weeks to come. 08450 504 509

Mother Nature Science - Exciting science-themed parties combining the ideas of “playing” and “learning”. Can be presented outdoors, indoor at home, or wherever you choose. Each Mother Nature Science party features an impressive array of spectacular topical demonstrations and interactive activities, and children leave the party with fun and educational take-home experiments. 020 8863 8832, continued on page 18 v

Futunity UK - offer a variety of party packages for children ages 4-16years. If you are looking for an action packed party full of dance routines, gymnastics, games and a mini disco Call on 01895 251224. Kiddikicks Birthday Parties - bounced on a castle, done clowns? Need a great active kids party? Then book a Kiddikicks football, sports day or multi-sport party that packs in the fun. High energy, high quality sports fun for 1 to 2 hours. 10 to 25 children per group. 020 7937 7965 Kool Kidz – have been entertaining children since 2002, and can make your children’s parties perfect and flow with ease from start to finish. They offer many different types of parties, including Disco, Dart Tag as well as traditional and themed parties eg; Princesses, Pirates or Superheroes! 01582 723449 LEGO®DAY parties give children the opportunity to build and play with their own working model using the e2 Young Engineers Kits. Choose from a range of models, including, cars, theme park rides, robots or helicopters. Fun and creativity guaranteed! Suitable for ages 6 to 12 years. 07565 195895 / 0203 539 2956 or email: nikhit@young-engineers. Little Kickers – in Watford and Northwood. Celebrate your child’s birthday with Little Kickers! It’s fantastic fun; it’s healthy too, and they guarantee every child leaves with a huge smile and a shiny medal. Take to the side-lines while the qualified football coaches ensure your child and their friends enjoy a party to remember! 0208 123 9346 Luchi & Ota - Let’s try something different; exciting, fun and most importantly, creatively useful. Sewing Parties, Tie-Dye Parties, T-Shirt designing, Glitter Shoe designing, Top hat decorating party, Bag making, Fabric Necklace Design, Masks Making Party, Jeans Design Party. 0208 958 7714

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PA R T I E S Windmill - Pop Experience v continued from page 17

Perform Parties for 4-7 year olds are high energy, fun and totally infectious - kids just can’t resist joining in. Based around a colourful theme, Perform’s enthusiastic and energetic party leaders use a magical mix of songs, games and laughter guaranteed to make sure every child shines. T: 020 7255 9120 A Rugbytots Party is a fantastically fun-filled way to celebrate your child’s birthday, starting school or any other special event. Distinctive and dynamic and whether your child already attends our classes or not, at a Rugbytots Party they’ll be sure to have a ball! 0845 313 0399/07896 256099 www. Silly Millie the Clown - parties for 3 - 9 year olds. Funny magic show, puppet’s, party games, silly songs & balloon animals. 020 7823 8329 or 07939 239 397 Takayo – can make a party truly unique and inspiring, with a Japanesethemed celebration that everyone is sure to love. Kimono makeover parties are absolutely perfect for girls aged 5 years and above. Discover more at 07862 874583.

Arc House, Harrow - Arc House performance space is designed to offer a flexible, multi-use facility and includes the Lounge@ Arc House café. It holds a performance area and an outdoor amphitheatre. The 49m2 indoor performance space is fully fitted with AV and PA equipment and is available for hire. For all bookings and requests for information, contact

Totally Pamper Me - Classy ‘child friendly’ Pamper & Photography parties to your doorstep. Qualified, DBS cleared hosts will convert your living room into a chic spa. We provide all the equipment, full spa attire, treatments and lots of glitter fun! Ending with photography backdrops and photo-booth props. or call 08000 807 976.

Cinnamon Square Rickmansworth - hosts unique hands-on baking parties in its scientific baking laboratory ‘The Makery.’ The children make bread, pizza, cookies and their own birthday cake and carry out some fun experiments. The parties are suitable for 5 years and up and can accommodate 10-15 children. Cupcake and Chocolate Making parties available for children aged 9+. 01923 778353

Y Party Venues/Parties onsite

Gambado Watford Gambado offers children the chance to play, learn, explore and party in Watford’s most exciting indoor soft play & adventure centre. Gambado parties are fun for all & hassle-free for parents. Gambado have party packages to suit everyone. Check them out here

Abbots Parties @ Breakspeare - offering great inflatable and trampoline parties. The Sport Centre is set in the heart of Abbots Langley village making it accessible from the M1 and M25. It offers clean modern playrooms and facilities. The venue is large enough to host over 30 children and their parents with ample parking. The parties offer a soft play room for the under 5’s, 3 new inflatables to include a 20’ square Inflated Urban Skate Park with an 8’ platform slide for 2 years plus, plus Rural Mega Slide Multi Play with a 12’ platform slide for the 5 – 14 year olds, and an Urban 2 lane Bungee Run! 07703 532 812



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Hertsmere Leisure Centre Offering a wide range of affordable parties including – inflatable pool parties, bouncy castle and play, and football. Invites included and catering options available. WD19; WD23 and WD3 locations! Partyman World of Play Wembley - From Teddy Tastic parties to Art & Crafts there is something fun for everyone here.


Windmill - JAM-Frozen Party

Rumble-Tumble Harrow - take the hassle out of organising birthday parties, we will do it all for you, from party invites to entertainment to food and even the cake! We offer a range of packages to suit all budgets as well as the option of hiring out our venue. All you have to do is turn up with your child and guests and we will take care of the rest! 020 8427 8847 Stagecoach Parties - are packed full of fun, lively party entertainment including dramatic games, fabulous songs and fun for everyone! There are themed parties for children aged 4 - 10 and Murder Mysteries for 10-16 years. Their parties provide a way to remove the stress from what should be a day of celebration for everyone, and allow you to sit back, relax and let them do all the work! Available in Stanmore & Harrow Weald, Northwood and Sudbury Hill & Wembley North The Windmill Studio Centre (HA4) - based in Ruislip Manor is a hub of the community, hosting many exciting activities for adults and kids alike including Children’s Parties with a range of themes e.g. Frozen, Super Heroes, Pirates and Glitzy Glamour Catwalk. Also Pop Video Parties for 7+ to adults including hen parties! See advert on page 17. 01895 624755,

Wildchild Outdoor Adventure Parties (various) Wildchild Outdoor Adventure Birthday parties introduce children to fantastic new indoor and outdoor activities, giving them the opportunity to get outdoors, relish new challenges, stretch imaginations, and above all have FUN! Whether your kids would love to head into the woods for a Dinosaur Hunt, share a top secret Spy Assignment, thwart Pirates, try Archery, Climbing, Abseiling, Fencing or even Skateboarding, Wildchild’s definitely got it covered. 0845 3717099 Willows Farm Birthdays They provide all the fun and take away all the fuss in organising your child’s birthday party, with everything from party invites to party bags and balloons included in the price. They are now also offering a Peter Rabbit Party Package. 01727 829535

Find even more local listings and activities online

To advertise YOUR BUSINESS with us, call: 01923 237 004 email: Editor@ FamiliesNWLondon.

North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017


Easter and Summer Camps

Believe it or not…


the Easter and Summer holidays are on their way!

Whether planning for childcare to cover your working hours, or just some variety for your kids to fill the long Easter and Summer breaks – we’ve compiled for you a listing of some of the best residential and day camp and activity options for you to consider – but don’t think about it too long – some of these will book up long before the holidays start!



AIGAS - various dates. Wildlife Holidays & Courses in the Highlands. Offering fully inclusive, small-group learning holidays and study courses exploring the stunning wildlife, habitats and landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. 01463 782 443 www.

Aqua Vie – 5 days consecutive swimming lessons in Bushey. 01923 245773

ATE Superweeks are 7 day residential holidays running Sat 8th – Sat 15th Apr. The Council makes sure that keeping children safe, both physically and emotionally, is ATE’s top priority. Ages 8-16 yrs. 0845 456 1205 Camp Wild 24th July – 11th August in glorious East Devon. They will be running residential camps for 7-12 yr olds and day camps for 6-12 yr olds (recommended day camp length of 1-3 days, either M-W or W-F). 01404 822 188 www. Marlborough College 9th July- 5th August in Wiltshire SN8 1PA. Marlborough College Summer School continues to welcome young people (3-16yrs) to their action-packed week of activities and entertainment either as residents with their families, or as day students on their own or in a group. 01672 892388 www. Mill on the Brue Outdoor Activity Centre Somerset. 9th July – 19th August. Family run and owned since 1982. Maximum 70 residential kids. 25 acres fields, woods, river; over 40 exciting, challenging activities. Trained, experienced, fun staff. Residential/day camps. Small groups/same age.. 8–15. Delicious meals. Rail escort from Paddington 01749 812307 Xplore Activity Camps – Summer Activity Residential and day Camps! Offers the choice of going to camp for a day, week or even for your whole summer holiday! There is always a mix of activities so whether you are super outdoorsy or prefer to be more creative there will be something for you. Xplore is Ofsted registered, accepts childcare vouchers and have centres all over the UK 01449 742700 www. XUK Activity Summer Camp – 9th July – 19th August. XUK is a multi-activity summer camp based in the beautiful location of the Norfolk countryside, just 1.5 hours north of London. Activities include adventure (rock climbing/ rifle shooting/quad bikes/high rope courses/ water zorbing) sports, water sports, drama, dance, arts and crafts, cookery and much more! Children join them for anywhere between 1 and 6 weeks. They welcome 6-17 year olds. 020 8371 9686 residential-camp/


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Art and Craft Summer Camp with My Sisters and Me Do you have children with an arty streak? Are you looking for something to keep them entertained in the long summer holidays? Then book them into the Summer Camp at Harrow Arts Centre where a different theme will be introduced every day. The classes are from 9.30am-3pm, for ages 5-11 years from Monday 24th July - Friday 28th July. 201707946 055 422 Aspire Offer Ofsted-registered activity camps during the school breaks. Camps are great for 5 - 14 year olds and are run by experienced staff. 020 8420 6725, Barracudas Activity Day Camps operate during the Easter & summer holidays at Watford Grammar School for Boys. Spending the holidays with them means children get to: develop new skills, make new friends, try new activities and most of all have FUN!!! With over 80+ activities including: motorsports, archery, fencing, clay model making, dance and drama there is plenty of activities to keep children entertained. Easter Camp Mon 3rd until Thu 13th Apr. 0845 123 5299 BrightStars Learning Summer School is a two week English and arithmetic programme aimed at 4 - 11 year olds and based in Edgware, Middx. Classes include preparing children for Reception and the 11+ exams. The enthusiastic and experienced team of teachers look forward to making this an enjoyable and beneficial experience for your child. For further information please contact Reena Damani on 07538656810 - Champs Learning Starting from 7th August 2017 a successful tuition for English,Maths, Science and 11 Plus (Grammar School Entrance) exams, is organizing amost successful Summer School for Key Stage 1and 2 for Numeracy/ Literacysubjects and 11 plus aspirants at Harrow College, Harrow on the hill. Call 0203004 9007 for details. Cooking Camp Creativz Kids cooking camp and workshops in school holidays. Fun and creative introduction to cooking, baking and chocolate making. Based in North West London, camp days run from 10am to 3pm. 02089586628 or facebook Cooking Camp Creativz

Eggless Cake Delights Kids 3 day hands on Eggless Baking Course for keen young bakers aged 9 - 16 years old who would love to learn how to make eggless cakes, cupcakes etc!! Classes are held in small groups in a friendly environment and all equipment will be provided. 07737847405/07590337823 Explore Learning – Offer Maths and English tuition sessions for 5-14 year olds throughout the school holidays. 01895 636378 www. Fit For Sport delivering OFSTED registered Activity Camps for children aged between 3 – 12 years old, for over 20 years. Camps are a great way for your child to keep active, have fun, make new friends and take part in a wide range of sports and activities. Activity camps are delivered every school holiday by Fit for Sport, the UK’s Leading Healthy Lifestyle Activities Provider! 0845 456 3233 or www. Fleet Tutors – Run 5-day or 3-day small group preparation courses for 11+ or 13+ entrance exams. These are run by highly successful school entrance exam tutors and focus on Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and NonVerbal Reasoning during the week, with students sitting mock exam papers. 0845 644 5452 Future Stars Easter West End Academy 2017 – From Mon 3rd until Fri 7th Apr at Stanmore College. A fun filled week of Dance, Drama and Singing. Including Musical Theatre, Street Dance and Pop Singing! Suitable for 4-16 years 07912 538656 Gymboree Watford Summer camps for 2.5 - 5 year olds. 2 hour activities include sports & fitness, theatre arts workshops and pre-school classes. Available Monday to Saturday. Must be pre-booked. Contact watford@gymboree-uk. com, 01923 250440, watford Harrow Arts Centre – Amazing Animation Easter Workshop from Monday 3 - Friday 7 April. Learn how to create your own fantastic animated film, working with a professional animator! At the end of the week your film will be screened for friends and family. For ages 7-11 years. 020 3773 7161 Harrow Woodcraft Folk Fun & freedom in the countryside, at their weekend camps all summer, for all the family. Camp craft such as putting up tents & fire lighting; group games in the fields and woods; exploring nature; arts and crafts and campfire songs & stories. Call 0208 428 2409

Easter and Summer Camps Hertsmere’s Summer Fun Play Schemes Hertsmere Leisure will be running Play Schemes at their centres.

around constructive play, arts and crafts, outdoor play and swimming. 020 8420 2300

Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre (HOAC) Sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking and Land activities for 8-18 yr olds.01895 824 171 www.

King’s Camps the UK’s leading provider of sport and activity camps for 4-17 year olds during the holidays. Offering week long packages and FlexiCare; there’s something available for everyone.0114 263 2160 www.

Holidaytime Holiday Club – Offer a fun, active and safe time for all children aged between 3 and 13 years at Quainton Hall School in Harrow. Activities include swimming, arts and crafts, trips, sports coaching, cooking, parties, nature trails, games, and much more. 07903 126486 JK Educate 11+ Workshops in Maths and English for Y5 and Y6 children. A series of engaging 11+ workshop days to boost children’s motivation and confidence, teaching and practising many of the skills needed to successfully sit the 11+ exams. The next workshops will take place on Mon 3rd Apr, with Maths in the morning and English in the afternoon. To book a place for your child at one of their workshops or Mock Exam sessions, please call Nimita on 07957 464763 or email nimita@jkeducate. Full Workshop details available at: www. Jigsaw Summer Schools – designed to provide enjoyable and stimulating performing arts activities for students during the school holidays. The sessions are split into age groups of 3 to 5 years and 6 to 16 years. 020 8447 4530 Kids Can Achieve Run playschemes for children with additional needs. The playscheme is all about your child having fun through play and structured activities, and sessions are arranged

Leaders Are Readers – Their Summer School is attended by children from all over the world and early booking is advised. This year they are running from Monday 24th July to Friday 11th August, 2017 (3 weeks) at Bentley Wood High School, Stanmore; and Monday 31st July to Friday 18th August, 2017 (3 weeks) at Haydon School in Pinner. The aim is to cover a year’s essential work in 3 weeks, fill in learning gaps and prepare children on advanced topics so they can zoom ahead when they return to school in September. 01992 651300 www. Little Big Leaders - Get real results instantly in Reading, Maths or English for your child aged 3.5 to 11. Remarkable lessons during term time & 3 week premium Summer School at Rickmansworth, Bushey, Edgware. Call NOW 020 3637 6266 (24/7) Little Kickers Courses running throughout the summer. Football training for kids from 18 months to under 7 years. Ruislip, Northwood/ Oxhey, Pinner, South Harrow & Watford 0208 123 9346. Mill Hill, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, Golders Green, Muswell Hill, Friern Barnet jlevene@ 0208 201 1084. Bushey & Harrow HA3 0208 422 0676

Makes ‘n’ Bakes – Summer holiday baking classes for ages 2.5-6 years. Begins with a story, weighing out ingredients, baking a yummy creation then making a quality craft. Sessions last 1 hour with a maximum of 6 children per class. 07887 984401 Mini Minors Holiday Camp & Play Scheme Multi-activity holiday day camps for children aged 3-6 in Easter and Summer holidays. Based at Brookland School in Hampstead Garden Suburb from 3rd – 13th April. Activities include sports, arts and crafts, dance, drama, bouncy castle, yoga and much more! Ofsted registered and inspected as ‘Outstanding’! 020 8371 9686 day-camps/mini-minors-xuk-day Mini Picassos – Fab, fun and creative! Holiday workshops from 10-1pm weekdays for children aged from 4-11 years. Clay modelling, painting, plaster, charcoal cartoon Manga style drawing sessions. Scholarship classes available 07903 638817 Modern Combat Martial Arts offer a wide range of classes suited to all levels, ages and abilities throughout the holidays. Classes run in Hatch End, Harrow, Northolt, and Bushey. 07818 416 671

continued on page 22 v North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017


Easter and Summer Camps v continued from page 21

Monkey Music Their holiday workshops are a popular way to keep children entertained during the holidays. Unlike the regular classes where children are strictly grouped according to age, the holiday workshops cater for a mixed age group of children. Older siblings love joining in the fun and they also welcome friends and visitors. Book early to avoid disappointment. 0208 427 6595 www. Northwood Community Arts Group Summer Circus Skills 2017 for boys and girls aged 6-13 Mon 7th– Fri 11th Aug at St Johns Church, Hallowell Road, Northwood. A week full of safe and active fun including unicycling, stilt-walking, tight-wire balancing, ball walking, juggling and Diablo. 01628 675800 www. NumberWorks‘nWords Maths and English tuition classes which will target identified needs to improve achievement levels. Catering for all levels from 4 to 16 years old. Specialised programmes for 7+, 11+ and SATs. www. 0208 868 7672 eastcote@ Perform Tumble into Wonderland with Perform this Easter holiday. Alice in Wonderland holiday courses for 4-7s, Mon 10th – Wed 12th April, 10am -3pm daily. Perform’s friendly team of actors, singers and dancers will be with your child every step of the way as they enjoy a thrilling three-day singing, dancing and drama adventure. Things get ‘curiouser and curiouser’ thanks to tea with The Mad Hatter, a game of imaginary flamingo croquet, and an amusing chat with The Cheshire Cat. The course ends with a mini-musical, complete with costumes, for family and friends to enjoy. £225 (3 day), 25% discount for siblings and reductions for groups. 0207 255 9120 uk Push and Glide – Run 5 day crash courses during the holidays at Northwood College. These are suitable for ages 3-4 years and 4 years+. 07749 554405 Raviv Practice London - Prevent regression in the school holidays- Keep your child’s brain stimulated and improve academic performance during the holidays. Raviv Practice London offers three evidence-based computer programs that present the perfect compromise between play and work. One-to-one intervention scientifically proven to improve your child’s grades. Contact Usha Patel -Raviv Practice London- on 07766 837 616 Rose Hall Farm Offer a range of courses for junior riders, including Pony Day’s which are for one day and look at riding and stable management. They also offer 2, 3 or 4 day courses which cover show jumping or flatwork/ dressage, with riding in the morning and afternoon. They also include lectures on various aspects of show jumping or dressage and stable management. 01442 833269 www. ROS Stageworks An opportunity for young performers to take part in a specially adapted (junior) version of a well known musical, after a week of rehearsals and workshops. 07789 900048 Sharpe Academy of Theatre Arts From 14th26th August Sharpe Academy are running a Musical Theatre Summer School at Watersmeet in Rickmansworth with a theme of Beauty and the Beast. There is a session for 3-5 year olds daily at 10.30am-12.30pm, and for 6-21 year olds at 10am-4pm each day. 01923 711063 www.


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Jigsaw Stagecoach Summer Workshops performing arts holiday workshops for 4-6 year olds (half day) and 6-18 years (full day). Learn a show in a week, make friends, learn new skills working with industry professionals – with a costumed performance on the Friday to family and friends! holidayworkshops Stitch–London Spend up to 3 days in the Stitch Studio in Cuckoo Hill, Pinner, making! Suitable for boys and girls aged 8+. All fabrics and materials supplied. 0750 300 1024 Super Camps - Go down to Super Camps during the Easter Holidays for the best in holiday activities for children. Early Years crews for 4 to 5 year olds ensures learning and development within a fun environment. The 6 to 9 year old crews can take on new challenges such as The Avengers School of Archery, Super Camps Driving School and Motor Mania. The 10 to 12 year olds can come together in their very own common room as well as spend more time tackling activities in depth. Prices start from £38 per day. Locations include Bishop Ramsey School, HA4; North Bridge House Senior School Hampstead, NW3; Northwood College for Girls, HA6; The Beacon School, HP6; The Royal Masonic School for Girls, WD3. The Radlett Centre Five Day Musical Theatre Workshop. 8-16 years. Mon 3rd-Fri 7th Apr. Sing, dance and act at this very popular event! They do not ask for any previous experience, but as this is a performance of a very high standard, you must be prepared to work hard and take direction. 01923 857546 Type IT! – Fast track holiday courses suitable for boys and girls aged 10+ and other family members such as parents and grandparents. The course includes encouragement to develop good touch typing skills, 5x fun and engaging daily lessons and fun keyboard games away from the computer screen. The course consists of two 75 minute lessons daily with two activity breaks. 020 8864 0325 Watford Football Club Central Trust Football and Multi-sports Summer Camps at various local venues. 01923 496362

Watford Palace Theatre – Participation Summer School. A week of drama, fun and games where you can work with professional theatre directors to create a play in a week. 01923 810307 Wildchild – Hold Camps over the Easter and Summer holidays including Wild Animation, Wild Archery, Wild Survivor Bushcraft Day and Wild Wheels Skateboard School. Venues include Phasels Wood Activity Centre in Kings Langley and St Albans Girls School. Willows Activity Farm – Activity Day Camps every school holiday. Book the kids into Willows Activity Farm for holiday adventures they love! As well as all the fun of Willows Activity Farm, the children enjoy indoor play in their exclusive playrooms. Lunch and a two course hot meal plus all drinks and snacks are also included. Activities include farmyard animals, funfair rides, bouncy castles, The Big Dig - sand and water play, indoor play barn, treasure hunts and den building. With changing seasonal events there’s something new each school holiday. Willows Activity Day Camps are OFSTED registered. 01727 829535

The Windmill Studio Centre, based in Ruislip Manor. “MONSTER MASH” Magical Summer Holiday Fun Workshop 2017 for kids aged 4-9 runs 9.30am-12.30pm 31st July – 4th August amid the safe and clean surroundings of The Windmill Studio Centre, Pembroke Road, Ruislip Manor. Professionally run by DBS checked staff, the Workshop features a host of mad monster mash themed activities including creative arts, cold cooking, singing, dancing, acting and modelling with a special farewell fancy dress party and party lunch on the final day. Jimmy the JAMtots Bear will also be popping in and joining in the fun throughout the week. A morning snack and drink is included in the £80 price. Contact T: 01895 624755, E:


Easter crafts for the kids

Make this Easter even more fun for the kids with these simple to make Easter crafts; perfect for adults and children alike!

Easter bunny ears

Easter egg-bunny

Use this simple step by step guide to make a super cute Easter egg bunny with your little munchkins… • 1 hard-boiled egg • Yellow and white felt • PVA glue • Felt tip pens Step 1 Begin your craft by taking a freshly cooked and cooled hardboiled egg. Step 2 Cut shapes for the bunny’s feet and hands out of the yellow felt; then cut larger ear shapes out of yellow felt and smaller ones from the white. Step 3 Stick the felt feet onto the base of the egg, making sure the egg can stand upright on them. Step 4 Stick the white ears onto the yellow. Once they have dried a little, stick them on to the rear of where the face will be. Step 5 Finally, draw a rabbit’s face on the front of the egg with the pens and decorate with patterns as your child likes. You could even stick a cute little bow on the top of the eggs by their ears, if you’re feeling really creative!

Make sure your kids get into the Easter spirit with this simple to make homemade bunny ears. What you will need: • White cardboard • Scissors • Grey and pink paint • PVA glue • An Alice band Step 1 Get the kids to paint two sheets of white cardboard grey and then another two sheets pink. Step 2 Using child-safe scissors help them to cut out larger ear shapes from the grey cardboard and then slightly smaller ear shapes from the pink cardboard. Step 3 Using glue stick the smaller pink shapes onto the larger grey ears. Step 4 Finally, attach the shapes to the Alice band with the glue and leave to dry. For more arts and craft ideas visit:

WHERE THE EASTER BUNNY COMES FROM and other Easter traditions By Allison Thomas

• Easter was originally a pagan festival – the ancient Saxons celebrated spring with a party in honour of its goddess, Eastre. • The date of Easter changes every year because of Roman emperor’s Constantine’s Easter rule, which stated that it should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. This was because it was a day of maximum light (12 hours of day-light and 12 hours of moonlight). • The Easter bunny also originated with the pagan festival of Eastre, as she was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit. • The first documented use of the bunny as a symbol of Easter appears in Germany in the 1500s, and it was the Germans who made the first edible Easter bunnies in the 1800s.

• Some believe hot cross buns predate Christianity, as buns decorated with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eastre, with the cross symbolizing the four quarters of the moon. • According to English folklore, buns can be kept for medicinal purposes – if you give a piece to someone ill, it will help them get better. • Eggs are a symbol of rebirth in most cultures and had already been given as springtime gifts before Easter was first celebrated by Christians. • Eggs are coloured brightly to symbolise the sunlight of spring. • Medieval records note that eggs were often given as Easter gifts to servants by their mas-ters. • The most ornate Easter eggs are probably the jewelled and enamelled eggs that Fabergé made for the Russian tsars.

North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017


What’s On

Compiled by Anna Blackshaw

What’s On in Children’s Theatre

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

The Alban Arena Civic Centre, St Albans 01727 844488 Sat 4 Mar – So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs?! Go and test your knowledge against Ben Garrod (the TV scientist in ‘Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur‘). With the help of TV film footage and photos of his own palaeontological dinosaur digs, he will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs – and more. This is an interactive show where children will be given the chance to ask questions and show off their dinosaur knowledge to the audience. Thu 9 - Sat 11 Mar - Annie Rare Productions Youth Theatre Group bring this classic musical to St Albans. Deserted in an orphanage run by the wicked Miss Hannigan, Annie escapes to an easier life outside during the Great Depression where tomorrow is always brighter because of hope – and a certain stray dog, Sandy, who tags along for the fun. Wed 22 – Thu 23 Mar - The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show Eric Carle’s timeless classic makes its way off the page and onto the stage. Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, this critically acclaimed production features a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets, faithfully adapting four of Eric Carle’s stories. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Wed 5 Apr - Naomi’s Wild & Scary Children’s TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson comes to The Alban Arena in the Spring. The show will be packed full of fun and surprises as Naomi is joined on stage by ‘Animal Mark’, and some of his scariest creatures. Join Naomi as she recalls some of her most exciting wildlife experiences from the far flung corners of the world and even introduces the audience to some of the most fierce and frightening animals she met along the way! Ages 5+ Fri 7 Apr - Champions Of Magic Direct from a hit season in London’s West End, the world-class illusionists that make up the Champions Of Magic team return for a spectacular night of mystery that’ll keep you guessing for a long time to come. Witness the


impossible, including disappearances, teleportation and a heart stopping finale that sees one performer walk through the spinning steel blades of a giant industrial fan, all presented with lighting and pyrotechnics to rival the biggest arena productions. Mon 10 Apr - Dick & Dom Live! The legends of Children’s TV, Dick and Dom are about to be unleashed on a theatre near you! Touring the UK in a show that promises to get the whole family on their feet, the performance will be full of madcap challenges and audience participation games that will guarantee to have you in stitches. Wed 12 Apr - Robin Hood Anton Benson Productions are proud to bring the fun and frolics of panto to Sherwood Forest as Robin Hood and his Merry Men battle to outwit the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham. Will Robin seize the day and win the hand of his fair Maid Marion? All will be revealed in a another laugh a minute, all-singing, all-dancing roller coaster ride through pantoland! Sat 22 Apr - Cinderella Vienna Festival Ballet is proud to present the classic tale of Cinderella. A mistreated young girl, a glass slipper, two comical ugly step-sisters and a handsome prince combine to make the perfect piece of story-telling. Vienna Festival Ballet’s production of Cinderella is based on the traditional story, the ballet will surely touch and reach out to everyone’s heart, with its combination of pure classical dancing and a touch of pantomime. The music contains a collection of Rossini’s most famous operatic achievements and has been especially arranged for Vienna Festival Ballet.

artsdepot 5 Nether Street, North Finchley, N12 020 8369 5454 Sun 5 Mar - Chester Tuffnut Chester Tuffnut isn’t your ordinary treemole – in fact he is one of a kind! Chester likes wearing jumpers and sitting in his armchair, but most of all he loves adventure! The curious creatures in Woodland have gone so long without excitement, they’ve forgotten how to have fun. Luckily, Chester is on hand to bring happiness and laughter back to his new Woodland friends. Told with

North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017

puppets, original music and imaginative antics, this show is full of humour, thrills, spills, near misses and great escapes. This is a story about discovering new places and making friends, while encouraging everyone to have at least one adventure a day. Ages 2-5 yrs Sun 12 Mar - Getting Dressed Enter a world of colour, texture and movement with Second Hand Dance. This new show invites us all to be as creative as we can with the clothes we wear, finding our own favourites and tempting us to try getting dressed just a little bit differently. Climb a mountain of clothes, plunge into piles of pants or swing in swathes of skirts. Whether they’re big or small, scratchy or soft, ordinary or extraordinary – one thing is for sure – clothes and getting dressed will never be the same again. Ages 4-7 yrs Sun 19 Mar - WOW! Said the Owl Explore the wow-world of colours with this curious little owl who is determined to stay awake to see what day light brings. From the warm pink glow of dawn through to a day filled with the bright colours of green leaves, blue sky, grey clouds and, finally, a stunning rainbow — ‘WOW!’. But despite the beauty of the daytime world, the little owl decides that the night-time stars are the most beautiful of all. The acclaimed children’s book by award winning author Tim Hopgood, is brought to life through a blend of beautiful story-telling, puppetry and music. Ages 2-5 yrs Sun 26 Mar - Sammy and the Snow Leopard Sammy is 9 years old and likes animals. No...he LOVES animals. The problem is his Mum won’t let him have any pets. But when his best friend Hokey Pokey tells him about the Adopt a Snow Leopard programme, Sammy reckons he’s found a way to have a pet that doesn’t actually come to the house. Perfect! But then Sammy gets an unexpected gift – and finds himself on an adventure that quickly spirals out of control… Travelling Light are renowned for producing innovative and inspiring shows for young audiences. This is a high-energy show that will enchant everyone over 5. Sat 8 - Mon 10 Apr - The Tiger Who Came to Tea The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger! The tea-guzzling tiger is back on the road in this delightful family show; packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos! A stunning stage adaptation of the classic tale of teatime mayhem... expect to be surprised! Ages 3+ Sun 9 Apr - Comedy Club 4 Kids Since 2005, the Comedy Club 4 Kids has been getting the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit to do their thing for an audience of children and their families… but without the rude bits! It’s just like a normal comedy club, but it’s on in the day, kids are allowed in, and so there is a higher than usual chance of heckles like “why is that your face!?” Ages 6+ Tue 11 Apr - The Party A man excitedly waits for the guests to arrive at his party. The cake is made, the presents have arrived, and the music is playing – all he needs are his friends to make this the best birthday ever. Enter some unexpected guests: a French cyclist, a man dressed as a giant chicken and a mysterious stranger who has apparently never had a birthday. What ensues is an endlessly entertaining topsy-turvy show that humorously explores difficult topics such as sharing, social exclusion, and not always getting what you want. A fantastically engaging show for young people to enjoy with the whole family … and there’s even pass the parcel. Age 3+ Thu 13 Apr - The Adventures of the Little Ghost In a locked chest in a dusty attic of a very old castle lives The Little Ghost. At the stroke of midnight each night The Little Ghost wakes up. He haunts the castle, visits the knights as well as his friend the owl. At the stroke of one, he falls asleep in his chest. His greatest wish is to see the world in daylight, just once. But how can he make his wish come true? And what will the townsfolk make of a ghost in the daytime? Based on the book of the same name by Ottfried Preussler, this show transports you into a magical world that unfolds as soon as you enter the space. Ages 4+ Thu 20 Apr - Barely Methodical Troupe: KIN The UK’s hottest circus company right now return with their brand new show KIN. KIN explores group dynamics and how it feels to jostle for attention, camaraderie and affection. Barely Methodical’s physical prowess is deftly deployed examining the shifting relationships within the group. Tumbling, flying and catching become interpersonal challenges, support mechanisms and opportunities for individual bids for recognition. Sun 23 Apr - Project O Created by international company VEDANZA, Project O is a charming modern fairytale for young audiences. Three dancers and a musician are on a treasure hunt in search

of the disappearing moon. They enter into a dream-like space where games and surprises are played out in an alternating world of reality and abstract. Will they find the moon? And will they place it back in the sky? With contemporary dance and a hint of acrobatics, Project O sways between fast-paced urban contemporary movement to simple rituals. Movement melts into digital images, while children’s games and rules lead the central part of the choreography and floorprojection game. Ages 4+ Sun 30 Apr - Bright Sparks Links and Rex are like light and dark, left and right. Links is logical - she likes order and fact. Rex is different - she is imaginative, a daydreamer. Watch these two opposites get their wires crossed and their noodles in a muddle as they strive to find ways to work and play together. With humour and mesmerising visuals Bright Sparks explores the beauty of difference, inspired by research into how both sides of the brain must strike a balance for us to see, move and speak. Ages 3-7 yrs

The Beck Theatre Grange Road, Hayes. 020 8561 8371 Sun 9 Apr - Cirque du Hilarious: Comedy Explosion Father and son Clive and Danny and the rest of the team will have audiences in tears of laughter from start to finish. Their madcap hilarious humour and lunacy manages to cross all ages from children, teenagers, mums, dads and grandparents! Get your tickets now and see what all the fuss is about, you won’t be disappointed! Thu 13 Apr - Vienna Festival Ballet - Cinderella Vienna Festival Ballet is proud to present their new Spring Ballet for the 2017 Season – the classic tale of Cinderella, one of the best-known rags-to-riches fairy tales of all time. A mistreated young girl, a glass slipper, two comical ugly step-sisters and a handsome prince combine to make the perfect piece of story-telling. Sat 15 - Sun 16 Apr - Robin Hood: Easter Pantomime Join the heroes Robin Hood and Maid Marian in this swashbuckling, arrow-slinging, tights-wearing comedy adventure! With an all-star cast, including Britain’s Got Talent Winner George Sampson, children’s TV favourite Dani Harmer and X-Factor Runner-Up Andy Abraham. From the same team behind The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan, Enchanted Entertainment return this Easter with another fantastic pantomime for all the family. Robin Hood will be packed full of laugh-out-loud comedy routines, stunning dances, show-stopping songs and heaps of audience participation… Oh yes it will! Sat 22 - Sun 23 Apr - Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom Holly is a young Fairy Princess, who is still learning how to fly and her magic doesn’t always go quite according to plan. Her best friend, Ben the Elf, doesn’t have wings and he doesn’t do magic, but he runs very fast and flies on the back of Gaston the Ladybird. They live in the Little Kingdom, a tiny land where flowers and grass rise high above them and every day is an adventure. Join Ben and Holly, and their friends on this exciting, enchanting and magical musical adventure packed full of games, songs and laughter.

Cadogan Hall 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 020 7730 4500 Sun 2 Apr - Billy’s Band Family Concert Billy is the finest, wisest and most whiskery conductor that ever lived. He takes his band to play in all kinds of weird and wonderful locations. Wherever the gig, the band are always faced with some mystery to be solved, or obstacle to overcome. By pulling together and using team-work, they always find a solution to the problem. Each adventure ends with a happy and rousing musical finale. Through story books, family concerts and school workshops, Billy’s Band will entertain and inspire children to pick up a musical instrument and have a go.

Compass Theatre Glebe Avenue, Ickenham UB10 01895 673 0200 Tue 4 - Sat 8 Apr - Mother Goose and Her Golden Easter Eggs The perfect Easter Holiday EGG-stravaganza! Go along for another Easter musical treat and follow the story of Mother Goose searching for beauty and wealth. Will the demon Squire lay his hands on the golden eggs? From the producers of Compass Theatre’s pantomimes, as well as previous Compass Easter shows Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

What’s On

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

Harrow Arts Centre Hatch End HA5 0208 416 8989 Tue 4 Apr - Alice in Wonderland Follow Alice and the White Rabbit as they set off on a colourful, topsy-turvy adventure like no other and meet a host of outlandish characters including the troublesome twins, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, the notorious Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire cat and of course, the Mad-as a bat-Hatter! Immersion Theatre proudly bring their trademark energy to their most spectacularly bonkers show to date, inviting the whole family to join in the hilarity of seeing this classic story brought vividly to life. Wed 12 Apr - Captain Calamity’s Mega Party The Captain Calamity Mega Party is a crazy mix of magic and mayhem like no other. Expect jaw dropping science stunts, enormous balloons, beautiful bubbles, one or two custard pies and several rare Pokemon... It’s all true... Well, except the Pokemon bit. If you want to see what all the fuss is about then book your ticket for a splendiferous adventure into the crazy world of Captain Calamity.

Little Angel Theatre 14 Dagmar Passage, Cross St, N1 020 7226 1787 Wed 1 – Sun 5 Mar – Five Little Monkeys The makers of the smash hit Dogs Don’t do Ballet bring the universally popular song Five Little Monkeys to life. Packed with bold, engaging puppets and music from dub reggae and funky rapping to classical ballet. Join Sue the Zoo Keeper as she struggles to get mischievous Little Monkey to bed and discovers that numbers are all around us. Keep an eye out as unexpected household objects transform into the doctor, warning “NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!” Learn to love counting during a riot of music, numbers and clowning in a madcap monkey puppet zoo! Ages 2-5yrs Wed 8 – Sun 12 & Wed 15 – Sun 19 Mar – How to Hide a Lion When a lion is chased out of town, a young girl helps him find somewhere to hide. It’s not easy – lions are too big, too fluffy and too heavy! Join Iris on a mission to squeeze and squash her furry new friend into a variety of sneaky spots, as Helen Stephens’ magical book comes to life with playful humour, dazzling puppetry and original songs. Adapted by Peter Glanville (the director behind the sell-out adaptations of The Paper Dolls and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt), with music by acclaimed singersongwriter Barb Jungr. Ages 3-7 yrs Wed 22 – Sun 26 Mar – The Magic Lamp Played out in the round and using an ancient Middle Eastern version of the text of Aladdin, Indefinite Articles will take your imagination on a walk to Baghdad and back. The story of a blessed and beautiful boy, who, through serendipity alone, ends up with a lamp-dwelling genie at his disposal, is told using haunting music, paper, water and oil in this bewitching shadow puppet show. Ages 5-11 yrs Wed 29 Mar – Sun 2 Apr – The Curious Adventures of Pinocchio One of the best loved classics for children comes to life, literally. Crickets, cats, foxes and of course the worldfamous puppet will spring out of our collection of dusty old magic books while Patrick Lynch from Cbeebies pulls all the strings and turns all the pages to bring you the true and original story of Pinocchio, no lie, Who nose? He might even find his father and become a real boy. That is if he does what he is told by the turquoise fairy. Come and join him on his incredible journey, you’ll have a whale of a time! Ages 5-11 yrs Sat 1 - Sun 2 Apr – The Explorer After crash landing on an unusual island, the brave Explorer encounters wild beasts, rough seas and futuristic technologies. With original music by Birmingham’s Grandmaster Gareth, stunning visuals by designer Alle Dowska and a whole host of surprises this performance will make imaginations soar. This is a rare treat to see a fabulous hand-carved string puppet live on stage. See The Explorer leap, swim, float into space and enjoy a rather bumpy elephant ride as she tries to find a way back home. She might need a little help along the way too. Ages 3-7 yrs

Mon 3 - Tue 4 Apr – The Ugly Duckling “The Ugly Duckling” is the story of a little bird who sets off on an adventure to find out who he is; on his journey he meets a plastic-spoon fish and a colander turtle, a rattling crab and a strange snake, a sneezing dog and a singing rabbit, an old lady who plays the harmonica, a cat chasing mice and finally…a magnificent swan! Is the little bird really just a different duckling, or is he something else? Inspired by the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, the performance features hand shadow puppetry, live cello music, beautiful light scapes, whimsical humour and clever use of everyday objects guaranteed to take the imagination on a journey with the duckling. Ages 5-11 yrs Tues 4 - Wed 5 Apr – The Carnival of the Animals When a lowly pianist and a star kazoo player step on stage to give an important recital, their shadows quickly take over to express their true feelings about each other – until the shadows show them that it is better to work together if you want to make something beautiful. The much-loved music of Camille Saint-Saëns (played by a concert pianist) combines with the visual magic of Drew Colby’s hand shadows to create a spell-binding, hilarious and (in the words of the children at the preview performances) “amazing and mysterious” virtuoso performance. Ages 4-9 yrs Thu 6 – Sat 8 Apr – Peter and the Wolf Peter is a fearless, mischievous boy who lives with his Grandfather in an old cottage near the forest. Grandfather has warned Peter many times of the dangers of playing near the forest because a Wolf lives nearby. Peter isn’t bothered by these warnings, and he goes out of the gate to see if he can find his animal friends. After a great deal of fun, the wolf arrives. Is Peter worried, not a bit? Find out how this clever boy with his animal friends triumphs in this classic musical tale. Ages 4-9 yrs Sun 9 - Mon 10 Apr – The Homeless Panda Xióngmāo the Giant Panda wakes up to find that her home has been taken! Where will she go? The monkeys say she’s too big for their trees, the porcupine thinks she’d eat all his food and as for the other bears, well…they just think she looks weird. Xióngmāo must travel far & wide to seek new friends, see new places & ultimately, find somewhere to call home again. With puppets & pageantry a plenty, The Homeless Panda is a family tale about looking past our differences & remembering that we all feed off the same stuff: love, happiness & bamboo! Ages 3-7 yrs Tues 11 - Wed 12 Apr – Chester Tuffnut Chester Tuffnut isn’t your ordinary treemole – in fact he is one of a kind! Chester likes wearing jumpers and sitting in his armchair, but most of all he loves adventure! The curious creatures in Woodland have gone so long without excitement, they’ve forgotten how to have fun. Luckily, Chester is on hand to bring happiness and laughter back to his new Woodland friends. Told with puppets, original music and imaginative antics, this show is full of humour, thrills, spills, near misses and great escapes. Ages 2-6 yrs Thu 13 – Sat 15 Apr - Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom Tangles? Split Ends? Frizzy? Flyaway? It’s bad enough having a bad hair day but pity poor Rapunzel spending her life in a tower with some strange woman using her captive’s locks as a step ladder! What sort of damage is that going to do to your hair? Theatre of Widdershins have taken this traditional tale right back to its roots, teased out the tangles and styled it into a beautifully coiffured hair piece! This enchanting show promises plenty of body, volume and loads of highlights. Make an appointment to see the show today – because you’re worth it! Ages 4-9 yrs Mon 17 Apr – Videk’s Shirt Videk’s Shirt is an intimate, interactive piece of theatre for young children, involving puppets, storytelling, live music and lots of joining in. The performance is made after much loved traditional Slovenian children’s story by Fran Levstik. Videk is a small boy very friendly with all the animals in the countryside. One day the wind blows away his raggedy shirt. Videk is cold – who can help him? Come with Videk and his animal friends and learn how the sheep’s wool is made into a lovely new worm shirt. Ages 2-5 yrs Sat 22 Apr – Sun 16 Jul – Dogs Don’t Do Ballet Biff is not like ordinary dogs. He likes moonlight. And music. And walking on his tiptoes. You see, Biff doesn’t think he’s a dog, Biff thinks he’s a ballerina… The sublime and the ridiculous combine in this hilarious story of a small dog with a big personality and even bigger dreams, brought to life using beautiful puppets, well-loved ballet music and dazzling theatrical comedy by Little Angel Theatre. Ages 2-7 yrs Thu 27 Apr – Sun 16 Jul – Red Riding Hood and the Wolf You may think you know the story of Red Riding Hood, sugar and spice and all things nice. But there are two sides to every story, so let’s hear it from the Wolf himself! Here’s the story never heard of a kind and hungry wolf who strayed from the path and lost his friends. This wolf isn’t big or even bad, in fact he’s rather shy. He won’t gobble up your grandma or tell you lies. He’s polite and very gentle, he’s an all-round nice guy. So before you make up your mind about the wolf you think you know so

well, enjoy a whole new spin on this fairy tale and remember to never judge anyone by how they look. Ages 5+

Pump House Lower Watford High Street, Watford WD17 01923 241 362 Thu 30 Mar – Sat 1 Apr - High School Musical Act2Act Youth Theatre proudly present ‘High School Musical’ on stage! Troy, a high school jock , and Gabriella, the new smart girl at school meet on a family vacation whilst singing karaoke. Rediscovering each other at school they decide to audition together for the school show much to the annoyance of the school’s current leading lady, Sharpay. Finally Gabriella and Troy find a way to be themselves and are rewarded with the lead roles in the school show. Full of catchy songs and exciting dance routines, Disney’s High School Musical on Stage! explores issues of friendship, first love and acceptance.

Puppet Theatre Barge Little Venice W9 020 7249 6876 Until Sun 19 Mar – The Red Balloon The show tells the story of a small boy’s friendship with a balloon and explores the poignancy of a child’s imagination. Performed using long string woodcarved marionettes, and accompanied by specially commissioned music, the show has captured the imaginations of both adults and children as they are transported into the world of the puppets. Expertly manipulated, the puppets become characters and are able to present the most intense emotions, using only mime, to audiences who become spellbound by their magic. All ages Sat 25 Mar – Sun 14 May - The Flight of Babuscha Baboon The story of a baboon who wanted to fly to the moon in a hot-air balloon. On the way, she meets an elephant who is threatened by ivory hunters! Will Babuscha save the elephant? And will she ever reach the moon? This production is a magical combination of marionettes, shadow puppets, haunting music, beautiful lighting and moving poetry, and is guaranteed to captivate adults and children alike. Ages 3+

The Radlett Centre 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 01923 859291 Sat 11 Mar - Lily and the Little Snow Bear There are just two more sleeps until Christmas and it’s snowing already - Lily loves snow! So, she pops on her coat and sets off to explore. But when she discovers a trail of soft little footprints, she’s in for a very big surprise! For at the bottom of the garden, she finds a lost little snow bear. As the snow falls on, Lily decides to rescue the baby bear before it’s too late – for the horrible hunters, Slugworm and Pike, are on the prowl. This funny, heartwarming tale of friendship is the perfect treat for Christmas with ex-quisite puppets, enchanting music and a magical snowy setting. Ages 3+ Tue 21 – Thu 23 Mar - We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Michael Rosen’s award-winning book We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is brought vividly and noisily to the stage in director Sally Cookson’s fun-filled adaptation set to Benji Bower’s versatile lively score. Join the intrepid adventurers on their quest to find a bear; as they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud! Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes and plenty of hands-on adventure–plus a few special surprises! Ages 3+ Wed 12 Apr - Sid’s Deep Sea Discovery Show It’s raining outside but there are plenty of fun things to do inside with Sid and his dog Fuzzy. Sid ventures into a fish tank to discover what a mermaid is doing with his TV remote control, who has her pearls and whether Sid can make friends with a dangerous shark! This exciting and colourful underwater adventure bubbles over with sea creatures, songs, stalagmites, stalactites and wave after wave of educational interaction. Ages 3+

Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street, SE1. 020 7645 0560 Until Sun 5 Mar – The Iron Man The Iron Man has been eating every single piece of metal in sight: tractors, old cars, fences - right down to the last rusty nail, destroying farms everywhere. The angry farmers try and trap him, but in the end it’s down to a young boy to try and tame the monster. Using papercut silhouettes, puppetry and stop-motion animation Matthew Robins (Something Very Far Away), recreates the world of The Iron Man so vividly that you’ll feel you are there. His distinctive handmade and visual style of storytelling lets you watch this atmospheric tale being created live onstage. Ages 8+

Until Sat 19 Aug – Baby Show From the makers of Scrunch and Seesaw, this brand new show is a great first trip to theatre for the really young. Time for a walk, better wrap up warm. Poppers, buttons, zips. Scarf, hat, mittens. Inside out, upside down, back to front. But it’s raining, it’s pouring and the wind is whistling through the trees…Then, out comes the sun. Quick let’s enjoy it whilst we can! Baby Show is a sensory performance with captivating images and intriguing sounds that will keep your little ones rapt. Ages 6-18 months Sun 12 Mar – Mon 10 Apr - Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore are at the seaside. “They have a towel, an inflatable ball, a picnic and three contrasting temperaments” (Time Out) in this “stupidly lovely show… that offers a child’s eye view of the world and all its mysteries” (The Guardian). Revelling in delightful innocence and glorious stupidity, Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore is a surprising and surreal encounter with three people who have a lot to say but only three words with which to say it. Ages 3+ Fri 17 Mar – Sat 15 Apr - The Velveteen Rabbit The Velveteen Rabbit is a heart-warming story about a very shy toy rabbit who longs for nothing more than to become real. He spends his days waiting patiently on the nursery floor, watching the Boy play with other toys and dreaming of being picked up and loved. And then, one day, he is rediscovered and all his hopes start to come true... First published in 1922, this classic American tale loses nothing of its power, magic and charm in this bold and adventure-filled adaptation for the Unicorn stage. Ages 1-4 yrs

Watersmeet High St, Rickmansworth WD3 01923 711 063 Sat 4 – Sun 5 Mar - The Wizard of Oz – young performers’ edition This timeless classic takes Dorothy to Oz where she meets a scarecrow, tin man and lion who are all wishing for something. They travel to the Emerald City with adventures on the way including meeting a good witch and a bad witch and some evil winged monkeys. Suitable for all the family.

Watford Palace Theatre Clarendon Road, Watford WD17 01923 225 671 Sat 18 Mar - Little Howard’s Big Show For Kids Little Howard is the world’s only live interactive animation. But life is tough in showbiz; Little Howard’s big new act keeps going wrong. And it’s about to get worse: a sinister figure arrives and Big Howard and Little Howard have to put on the best show of their lives to keep themselves out of jail! Following the success of their TV show ‘Little Howard’s Big Question’ (CBBC) real human Big Howard and animated six-year-old Little Howard are bringing their unique family comedy show to Watford Palace Theatre. With interactive stand-up, live animation on stage and lots of jokes and songs this really is a show that all the family can enjoy.

Watford Colosseum Rickmansworth Road Watford WD17 0845 075 3993 Tue 4 Apr - Robin Hood Join the heroes Robin Hood and Maid Marian in this swashbuckling, arrow-slinging, tights-wearing comedy adventure! With an all-star cast, including ‘back by popular demand!’ children’s TV favourite - Dani Harmer from CBBC’s Tracy Beaker and Strictly Come Dancing as Maid Marian. From the same team behind The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan, Enchanted Entertainment return next Easter with another fantastic show for all the family. Robin Hood will be packed full of laugh-outloud comedy routines, stunning dances, show-stopping songs and heaps of audience participation… Oh yes it will! Sun 9 Apr - Justin’s Party Are you ready to party? Because BAFTA award winning actor Justin Fletcher is coming to town and YOU are invited! JUSTIN’S PARTY is brand new show which packed full of fantastic songs, dances and hilarious games guaranteed to make it THE party of the year! There will be lots of exciting surprises along the way and you’ll get to meet Justin’s adorable new puppy Engelbert! So what are you waiting for? Get your party clothes ready and go and join in with this very exciting fun-tastic celebration!

For many more local events and diary dates for the whole family visit

North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017


What’s On

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 (May/Jun 2017) send your entry by 1 April 2017 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.

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March Thu 2 & Sat 4 Mar - World Book Day (HA5/1) Celebrate World Book Day at Pinner Library on Thu 2 Mar with an interactive storytime with Elmer the patchwork elephant. For children under 5. Admission free - no booking required. Then on Sat 4 Mar see if you can find Wally from the Where’s Wally books at Gayton Library at 11am. Suitable for 5-10 years, places are limited, and are on a first come, first served basis. Sat 4 Mar - Rave-A-Roo (SE1) The biggest and best family rave fest, is celebrating its first anniversary at London’s Ministry of Sound on Saturday 4th March. Joined by TV megastars, Dick and Dom, Rave-A-Roonies will be treated to spectacular stage shows, live music, family activities and an impressive confetti mayhem finale to top it all off. Rave-A-Roo is for those of all ages and focuses on the whole family partying and playing together. Sat 4 & Sun 5 Mar - Palace Family Screening: Sing (WD17) Koala, Buster Moon presides over a theatre that has fallen on hard times. He loves his theatre above all and will do anything to preserve it; he takes one final chance to restore its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition. A 3D showing at Watford Palace Theatre on Sat 4th at 2pm, and 2D showing on Sun 5th at 11am. 01923 225671 Sat 4 – Sun 5 Mar - Women Making Waves (SE10) Many heroic women have adorned ships’ bows as figureheads across the world and Cutty Sark’s trailblazing women figureheads; Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Fry and Boudicca will be the inspiration for the Women’s History Month arts and craft workshop celebrating their marvellous deeds; Wed 8 Mar - International Women’s Day (NW9) There will be a celebration of International Women’s Day at the RAF Museum. Go along to the Lecture Theatre at 2pm for a look at the pioneering women who shaped the RAF and aviation, which will be followed by a special screening commemorating the women behind Spitfire manufacture during WW2. Sat 11 Mar - Craft fair (WD17) Get your gifts in time for Mother’s Day at this Craft Fair at Watford Central Library. 11am-3pm. Sat 11 Mar - Story Time (WD17) As part of Watford’s Big Wordfest, Watford Central Library are hosting ‘Story Time’ suitable for all children. The Story time will have an animal theme followed by colouring in words and letters. From 2-3pm. Sat 11 Mar – Commonwealth Day 2017 (WD17) A series of open, family and literary and creative events to celebrate Commonwealth Day 2017. 10.30am-12.30pm is Poetry Writing at Watford Fire Station. There’s Family Workshops creating fun flags and peace symbols from 1.30-3.30pm at The Barn. This is followed by a book launch of ‘Voices’, also at The Barn at 4.30pm. Booking Essential. Sat 11 Mar - Women Making Waves (SE10) Join the National Maritime Museum for Women Making Waves, a one day festival featuring trails, workshops and performances celebrating those amazing women who made waves in British and global history. Families can explore the role of women and children in maritime history, including one of the most fearful pirates in history, Ching Shih; Phillis Wheatley who was the first African-American female poet to be published; and Jeanne Baret, the first woman to have completed a voyage of circumnavigation of the globe.


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Foundling Museum Sat 11 Mar, Sat 8 Apr - Family Volunteer Days at Celtic Harmony Camp (SG13) Go over and explore the Prehistory settlement, the largest reconstructed Iron Age settlement in the UK, and help out with the day’s tasks from woodland work to putting the finishing touches to the new Roundhouses. Take a walk around the woods and then relax with a warming drink in the Archer’s Rest Cafe. Pre bookings only. Free Admission! 10am - 1pm. 01438 718 543 Sat 11 Mar – Sun 30 Apr - The Big WordFest in Watford (WD17) It’s the second year of WordFest in Watford in 2017. The launch event on Sat 11th March will start from 11am at Watford Museum with craft activities and meeting the characters, followed by the World Book Day themed parade. The procession will make its way to Watford Central Library where there will be book-themed activities and a craft fair in the cafe area. Throughout the WordFest there will be many activities in the following venues: Watford Museum, Waterstones, Watford Central and North Library, Watford Writers, West Herts College, Watford Colosseum, Cassiobury Park, Pump House Theatre, Watford Palace Theatre and Peace Hospice. To find out more visit Watford Big Event website for details. Sat 11, 18 & 25 Mar, Sat 1, 8, 15, & 22 Apr Open Kids’ Craft Sessions (WD17) Go along to Waterstones in Watford every Saturday of Wordfest between 10.30am & 4pm, where you can join in activities throughout the day. From ‘Where’s Wally’ to ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ there will be different fun themes every week. Sun 12 Mar - Octagon Music Society Concert (WD18) Musical concert featuring Aurora Trio (flute, viola and harp). 8-25 year olds go free. At The Clarendon Muse at 4pm. 01923 231917 Mon 13 – Sun 19 Mar – Safer Sleep Week (various) Safer Sleep Week is The Lullaby Trust’s national awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby. It aims to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the proven advice on how parents can reduce the risk of it occurring. Their top 3 pieces of advice are to place your baby on their back to sleep; avoid exposing them to smoke; and sleep your baby in their own cot or moses basket for the first 6 months.

Wed 15 – Sat 18 Mar - 2017 Evolution Festival: The Next Generation is Here (W6) Young Lyric presents Evolution, a four day multi-art form festival, showcasing artists aged 16 – 25, and celebrating the ground-breaking and exciting work being produced by young people in the capital. Over four days, more than 100 artists will be presenting a programme of fresh, striking and original theatre, film and music exploring the theme of identity across a variety of performances, discussions and events. Sat 18 Mar - Family Technical Theatre Day (SE1) Explore backstage at the National Theatre, learn how lighting and sound design work from a professional technician and then create your own designs to bring a scene to life. 11am – 3.30pm in the Duffield Studio. Sun 19 Mar - Big Fish Little Fish - Family Rave (WD17) Award winning, bonkers family fun with Big Fish Little Fish family rave at Watford Colosseum! World class DJs on the decks playing classic club tracks with bubbles, glowsticks, glitter, crafts, play, club visuals, giant balloons, legendary parachute dance, licensed bar and so much more! Come join the fun at this “Flower Power” themed event - fancy dress encouraged. All ages welcome but aimed at families with 0-8 year olds. Tue 21 Mar - Free Education Talk for Local Parents from JK Educate (NW11) Lorrae Jaderberg and Katie Krais, joint founders and MDs of JK Educate, are offering a free talk on key education issues at The Henrietta Barnett School on Tuesday 21st March at 8pm. Lorrae will talk about tutoring and Katie will talk about empowering parents to find out how academically clever their child is. Sat 25 Mar - Mother’s Day Stories and Craft (HA1/3) Go along to Gayton Library at 11am or Wealdstone Library at 2pm to hear a story and take part in a craft for Mother’s Day. Admission is free - no booking required.

What’s On Sun 2 Apr - Fun DMC (SE1) Get partying with child-friendly hip-hop, funk and disco anthems, hosted by Spin Doctor at the Royal Festival Hall. Whether you’re the proud parent of a Lil Wayne, a Missy Elliot or a whole crew of Beastie Boys and Wee Papa Girls Rappers, this is the jam for you and yours. Fancy dress is encouraged. Ages 3+. Wed 5 & Wed 12 Apr - Pram Jam (SE1) Kick off your day by moving and grooving with your under 5, as Pram Jam returns to the BFI Southbank, this time influenced by urban music and movement, as part of Urban festival. This session is open to little ones of all abilities & all you need is a willingness to take part and have fun. 10.30am, £5 for one adult and up to two under 5s. Sat 8 Apr - Muso – Imperopera (WD17) Muso invites audiences to explore Watford Museum after dark hunting for buried artefacts. The audience will then share what they’ve found, hear from an expert and then enjoy comedy musical performances made up on the spot about their discoveries. A funny and unique way of exploring the museum! 5pm, Adults £3, children £2 - booking essential. 01923 232297

Evolution Festival Sat 25 Mar - Archaeology Apprentices (AL3) Simulated archaeology dig at Verulamium Museum in St Albans. Peel back layers of time to see what people in the past have left behind. What can you learn from the finds? Suitable for ages 5-11, 2.15pm & 3.15pm. Sat 25 Mar - Sea Signs (SE10) Go on board the Cutty Sark for a fun-filled day of family craft activities, storytelling, character performances and guided tours for deaf and hearing families. Activities are either BSL-led or supported by BSL interpreters. Sat 25 Mar – Sun 26 Mar - Create & Grow Mother’s Day Planting Weekend (HA7) Create a beautiful planter this Mother’s Day at Squire’s Garden Centre in Stanmore! Plant a Beautiful Gift for Mum –a rustic daisy bucket with 3 colourful plants for £6. 20% of the price will be donated to Greenfingers, who create magical gardens for children’s hospices. There will also be a FREE flower maze activity for you to take part in where you will receive a sticker and a chance to win a prize! Drop in between 9:30am & 3:30pm. Sat 25 – Sun 26 Mar - Magical Museum Sleepover (E2) An evening consisting of creative activities, a magical museum trail and storytelling at the V&A Museum of Childhood. In the morning breakfast will be served on the Marble Floor of the Museum, before it opens to the public. £45 per person, Ages 7-12. Sun 26 Mar - London Bridges Walk for Peace Hospice Care (various) Go along for a family friendly 7 mile walk through the iconic sites of central London crossing over 8 bridges from Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge to help raise money for the Peace Hospice Care. Registration just £15pp, under 12’s free. For more information and to sign up visit www. or call on 01923335373. Sun 26 Mar - Mum Goes Free at the London Wetland Centre for Mother’s Day (SW13) Spring is the ideal time to visit London Wetland Centre, with the flowers beginning to bloom and ducklings waddling after their mothers. Treat your own mum to a relaxing day out with a walk to

watch the wildlife flitting among the gardens and meadows, followed by refreshments in the Water’s Edge Café. Your mum goes free of charge when accompanied by a paying child or adult. Just quote ‘Mother’s Day’ at admissions. Wed 29 Mar – Sun 2 Apr - Disney On Ice 100 Years of Magic (HA9) Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for the ultimate Disney experience when Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic comes to Wembley Arena. Be charmed by a cast of over 50 unforgettable Disney characters, relive the magic of Disney’s Frozen, sing-along to over 30 favourite songs, and be thrilled by the excitement of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Disney’s The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and more – leaving your whole family captivated with memories that will last a lifetime.

Sat 22 Apr - Lots for Tots Sale Rickmansworth (WD3) An indoor table top sale for people that want to sell their second hand baby, toddler and children’s items, and those that want to buy them. Visitors can browse each sellers table and pick out exactly what they need, paying the seller direct. The seller keeps all of the money they make and the buyer goes home with lots of bargains. The sale at Rickmansworth School opens to the public at 10am and finishes at 11.30am. £1 entry per adult. 07817 384957

Sat 22 Apr - Big Wordfest Tearoom (WD17) The Watford Writers are taking over the Little Gallery Tearoom at Watford Museum this month (and of course there will still be yummy homemade cakes and Fairtrade drinks for sale!) 01923 232297 Sat 22 - Sun 23 Apr - Meet the Lambs (HP8) Meet the gorgeous spring lambs born at the Chiltern Open Air Museum. Explore the traditional Chilterns farm and lambing fold, and learn about the lambing traditions of Victorian farmers. In celebration of St George’s Day on Sun 23rd Apr, any child that visits the Museum in a Cubs, Beavers, Scouts, Rainbows, Brownies or Guides uniform can gain free admission to the Museum. Sun 23 Apr - St George’s Day (E2) Go and discover the delights of English folk music and dance traditions with rousing song, dance and instrumental performances by the Trad Academy at the V&A Museum of Childhood. Enjoy the quintessentially English sound of the Becontree Brass band and take part in arts and craft activities. In partnership with London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Sat 29 Apr – Tue 2 May - Milldon Art Society’s Exhibition (NW7) The Exhibition will be held at Trinity Church, The Broadway, Mill Hill NW7 3TB, with about 180 paintings on display. Entrance is free. Sat 29 Apr 2-8pm; Sun 30 Apr 1-8pm; Mon 1 May 10am-8pm; Tues 2 May 10am-5pm.

continued on page 28 v

Thu 30 Mar & Thu 27 Apr - ‘Little Swifts’ Pre-School Sessions At The RAF Museum (NW9) Little Swifts is the RAF Museum’s new, fun and lively sessions for pre-school children (aged 2-5 years). Each session will include arts and crafts, games, stories and songs and be linked to the amazing collection to help bring the Museum to life. 10.30 - 11.30 am, £3 per child. To book a place for a session, please email learning-london@ Fri 31 Mar – Wear a Hat Day 2017 (Various) Wear a Hat on Friday 31st March and help raise fund for Brain Tumour Research. This year promises to be the biggest, boldest and hattiest Wear A Hat Day EVER, and there are so many fabulous ways for you to get involved, such as hosting a coffee morning with friends or a hattastic event with your whole company. Head to the website to find out how to register.

April Sat 1 Apr - Admission ‘By Donation’ for First Open Day (HP8) The gates to Chiltern Open Air Museum open on Saturday 1st April to start the 2017 season. To mark this occasion, for one day only, instead of paying the standard admission prices visitors can enter the Museum by paying a donation of your choice.

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What’s On v continued from page 27 Sun 30 Apr – Mon 1 May - Elizabethan Adventure (HP8) Discover life in the 16th Century and meet costumed re-enactors in the Chiltern Open Air Museum’s historic buildings. Watch as the Elizabethans duel for your entertainment, and watch exciting displays of artillery from the longbow to the gun. Mon 1 May - Watford 10K (WD18) The race at Cassiobury Park offers something for all abilities, from experienced to those new to running. There is the main 10k race, a 3k race for younger runners and 1k fun run. Kelly’s Storage Charity Events are covering the entire cost of the Watford 10kwhich means that 100% of your money will go to Watford Mencap to help support local people and their families with learning disabilities.

Easter Holidays Sat 1 – Thu 6 Apr - The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Craft Workshop (N12) Go and join an artsdepot artist as they show you how to make puppets inspired by the production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show. Recommended for ages 3+. Workshops last 45 minutes. 10am & 1pm Sat 1 - Mon 17 Apr - Easter GIANT Duck Hunt (SW13) Spring is a wonderful time to visit WWT London Wetland Centre as new life is bursting out all around. But some of the ducklings have gone missing, can you help find them? They have disguised themselves as the ducks that live at the Centre, so follow the Easter GIANT duck trail around the beautiful nature reserve to discover where they are hiding. If you find them all you’ll win a chocolate prize! Sat 1 – Mon 17 Apr - Easter Eggstravaganza (AL4) Choc-o-bloc family fun with the Easter Bunny, Easter Egg and Bunny Hunts, shows, adventure play and farmyard fun at Willows Activity Farm. See the full Easter Eggstravaganza programme online. Sat 1 – Mon 17 Apr – Moomins At Kew Gardens (TW9) Experience the wonderful world of the Moomins this Easter at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. There will be a Moomin trail where children will be able to get creative at interactive points along the way, a variety of exciting culinary offerings available from pop-up shops in the Moomin Camp, as well as a plethora of Easter craft activity workshop tents for children of all ages.

Sat 1 Apr - Sun 21 May - Celebrity Dusty Duck Trail (SW13) Discover the new Celebrity Dusty Ducks arriving at WWT London Wetland Centre this Easter. World famous Aardman studios designed Dusty Duck to celebrate WWT’s 70th anniversary and this Easter, Dusty, along with his 14 celebrity-designed Dustys will be on show at the centre. These exciting new sculptures take you around the beautiful grounds at London Wetland Centre and form part of the Easter activities. Sun 2 - Sat 15 Apr - Geometric Playground (N12) Geometric Playground will be an interactive installation to thrill children and adults alike. The exhibition at artsdepot will invite visitors to become a part of the artwork and discover its cogs to turn, levers to pull and pendulums to swing. Mon 3 – Thu 13 Apr - Create & Grow Easter Holiday Fun (HA7) Go along to Squire’s Garden Centre in Stanmore for some Easter fun! Plant a container with beautiful plants and Easter decorations for you to take home and look after; Join in the Bunny Hunt and find the names of the hidden bunnies around the centre to receive a large chocolate bunny. Weekdays only, from 10am – 3:30pm. Mon 3 – Thu 13 Apr - Chicks’ Great EGGscape (EC2R) Join the hunt to find the hidden chicks and golden egg by following the trail around the Bank of England Museum and then decorate an Easter animal mask or finger puppet to take home. There’s a chocolate egg for every child. Mon 3 – Fri 14 Apr - Easter Holidays: Memory, Home and Family (E2) Visit the Museum and take part in workshops and activities inspired by the Searching for Ghosts exhibition. My Miniature Room Workshop from 3rd – 7th Apr - make a miniature model home; Recreating Memories: Photography Workshop 5th – 7th & 12th – 14th April. Good Luck Spirit Workshop 10th – 14th April. Tue 4 Apr - Wall of Words (WD17) Activities for creating words and letters in paper craft, digital and 3D in the CreatorSpace at Watford Central Library. There are two sessions 10am to 12 noon and 2 to 4pm. Suitable for all ages. Tue 4 Apr - Filmsmeet presents: Family Easter film – The LEGO Batman Movie (WD3) Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted. Showings at Watersmeet Theatre at 11am, 2pm & 5pm. £4 adults, £3,50 children. Tue 4 Apr - Enchanted Forest Installation and Craft Workshop (WD17) An interactive art installation in the Watford Colosseum lobby - created with help from local schools. Go and create twisting vines, forest flora/fauna and Robin Hood hats with local artists. The installation features an extract from the ancient ballad ‘A Gest of Robyn Hode’. You are encouraged to

translate the text, with the closest to the original winning a prize! Suitable for ages 6+. 10:30am - 12:30pm. 01923 571102 Tue 4 Apr - Play Photography (WC1N) Build an imaginative play area in this artist-led family workshop inspired by Child’s Play at the Foundling Museum. Work collaboratively with photographer Marysa Dowling to build a play area out of recycled household materials. Taking inspiration from Mark Neville’s project Child’s Play, families will be photographed playing within their newly-created space. The workshop is suitable for children age 5 and up. Free for children and up to two accompanying adults. To take part, sign up on the day. Sessions run 10:30am-12pm, 1-2.30pm & 3-4.30pm. Tue 4 Apr - Instrumental Inventions (WC2N) Franklin was a prolific inventor and a lover of music. He invented the Glass Armonica. Go along to Benjamin Franklin House between 11am-12.30pm to explore how and create your own instruments to take home. Suitable for 5-11 year olds. To book email education@, Tue 4 & Tue 11 Apr - Terrific Tuesday (HP8) A day of themed family crafts and activities at Chiltern Open Air Museum from 11 am - 4 pm. Tue 4 – Fri 7 Apr - Easter Holiday at the Geffrye Museum (E2) : ‘Spring is in the Air’ for ages 5-16 years - celebrate the new season by decorating plant pots, making scented herb bags and creating garden animals from clay. 10.30am-12.30pm and 2-4pm. ‘Spring Has Sprung’ is for ages 2-5years, where they can explore springtime in homes and gardens through stories, songs and crafts. 10.30am-11.30am and 12-1pm. Tue 4 – Tue 11 Apr - Easter Holiday Activities (AL9) Easter fun at Mill Green Museum and Mill. 4 Apr - Make an Easter Gift Bag; 5 Apr - Make an Easter Hat; 6 Apr – Clay; 11 Apr - Art & Craft with Grain. Ages 4+. Sessions at 10 & 11.15am, 1.15 & 2.30pm Thu 6 – Fri 7 & 13 Apr - Craft and Animation Workshop (WD17) Drop in workshops to create an animation with MewLab and Museum artists. Suitable for ages 5 to 15 years. 10:30am - 12:30pm. 01923 232297 Thu 6 - Sat 8 Apr - Vintage Cinema at the Natural History Museum at Tring (HP23) Go along for family films at this pop-up cinema. Paddington will be showing on Thu 6th, Free Willy on Fri 7th, and The Lion King on Sat 8th. See website for prices and times. Fri 7 Apr - Filmsmeet presents: Family film – Sing (WD3) In a city of humanoid animals, a hustling theatre impresario’s attempt to save his theatre with a singing competition becomes grander than he anticipates even as its finalists’ find that

Ruislip, Northwood/Oxhey, Pinner, Harrow (HA2), Harrow on the Hill and Watford

call: 0208 123 9346 email:

Harrow (HA3), North Wembley and Bushey call: 0208 422 0676 email:


North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017

What’s On their lives will never be the same. Showings at Watersmeet Theatre at 11am, 2pm & 5pm. £4 adults, £3,50 children. Fri 7 Apr – Knots and Ropes (WC1N) Inspired by the rope-making lessons for boys at the Foundling Hospital, learn how to tie knots and make your own skipping rope in this free family workshop at the Foundling Museum. Make ropes out of different materials, then adapt them into a skipping rope to take home and play with you. The workshop is suitable for children age 5 and up. Free for children and up to two accompanying adults. To take part, sign up on the day. Sessions run 10:30am-12pm, 1-2.30pm & 3-4.30pm. Sat 8 Apr – Michael Sobell Hospice Easter Eggstravaganza (HA6) Head down to the Easter Eggstravaganza and take part in the EGG-citing new Easter egg hunt where no child will leave empty handed! Find as many eggs as you can within the time limit, the more you find, the bigger your delicious prize egg will be! There will also be lots of Easter-themed crafts, games and activities to keep little ones entertained on the day! Registration from 10.45am on the day. Easter egg hunt starts at 11.30am. Taking place by the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity office, at Mount Vernon Hospital. Mon 10 Apr - Horrid Henry (WD17) What has Horrid Henry been up to now? Go along to Watford Central Library and decide! Adults and children will create a storybook together to take home. Suitable for children aged 5 to 11 years, 2-3.30pm, £2. To book your place tel: 0300 123 4049 or email: libraries. Mon 10 – Thu 13 Apr - Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt 2017 (HP4) Hop along to the Ashridge Estate this Easter for the annual Cadbury egg hunt, where everyone will be rewarded with a delicious Cadbury chocolate treat at the end of each completed hunt. Every single Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt will help support special places looked after by the National Trust for future generations to explore. 10am-4pm, £3. Mon 10 – Fri 21 Apr - Eagles at Easter (NW9) Birds of prey have been associated with the Royal Air Force since its foundation, and the Eagle has been given pride of place on the Royal Air Force’s badge. Its aircraft, from the Kittyhawk to the Harrier, have been regular named after these predators, and its airfields, throughout their history, have been regularly protected by these hunters in order to prevent bird strikes as RAF jets take off or come into land. To celebrate the contribution that these magnificent birds of prey have made to the RAF, the museum will be having amazing displays daily from 10th – 13th & 18 – 21 April. Tue 11 Apr - Georgian Easter Celebration (WC2N) Take part in traditional Georgian Easter celebrations at Benjamin Franklin House, with a special egg hunt throughout the House. Suitable for 5-11 year olds. To book email education@ Fri 14 – Mon 17 Apr - Traditional Easter (HP8) Visit Chiltern Open Air Museum on Easter weekend, follow the Easter trail and take part in family crafts and activities.

Geffrye Museum Fri 14 – Sat 15 Apr - Easter Trail (SG3) Have fun in the Gardens and Park at Knebworth House this Easter! Explore the Maze and the Dinosaur Trail, enjoy the spring flowers and listen to the birdsong and visit the Gift shop and Tea Room for Easter treats. There’s a huge Adventure Playground, as well as a vintage bus, which will be transporting visitors between the Playground and Gardens each day. Sat 15 Apr - Meet Humpty Dumpty! (HA8) The Broadwalk Centre in Edgware is delighted to announce that children’s nursey rhyme character Humpty Dumpty will be appearing at the centre to meet with youngsters on Saturday 15th April. In celebration of the Easter holidays, little ones will have the opportunity to meet the much-loved star, at personal appearances between 12pm and 4pm during the shopping centre’s meet and greet sessions. Sun 16th Apr - The Great Egg Roll (N6) Go along to Lauderdale House for their annual Easter Egg Roll! Create and decorate your own egg, join in The Great Egg Roll and look for hidden eggs in the park. Meet at the back of the House by the café

to start your Easter eggstravaganza! 020 8348 8716 Sun 16 – Mon 17 Apr - Easter Medieval Jousting (SG3) The turrets and towers of Knebworth House will provide a spectacular backdrop to the costumed knights on majestic warhorses galloping at full tilt across the arena. Knights demonstrate their skills in hand to hand combat, and later in the afternoon visitors will be able to meet and chat to the performers. Families can also enjoy a day at the Park, Fort Knebworth and the Adventure playground, the delightful Gardens and Dinosaur trail plus the jousting. Mon 17 Apr – Easter Egg Festival (WD3) In 1285, during the visit to Chenies of Edward I, the earliest occurrence is recorded of eggs being cooked and given to the villagers to celebrate Easter. Following this tradition, Chenies Manor House have egg & spoon races, sack races, and Easter egg spotting throughout the house, a children’s entertainer, Treasure hunt and Bonnet parade.

For many more local events and diary dates for the whole family visit

North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017


Local Clubs and Classes Directory 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. Every Wednesday 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 info@  The Veggie Kitchen (HA7) Pure vegetarian cookery courses in Stanmore. Specialising in Indian cuisines, as well as Thai, Chinese and many more, students learn to cook nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals in a friendly and homely environment. Group and one-to-one hands on courses.  0208 204 1906  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 

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 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  Club Petit Pierrot (NW3/8/11) French Parent & Toddler group for 2-4 year olds in Hampstead at the JW3 Centre (NW3). Mon from 10.30am-11.15am and will be a multi-sensory session, totally in French, with many fun and varied activities including songs, rhymes, music, arts & crafts, dances and movement, language games, and puppets…all great fun! There will also be new fun French after-school classes on Weds for 4 to 6 yr olds and 6 to 8 yr olds in St Anthony’s School for Girls, Hampstead (NW11). Multi-sensory sessions with arts & crafts and music & movement also take place in St Mark’s Church Hall, St John’s Wood/Maida Vale (NW8) on Thurs, Fri and Sat.  020 7385 5565  www. 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  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. Lessons run from September and February 2016 and are free. 

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. 

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 Gambado Watford (WD25) Giant play-frame, dodgems, climbing wall, and parties.  01923 892140  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  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  info@


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Directory editor: Anna Blackshaw

The Windmill Studio Centre (HA4) An exciting activity centre that has just about everything to offer for all ages from babies to adults.  01895 624755 

White Crane Karate School (HA8) Karate classes for ages 4 years and above held in Edgware, East Finchley, Finchley Central , Stanmore and Harrow Weald. Adult classes in Barnet.  Sheena 0787 550 1674 


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 

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  www.facebook. com/beatbuilding Colourstrings (various) Music Kindergartens for babies, toddler, and children up to 6 years old 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  Little Notes (HA1&HA6) Music Teachers’ Awards for Excellence Finalist 2016. Pre-school music classes run exclusively by professional musicians. Sarah is a classically-trained singer and leads classes with voice, piano, flute and guitar. She creates an interactive musical space where children and adults can be guided as they explore sounds, shapes, rhythms and rhymes together. Love music, right from the start! Classes for children from 0 to 5 years in Harrow & Northwood. Please see website for more details.  020 8426 4114  Mini Maniacs (Various) Multi award nominated classes that are filled with music, dance and exploration – plus plenty of excitement. Focusing on a range of engaging activities, the classes take you up tempo then down tempo, leaving parent and child feeling like they’ve been on a tummy tickling roller coaster!  Contact or visit Monkey Music (Various) 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, written by classically trained musicians, ensures that classes are a “good fit” for pre-schoolers. Parents across the UK have voted it as “Best National Toddler Development Activity” and “Best National Pre-school Development Activity”. Age guides are as follows: Rock’n’ Roll from 3m, Heigh Ho from 1yr, Jiggety Jig from 2rs, Ding Dong 3- 5yrs. Classes are open 6 days a week, at venues in Uxbridge, New Denham, Eastcote, Northwood and Harrow.  020 8427 6595 

SPORTS AND EXERCISE 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  capoeiracademyuk@gmail. com Enjoy-a-Ball classes (Various) Sports coaching for 3-9 yr olds in a fun, positive and non-competitive 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. Call 08452 26 26 94 to book a trial session. Enjoy-aBall parties are for super-active 3 - 9 year olds. They are full of high energy games loved by boys and girls alike!  08452 26 26 94  Everyone Active (various) Swimming lessons, sports clubs and activities for all ages. See our ad on page 19 for more details.  Field End Flyers Saturday Morning Community Cycle Club (HA5) Every Saturday in Term Time at Field End Road for all children aged 5 – 11 years. 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 (for both children and parents) 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 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  jlevene@littlekickers. Ruislip, Northwood/Oxhey, Pinner, Harrow (HA2), Harrow on the Hill and Watford  0208 123 9346  or Harrow (HA3) Bushey and North Wembley  0208 422 0676  Modern Combat Martial Arts - MCMA* (HA1/HA5/UB5) Children’s MixedMartial Arts & Self Defence from 5yrs - 14yrs. Ladies Only Boxing & Kick Boxing from 15yrs. Mixed Adult KRAV MAGA Classes from 16yrs.  www.;;  07818 416 671 Rugbytots - the UK’s first rugby based play programme for 2-7 year olds. Focusing on developing your child’s motor skills and confidence with funfilled programmes aimed at improving general ball skills, balance, agility and coordination. Currently classes in Watford, Rickmansworth, Bushey and Stanmore.  For more information contact SportsKids Academy (WD3 & HA3) Multi-sports Activities for children. All students are taught in small groups of similar age and ability. Mini academy ages 4-6 years (an hour and a half) Main Academy 6-16 years (3 hours). (Previously known as SportsCoach.) Held at JFS The Mall Kenton and Rickmansworth Masonic School Rickmansworth  01923255099 

Massage & Yoga Positiv-Life Fitness (various) Specialise in Small group Personal training Pregnancy Pilates, Mum & Baby Yoga & Postnatal Pilates, Baby Massage & Fitness for Mums for those in & near Eastcote, Ruislip, Harrow, Pinner, Northwood, Uxbridge, & Maida Vale West London. info@positivlifefitness. com  07974 062 973  > Twitter @PositivLifeFit YogaBugs (various) A magical, fun and interactive story-style adventures for children where they learn yoga techniques. Yoga improves flexibility, posture and concentration and also helps in relaxation. Fun and engaging classes for children from walking to 12 years of age.  Contact details: 08458997168. 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 months) YogaBellies Little Angels pre-school yoga (18 months to 4 years): Sat mornings, Bushey YogaBelliesKidz family yoga (children 4-12 years): Sat & Sun mornings, Bushey NEW: YogaBelles Mum and Daughter (13-16 years): Weekday evening, Bushey  07840 904887 ; members/anjli

Swimmimg Aqua Style (WD23/HA6) teaches children, babies and adults to swim without aids in small groups, or One to One. Good facilities and plenty of parking. They run Intensive ‘Fast Track’ Courses during School Holidays and weekly ‘Term Time’ courses.   07925954144. Aqua Vie Swimming based on effortless swimming and true water confidence. Fun classes for babies & Children from 6wks+ to all ages including Adults. New Tues, Wed & Sunday morning classes in Bushey WD23. Tel 01923 245 772 or email Aweswim (various) Aweswim offers courses for people of all ages and abilities, ranging from parent and baby groups through to adults.   01923 537070 Push & Glide Swimming School (WD18, WD23, HA6) Push & Glide Swimming School provide extremely high standards of swimming instruction, they pride themselves on their friendly, dynamic teaching environment. They provide fully qualified instructors who are committed to maintaining and improving an excellent quality of teaching along with low ratio swimming lessons in a safe environment for children aged 3.5 years plus. All abilities are catered for, from gaining water confidence through to competition training, following the ASA progressive scheme awards.  07749554405  Splashtime Swim School (various) Swimming lessons, Holiday clubs and After school club held at Quainton Hall School. Swimming lessons also held at Merchant Taylors School and Uxendon Manor Primary School.  Splashtime Swim School  07903126486 Children’s Activities 07794078452

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  JAM2000 Performing Arts & Agency (HA4) Truly like no other, with classes available from 2.5 years – adults, male and female plus an incredibly busy agency that is always looking for new recruits!  01895 624755  Jigsaw Performing Arts Schools (Various) Put a Spring in Your Step with Drama, Singing and Dance Spring is in the air, which means a new school term lies just around the corner… the ideal opportunity for your Little One to discover drama, singing and dance for the very first time. There was a sense of excitement in the air last term at Jigsaw Arts. Children across London and the Home Counties took part in 11 fun-filled weeks of performing arts classes. Alongside this, children from Jigsaw’s agency have been involved in exciting work on film and TV, and the Youth Theatre are getting ready for their upcoming performances at the Oxford House Theatre, London. One thing is for certain: if you’re looking for an enjoyable extracurricular activity for your child this spring, then look no further than the performing arts. Feed their imagination… watch their confidence grow. Visit for more information, or call 0208 4474530 to book a two week trial.

Local Clubs and Classes Directory Italia Conti Ruislip (HA5) A Performing Arts School for students of 2yrs to adult, based at Haydon School in Eastcote. ISTD Ballet, Tap and Modern, Street dance, Break Dance, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, Singing, LAMDA, acting, Gymnastics, Lyrical and much more! Shows twice a year at Harrow Arts Centre. Telephone or email for a FREE TRIAL 0  20 8838 8747  Nichola Rees Youth Academy – NYRA (WD) An acting and performing arts academy based in Watford, for young people aged 4-18 years.Weekly workshops on Thursdays and Saturdays, and an annual performance.  07702 965 851  Perform Drama (Various) Perform uses a specially formulated mix of drama, dance and singing to bring out every child’s true potential. Small class sizes ensure lots of individual attention by the experienced actor-teachers who focus on developing the 4 Cs: Confidence, Communication, Coordination and Concentration and having the best fun of the week.The summer term starts in April with two brilliant and inspiring themes: Perform 4–7 year olds will be saddling up and going on a Wild West adventure to find the Horse with the Golden Mane. Meanwhile, the 7–12s will be zooming off on a fun-filled outer space adventure with Robinson Crusoe. Perform offers a noobligation, FREE trial session. To book or find your nearest venue, contact: 020 7255 9120 or visit  Sharpe Academy of Theatre Arts (HA1, HA4, HA7, WD3) Performance based theatre school with venues based in Harrow, Rickmansworth, Ruislip and Stanmore where children aged 3-21 attend weekly classes in preparation for full scale Musical Theatre productions.  01923 437693  www. 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  Wordworks Studio (HA5) Individual and group classes in Speech, Drama and Communication Skills for children 3-18yrs. 

Dance Futunity UK Academy of Sport and Dance (UB8) Purpose built facility in Uxbridge City Centre. Classes for children ages 2 all the way through to adults. Hip Hop, Street Dance, Gymnastics, Free Running, Breakdancing, Ballet (RAD), Tap (ISTD), Contemporary, Cheerleading, Pole Fitness, and Children’s Parties. Classes range from beginners to advanced/competitive levels. Three fully equipped studios available for hire, at very competitive rates. Futunity UK also supply dance (all genres) and gymnastics teachers into schools to run after/before school extra curricular sessions, and PE and PPA cover lessons. 01895 251224  www. 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  instepschoolofballet@yahoo. Karan’s Bollywood Masterclass (Various) Fun, Motivating and Popular dance classes that teach a fusion of Bollywood, Bhangra, Hip-Hop and Kathak. Open to Toddlers, Children & Adults - call us now to arrange your trial lesson. All dance levels welcome and training leads to stage performance opportunities.  0208 423 9543/07944 457 984  Lorna Clark School of Dance (Various) Established for over 40 years, training students from 3-18 yrs - Ballet, Tap, Modern, Classical Greek and National. Royal Academy of Dance Examinations are taken in Ballet from Primary to Advanced Level and ISTD exams in all other Genre to the same standard. All classes held in South Harrow/Eastcote. Book a free No Obligation Lesson with this advert.  0208 8662105 or 01923 285380.  RISE Studios (WD) Dance and Performing Arts Schools in Watford and Rickmansworth. Classes in ballet, modern, tap, street dance, hip-hop, drama, singing, LAMDA and Performing Arts.  01923 218626  The Van Niekerk Academy of Dance (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  020 8950 2457  www

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 Monday–Thursday 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  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  Blank Canvas Art Club (HA4) Let them explore their creative side! Imaginative Art classes delivering art techniques in a fun environment. Infant Classes Mon 3.30, Tues 5, Thurs 3.45pm. Juniors classes Tues 5, Wed 4.30, Thurs 5pm NEW 11+ classes Wed 5.45pm & Preschool “stay and create” classes for ages 2-4 and an adult, Wed 1.30-2.15pm & more coming soon.  07773 819 603,

Luchi and Ota (HA8) Sewing classes and course for kids and adults. Also hold one-off drop-in sessions and sewing and craft parties.  020 8958 7714  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  Mini Picassos (NW10) After school art courses for children 4-13yrs. Toddler Picassos - weekdays at 10am & Tues 2.45-3.45pm: Painting, water play, collage, play dough and songs. Ages 15 mnths–3 yrs. Adults evening Life drawing classes. Mini Picassos Arty Birthday Party for children aged 2-10 years and Summer Holiday workshops too!  07903 638 817  www. The Veggie Kitchen (HA7) offers pure vegetarian cookery courses in Stanmore. Specialising in Indian cuisines, as well as Thai, Chinese and many more, students will learn to cook nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals in a friendly and homely environment. Offer group and one-to-one hands on courses.  0208 204 1906 

AFTER SCHOOL CLUB /EDUCATION SUPPORT 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 Champs Learning (HA1) A very structured tuition course for English, Maths, Science and 11+ exams. Courses run at Harrow College.  020 3004 9007  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 Boot Camp (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  Elisa’s Tutorial School (HA8) Experienced private tutor in Edgware. Programmes for children from 2.5-16 yrs. If your child needs a little extra help, in English maths verbal and non-verbal 4+ 7+ and 11+ preparing for entrance exams or you just want to give them every advantage, Elisa can help. 99% success rate.  020 8958 1192 07956868119  Excel Academy (HA3) Experienced tuition in preparation for SATs, 11+, 13+, GCSEs, AS & A2 levels. Small group sizes, all aspects of the National Curriculum covered.  Explore Learning centres provide maths and English tuition to 5-14 year olds of all abilities. Visit their website to find your nearest centre or call to book a free trial class!  First Class Learning (Various) Structured yet flexible programme, designed for children studying the UK National Curriculum. Tailored to a child’s learning needs & style. Find out more about this structured approach to learning, by contacting one of your local Centre managers.  Fleet Tutors (Various) Professional one to one tutoring. Fleet Tutors has been matching the right tutor to the education needs of students across the UK since 1977. Tutors are subject specialists who tailor the teaching and learning experience to relieve any subject specific anxieties and help build your child’s confidence so they achieve a successful outcome.  0333 920 2545. The Harrow Woodcraft Folk (HA) Elfin group for children, 6 to 9 year olds are reopening their group after the Summer holidays on Tuesday 6th September in Central Harrow. Parents wishing to join their children should contact the District Secretary; John Woolf:  020 8428 2409 or  e-mail: For more information regarding Harrow Woodcraft Folk visit their web site: www.harrowwoodcraftfolk. High Fliers (HA4 & WD7) 11+ tuition for Independent and Grammar school entrance. Run by highly experienced and qualified prep school teachers offering a unique and tailored tutoring service.  07949 297070/07534 020868  Holidaytime After school club is part of Activetime Children’s Activities limited (HA1) Pick’s up from four local school’s at the end of the school day, then take the children back to the club for a snack and the daily activity. They are open Monday- Friday 3pm-6pm  Nicole 07794078452 

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  ushapatel. JKEducate Educational Consultancy and Tutoring (various) Tutoring, Assessments, Consultancy for children 5-18yrs. 7+, 11+, GCSE, A Levels, SEN, EFL.  020 3488 0754  Knowledge Above Standard (HA7) Maths, English, Verbal and non-verbal reasoning, 7+, 11+ 13+ exam preparation.  07985 588 085  Kumon (various) Unique maths and English study programmes which support children by building and developing a solid foundation in their literacy and/or numeracy skills.  Leaders are Readers (HA5 & N21) Offer specialist experience and accelerated learning in their award winning Saturday School, and also run popular Summer and Winter Schools during holidays. 2 hours spent per subject, including English, Maths, Learning to Read and Verbal and NonVerbal Reasoning. All programmes are for ages 3.5 to 11 and the success rate is 90% for helping pupils prepare to sit entrance exams, including 4+, 5+, 7+ and 11+. Childcare vouchers accepted.  01992 651 300  Little Big Leaders Ltd (HA7) Supplementary School for students aged three and a half to 11 years undertaking Reading, Maths and English.  020 8213 3100 07949 925374 The London Tutors (Various) Specialises in providing 11 Plus classroom based learning, to yr 4 and 5 students. Prepare students to sit exams for Grammar and private schools.  For a call back email your name and phone number to Mastermind Tuition (HA) Specialise in 11+, Maths, English, Verbal & Non-verbal reasoning (including CEM-style) and Grammar & Independent school preparation. Classes in Harrow & Northwood (free parking on site) Visit the website or call  07478 878672 to book a FREE TRIAL  Math’scool Award-winning Maths Tuition plus out-of-lesson homework support.  0333 12 33 445  The Northwood Speech and Language Therapy Practice (HA6) An independent service covering a range of children’s communication difficulties.  01923 824 074  Number Works ‘n’ Words (Eastcote) After school 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.  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.  The Play Shelter After School Club at Malorees Infant & Junior Schools (NW6) 3.30pm to 6pm term time. Play schemes available out of term-time.  0207 407 6744.  The Rainbow Club (various) Specialise in preparing for 3+, 4+ and 5+ entrance exams. 07850 045 471  Raviv Practice London (UB5) Catch up reading course for children on the SEN register. Reading courses are flexible with home based learning (via computer) monitored daily.  Usha Patel on 07766 837 616  (registered therapist) Simple Studies (NW4) Offer expert English and Maths tuition for 4-16 year olds at their cosy centre in Hendon. They specialise in 11+ entrance exams. Quote ‘Familiesmagazine’ and get 10% off your first lesson!  07793 498195  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  Stanmore Tutor Stanmore Tutor prepares students thoroughly for the top selective schools ensuring that they reach their maximum potential for that all important place.  020 3538 2437 Type IT! - Touch Typing Lessons for Children (HA5) Learn to touch type! Specifically designed 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. 

Families North West London is designed by Bibbysalt and printed by Warners. Copyright Families North West Magazine 2017. Families North West is part of Families Magazines Ltd a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families ® is a registered trademark of Families Magazines Ltd, Temple House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. The contents of Families North West London are fully protected by copyright and non of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of the publisher. We take every care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequence.

SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPIST An independent service covering a range of Children’s communication difficulties. Contact THE NORTHWOOD PRACTICE MRCSLT, HPC

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North West London MARCH/APRIL 2017


Families North West London Mar Apr 2017 Issue 113  

Children's parties; Easter and Summer camps and activities; Education; School open days; Parenting and What's On and Children's theatre.

Families North West London Mar Apr 2017 Issue 113  

Children's parties; Easter and Summer camps and activities; Education; School open days; Parenting and What's On and Children's theatre.