Families Oxfordshire July August 24

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Have fun with Shaun the Sheep this summer 22nd July to 1st September © and TM Aardman Animations Ltd 2024 Issue 120 July/August 2024 familiesonline.co.uk TAKEMEHOME FREE Telephone: 01865 236 886 | mathnasium.com/uk Mathnasium of North Oxford | 18 South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JL Make Mathnasium Part of Your Plans This Summer
Running throughout the summer holidays • For years 1-8
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Puzzles and activities With the right materials, the right instruction, and the right support, any child can learn, enjoy and thrive in maths. Book your place on our Summer Sessions
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Dear Reader,

Summer is finally here! The start of long lazy days, time to get up, go on a walk and rediscover the pleasure of doing nothing at all with days relaxing in the garden with the family. When you feel like doing something more energetic for the day like visiting the beach, a museum, farm or water park then this issue of families will give you some inspiration. Have a lovely summer.



Wise words!

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.
Dr Seuss


Museum has a peachy time in store for visitors this summer


adults & 2 children)

Visitors to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden are in for a peachy time this summer as the leisure attraction gears up to celebrate one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved books, James and the Giant Peach (Saturday 20th July - Sunday 1st September).

The visitor attraction, set over two floors and featuring artefacts including Dahl’s original writing hut, has a host of activities lined up to keep families entertained Tuesdays –Sundays throughout the school summer holidays.

Younger visitors can look forward to some handson workshops inspired by the book including science experiments, making an insect home and creating miniature gardens. There will also be daily storytelling, a themed trail around the museum and a craft room where little ones can get stuck into making their very own Cloud-Men, as featured in the book.

To enter, please visit our Facebook page @familieseastoxfordshiremag where you will find the terms and conditions. Please like and share our competition post and follow our page. Good luck.

What's in this issue?

4. News & Views

6. Sleep Nanny Q&A

7. Baby News

8. What's On

11. Days out in Oxfordshire

12. Cultural Capital

15. Summer in the Museums

16. Continuity of learning

17. Preparing to start school

19. Sleepover Feature

21. Summer Clubs & Classes

EDITOR: Lisa Exell 01945 861336 editor@familiesOxfordshire.co.uk

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Amanda Dawson, admin@familiescambridgeshire.co.uk

SOCIAL MEDIA: Amanda Dawson, admin@familiescambridgeshire.co.uk

DESIGN: Caroline Thompson-Heap, caroline@thompson-heap.com

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Do you have a couple of spare days every other month, your own car, and want to earn some extra cash?

Families Magazine Oxfordshire is looking for trustworthy, reliable and self motivated people to join their team, delivering our magazine to locations around Wallingford, Thame and Chinnor, and Abingdon and Didcot. You’ll be distributing our magazine every other month for 1-3 days depending on the route. GOOD RATES OF PAY! Call Lisa on 07887 521978 or email editor@familiesox.co.uk to find out more.

familiesonline.co.uk Families Oxfordshire 3 Contents & Competitions


Ready, Set, Read!

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children ages 4 to 11 to read six library books during the long summer holiday and collect rewards, such as stickers, on their way to receiving their challenge certificate and medal.

Children can read any books they like on the Summer Reading Challenge; stories, fact books, poetry, jokes and / or graphic novels. This year's theme is Marvellous Makers and the organiser’s aim is to tap into children’s imaginations, telling amazing stories and coming up with fun new creations, to celebrate the creative arts.

It’s all free, fun and a great way to keep children reading over the summer holidays. The Challenge will launch in libraries on 6th July and continues until 1st September. More info:


Quarter of children ages 3 and 4 own a smartphone

According to new data, a quarter of children ages 3 and 4 in the UK now own a smartphone - a fact that comes as the government considers banning all children under 16 from owning a mobile phone.

The figures, from the communications regulator Ofcom, show high and rising rates of online activity by children of infant-school age, with 38% of children ages 5 to 7 using social media (compared with 30% a year ago) and 76% of them using a tablet.

Ofcom’s annual study of children’s online habits also found the proportion of children ages 5 to 7 sending messages or making voice and video calls had risen from 59% to 65% in the last year. The number of children of that age using WhatsApp rose from 29% to 37% and the proportion using TikTok increased from 25% to 30%. More info: www.ofcom.org.uk


The Big Butterfly Count is a UK-wide survey which helps to assess the health of our environment by counting the amount and type of butterflies we see.

This year, the world’s biggest survey of butterflies will take place from Friday 12th July until Sunday 4th August.

The annual citizen science programme attracts tens of thousands of people out into their garden, local green space or the countryside to spend fifteen minutes counting butterflies and helping to inform conservation action.

Butterflies are indicators of a healthy natural environment and, with half of Britain’s butterfly species already threatened or near threatened with extinction, it’s never been more important to understand how our insects are responding to the changing climate and to take action to protect them.

More info: www.bigbutterflycount.org or download the FREE Big Butterfly Count app.

Playful STEAM Learning with CONNETIX

Children, and parents, will love the limitless open-ended STEAM learning opportunities that CONNETIX, the colourful magnetic tiles, inspire.

The super versatile CONNETIX tiles provide a blank canvas for children to create their own 2D and 3D masterpieces, from castles to race-tracks, rainbows, animals, elaborate ball runs and so much more. Through playfully exploring, designing and constructing their fantastic builds, children are exposed to a wide range of STEAM learning concepts. They’ll be discovering shapes and colours, and exploring gravity and motion, magnetism, construction and engineering. 3yrs+ from £28 to £180. www.connetixtiles.com www.amazon.co.uk

A healthy mind in a healthy body at Summer Fields

Summer Fields, a prestigious boys’ school for ages 4 -13, has been at the forefront of providing an education which nurtures the whole child since its establishment in 1864. To this day it remains true to its motto of creating ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’.

Renowned for its academic excellence, Summer Fields sends its graduates to esteemed institutions including Eton and Harrow, with many earning scholarships. The school’s impressive record speaks volumes about its dedication to academic success.

Situated on 70 acres of picturesque grounds, Summer Fields boasts exceptional indoor and outdoor facilities shared by its Pre-prep and Prep. These facilities support a well-rounded approach to pupil well-being, offering a balanced diet, diverse sports activities, regular outdoor activities, outstanding pastoral care, and specialised teaching staff across all subjects.

The school is hosting two open mornings this September: the Pre-prep open morning on Thursday 26th September, and the Prep open morning on Saturday 21st September. Prospective parents and their children will be warmly welcomed by staff and pupils, given the chance to tour the school with pupil guides, and learn about all the opportunities Summer Fields provides. Sign up for the open mornings summerfields.com or call 01865 459204.

4 Families Oxfordshire familiesonline.co.uk News & Views

Festival of Archaeology - Bringing People Together

The Festival of Archaeology will be running from 13th to 28th July and this year’s theme is Archaeology and Community.

At its heart, archaeology is all about people and how we explore and interpret the past through the lens of the present day. Archaeology has the unique ability to bring people from all walks of life together through our shared sense of community - what it meant in the past, what it means to us now and how we can shape our future. Through nationwide digital and on-site events, archaeological experts will help families discover how their local landscape has changed to become what it is now, as well as discover exciting stories about their local community.

Join educational guided walks, listen to talks, get involved with exciting archaeological excavations or join digitally online through social media and discover more about your local area. More info:www.archaeologyuk.org


Pendon Museum is home to one of the finest model landscapes in the country, the culmination of one man’s dream to preserve the idyllic rural 1930s landscape of the Vale of White Horse in exquisite miniature.

Visitors can explore thousands of delightful details in three extensive dioramas and see model trains in action. Through exhibitions, audio guides and family trails, and from expert volunteer guides, learn about everyday life nearly 100 years ago before the Second World War and new technologies changed it forever.

This July marks their 70 year anniversary celebrated with a special model train running weekend and exhibition charting the progression of transport from 1930 to the present day. As part of the celebrations during the weekend of 13th & 14th July, there will be a number of special trains on the Sea Wall scene under the banner of “GWR Then and Now” - an event not to be missed!

For details of this and other events at the museum, opening times and admission prices please visit the website www.pendonmuseum.com

Action Packed Adventure this summer

Ultimate Activity Camps welcome children between the ages of 4 and 14 between Monday and Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, ensuring a full day of fun and excitement for campers of all ages! Offering action-packed adventure during this summer break, where the fun never stops. All camps are regulated by Ofsted, so parents can relax knowing that their children will be well-cared for, safety is their top priority, with rigorous protocols in place to ensure your child's well-being. Offering a range of great activities from sports and thrilling survival camps to unleashing creativity through art and inspiring tech camps, there's something for every child’s wild imagination.

Together, they'll embark on unforgettable adventures, conquer challenges, and build memories that will last a lifetime. Ultimate Activity Camps are designed to inspire personal growth and development through teamwork, problem-solving activities, and leadership opportunities. Kids will boost their confidence, resilience, and selfesteem, all while having the time of their lives.

To book a place visit www.UltimateActivityCamps.co.uk

Writing for enjoyment at an all time low

Pupils' futures are being “put at risk” as the number of children enjoying writing in their spare time has plummeted to an “unprecedented low”, the National Literacy Trust has warned. According to the charity, the number of children and young people who said they enjoy writing in their free time has fallen to the lowest point since the National Literacy Trust’s survey started 14 years ago.

A survey of more than 76,000 UK children and young people revealed that fewer than 3 in 10, 8 to 18-year-olds say they enjoy writing in their free time - the lowest level recorded by the charity since it first started surveying children about their writing in 2010.

Last year, 3 in 10, 11-year-olds left primary school without the writing skills expected for their age, while a third of 16-year-olds did not achieve a grade 4 or above in English and maths GCSEs; with those from disadvantaged backgrounds worse affected.

When children and young people enjoy writing and write daily in their free time, their writing skills, critical thinking skills, confidence, creativity and wellbeing benefit.

Providing opportunities for children and young people to feel inspired to write at school was found to be linked to their enjoyment and frequency of writing in their free time. Twice as many young people who took part in a creative writing group, storyteller visit, book group or writing competition in school last year said that they enjoy writing in their free time and write daily compared to their peers who did not take part in those activities.

The National Literacy Trust’s ‘Words for Life’ website provides a wealth of free activities, ideas and inspiration for families to help get children of all ages excited about writing at home: wordsforlife.org.uk/ write

familiesonline.co.uk Families Oxfordshire 5 News & Views

Sleep Nanny Q&A

Families have some popular questions from new mums for Sleep Nanny Melanie Hastings


Using white noise can be part of a healthy sleep routine for your baby, ensure it’s at a safe volume to protect your baby’s hearing and comfort. There is not a reason to take it away if your little one sleeps well.


Newborns need between 14-17 hours of sleep over a 24 hour period IS IT OK TO USE A DUMMY FOR SLEEP?

Using a dummy for sleep is a personal choice and can be part of a healthy sleep routine when used appropriately. Always consider your baby’s individual needs and what’s right for your family. If you start to be woken up multiple times during the night to replace the dummy then it might be that it’s time to take it away or teach your little one how to put it back in themselves.


Yes, keeping a sleep diary for your newborn is a great idea. It helps you to monitor sleep patterns, wake windows and feeding schedules. MY 7 MONTH BABY WAKES UP AROUND 4AM AND HAPPILY CHATS AWAY TO HERSELF. SHE ONLY MANAGES SHORT NAPS IN 30-MINUTE BLOCKS! WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE?

It might be a sign that your routine needs a little adjustment. Make sure your baby isn’t hungry, as a night feed might be needed at this stage. If bedtime is at 7pm, ensure your baby is awake by 5pm at the latest.

For more advice visit www.melaniehastings.sleepnanny.co.uk

Small friendly school | Family community Small classes | Fun and innovative learning Excellent pastoral care | Catholic Christian ethos Register at www.ola.org.uk/visit Catholic Independent Co-educational Day School for 7–18s welcoming all faiths and none Radley Road | Abingdon-on-Thames | OX14 3PS | 01235 524658 | www.ola.org.uk Lower TasterSchoolDay 10Thursday October Families Feature 6 Families Oxfordshire familiesonline.co.uk

Hands Free Baby Towel

Cuddledry, the brand behind the multi award-winning innovation the Hands Free Baby Towel, is a must have for every family, from the beach to bath time!

The genius design ensures there are no more struggles when it comes to getting baba out of the water. Instead of having to hold a towel while simultaneously getting a wet baby safely out the water, the Cuddledry towel attaches around the parent/carers neck like an apron. The thoughtful design, with super cute hood, ensures little ones can be wrapped quickly, easily and quite literally cuddled dry.

Made from a gorgeous two-layer luxurious bamboo towelling fabric, one layer softly absorbs moisture to dry little ones, whilst the other layer keeps the parent dry - genius!

RRP: from £31.99 | Stockist: Sweet Dreamers

Are you aged 16-24 years?

Have you had a baby born in the last 12 months?

Do you feel low, stressed out, have no energy, or don‘t enjoy things anymore?

We are testing a new online support package for young parents who are feeling low, stressed out or miserable.

Could you help us by taking part?

Find out about getting involved by scanning the QR code:

Baby born deaf can hear after breakthrough gene therapy

A baby girl born deaf can hear unaided for the first time, after receiving ground-breaking gene therapy when she was eleven months old at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Opal Sandy from Oxfordshire is the first patient treated in a global gene therapy trial, which shows “mind-blowing” results. She is the first British patient in the world and the youngest child to receive this type of treatment.

Opal was born completely deaf because of a rare genetic condition, auditory neuropathy, caused by the disruption of nerve impulses travelling from the inner ear to the brain.

Within four weeks of having the gene therapy infusion to her right ear, Opal responded to sound, even with the cochlear implant in her left ear switched off.

Clinicians noticed continuous improvement in Opal’s hearing in the weeks afterwards and at 24 weeks confirmed close to normal hearing levels for soft sounds, such as whispering, in her treated ear.

Now 18 months old, Opal can respond to her parents’ voices and can communicate words such as “Dada” and “bye-bye.”

Children with a variation in the OTOF gene often pass the newborn screening, as the hair cells are working, but they are not talking to the nerve. It means this hearing loss is not commonly detected until children are 2 or 3 years of age - when a delay in speech is likely to be noticed.

Professor Bance added: “We have a short time frame to intervene because of the rapid pace of brain development at this age. Delays in the diagnosis can also cause confusion for families as the many reasons for delayed speech and late intervention can impact a children’s development.”


familiesonline.co.uk Families Oxfordshire 7 Families Baby News
email: aadapt@psych ox ac uk phone number: 01865 618330 Ethics Approval Ref: R88863/RE005 V1.0_14 Nov 2023
AADAPT Online - Addressing young mum’s and dad’s low mood and their parenting

What’s On

Things to do, places to go and fun to be had for kids of all ages in


English Civil War re-enactment

WHEN: 30th June and 4th August, 11.00 - 15.00

WHERE: Cogges Manor Farm

See living history displays and re-enactments around the farm from the Marquess of Winchester’s Regiment, considered one of the premier formations in English Civil War re-enactment. Prices from £6.00 under 3’s go free www.cogges.org.uk


the World

WHEN: 5th July, 10.00 - 11.00

WHERE: Pegasus Theatre

Join a host of puppet friends in creative, immersive play exploring a different story each session, packed with fun and engaging ways for you and your little one to play imaginatively and creatively with simple, everyday objects. £5.00 www.pegasustheatre.org.uk

Alice’s Day: Curious Cushion Concert

WHEN: 6th July, 10.30 - 11.00

WHERE: Museum of Oxford

A woodwind concert, with music inspired by familiar stories and terrific tales you may not have heard before . Get curious and creative, hearing from a variety of instruments with plenty of chances to sing-along. . £3.96 per child

(accompanying adult free) museumofoxford.org

Caterpillars, rabbits and birds: A family workshop about wildlife and words

WHEN: 6th July, 13.00 - 16.00

WHERE: Museum of Oxford

Family-friendly workshop all about poetry and nature, inspired by the flora and fauna of Alice in Wonderland! Explore the magical and sometimes mysterious world of nature and return to MOX to write your own poems. From £3.96 museumofoxford.org


Art WorkshopSensory Play

WHEN: 6th July, 14.00 - 16.00

WHERE: Earth Trust Centre, Little Wittenham

Designed to support families who experience autism and/or have other additional needs. Play with and explore things you can make with natural clay and foraged items, creating vibrant paintings using natural inks and getting messy with charcoal mark-making. £5.00 per ticket www.earthtrust.org.uk

Pendon Museum’s 70th Anniversary Exhibition

WHEN: 13th and 14th July, 11.00 - 16.00

WHERE: Pendon Museum, Long Wittenham

As part of their 70th Anniversary celebrations, Pendon Museum will have a temporary exhibition and running weekend that will feature several special model trains on the Sea Wall scene. From £6.00 www.pendonmuseum.com

David Gibb’s Family Jukebox

WHEN: 20th July, 11.00 - 11.45

WHERE: The Woodshed, The Story Museum

Join David and his magical, musical Jukebox and take a trip through his hilarious and often surreal imagination, where dragons live under the bed and teddy bears dance the night away at the disco. Suitable for ages 2+, £9.00 per person, www.storymuseum.org.uk

Romeo and Juliet

WHEN: 17th - 19th July, 18.00

WHERE: Cogges Manor Farm

Hailed as Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, this tale of ‘star-crossed lovers’ from two feuding families is told over three summer evenings in an action-packed show. Suitable for adults & children age 3+

Prices from £9.00 www.cogges.org.uk

Fantastic Fairgrounds

WHEN: 18th July, 10.30 - 11.30 or 13.00 - 14.00

WHERE: Museum of Oxford

Perfect for under 5s and their carers, includes an interactive story-song time and a fortyfive-minute sensory play session (old clothes are recommended). Meet other families and practice communication and motor skills in a relaxed space. £3.00 per child (accompanying adult free) museumofoxford.org

Festival of Art and Archaeology Weekend

WHEN: 13th and 14th July, 11.00 - 16.00

WHERE: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford Explore ‘The Medieval World of the Wilton Diptych’. Enjoy a variety of medieval arts and crafts, demonstrations, music and storytelling. Make your own medieval diptych and crowns, meet archaeologists and get to explore objects in the Museum and behind the scenes. FREE www.ashmolean.org

Summer Garden Trail

WHEN: 24th July - 1st

September, 10.00- 17.30

WHERE: Waterperry Gardens

Have a hoot this summer - orienteering family fun throughout the summer holidays. Using directions and clues follow the sculpture trail throughout the ornamental gardens to discover ten fabulous Owl sculptures! £4.50 per child with a prize www.waterperrygardens.co.uk 01844 339254

The Wind in the Willows: The Musical

WHEN: 27th July, 17.00 - 19.30

WHERE: Waterperry Gardens

Featuring hilarious comedy, magic and fantastic toe-tapping songs, you’ll be sure of an evening of wonderful open-air theatre. www.waterperrygardens.co.uk 01844 339254

Make tracks for a great day out

Explore this 21-acre living museum and unearth almost two centuries of railway history. Stroll through the original 1932 Engine Shed and see magnificent preserved locomotives –you can even climb onto the footplates of some!

8 Families Oxfordshire familiesonline.co.uk 01235 817 200 | didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk info@didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk


and Songs!

An introduction to Opera with Oxford Opera Company

WHEN: 8th August, 11.00 - 12.00, 13.00 - 14.00 or 14.15 - 15.15

WHERE: Museum of Oxford

The workshop will gently introduce children to the idea of storytelling through music and help them to discover and explore their own imaginations and creativity. Suitable for children aged 4 to 7. £3.00 per child (accompanying adult free) museumofoxford.org

Cogges Beer & Cider Festival

WHEN: 10th Aug, 14.00 - 22.00

WHERE: Cogges Farm Park

Cogges’ legendary Beer and Cider Festival is back for a celebration in the barns with live music and BBQ. The festival fun starts at 2pm, children are welcome for fun in the farmyard during the day, no child admittance after 5pm.

From £13.50 / £15 on the day www.cogges.org.uk



Oxford Storytelling Festival

WHEN: 23rd - 25th August WHERE: Waterperry Gardens

Weaving magic with stories, spoken word, poetry and song in a beautiful space where a community of people can come together and connect with each other and the stories of our lands.

www.waterperrygardens.co.uk 01844 339254




WHEN: 31st August, 17.00 - 18.30

WHERE: Waterperry Gardens

Escape into the open air this summer with The Little Mermaid, taking place in the wonderful setting of the Amphitheatre. IK Production’s unmistakable brand of “delightfully daft” family theatre is back.

www.waterperrygardens.co.uk 01844 339254

Master Builders Club

Brick Building LEGO® Workshops

WHEN: July and August

WHERE: Various locations

Do you love building with Lego® bricks? If you’re a budding designer, engineer or inventor then Master Builders Club needs you! Creative brick building workshops for children age 5+ with 3 different exciting themes. Just remember to bring your imagination!


WHERE: The Woodshed, The Story Museum

Adventure Play

WHEN: July and August

WHERE: Blenheim Palace

A hidden world of adventure, where mini explorers of all ages create their own exciting stories as they clamber, climb, paddle, slide, splash and zip through the exciting zones. Explore the amazing network of tunnels, bridges, cargo nets and hidden chambers. Prices from £11.50 www.blenheimpalace.com

The Light, Banbury

WHEN: July and August

The Light offers something for everyone - the three-floor venue is home to a seven-screen cinema, ten lanes of luxury bowling, a retro arcade, a top-quality climbing centre, interactive darts, a karaoke room, diner, American pool tables and much more.


Roald Dahl Museum

WHEN: July and August

WHERE: Great Missenden Workshops, activities and storytelling throughout the year. including James and the Giant Peach Storytelling, Bugs and critters with jungle juniors. From £5.00, 01494 892192 www.roalddahlmuseum.org

Whipsnade Zoo

WHEN: July and August

Feel the wonder of wildlife this summer at Whipsnade Zoo, the UK’s biggest zoo. Discover over 10,000 animals including the new Monkey Forest exhibit, expert animal talks every day, plus a huge outdoor play area! There’s a whole day of special family memories to be made. From £16.90 www.whipsnadezoo.org

Families Oxfordshire 9 Families What’s on
Please mention Families Oxfordshire when replying to events




Children’s holiday activities

Nature trails

Summer Fun on the Farm

Shakespeare on the lawn

Romeo & Juliet 17-19 July

Beer & Cider Festival 10 August

Live music & BBQ

Harvest Fayre 7 September Food & Produce Show

Cogges Kitchen Café & Shop open daily



what’s on
book online:
Open daily Climbing, bowling, mini-golf, cinema and more! Enjoy family fun all Summer long BOOK NOW Find us at: The Light, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury, OX16 2PA REACH NEW HEIGHTS AT THE LIGHT BANBURY! Summer fun at the Science Oxford Centre Family Days
Manor Farm, Witney Free
OX28 3FR
Zone with 20+ hands-on exhibits
trails & Explorer Backpacks
café Family Days every Saturday Monthly STEM CLUBS Ages 5-12 Book ahead scienceoxford.com Science Oxford Centre, Quarry Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 8SB Nature Club: discover the natural world Ages 5-9

Days out in Oxfordshire this Summer


At Britain’s Greatest Palace, there’s a whole host of fun to be had for you and your family over the summer holiday season from 22nd July to 1st September.

There’s plenty of excitement in the Walled Garden including the magnificent Marlborough Maze, the Butterfly House and their brand new Rowse Hive where little ones can learn all about their honey making friends on the Estate. Have an oar-some adventure on the Lake by taking out a boat, paddleboard or kayak, or head to the Stables at weekends from 22nd July to meet horses or ponies and discover their role in Blenheim’s history.

Blenheim Palace Adventure Play has something for everyone, from its zipwires and treetop walkways to the miniature Grand Bridge complete with climbing levels, secret hiding places and slides. The splash-tastic Winding River is perfect for those sunny summer days with its stepping stones, pumps and water jets. Enjoy unlimited access to the Adventure Play as well as the Palace, Park and Gardens all year round with the new Palace & Play Passfind out more at www.blenheimpalace.com/adventure-play/palaceand-play-pass/


Get ready for your summer hay-cation at Cogges Manor Farm in Witney, open every day! Meet the friendly animals and explore 17 acres of grounds, adventure play and zip wire. Look out for children’s crafts and activities, scavenger hunts and more over the holidays. Join the fun at a teddy bears picnic 17th & 18th August, or get stuck in with Giant Junk Modelling for August Bank Holiday weekend! See free roaming chickens and ducks, plus turkeys, sheep, Shetland ponies, goats, guinea pigs and rabbits, and the elusive farm cats. Meet the animal sessions at 11am & 2pm at weekends and bank holidays. Play croquet on the lawn, and explore 17 acres of gardens, picnic orchard and nature trails in the meadow. Stop off at the Cogges Kitchen café for lunch, a cuppa and cake - or treat yourself to a cream tea and a glass of fizz. See what’s on and book: cogges.org.uk


Science Oxford are off on a Summer Tour, bringing the Science of Magic Show and Family Drop in Days to libraries and community hubs in Banbury, Barton, Berinsfield and Cowley in July and August. Explore the science behind magic tricks! What makes water vanish? When does a tin roll uphill? How can an egg swim? Join in for lots of headscratchingly mysterious interactive demonstrations from their science genies. No wands or magic lamps required!

Children can try cool STEM inspired activities at Family Drop in Days from testing UV beads and sunscreen, creative coding and experimenting with ink chromatography with extra activities for under 7s. This project is in partnership with the Oxfordshire Library service, The Reading Agency, Barton Community Service, Oxfordshire County Council, the Hill Community Centre, Barton Community Association and Oxford Community Action.

That’s not all - head to Oxfordshire Play Association’s FREE Play Days in Bicester Elmsbrook (29th July) Banbury People’s Park (31st July) and Berinsfield Recreation Ground (6th August) try out fun science inspired activities at the Science Oxford stall!


The Light offers something for everyone this summer, the three-floor venue is home to a seven-screen cinema, ten lanes of luxury bowling, a retro arcade, a top-quality climbing centre, interactive darts, a karaoke room, diner, American pool tables and much more.

The cinema offers interactive fun toddler-centred screenings, designed exclusively for pre-school children and their parents or carers, showing many toddler favourites: The Highway Rat, The Gruffalo and Zog and the Flying Doctors this summer. With tickets priced from just £3.50 what’s not to love!.

The state-of-the-art climbing centre is perfect for all experience levels. Guided by the venue’s climbing experts, guests can enjoy multiple themed zones with time trials, mirror walls and even a leap of faith. For those non-thrill seekers, guests can also grab a barista made coffee or a bite to eat from Coffee Cabana located in the foyer.

Downstairs guests can enjoy a ten-lane luxury bowl, interactive darts, a stunning karaoke room and games arcade. If you have worked up an appetite after all that activity then the venue’s Diner hosts Fratellis and PITTSBURGER who serve up handmade pizzas, burgers, wraps, wings, and sides, to desserts, brunch, milkshakes. www.banbury.thelight.co.uk

familiesonline.co.uk Families Oxfordshire 11 Families Days out

Cultural capital: what it is and why it matters

The term ‘cultural capital’ entered the social consciousness in 1979, when Pierre Bourdieu introduced the concept in his book Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Broadly speaking, it refers to the knowledge, skills and experiences that are valued by a society.

It is thought that those who gain and harness this type of knowledge are more likely to have a social advantage. Take a child who is regularly taken to libraries, museums and sports games, with further crosscultural experiences through travel. It completely follows that this child is likely to excel further in their education and enjoy more social mobility than a child who is not offered these experiences.

Cultural capital is sometimes thought of as the background knowledge to understanding a culture. For example, a passage in your child’s English test might mention that food has been ‘sautéed.’ A child who has had the benefit of eating in restaurants using this descriptor may well understand the term, whereas another child who has not had these experiences will not. This gives the first child a reading advantage. Latin words are another obvious example. A child who has had some training in Latin might come to automatically understand Latin phrases in our everyday lives eg the Invictus Games or phrases such as ‘quid pro quo.’

Now don’t worry, I’m really not about to suggest that you start taking your child to Michelin starred restaurants and enrol them in an immersive Latin course this summer! However, it is valuable to think about how you can equip your child with the type of knowledge, skills and experiences that can help them both in school (reading especially) and in their life beyond. In fact, research has proven that background knowledge compensates for a weaker reading ability, so any opportunities to bolster your child’s background knowledge are beneficial.

Some people are concerned that attempts to teach cultural capitalism might lead to expressions of cultural elitism and it is certainly a reasonable concern. However, providing broad based knowledge and experiences are not exclusive to a single culture and your child should certainly not be getting the impression that one culture is superior to another.

In conclusion, it is definitely worth considering how to support your child’s background knowledge, in the form of cultural capital.

Summer experiences that build cultural capital

The summer holidays give you time to line up some culturally rich activities for your kids. It’s great to capitalise on your local area and look for low-cost activities.

Check out whether your nearest museums are hosting events for children over summer. Why not visit the museum anyway to soak up some local history? We often take local places of historical significance or interest for granted but this summer you could spend longer there and seek to learn a bit more together.

Local libraries may also be running events for kids over the summer. Or deep dive into one of your child’s interests and borrow a stack of non-fiction books on the subject. Galleries and exhibitions may also be popping up in your local area: have a look at what’s on in July and August.

Cultural capital is not and should not be limited to a single culture, so do try to go beyond British culture. Are there any local opportunities to experience forms of art from other cultures?

Erin Miller is a teacher with a keen interest in how research can be used in the classroom to improve learning.


If finding outside experiences rich in cultural capital seems easier said than done, there’s still plenty you can do from home.

The best place to start is with books. The World Book Day website (www.worldbookday.com) has quality recommendations for children’s books, both old and new and spanning the globe. For reluctant readers, try audiobooks.

Many galleries and museums have award-winning online virtual tours and activities. For older children, these include the National Gallery at www.bit.ly/ngvirtualt and the British Museum at www.bit. ly/britmu

With a general election coming up, it could also be a good time to introduce your child to the world of politics. You could encourage your child to research your local candidates and discover some of the differences between the main parties. Finally, how about trying out some new foods over summer? Perhaps try a new recipe at home with foods you wouldn’t normally eat.

12 Families Oxfordshire familiesonline.co.uk

Summer Highlights

Festival of Art & Archaeology

Ashmolean Museum

13 & 14 July 11am - 4pm

Drop in and enjoy free crafts, music, demonstrations and storytelling.

Free, no booking required

Arboretum Adventures for Under-5s

Harcourt Arboretum

12 June & 10 July 10.30am & 12.30pm

Join us for den building, natural crafts, scavenger hunts and more.

Tickets £7 per child (booking required)

Wildlife Watch

Museum of Natural History

9 & 12 August 1.30pm - 3.30pm

Play games and get hands-on with our touchable animal specimens.

Free, no booking required

His Dark Materials trail

Pitt Rivers Museum

Mondays: 12 - 5pm Tuesdays - Sundays: 10am - 5pm

Trace the steps of Lyra and find props from the TV show.

Free, no booking required

Visit us and discover more summer events and activities

Books & Bugs Summer Family Fun

Weston Library

Every Thursday 25 July - 29 August 10.30am - 1pm

Drop in for crafts, bug books, stories bug making, printing and more.

Free, no booking required

Bring your family to our special events this summer and discover centuries of culture, science and natural history Ashmolean Museum Beaumont St, OX1 2PH ashmolean.org Bodleian Libraries Broad St, OX1 3BG visit.bodleian. ox.ac.uk

Light and Space Backpacks

History of Science Museum

29 & 30 Jun, 27 & 28 Jul, 24 & 25 Aug 2 - 4pm

Explore science stories throughout the galleries with hands on activities.

Free, no booking required

Rd, OX1 3PW prm.ox.ac.uk

Harcourt Arboretum
Lodge, OX44 9PX obga.ox.ac.uk History of Science Museum
St, OX1 3AZ hsm.ox.ac.uk Museum of Natural History Parks Rd, OX1 3PW oumnh.ox.ac.uk Oxford Botanic Garden Rose Lane, OX1 4AZ obga.ox.ac.uk Pitt Rivers Museum Parks
20 July to 1 September Great Missenden, Bucks roalddahlmuseum.org ©2024 RDSC / QB Family events and activities with a peachy twist! Registered charity no. 1107809 NEW exhibition opening 13 July 2024 Included with ticket to the Galleries www.storymuseum.org.uk 01865 807600 Here Be Dragons Co-curated by Cressida Cowell and Toothless © Cressida Cowell 2024 Dragons Advert.indd 1 04/06/2024 15:54:21

Summer in the Museums


There are four University museums to visit, all in the city centre and admission-free. Enjoy free crafts, music, storytelling and more on July 13th & 14th at the Ashmolean Museum’s Festival of Art and Archaeology. Discover science stories with ‘Light and Space Backpacks’ at the History of Science Museum, available on select weekends through the summer. Experience ‘Wildlife Watch’ at the Museum of Natural History, with games and touchable animal specimens; the Pitt Rivers Museum, with its ‘His Dark Materials’ trial is perfect to visit at the same time, as it’s right next door.

Also in the heart of Oxford are the historic Bodleian Libraries, where every Thursday from 25th July to 29th August ‘Books and Bugs’ family fun takes place in the Weston. Just down the High Street the Botanic Garden, the oldest botanic garden in the UK, has free entry for under-16s. A quick journey out of town takes you to Harcourt Arboretum, also with free entry for under 16s, where Family Days take place on 31st July and 28th August with trails, tours and crafts for all. www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk



Get digging at the Museum of Oxford (MOX) family day to celebrate the Festival of Archaeology, trying skills used by reallife archaeologists and handling museum artefacts. MOX works closely with local artists and authors to host creative workshops, where you can learn a new skill, use exciting materials and take home your very own work of art!

Try zine-making with Etain O’Carroll, carve a lino-print with Sally-Ann Stewart, and write and illustrate your own tales with author Allen Fatimaharan. Oxford Opera are returning with their sell-out all day workshop ‘How grim were the Grimms?’, where you will make new friends and stage an opera in just a day. For younger children, give Songs and Stories a try, an engaging introduction to opera. Conduct excellent experiments in Science Oxford’s Planet Power workshops – you will not believe how much you learn in an hour. Finally, WhatNot theatre bring their hilarious and interactive family shows to MOX, with fabulous costumes and recycled props. For full details of workshop dates and to book tickets, visit the website or pop into the shop to chat to the friendly museum team. www.museumofoxford.org


The Story Museum in Oxford is for families of all ages, and there’s a surprise around every corner.

Where else would you find the Hundred Acre Wood, Narnia and Wonderland under one roof? Based in the city centre on Pembroke Street the museum offers 4 different gallery spaces including The Whispering Wood, Enchanted Library, Treasure Chamber and Small Worlds.

Younger visitors (0-5) will enjoy exploring favourite picture books and stories in Small Worlds, including Michael Rosen’s We’re Going On A Bear Hunt and Korky Paul’s Winnie The Witch. Older visitors will enjoy the Galleries where they’ll explore the history of oral storytelling in the magical Whispering Wood before heading up to the Enchanted Library, where an immersive story space is hidden behind every book shelf, including Horrid Henry’s bedroom and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

The museum also has a packed programme of events including theatre shows, workshops and author events. Highlights include A Dragons Tale family puppet show and the ever popular LEGO Master Builders workshops. Whether you’re 2 or 102, there’s something for everyone at this magic, most-unusual museum!



If you want to venture further afield this summer, The Roahl Dahl Museum and story centre is certainly worth a visit in Great Missenden in the heart of the Chilterns. Once you enter through the Wonka gates you’ll be able to explore three packed galleries all featuring hands-on activities, sounds, moving images and crafts — alongside original material from the Roald Dahl archive. Including The Boy Gallery; with doors that really do smell like chocolate and The Solo Gallery; your chance to see the centrepiece of the Museum, Roald Dahl’s Writing Hut.

All tickets to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre include free re-entry for twelve months, so keep an eye out for upcoming events throughout the year as well as what’s on this summer.


familiesonline.co.uk Families Oxfordshire 15 Families Feature


School summer holidays offer families a chance to spend time together and some much deserved respite. However, no one wants learning to seep away or become stagnant.

‘Brushing away the cobwebs’ after the summer holidays can take some time in September; indeed, children can be mistaken as having regressed. We all want our children to hit the ground running as soon as they return. Happily this is achievable in the lead up to the new school year. Try some of these techniques to help with learning continuity: Expanding children’s vocabulary is incredibly important to their writing and reading comprehension. When on holiday or just going on day trips, think about the new words you are exposing them to. Equally, playing games at home such as Scrabble and Heads Up can be educational. Make sure books are a part of every day. Whenever you read to your child or let them listen to an audio book they form the sense of a beginning, middle and end of a story. Sign up for the free Summer Reading Challenge at your local library which rewards children for their efforts. Make time to chat about what your children are reading; it will raise their engagement and comprehension levels.

Utilise educational apps to help children practise skills and enhance their learning.

Practise literacy skills by writing a post card on holiday, emails or even letters to friends and family, journalling, blogging and entering writing competitions.

Set projects such as raising awareness on environmental issues or charity fundraising. This can encompass a range of skills including literacy and numeracy.

Teach skills that help your child to navigate through life. For example: touch typing, reading bus or train timetables, cooking a meal, map reading, planning an event, packing for a trip and first aid.

Physical activities are essential and more appealing in the summer when the weather is kinder to us. Set goals like learning to ride a bike or swimming a length of a pool.

Relaxing on routines is important but remember that routines in the weeks leading up to returning to school help with the transition in going back.


Goal setting is essential in giving your child direction and motivation. Setting meaningful goals can raise self-esteem, encourage developmental growth and aid in giving them a deeper belief in themselves. The more you involve your child in the actual setting of the goals, the more invested they will be.

All goals must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time based. For example: learn a specific times table by the end of the month. Not all goals need to be academic; some can be physical or relating to a life skill. For example, being able to tie their own shoes or learning to ride a bike. Creating SMART targets will help you direct your support and resources, giving you a clear road map for success. Discuss what challenges they may face and what strategies they will need to draw upon to overcome them. You can break down the goals into smaller steps so they feel manageable. Don’t forget when a goal is achieved, it is important to celebrate and reflect on the process.

Zuzu Jordan is a Mastery for Maths specialist who has taught primary aged children for sixteen years and is interested in early years and home learning. For free homework and home learning resources, find her on Instagram at edumate_uk


We don’t want our children to stop ‘thinking’ over the summer holidays. But what is thinking? Any cognitive processes such as problem solving, decision making, imagining and planning. Try these:

• Memory games and puzzles - place objects in front of your child, cover them and see how many they can remember. Good for hand-eye coordination and general problem solving.

• ‘Thunk’ questions which don’t have a right or wrong answer but encourage independent thinking eg ‘if your pet could talk, how would it describe you?’

• Learning an instrument, language or any new skill engages every part of the brain.

• Mindfulness for kids helps increase focus, amongst other benefits.

• Exercise plays a crucial role in boosting memory, cognition and motor coordination.

• Play games where your child uses the opposite hand to their writing hand. This is known to increase brain activity. Finally, sleep is so important for boosting that brain!

16 Families Oxfordshire Families Education www.summerfields.com 01865 459204 PRE-PREP AND PREP Unrivalled education for boys aged 4 to 13. OPEN MORNINGS Pre-prep Thurs 26 September Prep Sat 21 September


When Pauline Quirke MBE and her husband Steve opened the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts in 2007, they aimed to help young people realise their full potential through a diverse spectrum of performing arts. With over 200 academies today, this ethos remains central at PQA every weekend.

All our students have something unique to offer, and we aim to bring out the best in each of them. From the moment your child steps through our doors, we teach performing arts skills that boost confidence and creativity in a warm, welcoming environment.


Building confidence and developing performance skills are key reasons children join PQA. Learning and practicing performing arts in a safe, encouraging environment helps young people build self-belief. Whether it’s practicing routines or performing in front of peers, family, and friends, our students learn to try new things. We support and nurture them, allowing their confidence to blossom naturally.

During their time with PQA, students have opportunities to perform in showcases, local performances, and even in London’s West End. It’s amazing to see our students experience the thrill of performing, knowing they’ve built the skills to achieve great things on and off the stage.


Creativity positively impacts mental health in many ways. It can help refocus thoughts away from worries, express oneself, release endorphins, boost self-esteem, and connect with others. Whether learning a dance routine, acting in a play, or pitching a film idea, our students use their imaginations and express themselves, fostering faith in their capabilities.

Our Film & Television module uniquely nurtures creativity. Students learn all aspects of filmmaking, from casting and script work to directing and operating cameras and sound equipment, as well as acting for the screen.


Few industries rely on teamwork as much as the performing arts. Students learn to work within a group and interact respectfully. Sharing a common goal and working collectively provides a beneficial experience. Rehearsing, performing, or filming allows young people to connect with peers who share the same passions. By working together, students form strong bonds, deepen empathy, and develop compassion for the world around them.

At PQA, we believe performing arts can positively impact future generations. By nurturing these skills, young people benefit in all walks of life and into adulthood. We’d love to welcome your child to learn and grow with us.

familiesonline.co.uk Families Oxfordshire 17 Families Feature

Preparing to start or change school

Starting or changing school can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking business, not only for parents but also for children who pick up on the vibe at home. With planning, you can feel more confident in the way you support and celebrate your child’s milestones and transitions as they occur.


Be sure to read the information pack provided by school.

• Teach your child to dress in their school clothes as independently as possible.

• Show your child how to use cutlery for school lunches; or packed lunch boxes and wrappers.

• Practise listening skills by giving instructions and asking your child to repeat them back to you.

• Have fun with activities that practise fine motor skills, such as tracing or threading beads.

• Explain that school is the place they will learn skills such as reading and writing, to help them in life. And make new friends to play with!

• Let them know their teacher will be excited to meet them and is hoping they are kind and friendly as well. This helps your child to be more relaxed.

• If your child is a little anxious, it can help to remind them where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing while they’re at school. Tell them you’ll be thinking about them and looking forward to seeing them at the end of the day.


• It helps to prepare for returning to school after the long summer holidays.

• A week before school starts in September, tell your child it’s time to get their brain ready to learn again, which means getting used to school bedtimes! It also usually means getting up earlier than in the holiday. Start to limit screen time that can distract their brain and make concentration at school more difficult. Put together a homework kit and decide when and where homework will be done (allowing for after school clubs).

• Getting organised and putting a few things in place before the new school year will make for an easier start in September!


• Moving to secondary school is another big transition that many children look forward to but can find a little overwhelming when it happens. In the weeks leading up to the new term:

• Remind them that no one expects them to be perfect. If they get lost during the first week, all they need to do is ask for help! Talk about what is likely to be expected of them and remind them you’re still available for help and support at home. This reassures their brain and helps their confidence.

• Tell them that if they’re not sure of something, asking questions is okay, providing they’re polite.

• Explain that it’s fine to feel excited and a little bit anxious. Ask them if there’s anything they’re worried about. Aim to suggest reassuring and practical solutions to even their smallest worries, which are quite normal when starting a new phase.

Finally, relax! Your child will feel more confident if you are proud of who they are and delighted with the progress they are making.

Gail Hugman is proprietor of Lessons Alive (www.lessonsalive.com) and author of A Short and Simple Book for the Why’s, 100 Things to Learn before you’re 10, plus the recently published Making the Pennies Drop, which shows parents exactly how to teach key skills to children.


Planning for homework before school starts helps set expectations. First, decide where the homework will be done and ask your child what they think would help them to be organised.

Prepare a homework kit in a box or drawer. This can save valuable minutes in a busy evening. It helps your child focus on their assignments rather than spend time searching for a pencil! Work on it together and put them in charge of making a checklist. Ask them to make sure everything goes back when they’ve finished and let you know if things wear out or get lost and need to be replaced.

Older children may be given a small budget for essential equipment which encourages responsibility and organisation.

Useful items include: a timer - helps brains to stay focused; pen; pencils; colouring pencils; eraser; pencil sharpener; ruler; dictionary; glue stick; scissors; protractor; Post-its; paper; counters; spelling practice sheets; dice; string; hole punch; paper clips; plastic pockets for work; stress or juggling balls; craft materials; water; background calming music (optional!)

18 Families Oxfordshire familiesonline.co.uk Families Education


A friend of mine recently vowed never again to host another sleepover after her husband scared a gaggle of eight year olds while sleepwalking to the fridge in his dressing gown. Personally, we’ve enjoyed hosting sleepovers in our family and most have gone fairly smoothly (with one notable exception when the dog punctured an inflatable mattress). Assuming any pets are safely under control and having learned from experience, here are our key rules:


Inevitably, the kids will end up getting to sleep (quite considerably) later than usual and feeling very tired the next day. In addition, sleeping at someone else’s house is a big deal for any child and the experience may become overwhelming at some point. The school holidays are the perfect time to take the plunge and the summer holidays are even better as children can play outside and everything feels a bit less formal.


It’s easier to outline your main expectations to the kids at the start. Things like bedtimes, devices, how early they can get up etc. It’s meant to be fun, so make some allowance for chatting after lights out but with a time limit. It’s also helpful to show

junior guests where the bathroom is and where to find your bedroom in case they need help urgently in the night.


Be clear with parents on the time your young guest(s) should be picked up in the morning. If it’s their child’s first time staying with you, it’s far better if it’s sooner rather than later to avoid having a tired and grumpy child hanging about with your tired and grumpy child on the following day.


You can minimise tiresome negotiations by agreeing the sleeping arrangements well before bedtime. Aside from the obvious point of checking the kids all have the relevant sheets, sleeping bags and pillows, it’s also worth policing the exact layout. Without supervision, groups of girls are fond of laying out mattresses in a pecking order with the coolest nabbing the best spots! Equally, some more sensitive children will prefer a nice quiet corner where they can get to sleep easily or to be nearer a night light.


A sleepover can feel like a very long play date and while it’s great for helping raise your child’s friendships to the next level, having at least three planned activities can smooth

out any initial awkwardness or boring bits. I like to have a few suggestions up my sleeve, including one physical activity and at least one more sedentary activity for calming everyone down, such as a favourite card game, craft or Lego. If you talk to your child about what they might like to do a week before, you can make sure you have any relevant materials.


While the children will have planned their midnight feast down to every last Haribo, you can probably assume they haven’t given much thought to actual meals. Most kids will find it reassuring to know there will be something familiar at breakfast time so checking ahead with the other parents on allergies and breakfast habits can be a considerate touch. Ellie is a writer and mum to two daughters living in Surrey.


Families Feature Blippi™ Copyright © 2024 Moonbug Entertainment 8 JUL - 7 SEP HAROLD PINTER THEATRE HaroldPinterTheatre.co.uk
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Stagecoach Holiday Workshops are designed for six to 18-yearolds, with some areas offering tailored workshops for children aged four to six.

At the end of their time at one of the Stagecoach Holiday Workshops, students will join together to showcase their new-found singing, acting and dancing skills to family and friends.

Frozen Jnr (8 - 18 years)

WHEN: 5th - 9th August

WHERE: Wood Green School, Witney (12th - 16th August)

The enchanting modern classic from Disney is ready for your Broadway Junior stars! Frozen Jr. brings Elsa, Anna, and the magical land of Arendelle to life, on stage. The show features all the memorable songs from the animated film, plus five new songs written for the Broadway and West End production. www.stagecoach.co.uk

Olaf Adventures (4 - 7 years)

WHEN: 5th - 16th August

WHERE: Wood Green School, Witney (12th - 16th August)

An action-packed week based around the wonderful world of Arundel and Olaf! You will create stories, learn songs and dances and create a wonderful show for friends and family to watch on Friday. Winter’s a nice time to stay in and snuggle but put me in summer and I’ll be a ...



Top of the Pops Musical Mayhem! (5 - 18 years)

WHEN: 27th - 30th August

WHERE: The Henley College, Henley on Thames

Four days of singing, dancing and acting working towards a showcase with costumes to perform for family and friends on the last day. All participants will learn Musical and pop songs, dances, and have their own lines to learn. Put together a poptastic show in Henley - from auditions to castings, to rehearsing and then performing.



WHERE & WHEN: Henley And Marlow: Thursdays and Saturdays

Oxford Summertown And Witney: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Bicester: Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Headington & Woodstock: Saturdays

Bring out the best in your child and encourage them to develop excellent communication skills, grow in self-esteem and enjoy the benefits of improved co-ordination. Suitable for children from age 2.

From £15 for two-week trial. www.stagecoach.co.uk 01483 247404


Top of the Pops Musical Mayhem! (5 - 18 years)

WHEN: 29th - 2nd August

WHERE: Marlow CofE Infant School, Marlow

Four days of singing, dancing and acting working towards a showcase with costumes to perform for family and friends on the last day. All participants will learn Musical and pop songs, dances, and have their own lines to learn. Put together a poptastic show in Henley - from auditions to castings, to rehearsing and then performing.


Creative Courage For Life® Singing, dancing and acting classes for 4 - 18 year-olds
henleyandmarlow@stagecoach.co.uk OXFORD
Helping children believe they can do anything ASK
fun and develop some
new skills at Stagecoach Holiday Drama Clubs and Workshops
Feature Children and Teenagers can make

What’s On

Things to do this Summer - drama, music & sport something for everyone in


Toddler Time –Rainbows (July) and Let’s Draw (August)

WHEN: 6th or 16th July and 10th or 13th August

WHERE: Ashmolean Museum

Join the Ashmolean Museum for play and exploration at Toddler Time, a monthly season of events in the Museum to help children develop their vocabulary and experiences. www.ashmolean.org

Active Camp (4 – 14 years)

WHEN: 8th July – 30th August, 8.15 – 18.00

WHERE: Various locations in Oxfordshire

High-quality, multi-activity camps for 4-14-year-olds. Each day features a range of sports, arts and crafts, team challenges, and wide span games such as capture the flag, obstacle courses, group collages and much more! www.oxfordactive.co.uk

01865 594325

Ultimate Survival Camp (7 – 14 years)

WHEN: 15th July – 23rd August,

8.30 – 17.15 (extended hours

8.00 – 18.00)

WHERE: Chandlings Prep School and St. Hugh’s School, Faringdon

Go wild during the Summer holiday and enjoy fun and adventurous outdoor day camps. Become fully immersed in the natural environment, try survival skills, enjoy challenges and games and make new friends! www.ultimateactivity.co.uk

Nature Club – Bee Day (5 – 9 years)

WHEN: 20th July, 10.00 – 11.30, 12.30 – 14.00 or 15.00 – 16.30

WHERE: Science Oxford Centre, Headington

Create colour changing tea with Butterfly Pea Flower chemistry, using lemon and baking soda. Try Hapa Zome, the magical art of printing by ‘hammering’ plants and flowers, transfer their natural dyes onto textiles and take home. £10.00, www.scienceoxford.com 01865 810000

Active Adventure (6 – 14 years)

WHEN: 22nd July – 30th August, 8.15 – 18.00

WHERE: Various locations in Oxfordshire

Active Adventure camps are for children with a passion for all things outdoors, muddy and adventurous. Children will experience cooking on a campfire and introduced to basic bushcraft skills such as whittling and shelter building.

www.oxfordactive.co.uk 01865 594325

Creative Computing Club (9 – 12 years)

WHEN: 13th July, 10.00 – 11.30 or 12.30 – 14.00

WHERE: Science Oxford Centre, Headington Curious coders go down a rabbit hole into Wonderland and program a riddle-maker to help Alice, using a BBC micro:bit and Python. Decorate a Top Hat to hide your micro:bit, keep score and see who keeps their head! £10.00, www.scienceoxford.com 01865 810000

Comic Club (8 – 11 years)

WHEN: 27th July, 11.00 – 12.30

WHERE: The Story Museum

Develop your comic making skills with awesome comic artist, Neill Cameron, who will be on hand to offer helpful advice and tips. £12.00 www.storymuseum.org.uk

‘On Tour to Wales’ River Wye Expedition (11 – 14 years)

WHEN: 29th July – 2nd August

WHERE: The Oxford Boat Adventure, Dorchester on Thames, Wallingford Travel along the beautiful River Wye by Canadian Canoe, camping in different locations each night. The Senior Instructors will share their extensive knowledge of blending traditional bush craft skills within the context of a canoe journey. 07979 592753 www.theoxfordboatadventure. co.uk


Tech Camp (8 – 14 years)

WHEN: 29th July – 22nd August, 8.30 – 17.15

WHERE: Chandlings Prep School and St. Hugh’s School, Faringdon From arcade game making, coding and Micro:bit device building, to cyber security, and website build, every part of the technical mind will be fully exercised with this exciting camp! Discover the future… www.ultimateactivity.co.uk

Lego® Master Builders Club - Brick Building Workshops for Children

WHEN: 29th July – 28th August

WHERE: Various locations Workshops start with a short story which is “brought to life” through the models they build. Events during the Summer holidays include Desbrickable Me; Olymbricks 2024; A Dragons Tale; Tracks, Trains and Transport; Happy Holidays; and The Great Outdoors.


Hockey Academy (7 – 14 years)

WHEN: 30th July – 8th August, 8.30 – 16.30

WHERE: Chandlings Prep School, Moulsford Prep School, Wallingford

A team of first-class coaches will teach players the skills and strategies needed to perform as confident and competent players. The programme mixes skill drills with small-side challenges and extensive gameplay.


Little Explorers 2 /3 Day Adventures

WHEN: 5th – 7th , 8th – 9th, 12th – 14th, 15th – 16th August

WHERE: The Oxford Boat Adventure, Dorchester on Thames, Wallingford Fun adventures and challenges that not only teach children how to light fires, build simple shelters, and cook outdoors but develop resilience and flexibility, ensuring they enjoy the outdoors and discover fun in every challenge. www.theoxfordboatadventure. co.uk, 07979 592753

familiesonline.co.uk Families Oxfordshire 21 Families Clubs & Classes
It’s important for children to keep up their maths skills during the summer so they’re ready for new material in the autumn term. Summer at Mathnasium allows them to do this right alongside their other summer activities, with flexible hours and both in-centre and online learning. And we make it fun! Mathnasium of North Oxford mathnasium.com/uk Telephone: 01865 236 886 18 South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JL Make Mathnasium Part of Your Plans This Summer Book your FREE Assessment today!

The Adventurers 5 Day

WHEN: 5th – 9th August, 12th – 16th August

WHERE: The Oxford Boat Adventure, Dorchester on Thames, Wallingford

Children will take on an exciting and fun set of water and land adventures that will allow them to become more confident and learn the fundamental skills of living, surviving and thriving in the great British outdoors. 07979 592753 www.theoxfordboatadventure. co.uk


Explorers: Here Be Dragons (8 – 12 years)

WHEN: 12th – 16th August, 10.00 – 16.00

WHERE: The Story Museum

A journey through the world of Dragons in a week of fun creative workshops. You’ll visit the new exhibition and meet dragons from different stories including the Wawel Dragon from Poland, Dragons and Phoenix of China and The Two Dragons from Oxford and Wales! £44.00 / day www.storymuseum.org.uk

Story Explorers: Story Olympics (8 – 12 years)

WHEN: 5th – 9th August, 10.00 – 16.00

WHERE: The Story Museum

A week of stories celebrating sports without any sporting! Explore stories of Hercules, Thor and the Animals of the Chinese Zodiac, role play fairytales from France in honour of the host of this year’s Olympics. With mask making, dance, drama games and much more! £44.00 / day www.storymuseum.org.uk


WHERE: Summertown, Oxford Monday-Thursday & Saturday By producing a tailor-structured learning plan for each student according to his/her knowledge and skill level, the Mathnasium Method can help children in Years 2 - 12 better understand maths and leap ahead. Try the FREE maths skills assessment/trial session. www.mathnasium.co.uk/northoxford 01865 655968


Academy (7 – 14 years)

WHEN: 13th – 15th August, 8.30 – 16.30

WHERE: St. Hugh’s School, Faringdon and Moulsford Prep School, Wallingford Designed around the FA’s four-corner model, Physical, Technical, Psychological and Social, the academy allows children to develop their skills in a structured, fun environment. With demonstrations, practice and feedback, working on their individual and team-based attributes. www.ultimateactivity.co.uk

Tri Swim Coaching

WHEN: July and August

WHERE: Various Locations

Whether you’re looking to learn to swim, improve your stroke technique or improve your race times, Tri Swim Coaching can help! Ideal for anyone wanting to enhance their skills or fitness, with expert sessions in small groups and delivered specifically to your level.

www.triswimcoaching.com www.triswimschool.com

familiesonline.co.uk Families Oxfordshire 23 Families Clubs & Classes
Summer holiday intensive drop in courses Private lessons available Bookings open for new September classes Learn to set the scene and tell a story by joining our Young Companies 11-18 and interested in theatre? pegasustheatre.org.uk

Oxford’s leading co-ed day and boarding school for 11-18 years

We believe in the power of meaningful partnerships between our students and staff, based on trust and mutual respect.

At d’Overbroeck’s, our dedicated teachers will empower your child to believe in themselves, creating confident, curious, independent learners.

Discover more by signing up for one of our Meet the Head events or our next Open Day Sat 28 Sept 2024


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