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R E E ®® Cambridgeshire

The Useful magazine for families with children from birth to teenage

Issue 17 September/October 2012

! Clubs and Classes ! Collaborative Law ! Supporting Left Handed Children ! School Open Days

Free Drama Class Watch your child’s self-esteem soar with Perform’s unique drama, dance and singing classes. Our weekly workshops will do wonders for their social, linguistic and physical development as well as being the best fun they’ll have all week.

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Welcome !

" News

Welcome the 17th issue of Families Cambridgeshire - the really useful magazine for parents and children. I hope that you all enjoyed the summer and are settling back into school life. Despite a wet summer here in Cambridge, I enjoyed working more than ever as I moved my office outside to our summerhouse, thanks to a massive makeover by Dunn and Weston. They completely renovated the inside of it (making it virtually spider proof!) and I now have electricity! Check out their website www.dunnandweston for more inspiration. We managed to have a couple of short breaks, but I wish I had had an opportunity to visit Boquio Guest House. Run by a exCambridge resident, and set near the beautiful Helston in Cornwall, they welcome children and pets and have their own indoor pool. Definitely on my wish list for February half-term!

We’ll also be running a special ‘Bumps and Babes’ page in the future so if there is anything you would like to read about, from breast feeding, doulas or sleepless nights, do e-mail me on or leave a note on our forum at and we’ll see if we can help! As always, I do hope that you enjoy this issue of Families and feel free to contact me with any news or events that you would like to see featured in future issues. Please mention Families whenever you contact one of our advertisers.


Cover photograph Samule Borges

Reading 12 Collaborative Law 14 Parent 2 Parent 15 Out and About 16 Open Days

Circulation 12,000 copies of Families Cambridgeshire available through schools, nurseries, libraries, selected shops and restaurants. If you would like copies for your establishment please let me know. Contact Sara Carr, tel: 01223 319437 mobile: 07748 183700 Print: Bishops Printers Limited, Portsmouth tel: 023 9233 4900 Design: Louis T Koehorst tel: 01223 576688

Award-winning Cambridge boutiques Boudoir Femme and Prohibido Lingerie, invite you to their Annual Charity Fashion Show, raising money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. The event will showcase the Autumn/Winter 2012 collections from both boutiques and will be held at the Hotel Felix, Cambridge on Thursday 4th October 2012. The event promises to deliver a fabulous show with hair and make-up by Finn Jordan, Cambridge.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices support families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. They provide care and support wherever the family wishes – in families’ own homes, in the community or at one of their hospices in Ipswich, Milton and Quidenham. This year, they need to raise more than £5.75 million in public donations, to deliver their services. This amounts to over £15,000 a day, every day of the year. Pippa Sandison, owner of Boudoir Femme said “the event promises to deliver a fabulous show, full of glamour and will be a night to remember for our guests.We are delighted to be able to raise money for such a great cause”. Save the date in your diary. Tickets £30 available from Boudoir Femme 01223 323000 or Prohibido Lingerie 01223 316553

In this issue 02 News 07 Rebalancing Your Life 08 Left Handed Children 10 After School Activities 11 How to Encourage


The evening begins at 7.30pm with a drinks reception and canapés, followed by the fashion show and the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes at our charity auction on the night.

I’m sure you’ll find lots to keep your little ones entertained in our Clubs and Classes feature, but don’t forget to find some time for you, inspired by our article on page 7.

With best wishes

News - September/October 2012

Families Cambridgeshire is part of the Families Group established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under license. We take every care preparing for the magazine, but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers, the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequences.

New Mizu Skincare Range Mizu is a new range of nourishing products made with naturally sourced ingredients that respects the balance of your skin, as well as the balance of nature, keeping it feeling healthy and silky smooth. Dermatologically tested with a skin-neutral pH, the new Mizu range of shower gels, body lotions, hand washes and hand cream make skin feel soft and nurtured. Their mild formulas are made from plant and mineralbased ingredients that effectively clean gently and moisturise deeply. What’s more, what is washed away biodegrades quickly and completely, and the empty bottles you're left with are 100% recyclable. Created with natural scents and oils, Mizu Body Wash will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed without drying out your skin. The body wash comes in Citrus & Orange Blossom and Lavender & Aloe Vera as well as the perfectly nourishing cream shower with almond oil. The full Mizu skincare range is available from

Purple Fitness tel: 07545 284 928 ® Mention when calling to receive a free taster Boot Camp! ®


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News " Photographic Opportunity!

Best Bear

Your child could have their photos judged by David Loftus, Jamie Oliver’s food photographer, who is judge for the Young category of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2013. His work has been described as “still life works of art” where the food is just begging to be picked off the plate and eaten. David has worked with Heston Blumenthal, Martha Stewart and shot Jamie’s last 5 books. Ambassador, Martha Payne, the 9-year old school food blogger from Scotland whose blog Never Seconds has attracted 7 million hits after the local council banned her from taking pictures of her school food. Martha is to help us promote the Young category. Food photography is an art form and as such deserves to be celebrated. Our free-to-enter children’s categories for 2013 are in three age groups, 15-17, 11-14 and 10.We are looking for any images at all featuring food food in the field, food on your plate, food in the street. Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year is inspired by the proliferation of wonderful food photography in a huge variety of applications. From eye-catching advertising hoardings, to sumptuous editorial features, from tempting food packaging to daily blogs. The awards celebrate this magnificent diversity in what is truly, the stuff of life.

Best Bear Childcare has been offering a unique service to parents looking to hire a nanny for a number of years. Nanny agencies are not regulated so Best Bear developed a unique vetting process to test and check nanny agencies before listing them on their website, giving parents peace of mind in the knowledge that they were using safe and secure agencies, recommended by Best Bear. Since the website launched in 1998 many additional services have been added, but the core focus remains on its unique listing of recommended agencies. To help make it even easier for parents to find recommended childcare agencies, Best Bear has invested heavily in a brand new website, which launched last month. The new site has been built following feedback from parents, childcarers and nanny agencies and has been designed to make it quicker and easier for all who use the website to find what they need quickly and easily.

Each young category winner will receive a prize of £100 and be presented with a prestigious trophy at a champagne reception at the worldrenowned Mall Galleries, London in April 2013. Register at

Help your child get off to a flying start in the new term! Research has found that at least two thirds of children fall behind in their studies over the summer holidays. This large gap in studying can leave a child feeling insecure in their ability, which in turn can lead to a lack of confidence during September.

Parents can use the website to look for recommended childcare agencies, browse childcarer CVs, post a job advert, organise reference checking and find useful childcare information and resources. Childcarers are able to promote their skills and experience by uploading their CV, or they can browse through jobs listed by parents and agencies, as well as finding information on career development and training. And finally, agencies are able to demonstrate that they are reputable and trustworthy and can use the website to promote job vacancies to and to find parents needing childcare, and childcarers looking for work. It is a win-win situation for all involved. Sally Harrison, director of Best Bear said "We are very proud of our new website, and hope that users find it even quicker and easier than ever before to find the contacts and information that they are looking for. We are dedicated to helping parents, childcarers and agencies who all have different needs from using our website, and we are continually developing new ideas and initiatives to help them all. The new website gives us an opportunity to quickly expand and add new services and we have lots of ideas for new services which will launch later in the year"

Be careful with music

The beginning of a new academic year is an ideal time to seek extra support. Explore Learning is a network of maths and English tuition centres for children aged 5 to 14, designed to improve knowledge, confidence and enjoyment of learning. With 63 centres located nationwide, they are the perfect way to help your child get off to a flying start in the new term.


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A new survey by Baby Sensory has discovered that many parents are unaware of the risks of playing music through headphones to their baby bump. The research by the baby development classes found that 89% of parents are unaware of the risks involved when playing music to their unborn child: that the amniotic fluid within the womb actually doubles the level of decibels a child hears from 60 to 120. Baby Sensory founder, Dr Lin Day says, “It is widely researched and publicised that playing music to an unborn child helps mother and child bond and assists with brain development, which I fully support. However, the problem with playing the headphones directly on the abdomen is that the amniotic fluid works Se pt e mbe r/ Octo be r 2 01 2

" News as a conductor of sound and can amplify the music which causes it to be far louder for the baby. This can, in some circumstances, lead to hearing problems to the child from birth.” Find out more at

News from Holistic Harmony! Holistic Harmony on Fair Street are welcoming two new additions to their shop..... Bridgette Ellwood Hair & Make up Artist to the Stars 07766881532 • Worked with Lulu, Twiggy, Sugar babes, Scissor Sisters, Kean, Shirley Bassey, Olivia Newton-John and many more ! Trained by British hair dresser Trevor Sorbie ! Art director at Toni&Guy for 10 years + 2 years in Australia teaching advanced cutting ! Turned professional working freelance on Films, TV, Magazines, Music videos and ITV “Strictly Come Dancing” and “Dancing on Ice” tours Now offering you the service the stars have Special Start prices ! Hair cut £50

! Glamour blow-dry/tongue set £45

! Medium /short blow-dry £38 ! Hair up £45 ! Make up £45 ! Make up lesson £50 ! Makeover (hair & make up) £75 20% off your first appointment (please mention Families!) Call in for free consultation Working Saturdays and by appointment

And Alexandra Squires New Counselling Service offering reduced fees. Monday 3pm - 7pm Tuesday 6.30pm - 8.30pm Thursday 6.30pm - 8.30pm Friday 6.30pm - 8.30pm Alexandra Squires Phone: 07712 590237 Email:

Se ptem be r /O ct o be r 2 0 1 2

Claire at Holistic Harmony continues to offer wonderful holistic treatments including massages, manicures, pedicures, AMAZING facials using Murad products and much more. Claire says: 'I like to offer treatments to customers in a holistic style. This means that I treat the body as a whole, rather than focusing on one isolated area or ailment. Our various systems and muscle groups do not work in isolation. Ailments are seldom single symptoms. That is why I work intuitively on a number of different levels treating physical, emotional and spiritual imbalances. I believe that this approach achieves the ideal harmonious balance needed for a fulfilling life.'

For more information contact Claire on 01223 322 856

Competition Winner Congratulations to Ronan Glencross who won the tickets to ‘Sword in the Stone’ at Houghton Mill. This is what Ronan said:“Just thought I would send you a quick e-mail to say thank you, your magazine and all the staff very much for the tickets for me and my family to go and see King Arthur and the Sword in the Stone at Houghton Mill. The weather was dry so we managed to sit and watch it all. We all had a lot of fun and the actors were really good. The were very friendly and fun. I have sent you a couple of pictures. One is Merlin with me and my sister (Hannah).” With thanks to Cambridge Touring Theatre

Labels 4 Kids We all know how frustrating it is when school items go missing (apparently over £100million a year!) Why not look at Labels 4 Kids, from the award winning Anne-Maree Morrison for an easy way to keep your children’s clothes safe. ® ®



What should I look for when visiting a nursery? You have short listed the childcare providers in your area and booked visits to them, what should you be looking for during these visits? Firstly it is important that you write a list of questions you would like to ask. It’s a little like going to the doctors or attending an interview in as much as it can feel very overwhelming and it is only after you have left that you remember the all important questions you didn’t ask. These could be anything from ‘How is sleep time arranged’ to ‘How will potty training be managed’ or ‘What does the Early Years Foundation Stage mean for my child’? Take notice of how you are greeted – is the door held wide open or does the person ask who you are before inviting you in. Security is a very important aspect of any setting and whilst it is good to be greeted warmly, it is essential that unfamiliar people are not given free access to the building. Are you asked to sign a visitor’s book? The manager or deputy should greet you even if they do not show you round the nursery. Tell the staff member who is leading the visit about those areas you particularly want to see. This is important – if you have a baby you will not want to see Pre School first, or vice versa. If you feel as if you might be given the generic tour, say where your particular interests lie.

w ww.kidsunlimited.c • Tel: 08 45 365 2929 Childcare Vouc he rs: 0 845 365 29 99 As you walk round the various rooms, are children happy and engaged in what they are doing, and are staff involved with them? Nursery rooms should look busy but not chaotic! Do staff look up and acknowledge your presence by a smile or ‘hello’. Are children clean and does the room smell pleasant? Look at the display boards, are they up-to-date and look as if work has been done by the children? Do they demonstrate that the staff have an understanding of child development? Are you allowed to just stand and watch the room in action or are you hurried in and out of rooms. Is the garden or outdoor area set up ready for children’s play and if there is no outdoor area, how do staff manage this aspect of the day? The latest version of the Ofsted report should also be displayed. Remember you can also arrange for another visit without any obligation to make a booking. Brochures and websites offer useful information but it is how you feel about the setting and the care offered that actually counts.

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Rebal ancing your life Never have enough time? Fiona Clark, coach and founder of Inspired Mums, offers her top tips for creating a life balance that works for you. If you’re finding it increasingly difficult to balance the numerous demands on your time, it’s reassuring to know you’re not alone. Mums are under greater pressure than ever to juggle the needs of children, work and household chores so it’s not surprising that many of us have lost sight of who we are and what we really want from life. At Inspired Mums we were recently contacted by a mum, Jo, who wanted to regain some balance in her life – she was feeling unfulfilled and pressurised trying to balance her job of 14 years in an advertising agency with the needs of her family. We worked together to increase Jo’s confidence levels, as well as looking at what really motivated her and defining what her transferable skills were. By identifying a new career direction, we’ve transformed Jo’s life balance – she now works three days a week, term-time only, in a marketing role at a school five minutes walk from where she lives.This has allowed Jo to spend more time with her children whilst boosting her energy levels and giving her a real sense of empowerment. If you too would like to gain more balance and a greater sense of fulfilment in your life, here are some ways to start looking at the problem anew and find some solutions.

3. Learn to say ‘no’ ! Be more assertive and say ‘no’. This will help you if you constantly

do favours for others, but struggle to ask for help in return. ! Say ‘no’ to your smartphone – have boundaries for work and

leisure so you don’t find yourself reading your work emails while your kids are chomping through their breakfast. 4. Focus on yourself ! Decide what activities or

relaxation time you want to build into your life. Don’t feel guilty about it – remember when you’re happy and relaxed, the whole family will feel the benefit. ! To help you focus on yourself, complete the ‘me-time’ wheel and write down seven treats that you would like to include in your life. 5. Identify any major changes that need to take place ! For some mums, a poor work-life balance comes from simply

being in the wrong job. It’s tiring and stressful being in a job that doesn’t motivate you or play to your strengths. Career coaching can help you identify the right path to find fulfilment and confidence at work.

1. Focus on the solution, not the problem

6. Do it – ditch it – or delegate it

! Positive thinking is the most important first step to enable you to

! Be brutal with your ‘to do’ list – categorise them into these

take control. Many of us see work-life balance as a problem, but instead you need to feel you have lots of positive choices to make in your life which need to be managed. 2. Take control of your time ! Think about how you spend your time – pick a day of the week

you’d like to review and be specific about how you spend your typical 24 hours – here’s a table to help you [David, pls drop in table as over]. ! Decide what you want to spend your time on and how much time you want to spend on it. ! Identify the action you can take to help you close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. NOW Number of hours

FUTURE Number of hours

Sleeping Number of hours Sleeping Housework (cleaning, tidying etc) Shopping Being with your children, playing/reading etc… when they have your full attention Cooking Watching TV / Being on Computer

three buckets. ! Decide what you want to achieve by prioritising what’s really

important to you. Break it down so that you just have two or three things that you’re going to do today. It’s much less daunting than having a massive list for the next few weeks or months. ! Certain tasks, like tax returns, can’t be ignored, so either do them and stop thinking about them, or delegate them. ! Force yourself to identify the items that don’t add value and can be eliminated all together. 7. Be present ! Channel your energy into whatever you’re doing at the moment

– what I call ‘being present’. If you are playing with the kids, listen attentively to them. It’s much better to have 30 minutes of dedicated time dotted through the day being really present, instead of spending all day with them, but not really giving them any undivided attention. ! If you are at work – be present – focus on your work, don’t feel guilty about leaving the kids in childcare. ! This will boost your sense of calm and enjoyment – and reduce the stress of feeling you should be somewhere else and doing something else.

‘Me time’ ‘Me time’ Work Answering phone calls Child-related activities such as feeding, dressing, bath, taking them to nursery, putting to bed Other TOTAL

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24 hours

24 hours

Inspired Mums is an established career & confidence coaching business that specialises in helping mums find fulfilling and family-friendly careers. Please contact Fiona on 07789 597209 or, or see for more information. ® ®


Family ! SUPPORTING YOUR LEFT HANDED CHILD 1 in 10 children are left handed, but many fail to get the support they need in the early years of their education. Experts say teachers aren’t given the proper training and schools don’t have the right resources. Sarah Butters is mum to a left handed daughter. She takes a look at some of the most common problems faced by left handers and some tips for helping them out. MESSY HANDWRITING If you have a child who is left handed, chances are they haven’t been taught to write. Most are simply allowed to use their left hand.As the right handed parent of a left handed child I admit to having that same attitude. I now know that I was completely wrong. Left handers push the pen across the page, whereas their right handed friends will pull. This can lead to smudging and untidy work which in turn leads to anxiety on the part of the child. At an early stage a left handed child should be encouraged to master the correct handwriting position and paper placement to avoid problems as the writing assignments increase. The paper should be rotated to 45 degrees with the hand and wrist below the writing. Any pen needs to be held in a strong 3 point grip. In Early Years this can be supported with a triangular bodied pencil or a moulded grip around a regular pencil. If your child can get into good habits from the start of their school life, they will avoid problems when they graduate to a fountain pen and longer writing assignments.

HOOK GRIP Some left handers use a hooked grip to avoid the problem of smudging, and angle the pen in the same way a right hander would. This causes more problems than it solves. The hook grip becomes more uncomfortable the more you write. It leads to an overtight grip and aching hands which in turn lead to messy handwriting. The wrist should always be below the writing line. If your child is developing a hook grip, consider introducing a sloped surface to resolve the problem.

ELBOW COLLISION At some point your child will have to share a desk and if they’re left handed this can be a problem. “I always end up banging elbows” explains my 9 year old daughter. “That makes my writing messy.” You child should always be placed at the left hand side of a shared desk or next to another left hander. This gives them plenty of space to get their paper positioned correctly and avoid knocking elbows with a right handed neighbour.

WHITE BOARDS They’re a teacher’s best friend but a left handers worst nightmare. White boards and chalk boards are a great learning tool in the modern classroom - pupils can get rid of mistakes easily without using endless pieces of paper. However, if you’re left handed you can end up erasing as you write. Good grip and placement of the board gives left handers half a chance. However if your child isn’t completing white board work quickly or neatly enough, it may not be their fault.

MIRROR WRITING I remember being hugely concerned when I discovered that my daughter had completed a Reception assignment using mirror writing. She had begun her words on the right hand side of the page and written from right to left. It’s common in left handed children and when you think about it, it makes sense. If they are sat next to a right hander, they are simply mirroring their work. Encourage them to start on the left hand side of the page by placing a coloured star in the margin as a reminder.


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COMPUTERS Most ICT rooms are set up with the computer mice on the right hand side of the keyboard. This gives left handed children an automatic disadvantage because they either need to move the mouse or attempt or use their right hand. Don’t presume the teacher knows your child is left handed. Be sure to let all the staff involved with your child know they’re a left hander and will need a different workstation set up.

THE ‘RIGHT’ EQUIPMENT Many left handed children learn the basics with the wrong equipment. Give a left handed child some right handed scissors and they’ll find the blade is upside down and so they can’t see the line they are cutting. It means the child has less control and think if themselves as messy. This can be a real problem in the Early Years. Check your school has left handed scissors to offer your child. Ambidextrous scissors don’t exist – trust me! As the progress to writing, shiny barreled pens are to be avoided. Make sure whatever pen you choose has a good grip so it’s easy to hold even when hands get hot and tired. Left handed fountain pens are available from They’re worth the investment for older children as the have an angled nib.

LACK OF UNDERSTANDING As a right hander, I never appreciated the challenges faced by my daughter. Until she mastered left handed writing, she was labeled untidy in her written work and lost enthusiasm for putting pen to paper. It wasn’t until I began researching this piece that I realise how much of her attitude is linked to the hand she writes with.The bad news is she’s had a more challenging time than her right handed pals. The good news is she’s in good company. Barack Obama, Leonardo Da Vinci and Bill Gates are all lefties. Now that’s not a bad club to be in!

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Keith Milsom campaigns for better support of left handed children in our schools and offers some advice about what to expect from your child’s school. “Despite decades of campaigning and a string of promises from government ministers and teacher training authorities, there is still virtually no guidance provided to teachers on helping left-handed children and no process for identifiying left-handers in schools. Make sure you talk to your child's teacher to make sure they know that he/she is left-handed and may need assistance and advice. Ask your child’s teacher to talk YOU through the support they’re going to give it so you can be sure they really understand. If you’re concerned, refer them to the teacher guidance sheets available from The school should have left-handed scissors available and pens that will help lefthanders write in the correct style. If children are left to their own devices it is very unlikely they will find writing and cutting out easy. Apart from the practical difficulties this can mean they are working more slowly than the rest of the class and lose some of confidence - especially if the teacher tells them off for "not doing it right". Lefthanders can end up underperforming at school and having difficulty with written exams as a result of a lack of informed guidance at an early stage. It’s important parents keep the pressure on schools to support their left handed children.”

USEFUL RESOURCES has some great left handed guidance sheets for parents and teachers. It’s also a super source of left handed equipment. another great website with some top tips for parents looking to support their left handed child. Se pt e mbe r/ Octo be r 2 01 2

B Schools Schools flock to join in ChildLine’s Big Birthday celebrations More than 150 schools across the country have already signed up to be part of ChildLine’s Big Birthday week between 8th and 12th October, so why not join in the fun and get involved too! The event, to mark ChildLine’s 25th anniversary, will see primary and secondary schools and groups across Peterborough take part in a host of fun and quirky fundraising activities to celebrate the milestone and raise £250,000. As part of the celebrations, ChildLine is hoping to break the Guinness

World Record™ for the most greetings on a single birthday card, by inviting every school that fundraises to send in their greeting for inclusion in the giant card.

fantastic way for schools to show their support, helping us to continue our service for another 25 years and more.”

ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen is backing the Guinness World Record™ attempt and urging local schools to show their support too, she said: “When ChildLine was launched back on October 30th 1986, it received 50,000 attempted calls on the first night from desperate young people who, until then, had no way of asking for help.

Taking part in ChildLine’s Big Birthday week is simple. To find out more and register for your fundraising pack and downloadable resources, visit:

“Now, 25 years on we’re still providing comfort and protection for children and young people who contact us by phone and online. But, of course, we need to raise funds to pay for the service. Taking part in the ChildLine Big Birthday week is a

St Edmund’s College and Prep warmly invite you to our



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ChildLine, the free confidential helpline and online service for children and young people, has counselled almost 2.7 million children and young people since it was set up. Now ChildLine is able to answer almost every call and provides help and advice to thousands of children every day, about issues such as bullying, bereavement, abuse and family problems.

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Choosing after-school activities By Elisabeth Dolton As the new school year starts, so does the time to choose after-school activities, but take a quick look and you will find a whole range of classes available, from Scouts to Ballet, from French to Karate. How can we know which ones are the best for our child, offer value for money, and critically, which ones they will enjoy! After-school activities definitely offer value to your children. Reports indicate those who participate in after-school programs have better school attendance, higher grades and loftier aspirations. They’re less likely to get into trouble are at lower risk of obesity. It is also a great opportunity for children to develop social and leadership skills. The benefits are there, but under which classes? Talk to your child and find out how they feel about the activity, and let them choose at least one club or activity themselves. Help them choose activities that reflect who they are and what they want to learn, don’t impose your preferences. Explain that it’s important and fun to try new things, and remember switching activities is normal amongst children. Taniho -

Always check out the quality of an activity. Discipline-based activities that create a quality product over a period of time are great, e.g. putting on a play. Don’t think that high cost equal high quality, some activities are cheaper to run like football. Staff members should be professionals with skills and experience. Consider the mix of activities. The benefits of exercise are huge, so including a sport would be a good start. Extracurricular activities are ideal for children to explore and practice what it means to be a group leader, e.g. Brownies. If you are Vibe Images - Fotolio. com stuck between two similar activities, consider the usefulness, e.g. drum lessons might be cool, but the guitar might have wider applicability. Finally, remember logistics. The afterschool programme affects you too. Avoid signing on to too many activities that leave you scrambling from one to the next. No one will have fun doing anything if it means arriving late, leaving early, and going without dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Look hard for places you can walk to, it reduces your carbon footprint while keeping you fit for free! Finally do build in some downtime. Children need to have independent play as well as the structured activities, so ensure time is built in for dinner, watching T.V. and relaxing. Leave some activities perhaps for the summer, when different interests can be tried, without the pressure of school demands. After-school activities can provide enrichment, adventure and variety. They can enhance knowledge and build character. Spend a bit more time choosing the right activity programme for your child and you will reap the benefits.


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Consideration for special needs children ! Consider your child’s interests, rather than their needs. Many regular

activities can use technology or planning to help their participation, e.g. drama, athletics, cooking, academic ! Evaluate your child's stamina. Check they have the energy for an extracurricular activity? ! Talk with the activity leaders about your child's unique medical and communication needs. Provide them with emergency contact information. ! Make sure family downtime is a regular part of the schedule. Sometimes your family needs to have nothing to do — as a group. Remember the inclusion of children with special needs is beneficial to all. Special needs children achieve more, improve behaviour, and enhance motivation. Children without special needs learn from working cooperatively and grow in confidence through helping others.

For younger children why not try Baby Sensory Baby Sensory provides hundreds of sensory development activities that are great fun for parents and babies to share in the vital first year. The classes include fibre optic light shows, bubbles, bells, musical fun, baby signing, puppet shows, amazing light balls and so much more. To find out more call Juliette on 07966 789785 or email or see our website Monkey Music Monkey Music provides classes within Cambridgeshire, including Rock n’ Roll for babies from 3 months and Heigh Ho for toddlers from 12 months. Contact Catherine Clough on 01353 668 622 or Monkey Music For Babies and Younger Children 01353 668 622 Melody Movement 01480 493 579 Alliance Francaise French Classes 01223 561 854 La Dante Italian Classes 01223 315 191 La Jolie Ronde 01223 210 900 Kinnerz Coaching Sports and Football 01223 571 385 Bumpercise and Aquatots 01223 569 067 Cambridge Gym and Trampoline Club 01223 510 144 Stagecoach Singing, Dancing and Acting for 04 - 18 year olds 01223 359 974 Octogon Performing Arts 01353 661 191 McKenzie School of Speech and Drama 01954 781 487 Perform Stageschool Annabel Lee Art Classes 01223 324 030 Kettle’s Yard Various Classes 01223 748 100 Baby Sensory 07966 789 785 Se pt e mbe r/ Octo be r 2 01 2

B Education

How to encourage reading Many of us know the value and enjoyment of reading. Good readers become better writers, better learners and well rounded individuals. Taking an active part in helping your children become interested in reading is vital. Despite busy days, tired kids, limited time and many distractions, we outline five simple steps that can help. Step one - Set up reading time every day Decide when and where a reading session will take place, which fits into your household schedule, and keep it. 10 minutes is fine. Encourage your child to read aloud. They don’t have to get every word right, and praise them often. If they are discouraged by their own reading, you read aloud. The pleasure of listening to you read can restore their enthusiasm. Offer to read every other sentence, page, chapter, and have conversations and discussions about the content. Make it fun. Children love sound effects, different voices, pulling faces. Step two – During reading time Introduce the bookmark. Stop after a few pages and pick up where you left off at another time. Provide an accessible, special place for children to keep their own books. Use special incentives, e.g. an extra 5 minutes to finish a chapter, a promise to take them to see the film of the book, sticker charts and certificates. Notice what attracts your children's attention, even if it’s only pictures, and build on that interest. Gather more information on the same subject. Listen to audio books (in the car too). These help

develop visualisation, a critical pre-reading skill. Let them choose their own books. Don’t worry the books are too young or too easy, early reading success can came from several "non-traditional" sources such as comics. Buy a special notebook and record all the books they have read, add their thoughts and a star rating. Step three - See the teacher and judge where they are Find out what reading program the school follows, get to know the levels, and aim to supplement the program at home. Prepare a timetable. Know what level your child is at and the next, with some idea of when it can be achieved. There is no race to be the first to read, it just puts things into context. Step four - Plan specific reading linked activities Extend your child's positive reading experiences, e.g. If they enjoyed reading about dinosaurs, visit the natural history museum. Encourage activities that require reading, e.g. read a recipe, instructions, and directions, play games that require reading, use a reference book to look up something you have seen. Visit the library and give your child their own library card.They can choose their own library book or listen in on story-time. Step five – Be a role model Let your children see you reading for pleasure. Read aloud everyday items - menus, road signs, food labels. Give books as gifts. Leave books, magazines, and colourful catalogues around your home.

By Elisabeth Dolton

Write short notes for your child to read. Reading opens up new worlds to your children and gives them a chance to use their imaginations. There are many ways to encourage your child to read, and the best ways always include participation on your part. Helping reading for children with learning difficulties. Books and Audio Follow a book as the audio book plays. Listen to a chapter, and then read it together Turn on the TV subtitles Sub-titles on your TV or DVD help increase sight word vocabulary, whilst developing a sense of flow of written and spoken language. Make your child the star of their own audio book Your child can read into a recorder, then follow the book together during playback. Everyone joins in Reserve thirty minutes each evening for family reading time. Each family member reads different material and then shares information about it, or take turns reading aloud from the same book. Support their learning Help ensure your child doesn’t get behind in reading material necessary for school subjects, ask for help with obtaining textbooks on CD ROM. Together identify unfamiliar words you come across and show your child how to look up the meanings of words. Children with specific learning difficulties and dyslexia could benefit from the PQ4R strategy ( uctionalmaterials/a/pq4rstrategy.htm)

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Family ! An overview of Collaborative Law by Adam Moghadas

Collaborative law is a different way of working towards family solutions when adult relationships break down. It involves a series of "round table" meetings where both parties, and their respective lawyers, meet in the same room to investigate finding a fair way forward for the family's particular unique circumstances. Financial, property and children matters can be approached holistically, and third parties can be brought in to assist where necessary with financial advice, valuations, counselling or parenting matters. The key difference to the conventional approach is that, in collaborative law, both clients and their lawyers sign an agreement at the beginning of the process which commits them to keeping the discussions confidential - enabling everyone to put their cards on the table - and to settling the dispute without going to court. If the collaborative process is not successful, the parties must instruct new lawyers to litigate the outstanding issues, meaning that there is a buy-in from the collaborative lawyers towards making the process work, as they do not want to lose a client. Cambridge was one of the first places in England to take up the ideas of the collaborative law movement from its origins in the USA, and our lawyers were some of the first to use its principles. As a consequence it is widely recognised that we have some of the most experienced collaborative practitioners around. Despite this, even we are finding it difficult to promote collaborative law in these tricky economic times. We sense that this is down to a combination of factors, namely:Time: It is quite a time commitment to attend a series of half-day meetings and, when employment/business circumstances are precarious and childcare is expensive, this may not be a commitment everyone can make. However, in terms of time, clients often find that collaborative law makes it easier to compartmentalise their divorce and stop it from infiltrating their thoughts each day. They know when meetings are going to be, and can prepare for them when they wish, without the fear of too many letters arriving on the doormat in between: Collaborative law works for people who would prefer to deal with matters in chunks of time, rather than little-by-little over a period of weeks or months. Cost: There may also be a cost issue as, whilst collaborative law is generally much less expensive than a contested court case, the cost of each meeting can seem like a large amount because of the lawyer's time involved. However, because lawyers' correspondence is kept to a

minimum, and there are no court costs, fees are much more certain and predictable in collaborative law. Decisions about how to cover the costs of the process are made together at an early stage, so there are no surprises later. Conflict: As many relationships are coming under pressure because of money worries, we are seeing more high-conflict clients and wonder if the idea of a non-adversarial process may be less attractive to those who feel they need a lawyer "in their corner". It's a tricky concept to explain, but being non-positional doesn't mean that the lawyer is not "on your side", it simply works in a different way when everyone is pushing as a team to find the solution that best fulfills everyone's needs. Collaborative lawyers are trained in balancing power and creating a level playing field, meaning clients feel less exposed than they might otherwise. It is true that collaborative law requires give and take on both sides, and the idea of compromise can be a difficult one to come to terms with when the end of a relationship brings with it so much fear. The idea of a court case where there is a perceived "winner" and a "loser" is comfortingly familiar. It can understandably take a lot to open minds to the opportunities of a different approach, even where the creativity that collaborative working makes possible can lead to a more flexible, suitable outcome than the strict constraints of the court process. In summary, collaborative law offers the chance for better solutions for a wide range of people, even where the two clients involved are finding it difficult to communicate without anger. Trained and experienced collaborative practitioners are used to and unafraid of conflict. We know how to work with prevailing circumstances to encourage clients to reach solutions that will enable them to face the future with dignity, and without fear of what tomorrow will bring. Most importantly, children facing change in their family unit can benefit massively from the improved communication that usually comes from working collaboratively, in ways that clients rarely expect at the beginning of the process. Cambridge Family Law Practice 33 Parkside, Cambridge, CB1 1JE DX 132993 - Cambridge 7 • Direct Dial - 01223 443338

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Coping with failure By Melissa Hood

It is a certainty that we all experience failure from time to time and therefore need to be able to cope with it. There are (at least) two ways of responding to failure: one is to be beaten down by it and to feel hopeless and discouraged and perhaps give up; the other is to accept that this time things didn’t go so well and determine to keep trying until you do better and hopefully learn something from the experience. Edison found many ways not to invent the light bulb before he discovered the way that worked. “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work…” How do we respond to failure?

Perhaps education systems and modern methods of parenting don’t equip our children well for responding to failure positively. Across the world education systems with their interest in standardising and measuring have put much emphasis on tests, results, scores and achievements with the result that sometimes there has been not enough attention paid to the process of learning, creating happy, creative and thoughtful problem solvers. So much attention has been paid to achievements that to fail is no longer an option.

Anything wrong with Positive parenting?

Parents have praised their children for doing well. The focus remains on results rather than on creative thinking or new tactics tried. This creates a lot of pressure for kids –they know that winning is what counts and it makes it hard for them to fail. This creates a culture of risk adversity in academics, sport and the arts and pits children against each other rather than encouraging collaboration –who dares to fail or even to take another path if it is so important to win and there is a set way to do it?

Parents can influence matters considerably by:

! what we pay attention to and how we talk about success and

failure. If we pay attention only to achievements children learn results-based success is all that counts.When they do not achieve the result hoped for are our children not worthwhile? When your daughter comes home from a netball match don’t let your first question be ‘did you win?’, but ‘Did you enjoy the game? Did you play your best? Were you able to set up some goals? How did the team play together? ! Giving meaningful and descriptive praise for effort, strategies, attitudes and small improvements, rather than results, to develop a growth mindset in children. “You kept on trying with these sums even though you didn’t find it easy. That’s persevering.Your efforts have paid off – five out of six are correct.” Se ptem be r /O ct o be r 2 0 1 2

! Looking behind children’s behaviour and acknowledging their

emotions to help them manage their feelings. Children who develop emotional intelligence are more resilient and pick themselves up again after set backs. ! Encouraging independence, especially in thinking, to build self trust. Invite and listen to kids’ ideas. “I know we did too much for our youngest son around his A levels because we felt it was so important that he get the grades he needed for the next step in his education, his passport to successful adult life. But when he feels his parents are there to catch him he doesn’t put so much effort in himself. When we do too much of his thinking/planning/ organising he doesn’t do it himself.” Mother of 18 year old. ! Modelling how to handle failure well. ! When you get something wrong don’t beat yourself up about it but acknowledge the mistake and why it was a mistake. ! Take steps to remedy it - make amends. ! Articulate what you are learning, show that you are not diminished by your failures but can profit from them.

Example: “This morning when we were getting ready for school I yelled at you guys. We were in such a hurry and I didn’t think you were being very helpful. It’s not a good idea for me to yell at you as it doesn’t make you feel good,… or me, and it doesn’t make things go any faster. I’m sorry. I thought about it afterwards when I was calm and realised that it was because we were in a hurry and I didn’t want to be late that I shouted. Tomorrow I am going to make sure we get started earlier and I’m going to see what I can do tonight so that there’s less to do in the morning. I think I learnt something today.” ! Responding encouragingly to their mistakes around school work

or music practice or sport as follows: ! Find something positive to comment on first. Make sure you’re

acknowledging good qualities or behavioural traits such as commitment and creativity as well as being able to spell well or do fractions or dribble a ball well or play a piece fluently. ! Then ask them to find something to improve, routinely. It is a difficult task for parents but we need to allow our children to have an unpressured childhood not just for the sake of their present happiness but also to create a future generation of people who can think and are willing to embrace new ideas. ® ®


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‘...runningroundtheringandvisitingHighlandcattleinthedark...’ Name: Kirsty Smith Age: More than 40 (but not on the inside) Number of children: 2 Caleb 10, Leah 8 Number of years you’ve lived there: in Cambridge, 11 years Why you like living where you do? Cambridge has such a wealth of things to see and do, most of which are accessible by bike, that you get a hugely diverse choice of sports and entertainment right on your doorstep. We make a lot of use of the fabulous open spaces and the river, but also try (and too often fail!) to benefit from the museums and theatres, and we all do a lot of extracurricular stuff. The only thing missing is a permanent skating rink!

Favourite shop The Hairy Growler jewellery stall in the Craft Market. He makes wonderful original items out of recycled silver cutlery and old coins. I have as much of his stuff as I can afford partly because I love it, but also because I thoroughly approve of making use of discarded items.

Favourite park Wandlebury. We’ve been walking there since before Caleb was born and we love it in each of its different seasons. We have spent so many happy hours wandering its paths with various friends, sharing flasks of hot chocolate on its many benches, birdwatching at dusk, running round the ring and visiting Highland cattle in the dark during children’s parties, and rolling down the hill of the main green.

Favourite children’s club/class Cambridge Kung Fu, run by Ross Sargent and his team. As well as teaching the technical aspects of Kung Fu, the club puts a lot of emphasis on the ethos of respect for self and for others, and enthuses and encourages the children who attend to aim high but also have fun.


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Favourite day out (and why) (Assuming budget is no object!)…..Breakfast at one of the small cafes that litter Mill Road – maybe the Black Cat, or Café Brazil, then a ballet class with Leah or time on the Kelsey Kerridge climbing wall with Caleb, followed by a cycle along the canal to Cherry Hinton Hall or along the river to Granchester for a picnic with some friends, or a drive to the Raptor Foundation near St Ives, or Ely cathedral and antique centre (even better if Willingham auction is also on), finished off with a slow wander into town, a quick mooch through the market, and a meal at Kymmoy’s on Mill Road or Thanh Binh, the Vietnamese restaurant on Magdalene St.

Favourite child friendly restaurant We don’t eat out a lot but I have been impressed with Giraffe’s child-friendly menus and activities, the Robin Hood pub in Fulbourn with its climbing frames and garden, and the Empress pub in Romsey with its pot-bellied pigs!

No parent should be without

stories; more high budget, the beach on Koh Phangan in southern Thailand for similar reasons. I work for an overseas aid charity so I’m hoping that our next holiday destination will be to take the family to visit one of our projects in Africa.

Best children DVD or video Monsters Inc. (for the outstanding animation), Shrek 1 (for the humour on so many levels), The Princess Bride (for slightly older) Most played with toys TMisfits, Uno, Fuzzy felt, trampoline, Monopoly and (after all these years), stacking cups and tea set

Biggest waste of money things made of plastic; things bought in sales that you never really needed

Most successful recipe/food Popcorn, pancakes, stone soup where we re-enact the folk tale using everything we can find in the fridge.

colouring pencils, a well written book to read aloud, mints, a story or song easily recalled, and a sick bowl.

Parenting pet hates excess; parents intolerant of difference; parents who let their children rustle sweet wrappers during performances.

Most embarrassing moment I’m not too easily embarrassed so I can’t easily think of many, although there are plenty from my youth when I worried more that I cringe to recall!

Favourite family holiday spot Any campsite with a central playing area for all the visiting children to converge, and the chance to sit round an open fire to roast marshmallows and tell

If you would like to appear in our next Parent2Parent please e-mail

Se pt e mbe r/ Octo be r 2 01 2

" What’s on/Events Saturday 6th October 2012 Cambridge PPF’s 5th Apple & Orchard Day at Wandlebury 11.00 - 16.00 A popular day dedicated to delicious countryside delights, which the whole family can enjoy! Get apples, nuts and other soft fruits identified; discover the importance of orchard conservation and beekeeping; have a go at archery; try apple tasting, buy local apples, operate a traditional apple press; take part in craft activities and walks; listen to fairy tales; and browse other stalls. NB: Fairy tales take place in the afternoon. Tea, coffee and juice will be on sale. Parking at Wandlebury costs £2.50 / free for charity members. / 01223 243830 extension 203.

Botanic Gardens • Autumn Colours 11am - 3pm Have fun collecting fallen treasures in the Garden and use these as inspiration to create colourful autumn artworks. £2 per child payable on the day Drop-in, no booking required. Parents/carers to stay. 01223 331875

Sunday 7th October 2012 Hinxton Watermill Open Day • 14.30 17.30 Ever wondered how flour is milled? Go behind the scenes at CambridgePPF’s working watermill – a building that dates back to the Doomsday Book in the picturesque surroundings of Hinxton. CambridgePPF members free, non-members (adults £2.50, children £1.00) / 01223 243830 extension 201.

Wednesday 10th October 2012 Wicken Fen 10.30am Mucky Pups. Pre-school fun and games with an autumnal twist. £3.95 Booking essential 01353 720 274

Saturday 20th October 2012 Guided walk at Coton Countryside Reserve 10.30 - 13.00 Find out more about the influence of early autumn on both farming and wildlife with a countryside walk around the reserve hosted by our farmer and CambridgePPF rangers.This is a free event but a donation towards the upkeep of the Reserve is appreciated. / 01223 243830 extension 201.

Saturday 27th October: Halloween fun at Wandlebury 16.30 - 19.00 CambridgePPF’s Halloween event grows in popularity every year. Come along in fancy dress and join the Halloween fun! Carve pumpkin sculptures then join the charity’s rangers for a candlelit twilight walk around the woods. After, return to the Stable Rooms for hot soup and to see the pumpkins light up the adjacent field. Bring a torch if you wish. Early booking is essential! This event always sells out. £9 per pumpkin (£7 for members). Parking at Wandlebury costs £2.50 / free for members. / 07833598155

Wicken Fen • Ghost Walk. 18.30 Experience Wicken Fen at its scariest. Just you, with the fenland ghouls, sprites , will o’ the wisps and witches. £5.25 01353 720 274

Se ptem be r /O ct o be r 2 0 1 2

by Lizzie Hazell

Sunday 28th October Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill • Walk the Fens 10.30 or 11.30 The Great British Walking Festival invites you to explore the countryside and discover Wicken Fen Join us on one of the longer walks being organised by Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve. You can start either at Wicken Fen or Anglesey Abbey and then meet the other group for lunch. By starting at Wicken Fen, it is a 6-mile walk. By starting at Anglesey Abbey it is a 14-mile walk (distances are there and back). Lunch is at the "5 miles from Anywhere, No Hurry Inn" at Upware. You will need to buy your own lunch. Booking essential 01223 810 080

Monday 29th October: Moonlit walk at Wandlebury • 20.00 - 21.00 Join CambridgePPF rangers on a guided walk around Wandlebury and experience it as you've never done before – by the light of a full moon! Dress according to the weather and bring a torch if you wish. Booking is essential. Meet at the notice board in the visitor car park. Parking at Wandlebury costs £2.50 / free for members. / 07833598155.

Wicken Fen • Pram Push. 10.30 - 11.30 Step out with babies and toddlers for a buggy friendly countryside walk 01353 720 274

Tuesday 30th October: Autumn Walk at Wandlebury • 10.00 - 12.30 Join one of CambridgePPF’s education officers for a guided autumn walk around Wandlebury aimed specifically at children. Spot and collect fruits and seeds, and look out for animal overwintering hideaways. Then have a go at printing with your bounty. Ages 5 plus only (children must be accompanied), £6.50 per child (members £5.00), adults free. Booking is essential as places are limited. Parking at Wandlebury costs £2.50 / free for members. or call 01223 243830 extension 201

Wicken Fen • Batty Halloween 10.30 - 12.30 or 14.00 - 16.00 Get ready for Halloween with some spooky fun. Child £4.75 01353 720 274

Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st October Botanic Gardens Autumn half-term: Dance a story 11am-12 noon or 2-3pm Learn how to tell a story with dance. Find out how to represent characters and story details so that the story unfolds. Once you have done this with one story you will see the potential in many others and carry on dancing for yourself. £5 per child per session Booking required 01223 331875

Wednesday 31st October and Friday 2nd November Anglesey Abbey • 11.00 or 14.00 Children's Garden Discovery Walk As part of the Great British Walking Festival, families can come and discover hidden corners of the Anglesey Abbey gardens. Nature puts on a beautiful show in the Autumn. What will you discover on this wonderful walk around the Anglesey Abbey gardens? Guided by our experienced volunteers, children can discover new and exciting ways of engaging with the nature that surrounds them. Running on Wednesday 31 October and Friday 2 November, two guided walks per day with a maximum of 15 children per group. For ages 3 - 7. Normal admission charges. Booking essential. 01223 810 080 ® ®


B Schools School Open Days Kimbolton School Senior School - Saturday 29th September 2012, 10 am to 12 noon Prep School Saturday 6 October 2012, 10 am to 12 noon Tel: 01480 860505

St Edmund’s College and Prep School Hertfordshire Saturday 29th September 2012 09.30 - 14.00 Independent, Catholic CoEducational Boarding School for 3 -18 Year Olds. Tel: 01920 824 247 •

The Perse St Faith’s 6th October 2012 09.15 - 10.45 Tel: 01223 352073

The Nursery and Pre-Prep Saturday 13th October 2012 – 9am – 11.30am. Tel: 01223 403940 The Prep - Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October 2012 – 9.30am – 12 noon Tel: 01223 403920 The Upper - Saturday 29th September 2012 – 9.30am – 12.30pm. Tel: 01223 403800 Sixth Form - Tuesday 6th November 2012 – 6.30pm – 9.00pm. email: admissions@ •

St Mary’s 6th October 2012 Junior School Tel: 01223 311666 13th October Senior School Tel: 01223 353253

La Dante

We are an Italian Cultural Centre and we teach Italian language in a natural way, with our Italian teachers using youtube, sketches, creative activities and lots of songs to inspire the children. For Bilinguals we have a similar approach but more focused on gap filling giving them the chance to learn about our Italian literature, history and geography as well as grammar. With very competitive prices, we give each child a skill for their success............we all know how important languages are these days. La Dante, The Lodge, Hawthorn Way, off Chesterton Road Cambridge CB4 1BT t: +44 (0)1223 315191 e: w:

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Families Cambridgeshire Sept Oct 2012  
Families Cambridgeshire Sept Oct 2012  

Families Cambridgeshire Magazine Sept Oct 2012