Families London SW Jan-Feb 2018

Page 1





South West

A mine of information! What’s On? Events and things to do with children Issue 273 January/February 2018

Choosing a nursery Half term activities Free activities familiesonline.co.uk

Contents Local news


Families Top Five activities this month


New Year New You Start 2018 healthy and in a good job!


Mindful yoga at Battersea Yoga


NURSERY FEATURE •Your local nursery news •The benefits of starting a Bilingual Education at an early age •Outdoor nursery receives huge support from parents •Tips to prepare your child successfully for their transition into Reception •Preschools – your ‘need to know’ guide •Teaching emotional intelligence with the Ruler programme


EDUCATION •Your local schools open days •Explore Learning gets behind “more maths for everyone!” •Developing creativity and artistic development in primary schools


Travelling with children Family fun under the Tuscan sun A day in the life of Esprit Ski Top recommendations for an Easter ski break

33- 37

February Half term Activities Sport, arts & craft, music & drama, dance and much more.


Clubs & Classes Your local clubs news: From cricket to French, Swimming, Football to arts and craft.


FREE activities


Health & Welbeing Set your child free from screens


What’s On Diary dates Babies and toddlers Theatre, Drama Museums & Exhibitions Art activities

The LIttle Forest Folk


Nursery feature pages 9-21

Families SW|Issue 273 ®

Jan/Feb 2018 TEL: 020 8696 9680 EDITORIAL: editor@FamiliesSW.co.uk NEWS: news@FamiliesSW.co.uk ADVERTS/ARTWORK: adverts@FamiliesSW.co.uk EVENTS, DIARY DATES, WHAT’S ON: whatson@FamiliesSW.co.uk NEXT ISSUE: March 2018 DEADLINE: 1st Feburary 2018 ISSN 1354-9553 All content ©Families SW 2018 • Families London SW is part of Families Print Ltd, a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families® is a registered trademark of LCMB Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. • The contents of Families SW are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without the prior consent of Families SW. • Printed by Ridgeway Press, Wilts • Designed by Shirley Trimmer • Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but Families SW, our distributors, the franchise company Families Print Ltd and Lifecycle Marketing cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents, or any consequence thereof. • Paper used to print Families is from fully-managed sustainable sources.

ADVERTISE IN OUR NEXT ISSUE Contact us on 020 8696 9680 Familiesonline.co.uk

Find us on Facebook and Twitter FamiliesSWLon

Families South West 3

NEWS JOIN THE WI TO MAKE FRIENDS AND LEARN SKILLS We are delighted to learn that Battersea WI will be opening this New Year. Open to all women, it is a great opportunity to make friends and to enjoy monthly meetings with inspiring speakers and events with activities such as crafts, book groups, walking, visiting exhibitions/theatres. Check them out on social media (Twitter and Instagram: @Battersea_WI; or Facebook: @BatterseaWI). Part of the WI, the largest voluntary women’s organisations in the UK, you’ll gain educational opportunities and the chance to learn new skills, take part in a wide variety of activities and campaign on issues that matter to you and your community. There are also WI’s in Balham, Barnes, Clapham, Fulham & Chelsea, Kew, Putney, Streatham, Tooting, Wandsworth Common and Wimbledon. For more information contact Surrey Federation on sfwi2dr@yahoo.co.uk

LACK OF SLEEP DAMAGING FOR CHILDREN More than a third of primary school children are failing to get sufficient sleep, according to new research. The study has linked poor sleep with difficulties in paying attention in class, keeping up with school work, forgetfulness and absenteeism. The research, carried out by the University of Leeds has shown that despite the NHS recommendation of 10 hours, 36 per cent of primary age children get eight hours of sleep or less per night. Even more worryingly, 15 per cent get less than seven hours. The researchers found links between poor sleep and children having access to mobile phones or computer devices in their bedrooms. Other factors contributing to poor sleep were poor parental sleep patterns and lack of routine.

SPIN A TALE DURING NATIONAL STORYTELLING WEEK The first week of February marks National Storytelling Week, a chance to reflect on one of the oldest art forms in the world. We are all immersed in stories — from conversations retelling events in our lives, to watching our favourite television shows. Speech and language therapists believe that storytelling is vital for children’s academic success as it promotes narrative skills and strengthens the ability of children to correctly sequence ideas. To be a good reader and writer a child needs to be a good speaker and listener first. But above all, storytelling is fun. Whether we are listening to someone else’s story or telling our own, inventing and adapting narratives can open doors to exciting new worlds — both real and imaginary. To find a local event or to look through its extensive archive visit www.sfs.org.uk

More information on the study can be found at www.leeds.ac.uk

LOCAL NURSERY OWNER PUBLISHES HER MEMOIRS Lima Nunes’s interest in Early Years began early when reading books by Dr Maria Montessori. She attended St Nicholas Montessori College in Princes Gate, London, and amazingly was trained by teachers, who were actually trained by Maria Montessori herself! After working for ILEA in London for 9 years, she became a nursery manager, then a Registered Person, remaining in the private sector. Over the past 30 years, she has been managing/owning nurseries for as many as 120 children and received a very ‘GOOD’ Ofsted rating. One area of expertise included managing various teams of staff, promoting ‘Positive Parent Partnership’ and strong community spirit and being able to lead a team to confidently care and educate the children for whom they are responsible. Educare Nursery, 27 Aldrington Road SW16 1TU. To read her memoir please contact Lima on 020 8677 9675 www.educarenurseryukltd.com

EASY AND HEALTHY VEGETARIAN RECIPES Eating less meat often means being more creative in the kitchen, and that is good thing! Learn to be more inventive, have fun and enjoy a healthy relationship with what you eat with this great book. Whether you’re looking for tasty brunch ideas or delicious dinners, energizing snacks or mouthwatering sweet treats, the author shows you how to make simple, nutritious vegetarian meals suitable for all that are easy for anyone to rustle up with the minimum of fuss. Some recipes also include suggestions for vegan alternatives, while others are free from gluten, dairy and sugar – the most common intolerances. Published by Eddison books, £13.99, available from Amazon

4 Families South West • January/February 2018




According to a survey by Workingmums.co.uk, almost three quarters of working mums identify flexible work as being crucial to getting more women into senior roles. The survey shows that mums feel flexible working is vital for them to manage work and family life and that 60% of those who work flexibly would like even more flexibility.

If you have a bit of free time and skills to share why not volunteer? Link UP recruits volunteers and works with charities throughout the borough of Wandsworth bringing together individuals who are willing to share their professional skills with local charities, community groups and social enterprises that need these skills to make a real difference in the Wandsworth community. All of the volunteers are professionals and whilst some are in work others are retired, semi-retired or not currently working.

How can you persuade your employers to agree to working flexibly? • Think through what the job requires and whether the tasks you have to perform can be done at a different location ie from home, or at times outside of the standard working day. Take account of any additional costs or challenges this might involve and discuss them honestly.

The charitable organisations projects are structured, have clear start and end dates, are flexible to fit in with busy lives and are designed to make a difference. Link UP ensures that projects are a good fit for both the organisations and the volunteers.

• Give examples of the ways in which your work can be successfully carried out under any new working pattern you are proposing, and show that it will not harm the business. Point out any business advantages. • Research some case studies, ideally in your sector that shows how the work pattern you are suggesting can be mutually beneficial to you and your employer.

Link UP has been working on projects including IT, marketing, human resources, research, writing, strategy development, and web design.

If managers are dubious, suggest a trial period. Have a compromise solution as a back-up. For more information and flexible work opportunities, visit www.workingmums.co.uk

MATHS TOPS POPULARITY POLL FOR CHILDREN New research has shown that when it comes to children’s favourite subject it’s a numbers game as maths comes out on top. A survey carried by the extra tuition provider, Explore Learning has found that maths was the most enjoyed subject of four to 14 year olds (26%) followed by PE (20%) and art (16%). This was despite the fact that maths is also the subject that children admit to finding the most challenging, followed by English and geography.

Enrol yo u children r to a FREE Ex plore Learnin g trial!

If you are interested in volunteering, or you are a charitable organisation in Wandsworth with a project that needs a skilled volunteer, please contact info@linkupbattersea.org www.linkup-battersea.org

More highlights of the survey include: • The next generation may signal the end of the gender divide as seven in ten (69%) of children think boys and girls are equally good at maths • Nearly two thirds (61%) think a job in maths would be exciting! • 90% think being good at maths will help you get a better paid job in the future To inspire your aspiring mathematician there are great ideas on how to make maths fun and engage young maths minds at www.murderousmaths.co.uk


Families South West 5

FAMILIES TOP FIVE... Panto season may be over but there are still loads of fantastic shows to see throughout the capital this winter. Here are our top picks of the best theatre for the whole family this January and February…


HARE AND TORTOISE Lyric Hammersmith One Lyric Square W6 0QL www.lyric.co.uk 13-17 February Who’s the fastest; who’s the best? Who will finally win the race? Younger, fitter Hare – tearing around, unable to wait – or slow and steady Tortoise – taking the time to look at the stars? Find out in this funny, tender, award-winning adaptation of the well-loved story as you journey through the seasons from bud-bursting spring to snow-falling winter in a production brimming with music, movement and colour. Age 3-7, tickets £10.

Piccadilly Theatre 16 Denman Street W1D 7DY www.anniewestend.com Throughout January and February Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Her luck soon changes when she's chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas with famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family… Now starring actor and comedian Meera Syal in the lead role. This has to end in March – don’t miss out!

MATTHEW BOURNE’S CINDERELLA Sadler’s Wells Rosebery Avenue EC1R www.sadlerswells.com To 27 January Following the sold-out and critical success of The Red Shoes, New Adventures return to Sadler's Wells this Christmas with one of our most popular and beloved productions, Matthew Bourne's Cinderella – a thrilling and evocative love story set in London during the Second World War, which forms part of the company's 30th anniversary celebrations. Matthew Bourne at his very best.


THE SNOW QUEEN Polka Theatre 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB www.polkatheatre.com To 4 February Kai and Gerda are best friends. Not brother and sister but as close as if they were. Together, with their friends, they reimagine the thrilling adventure of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic winter fairy-tale. Let your imagination soar as a dusty attic is transformed into the Snow Queen’s icy palace, and follow their epic journey of self-discovery, as they try to save Kai from the icy spell of the Snow Queen’s cold kiss. Can Gerda melt his heart before he forgets her forever? We love this simple, moving offering from family-favourite Polka Theatre.

6 Families South West • January/February 2018

The Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street SE1 2HZ www.unicorntheatre.com 26 January – 11 March Being little can be hard work. There are holes to dig, sand castles to make, treasures to find, adventures to be had. It's much easier when you have a friend to help. But what if making friends is hard work too? Seesaw explores the push and pull of friendship, and the ups and downs of being very young. Age 3-6, the perfect first theatre show for tiny ones.



The only UK charity providing specialist paediatric osteopathy on a donate-what-youcan basis

GENTLE PAEDIATRIC OSTEOPATHY Choosing the right healthcare for your child can feel challenging. If you’re after a gentle, non-pharmaceutical approach then try the Osteopathic Centre for Children (OCC). Their highly-trained osteopaths will give you the time you need to discuss your concerns, and after observing your child, will use effective, non-invasive physical techniques to help promote, maintain and restore health and wellbeing. They specialise in treating children from birth to 18 years presenting with a whole range of conditions, as well as women in the perinatal period, and will always work alongside traditional medicine where appropriate. OCC parent, Georgia said, ‘What I like about the consultants at the OCC is that they don’t give me a hard time if we do decide to go down the [NHS drug-treatment] route but support my family in what we do next. Having seen the effect of the osteopathic treatment on my family, the OCC will always be my first port of call for my children’s health. We think it is absolutely brilliant.’

FIND A FLEXIBLE FULL TIME OR PART TIME JOB Are you a parent juggling family life and work? Looking to return back to work after maternity leave or extended career break? Perhaps you would like a job with flexible working hours or the possibility to work from home? Do you assume finding work that is challenging, interesting and that pays well is too good to be true? Think again! Mothers & Careers offers you access to wonderful employers in the UK with the most flexible, family-friendly working policies. They provide information about flexible jobs, returner programmes, career resources and advice. Full-time, part-time, home-working or eveninghours. Their current job opportunities are from companies like Deloitte, Ferrum, The Bridge, UnderTheDoormat and more. What are you waiting for? To receive their careers newsletter, email info@mothersandcareers.com

Book an appointment today on 020 8875 5290 www.occ.uk.com

To search and apply for jobs, please go to the job board on www.mothersandcareers.com

Registered charity number 1003934

Highly recommended 10% off courses quoting FSW

Transportation for children and young people


Paediatrician Mummies Promoting Child Health


Are you a parent, teacher, nanny or childminder?

Would you know what to do if your child choked or stopped breathing? Do you feel confident looking after your child when they're unwell? Doctor Bear is a team of four paediatrician mummies who understand those middle of the night panics with a feverish child. They have used their collective, extensive experience to create fun and highly informative courses about managing childhood illnesses and injuries. They also offer bespoke courses to run in your home where you can choose from their bank of topics and tailor-make a course most relevant to your needs. “We are passionate about empowering caregivers with up to date and 'from the horse’s mouth' knowledge about child healthcare. Please see our 5* reviews on Facebook, for further course information and our blog see our webpage.” www.doctorbear.co.uk Follow their blog on Instagram: doctorbears ‘Thanks for the bespoke course for our NCT group, run by friendly paediatrician mummies with lots of first hand experience. Highly recommended.’ Testimonial, November 2017


Do you own a car? Are you a confident driver with a minimum of 2 years driving experience and a clean driving record? If yes, join Kids Services today! Kids Services believe that all children and young people need to be safe and happy. They are looking for people with energy and commitment with knowledge of safeguarding, to provide safe transport services for children around London. Kids Services provide a bespoke service for parents, escorting children to and from activities or just the daily school run. Additionally they provide childcare for parents who require home assistance. Positions available for staff to work between the following hours: 07:30 am-9:30 am and 3pm-7pm (hours may vary) Starting at £10ph for London and Central London from £12 ph. www.kidsservices.co.uk admin@kidsservices.co.uk or 020 8835 7008 All drivers have a fully enhanced DBS.

Sponsored content

Families South West 7

Coming back to your senses Mindfulness has been hitting the media headlines for years; the NHS encourages it, Royals promote it, Corporations crow about it—and now, even the Government has a mindfulness All-party group. No corner of British society it seems, is exempt from the clamour for mindfulness. “Battersea Yoga has been an absolute lifeline to me, my essential weekly re-set for what can often feel like a frantic mind and exhausted body. I came across Battersea Yoga after spotting an ad for a free class... struggling with the juggles of life and new motherhood I had just been prescribed antidepressants and was about to take my prescription to the chemist that day; something made me decide to give the class a go first.

FREE mindful yoga session for the first 100 readers

Four years on and I've learnt how to look after and nurture my mind and body, access deep peace and reduce stress through lifechanging meditation, yoga and selfreflection—all of which allow me to parent and function with far deeper awareness... I never did make it to the chemist!” Jo C, ‘Busy London Mum’ Finding Battersea Yoga Studio for the first time is a bit like stumbling across a secret

“With repeated practice, mindfulness students do find there is an OFF button after all.” But what is mindfulness and where can you learn it?

mindfulness students eventually discover the same thing: that with repeated practice, there is an OFF button after all.

Let’s be clear. Mindfulness is a skill everyone can learn; it’s a way of calming the endlessly active mind by shifting your awareness; you let go of the chatter in your head and instead, come back to your senses.

With the stress of modern life, mindfulness is not a luxury but a necessity

It’s not a quick fix—it takes a great deal of practice—but the rewards can be truly lifechanging. It’s useful to know that mindfulness is a state of awareness, an attitude, an approach to life—it’s not a technique as such. That said, there are limitless practices through which you can cultivate mindfulness. Most of these take only minutes to learn—but a lifetime to perfect. Whatever practices you employ—sitting, walking, breathing, yoga, mantras and more—

Isn’t mindfulness a new and trendy practice? Nope. It’s as old as the hills and has been taught for thousands of years in every corner of the planet. It’s just that the demand for mindfulness is now so huge, thanks to our stressed-out, over-digitalised lives, that it is appearing constantly on everyone’s radar. Battersea Yoga is a studio dedicated to mindfulness practices; for nearly 20 years they have supported students to stay mindful both on and off the mat. Finding Battersea Yoga studio for the first time is a bit like stumbling across a secret; not far from

Battersea Park’s Sun Gate, tucked away off Cambridge Road, there’s a long pretty driveway. On entering the tranquil studio, you soon forget that you’re in London, the place has a magical air about it, as if you have arrived ‘at your own door’…

To get you started, here’s a simple mindfulness exercise Next time you are waiting for the kettle to boil, walking in the park or sitting at your desk, simply stop, breathe and become aware of all five of your senses. Check them off: sound, sight, taste, smell and touch: What can I see, hear, taste, smell, touch in this moment? You must be aware of your breath as you let the sense experiences come to you. This exercise requires no effort. The sounds are there. The colours are there. Just notice them. When you engage the senses, the thinking mind stops. In the moment of simply noticing, you are aware, but not thinking.

Battersea Yoga’s ‘Foundations of Mindfulness’ Course is taught as a 12-week course on Thursday evenings. The studio also offers small private group classes by arrangement and specialist mindfulness courses on www.batterseayoga.com From January 2018, they are offering 100 new students A FREE CLASS TO EXPERIENCE MINDFUL YOGA. Claim your class at www.batterseayoga.com/magic100 8 Families South West • January/February 2018


10 Families South West • January/February 2018


NURSERY FEATURE PEREGRINES: A NEW PREP-SCHOOL Peregrines is a new co-ed Pre-Preparatory School opening in September 2018. Peregrines is a family school set in stunning surroundings where boys and girls aged 3 to 8 are cherished and encouraged to flourish and thrive. Enjoying a convenient location within a conservation area in Putney, Peregrines has spacious green play areas, superb facilities and dedicated teachers. Peregrines will inspire and challenge your child to foster a curiosity and interest in the world around them and to develop a lifelong love of learning. After Peregrines, Falcons School for Girls and Falcons School for Boys offer places to pupils at Year 4. They welcome and encourage everyone to visit the school for a tour and to meet the Headmistress. To arrange your visit please contact the Registrar, Harriet Stokes at admin@falconsgirls.co.uk No.11 Woodborough Road, Putney, London SW15 6PY Contact: Harriet Stokes, Registrar 020 8992 5189 www.peregrinespreprep.co.uk

PLAYTIME NURSERY Children at Playtime Nursery Wandsworth have been creating some incredible and exciting art work. For Diwali they turned milk bottles into colourful elephants, the children were able to dress up in traditional clothes and explore new textures and learning through their senses creating Rangoli patterns with coloured rice. The children created tea light holders with clay and decorated them in sequins and glitter. Finding new and creative ways to celebrate and explore festivals and holidays is a great strength at playtime Wandsworth. All artwork was put up on display to showcase the children’s exceptional artwork!! Twice awarded the title of "Best Day Nursery in the South East of England 2015 – 2016. Top 10 in London 2017" and voted “Number one for best group of companies in 2016”.

ECOLE DU PARC NURSERY IS TOP OF THE CLASS Staff and families at L’Ecole du Parc in Clapham are celebrating after receiving an Outstanding grade in all four areas in its recent OFTED inspection. The inspector found that the quality of teaching was "exceptional" and that children "became highly confident bilingual communicators”. She also praised children as "extremely confident and very highly motivated to learn". Eva and Elisa, co-Heads, said: “we are delighted that our staff's dedication and talent have been recognised.” L’Ecole du Parc provides high quality education in a French-immersion or bilingual FrenchEnglish environment. They welcome children aged between 2 and 5 years old and some families can now benefit from the new 30-hour funding. 020 7993 6460 www.ecoleduparc.co.uk


ROCHE NURSERY SCHOOL Children and staff at The Roche Nursery School, Keswick House, in East Putney are delighted with their grand new extension. The newly built hall boasts fine period features including large French windows and chandeliers and is brimming with creative play equipment to suit the children’s particular enthusiasms and interests. All classrooms, including a light and spacious garden room, open on to a wide, leafy garden with its many opportunities for children to explore and profit from their play. The children greatly enjoy the Forest School educational programme both on site and during visits to Wimbledon Common, and fondly call the sessions ‘Fresh Air Friday!’ Please ring for an appointment on 020 8704 4857.


Grand new extension of the Roche Nursery school

THE PLAYROOM LONDON The Playroom is a privately owned home from home-style nursery specialising in childcare for up to 3 years old. It provides a stimulating and exciting environment for children to explore and play. Children learn through planned activities based on their individual needs and interests. They also offer a bilingual learning programme (Spanish). Modern, glassfronted building 5 minutes from Earlsfield station with a large and secure outdoor play area. 0203 016 3438 www.theplayroomlondon.co.uk

Families South West 11




We provide a delightful environment for children from 2yrs of age. Offering the full Montessori curriculum with visiting teachers for Music, Dancing, Yoga, French, Drama, Sports & Gymnastics.

This session takes place from 3:30pm to 4:30pm for children from approximately 2yrs of age to attend with an adult.


0208 673 8037 102 Chestnut Grove Balham, London, SW12 8JJ

BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL CARE We offer a drop-off and pick-up service to and from local schools, with breakfast club, help with homework and supper. Holiday school also offered.


12 Families South West • January/February 2018



Families South West 13


Butterfly Preschool

Preschools – your ‘need to know’ guide By Liat Hughes-Joshi

More parents than ever send their children to preschool or nursery, thanks in part to free places now offered. Preschools are about learning through play and their benefits can be significant, although there’s no obligation to sign up if you don’t think it will be right for your child.

SO WHAT ARE THE UPSIDES? Beyond the obvious – a few hours of childcare – preschool is a great way to get your little one used to being separated from you or other carers. It could also help them become familiar with an environment that’s more like school and some of the routines and behaviours expected there, such as sharing, listening and taking turns.

HOW MUCH FREE CHILDCARE AM I ENTITLED TO? All three and four-year-olds in England receive 570 hours per year of free childcare. This can be in a preschool, nursery or with a registered childminder and is normally taken as 15 hours weekly over 38 weeks, but there’s often flexibility on this. You may be eligible to get up to 30 hours free childcare (1,140 hours per year), ask your childcare provider or local council.

Teaching emotional intelligence with the Ruler programme The Ruler programme is a brilliant and very successful method that helps to develop the emotional intelligence and well-being of everyone associated within the nursery. It is followed by the Willow Nursery in Clapham Old Town, which has a strong moral ethos, to help the children understand their emotions and translate them into actions, for example caring for each other and being kind to each other. RULER has been created by The Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence in the US and has been built on decades of evidence-based research. RULER is an acronym and stands for: • Recognising emotions in yourself and others • Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions • Labelling emotions accurately—if you can name it you can tame it • Expressing emotions appropriately • Regulating emotions effectively


The first anchor tool for the early years is called the ‘Mood Meter’. This helps the children think of emotions in terms of energy and pleasantness. The second anchor tool is ‘The Charter’—the children describe the way they would like to feel when they’re at The Willow and what they can do to help themselves and their friends feel this way.

Speak to other local parents about their experiences and read Ofsted reports for the nurseries/ preschools you’re considering. Really though, there’s no substitute for taking a proper look around, meeting staff and seeing what your own impressions are.

Every two weeks a new “feeling word” is introduced, they talk about how that word feels, how to recognise it in ourselves and others and if it is a red or blue feeling how to manage our emotions to get to the right place.

HOW MANY HOURS A WEEK? You don’t have to use up the full entitlement of 570 hours and could send your child for fewer if you think 15 hours a week is too much for them initially. Some parents find it works well to start off with just a couple of mornings weekly and build up to more (you will often be able to pay for further hours beyond the entitlement).

HOW CAN I GET MY CHILD SETTLED IN? Staff will be very aware that young children may need help getting used to a new place and people and so should have some sort of settling in procedure. If you’re especially concerned, speak to them and see what their advice is – you may even be able to stay with your child during the first few visits.

14 Families South West • January/February 2018

Lulu Luckock, RULER-trained teacher says, “Having introduced this programme to The Willow and a couple of other schools in London, I am amazed that is not something that all schools undertake. It is incredibly simple to put in place and use, even for the very young, and it is proving to be hugely beneficial for all involved. It is very sweet and gratifying to hear a child come in and explain to a teacher that they are feeling ‘yellow’ today”. All the staff are trained by a qualified teacher in the RULER method and parents also have the opportunity to attend workshops to help them ‘talk to their children in colour!’ http://ei.yale.edu/ruler/ruler-overview/ www.thewillownursery.co.uk



Tips to prepare your child for their transition into Reception successfully By Bronwyn Kidd, Headmistress of the Early Years at The Hampshire School, Chelsea

What skills, other than fine motor skills, will truly support your child having a seamless and positive start to their Reception year?

“In my experience, the children who have adapted and thrived the quickest already have the following embedded skills: self-manager, effective communicator, creative, reflective, can explore independently and safely and know how to be a team member. Support your child to self-manage Whilst this may add half an hour to your morning routine, a child who is able to dress themselves, put on their own shoes and perhaps even pack an item in their bag, is on the way to becoming an independent learner. Develop their communication skills Setting aside vocabulary and sentence structure, is your child able to be effective in their communication and work with a friend, team member or known adult to achieve a common goal? Can they communicate that they would like to share a toy or are they able to independently thank someone, whilst maintaining eye contact? Help your child to make eye contact with known adults, use simple manners to converse when greeting or thanking someone and keep reinforcing positive behaviours and clear communication until it becomes a natural act. This will stand them in good stead to be able to effectively and politely converse with peers and adults at school, when the need arises.

Give your child age appropriate experiences Whilst it may seem boring to stand by and watch your child dig with the same stick in the mud for what seems like endless hours, it is all part of their experience and supports integral development. Your child will not be able to sit at a table and write about seasonal changes if they have never experienced an opportunity to kick autumn leaves. Then give them time to reflect on their experiences and talk them through, use as many vocabulary building words as you can to help build that word bank for future oral and written tasks. Reassure any worries with positivity and understanding Do not dwell on the negatives. Children are resilient little beings who are adaptable, eager to learn and be part of a community. The start of their schooling is an exciting time and their progress through the stages will astound you. Enjoy their journey alongside them.� If you would like to find out more about their SECRET to learning, or their nursery school programme, visit The Hampshire School, Chelsea. www.thehampshireschoolchelsea.co.uk

Play performed in thirteen languages at Parkgate! This year Parkgate marked the European Day of Languages with a very special retelling of the story The Three Little Pigs. Children from Prep who have a European mother tongue performed this famous story in thirteen different languages representing and celebrating the diverse culture and linguistic talent at Parkgate House School. Children have also dipped their toes into Mandarin and Spanish this term. There are many more exciting language events coming up including a Language Day and a play performed by Prep 6 entirely in French and Spanish! 80 Clapham Common North Side, London SW4 9SD www.parkgate-school.co.uk


Families South West 15

OAK TREE DAY NURSERY 3 months to 5 years

8 am to 6 pm (Mon to Fri)

Excellent facilities * Newly renovated premises * Stimulating, caring and homely environment * Qualified and experienced staff * Outside garden * Good OFSTED report * French * Music & movement * Early years foundation stage curriculum * Baby unit * Close to public transport * Sensory room

56-58 Blairderry Road, Streatham Hill, London SW2 4SB 020 8674 4844 www.oaktreedaynursery.com

Christ Church Street French Nursery We are a bilingual nursery and all parents are welcome whether or not they are French. All the staff are qualified and 70% of the staff speak French; children learn French every day. The nursery is a warm and happy place for any child to be part of our family. Children from 1 year old are welcome. 3 Caversham Street, SW3 4AF 020 7351 9648 and 07530 825528 Lindaccsfn@gmail.com www.frenchnursery.co.uk

16 Families South West • January/February 2018


Our skilled staff prepare children aged 2­5 years for their next school and start them on a journey of life­long learning. Incorporating art, cooking, music, sport, languages, drama, yoga and all aspects of the Early Years Curriculum. Please arrange a visit to see the learning and excitement in action. www.oaktreenurseryschool.co.uk Ramsden Hall, 21 Ramsden Road, Balham, SW12 8QX Tel: 020 8166 5932

LITTLE ANGELS NURSERY SCHOOL A Traditional Teaching Nursery - Learning through Play We are an Ofsted rated 'Good' day care nursery school. We lay the foundation of learning where your child's interests form the base to develop their full potential. Our nursery is very homely and friendly, and staff are fully qualified with many years' experience in Early Years. Open all year round 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday except bank holidays and four weeks in a year. 15/30 hours weekly free sessions available for 2-4yrs. Please contact our office on 020 7274 8333. info@littleangelsbrixton.co.uk www.littleangelsbrixton.co.uk 50 Gresham Road, Brixton, SW9 7NL "Overall, staff provide a stimulating learning environment where children are motivated and eager to learn" OFSTED


Families South West 17


The benefits of starting a Bilingual Education at an early age By Nicholas Otten, co-Founder L’Ecole des Petits & L’Ecole de Battersea

Parlez-vous Français?

Do you speak English?

Hablas Español?

Choosing where to send your child to school is a big decision, one of the most important things that you will ever have to consider. After many years of educating children, there is no doubt in my mind that starting them off at an early nursery age with a bilingual education has enormous benefits to their development. At this age, a child’s mind is like a sponge, it can more easily absorb new information presented to it than an older child’s in assimilating a second language, as it is not yet conditioned by previous learning. The younger the child, the easier it is. The beauty of starting early (age three) is that you have pretty much a blank sheet of paper, so whatever your nationality is, or whichever language you speak at home, it is easier. If your child only speaks one language with you and you give them a bilingual education this can help them to acquire an additional language as part of a natural process. By immersing your child in a second language at an early age, this not only helps the child to become proficient in this second language but also opens up other opportunities. And if you are already a bilingual family, learning in a bilingual school can only reinforce these languages.

CHILDREN WITH A BILINGUAL EDUCATION ARE MORE ADAPTABLE • Language is not just about learning sets of words and grammar, it is also learning about another culture. • The advantage of a bilingual education gives children a broader outlook and greater awareness of different races and nationalities. They become more understanding of others, tolerant and aware of the world in general, whilst also gaining self confidence and a sense of responsibility to themselves and to others. • In a world that is constantly changing, communication is becoming increasingly important. Children who are able to communicate with a variety of cultures are the ones who will have more advantages in life.

PRACTICAL & COGNITIVE BENEFITS OF A BILINGUAL EDUCATION • An early years bilingual education helps to develop the brain. Children become able to use two languages at the same time, switching constantly, developing skills in overcoming inhibitions, increasing concentration skills and working memory. Familiesonline.co.uk

• Consequentially children who are educated bilingually often perform better on tasks that require multi-tasking, decision making and problem solving, even though the particular situation may have nothing to do with language. • And for sure a second language learnt at an early age is one that will be useful throughout a child’s education and remain for life. • This will allow you and your child more choices when choosing further education, be it secondary school, university or abroad (A Levels, BAC or IB) • Being fluent in an extra language can make a candidate stand out from other prospective employees. It can open doors to extra opportunities that others without these skills may miss out on. In today’s growing global economy those with a bilingual education have the advantage.

AND WITHOUT DOUBT THIS BILINGUAL EDUCATION IS BEST STARTED AT AN EARLY AGE Some Tips • Enrol early, availability is limited and demand high. • Visit schools to see if you like the culture. • Do not worry if you are of a different nationality. • You do not have to speak a second language yourself, but it helps if you do, so use it at home. • Try to have a nanny at home who speaks the second language. • Use books and TV to reinforce the second language at home. • Take holidays in the country in question. • Early assimilation of two languages is slower, but do not worry, they soon catch up in both languages.

International & Bilingual Schools ages 3 -11 years 020 7371 8350 L’Ecole des Petits, 2 Hazlebury Road Fulham SW6 2NB www.lecoledespetits.co.uk L’Ecole de Battersea, Trott Street Battersea SW11 3DS www.lecoledebattersea.co.uk

Families South West 19


Outdoor nursery receives huge support from parents

Who would have thought that the concept of an outdoor nursery, yes outdoor, would catch on in London? When I first visited the Little Folk nursery on Wimbledon Common in 2015, I was deeply touched to see those little children learning to draw, play and learn with nature. I was struck by the simplicity of the concept. However I had no idea that only a year later, due to overwhelming popular demand, the Little Forest Folk would have opened four new sites in under a year. (There are nurseries in Wimbledon, Chiswick, Fulham, Wandsworth and now Barnes.) Since launching their first forest school branch, Little Forest Folk have acquired an immense amount of support and interest and an Ofsted rating of Outstanding, which they received earlier this year at their first Wimbledon location. Their latest nursery, in Barnes, sees the 2-5 year olds all meeting for a hearty breakfast in Rocks Lane Tennis Pavilion before donning waterproofs to walk to the surrounding magical forest setting. The fields and forest of Barnes are the setting for a host of forest activities for the children from creating mud pies, treasure hunts, bark rubbing, mini beast exploration, experimenting with science, dressing up and creative role play to reading stories, mark making and mathematics in the forest. Always on the move, balancing, running, climbing, coordinating, the children of Little Forest Folk are always learning more about our world, all in the heart of London. Families asked Founder Leanna Barrett, a few questions: Q: Why are parents so enthusiastic about being sending their children outdoors so much? Isn't it too cold in winter? It is now universally acknowledged that the benefits of children spending time outdoors, engrossed in nature are incredible. In a world where life is ever increasingly sedentary, where childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rise along with a significant increase in mental health challenges for children, days spent outdoors offer an alternative, healthier lifestyle. Our children are physically active all day long, running, jumping, climbing and balancing. Their fitness and stamina levels are astonishing, as are their coordination, balance and general dexterity.

Giving young children freedom of time and space within nature, in a world where they self-direct their own learning in mixed-age groups allows for awe and wonder to be experienced on a daily basis. Through sheer joy and fascination with their environment, our children develop wonderful personal, social and emotional skills. They are confident, independent, self-motivated and resilient little learners. We firmly believe that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. We provide all families with a seasonally changing kit list of appropriate layers for the children to be wearing to ensure they are suitably attired. We source fantastic outer waterproof layers from Scandinavia, which we provide to ensure our children are always warm and dry. Q: We believe there are no or very few toys available in your nurseries: can you explain why and how children learn outdoors Many toys are quite closed-ended, aiming to entertain. We want our children to be creators, not consumers. We provide minimal toys for children, all extremely open-ended to enhance or stimulate creative play. We aren’t trying to fill children’s heads with knowledge, we are there as facilitators to assist children to develop their own skills around critical thinking, problem solving and their general personal, social and emotional strength and resilience. If we give them the space to do so, children will learn constantly. When our children are building a den they are learning how to communicate with each other, how to issue instructions and how to collaborate. They use maths to work out the structure that will best allow their den to take shape. They develop their physicality by carrying sticks across the forest and balancing them. Their creativity flourishes. As they take turns to speak, to consider all opinions, they are learning kindness, patience and empathy. We give our children more credit than most. They may be small, but they are still people. We see ourselves as creators of curiosity – our role is to light the spark of curiosity then we can stand back and watch the fireworks go off. www.littleforestfolk.com

20 Families South West • January/February 2018


Make a splash! ... at Dawmouse Montessori School Come and see how we teach with passion in our two Montessori Schools in Fulham. Fully qualified staff, small class ratios, established for over 20 years, modern in our approach. Call Miss Emma on 020 8398 9294 or visit our website www.dawmouse.co.uk

Est 1976 Ofsted registered and MEAB Accredited An independent nursery school for children 2 to 5 years

• EYFS and Montessori Method of teaching • MEAB inspected and accredited Montessori nurseries (the only ones in SW12) • Ballet, Drama, Football, French and Music classes • Morning, afternoon and full day sessions (term time only) • Summer Clubs Nightingale 1 Montessori: St Luke's Church Hall, 194 Ramsden Rd, SW12 8RQ. 07958 567210 Nightingale 2 Montessori: St Stephen's Church Hall, 35 Weir Rd, SW12 0NU. 07930 401769 Contact: info@nightingalemontessori.co.uk www.nightingalemontessori.co.uk Register early to avoid disappointment.

345 Nursery School provides an outstanding start to a child's educational journey. We ensure that our pupils have gained a sense of independence, self­confidence and a desire to learn. Our independent nursery is situated close to Wandsworth Common and has a very large outdoor space. The curriculum includes Sport, Spanish, Music, Ballet and Tennis. Contact Jill Pearce info@345nurseryschool.com www.345nurseryschool.com 345 Nursery School, Fitzhugh Grove, Trinity Road London SW18 3SA Tel: 020 3633 4185


Families South West 21

Call to book your place NOW

SCHOOL OPEN DAYS Compiled by Joanna Parry


SW1 ST MATTHEW’S SCHOOL 3-11 Co-Ed Visits by arrangement throughout January 020 7504 0500 www.stmwschool.org.uk

EATON HOUSE BELGRAVIA PRE-PREP 3-8 Boys Open Evening 28/2 7-9pm 020 7924 6000 www.eatonhouseschools.com

MORE HOUSE SCHOOL 11-18 Girls Visits by arrangement in January 020 7235 2855 www.morehouse.org.uk

ST. JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY Co-ed. Nursery open day 15/3 2-3pm. 020 7589 2438.

SW4 EATON HOUSE THE MANOR 8-13 Boys Open Mornings 17/1, 24/1, 31/1, 21/2, 28/2 and 7/3 9-10.30am 020 7924 6000 www.eatonhouseschools.com

PARKGATE HOUSE SCHOOL 2.5-11 Co-Ed Open Day 24/2 9.30am-12pm 020 7350 2461 www.parkgate-school.co.uk

ALLEN EDWARDS PRIMARY 4-11 Co-Ed Open Days TBC in January, booking required or call school to arrange alternative date 020 7622 3985 www.allenedwards.co.uk


4-11 Co-Ed Reception and Nursery Schools Tours throughout January and February 9.15am 020 8672 3048 franciscan.wandsworth.sch.uk

SW10 REDCLIFFE SCHOOL 3-11 Girls 3-8 Boys Open Day 2/2 9am, plus tours Tuesdays and Thursdays during term time 9.30am booking required 020 7352 9247 www.redcliffeschool.com

SW11 THE DOMINIE 6-11 Co-Ed Tours by appointment Please contact the school to find out more about their specialist teaching for dyslexic children 020 7720 8783 www.thedominie.co.uk

THAMES CHRISTIAN COLLEGE 11-16 Co-Ed Open Mornings 27/2, 8/3 and 25/4 11am-1pm 020 7228 3933 www.thameschristiancollege.org.uk

CHRIST CHURCH CofE PRIMARY 4-11 Co-Ed Open Day 8/1 10.30am-12pm by appointment only 020 7228 2812 www.christchurchbattersea.co.uk

L’ECOLE DE BATTERSEA 4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 12/1, 19/1, 26/1 and 2/2 020 7371 8350 www.lecoledespetits.co.uk



4-13 Co-Ed Pre-Prep Open Mornings 6/2 and 13/3 9.15am, 10.15am and 11.15am, call to book a place and time slot 020 7471 4217, Prep School tours by appointment only 020 7386 2444 www.fulhamprep.co.uk

4-11 Co-Ed Weekly school tours by appointment every Wednesday at 9am 020 8772 3504 www.waldorflondon.co.uk

PARSONS GREEN PREP 4-11 Co-Ed Midweek tours on Thursdays at 9am by appointment only 020 7371 9009 www.parsonsgreenprep.co.uk



RAVENSTONE SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Morning 9/1 9am 020 8673 0594 www.ravenstoneschool.co.uk


2-13 Co-Ed Prep School Open Morning 15/3 10-11.30am, Montessori Nursery Open Morning 16/3 9.30-11am 020 7736 9182 www.sinclairhouseschool.co.uk

4-18 Co-Ed 11+ Open Morning January/February TBC, plus regular tours during term time 020 8762 6321 www.harrodian.com



3-6yrs. Co-Ed Open Mornings 11/1, 18/1, 25/1, 1/2, and 8/2 020 7371 8350 www.lecoledespetits.co.uk

SW7 THE HAMPSHIRE SCHOOL 3-13 Co-Ed Tours of main school on Wednesdays at 9am and of Early Years School on Mondays and Thursdays at 1.30pm 020 7352 7077 www.thehampshireschoolchelsea.co.uk

ST NICHOLAS PREPARATORY SCHOOL 2-10 Co-Ed Open Morning 18/1 9.30-11am plus Open House every Wednesday and Thursday during term time 9.30-10.30am book in advance 020 7225 1277 www.stnicholasprep.co.uk

EATON HOUSE BELGRAVIA PREP 8-13 Boys Open Morning 28/2 9-10.30am, Open Evening 14/3 6-8pm 020 7924 6000 www.eatonhouseschools.com

IBSTOCK PLACE SCHOOL 3-18 Co-Ed The Prep School Open Morning 31/1 9.30am booking required 020 8876 9991 / 020 8392 5803 www.ibstockplaceschool.co.uk


SW16 STREATHAM AND CLAPHAM HIGH 11-18 Girls Open Morning 9/3 9.15-10.45am register online 8677 8400 www.schs.gdst.net

SW18 THE ROCHE SCHOOL 2.5-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 17/1 and 2/3 9.15-11.15am call to make an appointment on 020 8877 0823 www.therocheschool.co.uk

ST MICHAEL’S CE PRIMARY SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Morning 8/1 by appointment only 020 8874 7786 www.stmichaelswandsworth.sch.uk

PARK HOUSE SCHOOL / TRAM HOUSE SCHOOL 4-19 Co-Ed Open days 25/1, 22/2, 22/3 and 19/4 1-3pm 020 3031 9707 / 9700 www.beyondautismschools.org.uk

SW19 THE STUDY PREP SCHOOL 4-11 Girls Tours on Tuesdays in January and February 9.20-10.30am 020 8947 6969 www.thestudyprep.co.uk

WILLINGTON INDEPENDENT 4-13 Boys Tours of the school by appointment 020 8944 7020 www.willingtonschool.co.uk

WIMBLEDON COMMON PREP (also known as Squirrels) 4-7 Boys Open Morning 24/1 9.15-11am, go to website to make a booking. Plus tours of the school by appointment 020 8946 1001 www.wimbledoncommonprep.co.uk

WIMBLEDON HIGH SCHOOL 11-18 Girls 11+ Open Mornings 21/3 and 28/3 time TBC 020 8971 0900 www.wimbledonhigh.gdst.net

SW20 THE NORWEGIAN SCHOOL Co-Ed 3-16 Open afternoon 21/4 12-2pm, plus tours of the school can be booked any time 020 8947 6617 www.norwegianschool.org.uk

W6 RAVENSCOURT PARK PREP SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 1/2 and 6/3 9am, booking nec. 020 8846 9153 www.rpps.co.uk


4-11 Co-Ed Open Morning Tour 10/1 at 9.30am call to book a place 020 8788 3606 www.granardprimary.co.uk

4-18 Girls. Senior + 6th: 13/3 9.30-11.30. Junior 21/3 9.30-11.00 sydenhamhighschool.gdst.net



4-18 Girls 11+ Open Day 9/3 9am 020 8788 4886 www.putneyhigh.gdst.net

PEREGRINES PRE-PREP SCHOOL Co-Ed 3-8 Open Day 3/2 10.30am-12pm, register in advance 020 8992 5189 www.peregrinespreprep.co.uk

FALCONS SCHOOL FOR GIRLS Girls 7-11 Scholarship Day 17/3 9am, register in advance 020 8892 5180 www.falconsgirls.co.uk

WINDLESHAM HOUSE RH20 4-13 Co-Ed Day and Boarding Open Morning 20/1 9.30am-12.30pm 01903 874700 www.windlesham.com

WILTS KING EDWARD’S SCHOOL BATH Pre-Prep & Nursery 7/3; Junior 8/3 kesbath.com 01225 820399

We take every care preparing this info, but things can change, so do please check with schools or websites before setting out. 22 Families South West • January/February 2018



Families South West 23

24 Families South West • January/February 2018


Great ways to learn to be good about money FREE Call 0 TRIAL 3 3802 3 0124 to bo ok

Help you help your children have a good understanding of budgets: 1) Get them involved with shopping Give them a budget to spend for the week and get them to meal plan. Encourage them to shop around different brands or supermarkets to see if they can get more for their money.

Explore Learning gets behind “more maths for everyone!”

In November 2017, the government released their budget which stated they were committed to investing more money for maths teaching in schools. Whatever your political belief and aside from the debate, we can all get behind the chancellor’s sentiment of “more maths for everyone”. Charlotte Gater, Head of Education at Explore Learning added "This way we can help children to develop the skills needed, not only in so many jobs, but also to be financially healthy. Whilst listening to the budget speech, and the chancellor’s comments on how much the country spends on debt, it is clear that we need to teach children the importance of good financial management.

2) Teach them about interest rates Does your child turn to the bank of Mum and Dad to borrow money? Give them some options: 1) They can either save up their pocket money or do jobs to earn the money. 2) You will give them the money upfront, but they then have to pay you back with interest. So, if they want £50 they have to give you £55 back over a set period of time. This way they will start to understand about the debt they could create by using loans. 3) Learn about pay A great activity we do with our older members at Explore Learning is to get them to research how much they would get paid for their ideal job. They then have to see how far their monthly wages would go. Looking at tax, rent, bills etc gets them to see how much disposable income they would have!

Explore Learning is award-winning maths and English tuition for children aged four to 14, voted number one private tuition centre in the UK! We’re confident you’ll love it so why not call to book your free trial with your nearest centre today on 033 0124 3802.


Families South West 25

26 Families South West • January/February 2018



Why we should develop creativity and artistic development in primary schools By Emily Gopaul

Why do year 7 students arrive fresh from primary schools with such disparity in interest, skills and knowledge, in relation to art? While most adults agree that a balanced curriculum is best for our children, in my experience, many primary schools have an insufficient provision for art. With a nation-wide focus on literacy and numeracy, art can often find itself dropped out of the weekly class timetable as busy teachers try their best to fit everything in. Limited resources and lack of teacher confidence can also be detrimental to a well-rounded arts education. There are things parents and teachers can be aware of to ensure a richer art experience for children:

DIVERSIFY THE ART YOU SHOW CHILDREN I believe we have a duty to deliberately expose children to a broad range of art and artists. I have seen many schools fall into the trap of routinely teaching art lessons inspired by the same dead, 20th century, male, white artists or teaching art lessons tenuously linked to class topics. I love a Van Gogh and Egyptian art as much as the next person, but it is important the children feel represented by the art they see and that they are made aware of the enthralling range of art out there to consume, including from diverse ethnic backgrounds and created from different ideas and materials. Where possible, I make a point of showing the children photographs of artists and talking with them about the context of those individuals and the art they make/made.

GET TO KNOW THE POTENTIAL OF DIFFERENT MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES There is a misconception that skills in art cannot be taught, that we either have a natural propensity for making art or we are doomed to life of drawing stickmen. While I have certainly seen some children with impressive natural gifts in art, I have also seen year 1 children develop into

competent and confident year 6 artists because skills were broken down for them, they had time to practice and implement those skills and the skills were progressively built on over a period of time; in much the same way as we learn in any subject area. Equally though, time in ‘creative play’ or exploring the potential of materials and techniques, allows children the opportunity make exciting discoveries for themselves.

ALLOW TIME FOR FREE-FLOWING CREATIVITY Structure, lesson content and a sense of direction are all important within school art lessons, but we must also safeguard art-time as a space for genuine creative and inventive thought. Children benefit from an environment where they can process the world in a way that makes sense to them as individuals, and then represent it in whichever way they choose. When my students and I discuss what I call the ‘big questions’ around art, they express that art makes them feel ‘free’ and that it’s a time when ‘no one can tell me my work is wrong’, they say that they feel ‘relaxed, creative and calm making art’. As adults, these are things we crave: a sense of freedom, respite from the everyday, a sense of calm and trust in our inner world.

TALK ABOUT ART As well as making their own art, it is also enriching for children to have the chance to debate and discuss artworks, to decide for themselves what is, or is not art and to develop their own preferences and opinions. In school, I place equal importance on time spent looking at and discussing art. In an increasingly visual world, being able to infer meaning from images and to critically consider them is a valuable asset. You can use images from books, postcards or a screen but it is also great to make the most of the free galleries in London. Don’t feel you have to see all the art in one gallery visit. It is fine to sit yourselves in front of one artwork and take it in for as long as you like.

Emily Gopaul has worked in a range of primary settings, as an art education consultant in various London primaries and held regular posts at private schools and academy chains. She currently teaches art part-time at Earlsfield Primary.  Her book ‘Teaching Primary Art & Design’ is published by Bloomsbury. www.theprimaryartclass.com


Families South West 27

Children Learning to Succeed...

First Class Learning Putney

Maths, English, 11+ Preparation Vicky Barnett BA, MSc, PGCE

020 8876 2553 www.firstclasslearning.co.uk

28 Families South West • January/February 2018


WOULD YOU LIKE TO EARN EXTRA MONEY? Capital Focus Groups are looking for people who enjoy giving their opinions and are willing to share their views on the products and services they use for many of the country’s largest companies and well-known products. It’s free, it’s fun and you will be financially rewarded as a thank you for taking part! Register now to earn extra money, by calling Liz on 07761128059 or e.dahlgren@btinternet.com


Families South West 29

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN FAMILY FUN UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN Villa Radicata is in a stunning, undiscovered part of Tuscany and can be rented on a self-catering basis or they have tailor made family breaks with babysitting provided and all food/wine/activities included (Yoga and various fitness classes, cooking for mums, art, pizza/pasta making, mini yoga and baby Italian for toddlers and older children). A well deserved massage for mum is included plus an excursion to the medieval town of Anghiari. At Villa Radicata you will find true Italian hospitality along with great food so you can spend quality time with your children plus “mummy time” (with no cooking or washing up!) knowing your children are happy with their Italian “nonna”. Villa Radicata at a glance: •Stunning lake and mountain views •Sleeps up to 12 •Fenced pool and garden, stair gates •Highchairs, cots, sterilizer, baby equipment, plenty of toys, •Activities: Yoga, fitness classes, cooking lessons, art, baby Italian, baby massage, mums massage, shopping •Free pick up from local airport Contact Rita on 0039 349 5018679, 0778 557 1292 www.mum-and-baby-experience.co.uk www.holiday-villa-in-tuscany.com

30 Families South West • January/February 2018



A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ESPRIT SKI Esprit Ski looks after the childcare with flexible or seamless all day options, so you can enjoy your skiing – but what does that mean?! Esprit Childcare gives you the ability to spend as much time on the slopes as you desire, with all and part-day care available. Babies and toddlers go to the exclusive Esprit Nursery, whilst older children are taken to ski school… just part of their super-convenient ‘Seamless Service’ that helps you maximise your time on the mountain.

Let’s follow an Esprit Sprite (aged 6) to see exactly what happens on a typical day…. 8.30am Esprit Snow Rangers escort all the excited children to ski school, who follow behind chanting ‘repeat after me’ songs. Then it’s time to clip on the skis and spend the next few hours with the ski instructors, learning to zip down the mountain. Meanwhile mum and dad get to head for first lifts. Esprit Sprite lessons (ages 5-12) run for all abilities with a 1:8 ratio. Our younger guests aged 3-4 have Spritelet lessons in the afternoons, when it’s generally warmer and snow is softer. 11.30am Skis off, and it’s back for a supervised lunch whilst parents can lunch up on the mountain. 2.00pm Snow Club– Now it’s time for fun afternoon of games, treasure hunts, igloo and snowman building, arts and crafts, bum boarding and more! 5.30pm High Tea– fully supervised by the childcare team, with lots of yummy healthy food to fill those tummies. Mum and dad can come and join too and catch up on their children’s day. Esprit Ski offers catered chalets and Chalet Hotels in top resorts in The Alps. Packages include flights, transfers and chalet board. Esprit’s youngest guests can enjoy Nursery from 17 weeks - 40 months. Nurseries are run by qualified Nannies or Nursery Nurses, and have strict ratios.

7.30pm Cocoa Club starts whilst parents enjoy Adult Dining. Every night has a different theme and involves games, story-telling or quiz nights. FREE Baby/Child-Listening is also available every night in all Esprit Chalet Hotels, Xtra Chalets and larger chalets, and in all properties on staff night off.

Call the Esprit team on 01483 345 194 or visit www.espritski.com for more details. Familiesonline.co.uk

Families South West 31

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN TOP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AN EASTER SKIING ESCAPE A ski trip at Easter offers a host of benefits: longer, warmer and sunnier days, quieter slopes and great value for money. You can enjoy the slopes in the glorious sunshine with no need to be totally bundled up, which is especially practical for those travelling with children, who tend to feel the cold so much more than adults do. The warmer weather does make choosing the right resort so important to ensure the snow quality is still great. Powder Byrne have given us their top recommendations for an Easter ski trip to remember. HEAD TO ZERMATT: For older families who are keen skiers looking to cover great distances and perhaps more adventurous expeditions on powder, it doesn’t get any better than Zermatt. With numerous incredible restaurants to treat your taste buds and plenty of lively après-ski opportunities, this resort offers the complete package. AMAZING AROSA: Perfect for families with novices and younger children thanks to the very easy access to the slopes, meaning there’s absolutely no hassle. There’s also a large, sunny restaurant terrace that overlooks the nursery slopes so you can enjoy coffee or lunch while you watch your little ones conquer the slopes. Arosa is also great for skiers who want to put miles on their skis and who are looking for a variety of skiing thanks to its links with Lenzerheide which mean there’s a huge ski area to enjoy. A little less lively than Zermatt, evenings in Arosa are all about the food so there are loads of exceptional restaurants to choose from.

32 Families South West • January/February 2018

GET THE MOST FROM YOUR EASTER ESCAPE: A ski trip is about so much more than just the skiing, it’s about experiencing all the little things that make a ski holiday so unique and Powder Byrne is so good an ensuring their clients experience all the best of their resort. Their ski guides use local knowledge to find the very best runs, their Client Concierge team advises and makes bookings at the finest spas and restaurants, and they go out of their way to make sure that everything’s possible. There’s even a Mountain Host programme to look after the needs of non-skiers, from snow-shoeing to cookery classes and ice-skating! To find out more about an Easter escape with Powder Byrne, call 020 8246 5300 or visit powderbyrne.com


HALF TERM HOLIDAY LISTINGS We took every care in preparing these entries but sometimes events are cancelled or times changed. Please double check event with the organiser to avoid disappointment. Compiled by Joanna Parry

SPORT SWIMWAY Balham, East Sheen, Putney, Kensington, Kew Gardens and Wimbledon 020 8871 3972, info@swimway.co.uk www.swimway.co.uk 12-16 February Swimming Courses Intensive courses to improve your child’s swimming technique, on a private or semi-private basis. Courses run for half an hour each day, book early to avoid disappointment. Age 3-9, dates and times dependent on venue.

YOUNGSTARS MULTISPORTS AND ACTIVITY CAMP Balham, Clapham, Parsons Green, Putney and Wimbledon 07749 343116, info@youngstars.co.uk www.young-stars.co.uk 12-16 February Half Term Holiday Camps Plenty of fun, games and excitement whilst kids are introduced to all aspects of sports in an all inclusive and non-competitive environment. 3-10 years, times and prices vary.

CENTRAL LONDON GOLF CENTRE Burntwood Lane SW17 0AT 020 8871 2468

www.clgc.co.uk 12-16 February Junior Golf Holiday Camps Searching for activities for your kids to do during February Half Term? Central London Golf Centre offers the perfect sporting option with these junior golf half-term camps. The camps for 7-14 year olds are tailored to children of all levels, whether they just want to try golf or have been playing for some time. Morning only camp 9am12pm, £30, whole day camp 9am3pm, £45. Bring a packed lunch.

FULHAM FC FOUNDATION Venues in Fulham 0870 442 5432, holidaycourses@fulhamfc.com www.fulhamfc.com Throughout February Half Term Holiday Courses Holiday courses for all abilities in a fun and challenging environment. 3-5yrs, 911am, 6-14 yrs, 9am-3pm, from £15 per day.

CHELSEA FC SOCCER SCHOOL Venues across SW London 020 7957 8220 londondevelopment@chelseafc.com www.chelseasoccerschools.co.uk Throughout February Half Term London Soccer School For boys and girls aged 4-13. Times vary according to course, from £30.

LITTLE GYM Smugglers Way SW18 1DB 020 8874 6567, wandsworth_fulham@thelittlegym.eu www.wandsworthfulham.thelittlegym.eu Throughout February Half Term Holiday Fun Don’t miss out on

Learn a variety of ball skills with Playball this half term these ever popular camps at their Wandsworth gym. These 3-hour camps (OFSTED approved) for over 3s build new skills and develop confidence while the kids have loads of fun. Call the team for specific timings.

LITTLE KICKERS Venues across SW London www.littlekickers.co.uk Throughout February Half Term Classes and Workshops A positive introduction to sport by teaching high quality football skills in a friendly, pressure-free environment. There are four different classes tailored specifically to the needs of children between 18 months and 7 years.

PLAYBALL Latchmere Leisure Centre Sports Hall 020 8123 2217 www.playballlondon.com 12-15 February

Half Term Camps Playball holiday camps are tailored to meet the needs of younger children and are based on the fundamental sport skills for tennis, hockey, cricket, golf, football, rugby, basketball, football and volleyball. Add in bouncy castles, slides and treasure hunts and you have an amazing fun filled day of entertainment. Age 38, 10am-1pm.

SW SWIMMING SCHOOL Emanuel School SW11 1HS 0208 767 2723, operations@swswimschool.co.uk www.swswimschool.co.uk 12-16 February Intensive Swimming Courses A 5-day intensive splash courses where children swim everyday with same instructor. All lessons are 30 minutes each day, running between 9am-12pm Monday to Friday.

Try FREE classes at the Little Gym, Wandsworth


Families South West 33


ARTS AND CRAFTS EDDIE CATZ •Putney, Wimbledon and Earlsfield First Floor, 68-70 Putney High Street SW15 1SF •42 Station Road SW19 2LP •279 Magdalen Road SW18 3NZ 0203 4755268 www.eddiecatz.com Throughout February Half Term Holiday Activities across the three branches in SW London – Putney, Earlsfield and Wimbledon Colliers Wood – there will be plenty of holiday camps, creative workshops and parties to choose from, for 4-8 years as well as toddler classes. See www.eddiecatz.com for more information and to book online. Prices usually include lunch and a free play at the venue, plus Eddie Catz appears in all venues twice a day to meet and greet the children.

HORNIMAN MUSEUM AND GARDENS 100 London Road SE23 3PQ www.horniman.ac.uk 15 and 16 February Carnival Dance Workshop Learn to dance like you’re partying through the streets of Brazil with Gandaia Arts. Energetic rhythms, flowing dance and hoop skirts will get you into the mood of this family-friendly workshop of the Maracatu performance from North East Brazil. Age 4+, £5.

LITTLE HOUSE OF SCIENCE Imperial College, Kensington SW7 2AZ 0800 092 1062, info@littlehouseofscience.com www.littlehouseofscience.com 13-15 February Who wants to be a biologist? 3-day hands-on, project based fun and educational holiday camps for ages 4-11, 10am-3pm, £240 per child, sibling discounts available. Workshops can also be booked for separate days. Book early to avoid disappointment.

MUSEUM OF LONDON EC2Y 5HN www.museumoflondon.org.uk 13 February London Nature Reserves Learn about hidden treasures nestled amongst London’s urban environment in this recreation of the Camley Street nature reserve hiding behind Kings Cross station. Explore re-creations of wildflowers and learn about pond life, reeds, bugs and bees. Take part in nature rubbings, identify animal footprints and learn about reducing our plastic waste.

THE WALLACE COLLECTION Hertford House, Manchester Square, Marylebone W1U 3BN www.wallacecollection.org 13 February In the Buff: Life Drawing An intensive one day course particularly relevant for students studying art. Work with artist Alison Kusner to explore the history of the female nude in art before drawing directly from a live model. Free, but booking essential, 11am-4pm, 16-18 years.

LANGUAGES ET PATATI PATATA Thomas’ Academy, Parsons Green SW7 07966 893674, caroline@etpatatipatata.com www.etpatatipatata.com 12-16 February Fun French Day Camp Join the award winning French immersion programme and learn French without leaving London.

Learn French while skiing with Alpine French School



French Alps +33 4 50 79 08 38 www.alpinefrenchschool.com 12-16 February French Camps (Morning, Day and Residential) GCSE French Lessons in the French Alps. Combine a family skiing holiday with French tuition! 12-15 years, private and group tuition, from €225, see website for more information.

Streatham, Balham, Herne Hill, Beckenham 01732 457100, mail@funkymonkey.info www.funkymonkey.info Dates in February TBC Funky ‘One Hit Wonder’ Taster Days Leave your little ones in these very creative hands for funfilled music workshops for 4-8 year old beginner musicians, introducing them to the electronic keyboard, how it works, and how to start reading and writing music too. 10am-2pm, £40/£35 sibling discount.

MUSIC AND DRAMA DANTASTIC PRODUCTIONS Venues across SW London 07460 222003 www.dantasticproductions.com/classes Throughout February Half Term Baby and Toddler Classes Action packed, interactive musical adventure classes aimed to inspire, educate, build confidence and

POLKA THEATRE 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB 020 8543 4888 www.polkatheatre.com 14-16 February Half Term Holiday Workshops A range of exciting holiday workshops for budding actors, directors, designers and costume makers, including Behind the Scenes: Model Box Making, Behind the Scenes: Actors Bootcamp and Play In A Day workshops. Ages, times, dates and prices vary, see website for details.


improve fitness. Expecting plenty of singing, dancing, puppets, instruments and sensory activities. Drop in classes, no need to book, dates vary depending on venue.

DOVE STUDIOS Chelsea, SW3 6JZ 07775 682 094 | 020 7352 6668 www.dove-studios.com Brilliant craft & creativity sessions. Painting, drawing, clay, paper-crafts & more. A great way to enhance your child’s creative skills. 10am-6pm.


Fun activities including French music, French art, patisserie, French coding, French musical, sport…and it’s all 100% French fun! Age 4-13, 9am-3pm.

34 Families South West • January/February 2018

London Steiner School 9 Weir Road Balham London, SW12 0LT 0121 296 9204 info@thestringsclub.org Easy booking system on www.thestringsclub.org 12-16 February Packed full of fun-filled music games and activities, this is an ideal introduction for those new to playing an instrument. Invaluable for those budding players in enhancing ensemble performance


HALF TERM HOLIDAY LISTINGS skills and ensuring regular practice during the school holidays. Free instrument to take home 9:30am–4pm 10th February Award-winning Discovery Day the perfect way to ignite your child’s love of music. Packed full of highquality, unmissable musical activities, we promise to inspire your child from the offset, taking them on a memorable musical adventure! 10:30am Ages 4-11 FREE

DAY CAMPS THE BUTTERFLY PRESCHOOL HOLIDAY CAMPS 32b Webbs Road SW11 6SF 020 7738 0019 www.thebutterflypreschool.co.uk Dates in February TBC Fun Holiday Camps Craft activities, baking and Forest School. 9am3.30pm, half day and full day options, from £12 per hour.

DEVELOPING SKILLS NAOMI MARTIN TOUCH TYPING Sinclair House School, 59 Fulham High Street SW6 3JJ 07949 204553, www.nmtouchtyping.co.uk 12-16 February Touch Typing Courses Touch typing courses for children aged 7+, classes are 90 minutes long, £250 for the week. Classes are mixed age and ability. Sibling discounts available.

SPARK4KIDS CODING WORKSHOPS 020 8090 1444 www.spark4kids.com Holiday coding workshops

Spark4Kids run holiday workshops to introduce children to Computer Coding, Minecraft Modding, Robotics, Games Design, Python, HTML/CSS and JavaScript in a fun, engaging environment. Ages 5-7 years, and 8+. Visit the website for more details.

HOLIDAY FUN WILD CHILD www.paradisecooperative.org/wildchild Wild Child is an exciting club for children aged 8-11 run in partnership with Paradise Coopertaive. It allows children to try new things, excite the imagination and learn the way of nature. Through this they are hoping to help raise a generation that is aware of who they are, mindful of nature and has the capacity to imagine and think creatively. The clubs are held in a beautiful community garden, just next to Wandsworth Common. For camp information go to the website.

BOCKETTS FARM PARK Leatherhead, Surrey www.bockettsfarm.co.uk 10-18 February Enjoy a great day out on the farm with the start of the Spring lambing. There are up to 70 lambs due from Feb 10th—you may even

Spring lambing at Bocketts Farm Park see one being born! Birds of Prey will also be at the farm MondayFriday where you can meet them up close and watch the flying demonstrations twice daily. Plus a full programme of fun farm activities including pony rides, tractor rides, animal handling and pig racing. Outdoors, enjoy the jumping pillows, treehouse towers, pedal go karts and play trails. Large indoor area with a giant heated playbarn, trampolines, rideon tractors and more.

BATTERSEA SPORTS CENTRE SW11 2DA 020 8871 8529 www.enablelc.org.bsc 12-16 February Get active with a range of leisure activities. Age 6-13, see website for details.

LITTLE GYM Smugglers Way SW18 1DB 020 8874 6567, wandsworth_fulham@thelittlegym.eu www.wandsworthfulham.thelittlegym.eu Throughout February & Half Term Serious Fun Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try one of these popular classes for children of all ages at this Wandsworth gym for

FREE. The programme focuses on building new skills and developing confidence while the kids have loads of fun.

Don't miss the Spectacular Butterflies exhibit at RHS Garden Wisley

SPECTACULAR ‘BUTTERFLIES IN THE GLASSHOUSE’ EXHIBIT RHS Garden Wisley Woking, Surrey www.rhs.org.uk/wisley 13 January-4 March More than 50 species of exotic free-flying butterflies will inhabit the Tropical Zone of the cathedrallike Glasshouse for this eyecatching exhibit. The special guests will showcase their magnificent colours, patterns and form amongst lush-tropical plantings, such as palm trees, bananas, bromeliads and climbers, as well as aquatic plants that thrive in the warm jungle pool. Brilliant!

Wild Child - This is FUN!


Families South West 35

36 Families South West • January/February 2018



Families South West 37

38 Families South West • January/February 2018



New mini cricket coaching academy for 2-5 year olds Very exciting news: The AJ U5’s mini cricket coaching programme has just been launched by AJ Coaching Cricket Academy. AJ mini cricket is aimed at giving both boys and girls between 2-5yrs an introduction to cricket, with an emphasis on enjoyment and participation.

Get ready to ignite your child’s passion for cricket

AJ Coaching Cricket Academy want their mini cricketers to develop fundamental motor skills that will aid their lifelong involvement in physical activity as well as important social skills including teamwork and being a good sport! Using specially adapted cricket equipment, sessions include a series of activities and games that focus on three key areas of skill development: ball skills (improving hand / eye coordination), movement skills and batting skills. Each week your child will play game based activities that will keep them active, whilst having fun and making new friends. Venue: Wimbledon College School, Edge Hill, SW19 4NS


Please contact Ali Jaffer on coachcricket@ajcoaching.co.uk or on 0779 0935 428 or log onto www.ajcoaching.co.uk

Families South West 39


Time to book new classes, learn new skills and above all have fun! These local classes are all brilliant! SWIMWAY Spring Term 2018 general bookings are now open, do book quickly as it is always very popular! SwimWay operates in a number of exclusive venues in London. The majority of the locations are private houses with beautiful swimming pools perfect for swimmers of all ages and skill levels. From small group parent and baby lessons for ages 6-36 months to 1 : 1 and 1 : 2 children’s lessons for ages 2-9 years, SwimWay can cater to all your swimming needs. Health and Safety is a major priority for Swimway—they run a first aid course at the beginning of every term, rather than the required every two years. See the Holiday listings page 33 for their February half term courses.

Balham, East Sheen, Putney, Kensington, Kew Gardens and Wimbledon. 020 8871 3972, info@swimway.co.uk www.swimway.co.uk

BATTERSEA YOGA If you know that early morning is the best time for your yoga practice, join the new Express Hatha class at 6am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This new class will give you energy, clarity, focus and drive for the rest of the day.

IRISH DANCING It’s time to dance! The KOS Academy of Irish Dancing is running classes for children 3yrs plus at St Simon Stock Church Hall, Hazlewell Road, Putney SW15 6LU every Wednesday from 5.30 to 6.30pm. Classes are run by champion dancer Katie O'Sullivan. First class free. Adult classes also available.

Please email for more details and to book katieosull@hotmail.co.uk

LE “FRENCH” CLUB Le French clubs for under 5 years olds is a great way for the children to absorb and learn French effortlessly while having fun. Children will explore French through a variety of methods including games, songs and rhymes, arts and crafts activities. At The Living Room, Furzedown SW16. Contact Sophie 07946196012 or by email s.jacqcooke@hotmail.com

Restorative & Yoga Nidra is the perfect end to the week, Friday 6.30pm and 8pm. Relax into the weekend with Laurent Roure, with his effortless expertise in guiding you through postures with the sole aim of allowing gravity to take the reigns and do the work for you. Yoga Nidra is the practice of Yoga Sleep—fully surrender as you allow thoughts to float away and your mind to be still. 020 7978 7995 gemma@batterseayoga.com www.batterseayoga.com




Unlock Learning run individually tailored, supportive and fun clubs that bring children struggling in the classroom together. Tech+ Clubs build core literacy skills enabling children to access the wider curriculum These 10-week courses, with a max of 12 in each class, include online accounts (encouraging practice at home) for phonics, working memory and processing speed. Helping children read, write, spell and type.

Wednesdays at St Michael’s Church in Southfields, from 4pm. They offer classes for beginners and for bilingual children. They use songs and games as well as stories and craft activities to help with speaking, reading and writing the language. The children also have the opportunity to take part in various French drama workshops to encourage their speaking and to bring the language to life.

Visit the website for times, dates and locations of the clubs for their February half-term workshops or call Sophie on

For more details visit www.lespetitschoux.org.uk or follow them on Facebook @lespetitschouxsouthfields

07970 212727. www.unlocklearning.org.uk 40 Families South West • January/February 2018

Les Petits Choux runs French classes on

Chelseayoungwriters.co.uk enquiries@chelseayoungwriters.co.uk 020 3773 5381

•Spring Term 2018 13 January - 24 March •After-School & Saturday clubs •Half Term Holiday Programme: 12-16 February Creative writing, editing , 11+ courses. Reading-comprehension club. Story critique. Skype individual coaching by children’s authors & writing practitioners.

Venues: Chelsea, Notting Hill/Holland Park, South Kensington, Marylebone, Swiss Cottage/Hampstead, Richmond. Familiesonline.co.uk



Did you know that the crucial time to help your child learn to talk and communicate is up to the age of three? At Talking Tots, they help develop these important skills through fun, interactive classes designed by experts for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Support your child’s development and secure a place for the new term today!

Garner Boys’ Academy of Dance is rapidly gaining a reputation as South West London’s only school dedicated to boys’ dance training. Dance Attack and Boys Ballet classes are held on Saturday mornings in Southfields. Dance Attack is a high energy mixed styles class and Boys Ballet is a unique ballet training programme developed by principal – Ben Garner. Ben said “the boys learn so much from each other and really appreciate the opportunity to dance with other boys.” Ages 6 – 11.

Email swlondon@talkingtots.info or visit www.talkingtots.info/swlondon

07884 187913 www.garneracademydance.com

NEW CLUB PETIT PIERROT IN KNIGHTSBRIDGE This January 2018 Club Petit Pierrot is opening another one of their ever-popular fun French Parent & Toddler groups "Les ateliers des petits". This is a weekly 45 minute multi-sensory session for 1-3 year olds, with a wide variety of fun activities such as stories, music, movement and arts & crafts…all in French! It will take place at The Library at St Columba's Church in Pont Street, on Tuesdays from 10am to 10.45am. Highly recommended. Book early to avoid disappointment!

www.clubpetitpierrot.co.uk 020 7385 5565 admin@clubpetitpierrot.co.uk Club Petit Pierrot also have clubs in Chelsea, Fulham, Putney, Earlsfield, Notting Hill, Hampstead and St John's Wood/Maida Vale.


Families South West 41

CLUBS AND CLASSES UNLOCK YOUR CHILD’S POTENTIAL Performance is so much more than learning how to sing, dance and act, it takes character, discipline, concentration and commitment. Through learning the performing arts, Stagecoach students become more self-assured, expressive, sociable and imaginative—so they can tackle any new situation with resilience, creativity and courage. These are the life skills that help young people to succeed on any stage.

Early Stages (4-6yrs) Learn the foundations of performance. 90-minute classes are split into three sections: singing, dancing and acting. This is a fun and fabulous introduction to performing arts for younger children who want to explore their creativity and imagination.


Main Stages (6-18yrs, split in groups) Learn the core skills of singing, dancing and acting in their fun and engaging classes, children are given both structure and freedom to express themselves and have the opportunity to perform in front of friends and family.

Stagecoach weekly classes help enhance life skills such as confidence, teamwork, coordination and communication. Inspirational teachers with performing arts experience. www.stagecoach.co.uk

At London Baby Swim, they offer Baby and Toddler Swimming classes at dedicated Baby Swimming Centres in London. They provide a gentle introduction to baby swimming in a playful, fun and safe environment with a progression that will develop natural swimming skills. Courses last 10 weeks with 4 terms per year following the seasons Winter/Spring/Summer/Autumn.


MAKING ART FUN FOR ALL AGES Dove Studios offer brilliant craft and creativity sessions: painting, drawing, clay, paper-crafts and more. A great way to enhance your creative skills whether you are a beginner or advanced. Adults, children, groups and 1:1 classes. Mon-Fri during Term Time and Holiday Camps. Open 10am-6pm in Chelsea, SW3 6JZ. 07775 682 094 020 7352 6668 www.dove-studios.com

PAINT WRITE NOW Darby English aged 10mths taken by Ian-Taylor for Water Babies


www.paintwritenow.co.uk 07779 100 659 Spring Term Creative Classes with Katherine Smith

Water Babies runs fun, innovative baby swimming classes across South West London. Lo Winchurch says: “Our fully qualified teachers are world class and could have trained as private pilots five times over, in the time it takes them to fully qualify with us. With a multi-award winning programme, which teaches vital water confidence and safety skills from birth, our overall aim is to teach you to teach your baby to swim. So we’ll always explain why we’re doing everything, as well as carefully demonstrate exactly what to do.”

Creative Writing Saturdays, Wimbledon: 9am-9.45am, 6-7 year olds; 10am-11am, 7-8 year olds; 11.45am12.45pm, 9-11 year olds; Sundays, Raynes Park: 9am-10am, Years 3-4

020 7585 1510 www.waterbabies.co.uk

Inspire your children; sign up today!

42 Families South West • January/February 2018

Art Saturdays, Wimbledon: 2pm3pm; Sundays, Raynes Park: 10.15am-11.15am £240 per term, small classes, 15% discount if you sign up to both courses

ET PATATI PATATA The dynamic team at Et Patati Patata have expanded their school again: after the success of their Award-winning Saturday French school, Et Patati Patata opens in West Kensington every Thursday at 4pm in January 2018. For all levels from 3-14-year olds, this is a FLAM school (certified from the French government). It is led by an experienced, certified native French speaking primary teacher (école française Académie de Paris), the intensive classes follow the French curriculum. They already have a French Saturday school in Fulham. They won a host of awards including the Supplementary School.Gov.Uk Silver Award Health Safety Security Outstanding Teaching for children!

Check out their February French camps page 34. 07966 893674, caroline@etpatatipatata.com www.etpatatipatata.com



Families South West 43

44 Families South West • January/February 2018


GREAT SWIM LESSONS available for children and adults

Lessons available for all ability levels at

Linden Lodge School, Princes Way, SW19 6JB



0845 644 8216 www.theswimschool.co.uk

Families South West 45

46 Families South West • January/February 2018



There’s plenty to do in London for FREE! Compiled by Joanna Parry



Pier Street E14 3HP www.mudchute.org These 32 acres on the Isle of Dogs make up one of London’s biggest farms. The main attraction is the Equestrian Centre, a riding school with an all-weather arena and show jumps, but it also has plenty of animals wandering about in the fields, plus a petting zoo and duck pond.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX www.southbankcentre.co.uk 15, 22, 29 January and 5, 12, 14,1 6, 19 and 26 February Toddlers aged 3-5 can experience the sounds of Southbank Centre's gamelan (Javanese orchestra) through singing, movement and play. 11am.

FLEDGLINGS ON THE COMMON Bolingbroke Early Years Centre, Chivalry Road, Wandsworth Common SW11 1HT 20 January Stay and play sessions aim to help parents/carers learn how to include play in every day routines vnes with their children. 9.3011.30am, age up to 8.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM Cromwell Road SW7 5BD www.nhm.ac.uk Dates throughout January and February Investigate for Families Get a feel for how scientists work by having a go yourself. Explore hundreds of real nature specimens that form the evidence museum scientists use in their work. Age 311, 11am-5pm.

BRITISH LIBRARY 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB ww.bl.uk/events 28 January Travelling Stories Jump aboard and hear tales that have sailed the seven seas with storyteller Olivia Armstrong. Find out if you’re taller than the Klencke Atlas, one of the largest in the world, become a storyteller yourself and discover how to tell your own travelling tale. Free, drop in, age 5-11. 13 February Chinese Tales and Ribbon Dance Join artist and performer Jih Wen Yeh as she weaves fascinating stories and performs a beautiful ribbon dance. Then take part in a ribbon dance workshop for all the family. Free, drop in, age 5-11.

CASS ARTS WORKSHOPS 66-67 Colebrooke Row N1 8AB www.cassart.co.uk Saturdays in January and February These sessions are a great way to inspire ideas and nurture budding artists. A free activity table is set out with a range of materials, inviting kids to let their imaginations run wild. Drop-in, all materials supplied, 10am-12pm.


V&A MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD Cambridge Heath Road E2 9PA www.vam.ac.uk/moc 10 February Chinese New Year Join them to celebrate Chinese New Year of the Dog with instrumental song and dance performances, Chinese opera mask making, martial arts demonstrations and tea ceremonies. Drop in, all ages. 10-16 February Off the Page, Onto the Stage Celebrating the final weeks of the Michael Morpurgo: A Life Time in Stories exhibition, be inspired by his stories, and work with set designers and puppeteers to bring stories to life. Enjoy live performances and puppet demonstrations. Drop in, all ages.

MORDEN HALL PARK Morden SM4 5JD www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mordenhall-park Throughout January and February Join a nature trail around the park and make some delightful crafts to take home. £4 per child, entry to Morden Hall is free. 11am-4pm.

Four floors of interactive fun, a full size tank to climb on and more at The National Army Museum

NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea SW3 4HT www.nam.ac.uk Four floors of interactive fun, telling the story of the British Army and asking questions about its role and purpose with a total 2,500 objects and interactives to explore. What it’s like to serve as a soldier, 'Why do we have an army?'. Exploring the army as a cultural and military force in our everyday lives. Examining the countries and cultures the British Army has encountered and interacted with. There is even a chance to climb into an interactive life-size tank. Play Base for 0-8yrs olds, an educational soft play area styled as an army base camp.

BATTERSEA ARTS CENTRE Lavender Hill SW11 5TN www.bac.org.uk Final Saturday of the month Family Saturdays Fun, free activities for ages 0-11, including face painting, music, toy and clothes swaps, plus older children and young people can get involved in their Homegrown programme. Includes The Bee’s Knees, a magical indoor play space for ages 0-5. 10am-1.30pm, free, (The Bee’s Knees is £3 per child).

FOREST SCHOOL Lollard Street Adventure Playground, 102 Kennington Road SE11 6PX naturevibezzz.wordpress.com 14 February Free forest school activities for pre-school aged children. 10am-12pm

BROMPTON LIBRARY Brompton Road SW5 0BS First Saturday of every month Saturday Storyland 10-10.40am, plus story and craft 10.3011.30am.

THE NATIONAL GALLERY Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN www.nationalgallery.org.uk Every Sunday in January and February Magic Carpet Storytelling Fly away on a magic carpet, which comes to land in front of a different painting each week, and join Paul Rubinstein for a musical magic carpet storytelling. Age 2+, 10.30–11am and 11.30am-12pm.

GOD’S OWN JUNK YARD Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Walthamstow E17 9HQ www.godsownjunkyard.co.uk Fridays and Saturdays in This is January and February HUGE We love this wonderland of fun! creativity - it's a great place for the kids to explore unusual art, old movie props and even signs from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Artist Chris Bracey created incredible works for art projects and movie sets for nearly 40 years until his death late last year. His God’s Own Junk Yard space in Walthamstow is a studio where you can see his work – a combination of recycled urban debris and electric light in a gallery of wonderful colour. Still a working neon sign business, it’s open to the public Friday to Sunday, and its Rolling Scones Café is open all week.

Families South West 47


Long and short term affordable, Au pairs and Nannies We are a family-based Agency offering advice and assistance to families thinking about childcare options. We shall support you before, after and during all placements. Look forward to hearing from you.

0844 879 7189 www.likeminders.co.uk

info@blossomtreechildcare.co.uk blossomtreechi3 020 3302 7197 www.blossomtreechildcare.co.uk

Calling all baby Scientists! Help us discover how babies learn! Calling all infants from birth to 18 months to take part in fun studies at the Birkbeck Babylab in central London. We provide a black cab if you live within 5 miles of Birkbeck, or we refund any travel expenses. 020 7631 6258 babylab@bbk.ac.uk www.cbcd.bbk.ac.uk

PUBLIC SPEAKING Individual Tuition: Verse & Prose, Reading, Acting, Interview Technique, Confidence. LAMDA/Trinity exams taken. C. Price. 0207 735 3156 / 07721 762351 clareprice@tiscali.co.uk A. Wieland. tony@wieland.force9.co.uk

48 Families South West • January/February 2018


Disconnect to connect. You have the power to set your child free from screens By RTT Hypnotherapist and Life Coach Lucia Mizzoni

The explosion of digital technology has made parenting much more challenging. Digital technology has taken over our lives. Our addiction to screens is having severe consequences on our genuine connections in real life, starting with our own families. The research is clear: All screen activities are linked to less happiness.

WE ARE ADDICTED Technology has powerfully improved our lives, but we no longer have control over it. The impact of our addiction is immense: our attention span is crippled, our ability to connect with ourselves, our children and the world at large is compromised. This behavioural addiction cuts across demographics: the executive constantly checking his emails, the teen worrying about her Instagram Likes, the mum lost in reading online posts. These devices meet a chronic social need. They don’t demand much of you but they have a big impact. It is very revealing that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs limited home technology usage for their kids on the very products they helped create. They already knew the addictive power of digital technology!

THE INTERNET IS LIKE JUNK FOOD – CREATED TO HOOK US Just as unhealthy snacks play on a biological need for sugar and fat, research at an American university has shown that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter hook us by delivering ‘variable rewards.’ As messages, photos, and ‘Likes’ appear randomly, we compulsively check for them, craving that dopamine-activating prize. So, advice for a happy childhood and subsequently adolescence seems straightforward: Get your kids to put down their phone, turn off their laptops, and do something that does not involve a screen.

CONTROL SCREEN USAGE IN 2018: • Take a digital inventory: make a list of all the devices, apps and social networks you use regularly. Decide which ones you need and jettison the rest. You don’t need to be on every social media platform, make smart choices. • Stop the push-up notifications to alert you of new messages, tweets, likes etc. Check emails and social channels in scheduled and limited times during the day. • Use tech to limit tech – install any app designed to keep track of your device usage (QualityTime, RescueTime). The Hawthorne Effect will kick in: simply being aware you are measuring the usage time will prompt you to cut back. • Figure out your values. What is it that you actually want to be doing with your time? • Put the iPad away: The best thing you can do is explained by a psychological principle called Propinquity—things closer to you in space will always have a bigger effect on you than things that are further away. From 5:30pm to 8:00pm every night I put my iPhone away in my office. Once out of sight, eventually out of mind. I spend those hours, talking to my kids, reading or having dinner together. • Children must play outside more. Don’t skip going to the park because it’s cold or wet. Connecting with nature has a profoundly beneficial effect.

GET THEM INTERESTED IN BOOKS INSTEAD! Would you like your child to read for pleasure? The secret is simple and works every time: you need to read with them. Whilst your child is young establish a routine of reading to them every night, this forges bonds and prepares your child for sleep. When older your child must see you read: read magazines (Families of course) and books. Try the Book Club Boys, a book club for boys, except there’s no reading required and no need to sit in a chair. The book club leader is dynamic. He might get up, expostulate or whisper. By whatever means he will excite, awaken and enthrall your young boy with the heady joys of literature. Boys will listen to an age appropriate and ambitious chapter book read aloud and then be asked to feed back their emotional and intellectual responses to what they have heard.



Parents are now warned peering at phones indoors and not playing outside is fuelling short-sightedness. Screen time is also cutting into children’ sleep. Sleep experts classify a teen getting less than seven hours a night as significantly sleep deprived. However, teens who read books and magazines more often than the average, are actually less likely to be sleep deprived. The correlation between depression and screen use is strong enough to suggest that more parents should be telling their kids to pick up a book to feel better.

Lucia offers free consultation on www.luciamizzoni.com


Don’t be complacent. Our ability to reach personal fulfilment and to succeed in the future workplace depends on our ability to regain control of technology and of meaningful interactions now.

www.Bookclubboys.com : a ten week club starting on 18/1/18, designed specifically for boys to enjoy reading, analytical thinking and creative imagining. Book Club Boys uses movement, sound and drama.

Families South West 49




DIARY DATES We take much care in preparing these What’s On pages, but please do double check with organiser before setting out as things change.

IF YOU ONLY DO ONE THING THIS MONTH Southbank Centre, SE1 www.southbankcentre.co.uk 7-18 February This February, don’t miss out on Southbank Centre’s annual multi-arts Imagine Children’s Festival. It returns for its seventeenth year with 12 days of jam-packed fun over halfterm week for kids and their families, including the best children's theatre, activities to get stuck into and events by inspirational authors. Be tickled by Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes, wriggle along to dance-theatre Tidy Up and join radio personalities and debut authors, Greg James and Chris Smith, for an action-packed Kid Normal event. Firm favourites such as Bedtime Stories and Fun DMC also return, along with plenty of new activities. Plus, over 50 per cent of workshops and activities are completely FREE!

LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA FUNHARMONICS FAMILY CONCERT Southbank Centre SE1 www.southbankcentre.co.uk 25 February This event marks the 30th anniversary year of the LPO’s Education and Community programme. Joining the Orchestra are brilliant young instrumentalists and singers from London Music Masters, Junior Trinity. 12pm, f rom £12



Clapham Picturehouse, 76 Venn Street SW4 0AT www.picturehouses.com/cinema/Claph am_Picturehouse Saturdays in January and February Movies exclusively for children and their parents and carers Includes My Little Pony and Shaun the Sheep.

London First Aid Training Venues in Battersea SW11 www.firstaidtraininglondon.co.uk 13 January Course includes resuscitation procedures, drowning, choking, shock, spinal injury, burns and scalds.




103 -105 St John’s Hill SW11 1SY www.thebrightemporium.com Every Wednesday in January and February Messy Toddlers All the mess, all the fun but none of the tidying up. For mini artists in the making. 10am, age 1-4

The Chocolate Museum, 187 Ferndale Road SW9 8BA www.thechocolatemuseum.co.uk 20 January Pop in for a creative and fun activity, and take your yummy chocolate home with you. From £9.50


Imperial College, Exhibition Road SW7 2AZ www.inspiredmindstutors.com/

Imperial College, Exhibition Road SW7 2AZ www.littlehouseofscience.com Saturdays in January and February Fantastic science workhops, helping lay the foundation for your child’s future academic progress. 10am, age 5-8


Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes

workshops 20 January Take robots apart to learn how they work. They build your own! These carefully crafted workshops are full of hands-on, fun activities. 11am1pm and 2-4pm

MUM2MUM MARKET Ricards Lodge High School www.mum2mummarket.co.uk 3 February and 17 March Come along and buy all kinds of nearly new toys, clothes, books, strollers, car seats, feeding accessories, baby equipment and so much more. Or if you fancy a quick clear out, why not book a stall? Admission £2 on the door, children FREE. Visit the Mum2mum Market website to get 2 for 1 admission. 24pm

CHELSEA PHYSIC GARDEN 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea SW3 4HS www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk 13 February Chocolate Tuesday. Join them to look into the history, geography and science of chocolate and celebrate this very special substance. The day will include craft activities, a Garden tour, chocolate tasting and the chance to create your own mixtures to take away. There’ll be a gourmet tasting session with staff from Rococo Chocolates. Age 7+ 14 February Lotions & Potions - an introduction to herbal medicine. Can a food be a medicine? Can a poison be a medicine? Find out something of the history of medicine and the amazing power of plants to heal and soothe as you make some of your own natural and low-cost remedies to take away as well as a mini medicinal garden. Age 7+, £15


TCH KIDS CLUB The Climbing Hangar, 33-35 Parsons Green Lane SW6 www.theclimbinghangar.com/london Saturdays in January and February Sports Club. Climbing session led by experienced instructors and open to all abilities. Age 7-9, 9.30am

© Courtesy of Magic Light Pictures


Some great events at the lovely Chelsea Physic Garden

50 Families South West • January/February 2018

Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Road SE23 3PQ www.horniman.ac.uk 15 and 16 February Learn to dance like you’re partying through the streets of Brazil with Gandaia Arts. Energetic rhythms, flowing dance and hoop skirts will get you into the mood of this family-friendly workshop of the Maracatu performance from North East Brazil. Age 4+, £5





BABIES AND TODDLERS Play Tuesdays Embark on a museum adventure that includes trails, arty workshops, songs and stories. 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2pm

Storytelling and Music Sessions A series of sessions for babies and toddlers to encourage interaction using musical instruments, singing, movement and stories. 10am and 11.30am, £5


MIni Moles babies Group at the Museum of London

THE GRAVENEY AND MEADOW 40 Mitcham Road SW17 9NA www.graveneyandmeadow.com Wednesdays in January and February Kids’ and toddlers’ arts and craft classes. See website for details. Thursdays in January and February Pram Chorus Child friendly daytime choir, 10am, £7 per adult, see website for times. Fridays in January and February Rhythm n’ Babies Music classes for babies and their carers with instruments. 9.30am, £5

www.byobcomedy.com Dates in January and February Bring Your Own Baby Comedy A funny, friendly afternoon of top comedy and you get to bring your own baby! They provide toys, baby changing, buggy parking, bottle warmers and more, so that baby is happy and you can relax and enjoy top comedy stars from the circuit and TV.

UNICORN THEATRE 147 Tooley Street SE1 2HZ www.unicorntheatre.com Saturdays in January and February Up Club Join the Unicorn Play Club most Saturdays for FREE drop-in activities from portrait painting and potato printing to giant rocket making and more. 12noon 2pm



77 Bedford Hill SW12 9HD www.thebedford.com Tuesdays and Fridays in January and February Baby Sensory classes and Pram Chorus. See website for details. Last Wednesday of every month Screaming With Laughter. London’s original afternoon comedy club, designed for parents with babies under 1 year. See the best acts from TV and the comedy circuit without having to book a babysitter. Buy tickets at www.wegottickets.com/Screaming WithLaughter

South London Liberal Synagogue, Streatham / The Half Moon (Workshop Room), Herne Hill 07947 609780. southlondonsingingmamas@gmail.com www.singingmamaschoir.com Tuesdays or Wednesdays in January and February, depending on venue A Community of Choirs for Women, with or without children. Sing world songs, folk songs, gospel and more. A warm welcome awaits all singing abilities.


Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF www.rmg.co.uk Tuesdays in January and February

Clapham, East Dulwich, Teddington, Putney, Tooting


DO-RE-MI BABIES CONCERTS Barnes, Chelsea, Fulham, Wandsworth www.doremibabies.co.uk Dates throughout January and February Inspirational and fun classical concerts Babies can crawl, dance, sing, cry, nappy change and more, so you can relax and enjoy the music. £10 per adult, children FREE, tickets online or on the door. Dates vary depending on venue.

FULHAM PALACE Bishop’s Avenue SW6 6EA www.fulhampalace.org Mondays and Tuesdays in January and February The Palace Explorers Weekly parent/carer and toddler sessions for children aged 2-4. £4 per child, which includes a drink and healthy snack, booking essential. 9.30am10.30am

BACH TO BABY Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square WC1N 1AZ foundlingmuseum.org.uk 22 February Discover the award-winning classical concert series for babies, toddlers and parents. Themed concerts are performed by pianist Miaomiao Yu along with other internationally renowned musicians. 10.30am, £12 adults, children FREE

KENSINGTON PALACE MORDEN HALL PARK Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD www.nationaltrust.org.uk Every Monday in January and February Little Explorers Enjoy crafts, outdoor activities, songs and stories. Ages 2-5, 10am, £2 per child, £1 siblings.


hrp.org.uk/kensingtonpalace Selected Wednesdays and Saturdays in January and February Tiny Explorers Discover the stories of Kensington Palace through music, movement, messy play and more. £6 per child, price includes up to two adults. 10.30am – babies, 1pm – walkers, 2.30pm – walkers.

www.royalalberthall.com Tuesdays and Wednesdays in January and February


© Pete Woodhead

SOUTHBANK CENTRE www.southbankcentre.co.uk 12, 19 and 26 January Rug Rhymes A short session of nursery rhymes, poems and rhyming stories. Times vary.

www.museumoflondon.org.uk Wednesdays in January and February Little Moles Toddlers Group and Mini Moles Babies Group Fun, hands-on, creative sessions for toddlers, parents and carers. 3.304.30pm, book in advance. Plus sensory, hands-on, play-based activities for you and your baby, 11am-12pm

Rug Rhymes South Bank Centre

Families South West 51




DRAMA BATTERSEA ARTS CENTRE Lavender Hill SW11 5TN www.bac.org.uk 15 - 17 February Kid Carpet & The Noisy Animals After a long, exhausting music tour, Kid Carpet is going on a nice relaxing holiday. But this might not be the soothing holiday he had expected as the Noisy Animals takeover his break with big beat songs, wonky donkeys, special effects, puppetry and animation. 11am and 2pm, from £8, ages 3-8

CAMBRIDGE THEATRE Seven Dials, 32-34 Earlham Street WC2H 9HU uk.matildathemusical.com Throughout January and February

camping trip to the woods with her friends Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and Gerald Giraffe. With lunchboxes packed and Daddy Pig driving the bus, Peppa is excited about her outdoor adventure full of games, laughter and live music.

Matilda The Musical Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, Matilda revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.

COLOUR HOUSE THEATRE Watermill Way SW19 2RD www.colourhousetheatre.co.uk Saturdays and Sundays to 21 January Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Poor Snow White is banished to the forest where she stumbles upon and befriends seven dwarves. However, with the evil Queen in hot pursuit it’s not long before she tricks Snow White into eating a deadly apple. Will the dwarves be able to save the day and find a handsome Prince to wake Snow White with his kiss? Saturdays and Sundays 3 February


Colour House Theatre 8 April Pinocchio. Craftsman Geppetto has made an incredible wooden puppet, however one magical night his creation transforms into a real boy. Pinocchio’s adventure has just begun… 12pm, from £10

NATIONAL THEATRE Upper Ground SE1 9PX www.nationaltheatre.org.uk Throughout January and February Pinocchio On a quest to be truly alive, Pinocchio leaves Geppetto’s workshop with Jiminy Cricket in tow. Their electrifying adventure takes them from alpine forests to Pleasure Island to the bottom of the ocean. This spectacular new production is brought to the stage by a team including the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the writer of Matilda the Musical.

NEW WIMBLEDON THEATRE The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1QG atgtickets.com/venues/newwimbledon-theatre 21-22 February Peppa Pig’s Adventure Join Peppa as she goes on an exciting

52 Families South West • January/February 2018

1 Clapham Common Northside SW4 0QW www.omnibus-clapham.org 18 February Once Upon a City Join in this interactive storytelling session as you follow the journey of a brilliant princess from the North to the South of the City to meet another, equally brilliant princess. 11am and 2pm, age 4-7, from £7

PEACOCK THEATRE WC2A 2HT www.sadlerswells.com 5-17 February Zippos Cirque Beserk! A jawdropping spectacular that combines contemporary cirquestyle artistry with adrenalinefuelled stunt action. This talented troupe includes over thirty jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, daredevil stuntmen and the world’s most hair-raising circus act, the motorcycle Globe of Death.

POLKA THEATRE 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB www.polkatheatre.com To 11 February My Brother, My Sister and Me With a new baby in the family, a little sister has to move in with her big brother. She’s got used to the idea but her brother and Gecko, his constant companion, are really not keen. Especially when she starts to unpack her very large collection of hats!







Cambridge Heath Road E2 9PA www.museumofchildhood.org.uk

100 London Road SE23 3PQ www.horniman.ac.uk Every Saturday in January and February Art Makers Have fun with different art techniques to create something inspired by the Horniman’s collections or seasonal celebrations. 1.30pm and 2.45pm, £3, age 3+

24 February and 24 March Toddler Art Class Join artists Albert Potrony and Aya Kobayashi for an exciting morning of art. 10.30am-1pm

LANDMARK ARTS CENTRE Ferry Road, Teddington TW11 9NN www.landmarkartscentre.org 21 January, 24 February and 24 March

V&A MUSEUM Cromwell Road SW7 2RL www.vam.ac.uk/families Throughout January and February Family Activities Explore the museum through puzzles, drawing and observation. There are also exciting hands-on exhibits containing plenty to touch and try out, plus activities and workshops for ages 7-12 FREE

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY Kids’ ART Club Fun workshops including drawing, painting, relief making, printing and collage. 10am12pm, age 5-11, £13 12 February Art Workshop with Ace Art A workshop inspired by Damien Hirst’s Abstract Spinner Canvases, using painting, colour mixing, design and construction. 10.30am12.30pm, £13, age 8-14

FOUNDLING MUSEUM 40 Brunswick Square, Camden Town WC1N 1AZ www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk 15 February Animal Dramatics Animate the creatures found in exhibition The Lost Words in this drama and art workshop. Make a mask and bring your chosen animal to life. 10.30am, 1pm and 3pm, age 7+, FREE

TATE BRITAIN Millbank SW1P 4RG www.tate.org.uk Dates in January and February Under Fives Explore the Gallery Experiment with a range of materials while discovering exciting routes and journeys through the galleries alongside other families.


St Martin's Place WC2H 0HE www.npg.org.uk Every third Sunday of the month Drop In Family Sundays Dropin with children aged 3+ to take part in portrait-related events. FREE

THE WALLACE COLLECTION Hertford House, Manchester Square W1U 3BN www.wallacecollection.org 4 February The Little Draw Use specialist drawing, handling and surface design techniques to respond to stimulating forms and colour palettes. All ages, 1.30pm–4.30pm, FREE 14 and 15 February Animal Portraits Explore how animals have been portrayed in art over the centuries from family pets to cheeky monkeys and ferocious lions, then learn how to draw and paint your own animal portrait. £20, age 8-11 (Wednesday 14) and 12-15 (Thursday 15), 10.30am-3.30pm 16 February The Dragon’s Pearl Cutting grass in the hills one day, Tchang makes a wonderful discovery which will change his life forever. Celebrate Chinese New Year with

Did you know the Wallace Collection has lots to offer for children? a retelling of this ancient myth, then make your own animal mask inspired by the Chinese zodiac. Age 4+, 11am–12.30pm, FREE

SIR JOHN SOANE’S MUSEUM 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PB www.soane.org Third Saturday of the month FREE drop-in art activities for all ages. 1.30-4.40pm

THE NATIONAL GALLERY Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN www.nationalgallery.org.uk Every Sunday in January and February Family Sundays Art activities for families, 11am and 2pm, age 5-11, FREE

TATE MODERN Bankside, SE1 9TG www.tate.org.uk Throughout January and February Family Friendly Art Activities A range of FREE arty and crafty workshops, see website for details.

DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY Gallery Road, Dulwich Village SE21 7AD www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk First and last Sunday of each month Art Play Creative drop-in workshops for adults and children, with a different activity each session. Make anything and everything from bunting to block printing and all things in between. 2-3.45pm

FULHAM PALACE Bishop’s Avenue SW6 6EA www.fulhampalace.org 14 February Family Activity Day: Building The Palace. Open the door to the Palace’s awesome architects and baffling buildings at this fun filled day of hands on activities: help build a Palace made of paper, try your hand at brick rubbing, make a Tudor arch or create a 3D diorama. 11am– 3pm, £2 •If you have any events for inclusion, please send to whatson@FamiliesSW.co.uk

Families South West 53





© The Foundling Museum


Family workshop at the Foundling Museum



Threadneedle Street EC2R 8AH www.bankofengland.co.uk To 2 March Till Time's Last Sand - A history of the Bank of England Delve into the variety of documents in the Archive collection, including correspondence, architectural plans, Court of Directors’ minutes and forgery papers.

40 Brunswick Square, Camden Town WC1N 1AZ www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk 13 February Mobile Poetry Discover the natural world depicted in The Lost Words with artist Anne Harild. Using collage, cut-out letters and card, create your own poem mobile featuring animals and plants

in the show. 10.30am, 1pm and 3pm, age 5+, FREE 14 February The Lucky Button Orchestra Inspired by Michael Morpurgo’s new book, explore the musical legacy of the Foundling Hospital. Make your own musical instrument to take home and play. 10.30am, 1pm and 3pm, age 5-10, FREE 16 February The Lost Gardens Make a dream garden for the foundlings at the hospital. 11am and 2pm, age 5+, FREE

HAMPTON COURT PALACE East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU www.hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace Throughout January and February The Magic Garden Discover something new around every twist and turn in an immersive world populated by mythical beasts, including a 25m dragon! Take the family to become Tudor Knights, besiege the battlements, storm the Tiltyard Towers and explore a mysterious secret grotto. Included in palace admission. 7, 14 and 21 January Family Ghost Tours Take in the palace’s ghoulish locations with spine-tingling commentary. Hear from 500 years of chilling tales, such as the Tudor royal nurse whose spirit is said to stalk her former apartments and the mysterious figure ‘Skeletor’ caught on CCTV in the palace in the dead of night. From £7

HORNIMAN MUSEUM AND GARDENS 100 London Road SE23 3PQ www.horniman.ac.uk To 14 January British Wildlife Photography Awards 2017 An exhibition of over 100 photographs that showcase the beauty and diversity of wildlife in Britain. The extraordinary images were all taken by talented photographers working in the UK ranging from established professionals to under12s. FREE 12-16 February Family Art Fun Join FREE craft activities inspired by the Horniman’s new family exhibition

54 Families South West • January/February 2018

Colour: The Rainbow Revealed. From 16 February Colour: The Rainbow Revealed Be dazzled by prisms showing how colours are made, peer through a giant human eyeball to find out how we see colour and discover how animals use colour to attract and hide. FREE

KENSINGTON PALACE W8 4PX hrp.org.uk/kensingtonpalace 25 February and 25 March Funtastic Sundays Fun-filled activity days with the chance to try out the palace’s trails, enjoy Story Time or take part in special creative workshops.

LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM Covent Garden Piazza WC2E 7BB www.ltmuseum.co.uk Throughout January and February Poster Girls. Girl power comes to Covent Garden when Poster Girls a major new exhibition about 20th and 21st century female graphic artists opens at the Museum.

MUSEUM OF LONDON EC2Y 5HN www.museumoflondon.org.uk Sundays in January and February Museum Explored Explore the galleries through fun, hands-on activities. 11am and 2pm. Plus, join a fun and engaging tour of the museum’s galleries, especially for families. Age 5+, 2-2.30pm Sundays in January and February Hands-on history Hear incredible London stories as you touch and hold real museum objects. Age 5+, 2-4pm 3-4 February Votes for Women Weekend Create banners inspired by the iconic designs of the Suffragettes. Discover the hidden stories of the women and men behind the Suffragette movement through performances, digital workshops and poetry. Age 10+, FREE 4 and 14 Feb, 3 March Roman London Family Walk Travel back 2000 years and walk the streets of Roman Londinium. Imagine you are a Roman soldier at



the fort gate into the city or a gladiator as you enter the remains of the city’s amphitheatre. 11am, age 5+, £5/£7.50, book in advance.

NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF www.rmg.co.uk Saturdays in January and February Character Encounters Join an exciting performance and journey bringing maritime history to life. 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, age 6+

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM Cromwell Road SW7 5BD www.nhm.ac.uk Throughout January and February Whales Beneath the Surface A major new exhibition exploring the extraordinary life of whales.

ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH Blackheath Avenue SE10 8XJ www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory 12, 13, 26 and 27 January An Evening with the Stars The popular after dark experience includes the chance to look through the gigantic Great Equatorial Telescope at the night sky. 5.25pm and 6.45pm, from £14, age 7+ 16 January Think Space Lecture Find out about the latest research and developments in astrophysics. 5.15pm, age 11+, from £7 Weekends in January and February



Weekend Space Cadets Family workshops related to space science and exploration, from the International Space Station to the latest discoveries about the Solar System. 12.45pm, from 5+, FREE

SCIENCE MUSEUM Exhibition Road, South Kensington SW7 2DD Sciencemuseum.org.uk Throughout January and February Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery Don’t miss out on this fantastic new interactive gallery with live demonstrations and an Explainerled experience revealing the beauty and wonder in the science and mathematics that shape our lives. Truly fascinating! £8/£6

TOWER OF LONDON St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london Throughout January and February Armoury in Action A family friendly exhibition revealing the fascinating story of arms and the armoury at the Tower. From shooting arrows and assembling firearms to brandishing swords, a thousand years of history at the Tower is brought to life in this exciting, hands-on experience. To 9 February Life in the Medieval Palace Travel back to 1299 and enter the Medieval palace of King Edward I, Hammer of the Scots, in this live performance drama. Discover a

Museum of London Roman London Family Walk world of chivalrous knights and ladies, troublesome lords and royal prisoners. 11am and 2.30pm, included in admission. Selected Sundays to 2 April Twilight Tours Take in worldfamous sights such as Traitor’s Gate, the scaffold site and the Bloody Tower, and be amazed by tales of prisoners and past residents. Age 12+, 6.45pm, from £25 Selected dates in February Nightwatchers Enter the shadowy world of state surveillance where messages and phone calls lead participants around one of history’s most notorious prisons. From £18, 6pm, 6.30pm, 7pm, 7.25pm and 7.50pm

V&A MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD Cambridge Heath Road E2 9PA www.museumofchildhood.org.uk 10-11 February Creative Writing Workshop Acclaimed children's author Ross Montgomery leads a creative writing session. 2-4pm, age 8+, £10 12-16 February World of Set Design Workshop Experience the design process and building fun together. 10.30am and 2pm, age 8+, £10 13 and 15 February Children’s Literature Film Screenings Screenings of adaptations based on children's classic stories, Private Peaceful and Fantastic Mr Fox. £4 (under 3s FREE, but booking required), 4pm

Museum of London London Nature Reserve

WOULD YOU LIKE TO EARN EXTRA MONEY? Capital Focus Groups are looking for people who enjoy giving their opinions and are willing to share their views on the products and services they use for many of the country’s largest companies and well-known products. It’s free, it’s fun and you will be financially rewarded as a thank you for taking part! Register now to earn extra money, by calling Liz on 07761128059 or e.dahlgren@btinternet.com


Families South West 55