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South West

130 local events


Should you tutor your child? May half term and summer holidays • Parties • Free activities • Local events • Galleries and museums Issue 286/287 May/June 2019

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Do you know the Streatham Rookery? An enchanting garden to discover. Luke Fullalove for

May/June 2019 Issue 286/287 6-7      It’s Local Business Week!

• Families London South West 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 London South West are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families London South West. • Designed and Printed by Ridgeway Press, Wilts. • 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.

Tel: 020 8696 9680 Editorial: News: Adverts/Artwork: Events/Diary Dates/What’s On: Next Issue: July/August 2019 ISSN 1354-9553. All contents ©Families SW 2019.

28-30  SWIMMING FEATURE • Can swimming help the mental health of our children? • Why choose a private (or semi) private swimming class? • Ten top reasons why we love baby swimming

Support your local shops

11        How to help your children make friends

12        Why children misbehave and how to handle it

16        Three of the best Clubs & Classes


TUTORING FEATURE • Why are parents turning to tutoring? • Encouraging creativity in exam preparation • Factors to consider when choosing a tutor/centre • A fun after school club rather than extra work or tutoring


PARTIES The best local party entertainers

18       Local Clubs & Classes 20        Free activities 22-23  Half term holiday activities From music to sport

24-27  Summer holiday activities Camps, workshops, courses and days out

41        Finding space for YOU 42-47 WHAT’S ON Find us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram FamiliesSWLon

Advertise in our next issue. Contact us on 020 8696 9680

• Diary dates • Babies and Toddlers • Theatre • Museums and galleries

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Families celebrate Local Business Week 13-19 May Let’s support our local businesses and help our communities thrive!  Fulham Greens  Isn’t it lovely to see a family greengrocer back on our high streets? Fulham Greens is only a few months old, and bursting with fresh produce. Make sure to give them your custom! 265 New Kings Road SW6 4RB.

Gennaro Dell'Aquila exquisite hair salons in Wimbledon This salon is not only amazingly beautiful, it is also truly innovative. GA make their own blends using nothing but 100% natural and organic herbs, roots and flowers, yes flowers! The blends are then crafted and mixed around the individual for a truly bespoke service. My blend included Cassia, for nourishment and Amla, a native

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tree from India, extremely rich in Vitamin C. I have used chemicals for ages, so my hair is dry and brittle—no more! I am totally converted to their natural methods: beautiful, luxurious hair that grows healthier, not weaker, over time. Families wholeheartedly recommends GA! They are at 154 Arthur Road SW19 8AQ

Reader Offer

Very special chiropratic offer !  Deborah Ben-Shah, DC LTD, a chiropractor from America with over 16 years experience, treats patients with neck pain, back pain, cervicogenic headaches, frozen shoulders, sciatica, pain caused by poor posture and many other conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Call to get a comprehensive exam, consultation and two treatments for only £39 (value £130)*. She is based in Chelsea across from the Chelsea and Westminster hospital. 020 7352 3087 * Offer valid for new patients only. Expires 30/06/2019

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Reader Offer

Free maths assessment

Nomad Books shortlisted for award 

Mathnasium is a new math-only learning centre on the Northcote road. They help children in Years 1-11 understand maths by teaching it in a way that makes sense to them. Hooray! Their method for teaching children maths has transformed the way students learn maths for over a decade and across 800+ centres worldwide. Free maths skills assessment and a free trial session for Families readers. And if you choose to sign your child up as a result, enjoy a 10% discount on tuition fees. 122 Northcote Road SW11 6QU

We love Nomad bookshop, a family business for 30 years. Shortlisted for Children’s Bookseller of the Year and Individual Bookseller of the Year at the British Book Awards 2019. The winners will be announced on May 13th. Keep your fingers crossed for them! Storytime is every Thursday at 4pm. 781 Fulham Road SW6 5HA

Get 20% off Stib Inspirational colouring pencils Stib is a purposeful business, helping young people ‘Feel Good on the Inside & Do Good on the Outside’, giving 10% of profits to It has two products: Stib Jumbo Pencils, a bright tube of 12 soft-leaded colouring pencils, embossed with words like Good Listener or Team Player. Their award-winning, Stib Inspirational Mini Colouring Pencils, include 10 vibrant mini colouring pencils with on-the-go colouring sheets. Reader Go to and enter Offer the code STIB20SW at the checkout for your 20% discount. Buy two for free delivery.

Natural Botox in your  own home The Secret Face Clinic offers facial acupuncture, also known as ‘natural Botox’, a widely endorsed celebrity favourite and recent addition to Harrods own wellbeing centre. This holistic facial treatment uses between 40 and 100 carefully inserted acupuncture needles into the face causing an immediate reduction of fine lines and general firming of the face. With a course of treatment, there will be an increase in the collagen and natural oils content of future skins cells giving your face a fresh,

natural appearance without any chemicals or painful procedures. The treatment typically takes around an hour and is delivered in the comfort and convenience of your own home (perfect for those with busy schedules or children to look after). Five minutes after the procedure any tell tale signs of treatment will have disappeared and you will look like you but just on a really good day!

Reader Offer

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YEAR 7 OPEN DAYS Burntwood is an oversubscribed Academy for Girls which proudly holds a CPD Platinum Mark, the EQualities Award, the International School Award, and has UNICEF Rights Respecting School Gold status.

‘Students work hard, have high aspirations for future employment and are proud of their school.’ Ofsted, May 2016

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- OPEN MORNINGS Thursday 4th July 8.45am Tuesday 8th October 8.45am - OPEN EVENING Wednesday 25th September 6.00pm ‘The best education today for the women of tomorrow’

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PARKGATE HOUSE SCHOOL An independent co-educational preparatory school and nursery for children aged 2½ - 11

OPEN MORNING Saturday 8th June 2019 9.30am - 12.00pm To register please contact Registrar on 020 7350 2461 or book online at PARKGATE HOUSE SCHOOL 80 Clapham Common North Side, London SW4 9SD

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Football fun for children aged 18 months-7 years. Learning the FUNdamentals of Football

Book your free trial class! Email: Tel: 020 8675 1155 Website:

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How to Help your Children Make Friends Linda Blair’s Top Tips for Parents

Linda Blair’s tips for parents are:

55% of parents say they are anxious about making new adult friends and it’s therefore not surprising that some children are also not sure how to go about this. It’s useful to help them understand that the easiest way to make a friend is to BE a friend. Psychologist Linda Blair has some useful tips for children and parents.

Tips for Children Offer to Help If you think another child isn’t sure about whether to join in with what you’re doing, invite them to do just that. Everyone likes to feel included. Sharing is Caring When you’re with your friends, offer to share your toys, so you can all play together. Taking Turns Make sure everyone you’re with gets to have a turn at whatever you’re all doing. They’ll know that you are a kind person. Let’s Pretend Knowing how other people are feeling will help you understand what makes them tick. Join a drama club so you can learn how different characters feel and behave. At home, ask your family to play ‘let’s pretend’ games with you. Linda Blair says: “To make friends children must be able to consider life from other people’s points of view so they can appreciate and react to what others want to do and enjoy. “Although young children show they’re capable of appreciating other viewpoints, they don’t normally apply this skill until they’re about 5 years old.

“This is why it’s important to start introducing them to this skill at a young age. Once they can understand empathy it will feel like second nature to them to behave in those adaptive ways.”

As a parent, you can help your child to make new friends. Families® Magazine suggests: Starting a Conversation Some children may want a parent’s help to start a conversation. Working with your child to think of a few things they can say like “I like your lunch box’ or “What games do you like?” can help your child feel more comfortable about starting to talk to a potential new friend. Joining In Encourage your child to watch what other children are playing and think about what they can do to fit in. Suggest they try joining the game by doing something that’s relevant to it Eg if children are playing at running a library, volunteer to be somebody who wants to borrow a book. Stress that it’s important not to be negative about the game or try to change it and if the others don’t want them to join in right then, to try again another day.

Do as I Do During the early years, parents are their child’s best role models. Try to show your children how to make friends by setting a good example - giving the people around you your full attention and listening fully whenever your child, your partner or other key people around you want to tell you something. Show you’re concerned about how other people are feeling and thank others when they do things you appreciate. Read Stories about Sharing and Making Friends Talk about them afterwards. Start reading these stories as early as possible, even before you think your child can understand them! Whenever you see an opportunity, ask your child how a character could be feeling - and ask how they know. Make a Head Start Before your child starts a new school year, find out if you can who else will be in their class. Then invite one of those children over to play with your child during the summer holidays. That way, once school starts, your child already has a friend from the start of term. This in turn will reduce their anxiety when they go into class on that first day. For more from Linda Blair, visit

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Why children misbehave… and how to handle it By Kristina Bill, Joy Marchese and Jane Nelsen


uman beings are fundamentally social beings. Our primary goals are to belong (connection) and to have a sense of purpose and contribution (significance).  In their pursuit of these goals, it is normal for children to test the waters by misbehaving. They do so when they are struggling to achieve these goals and feeling discouraged.  When children misbehave and parents feel frazzled, we often resort to quick fixes such as punishment, reward and bribery, because yes, they deliver temporary results. However, many of these approaches do not empower children to find connection, belonging and a sense of purpose and contribution. This leads to a vicious cycle of discouragement and renewed misbehaviour.

help him to have some chill time too. To ensure your child understands what you are doing, discuss as a family what happens when we’re stressed—our brains are flooded with stress hormones so we can’t think. Then explain that when one of you is stressed, you can ask for chill out time in a different place in the house that works for each individual. This Time Out should ALWAYS be a choice and NEVER a punishment. Focus on solutions Reduce power struggles by focussing on solutions rather than consequences of bad behaviour. Learn to think in terms of problem = solution instead of problem = blame and punishment. It can be effective and empowering to help children explore the consequences of their choices by asking, “What do you think caused that to happen, and what ideas do you have to solve the problem?” This teaches them valuable life skills such as problemsolving, respectful communication, decision-making, conflict resolution and negotiating strategies.

To see sustained behavioural change, we need to focus not just on the misbehaviour, but on the belief behind the behaviour—the discouragement our children are experiencing. Then we need to use parenting tools based on Effective parenting means constantly Learn to think in terms of Problem = solution rather than Problem = punishment encouragement that help our looking for win-win solutions, rather children experience their deep need to belong than winning at the expense of your child. CoValidate feelings and feel capable through contribution. operation is the best way to avoid power “I know you’re upset because you can’t have struggles and feelings of inadequacy in that toy, but if you save your pocket money, I’m Building confidence and resilience children, reducing your stress in the process. sure you can purchase one soon.” You are Here are some strategies that we can use to connecting by showing understanding and help our children develop the skills they need validating your child’s feelings AND you are to pursue their goals. giving them the opportunity to contribute (earn Jane Nelsen is the founder of the and save their money) instead of rescuing them Positive Discipline Methodology Connection before correction and buying something for them. programme. London-based educators Brain research has shown that children do Joy Marchese and Kristina Bill worked Positive time out better when they feel better. This does not with Jane to co-author the book Positive When your child misbehaves, firstly you need mean feeling better because they get Discipline for Today’s Busy (and to check in with yourself and make sure you everything they want. They feel better because Overwhelmed) Parent: How to Balance are calm enough to deal compassionately with they feel connected (belonging) and Work, Parenting and Self for Lasting Well your child at that time. If you are not, chances responsible (significant). Thus it is very Being. Published by Harmony Books and are you will react with short-term strategies. important to make a connection with your available from Amazon at £12.99. Say to your child that you are upset and need child before you attempt correction. One of some time by yourself. This models selfthe easiest ways to do this is to validate their regulation, an essential life skill. Ask if it would feelings.

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OAK TREE DAY NURSERY 3 months to 5 years

8am to 6pm (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 * Fun Sports sessions * 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

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Our skilled staff prepare children aged 25 years for their next school and start them on a journey of lifelong learning. Incorpora ng art, cooking, science, music, sport, languages, drama, yoga and all aspects of the Early Years Curriculum. Please arrange a visit to see the learning and excitement in ac on. Ramsden Hall, 21 Ramsden Road, Balham, SW12 8QX Tel: 020 8166 5932


Ever Thought of Hosting an International Student?


We are currently seeking host families to look after children attending boarding school in the UK whose parents are based overseas.

Our hosts look after the children during some half term holidays and occasional weekends. Dates of stays will depend very much on the school that the child attends.

In exchange for your hospitality you will receive a generous compensation package as well as the invaluable experience that hosting an international student can bring to you and your family. For more informa on please contact Caroline Lloyd, Guardianship Manager • +44 (0) 1684 581600

345 Nursery School provides an outstanding start to a child's educational journey. We ensure that our pupils have gained a sense of independence, self-confidence 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 345 Nursery School, Fitzhugh Grove, Trinity Road London SW18 3SA Tel: 020 3633 4185

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Clubs & Classes

Three of the best Clubs & Classes How do you choose an after school provider over another? Word of mouth? Reading through their website? Could be. But here is what we did: we asked three of the best ones why THEY think they are special! It is enlightening.

Stagecoach Performing Arts What is unique about your school? At Stagecoach we teach our students so much more than how to sing, dance and act. We help them blossom into well-rounded individuals, ready to embrace life and all its opportunities. We help our students develop confidence and find creative courage for life. What do you do really well? At Stagecoach we are proud to be the leaders of providing quality teaching in the performing arts and we understand how to get the best out of our young performers. We promise to nurture and inspire every child who joins us. We believe that every child has the potential to be brilliant and we help our students to realise this. We encourage them to take ‘safe risks’ through rehearsals and performance, which brings out a willingness to take on new challenges and fosters confidence, imagination, creativity, resilience, teamwork and self-expression. We have a clear commitment to child protection and the safeguarding of our students is of the highest priority.

Playball London

The Little Gym Wandsworth & Fulham What is unique about your classes?

What is unique about your classes? Our class sizes are small in size, 6 children for our 2-3s and 8 children for our 3-6 year old age groups. Because of this, during lessons we are able to identify and rectify any skill that a child has not quite got right yet. We are then able to repeat until the child has banked it and their neurological pathways have been formed correctly. Making sure the foundation of any movement or sports skill is developed correctly at an early age will save the child hours and hours of practice at a later stage. What do you do really well? The way we combine having fun with education! During a Playball class our coaches will go from being an entertainer to an educator and back to an entertainer a number of times during the lesson. We believe in order for the children to learn and develop they must love what they are doing! Our classes have a real great balance of learning and developing while having fun.

We help children to develop as a whole with our 3 Dimensional and holistic approach: get moving, brain boost and life skills. We are the perfect combination of fun and challenging physical/gymnastics activities, which allow our children to perform their best while having fun. What do you do really well? We care about every child’s development, boosting their confidence and self-esteem through movement and music. We provide our parents with tools and little homework they can do at home with their children to reinforce what they did in class and providing them with the opportunity for extra interaction. What is a typical comment from a child or parent? Children comments: “I have been waiting all week to come to the Gym.“ “ I love the Little Gym.” “Little Gym is a lot of fun.”

What is a typical comment from a parent? “There is always a warm and friendly welcome at Stagecoach Wimbledon. My daughter cannot wait for the next class and the teaching is of a very high standard.” (Stagecoach Wimbledon parent)

When shown our age specific lesson plans and curriculum, parents often comment on how in depth and educationally aligned our classes are. The usual comment is: “We thought the children were just having fun?.”

Parent’s comments: “My child talks about her teacher all day.” “ The fun and engaging environment is perfect for my child.” “Each class is educational, fun and individualised for my child’s needs.”

What is a typical comment from a parent?

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Clubs & Classes

Some news from our favourite after school providers: Contact Stefania 020 8748 6418. Club Italiano for children Children learn Italian through action songs, role-plays and structured games, once a week in Fulham, after school. Basic reading, writing and speaking. Relaxed and friendly. Thursdays 4 to 5pm. Only £398 for the whole year, £135 one term. Club Italiano for parents Once a week classes in Barnes, Hammersmith, Richmond. From beginners to advanced. Focus is on conversation and grammar. Ci sentiamo. Children overflow with natural creative energy and curiosity. Paint Pots House encourage them to use it to develop life skills and inner confidence – so important in later life.

New location for French classes Exciting times for Les Petits Choux, the French language school based in Southfields: it has relocated to The Aspire Centre, Merton Road. Their classrooms mean the children can use an interactive French programme alongside the usual games, songs and stories making it a truly multisensory way to learn French. Classes

takeplace on Wednesdays 4-5pm. They also offer a new Saturday morning class for bilingual children beginning May 4th, 10-11.30am. For more information or to sign up please email:

Practice your cantering in Wimbledon Horse riding is a sport the whole family can enjoy so why not book a family lesson on the Equicise, a fully interactive horse riding simulator? Located at Wimbledon Village Stables, the Equicise is a safe way for young, inexperienced or nervous riders to learn how to ride—even the children will be cantering by the end of the first lesson! If you are already a 18 Families South West • May/June 2019

proficient rider the stables’ experienced and friendly instructors will help you to improve your skills as well as develop your riding fitness. A group lesson is a fun way of watching, learning and encouraging each other. £75 per hour for up to four people, 30 minute private lessons are also available from £39. Visit to book your lesson now!

Paint Pots House Creative Classes The Boltons Location: St Mary The Boltons Church, SW10 9TB Book online at www.paint- The Autumn Term bookings go live from Monday 3rd June. Children love the atmosphere of exploration and discovery at these classes. They will enjoy discovering the wonders of the Treasure Baskets to other sensorial activities; the children move naturally onto toddler art and music, early Montessori, music and movement and the delicious cooking classes. Age: 6 months – 6 years, accompanied and unaccompanied.

To advertise in Call: 0208 696 9680

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It’s about developing New Skills, growing in Confidence, having great Role Models, making new Friends and being super Active but most of all it’s about having Fun! FOUNDATION PHASE DEVELOPMENT FOR 2-8 YR OLDS

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FREE (or low cost) activities

There is so much to do in London for free. Any of these would make a great free outing. Wandsworth Arts Fringe Venues across Wandsworth Many free events!  Get the 3-19 May A treasure trove of creativity full programme and enjoy! bursts into Wandsworth, with street performances, exhibitions, comedy, theatre, music, dance and everything in between. On the 11th May play, discover or just relax in Oily Cart’s inclusive Play Space, a tactile, sensory wonderland for children with complex needs. Smallwood School Annexe SW17. Slots are free but book your time slot. 10am-1pm.

Victoria and Albert's Birthday Bash Wimbledon Art Fair

29 and 30 May 11am - 3pm Come to Hyde Park and celebrate Victoria and Albert turning 200 with free, fun, historical games and activities for the whole family to enjoy! Come dressed up in your Victorian best, take part in Victorian games such as skipping, yo-yos, hoops and sticks, tea sets and marbles. Follow the history trail around the garden and participate in Victorian themed craft activities. Dressing up is optional.

The Regents Park Music Festival  Every weekend Enjoy free concerts every weekend during the summer at The Regent's Park Bandstand. Wandsworth Arts Fringe

Wimbledon Art Fair Wimbledon Art Studios 10 Riverside Road, London, SW17 0BB 9-12 May Take the children and enjoy visiting 150 artists in their own studios. Two buildings, eight floors of wall to wall art. Our children always love it. Who knows you might even bring a piece of affordable art home. Free entry.

Streatham Kite Day

Be creative at the National Army Museum

Streatham Common 12 May The free event will be packed full of spectacular kite flying displays and is an opportunity for everyone to go fly a kite. Check out the brilliant line-up of kite flyers this year who will dazzle and amaze with acrobatic displays or astound with their huge static kites. The organisers encourage people to bring their own kites to fly. If you don’t own a kite, why not make one or buy one on site? 11am-5pm.

Trooping the Colour parade

Wandsworth Arts Fringe

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25th May The Trooping the Colour parade is on the Queen's official birthday at Horse Guards Parade in St James's Park. Starts at 10am (approx) till 12.25pm.

More FREE activities in the What’s on pages

The procession can be viewed along The Mall or along the edge of St James's Park facing Horse Guards Parade. Members of the public can watch from the stands on Horse Guards Parade by applying for tickets. Tickets from £2 (Standing).

National Army Museum 18 May Spotlight Saturday: Royal Armoured Corps. Meet serving soldiers from the Royal Armoured Corps as we mark its 80th anniversary in a day of tanks, talks and family fun. Free. 25-28 May Airbrush Effects. Pick a colour, grab a blow pen and get creative with this giant poster halfterm activity. Free. 30 May - 2 June Poster Printing. Channel your inner graphic designer with this family-friendly print-making workshop. Free.

British Library 30 May Family Takeover: Make and Create. Time to take over the Learning Centre with creative family fun! Enjoy playful multisensory activities and learning resources. A selection of children’s books will be available to relish, read and even perform. 11am-3pm, free. 22 June Family Day: Build a Story. Take part in an exciting family day inspired by the magic of storytelling. Make, touch, sign and explore, as you create, share and celebrate stories. This event is fully accessible for families with deaf children, parents and carers. 12-6pm, free.

National Portrait Gallery Every third Sunday of the month Drop In Family Sundays. Drop-in with children aged 3+ to take part in portrait-related events. Free.

Can you help us? We are looking for a few mums who know south west London well and have a bit of time on their hands to join our little team of Roving Mums: could you help the editor with local features, go to events and share your reviews? Share your local knowledge in exchange for free tickets to shows or review products to keep. For our July/August issue we are looking for child friendly cafés. Let us know if you know one you’d recommend. email:

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Connect with us on social media Facebook, Twitter & Instagram FamiliesSWLon

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May half term and Summer activities combined Compiled by Joanna Parry

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.  Please find below camps, courses and workshops. In order to save space— there are so many!—we have amalgated those who run both May half term and Summer holidays together.  Those who only run summer courses are listed separately.

Developing skills

discounts available, 9.30-11am or 11.30am-1pm, £250 for a 5 day week, £200 for a 4 day week.

Little House of Science Venues in SW7 0800 092 1062, 28-31 May Half Term Science Camp – The Fascinating Animal Kingdom Join in captivating scientific journeys where you will discover a variety of interesting facts from Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Age 4-7 and 8-12, 9.30am-3.30pm, with early drop off available. 10% siblings and friends discounts available. 8 July - 4 September Summer Holiday Science Camps Includes Journey to the Centre of Biology, When Science Meets Architecture, Science Geniuses and Fascinating Zoology. Age 4-7 and 8-12, 9.30am-3.30pm, with early drop off available. 10% siblings and friends discounts available.

Naomi Martin Touch Typing Sinclair House School, 59 Fulham High Street SW6 3JJ 07949 204553, 28-31 May and 8 July – 30 August Touch Typing Courses Touch typing courses for children aged 718. Classes are 90 minutes long, mixed age and ability. Sibling

Holiday courses with The Strings Club fab cookery camp. 10.30am12.30pm. £35 per child, everything provided from the aprons to the ingredients.

Yellowbird Education Parsons Green Prep School, 1 Fulham Park Road SW6 4LJ 020 7731 0695 / 07790 912318 28-31 May and 8 July – 30 August Holiday Workshops Includes Creative Writing Workshops for Years 2-6; English Skills Booster for 7+, 8+ and 11+; Comprehension and Composition Workshops for 7+, 8+ and 11+; Intensive Handwriting Workshops for age 8 and upwards; Reasoning Workshops for 11+. From £349, dates and times vary depending on course.

Kids En Cuisine Venues across SW London 020 3015 2966 27 – 31 May Half Term Cookery Camp Learn about healthy food by cooking real dishes with a different menu every day with vegetables, fruits, aromatic herbs and spices. 10.30am-12.30pm. £35 per child, everything provided from the aprons to the ingredients. 15-19 July Summer Holiday Camp Join Kids En Cuisine in the heart of London in their family friendly kitchen for a

Little House of Science

22 FFamilies South West • May/June 2019

Eddie Catz Wimbledon and Earlsfield 42 Station Road SW19 2LP 279 Magdalen Road SW18 3NZ 0203 4755268 Throughout May Half Term and Summer Holidays Holiday Activities Across both branches in SW London –Earlsfield and Wimbledon Colliers Wood – there will be plenty of holiday camps, creative workshops and parties to choose from. 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.

Music and Drama Dantastic Across SW London including Southfields Library, Sindbads Raynes Park and Corfield Centre, Streatham 07460 222003 asses Dates in May Half Term and Summer Holidays Baby and Toddler Classes Action packed, interactive musical adventure classes aimed to inspire, educate, build confidence and Kids En Cuisine

improve fitness. Expecting plenty of singing, dancing, puppets, instruments and sensory activities. Drop in for only £8 (£5 siblings), dates vary depending on venue.

The Strings Club Tooting Primary School, Franciscan Road, Tooting SW17 8HE 0121 296 9204, May Half Term Holiday Camp Looking for highquality, fun and rewarding childcare for May Half Term? Look no further than The Strings Club and their award-winning Ofstedregistered Holiday Camps. Each day is wonderfully different. Children aged 4-11 learn skills, make friends and grow in confidence. Standard hours 9.30am-4pm, wrap around care from/to 8am-5.45pm, from £20 half day.

Upbeat Music Thomas’s Academy, Parsons Green SW6 4LY 07816 901396 27-29 May and 24 July – 9 August Pop and Rock Fun at Upbeat Camps Sing, dance, play in a band, record your tracks and then perform them. Courses end with a performance and CD presentation. Age 4-12 and 13-16, sibling discounts available, 10am-4pm. The Strings Club

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Sport AJ Coaching Cricket Academy Dundonald Recreation Ground SW19 3QH 07790 935428 28-31 May and 8 July – 15 August Holiday Camps Cricket camps focusing on skills and match practice, all abilities welcome, age 5-10, Monday-Thursday 4 day courses, £120, 8.30am-1.30pm. It is possible to book for single days too.

All Star Tennis Leaders Gardens SW15 1LS King Georges Park SW18 2GJ Wandsworth Common SW18 3RT Tooting Common SW17 8JU 020 8871 4706 28-31 May and 8 July to end August May Half Term and Summer Holiday Tennis Camps All Star Tennis award-winning camps are back and filling up quickly, packed with games, drills, tennis technique, match preparation, fun tournaments, trick shots, prizes and team games. Plus, a chance to dress up on the last day! 3-4 years, 3-4pm, 5-7 years, 10am-1pm and 3-5pm, 8-12 years, 10am-3pm, teens 12-4pm.

Chelsea FC Soccer School Venues across SW London 020 7957 8220 m / / May Half Term and throughout Summer Holidays London Soccer School For boys and girls aged 4-13. All abilities welcome, times vary according to course, from £30.

Cricket Dynamics Venues across Wimbledon and Wandsworth 07946 559572 28-31 May and 22 July – 23 August Holiday Courses May half term and summer holiday tennis courses for Under 7s, Under 10s and Under 13s, for beginners to advanced. Times vary depending on age groups, see website for details. Single day play options available.

Fulham FC Foundation Venues in Fulham 0870 442 5432, May Half Term and throughout Summer Holidays Holiday Courses Soccer schools run every day, 9am to 3pm. Play tons of football, learn new skills and make lots of new friends. Taking place at Fulham FC’s Training Ground in Motspur Park, Bishops Park in Fulham, Dundonald Rec in Wimbledon and other venues across South West London. Prices start from £21 per day, with discounts for booking the whole week. 3-14 years.

GoApe Battersea Battersea Park SW11 4NJ Throughout May Half Term and Summer Holidays GoApe Battersea is open 9am-5pm every day throughout the break, with its Tree Top Junior (1 hour activity), £21. For the fully grown Tarzans and Janes, you won’t even feel like you’re in the city as you’ll be fully immersed in the pursuit to conquer some of the longest and highest crossings with the Tree Top Adventure (3 hour activity), from £28. Their friendly instructors are ready and waiting to propel you into a leafy world of canopies too, including bridges and zip wires that guarantee a family vibe across the tree tops.

RHS Garden, Wisley

Playball London Holiday Camps Venues in SW London 020 8123 2217 28-31 May and 22 July – 30 August Playball holiday camps are tailored to meet the needs of younger children and are based on the fundamental sport skills for just about any ball sport you can imagine! Water slides, treasure hunts, water fights and a whole host of other exciting activities all make up a morning at a Playball holiday camp. Age 3-9.

SwimWay Balham, East Sheen, Putney, Kensington, Kew Gardens and Wimbledon 020 8871 3972, Dates throughout May Half Term and Summer Holidays 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.

South West Swimming School Venues in SW London 020 8767 2723, 28-31 May and 22 July – 16 August

May Half Term and Summer Splash Courses Lessons run 9am-12pm in 4:1, 2:1 or 1:1 classes. 40% discount offered for children with special needs.

Youngstars Multi-Sports and Activity Camp Balham, Clapham, Parsons Green, Putney and Wimbledon 07749 343116, 28-31 May and 22 July – 30 August May Half Term and Summer Holiday Camps Plenty of fun, games and excitement whilst kids are introduced to all aspects of sports in an all inclusive and noncompetitive environment. 3-12 years, times and prices vary so see website for details.

Days Out Family Gardening Festival 25 May - 2 Jun RHS Garden Wisley Join RHS Garden Wisley for the Family Gardening Festival where they’ll be inspiring young people to get outside, get involved and get gardening. It is your chance to try your hand at lots of practical gardening activities and garden themed crafts. There will be an outdoor music maze, ‘pot to plate’ cookery, society stands and handson growing activities.

Upbeat Music

Summer fun at Playball

Developing resilience with Role Models

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Summer Holiday Activities Book a staycation in a chic Sussex house  Sussex is such a fantastic destination for South West Londoners. Simply pack up the kids and you can be on the beach or out in idyllic countryside in under 1.5 hours – perfect for a weekend break or longer holiday. Cabins and Castles is the brainchild of erstwhile SW Londoner and now Sussex resident Zoe. She has personally vetted a quirky, chic selection of the best holiday properties in the county – many of which welcome children but don’t make any sacrifices when it comes to style. The website is grouped into helpful sections such as ‘family friendly’ ‘dog friendly’ and ‘by the sea’, so it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. Psst: Their booking fee is half Airbnb! Call Zoe on 07773 789 863

Developing skills

Role Models holiday courses Chelsea Academy, SW10 0AB 22 July - 23 August Resilience, Collaboration, Leadership or Creative Problem Solving; Age 8-11 Brilliant Me and My Mind/Confidence; Age 6-7 All our courses are delivered through active learning and will challenge and empower your child, 10am-3pm, £395 Wellington College, RG45 7PU 15 - 28 July Residential Course, combining all four of our Life Skills courses to offer a unique summer experience for children aged 11-14.

Developing skills Spark4Kids Venues in Dulwich 020 8090 1444 29 July - 2 August and 12-16 August Summer Holiday Computer Coding Workshops Spark4Kids are running all-day holiday workshops that introduce children to computer coding through the medium of games. Available are courses on Minecraft Modding, Roblox Coding, Robotics, Games Design, MicroBit & Arduino coding, Python, HTML/CSS, JavaScript and Unity/C# in a fun, engaging environment. Ages 5-7 years, 8-12 and 13-16.

NumberWorks’nWords Battersea 187a Lavender Hill, Clapham Junction SW11 5TB 020 7223 1882 26-30 August Back to School Course A curriculum-linked programme designed by experts to deliver the results your child needs (catch-up, extension or exam prep), while also building confidence and increasing love of learning. 10am-12pm, call for prices. Plus maths tutoring, English tutoring and individual tuition programmes.

Languages Et Patati Patata  Venues across SW London 07966 893674, 22-26 July, 29 July – 2 August, 5-9 August Fun French Summer Day Camps Join the award winning French

Book Camber Sands Cottage in Sussex with Cabins and Castles

24 Families South West • May/June 2019

Book an Italian villa with child friendly activities  Finding time for yourself as well as making sure quality time is spent with your children is a challenge for any parent—Villa Radicata has it covered with a variety of activities, true Italian hospitality, delicious food and peace of mind, knowing your children are happy with their Italian ‘Nonna’. Villa Radicata is ideal for families: it sleeps up to 12 people, offers stunning lake and mountain views, a fenced pool and garden, stair gates for little escapers and plenty of toys and baby equipment (highchairs/cots/sterilizer). Choose from: yoga, fitness classes, cooking lessons, mini yoga, art, baby Italian, massage for mum and baby, excursions, shopping and horse riding.  Contact Rita on 0039 349 5018679 / 07785 571 292  immersion programme and learn French without leaving London. Fun activities including French music, French art, patisserie, French coding, French musical, sport…and it’s all 100% French fun! Age 4-10, plus a Teen GCSE programme, 9am-3pm.

Kidslingo Ravenstone Primary School, Balham 0796 1107707, Zoe Olivier Two-day fun packed Summer French and Spanish holiday clubs for ages 6-11. French club 2829th July and Spanish club 28th29th August. £50 per day 9-3pm with wraparound care available at an extra cost.

Alpine French School  French Alps +33 4 50 79 08 38 Dates throughout July and August Alpine French School Summer Camp Learn French at a French Summer Camp in the beautiful French Alps. An amazing camp in a fantastic location! A residential French Summer Camp including sporting, cultural and social activities, excursions, French lessons and full-board accommodation. 11-17 years. They also run French Day Camps, French GCSE and A-Level courses and Family French Courses. See website for details.

It’s fun learning French or Spanish with Kidslingo

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Arts & Crafts

Paint Pots St Mary The Boltons, The Boltons SW10 9TB 15 July – 2 August Paint Pots Fun 3 weeks of summer fun, exploring arts, crafts, music, games and other seasonal activities for ages 3-6, 9.30am-12.30pm, £45, 9.30am3.30pm, £65. Led by fully qualified Nursery School and Creative Classes teachers.

Music, Dance & Drama

confidence working towards a final performance of 'The Greatest Showman’. 9.30am-3.30pm, £180.00 per child (get £10 off if you book before Friday 12 July.) 19-22 August 'The Lion King' Summer Camp Children aged 4-13 will be transported through four days of script learning, singing, dancing, making new friendships and building confidence working towards a final performance of 'The Lion King’. 9.30am-3.30pm, £180.00 per child (get £10 off if you book before Friday 12 July.) Venue TBC.

Sparks Ignite Ravenstone Primary School, Balham SW12 9SS 020 71019329 29 July – 9 August Summer Shoots Action-packed summer camps full of movie making fun. Young movie makers discover new skills behind and in front of the camera, as they spend a week having fun, producing and performing in their own movie masterpiece before sharing their films in a special Cast and Crew screening event. Age 4-18, 9am3pm, £165.

Stagecoach Battersea Allsorts drama  Notting Hill Prep School W11 1QQ 020 8969 3249 Summer drama workshops Popular and fun drama for ages 4-6 and 7- 11, 11 – 14. The perfect way to keep your child entertained and stimulated in a creative and structured way.

Funky Monkey Keyboard Classes Clapham and Sevenoaks 01732 457100, 20-24 August Summer Holiday Workshop Learn famous tunes in just one week, with loads of art activities based around music, plus a last day concert and presentation. Age 4-8, 9.30am12pm, £110 (£100 sibling discount)

Little Voices Sinclair House School, Fullham SW6 3LF, 020 8088 0113 29 July – 1 August The Greatest Showman' Summer Camp Children aged 4-13 will be transported through four days of script learning, singing, dancing, making new friendships and building

Northcote Lodge, Bolingbroke Grove SW11 6EL 07956 288928 29 July – 2 August Summer Holiday Performing Arts Camp 5 days (or mornings) of dance, acting and singing with experienced West End professionals. Come and put on a show for friends and family to enjoy. You don't have to attend Stagecoach classes everyone is welcome! Childcare vouchers accepted. 9.30am12.30pm for 4-6 year olds, £120 or 10am-4pm for 7-16 year olds, from £130.

Stagecoach Tooting & Merton Park Graveney School, Welham Road, Tooting SW17 9BU 020 8942 3502 12-16 August Early Stages Summer Workshop Theme to be announced. Age 4-7, 9.30am-12.30pm with a performance on the Friday at 12pm, £130 (£105 for siblings). 12-16 August Main School Summer Workshop Theme to be announced. Age 8-18, 10am-4pm with a performance on the Friday at 5.30pm, £160 (siblings £130).

Stagecoach Wimbledon Kings College School, Southside, Wimbledon Common SW19 4TT 020 8946 3400 22-26 July and 29 July - 2 Aug Matilda the Musical Put on a show in 5 days and perform in a theatre at the end of the week for family and friends. No experience required just lots of enthusiasm. Age 7-16. Oliver Week Five fun packed mornings of singing, dance and drama preparing for a show in the theatre on the final day.

Sport Little Gym Smugglers Way SW18 1DB 020 8874 6567,

Stagecoach Fulham

22 July – 30 August Holiday Gym Camps Put on your super cape, it’s time for Summer Adventure and Skill Thrill Camps, full of exciting, creative missions and gymnastics drills, to exercise your muscles, imagination and cooperation skills. Schedule a day, or few days, or several few weeks sessions. Age 3-8, 9.30am-12.30pm Monday–Friday, and 2-5pm on Wednesdays, age 6-12 Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-5pm, members £39, non-members £46. There are also drop in classes available.

All Stars Cricket Barnes, Sheen, Putney, Wimbledon, Fulham At the Spencer Cricket club. All Stars Cricket is a programme aimed at children aged 5-8 years old to give them a great first experience in cricket. Sessions are accredited by the England & Wales Cricket Board. Your child will develop key skills in a fun and safe environment where parents can join in too and help create #BigMoments you’ll both treasure! Sessions begin May 2019.

Stagecoach Fulham All Saints C of E Primary School, Bishops Avenue, SW6 6ED 0845 2025 727 24-28 July Holiday Workshop Over the course of five action-packed days, experience every enthralling aspect of live theatre; casting, directing, rehearsing, and performing on stage. Learn a variety of numbers from popular West End productions and on the final day perform a unique and brand new production to family and friends. Little Performers – 4-6 years, 9.15am12.30pm, £168 (siblings £148), Big Performers – 6-18 years, 9am-4pm, £198 (siblings £158).

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All Stars Cricket summer programme

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DISTRIBUTORS WANTED... Families South West Magazine 

Summer Holiday Clubs One week of acting, dancing & singing with West End professionals! Tara Theatre, Earlsfield

The Greatest Showman 29th July - 2nd August, ages 6-9

Harry Potter

27th - 30th Aug, ages 8+

is looking for distributors in the  local area Do you have a car and a few spare hours a month? Join our delivery team and earn some pocket money.

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Can swimming help the mental health of our children? By Claire Harrison, owner of Swimming Rocks


any of you will have seen the Swim England #loveswimming advert. This industry-wide campaign centres on a film showing the extremes of fast-paced modern life, and the impact it can have on mental health.  A new research study for Swim England and the Health commission also cites that swimming has significantly reduced the symptoms of anxiety or depression for 1.4 million adults in Britain.  But what about the effects on our children? Today’s challenges for our children Online pressure, school and social circles are having a significant psychological impact on today’s youngsters: 7+exams, entrance assessments, GCSEs all carry high

stress levels and can have a lasting impact on the development of impressionable minds. At Swimming Rocks, we are encouraged by the current awareness in relation to mental health awareness, but we have also been shocked by some of the statistics:

The mental health charity Mind estimates that every year, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem. told us some interesting facts in relation to children: • 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year. • 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. • 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. So can swimming help combat this problem? Absolutely! And the benefits shouldn’t be underestimated either.

Stress Relief: The endorphins that are released during any exercise are known to combat the stress hormones that are released by the body and the rhythmic actions of swimming and the environment in which you learn to swim can all have a positive counter effect on both anxiety and behaviour. Brain Development: A scientific study carried out by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research found that children who learn to swim earlier reach major cognitive and developmental milestones including speech, literacy, numeracy and visual motor skills much earlier than their peers and non-swimmers. A boost in blood flow can help improve memory, mood, clarity, and focus and can help children to sleep better, which every parent knows can help with daily stress and behaviour! Physical development: In babies and toddlers, swimming helps the development of fine and gross motor skills, improves cardiovascular function, builds strong muscles, increases lung capacity and improves weight management and overall fitness. We could go on and on! The Griffiths Institute study also cited that “Children who learn to swim by the age of five gain significant developmental advantages compared with children who don’t start the activity at a young age” So, in today’s fast paced world, getting children into the pool and learning to swim can take them away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. But what’s more, it gives them the skills they need to enjoy a healthy, anxiety reducing activity forever.

Swimming Rocks are a well-respected London swimming tuition provider, offering a fantastic learn to swim programme to babies, children and adults. Recognised locally as a leading swimming tuition company delivering progressive lessons with a strong reputation based on effortless service and a hugely experienced team of swim coaches. Private (1:1) or shared (2:1) lessons alongside small groups for babies. Term Time lessons and crash courses. Venues in Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Fulham, Marylebone and Golders Green 07557 051 904

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Why choose a private (or semi) private swimming class? Q: We asked Swimway what parents should look for when choosing a swimming class for their child… A: Teacher in the water and no floatation device Because SwimWay specialises in private or semi-private lessons, the children receive full, direct support inside the water from their teacher. This allows us to use only a kickboard as a floatation device without sacrificing any safety measures. Other swim schools may use backpacks, shark wings and noodles, which inevitably delay the learning process. A good programme will work on

fundamentals such as breath control, buoyancy, body position, gliding and correct leg kick action before introducing the full stroke. Students that are given the correct core elements will thrive, and become good swimmers. The most important aspects of the classes are the lesson quality, teachers’ enthusiasm and, we feel, our unique methodology of only using kickboards and no other floatation devices. Of course, the environment and water quality/temperature also play an

Photo: Swimway

enormous factor in students’ progress. A: Private swimming lessons mean the focus is on your child It can be frustrating for parents when their child does not receive enough attention in their classes and falls behind other students. Our teaching methodology has been specifically designed for small personal classes; it works to the individual needs of each student. These bespoke children’s classes begin with teaching children to use their own buoyancy in the water. Our experienced and highlytrained swimming instructors will focus on your child for the full 30 minute duration of the class. This not only helps to build rapport between teacher and student, but it also helps children build confidence in the water. Our students know that their SwimWay coach is right there in the water supporting them. In large public classes, the instructor may have to split their

time between 8 or more other students. That doesn’t leave much time for individual focus and attention. This also means private classes are safer because your children are supervised throughout the whole lesson. SwimWay instructors are some of the most highly trained instructors in London when it comes to safety. All our teachers participate in safety training at the start of each term, which is specially produced by SwimWay for our private pool locations. SwimWay is the leading home visit swimming school in London. Since 2005, the company has developed a reputation for providing high quality swimming lessons for parents and babies, children and adults. Locations include exclusive private developments, homes, schools and gyms around London, as well as 11 sites open to the general public. For further information please email or visit

0208 679 4243

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Top ten reasons why we love baby swimming, say Water Babies Baby swimming is an exciting and enriching experience for both you and your baby. Not only does it teach vital lifesaving skills, but it also enhances the way babies and toddlers learn too. It is pretty amazing! Here are our top ten reasons why we love baby swimming: 1. It teaches water safety Tragically, drowning is the third-biggest cause of accidental death among children under 5 in the UK. Learning to get to the side, hold on, get out and/or swim could save your child’s life one day, so at Water Babies we teach vital safety techniques from birth. 2. It’s great for their physical and mental health With childhood obesity levels still worryingly high, swimming is a great way of getting little ones exercising from a young age. Each Water Babies lesson provides a complete physical work-out, strengthening your baby's heart and lungs and in turn aiding development of the brain—including stimulating all 5 senses (taste, smell, touch, sight and sound). And with each lesson burning up to 300 calories, you’ll get a work-out, too! 3. It promotes bonding Skin-to-skin contact strengthens the bond between you and your little one–and with 30 Families South West • May/June 2019

mums still generally having the most bonding opportunities, swimming is a fantastic way for dads to spend some precious one-to-one time with their babies. 4. It boosts confidence Introducing children to water at a very young age helps prevent a fear of water developing later. Exercises that involve moving independently in water and holding on to the side are wonderful for your baby’s confidence. Many parents also find that handling their baby in water is great for them, too—especially if they’re anxious about water or can’t swim. You’ll be so proud of what your baby can do! 5. It develops their co-ordination Being in the water helps improve co-ordination and balance, and learning to swim with toys will help your little one’s co-ordination and motor skills. A 2009 study by the Norwegian University of Science & Technology found that babies who swim have better balance and can grasp objects more easily than non-swimmers. 6. It builds their strength Buoyancy and water-resistance means that

babies exercise more muscles, more effectively, in water than on land. Finnish research showed that swimming babies crawled later but walked earlier, thanks to their excellent muscle control. 7. It develops their learning skills Responding to repetitive voice commands can also sharpen your baby’s mental skills and increase their levels of understanding. The Early Years Swimming Project at Griffith University found that by the time they start school, children who swim in the early years are ahead of non-swimmers by 6 to 15 months when it comes to solving maths problems, counting, language and following instructions. 8. It enhances their wellbeing Warm water relaxes your baby, and swimming stimulates their appetite; for you, the good news is improved sleeping and eating patterns! 9. It provides structure Weekly swimming classes contribute to structuring your week and your day, providing a regular fun and social activity (and, just possibly, a little sanity…) 10. You’re never too young to start swimming Even the NHS agrees! You don’t need to wait until your baby has had his or her vaccinations before they go swimming (even underwater). To find out more about baby swimming visit

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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

To advertise Call:

0208 696 9680

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Education - Tutoring

Why are parents turning to tutoring? Around a quarter of children in the UK are being tutored. Claire Winter looks at why one in four families are seeking extra help outside the classroom.


arents often get extra tuition for their children to prepare them for important entrance exams or the 11+. They also get them to help boost their child’s skills in a subject in which they aren’t doing well or to help them excel in a subject, so they can impress the schools to which they are applying. Modern technology means kids can be tutored virtually via Skype or Zoom and its big business. It’s estimated that we spend £2 billion a year on private tutoring, which makes us one of the top spenders on tuition in the world. Many parents believe that tutoring can be an amazing resource that gives children extra confidence, reassurance and skills to stop them feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of schoolwork. Others argue that extra tutoring creates more pressure on children. Many children are busy already with lots of extracurricular activities and homework. Beware of the effects of too much pressure Ex-teacher Victoria Kennedy, who is now a confidence and image coach ( takes the view that tutoring needs careful management to ensure it doesn’t result have a negative impact on a child. She says: “When I worked as a teacher in Hampshire and London, I found that children with extra pressure and expectations from parents struggled with failure, needed more encouragement and

32 Families South West • May/June 2019

guidance to complete tasks and often suffered from a sense of overwhelm.”

Is tutoring creating an educational gap? The education charity the Sutton Trust acknowledges the importance of tutoring but worries that extra tuition is causing the educational gap to widen between children from affluent economic backgrounds and those from poorer economic backgrounds. For example, around 40% of children are receiving help in London compared to around 25% in the rest of the country. Sir Peter Lampl, chair of the Sutton Trust, says: “Private tuition is widespread and increasingly so. Nearly half of teachers have tutored and a quarter of teenagers have been tutored. But with costs of at least £25 per session, many cannot afford to benefit from this extra support, which exacerbates education inequalities. The Trust is recommending that the government introduce a means-tested voucher scheme to enable lower-income families to provide tuition for their children. CEO and founder of the charity, Action Tutoring, Susannah Hardyman, also highlights the importance of tutoring. "We know tutoring works to improve grades and this impact is not limited to young people from high-income backgrounds either. In the UK today nearly a third of all pupils are classified as disadvantaged and less than half of this group,

48%, will meet national standards in their SATs at Year 6, compared to 67% of their more privileged peers. On joining secondary school, it's much harder for these pupils to catch up and by the end of Year 11, they are, on average, 12 months behind. As more and more young people access private tutors, the gap in attainment between disadvantaged young people and their peers will grow. Our charity uses the power of volunteer tutors to bridge the gap and ensure tutoring support can be accessed by every pupil who needs it, not just those who can afford it." The option for all children to have access to tutoring whatever their economic status needs to explored at Government level too. My children attend a secondary school where gaps in knowledge are quickly identified, and pupils are asked to attend booster sessions before and after school so that they can catch up. Not all schools can offer this and long term, it is a situation that needs to be addressed.

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Education - Tutoring

Choosing a tutor Factors to consider when choosing a tutor/centre: By Gwenda Jones of Mrs Jones Education Most children benefit from and prefer to work within a small group. On searching the internet or your local paper, you will find many people offering either one to one or group tuition. Many children find one to one tuition tedious and uninspiring. Make sure the tutor(s) are qualified, DBS checked, and have substantial proven experience of teaching specifically towards the 11 plus exams. Check their pass rate and ask for testimonials. Always check the size of ‘teaching’ classes. Some organizations have very large teaching class sizes, which can be more than 25 or even 30 in a class. At Mrs Jones Education, we believe teaching class sizes should be no more than 8–11 per group, allowing the teacher to work on an individual basis with each child. Our timed mock exam practice classes are in a larger group to create an exam ‘atmosphere’ and to allow pupils to learn to focus and to improve their technique and speed.

Make sure the tuition includes maths, English, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. It is essential that all four subjects are taught to a high enough level to meet the 11+ examination requirements. In our experience, most children will sit the entrance examinations for a range of schools, which require various combinations of all four subjects. It is therefore important to fully prepare for all subjects. Check that the tutor is knowledgeable about the entry requirements and application procedure for all State Grammar and Independent Schools in your area. The tutor should be able to give you advice on the most suitable school choices for your child according to your child’s ability, interests and personality. You may also decide to enter your child for a scholarship or bursary where all subjects (and possibly science) are needed. Additionally, your child is likely to need interview practice and advice on interview technique. Ensure that the tutor you choose is able to give appropriate guidance and advice in these areas. Check that the fees are inclusive of class books, past papers, work books and other resources and equipment, as the cost of these over the year can be substantial. Remember— you usually get what you pay for.

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Education - Tutoring NumberWorks ‘n Words and thought of it as a fun after school club rather than extra work or tutoring! Kit and her team are very experienced and provide a fun and stimulating environment which is really motivating. My daughter covered all the necessary areas of the curriculum needed for her 11+, she was very well prepared for her exams and did extremely well with offers from every school she applied for.”

“A fun after school club rather than extra work or tutoring!” By Kit Somers of NumberWorks ‘n Words

NumberWorks ‘n Words arrived in Southfields in September 2017 and since opening we’ve loved getting to know lots of local families in and around SW18. The best thing has been the smiling faces of the children as they arrive for their tutoring sessions. We’ve celebrated some great successes with parents reporting improved results in school, an increase in confidence and a renewed enjoyment of English and Maths. What we are most proud of

however, is that the children never seem reluctant to come to their sessions and we constantly hear the words ‘they love it’. We have also enjoyed success with pupils who come to us for preparation for entrance exams and GCSEs. One parent whose daughter came to us to prepare for the 11+ said: “My daughter absolutely loved going to

We like to think we are more than just a tutoring business but a real part of the local community. In February, we sponsored Window Wanderland Southfields which gets local residents into creative mode decorating their windows with amazing displays which the local children love walking around and enjoying on a cold winter’s evening. Earlier this year we campaigned to improve safety for children on a nearby zebra crossing and heard in response that the council will be repainting it and looking at fitting brighter lights. We have children coming to our centre from schools all over Southfields and Earlsfield, but NumberWorks ‘n Words centres now serve South West London really well with friendly centres to be found in both Battersea and Wimbledon.

Southfields call 020 8870 8300 email

Battersea call 020 7223 1882 email

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Education - Tutoring that exam preparation needs to adapt to both encourage and inspire children to think creatively during assessments.

Encouraging creativity in exam preparation By Janie Richardson of Yellowbird education Competition for limited places at top London schools has led to tutoring becoming the acceptable norm with families often choosing to supplement expensive education to secure their child a school place.

innovative testing is to avoid children being taught restrictive exam techniques and instead allows them to obtain a clear well rounded picture of a child’s academic potential rather than their ability to obtain knowledge.

Many recognise such harmful pressure on children is not sustainable and thus welcomed the well documented ‘creative assessment’ introduced by the London 11+ Consortium earlier this year. The logic behind the new

Yellowbird Education have long identified the need to introduce creativity into school admission processes. Their hugely popular holiday workshops are carefully designed with a fun but educational approach acknowledging

During lengthy school holidays, Yellowbird offers small group workshops for children of all abilities that are interactive and forward thinking. Their innovative fresh approach equips children with key skills whilst building vital confidence to think differently. As such, creative writing becomes an enjoyable lifelong skill rather than a means to passing grueling exams—a valuable asset on any educational journey. Exam practice is vital, but if structured well, can be a fun and dynamic exercise allowing children to learn whilst making new friends. So whilst admissions processes are undoubtedly changing, exam preparation in all its many guises still has a role to play ensuring children have the creative skills with which to shine!

Nurture Ignite Achieve A co-educational Preparatory School for pupils aged 4-11 From the moment a child walks through our gates, aged four, we place them at the heart of everything we do, with an unfailing emphasis on creating the conditions and culture that each child in our care needs in order to thrive and achieve their potential.

If you would like to find out more about the school, contact the Registrar on   Tel: 020 8870 4133 •

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Party like there is a tomorrow By Ara Yoo

2019 has to be the year of sustainability, with talks of banning plastic altogether, a good place to start our effort could be at our birthday parties.  It is all too easy to simply buy plastic plates, cutlery and plastic party bags.  If we start by break down our sustainability effort into small practical actions, we’ll make it a lot easier and fun. So let’s tackle children’s birthday parties!    1. Today is a gift - it’s called present In my younger daughter’s class, we have agreed that a £5 contribution can replace a gift. And OMG my life changed. Instead of a plastic toy packaged in more plastic, we slip £5 into a home-made card. The birthday child gets to buy something they really want and everyone wins—the guest, the birthday child and the planet! If you do buy a gift, think about the amount of plastic involved and consider wrapping it with brown paper.

2. Little bag full of dreams Considering we make an effort in sourcing, buying and assembling those pesky party bags, let’s consider filling them with something other than plastic. Recently, for my older daughter’s birthday party, we made our own party bags out of Evening Standards, got a £2 plant from a local flower shop for each of the guests and complemented it with a nice quote and a sweet. Hans Anderson’s quote read “Just living is not enough, one must have

sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” Guests loved it! Share your ideas with us via Facebook. 3. Happy belly, happy soul My dad used to say this. And yes, we want to feed our children well so try something easy, healthy and alternative to meat. Humous spread on toast with slices of cucumber and carrot. Yum! Also, I have two sets of IKEA children’s plates and cups and I use them in order to avoid single-use plastic. Planning your child’s party can

Ara makes her own sustainable party bags with recycled newspaper!

involve deep-breathing and military style planning. This annual event has children jumping for joy but many parents breaking into a cold sweat. Here are some excellent party providers, who will help you plan and deliver the perfect day.

Great for small parties

Perfect for Baby Showers, Gender Reveal and Bridal Showers

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Parties Playball London Parties Playball is a dedicated family of individuals who want to help every child discover and enjoy the wonders of sport. Their focus is on combining fun, engaging activities with educational scenarios to build a passion for sport in young people. Their children’s sports party entertainers and the activities that come with them, seek to achieve this same goal through a bespoke party service that will blow you away. Does your child want to enter an enchanting new world? Or fly like a superhero? They can craft games and adventures that will combine physical activity with enticing themes to ensure that every partygoer has fun! Sit back, relax and watch them organise an age-focused set of activities that are tailored to your child, creating the best active party they’ve ever attended! In a nutshell, Playball will tailormake an active party centred around your child’s passions! 020 8123 2217

“From a large selection of vetted performances, we make sure our entertainers have what it takes to impress the young and the restless looking for original entertainment. Juggling acts, stilt walkers, fire eaters, puppet shows, mad cap magicians and clowns, face painters …. and much more! – we seek out the best and most unique entertainment option for your party.” Create unique parties with the Action Station 0870 770 2705

Sporty mini party

PARTIES! Wonderfully fun musical parties for your under-5’s! Guitar-accompanied songs with actions, joining in, jumping and dancing, instruments, puppet and parachute! The perfect party for little ones. Call 020 8677 6871

Adam Ants offers amazing parties at affordable prices. Adam Ants and his talented team make sure their parties are non stop fun. With something for all ages: magic, balloon modelling, puppets, music, dancing, games, face painting. They also offer amazing disco/sports parties or the ever popular a Build a Bear party. You can hire tables and chairs/bouncy castles/soft play and ball ponds. Why not invite your favourite character to the party from Mickey Mouse to Pepper Pig and many more? 020 8959 1045 / 07969 121094

Blueberry Playsongs Parties

Memorable interactive fun filled children’s entertainment With more than 20 years experience, the Action Station offers unique entertainment solutions, tailored to the age of the children, your preferred theme and budget. Specialising in Imaginative Interactive Storytelling, a team of professional actors and actresses share their passion with their audience, taking them along their unique adventures. Choose from mermaids, witches, fairies or princesses, knights, pirates, cowboys, and many more! Alternatively their Spy, Cheerleader or Drama parties for older children, create a unique, fun and creative experience for all.

Adam Ants parties

Your child can enjoy a sporty mini birthday party for ages 2+ with a focus on energetic and fun activities for all. All their games are non competitive and cover many different multi sports skills. They can even cater for themed parties. eg super heroes and princesses. 020 3773 9120 07447087842

Blueberry parties are lively, interactive musical parties for ages 0-5. One of their talented entertainers will play guitar and sing songs with joining in, actions, jumping games, dancing and instruments. Shaky egg maracas, parachute games and a puppet will add to the fun—perfect for little ones! A 45-minute session in London is £125. “Blueberry is wonderful entertainment for little ones; fun, cheerful and gentle.” 020 8677 6871

Little House of Science Parties Book an amazing science party and get 60 minutes of mind blowing scientific experiments and demonstrations, including chemical reactions, air vortexes and mini robots. The parties are for children aged 4-11 and can be held in your home or your chosen venue in London.

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Perform Parties

Perform Parties Perform parties are high energy, fun and totally infectious. Based around a colourful theme, Perform’s enthusiastic party leaders use a magical mix of songs, games and laughter guaranteed to ensure every child is part of an enthralling adventure. From the moment the lively leaders walk in the door, they'll give your child and friends the best birthday party they've ever had. “As Hugo went to sleep, he asked if that superhero could come back for his party next year because she was so amazing!’ Jessica Cuatrecasas (Previous party booker) To find out more or book a party call 0207 255 9120 or visit

Richard Pinner Stagecoach Parties

Stagecoach Parties Stagecoach Birthday Parties are perfect for 4-10 yrs: Choose your theme (Moana/Pirates/Popstars/Princesses/Jungle Book) and they’ll make a show for family to enjoy at the end of the party. Children learn songs and routines from their chosen theme and weave them into a story. Perfect, bespoke party fun. Stagecoach Murder Mystery Parties - Solve the mystery with your group of friends. Ideal for children aged 10+. Led by a professional actor who comes in as the detective to help unravel the drama. Scripts and props included.

With Richard Pinner’s full party packages the children will be entertained from start to finish leaving you to enjoy yourself as much as your young guests. The show unofficially starts as soon as they arrive and doesn’t end until the last one has their coat on! Leaving you with nothing to worry about except enjoying the moment. 020 7352 3524

Playball Parties

Action Station

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Canapés Gastronomiques

Allsorts Drama for children Allsorts offers fantastic original themed drama parties. Understanding how important birthday parties are to children, they want them to have the most fabulous party ever! The parties are always a whirl of excitement, fly to the world of make believe, become a Film star, Magician or Detective. Explore the drama of murder mysteries. The only limit is your imagination! 020 8767 5298 or 020 8969 3249

PAINTING & DECORATING Interior / Exterior Experienced, Reliable, Clean Fully Guaranteed / Insured FREE ADVICE & QUOTE

Twizzle parties  The Twizzle team organise and run the best parties in town! All their entertainers are professionals, many with a background in theatre and television. Some are also members of the Magic Circle. Whether you want a traditional birthday tea party at home for a few of your child’s friends, or whether you want a sports party for the whole party at an outside venue, they can help with your party. Twizzle can be as involved as you like. If you want them to simply provide a bouncing castle, or food boxes, then they can do that. If you want them to run the entire party, then they can do that too. They also cater for different budgets and can help at your budget. Traditional birthday tea parties, sports parties, and theme parties like Pirates, Fairies and Teddy Bear picnic.

Canapés Gastronomiques specialises in food miniaturisation for children, teens and adult parties. They offer creative fun foods with big flavours that have nutritional value too; mini buffets or food boxes; small decorated cakes to fit with your party theme; mini cocktail parties for teens. Parents can also enjoy culinary delights for every type of party: cocktail, designer teas, buffets and themed events.

John:- James & Lamont

020 8462 4646 - 07802 535695

For menu suggestions and prices, please email or contact Linda on 020 7794 2017 or 07774314201

Small party venue If you are looking for an intimate space for a small party, The Living Room Place venue in Furzedown, might be just right for you. It works really well for the more quiet parties, maybe for a small art or craft party or for very young children. There is no garden but there is a separate room with a kitchen. The space is brand new, cosy and all white so easy to decorate, it only costs £30 an hour.

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Finding space for YOU So, you imagined that when your children went to school, you’d have an extra 6 hours a day to play with, right?  In reality, those 6 hours a day get eaten up in a different way.  Of course, you’ll be class representative, join the PTA and ferry your children back and forward to lots of extra-curricular activities.  Take a moment to ask yourself: would you be better to dedicate some of this time to yourself?  Will that help you feel less stressed and overwhelmed?  Will your family be better off with a happy and well balanced you?  Create a safe haven candidate—help them to take responsibility for When you feel you have no time, you may feel their own things (and the mess they create) you have no space too. Create a space where early in life. Their future spouses/partners will you have room to think—a sofa that is clear of thank you for it! homework, a dining table that is clear of the remains of the last meal or a room Try a kids swap that is out of bounds for the I often observe that some parents won’t children. Clear physical space ‘Me time’ is not just ask for help for fear of criticism, whilst helps generate clear mental others won’t offer for fear of nice to have. It is an space. Creating it interfering. The truth is we all have absolute necessity. and keeping it that way family and friends who want to So slow down and means you won’t support us if we allow them to do so. reconnect with constantly have to tidy it Find a person whose children you up for it to become what what brings you joy. could tolerate looking after regularly you need. and agree a swap. You look after their children one month and they do it for you Have your fun with the kids too the next month. Quid pro quo is a great It is easy to become resentful about all the time way to overcome guilt and begin to be we dedicate to our children when we don’t supported. have enough for ourselves. Having more fun time together can drastically increase your own Focus on 15 levels of joy, and bring you a step closer to When we are overwhelmed having time for you. with our schedules we So create a list (in your safe haven) of all the desperately crave space things your child wants to do that you enjoy for ourselves and it seems too. That could be going for a walk around a impossible to get. Don’t stately home with an amazing playground or target Nirvana. Just 15 visiting a museum with a great café. If you love mins a day can make a games make sure you have the ones YOU like in the house… use these times as a chance to connect with the child in you as well as the one(s) in front of you.

massive difference to how you feel. Start small and build these short amounts of time into your schedule, even if this is initially just an extended shower or starting your day 15 minutes earlier.. Rather than focusing on your need for an hour or two of spare time, experience the joy you can extract from 15 minutes of the same activity. Are three favourite songs enough to bring you joy? Or a single chapter of a book? Both of these things are better than no time for you. And once you recognise the joy you can get from 15 minutes, you will be motivated to find more time. When you are happy, your children will be happy. When you take time for you, you will be re-energised for your family. So in their interests, take care of yourself.

Susie Ramroop is a mum and a Transformational Coach

Delegate your Top 3 If we don’t know how to spend our time we end up ‘full’ but not fulfilled. We do chores that someone else could do, like tidying and cleaning. Yes, these things have to be done but you can perhaps do less of them and there is definitely room to delegate IF you are willing to let go and choose instead to spend time doing something that gives you joy. List the top 10 things you are juggling, pick three that you don’t like and delegate them; that might mean outsourcing, or finding someone else at home to take responsibility. Don’t rule out your child as a possible

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What’s On Leeds Castle

The Golden Hinde

If you only do one thing this month… Photo: Neil James

Natural History Museum From 17 May Museum of the Moon. Since 2016 the Moon has been circling the globe, lighting up spaces from Bilbao to Beijing including abbeys and swimming pools. This six-metre model features meticulously detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, ambient moonlight and an evolving soundscape, and will be at the Museum in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, accompanied by an exciting programme of events for space enthusiasts of all ages. Plus, join interactive theatre-makers Coney in Companion: Moon, a free experience where you can join in or observe as multiple art forms combine in a beautiful performance. Dates include 17 and 18 May, 15 June, 20 and 26 July.

Diary Dates ... Underbelly Festival 2019 Throughout May and June Underbelly Festival’s biggest family programme ever includes the ultimate family singalong Massaoke for Kids, the original adult and baby mixed bill comedy Screaming With Laughter and the wildly popular Fun Kids Radio Hour.

Living History Sleepovers The Golden Hinde SE1 Dates in May and June An amazing night-time adventure awaits at The Golden Hinde. Join other families as you step back in time to become the new crew of Sir Francis Drake's ship on this unforgettable voyage. Be prepared for an evening of immersive role play in costumes to see if you have what it takes to be an Elizabethan sailor. £45, age 6-11, 5pm-9am the following day.

Leeds Castle Maidstone ME17 1PL

Francesca Simon, Barnes Literature Festival Photo: © Helen Giles

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25-27 May Medieval Jousting Tournament. Thrill at the sight of armoured knights from England and France competing on powerful combat horses. Watch archery and firepower displays throughout the day with medieval music and living history encampments.

Barnes Literature Festival 11-12 May This is really one event not to miss: it is no less than London's largest dedicated children's literature festival. It is your chance to meet some of the UK's best authors and illustrators for a fun-filled weekend for children of all ages. The festival is centered around the lovely Barnes pond and is led by UK Laureate Lauren Child and master storytellers Judith Kerr, Michael Rosen, David Almond, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Francesca Simon, this year’s programme looks better than ever. Prices vary according to event but many are free. Mum2mum Market Ricards Lodge High School, Wimbledon and other venues across SW London 18 May and 13 July 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. 10am-12pm

Southbank Centre 19 May Southbank Sinfonia Family Concert. This interactive family concert explores more than 400 years of musical history. Audience members will learn how the orchestra has grown, hear how its instruments have changed and share in the amazing imagination of some of the world’s greatest ever composers. £4/£8. To 2 June Soundpit. Visitors will feel in a whole new way by playing an immersive musical instrument that links the senses. Using sand, graphics, music and motion-capture technology, Soundpit echoes synaesthesia, a phenomenon where a sense in one part of the body stimulates another sense at the same time, such as ‘hearing colour’. £8.

Fulham Palace 25 May Fulham Palace Unveiled! Be the first to see the brand new museum, temporary exhibition gallery and restored period rooms.

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Southbank Sinfonia Family Concert

The Showstoppers Kids Show, Underbelly Festival until 7th July

26 May Tudor May Day. Join the Palace for their first family fun day following the restoration of the Tudor Palace. Meet the May King and Queen, dance to music with our wandering minstrels and get hands on making a tussie mussie, a May crown or even candle rolling.

Barnardo’s triathlon challenge

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Chestnut Grove Theatre at Chestnut Grove Academy, Boundaries Road, SW12 8JZ 29 May – 1 June Balham’s award-wining theatre group, Southside, performs ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ by Douglas Adams, author of ‘The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’.

Take the opportunity to go and see the Magna Carta!

British Library 30 May Phoenix of Persia. Celebrate the launch of stunning new picture book The Phoenix of Persia with a spellbinding family storytelling event from author Sally Pomme Clayton. A legend from ancient Persia, the tale of Prince Zal and the Simorgh is a mythical exploration of forgiveness, family and what it means to be truly wise. 2-3.30pm, age 6+, from £7.

To sign up and download your fundraising pack visit Swim, cycle and run set distances in your own time. Free registration for the iTRI challenge open until June 14. The challenge can be completed at any time between June 1 and June 30 2019.

BFI Saturdays in May and June Saturday Film Clubs. These Saturday film clubs are a must for any child who loves film and wants to have fun! Topics cover everything from animation and adverts, to sci-fi and special effects. These clubs are hugely popular so book early. Mini Filmmakers for ages 8-1,) 10.30 – 12.30, Young Filmmakers for ages 12-15, 2-4.30pm.

Summer Vegan Pledge

Barnardo’s Tri event

Southside Players Dirk Gently

Sign up The perfect opportunity for those who are interested in trying veganism, to give it a go for the month of June, recipes, nutritional information, amazing offers and discounts.

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BYOB Comedy

Bach to Baby

BABIES AND TODDLERS NCT Bumps and Babies Group

The Bedford Pub

Riverside Pub, St George’s Wharf SW8 2LE Every Tuesday in May and June Come along at 2.30pm to meet up with other pregnant people or people with babies - completely free and nice drinks available. Contact Caroline Flint 07973 657 642, email

SW12 9HD Tuesdays and Fridays in May and June Baby Sensory classes and Pram Chorus. See website for details. Plus, they are running dance classes during October half term and hold a Big Fish Little Fish kids’ and parents’ “rave” every month, featuring top DJs, craft drop ins, bubble machine and parachute dance. 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 WithLaughter

National Army Museum 13 May and 17 June Tiny Troopers: Music. Bring your little ones to our monthly toddlers session, perfect for under-5s. £3.

Cutty Sark Every Wednesday in May and June Toddler Time. Bring your little sailors along for songs, stories and playtime on board the ship. How exciting is that! 10-11am, age under 4.

Some great events here

Fulham Palace

SE1 Dates in May and June Rug Rhymes. A short session of nursery rhymes, poems and rhyming stories. Times vary.

SW6 6EA Mondays and Tuesdays in May and June The Palace Explorers. Join 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.

The Graveney and Meadow

BYOB Comedy

Southbank Centre

SW17 9NA Wednesdays in May and June Kids’ and toddlers’ arts and craft classes. See website for details. Thursdays in May and June Pram Chorus. Child friendly daytime choir, 10am, £7 per adult, see website for times. Fridays in May and June Rhythm n’ Babies. Music classes for babies and their carers with instruments. 9.30am, £5.

Sure to give you a boost to morale

Clapham, East Dulwich, Teddington, Putney, Tooting Dates in May and June 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.

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Kew Gardens Join Little Explorers for a Hands-on fun 90-minute learning sessions aimed at children aged 2-5 and their parent/carer. Last Monday of the month, 29 April to 28 October 2019 (excluding July and August).

Unicorn Theatre SE1 2HZ Saturdays in May and June Up Club. Join the Unicorn Play Club most Saturdays for free dropin activities from portrait painting and potato printing to giant rocket making and more. 12noon - 2pm.

Singing Mamas Choir South London Liberal Synagogue, Streatham / The Half Moon (Workshop Room), Herne Hill Tuesdays and Wednesdays in May and June, 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. Contact southlondonsingingmamas@gmail. com, tel 07947 609780.

National Maritime Museum SE10 9NF Tuesdays in May and June Play Tuesdays. Embark on a museum adventure that includes trails, arty workshops, songs and stories. 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2pm.

Tara Theatre

Do-Re-Mi Babies Concerts Barnes, Chelsea, Fulham, Wandsworth Dates throughout May and June Inspirational and fun classical concerts. Babies and toddlers are welcome to crawl, dance, sing, cry, nappy change and more, so you can relax and enjoy some wonderful music. £10 per adult, children free, tickets online or on the door. Dates vary depending on venue.

Tara Arts Throughout May and June A range of children's classes, parent and We love this baby shows, small theatre Froggy's Famous in Earlsfield! Fanclub, Baby Broadway and Bring Your Own Baby Comedy.

The Royal Albert Hall Tuesdays and Wednesdays in May and June Storytelling and Music Sessions. A series of sessions for babies and toddlers aged 0-4, to encourage interaction between parents/carers and their little ones using musical instruments, singing, movement and stories. 10am and 11.30am, £5.

Museum of London EC2Y 5HN Wednesdays in May and June 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 to enjoy together, 11am-12pm.

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Horniman Aquarium

Hampton Court Palace Every Thursday and Saturday in May and June Tiny Explorers. Explore and play in the Palace together. Discover the stories of Hampton Court Palace through music, movement, messy play and more. £6 per child, price includes up to two adults £5 per child for members. 10.30am – babies, 1pm – walkers, 2.30pm – walkers.

Kensington Palace Selected Wednesdays and Saturdays in May and June Tiny Explorers. Explore and play in the Palace together. Discover the stories of Kensington Palace through music, movement, messy play and more. £6 per child, price includes up to two adults £5 per child for members. 10.30am – babies, 1pm – walkers, 2.30pm – walkers.

THEATRE Cambridge Theatre Throughout May and June Matilda The Musical. Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, Matilda revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination

Puppet Theatre Barge

The Chit Chat Chalk Show Omnibus Theatre

Photo: LauraMtungwazi

and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.

Colour House Theatre Saturdays and Sundays to 30 June Alice in Wonderland. An adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic. The Colour House Theatre is a tiny theatre we love!  It is near Morden Hall Park and Deen City Farm, bringing together all the ingredients for a fabulous day out!  2pm and 4pm, from £10.

Lyric Hammersmith 19-29 June Lyric Ensemble Show. Following the success of Abandon in 2018, this year's Lyric Ensemble, a group of young actors, present their new show... £10. 27 June – 27 July Noises Off. Hailed as one of the funniest plays of all time, Noises Off makes its triumphant return to the Lyric almost 40 years on, in a bold new production by Jeremy Herrin for fans to enjoy and new audiences to discover. From £10.

Lyric West end The Gruffalo Live on stage 3 July – Sunday 8 September, A fine piece Songs, laughs and of children’s monstrous fun theatre' for children aged Sunday Times 3 and up and their grown-ups, in the much-loved show that’s toured Britain and the world! From£15. Children under 18 months are admitted free of charge and do not require a ticket.

New Wimbledon Theatre 9-11 May In The Willows. It’s Mole’s first day in ‘The Willows’. With ballads, beats, and backflips, this fresh new musical will be fun for the whole family. From £13. 22-25 May Amelie The Musical. Amelie secretly improvises small, extraordinary acts of kindness that bring happiness to those around her. Be inspired by this imaginative dreamer who finds her voice, discovers the power of connection and sees possibilities around every corner. 14-16 June The Tiger Who Came to Tea. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? A musical play adapted and directed by David Wood, based on the book by Judith Kerr direct from a smashhit West End season. 26-29 June Horrible Histories – Awful Egyptians and Terrible Tudors. It's time to prepare yourself for an amazing show with Horrible Histories live on stage! Using actors

and ground breaking 3D special effects, these two astounding shows are guaranteed to thrill you and your children. Historical figures and events will come alive on stage and hover at your fingertips.

Omnibus Theatre 12 May The Chit Chat Chalk Show. Kiko, a confused young girl, struggles to understand how she feels about the strange new world she lives in. With the help of her quirky new friends, she embarks upon a quest to discover the mixture of emotions and colours that make her unique. Charming, physical and packed with interaction for children aged 3-8 years and their families. 11am and 2pm, from £7.

Peacock Theatre 21 May – 16 June Beats on Pointe – Masters of Choreography. Known for pushing conventional dance boundaries, Masters of Choreography is back with their worldwide sell out show Beats on Pointe, a dynamic modern story of two opposing dance worlds; street vs ballet.

National Theatre To 11 May Follies. New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves.

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The Gruffalo Mouse

Puppet Theatre Barge 4 May – 7 July A Child’s Garden of Verse. Shadow puppets and marionettes combine with specially composed music to make this a programme of beauty, poignancy and fun, which captures and nurtures the imagination. The narrative is driven by a selection of beautiful poems by Robert Louis Stevenson and others, illustrated and brought to life with puppets and music.

The Unicorn Theatre 11 May – 2 June Dido. English National Opera and the Unicorn join forces for the very first time to create a new production of Purcell's powerful and emotional masterpiece, Dido and Aeneas, for teenagers and adults. 16 June – 4 August Aesop’s Fables (aged 8-12) and Aesop’s Fables (aged 4-7). As far as we know, Aesop was a slave and storyteller who lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BC. We still have over 725 of his stories. The Unicorn have asked a few of their favourite writers to select one fable and to re-tell it for today’s audience, presenting two versions of the results: one for ages 4-7 and one for ages 8-12.

MUSEUMS, GALLERIES AND DAYS OUT Charles Dickens Museum Last Sunday of every month Highlighting the Collection. Drop-in object handling sessions throughout the historic interior of 48 Doughty Street. Discover a unique set of Dickensian curiosities from a cheque signed by Dickens, to a beautiful dolls house, an engraved snuff box and even a collection of original props from The Invisible Woman.

Children’s Garden Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey Kew’s most ambitious design project

PUPPET THEATRE BARGE Sea Princess by Hannah Cousins

of recent years opens this May. The size of nearly 40 tennis courts, this giant new children’s garden has been designed for children to play and explore the hidden treasures, trees and adventure parks. Includes a giant sand pit, quirky play hut village and tunnel slides, a Sun Garden with rings of sunflowers and pergolas festooned with edible fruits, and a Water Garden with water pubs and splash pools. Ages 2-12.

Cutty Sark SE10 9HT Throughout May and June Cutty Sark characters. Come aboard to hear Cutty Sark’s incredible stories brought to life by characters from the ship’s past. Meet Captain Woodget, the ship’s most daring master; Jock Willis, the man who built Cutty Sark; Nannie, the ship’s figurehead; or the ship’s cook, James Robson, who all have an extraordinary story to tell. Daily, age 3+. 4-5 May Koinobori Flying Fish. Celebrate the Japanese festival of Children’s Day by learning how to make a fantastic carp kite inspired by Cutty Sark’s travels to Japan. Age 4+. 27-31 May The Trader’s Game. Become a trader and cross the world on the board game to collect cargoes from different countries. Try to beat the other ships to buy the most soughtafter cargo and beware of getting stuck in the doldrums. Age 5+.

Brick Wonders at Horniman Museum and Garden

and adventurous animals, the exhibition offers new insights into the cultural history and heritage of London. It’s quirky, amusing and Throughout May and June bizarre! Future Engineers 22-23 June Gallery. Have fun Steam Train Trips. Be Always a favourite transported to a by-gone era of exploring the for Half term fascinating world of Victorian steam-powered travel transport engineering as London Transport Museum in the new Future marks 150 years of the Capital’s Engineers gallery, which opens to the District line, and travel on a vintage public as a permanent display. Test steam train through central London. your skills, solve transport Museum of London conundrums faced by modern day engineers, and enjoy a series of Sundays in May and June interactive exhibits. Museum Explored. Explore the Throughout May and June galleries through fun, hands-on London Stories. Visit this new activities. 11am and 2pm. Plus, join a exhibition featuring 100 illustrations fun and engaging tour of the celebrating London and revealing museum’s galleries, especially for some of the fascinating tales of families. Age 5+, 2-2.30pm. London life past and present. From Sundays in May and June urban myths, historic events and Hands-On History. Hear incredible remarkable characters, to daily lives London stories as you touch and hold

London Transport Museum

Foundling Museum 28-31 May A half term week of workshops and activities for ages 5+, from arts and crafts to modeling and beatboxing.

Kensington Palace 25 May – 2 June May Half Term Activities. Explore the world of Princess – later Queen Victoria’s imagination this half term and create a Victorian puppet theatre. Inspired by the brand-new family exhibition Victoria: A Royal Childhood and the moving puppet theatre within it, families will also be able to dress up as characters from the puppet show, just as Victoria herself did as a little girl.

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Colour House Theatre

The Cutty Sark

Beasts of London, Museum of London

Photo: © National Maritime Museum, London Cutty Sark

real museum objects. Age 5+, 2-4pm. Throughout May and June Beasts of London. Step into a tour through London’s history, narrated by the animals who once lived here. Beasts of London explores the fascinating role animals have played in shaping the capital. Be guided through time, from the Roman era through Medieval London and right up to present day, narrated by the beasts themselves. Discover how animals – from lions and elephants, to horses, rats and pigeons – have shaped the city and its beastly history. Age 7+

National Maritime Museum Saturdays in May and June Character Encounters. Join an exciting performance and journey bringing maritime history to life. 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, age 6+. From 15 May Ready, set, action! Have fun exploring different forms of performance and dance from around the world. Find out about Kathakali Indian dance and how sailors would perform on-board HMS Intrepid when stuck in the frozen Arctic ice. Free, all ages. Sundays in May Discover Sundays. Be inspired by our maritime past and explore your personal connections to the sea. Free, all ages.

Royal Observatory Greenwich Weekends in May and June Young Astronomers Workshop. Get hands-on in these short drop-in family workshops themed around space science and exploration, from the most recent discoveries about the Solar System to our latest understanding of the wider universe. The team of Observatory Explainers can answer your burning space questions. 12.45-4.15pm, free, age 7+. 11 May Morning Stars. This early morning show is for children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and their families and carers. Explore the night sky and find out live from a Royal Observatory Astronomer what is visible on the night of your visit and the month ahead. Age 5+, £6, 10am. 30 May Holiday to Space. Travel across the Solar System and help Space Ted plan for a holiday on another planet. Enjoy a special 20 minute Space Safari planetarium show filled with spectacular views of the planets up close and a chance to sing along to help Ted find the great big bear followed by a 30 minute workshop to find out a little more about Ted’s adventure to the planets. Age 4-7, £6. 28-29 May

Out Of This World. Take a family trip to the Moon with a planetarium show, interactive quiz and immersive virtual reality activity. This session includes rock handling for a tactile experience of how the surface of the Moon looks and feels up close and a chance to discuss your findings with Atronomers. Age 7+, £6.

DISCOVER A NEW MUSEUM Horniman Museum and Gardens 100 London Road Forest Hill SE23 3PQ

Science Museum To 6 May The Sun: Living with Our Star. The sun, its beauty and power have inspired us since the dawn of civilization. This is the story of humanity’s ever-changing relationship with our nearest Popular event, star. Free for children aged 16 book quickly! and under. 10 May and 7 June Astronights. A special overnight event for 7-11 year-olds, featuring exciting hands-on workshops, science shows, and a sleepover at the Science Museum among the amazing exhibits – all followed by a tasty breakfast and a breath-taking film in the IMAX Theatre.

Tower of London Throughout May and June 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.

Victoria and Albert Museum To 14 July Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams. Spanning 1947 to the present day, this exhibition traces the history and impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers. From £20. Throughout May and June Mary Quant. The first international retrospective on the revolutionary fashion designer Mary Quant in nearly 50 years, focusing on her revolutionising the high street with her subversive and playful designs.

V&A Museum of Childhood 25 May – 2 June Play, build and design at the museum this May half term. Meet artists and designers for playful workshops and activities coinciding with the Playing with Buildings display and London Festival of Architecture.

There is so much to discover at this amazing museum: it houses an extraordinary collection of objects including internationally important collections of anthropology and musical instruments, as well as an acclaimed aquarium, a Butterfly House and natural history collection. Unusually for such an important Museum, you can see their collection up-close and face-to-face. Take part in activities and enjoy the 16-acre gardens which have a nature trail, an animal corner, a butterfly house and a farmer market every saturday. Admisssion is free. Spend your May Half Term at the Horniman. Enjoy A World of Stories (stories from some of the best storytellers in London for 5+, free, 2-2.45pm and 3.154pm.) Family Art Fun, Pond Dipping, The Great British Bee Count, Mini-beast Safari and Horniman Explorers. Times, dates and ages vary. Most activities are free. Main exhibiton is Brick Wonders. Discover amazing wonders from around the world made entirely from LEGO® bricks. From an ancient Egyptian pyramid to Old London Bridge or to the natural wonder of a coral reef explore over 70 models made using half a million LEGO® bricks. Build your imagination at the interactive play areas. See also under Activities for babies and toddlers and Art activities. There is no such thing as a boring museum at the Horniman!

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Profile for Families Magazine

Families London SW May-June 2019 issue no.286  

Information for parents in SW London -- 130 local things to do, features on parties, tutoring, etc... plenty of topics in fact. Please read...

Families London SW May-June 2019 issue no.286  

Information for parents in SW London -- 130 local things to do, features on parties, tutoring, etc... plenty of topics in fact. Please read...