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South West

WOW! Over 200 local events!


Fireworks | Halloween events | Half term activities What’s on for families | School open days Issue 290 October 2019

contents Enjoying the log trail at Kew Gardens

October 2019 Issue 290

• 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: November/December 2019 ISSN 1354-9553. All contents ©Families SW 2019.

6-7      Reader Offers galore!


Families showcases local businesses


37       Halloween cooking Finding a flexible job.


12-24 EDUCATION • Changes to how schools are assessed by Ofsted • Residential trips • Knightsbridge School • Open days listing • Inspiring girls in STEM subjects • Help your child grasp phonics easily • Outstanding Ofsted ratings for The Kindergartens

26-27 Exercise classes for mums with baby in tow

39        Family activities at The Putney Exchange

40-41 Christmas Shows BOOK AHEAD 42-47  WHAT’S ON             • Diary dates • Theatre • Ideas for the weekend • Museums and galleries • Babies & toddlers • Art activities


To advertise in our next issue contact us on 020 8696 9680








October 2019 • Families South West 5


The Baby Show at Olympia The biggest baby event of the year The Baby Show, with MadeForMums, is coming to Olympia from 18th until 20th October. Complete with fantastic show offers, over 200 exhibitors, an abundance of expert advice and the opportunity to try before you buy, it is the must-attend show for all new and expectant parents. Exclusive 25% Discount Code off tickets using the code Families

It promises one of its best line-ups yet with an amazing collection of experts and parenting insight from the likes of Loose Women favourite, Stacey Solomon, star and author of Happy Mum, Happy Baby, Giovanna Fletcher, and fitness fanatic, founder of YogaBlitz and reality TV star, Casey Batchelor who will be talking all things body after baby. Buy tickets at T&Cs: Saving is based on the standard on-the-door ticket price of £20pp. £2.20 transaction fee applies per booking. To book by phone call 0871 231 0844. Calls cost 13p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge. Ticket Offer ends midnight, 17 October 2019.

£50 off your first session (normally £70). Book before 31st October

At home personal training The Zula method offers at home personal training and private group training in south west London. With so much conflicting advice available, their fitness philosophy is to give you the confidence and motivation to use fitness as part of a happy and healthy lifestyle, whatever that may mean for you. Their training is designed to be fun and honest; no egos and no comparisons; all their workouts are structured around their unique style, and are designed to support physical and mental health, tailored to each individual's lifestyle.

Eddie Catz parties Quote ‘Families’ for £50 off your first Dinky Party!

Amazing, fun-filled family parties: that's what  Dinky Party does! Allow Dinky Parties to take the stress out of planning your little one's big day by sending one of their talented entertainers for an unforgettable party. Based in the South East, they have delivered over 600 parties in London and the Home Counties for children aged 2 and it Spiderman, Princess Ariel, Dinosaur or Harry Potter (and many more)...they have the right party package for your big day. They bring the fun to you, whether that be in your local hall, your home or even back garden...the Dinky magic can happen anywhere! Book your party at @DinkyPartiesUK 6 Families South West • October 2019

Eddie Catz offer fun-packed, exciting parties where your guests can enjoy a playtime, food and a visit from Eddie Catz himself!—your own dedicated room, party host and party bags or plush bears included too. Book an Eddie Catz or Make a Bear party at one of the London Eddie Catz venues – Wimbledon Colliers Wood or Earlsfield by the end of November 2019 for any time this year or next year and they’ll give you £20 towards their great party extras including theming, adult platter, ice cream or slush for the kids or some fizz for the grown-ups. Add this voucher code to the special requirements when booking online or call 0203 4755268 and quote: FAMILIES.PARTY.FUN2019

Special offer towards great party extras

To book your party TERMS: Not valid if the code is not quoted before the booking. Not valid on Lasertag or Unicorn parties. Not valid in conjunction with any other offers or Member discounts.

from our local businesses Supercamp Amazing 20% deal!

Across SuperCamps UK Multi-Activity camps this October Half Term, children aged 4-12 can enjoy a variety of arts & crafts, sports and games.

Enjoy 20% off your total bill (inc wine!) and free ice cream for the children (15% off Tues-Fri) at Donna Margherita authentic neapolitan pizza. 183 Lavender Hill SW11 020 7228 2660 Just quote Families South West

20% Off SuperCamps October half term childcare

Theme of the Week will be “The Greatest Show”, with exciting giveaways and fun challenges to enjoy. All activities are designed with children’s development in mind, so your kids gain confidence and new skills every day. Book Multi-Activity camps before midnight on 9th October and receive 20% off full price.

20% off for all Families readers who call & use the Discount code FAMILIESDANCE

Blue Performing Arts Join Blue Performing Arts & Learn from top industry standard teachers at one of their School Holiday camps, Cheerleading team or After School Clubs across South London for all Primary ages in the Wandsworth Borough. Blue Performing Arts 07879 606643

Enjoy 25% off your next order by quoting Families

Little Eco Eats

Find out about veganism at VegFest Everyone is talking about veganism. To find out more about it, Veg Fest is surely the best place to start. VegfestUK, the biggest vegan festival in the UK, is at Olympia for the 7th year running on Oct 26-27 and is suitable for everyone. There are also We have kids yoga, kids story telling and kids cookery classes—all two tickets, worth free within the festival. Meet experts, doctors, sport £44, to give away* stars and well known supporters and discover amazing new products.

Roving Mum Irene Bausas reports: “We were so lucky to be invited to a party catered for by Little Eco Eats. Everything was very nicely done and food was very good quality. It is a great and earth friendly alternative to the usual birthday party offering. Little Eco eats was started by mums Louise and Lottie. They aim to reduce the amount of waste generated at birthday parties. They do stylish and beautiful packed lunches for schools and birthday parties. Best of all, the packaging is fully recyclable, compostable and biodegradable. They deliver all over London and are happy to collect packaging afterwards for composting. * To enter the draw simply email VEGFEST to The winner will be drawn at random on 18th October


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October 2019 • Families South West 9

10 Families South West • October 2019

Finding a flexible job that works for you

By Mandy Garner

Time becomes an increasingly precious commodity once you have children.  For many that means looking to reduce or re-arrange their working hours to give themselves the time they need to enjoy family life. So what are the alternatives to the traditional full-time job? Well, these days there are many different options. Flexible working requests Firstly, you could seek some form of flexibility in your existing job. It's important to be openminded as to what that might look like, whether it could be part-time hours, some home working, flexible start and finish times, annualised hours, compressed hours (longer days but fewer of them), or a combination of several possibilities. In order to make a formal flexible working application you will need to show you have thought through the implications of any changed working pattern on your employer and colleagues. Are there, for instance, parts of your job that could be delegated to others to enable them to get experience? Could you use the flexible working process to review your job and hone in on where you can have the most effect? If you can show that you have thought your case through carefully, weighing up your own and your employer’s needs, you are more likely to be successful. Bear in mind that flexible working legislation currently only applies to those who have been in position for six months. If this is not you or if you do not want to permanently change your hours - perhaps you only need some temporary flexibility—then you could ask for changes in your working pattern on a more informal basis. Be creative Another way around the flexible working issue is to switch jobs or even careers. Having children means that all your creative skills will be in play most of the time, including when it comes to your work life. You could try listing your skills and thinking broadly about any possible available job that might fit around your family’s needs. Talk to others and look into industries you may not have considered before. Check out family-friendly websites to see who the most flexible employers are and read around about what other parents do. Sites like have a regular jobs alert and case studies of working parents which can give you suggestions of where to look that you might not have thought of before.

Once you have honed sectors and types of jobs you might be interested in, you could join LinkedIn professional groups and check out company websites and social media. Thorough research is key to securing the right job for you. If the sector you are interested in requires you to re-train, you could look into whether there is any on the job training. Portfolio career Another potential option is the so-called portfolio career where you juggle several parttime or freelance/self-employed jobs, creating a kind of tapestry which gives you flexibility around drop-off and pick-up times. You could, for instance, reduce the hours in your regular job and run a franchise or self-employed job on the side either on a permanent basis or until your self-employed work is earning enough to support you. Another advantage of the portfolio approach is that it gives you time to experiment with different work options. It could also allow you to re-train for another career while still earning.


Self-employment You could, of course, choose to jump straight into self-employed work. If so, ensure you do your business research well. You could also consider becoming a franchisee, which means that you would have the freedom associated with running your own business with fewer of the risks of going it alone since the franchise will provide a tried and tested business model. The important thing is to be creative and to try to think out of the box about your skills. Go back to basics and rediscover what those skills are, who you are, what you like doing. A good coach can help you work your way through all the above options.

Mandy Garner is Editor of where you can find more suggestions on flexible working options.

October 2019 • Families South West 11


By Ruth Lowe

Changes to how schools are assessed by Ofsted – What parents need to know


s a parent choosing schools for your child, you are very likely at some stage to take a look at the Ofsted reports of those on your shortlist, to see how they performed at their latest inspection. What you may not know though is that the way in which schools are assessed and reported on by Ofsted has recently changed. Here is the low-down on these changes and what parents need to know about them. Earlier this year, Ofsted held a consultation into their inspection process. It wanted to know if it was delivering the right information to help schools improve, while also providing parents with a clear view of how well a school is performing in delivering a good education to its students. Interestingly, this consultation resulted in the most responses that Ofsted has ever received and included feedback from over 600 mums and dads—a clear indication that parents value Ofsted assessments as an important part of the process of deciding which school is best for their child. Currently, Ofsted gives schools a grading of one to four; One is ‘outstanding;’ two is ‘good;’ three is ‘requires improvement;’ and four is ‘inadequate.’ Although these categories are not changing, the new assessment framework has been updated in the following ways and will be effective from September 2019: Inspection reports will be shorter and easier to digest. The aim is to give parents “the key information they need to know about a school 12 Families South West • October 2019

and a sense of how it feels to be a pupil there.” Schools will be assessed in a new ‘quality of education’ category, putting the emphasis back on the quality of the curriculum being taught rather than exam results. This change aims to reduce the pressure felt by teachers who have been criticised in the past for ‘teaching to the test’ rather than covering the curriculum in a more balanced and manageable way. There will also be a new ‘personal development’ assessment which will look at how a school helps its pupils to develop character, resilience and values so that children are well-equipped to succeed in life. A separate assessment on ‘behaviour and attitudes’ will be included. Ofsted will look at whether or not school leaders tolerate bullying or harassment of pupils and staff, as well as whether they deal with behavioural problems swiftly and effectively while maintaining a calm environment. Inspections of previously graded ‘good’ schools were carried out over a period of one day. This inspection period will now be extended to two days (except in the case of smaller schools with less than 150 pupils). Any schools found to be ‘off-rolling’ pupils are likely to be judged ‘inadequate.’ ‘Offrolling’ is when a school removes a pupil without using a permanent exclusion. In these instances, removing the child is considered to be in the best interest of the school, rather than the pupil. It is a controversial practice as it

could also include pressuring a parent to remove their child from the school roll. This practice is not at all encouraged or supported by Ofsted. These changes to the Ofsted inspection framework are a positive step forward in providing parents with more focussed, concise and rounded information about local schools. Schools will be rewarded with a rating that takes into account the above assessment criteria and also acknowledges where Head Teachers and teachers are working under difficult circumstances (for example in areas with high levels of deprivation or poverty). Of course, although there is considerable value in Ofsted reports, when choosing a school it’s also vital to visit, preferably with your child, speak to parents of children already there, and understand the ethos and ambitions that the school has for those in its care. In addition, parents can also look at Ofsted’s ‘Parent View’ results online at, where those with children already at school share their views for the benefit of other parents. Ruth Lowe works for the charity Parentkind which supports, engages and champions parents in education. For more information about choosing schools, Ofsted inspections and how you as a parent can participate in your child’s learning, visit


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14 Families South West • October 2019

Knightsbridge School has recently made the announcement that it will be extending its year group offering to provide full secondary education. The co-educational school, located in central London, opened in 2006, and until recently offered schooling for children aged 3–13 years. “We opened Knightsbridge School to address a shortage of pre-prep and prep places in central London”, says Founder and Principal Magoo Giles. “But over the years we’ve had many conversations with parents who have expressed their disappointment their child couldn’t stay on at Knightsbridge school past 13 years old. We decided that it was time to address this issue, and so from September 2020, we will begin classes for year 9, with years 10 and 11 to follow in 2021 and 2022. This means that students will be able to stay at Knightsbridge School from when they join until they take their GCSEs at 16. This step fulfils the ambition of the school to provide an allthrough education which we are now able to achieve.” A new building in South Kensington

Knightsbridge School extends to 13–16 years has been set aside for the senior school, with plans to have classrooms ready to use from summer term 2020. At the heart of Knightsbridge School is the long held belief that children have a better quality of educational experience, and life, when they can experience a broad range of opportunities and interests. As a result, a strong focus will be retained on Life Skills and Perspectives and the careers and guest

Residential trips

By Susan Brooks, Head of Northwood Senior (Opening September 2020)


esidential trips are an integral part of any school calendar; they are an opportunity for children to ‘Learn Away’ from school. The benefits are well recognised in the education sector: children form closer bonds with both their peers and their teachers, learning opportunities that cannot be replicated at school can be experienced and children get the chance to enhance their soft skills, such as resilience, courage, independence, curiosity, communication, confidence and team work. Studies have

shown, that not only do residential trips create lasting memories (who can’t remember a wonderful school trip?) and benefit children’s wellbeing, but they also have a hugely positive impact on their exam results in the future, particularly so for previously low achievers and for boy’s literacy scores (‘Learning Away’ experiment Paul Hamlyn Foundation, May 2015; Benefits far outweigh risk, Martin Hudson, Chairman of the British Activity Holiday Association Sept 2008).


speaker’s programmes will be extended. Existing Knightsbridge school students will not have to undergo further assessments in order to secure their place. Prospective students will be asked to attend school for a day, to undergo a series of activities and interviews to help decide whether each child will be a good fit for the school.

Residential trips can benefit children at many stages Clearly those trips have different aims and outcomes for each age group; for many younger children it can be the first time that they have spent more than a night away from their parents. This brings countless opportunities to build their independence and resilience: making a bed or remembering their own kit for activities. They might try new challenging activities for the first time, such as high ropes courses or team building exercises. Older pupils can gain other benefits, such as building curiosity: into the way that other people live through language exchange programmes or through a more in depth study of a particular environment during a Geography trip. Communication skills are learnt across all age groups as children interact with people that they normally wouldn’t: instructors, people who speak in a foreign language or topic experts. Finally there are health benefits as children get the opportunity to try new sports or develop a love of the outdoors or adventure pursuits For some parents it is a nerve-wracking experience to send their child off on a residential trip. However, the evidence is clear, children benefit from school residentials. The memories made and the skills learnt will last much longer than their school days do.

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School Open Days

. . . e t a d p U




Westminster, 7-18y, B. 6th form B&G. 020 7963 1000 Burdett-Coutts & Townshend CE Primary, 3-11y, B&G. Open mornings in Oct & Nov. 020 7828 6790 Grey Coat Hospital, 1-18y G. Open events by ticket from website. 0207 969 1998 More House, 11-18y, G. Open evening 7/11, book via website. 020 7235 2855 Knightsbridge, 3-16y, B&G. Tours on Tues & Weds at 9am. 020 7590 9006 Eaton Square, 2-18y, B&G. 020 7931 9469

Parson’s Green Prep, 4-11y, B&G. Open 5/10 Book on: 020 7610 8085 Sinclair House, 2-11y, B&G. Open 3/10 at 10am 020 7736 9182

Christ Church CE Primary, 3-11y, B&G. By appointment: 2/10, 13/11, 4/12, 8/1 at 9.30am 020 7228 2812 Dominie, 6-12y, B&G. Tours by appointment. Find out more about their specialist teaching for dyslexic and dyspraxic children. 020 7720 8783 Dolphin, 2.5-11y. B&G. Open Mornings Thursday by appointment. 020 7924 3472 L’ecole de Battersea, 3-11, B&G. Visits by appointment 020 7371 8350 Thames Christian, 11-16y, B&G. Open morning 9/10. 020 7228 3933

SW3 St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, 3-11y, B&G. 10/10 at 2pm and 6/11 at 6pm. 020 7589 2438 Hill House, 4-13y, B&G. Tours of school essential. 020 7584 1331

SW4 Eaton House, 4+y, B&G. Book a visit on Lark Hall Primary, 4-11y, B&G. Open morn every Weds at 9am, eves 30/10, 27/11 at 5pm. 020 7622 3820 Parkgate House, 2.5-11y, B&G. Open 5/10 at 9.30am 0207350 2461

16 Families South West • October 2019

Fulham Pre-Prep, Prep & Senior, 418y B&G. Open various dates. 020 7471 4217 L’Ecole des Petits, 3-6y, B&G. Visits are by appointment only. 020 7371 8350

SW7 Prince’s Gardens Prep, 3-11y, B&G. mily St Philip’s School, 7-13y B. Open 12/10 at 10am after booking or individual appt via: 020 7373 3944 Queen’s Gate, 4-18y, G. Visits all year. 0207 594 4982

SW8 Newton Prep, 3-13y, B&G. Open Day 12/10 9.30am, or tours with the Head on selected Fridays in term-time, 9-10.30am, by appointment only. 020 7720 4091

SW10 Redcliffe 3-11y, B&G. Tours Tuesdays and Thursdays in termtime. Booking required. 020 7352 9247

SW12 Northwood, 4-13y, B&G. Open day 11/10 9am-2pm 020 8696 8788 • Broomwood Hall Lower, 4-7y, B&G. 020 8682 8820 • Broomwood Hall, Upper, 8-13y, G. 020 8682 8810 • Northcote Lodge, 8-13y, B. 020 8682 8888 Hornsby House, Recep -11y, Open 17/10 at 9am 020 8673 7573 White House, 6m-11y B&G. Open 12/10 at 9.30am Ravenstone Primary, Recep-11y, B&G. Book first. 020 8673 0594 London Steiner, 3-14y, B&G. Contact school to visit. 020 8772 3504

SW13 Harrodian, 4-18y. B&G. To visit contact: 020 8762 6321

SW14 Tower House Prep, 4-13y, B. Tours of the school: 020 8876 3323

SW15 Alton, 3-11y, B&G. Open 9.30am first Tuesday of each month, termtimes. 020 8876 8482 Falcons - Peregrines Nursery, Nur-11y. Ibstock Place, 4-18, B&G. Visits via bookings on: 020 8876 9991 / 020 8392 5803 Putney High, 4-18y, G. Open for visits: Junior 020 8788 6523; Senior: 020 8788 4886 Hurlingham, 2-11y, B&G. Online registration and arrange a visit 020 8874 7186 Granard Primary, 3-11y, B&G. Open at 9.15am on 4/10, 20/11, 3/12, 9/1. 020 8788 3606 Mosaic Jewish Primary, 4-11y, B&G. Open 17/10, 13/11, 4/12, 9/1 and 21/5 at 9.30am after booking via: Sacred Heart Roehampton, Recep-11y, B&G. Open 5/11 and 12/11 at 9.30am. 020 8876 7074

SW16 Streatham High, Nur-18, G. Register online 020 8677 8400



Burntwood Academy, 11-18y, G. Open 8 Oct at 8.45am 020 8946 6201 Ernest Bevin College, 11-18y, B&G. Open 4/10, 8/10 at 9am and 1/10 at 5.30pm 020 8672 8582 Smallwood Primary School and Language Unit, to age 11y, B&G. Tours all year on Weds 9-10am. Book on 020 8672 6024

King’s College, 7-18y B, 16-18y G. Open 8/10 evening. 16+ on 24/9 evening. Our Lady Queen of Heaven RC, to age 11 B&G. Visits by appt on 020 8788 7420 www.ourladyqueenofheaven.wand Hall Wimbledon, 4-16Y, B&G. Open Junior 9/10 and Senior 15/10 020 8394 6144 Study Wimbledon, 4-11y G. Visits booked via: 020 8947 6969 Ursuline Prep, 4-11 G and Nur Coed. Open 10/10 9.30. Register on Wimbledon High, 4-18, G. To visit: 020 8971 0900

SW18 Roche, 2-11y, B&G. Open 11/10, 20/11. 020 8877 0823 Wandsworth Prep, 4-11y B&G. Open 13/11. Contact on: 020 8870 4133 Saint Cecilia's CE, 11-18y, B&G. Various dates. 020 8780 1244

SE11 St Mark’s CE Primary, 3-11y B&G. Tours throughout the year. 020 7735 1467

SE21 Dulwich College Junior, 7-10y, B. Open 12/10 9.30am 020 8299 8432

SE22 James Allen’s Girls’ 4-18y, G. Open mornings 5/10, 17/10. 020 8693 1181 Alleyn’s, 4-18y, B&G. 020 8557 1500



Rowans, 3-7y, B&G. Visits by appt. 020 8946 8220 Ursuline Prep, Nur B&G, 4-11 G. Open 10/10 at 9.30am. Register on

Sydenham High, 4-18y, G. Book online: 020 8557 7004


SURREY Trinity 10-16y B, 16-18 Co Ed. Open 5/10 at 9am. 6thF 14/10 by appt. 020 8656 9541 Hawthorn’s, 2-13y, B&G. Open mornings 12/10 and 22/11 after booking or by individual appt on: 01883 743048 Whitgift, 10-18 B. 020 8633 9935

BATH Kingswood, 9m-18y, B&G. Paragon, 3-11y, B&G. Contact for tours. 01225 310837 Monkton Combe, 2-18y, B&G. Open Mornings Senior: 16/11; Preprep & Prep: 5/10 & 15/11. 01225 721133

October 2019 • Families South West 17

18 Families South West • October 2019

How can we provide a lasting foundation which inspires and empowers girls in STEM subjects? By Ms Victoria Goodson, Head of Prep at Sydenham High School GDST


arents of girls at GDST schools will be familiar with the schools’ collective commitment to providing outstanding, inspiring teaching in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) throughout a girl’s education. As professionals, we are well-aware of the statistics shared by WISE Campaign which inform us that in 2018, only 22% of those in Core STEM (science, engineering, information and communications technology and skilled trades) occupations were women. A February 2019 press release by the Department for Education, aimed at dispelling girls’ misconceptions of STEM subjects, informs us that “girls are substantially less likely than boys to consider taking STEM subjects at A Level” and “girls are less likely to say STEM is their best subject”. In fact, a November 2018 New Scientist article by Valerie Jamieson entitled ‘Women in physics: Why there’s a problem and how we can solve it’, states that, in 2016, no girls studied Physics A Level in almost half of the schools in England that educate girls. So how can we provide a lasting foundation at Prep level which inspires and empowers girls in STEM subjects? Inspiring girls in STEM through excellent teaching and learning opportunities, and providing them with appropriate role-models is only part of the answer. In order to truly empower girls, our focus should also be on building resilience, confidence and perseverance, which are integral to many areas of STEM learning and where success is rarely instant. Four years ago, I attended a

conference in London on Empowering Women in Educational Leadership at which the wellknown research scientist and practising psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos talked about the confidence gap between girls and boys. Girls, she indicated, are more likely than boys to associate their own mistakes with failure. We should start there if we want girls to embrace a scientific direction.

The key is to create an environment where challenge is not feared and where making mistakes is not viewed as a mark of failure but as part of the route to success. We should be equipping girls with the understanding that it is OK to get things wrong and to try again; in the words of Carol Dweck, “no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment”.

Building resilience, confidence and perseverance in the face of failure Self-belief and perseverance are integral to success in many areas of STEM, where failure in design or experiment is part and parcel of learning. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” is a saying we can associate with many of the world’s most successful scientists, engineers and mathematicians such as Marie Curie, the first female recipient of the Nobel Prize. The need to think holistically about how to embed a lasting love for learning comes as no surprise to anyone who, like me, has seen best practice in a Prep environment. In order to truly empower girls, our focus should not be just on teaching STEM subjects but on building resilience, confidence and perseverance in the face of failure.

At Sydenham High Prep School all girls are taught that their potential is not limited. They receive specialist teaching in Science, Computing and Design and Technology, alongside high quality Maths teaching. The school’s curriculum has been carefully designed and is continually updated to motivate, inspire and challenge. Girls are encouraged to enjoy challenge and they are supported to build resilience, self-belief, perseverance and fearlessness.

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University writes “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, enjoy effort, and keep on learning”.


From September 2019, we will be introducing a regular lecture series in which inspiring role-models will be talking to the girls about their careers, specific interests and successes in STEM, and these girls will be in no doubt about the value of their own contributions to STEM. Like all GDST girls, Sydenham High girls are encouraged to aim high and be fearless in their learning.

October 2019 • Families South West 19


An outstanding outcome Achieving a clean sweep of Outstanding Ofsted ratings in all twelve of their nursery schools is no mean feat—but The Kindergartens have done it!

So many, many congratulations to them from us all. So how have they done this? Owner and Principal Carol Evelegh puts this tremendous accolade down to the hard work, incredible commitment and the very special care and attention they give to each of their twelve schools and most importantly to the children. This is all led by Joanne Allen, the Vice Principal, who is a seasoned Early Years educator, together with a well-qualified group of headteachers and staff all of whom bring individual dynamic

to each of the schools. The Kindergartens is a group of nursery schools run by the Evelegh family. The schools were started by Carol’s late husband, Philip, some 27 years ago with just six pupils. The Kindergartens have always been at the forefront of nursery education, continually seeking new and exciting initiatives for the children’s learning and wellbeing. One stand-out example, which they have been a major supporter of, is their introduction of Forest School whereby pupils spend one

morning per day per week outdoors building camps, learning to take risks and working collaboratively as a team. Overall children who attend the nurseries are generally encouraged to broaden their interests and ‘have a go’ at new skills via extra-curricular clubs and sports camps together with a wide range of specialist lessons which are delivered within the school day. When you speak to staff members, past pupils now grown up and returning to work for the

company in their Gap Year and the parents, it is the sheer love of education and the happiness of the children in their care that is the very essence and the heart of this unique and greatly respected group of schools. Carol Evelegh concludes by saying that ‘We are very proud of our Ofsted record, but the thing we celebrate the most are the successes, large and small, of the wonderful children in each and every one of our schools’.

Help your child grasp phonics easily Reviewed by a Families SW Roving Mum Melissa Reynolds New to the world of young readers, The Pet Shop Panda Series of books offers children the chance to grasp phonics and word sounds easily as they learn to read. They are short, full of starter words and well thought out allowing both children and parents to get the most out of the series. Divided into 8 books, the series

20 Families South West • October 2019

introduces a new set of sounds in each book. As the books progress, so do the number of sounds and words. My son loved starting out and quickly sounding out the words and then putting a bit more effort in as the books got more difficult. The illustrations are colourful and engaging and each series

comes with a Parent Guide with tips to help their little one begin to read comfortably. The tips are a definite help for parents not knowing where to start helping their child and helps lessen the anxiety around learning to read. Even more helpful, the book comes with a reading list of the common words in it at the end, as

well as a game to play with the words. It also provides questions about the story, to further make sure your child understood what they read, and gives you a good feeling that they know what they read! Books can be purchased at

Is five too young to start thinking about a career? Not according to the award-winning ‘edutainment’ company Miniversity.


hile astronaut, footballer or YouTuber may be the career choices of many children, the truth is, many young children don’t know what many jobs entail and formal career guidance doesn’t begin until well into secondary school. Sometimes even the career decisions made then can be hurried and not the best for the long term. With the retirement age rising to 67 by 2026-28, young people will soon work for 50 years of more, so choosing the profession you want to follow, and the subjects and courses that you will get you there, is an important decision. Miniversity aims to help with that. Miniversity, founded by Belfastbased entrepreneur Michelle Owens Gregory, is an award-

winning ‘edutainment’ company running school clubs and holiday camps specifically designed for children aged 5-12. Simply explained, “Technology is such an important part of children’s lives and combining careers education with soft skills ICT knowledge is a fantastic start. I believe there is no reason why children cannot create their own presentations, spreadsheets or websites,’’ Michelle explains. Miniversity teaches children about a whole variety of careers From dentists to drone programmers, vets to vloggers, and engineers to estate agents, ‘‘Throughout the course of an academic year we would have new careers every term, we literally

have hundreds—and we’ve always got new ones,’’ explained Michelle. ‘‘It’s all about fun learning—children are enjoying it, they are having fun. They don’t realise they are working, but it is extremely educational. Miniversity covers all university career topics using a variety of computer programmes such as Windows Movie Maker, SCRATCH

Coding, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Paint, and more. They run both after school clubs and holiday camps aimed at children age 5-12. (see page 29 ) Miniversity is also the UK and Ireland’s only computer club with a careers theme.

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

OPEN MORNING Saturday 5th October 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


October 2019 • Families South West 21


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

Ofsted comments: “..exceptional progress...” and “..impeccable behaviour...”

Open Mornings: Tuesday 5th November 09:30am | Tuesday 12th November at 09:30am. Alternative visits available by appointment

Admissions: Tel: 0208 876 7074

OPEN DAYS 2019 OPEN MORNINGS (9am) Every Wednesday OPEN EVENINGS (5pm) Wednesday 30th October st Wednesday 31 October

Wednesday November Wednesday27th 5th December Smedley Street, London, SW4 6PH T: 020 7622 3820 E:

22 Families South West • October 2019

“Since 2014, Lark Hall children have achieved higher standards than children of the same age and ability in other schools” Department for Education value added measure of progress (ages 7-11)

Southfields call 020 8870 8300 email

Battersea call 020 7223 1882 email


October 2019 • Families South West 23

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

24 Families South West • October 2019

Our skilled sta prepare children aged 2-5 years for their next school and start them on a journey of life-long 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

BOOK NOW: 020 7228 2660

DonnaMargherita O U R P I Z Z A W I L L S U R P R I S E YO U W I T H I T S TA S T E A N D L I G H T N E S S Come and taste our authentic Neapolitan cuisine! Wood-fired oven, centuries-old recipes and a very kind and friendly service make Donna Margherita a great place to bring your family.

***SPECIAL AUTUMN OFFER TILL NOVEMBER 15TH*** (just quote Families South West) ALL DAY SUNDAY: 20% off your total bill (including wine) and a free ice cream for children TUESDAY - FRIDAY: 15% off your total bill (including wine) and a free ice cream for children

183 Lavender Hill • SW11 5TE


October 2019 • Families South West 25

Exercise classes where

Carifit Revive Yoga 249 Balham High Rd, Tooting Bec, London SW17 7BE Friendly and welcoming yoga studio. Easy access to Balham or Tooting. Good mummy yoga/baby massage/yoga class. Amazing teacher who made sure mummies and babies are catered for. Nice way to meet other mums and get some well needed exercise. 10 out of 10!


Slice Studios, SW6 (various locations available) For 30 minutes an army of mothers (and I) lunged, squatted and lifted to a carefully choreographed sequence, wearing our babies. This is Carifit, a signature blend of cardio and resistance interval training which aims to physically and mentally empower the new mother. Sweaty and challenging, these classes have left me feeling stronger and energised while my baby slept soundly in his carrier! Classes from £12.50.

Good space for buggies. The first class is half price.

Reviewed by Roving Mum Irene Bausas


Endorsed by medical professionals, Carifit is safe from 6 weeks to 1yr postpartum.

Reviewed by Roving Mum Charlie Avella


Katie's Pilates

Clapham & Battersea,

The best pilates classes for beginners Tooting, Streatham, Balham,

A recently launched business, Busylizzy provides fitness classes for mums, baby classes and classes for pregnant ladies. 8 different classes each week at Battersea Sports Centre. The various classes available all have instructors who happily help cuddle, rock or distract your baby if you need help, whilst ensuring the adults get a good workout! My son is very mobile and never still but he really enjoys the fantastic variety of baby classes that are available for him to enjoy and learn. Busy Lizzy is Great for baby, great for parents!


'Being able to bring my baby to gym classes is great, an easy way to combine parenting and keeping fit with no child care worries.

Reviewed by Josephine, a local mum and Ollie (14 months) 26 Families South West • October 2019

Why do I recommend it? I did the mummy and baby session and my baby was over 1. I got a lot out of the session. Katie welcomed us and checked me for aches/pains. There were plenty of toys and lots of space to crawl around. Katie's prices are reasonable and terms are flexible. There's a wide range of classes across different times and venues.


I had a really good work out and I felt relaxed after. My boy had a work out too and played with other children. It felt like a playdate and exercise session.

Reviewed by Roving Mum Irene Bausas

you can take your baby

Fitwise London

Lost in Yoga

South Park Gardens, Wimbledon, Fitwise brings fitness and the great outdoors together. Grab a yoga mat, some strength bands and a few cones (all supplied) and get to work. Your baby can rest in their pram right near you, or if you’re lucky like me and has a toddler who stays near, you can still enjoy Post Baby Bods well after the baby stage! A great class for those looking for a lower impact workout. Suitable from birth until unable to stay with parent. Yoga Arch 265, Urlwin Street, SE5 0NG This weekly yoga class has a friendly, welcoming and supportive vibe. Teachers deliver sessions that are accessible for all levels, and skilfully provide suggestions for alternative poses as needed (to adapt to postnatal bodies for example). Babies lie next to parents throughout the session, and are involved with some of the salutations and poses. The relaxed atmosphere allows you to interact with and feed baby throughout the session, dropping in and out of the movements as needed. As well as leading the yoga, teachers happily engage and play with babies, putting parents at ease and allowing them to stay in pose. There’s even tea and biscuits after the session, which is a lovely way to take a few more moments to feel relaxed, and socialise with others. Thursdays 11-12, £8


A 10 class pass is only £85.

Reviewed by Roving Mum Melissa Reynolds


I’ve found this class to be an extremely positive environment to get back into exercise after having a baby. Having the pleasure of meeting other mums and dads is an added bonus!

Reviewed by Roving Mum Jessica Jones

PAINTING & DECORATING Interior / Exterior Experienced, Reliable, Clean Fully Guaranteed / Insured FREE ADVICE & QUOTE John:- James & Lamont

020 8462 4646 - 07802 535695

FIT SW11 @FITSW11 / 07960 112 547 FIT SW11 runs affordable and child friendly HIIT sessions for mums (weekdays) straight from school drop off until school pick up and for all family weekends. My 2 years old loves to imitate the exercises and playing with the rest of the kids. Classes during the week are £5 drop in and £8 weekends though there is the option to buy a 10 pass class for £40. The classes at the Doddington and Rollo community roof garden have three payment options: pay full price, pay what you can and if you can't pay you can still play.


The place is fenced or interior is very safe for the little ones

Reviewed by Roving Mum Noemí García


October 2019 • Families South West 27

October Half-term activities There are a myriad of ways to occupy your family this half term, we have listed some great courses and workshops below and in the Whats On’s column. One thing not to miss is Centre Court Shopping Centre’s Pirates of Wimbledon:  they will welcome no less than a 25ft pirate ship this half term! It will be anchored a-shore outside Lakeland from 19th 26th October for all the family to enjoy. On Tuesday 22nd to Thursday 24th from 11am to 4pm, a motley crew will take their place on the brigs as they will welcome more young pirates to join the buccaneers, discover treasure trails around the Centre and embark on their quest to become a fully-fledged Wimbledon Pirate! Plus, the Polka Theatre will be pitching up their fellows to bring some sea-faring stories to life over various intervals throughout the week. Don’t miss a week of swash-buckling fun!

The Strings Club

Music & Drama

Broadwater Primary school SW17 0DZ 21-25 Oct Inspire your child through music this school holidays. Each day at the multi award-winning Holiday Camp is wonderfully different. “Learn Together, Play Together Sessions” led by the UK’s top string teachers and interactive workshops designed to develop your child in more ways than one! Instrument Ukulele (all children). Flexible booking: half day to the full 5-day experience. Free hire of an instrument to take home. 9.30am–4pm £39.50, £20 half day. Wrap around 8am-6pm £5 per session.

Funky Monkey Keyboard Classes Various Locations 01732 457 100 21-25 Oct Frightful Fingers Electronic Keyboard Workshop Come and waggle a witchy finger or five at this Frightful Fingers Electronic Keyboard Workshop. The half day music workshop is a brilliant allround introduction to the electronic keyboard for 4-8 year old beginners. It's a fun-packed four hours, which incorporates reading and writing notes C-G alongside learning basic keyboard technique. All equipment and workbook provided. 9.30am1.30pm, £35 for first child, £30 subsequent siblings.

Little Voices Sinclair House School, Fulham

Learn an instrument with the Strings Club

28 Families South West • October 2019

21–24 October Aladdin Theatre Week Camps Aladdin Half Term Camp inspired by the newly released block buster hit. Outstanding, fun and educational. Children will be transported through four days of script learning, singing, dancing, making new friendships and building confidence working towards a final performance. 4–11 years 9.30am–3.30pm £180. STOP PRESS: In June Little Voices got their best LAMDA exam results yet. Out of the 120 pupils who took their exams 110 of them achieved DISTINCTIONS and 10 achieved MERITS, it’s just amazing! Children performed poem recitals, scenes of musical theatre and straight acting pieces for the examiners with confidence. FREE TRIAL lessons throughout the Autumn term.

Upbeat music course Thomas’s Academy, New Kings Road, SW6 4LY 21–23 October Unique and exciting holiday experience Sing, dance, play in a band, record, write songs in a fun and caring environment. Courses always end with an exciting UPBEAT PERFORMANCE! Coordinated and taught by fully qualified teachers and professional musicians. All staff are DBS checked. 4–14yrs 10– 4pm.

Perform Clapham South, Kensington and Wimbledon 21-23 Oct The Jungle Book This October, Perform have got the bare necessities of life covered. Your young cub will love putting on a

Funky Monkey Keyboard

Little House of Science

understanding of how to write stories based on our “Six Secrets for Success.” Hugely popular workshops. 10am-2pm.

Chelsea Young Writers St John's Notting Hill Church W11 2NN 21-25 Oct and 28 Oct-1 Nov Create original stories at this twoweek October programme, with classes including one-day workshops (8-12 years), 5-day course The Last Snows: A Climate Emergency for 8-12 years, 11+ English preparation course (Year 6) and ‘My First Story’ minicamps for young (6-7 years) story makers. All workshops and courses are led by expert, friendly tutors and are designed to inspire creative writing and stimulate imagination. show about Mowgli and his animal friends. Journeying deep into the jungle, their energetic team will fire your child’s imagination with lots of confidence-boosting songs and games to bring The Jungle Book to life. It’s going to be the wildest half-term ever! 4-10 years. Three day courses from 10am to 3pm each day.

Developing skills Yellowbird Education Parsons Green Prep School, 1 Fulham Park Rd, Fulham SW6 4LJ 21-25 Oct, 28 Oct- 1 Nov By writing a piece each day and talking it through whilst still fresh, the children will immediately see what they have done well and how to improve their work. The groups are small and age-appropriate allowing us to build an

Computer coding workshops Dulwich 020 8090 1444 21-25 October 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, Python, HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Unity/C#, and Touch-Typing in a fun, engaging environment. Ages 5-7 years, 8-12 and 13-16.

Miniversity Role Models Life Skills Courses Chelsea Academy School SW10 0AB 020 3637 7107, 21-25 October Delivered through active learning, these courses challenge and empower children by focusing on either Leadership, Resilience, Collaboration or Problem Solving. Age 6-11, 10am-3pm, £395, sibling discounts available.

Chelsea Academy London 21-25 Oct Get a head start on your future career with Miniversity half term camps. Each day is based on a particular career with demonstrations and tasks. Children will produce a piece of work for the afternoon showing with the chance for prizes. ICT Programs used throughout the course of each week include: Microsoft Publisher, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Email & Internet Safety, among many others. 5-12, 9am-2pm, early drop off and extended hours available.

Exceptional Academics Belleville Primary School, SW11 6PR 0203 002 3770 Founded by two inspirational former Heads of Maths and English, Matthew and Dara, Exceptional Academics was rated one of the top tutoring agencies in London with a “highly tailored, professional and friendly approach” by The Good Schools Guide 2019. They offer: • 11+ Saturday classes • 10+, 11+, 13+ Five Day Booster Courses • Mock Exams • Mock Interviews All lessons follow an in-house syllabus based on years of teaching experience and scrutinising past entrance papers.

Naomi Martin Touch Typing


October 2019 • Families South West 29

0208 088 0117

Little Voices Putney: St Mary’s Church, Putney High Street, SW15 1SA Little Voices Fulham: St Etheldreda Church, Fulham Palace Road, SW6 6JF

30 Families South West • October 2019

All Star Tennis

Eddie Catz Wimbledon and Colliers Wood 21-25 Oct Eddie Catz has this half-term and Halloween covered! From soft play sessions, to superheroes, handwriting zoo and creation station, there’s something for everyone. Celebrate Halloween with a sand art workshop, spooktacular messy play or some funky feet disco! Check website for specific dates and times.

Southbank Centre 17-27 Oct London Literature Festival The Centre’s acclaimed London Literature Festival is back for a thirteenth year offering audiences a packed eleven day programme of exclusive appearances, live readings, newly commissioned performances, talks, debates,


poetry, visual displays, workshops, award ceremonies, book launches, family events, music, free activities and more. Young attendees can look at exploring fairy tales and folklore from different cultures. The week culminates in Young Adult Literature Day, seeing the best writers of YA fiction present new work. 21-25 Oct Learn how architects observe and solve problems through design thinking. Design a city, investigate how we move around and create parks and playgrounds! Each day yields a new creation. 4-11yrs, £295 for full week.

Naomi Martin Touch Typing

Little House of Science

Fulham Weeks of Oct 14, 21 and 28 Go back to basics and learn typing the way your parents did! Learn all letter keys including punctuation, proper posture and proper techniques. Suitable for ages 7-18 years. £250 for the week.

Baden Powell House 21-25 Oct October Half-term Science Camps Learn all of the science basics with a Halloween twist. Take part in Frankenstein’s Science Lab: Spooky Physics, Mysterious Chemistry and Creepy Biology. Go to the head of the class after this half term, just don’t lose yours! Mo-Fri 9.30-3.30 (8.45am early drop-off), 4-7 and 812 years (age adjusted & separated groups).

I want to be an architect School for Creative Thinkers Kensington

So much to do at Kew Gardens


Sport/Active days Youngstars Balham, Clapham, Clapham Junction, Tooting, Putney & Wimbledon 07749 343116 21–25 October Youngstars Holiday Camps guarantee plenty of fun, games and excitement whilst being introduced to several sports in an all-inclusive and non-competitive environment. For ages 3-12yrs. Times and prices may vary so please website for details.

Playball Latchmere Leisure centre, SW11 5AD 020 8123 2217 21-25 October continued on p.33


October 2019 • Families South West 31

Learn Spanish with the Experts

KIDS & TEENS SPANISH CLASSES • Experts in teaching Spanish • Montessori weekend & After School Spanish Clubs • Native, experienced & qualified teachers • Fun & engaging lessons | Tel. 020 7095 9893

0208 679 4243

Great for small parties

Perfect for Baby Showers, Gender Reveal and Bridal Showers

32 Families South West • October 2019

Don’t miss the activities on the 25ft pirate ship at Centre Court Wimbledon!

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. The purpose of Playball holiday camps is to provide high quality, age-appropriate, fun holiday activities for children aged 3-9 years. Bouncy castles, treasure hunts , obstacles courses and a whole host of other exciting activities. 10am-1pm.

21-25 Oct All Star Tennis camps are back this half term. Sessions will be extra special as they celebrate their 20th Anniversary. As always they will be packed with games, drills, tennis technique, match preparation, fun tournaments, trick shots, prizes and team games. 3 to 4yrs: 3-4pm, 5 to 7yrs: 10-1pm and 3-5pm, 8 to 12yrs: 10-3pm, Teens: 12-4pm.

Days out

SwimWay Putney, East Sheen, Kew Gardens, Kensington and Balham 21-25 Oct Swimway will be running another series of intensive swimming course during the October half term for children aged 2yrs – 9yrs. The lessons will be provided on a private or a semi-private basis for half an hour each day. You can find full details of the October crash course Program online, alternatively, please email or call 020 8871-3972.

WWT London Wetland Centre

SW Swim School

Kew Gardens

Emanuel School 0208 767 2723 21-25 Oct Intensive Splash Course Get wet this half term with a week of intensive swimming lessons! All lessons are running 9am to 12pm and are suitable for children age 316 years of age. Lesson can be 4:1, 2:1 or private. Interested customers please contact by phone. 19 October-3 Nov Mini Fringe Festival Roll up, roll up to festival tents to explore Kew’s wild stories and the discoveries that have shaped the gardens. The festival will feature plant-based storytelling, children’s comedy workshops, treasure trails and workshops.

All Star Tennis Leaders Gardens, King Georges Park, Wandsworth Common and Tooting Common 020 8871 4706

Barnes Autumnwatch Get hands-on with this unique wildlife experience at London Wetland Centre, where visitors have a go at being a TV presenter and wildlife researcher this autumn. “This is a fantastic opportunity to experience what it’s like to be an Autumnwatch presenter. Budding wildlife presenters of all ages will have lots of fun and the chance to share their videos with all their friends.

Battersea Park Zoo

with tree top climbing. A head for heights is a must! Looking for more of a thrill? Check out the new Treetop Challenge Xpress. All the adrenaline in less time. Sessions run 9am to 4:30pm See website for height restrictions.

Lullingstone Country Park Eynsford, Kent, DA4 0JF 19-27 October Half term activity trail Explore the woods following the self-led activity trail and see what you can discover about the park. All completed trails will receive a small prize. 10am-3pm £3

RHS Garden Wisley Woking, Surrey 26 Oct-3 Nov Celebrate Awesome Autumn at RHS Garden Wisley with a variety of

fun activities, including trails, walks, crafts, puppet shows and gardening workshops. There will also be face-painting (£4) and pumpkin carving (£5). Approximate age range: 5 – 11. Don’t miss Birds of Prey Weekend, where you can meet these feathered friends up close and learn a little too! Suitable for all ages.

Battersea Park Zoo Battersea Park 22 and 24 Oct Hedgehogs and Spiders, Oh My! Become a hedgehog champion through arts and crafts and story time with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species. Two days later learn all about our eight legged friends too. Both sessions are drop in from 11am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Usual entrance fees apply.

Go Ape Battersea Park 19 Oct-2 Nov Spend your half term in the clouds! Go Ape’s most central forest experience offers lots of fun above


October 2019 • Families South West 33

Halloween events Big Fish Little Fish Rave

Pumpkin carving Fest

Festival of lights  

Morden Hall Park 19 Oct-3Nov Pick your pumpkin up at the stable yard, carve the face of your nightmares and watch it grow with an LED light. No prior booking required, £5.

Cutty Sark 2 and 3 November Make a beautiful lantern inspired by Cutty’s Sark’s journeys to India and create a colourful Diwali display. 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-4pm, free with admission to the ship.

Halloween art & craft workshop

Halloween cooking party

Style Station Belleville Primary School 23 and 24 October Learn how to create your very own witches broom, magicians wand, scary mask or magical hat. 612yrs. 10.30am-1pm £30 each session

Kids En Cuisine 27 Oct Planet Organic, Wandsworth 25 Oct Whole Food Market, Fulham Slip into your Halloween best and get ready to mix up some scary but healthy treats that are completely organic. All skill levels welcome and all materials are provided. 3-4 yrs, 10-11am. You can also book your private Halloween cooking party in the comfort of your home.

Chessington Howl ‘O’ Ween Chessington World of Adventures 12 Oct- 3 Nov No one does Halloween quite like Chessington. Check out Spyders, the newest attraction, explore Creepy Caves Unearthed, and check out Trick or Treat Wood and the haunted Howl ‘o’ ween Live

34 Families South West • October 2019

Show. Don’t forget to ride the rides after dark! All attractions included with ticket.

Half-term potion making trail, Claremont Landscape Garden, KT10 9JG Hubble Bubble, where to find wizard stuff for your potion? Search the ghoulish garden for mysterious ingredients and create some natural magic!

Family ghost tours  Ham House Richmond Tours take place 26 October–3 November Hear unexplained spooky tales from the past and present as you’re lead through the mansion by candlelight. With around 15 different ghosts Ham is said to be one of the most haunted houses in Britain.

Pumpkin trail     Gambado Chelsea 25 & 26 October Halloween party Spooky fun and games with music, competitions, raffles, food. The best fancy dress wins a membership! 6.30-8.30pm

Battersea Park Children’s Zoo Usual entrance fees apply 19- 27 October Purchase a quiz sheet upon entry

Godstone Farm From 26 Oct to 3 Nov Wiglet’s Great Spook- er-ree Eerie fun on the farm—don’t forget your best creepy costume. It’s going to be a Spooktacular half term filled with Pumpkin Carving, Trick or Treat games and the brand-new “Light Illusion Tunnel” with 3D glasses. There’s crafts, a spooky quiz, face painting and spooky tales too, so this really is a week not to miss!

Battersea Park Zoo

and use the clues to work out, and find, which animals have put out pumpkins this Halloween half term. Cost £1.50 (includes a prize) Usual entrance fee applies. 26 October Boo @ the Zoo! Dress up and join in with Halloween activities: (slightly) Spooky Story Time, scary crafts and spooky face painting. Scary surprise boxes… put your hand in and try to guess what’s lurking inside.

RHS Wisley 26 October – 17 November Mexican Day of the Dead in the Glasshouse. Inspired by the Mexican festival, vibrant tropical plants meet skeletons in this colourful display. Book in advance for 10% discount and to save time. Suitable for all ages. 31st October Wisley after Dark. For a spinetingling, hair raising evening, join the spooky trail through the garden and Glasshouse, booking essential, see website for details. Suitable for older children.

Tiny Dancers family rave Tunnel 267, Wimbledon 26 Oct Dress up in your favourite costume and boogy to some scary tunes as a family. Enjoy Halloween crafts, face painting, balloons, glow sticks, bubble machines and colouring wall murals. Best of all, you can still be home for bedtime!

Halloween party Eddie Catz 24 & 25 October Wimbledon 5.30-7.30pm Earlsfield 10am-12pm. Enjoy entertainment, a dance in the spooky disco and join in the fancy dress catwalk competition presented by Eddie himself. Child £15.50 (includes a meal) adult £4.50.

Mega family rave Fire & Lightbox Vauxhall 26 October Come rattle your bones at our Halloween Spooktacular! Incredible under-the-railwayarches multi room club with one dancefloor surrounded by an LED light ceiling and state of the art sound system. Dance with bubbles, balloons, glitter and topped by the parachute dance, face painting and more. 0-8 year olds with 3 rooms of live DJs. 2-4.30pm. Children £5 adults £7.


Family Halloween event Dantastic Productions Wimbledon Book online

20 October A family party packed full of shows, face painting, disco, treats and surprises.

Hever Castle Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG 19-31 October Prepare to be spooked this Halloween at Haunted Hever. For autumn half term there will be a vast array of spook-tacular events on at the Castle for you and your little ones. Creepy craft workshops, awesome activities and a spooky trail to follow in the grounds.

Battersea Park Zoo

Beastly bat trail Chartwell, Westerham, Kent, TN16 1PS 19 Oct -3 November Go along to beautiful Chartwell this half term for a Halloween family trail. Fly around the gardens and discover more about the beastly bats that live there.

Bocketts Farm Park Fetcham, Leatherhead 26 Oct- 3 Nov Witches and Wizards Week Enjoy a full packed programme of fun and freaky activities including a Spooky Quiz Trail, Creepy Craft Corner and Reptile Roadshow, amazing science and slime shows from Einstein's Entertainers as well as hundreds of pumpkins on sale! Daily activities include pony rides, tractor rides, animal handling and pig racing. And don’t’ miss the new animal discovery barn. With a large indoor playground, weather doesn’t stop the fun here!


October 2019 • Families South West 35

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

36 Families South West • October 2019

Things that Go YUM in the Night! Conjure up some ghoulish AND tasty Boo-meringue Pops this Halloween!

BOO-meringue Pops are tiny spectres that sit quietly in their cups until an unsuspecting little someone gets within snacking distance. Our friends at Wonderbly have come up with this fantastic spook-tastic recipe. Follow the simple steps below to make your own.


For the meringues • 115g caster sugar • 115g icing sugar • a pinch of salt • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature • large freezer bags • greaseproof paper • tiny chocolate drops • a bar of milk or dark chocolate

For the cups • paper cups • utility knife • paint • brush • Posca pen • lollipop sticks • masking tape • a sheet of tissue/crepe paper • scissors

Now for the cups…

Place your cup upside down on the crepe/tissue paper and draw a circle about 1cm wider than the rim. Cut out the circle and make small criss-cross slits in the centre of the crepe paper. Paint your cups a deep dark colour. When they’re dry, draw on some cobwebs or other creepy patterns.

Let’s make BOO-meringue Pops:

Keeping little fingers safe, cut the bottom out of your paper cups with the utility knife. Preheat the oven to 100°C or gas mark ¼. Put the caster sugar into one bowl and sift the icing sugar into another (and be careful not to sneeze!) Put the egg whites into a large bowl with a pinch of salt and use the electric whisk on medium power until the mixture forms soft peaks. Whisk on high power, adding 1 tbsp of caster sugar at a time until you’ve used it all.

Put your freezer bag into a glass and fold the edges over the sides. Spoon in your meringue. Take the bag out, twist the top shut and snip off the bottom corner. Make sure you hold the bag gently so the ghosts don’t escape! Put a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and place the cardboard circles (aka the cut-out cup bottoms) on the tray.

Take your ghosts on their cardboard circles and tape the lollipop sticks to the cardboard. Pop your ghosts-on-sticks into their cups from above. (Tell them to prepare their scary face…) Glue the edges of your tissue circles to the inside rim of the cups.

Pipe a ghost onto each, add choc-drop eyes and pop in the oven for 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours.

Fold in the icing sugar. By now the mixture should be glossy with scared-stiff peaks. (If you want to keep the meringue really white, you can add ½ tsp lemon juice and bake on a lower temperature for longer.) And voilarghh! You have a shroud of supernaturally cute treats ready to surprise lots of little monsters! When your ghosts are cooked and cooled, melt the chocolate (in a bowl) over a saucepan of boiling water. Using a toothpick or similar, give your ghouls some mouths, eyebrows, whatever you fancy!


Wonderbly create meaningful, magical personalized stories, which let children imagine themselves doing extraordinary things. Find out more at

October 2019 • Families South West 37

Deer Shed Festival

Fireworks displays 2019 Fireworks Night is always an exciting night and the councils who organise them encourage you to come along and enjoy this event but leave the fireworks to those specially trained to handle them. Fireworks are a cause of serious fires and injuries every year when not used responsibly.   They are always large numbers of people at the events so arrive early to avoid the long queues.  Please be aware that local routes to the park will most likely be very busy on the night, so travel to the event should be planned in advance.  Visitors must not bring any fireworks, alcohol or dogs into the parks.  Battersea Park Fireworks 2019 2 November Wandsworth Council's Battersea Park Fireworks attracts 50,000 people to experience a fireworks display like no other. Gates open 6pm, Bonfire 7.30pm, Fireworks 8pm. No entry after 8pm. £10, free for under 10yrs. The Battersea Park fireworks display is always a spectacular event, and tickets sell fast, so make sure you don’t miss out.

38 Families South West • October 2019

Bishops Park display 2 November Event time: 6pm-9.30pm. Children’s display: 7.15pm. Main display: 8pm. Gates close at 8pm. Strictly no admittance to anyone (including advanced ticket holders) after 8pm. £6/£8. There will be a funfair, food stalls and new bars serving up a wider selection of drinks than ever before. And for the first time, there will be no need to go looking for a cashpoint as you will be able to pay by card at the bar, food stalls and ticket box office.

A musical, themed fireworks show plus funfair, refreshments and bar. 6.30pm: first show (more suitable for young children) 8.15pm : second show. 10pm: funfair closes.

Godstone Farm RH9 8LX Thu 31 Oct & Fri 1 Nov After a visit to the farm, stay on to enjoy the Low Bangs Fireworks. Tickets to fireworks are strictly limited and only available in advance.

Ravenscourt Park display Early November Events include – bars, food vendors, funfair and firework displays Event time: 6pm-9.30pm. Children’s display: 7.15pm. Main display: 8pm. Gates close at 8pm. Strictly no admittance to anyone (including advanced ticket holders) after 8pm. There will only be a small number of tickets available to buy on the night at the box office. Queues for the box office are usually longer than advanced ticket holder queues. £6/£8. Same description as Bishop park display, as both events are run by H&F.

Morden Park The display will take place in the middle of the park. 2 November

Southwark Fireworks Night 2019 Southwark Park 5 November No admission to the Fireworks in Southwark Park without a ticket.

Tickets are free for Southwark residents. There is a charge for non-residents, over the age of 3 years. Gates will open at 5pm, with food, drink, children’s funfair and entertainment available until 8pm. Last entry to the park will be at 6.30pm, so please arrive in good time. Wimbledon Park The display will take place near the athletics track. 5 November A musical, themed fireworks show plus funfair, refreshments and bar. 6.30pm: first show (more suitable for young children) 8.15pm : second show. 10pm: funfair closes. Fireworks at Wisley 2nd November Join RHS Garden Wisley’s first family-friendly, low-bang fireworks display. Event opens at 5pm and fireworks start at 6pm with other activities on the Seven Acres terrace until 8pm. Tickets £10 adults and £5 children for members and non-members. Suitable for all ages.

Try a new activity at Putney Exchange this autumn We asked Bronia Thomas of the Putney Exchange, to tell us what’s going on this autumn. As the nights draw in and the weather gets colder, we often turn inwards, going out less frequently and enjoying cosy evenings on the sofa.  We feel less inclined to try something new, preferring to save it for the warmer weather or the new year after the rush of Christmas is over.  


ere, we look at all the different ways you and your family can get out this autumn to participate in activities, learn something new, meet and connect with people, or simply to spend time on your own engaging in activities that some of our retailers and independent shop owners have on offer. This autumn, try something new —you never know, it might be the best thing you've tried all year! Storytime Join Waterstone's Putney every Sunday at 11:30am for Children's Storytime. This is a wonderful time for families to spend together listening to great stories. The group caters for 2-5 year olds but all are welcome. Adult book club For adults, there is a Waterstone's Putney Book Club who meet on the last Thursday of every month. The group meet at 6pm and there is no need for you to call and book. Just come along to Café W, the Waterstone's café and join in. All welcome. Child play groups Gymboree Play & Music Putney Group hold imaginative play classes for 0-5 year olds. There is an play floor and apparatus that changes every 2 weeks as well as bubble, dance and many other fun play games. Book a Free Trial class and discover the benefits of play in your child's development. Classes are Monday-Saturday.

Gymboree's annual Halloween Party is on Thursday 31st October (4-4.45pm) and Friday 1st November (4-4.45pm). These are popular events so buy your ticket asap. Crafting for autumn and Halloween If you enjoy crafting, pop into The Works or Flying Tiger Copenhagan who always have a selection of creative activities you can try your hand at. Indoor and outdoor cafés There are currently six different cafés, bistros and bakeries for you to enjoy. Café W by Waterstones and Costa are inside the centre, as well independent bakery Brownie Box - home of the brownie traybake. On Lacy Road there is Giuliano's Italian Deli-Cafe where the Italian owners make everything from scratch daily, Gail's Bakery where homemade baked goods sell out quickly, and Blåbär a cool bistro based around good coffee, design and food. Get fit and get connected We are lucky at Putney Exchange to have three great fitness experts who will help you get fit as well as introduce you to a new social network. • On Lacy Road, we have Martial Fitness who provide fitness training in an easy and accessible way. Try out: personal training, group boxing, boxfit, kickboxing classes for kids, teens and adults, Kung Fu, Krav Maga, Capoeira, Pilates, Yoga, Blitz Fitness and Conditioning to name a few!


• Also on Lacy road is Sporting Feet who are a sports footwear retailer for both kids and adults. However, all the staff are also incredibly knowledgeable about local sport and activity groups and are a central hub for fitness advice working to help the local Putney community participate in sport more easily. Looking to join a running group? Want to try a new sport? Pop in and have a chat to one of their team. • Lastly, we have Énergie Fitness Putney, a new gym opening this month on the 1st floor inside the centre. They will offer a full weights gym and over 30 classes on site. There are great deals if you sign up before they open so get in touch with us if you want to know more. If you would like more information about any of the retailers' activities, get in touch @putneyexchange on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or sign up to the newsletter on

Putney Exchange Shopping Centre, on the Putney High Street, has been part of the community for over 30 years. It has over 40 retailers ranging from well known high street brands through to small independent shop owners and has a strong ethos of supporting the community and businesses that help the town centre and high street to thrive.

October 2019 • Families South West 39

Christmas Shows


Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers Battersea Arts Centre 30 Nov-31 Dec Sleeping Trees are back this Christmas with another rip-roaring pantomime for all the family. Teaming up with The Three Musketeers and a whole host of

fairy tale favourites (with a little help from the audience), can Goldilocks rescue Wonderland and live happily ever after before it’s too late? £10 - £24, from 4yrs

The Snail and the Whale Apollo Theatre 30 November–5 January 2020

This heart-warming family show is inspired by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved picture book of the same name. It’s also produced by the same team behind productions of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. Live music, storytelling and lots of laughs—but when the whale gets beached, how will the snail save him? From 4yrs.

Peter Pan Under the Bridge, under the East stand of Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge stadium, Fulham Buy tickets from 7&8 December A magical Christmas show to remember! From the streets of Bloomsbury in London to the Lagoons and forests of neverland , and the decks of Captain Hooks Jolly Roger..the adventures of Peter Pan is a colourful , fast moving musical adventure. 11am, 1pm both days plus plus a 3.30pm performance on the Sunday.

COMPETITION TIME! To celebrate ‘growing up’ and going back to school, we have a family ticket for Peter Pan at Under the Bridge up for grabs. To win, follow @utblondon and tag two of your friends you would like to see this Christmas show with. Winners will be chosen at random. The Snale and the Whale

40 Families South West • October 2019

The Little Prince   Omnibus Theatre The most beautiful things in the 4-30 December world cannot be seen An award winning local theatre or touched, producing one of the bestThey are felt with  selling and most translated the heart. novellas ever published. Don’t miss this! Following their success in crafting beautiful Winter shows for all ages (Offie-winner 2018 for Zeraffa Giraffa) comes this brilliant blend of enchanting storytelling, shadow puppetry, projections and live music directed by Artistic Director Marie McCarthy. 10.30am & 1.30pm weekdays and 11am & 2pm weekends. Ages 4 – 104 yrs, £8 children, £10 adults.

New Wimbledon Theatre 0844 8717646 See NWT’s other shows page 43 1-3 November

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Join in the Christmas spirit which the show critics have called 'A genius of a show! A total delight for both kids and adults'. Featuring the hit songs You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch and Welcome Christmas, this is a heartwarming and hilarious musical. 4+ from £13

The Little Prince, Omnibus Theatre

7 Dec-5Jan Cinderella Packed with all of the traditional pantomime ingredients audiences expect, Cinderella features laughout-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses. From £13

Cinderella, The Rockin’ Panto!  Artsdepot, 5 Nether Street, N12 30 Nov-5 Jan A chart-topping panto packed with rock, pop and soul. Ages 5+.


The Nutcracker

The Snowman 

London Coliseum 11 Dec-5 Jan One Christmas Eve, in a snowcovered Edwardian London, young Clara receives an enchanted Nutcracker doll as a present. He opens the door to a magical world, and soon they find themselves battling with the dastardly Mouse King. Then the pair take to the chill-bitten skies as they ride a hot air balloon to the Land of Snow. Ages 5+.

The Peacock Theatre 21 Nov-5 Jan London’s favourite Christmas Show! The Snowman returns, as a magical mix of exquisite dancing and live music lift the boy and his friend from page to stage. The enchanting show tells the story of a young boy’s adventures when his snowman comes miraculously to life on Christmas Eve. All ages.

October 2019 • Families South West 41

What’s On September 2019 Fulham Palace natural play

Wimbledon BookFest - Five Little Monkeys

If you only do one thing this month… Go to Streatham Festival 11-20th October It's #Destination Streatham for the 19th annual Streatham Festival! Children’s and family events include flamenco, street, and Irish dance workshops, a talent contest, creative workshops, and the chance to be a chorister for an afternoon. There’s a special day of Children’s Activities on October 19th, with a special Clip Theatre show in the afternoon for tinies and toddlers. The Blue Hoarding Project is a bright, bold celebration of children and young people’s vision of Streatham. Streatham Schools Art Exhibition is on Saturday 12 October at Streatham & Clapham High School. Watch the fun at Doggie Splash Day on Sunday 13 October when dogs use the Streatham Common paddling pool on the last day of the season. Reel on to the Grand Festival Ceilidh on 19 October, preceded by a Dance Extravaganza showcasing local dance schools. Be sure to make Streatham your family’s destination between 11-20 October. Full programme at

Diary Dates ... Moniker Art Fair Chelsea Sorting Office, SW3 6NJ 2-6 October The world’s largest urban art fair, Moniker pushes boundaries and the importance of urban art on the London art scene. Street art isn’t just found in Shoreditch!

Clapham Book Festival  Omnibus Theatre 5 October An exciting roster of authors on offer including Frank Gardner OBE, Clapham resident Simon Berthon, Ursula Buchan and many more. Trail for families starting and ending at Clapham Common Underground station. Find out more about Clapham authors for all ages on the website.

Wimbledon Don’t miss BookFest  this event! In the Big Tent on Wimbledon Common 3-13 Oct A packed Children’s programme including: Harry Hill introducing his latest children’s

novel Matt Millz Stands Up!, former SAS soldier turned author Chris Ryan, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Dame Jacqueline Wilson will talk about her highly anticipated sequel to the Tracy Beaker series We are the Beaker Girls. Mr Gum creator Andy Stanton presents his new book The Paninis of Pompeii whilst BookFest is thrilled to welcome festival favourite Chris Riddell once again. For younger children there will be Rob Biddulf, Nick Butterworth, storytelling, puppetry and Polka Theatre running a puppet-making workshop.

New Scientist Live 2019 

and selfies with robots. Suitable for all ages, see website for prices.

Mum2Mum market Ricards Lodge High School Wimbledon 12 October Nearly new sales where mums sell to mums, £2 at the door by buyers, kids go free. 10am-12pm

Race for the kids Hyde Park 12 October Race for the Kids 5K family fun run in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children. Suitable for all ages and abilities.

London Academy of Gymnastics  & Dance in SW3 LAGAD provides high quality, fun and dynamic gymnastic classes specially designed for children aged 3 ½ - 16 years. Classes in Chelsea and South Kensington run on Saturdays, with highly trained coaches working in small groups to bring out the best in every child. Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced Levels. Established in 2009, this year LAGAD celebrates 10 Years of gymnastics classes for children. Trial Classes available throughout the term. 020 8883 4675

‘Annie’ at The New Wimbledon Theatre

ExCeL London 10-13 Oct Five zones that explore the cosmos, Earth, humans, technology and engineering, over 150 exhibits and activities to take part in. There’s heaps of handson activities, jaw-dropping demos, and inspiring, immersive experiences for families. From VR rollercoasters and a pop-up planetarium, to rocket launches

42 Families South West • October 2019

Wimbledon BookFest Konnie Huq

Build your London! St Michael’s Church, 1 Studley Road, Stockwell SW4 19 Oct Mini Morley family workshop Make the changes you want to see in a collaborative clay cityscape. The workshop will be led by artist Nick Kidd, a freelance museum and gallery educator with a Fine Art background, he delivers engaging and hands-on sessions with a playful material focus. 1.30-3.30pm 3 to 12 years. FREE

Philip Huffman as The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

THEATRE Battersea Arts Centre 22-24 Oct The day I fell into a book Already beloved by audiences all over the UK, it is written and performed by Lewis Gibson- it uses sound, intimate lighting and projection to take its audience into a lost world of classic tales. 11am and 2pm. 8-12 year olds, £8-£10

Ski & Snowboarding Show Battersea Park 24 October Mount Battersea will once again rise from the ashes to bring you some of the UK’s best ski and snowboard athletes to perform and compete in gnarly competitions and demos.

Early, early Christmas fair Sacred Heart Hall, Edge Hill SW19 4LU 26 October Keep ahead of yourself and get your shopping done in good time 10am to 3pm.

Italian conversation 020 8748 6418 Italian for children aged 3-11. Small class - tutor pupil rate as private lessons. Club Italiano for adults, small class size, days or evenings in Richmond, Barnes or Hammersmith. Intermediate level, the atmosphere is friendly, the emphasis is on conversation.

The Independent School Show Battersea Evolution, SW8 4NW 9-10 November The show brings together the sector's leading schools, brightest thinkers and the most respected heads to help you make the right decisions for your child. Book now for this year's show to find out everything you need to know about independent education.

Circus 1903 Royal Festival Hall 19 Dec- 5 Jan Experience the thrills and daredevil entertainment of a turn-of-thecentury circus this Christmas. Circus 1903 returns to Southbank Centre, with new acts for 2019 including the Brazilian Wheel of Death. The show includes sensational life-sized elephants stunningly created by puppeteers from War Horse, putting elephants back in the ring as never before. The circus boasts a huge cast of jaw-dropping and dangerous acts from all corners of the globe. Featuring acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, trapeze and high-wire performers and more, this show captivates and transports audiences of all ages to the golden age of circus. Ages 3+, tickets from £29.50, concessions 25% off.

wants to play fetch with him, a swan builds a nest with him, and he even ends up on a fire! How will Stick Man ever get back to the family tree? All ages.

Lyric Theatre 29 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho Box office: 0330 333 4812 29 November - 5 Jan 2020 Oi Frog & Friends! Packed with music, songs, laughs and more rhymes than you can shake a chime at! This is the highly anticipated stage show which brings together Kes Gray and Jim Field’s bestselling and award-winning picture books Oi Frog!, Oi Dog! and Oi Cat! published by the Hachette Children’s Group, into one action-packed musical production. 3+ from £15.50, family ticket £66

Mini Morley family workshop

New Wimbledon Theatre 0844 8717646 23 -26 Oct Stay local, The Wizard of Oz! Join this wonderful Dorothy, Toto and their theatre is on three sidekicks as they your doorstep journey down the yellow brick road. 11-16 November Annie This ‘glorious revival’ (The Times) stars Birds of a Feather’s Lesley Joseph as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. With its Tony® awardwinning book and score, including the unforgettable songs It’s The HardKnock Life, Easy Street, I Don’t Need Anything But You and Tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll love it! ‘LAVISH ESCAPISM’ (The Daily Telegraph) ‘AN ALL-SINGING ALLDANCING TRIUMPH’ (OK! Magazine) 2yrs+ from £13.

Colour House Theatre  Watermill Way, Colliers Wood, SW19 2RD Until 10 November Robin Hood and Maid Marian This action-packed musical is a real treat for boys and girls, with lots of laughs and giggles for all ages to enjoy along the way. Saturday and Sunday 12pm and 3pm £12/£10

Leicester Square Theatre 19 Oct to 26 Jan The Stick Man What starts off as a morning jog becomes quite the misadventure for Stick Man: a dog


October 2019 • Families South West 43

Hey Diddle Diddle, Streatham Space Project

Moniker International Art Fair

War Horse 2019. Photo: Brinkhoff Mogenburg

Polka Theatre @ New Wimbledon Studio Theatre 11 Dec 2019 –5 Jan 2020 The Paper Dolls Based on the book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, The Paper Dolls comes to life on stage with stunning puppetry and original music. A revived co-production with Little Angel Theatre. 3-6yrs. Family tickets from £11.55

Puppet Theatre Barge Little Venice W9 2PF 7 Dec - 6 Jan 2020 The Three Little Pigs, plus Captain Grimey The Three Little Pigs is a lively show that breathes new life into these well-known characters - each of the pigs has an air of mischief and

naivety, while the wicked wolf has just a hint of a wry smile. A humorous morality tale. 3-8yrs.

A local venue with quality shows, comedy and more. Check it out!

Sadler's Wells  Lilian Baylis Studio 20 October Alice in Wonderland This innovative dance company will bring the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland to life in a spellbinding ballet production filled with stunning dancing and circus, much-loved characters and super costumes. Suitable for 2-13 years

Stunning Family Ballet

Streatham Space Project

Battersea Arts Centre 23 and 25 Oct Hey Diddle Diddle Presented by Goblins, an acclaimed theatre company who make shows for young people and families. A hilarious adventure filled with music and puppetry, for ages 3+

Lavender Hill Every Saturday Cracked Light Heritage trail: the mysterious letter Can you unlock the past and solve the mystery of what messages the great and good of Battersea might have for us? Keep your eyes and ears open in this interactive trail around Battersea Arts Centre to experience the rich history that this building holds, dating back to when it was used as Battersea Town Hall. 6-11yrs, 11am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm

Theatre Royal Haymarket 9 Dec – 5 Jan 2020 The Tiger who came to Tea The well-loved classic. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her Mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big furry, stripy tiger! Ages 3+ yrs

A brand new state-ofthe-art venue in West London

Troubadour White City Theatre Book via or Until 27 October Peter Pan Bursting with magic, mischief, music and make-believe, this wondrously inventive Peter Pan is a funny and moving version of a much-loved story. This is a National Theatre production suitable for all ages, from £18

Unicorn Theatre 47 Tooley St, London SE1 2HZ Until 27 Oct Anansi The Spider In celebration of Black History Month, these classic West African and Caribbean tales about the spider hoaxster are brought vividly to life here in Artistic Director Justin Audibert’s newest production for the Unicorn. 3-7yrs from £10

44 Families South West • October 2019


The British Museum See the museum's collection of ancient and historical artefacts including the ever-popular Egyptian mummies. Free daily activities including trails, backpacks, object handling and art materials. Free, charge for some exhibitions. Digital Discovery Centre weekends Learn, discover and create in the Museum's digital centre. Free activities and workshops using the latest Samsung digital equipment, enabling children to bring the world's history and cultures to life through advanced technology.

London Wetland Centre Barnes An urban oasis for wildlife and people, close to central London. Stroll among the lakes, ponds and gardens. The café is perfect for relaxing, and children will love the play areas. Regular events include: meet the otters, bird feed with a warden, talks, have a go at being a Wildlife presenter, and wetland explorers and more. See page 33 for half term activities.

Streatham Festival

The Tiger who came to Tea Theatre Royal Haymarket

Enjoy the autumn colours of the garden Kew Gardens This autumn, Kew will host an exciting line up of activities focused around plant names, words, and their importance in the world of botany. Families will be invited to roll up, roll up to festival tents to explore Kew’s wild stories and the discoveries that have shaped the Gardens. Storytelling Explore how plants are named, the tales and legends hidden within these names. Get on stage with the School of Comedy Dynamic workshops on improvisation techniques and how to pen jokes. Led by the team behind the hit TV show, the School of Comedy. Explore the secret underground world of badgers in our human-sized Badger Sett. Spot wildlife on the raised Woodland Walk. Test your balancing skills on the natural Log Trail and don’t miss the Treetop Walkway!

Race for the kids 12th October

documentary, featuring stories ranging from spies to bomb shelters and from refugees to ration books, then download the result. £10 per family, no need to book. 21, 23 and 26 October Story Tellers Learn about the global impact of conflict from the First and Second World Wars to today, getting hands-on with real artefacts and exploring unusual stories from the museum collection. 10am-1pm and 2-4pm, free drop-in.

London Transport Museum

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES Bank of England Museum 28 October -1 November The Big Draw The museum building is more than 80 years old. It was designed and built to last, but what could it look like in the future? Drop in, imagine and design a new look which materials would you use to make the building strong and sturdy? What things would you have in place to keep the building, staff and gold safe? 10am-4.30pm daily, free, including a competition for different age groups.

Charles Dickens Museum 48 Doughty Street, WC1N 2LX A visit to the museum includes a free family trail for each child. The trail takes children on a journey of discovery through No. 48 Doughty Street, where Dickens once lived with his wife and young family. 4-12yrs, £9 adults, £4 children

Cutty Sark 21-26 October Ports of call Set sail on a half term adventure across the high seas. Enjoy daily-changing music and dance performances inspired by Cutty Sark’s voyages and take part in musicinspired arts and crafts. 11am-4pm, free with admission to the ship.

NEW Stunning natural play area

Fulham Palace 19-27 October Where’s Wally? The Big Museum Hunt Explore, discover, play as you hunt for Wally around the Museum. From 11 October Hidden London Experience an ‘abandoned’ Tube station underworld and discover secrets beneath our

Polka Paperdolls New Wimbledon Studio Theatre

busy streets. Hidden London - The Exhibition will take visitors on an immersive journey of some of London’s most secret spaces belonging to the oldest subterranean railway in the world. Children free.

Museum of London Until January 2020 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+

SW6 6EA Natural play area Logs and wooden objects saved from onsite tree work have been built into a new play area, sparking creativity in order to encourage a lifelong love of nature for the children who use it. Open daily from dawn to dusk, suitable for all ages, entry free. Every Monday and Tuesday The Palace Explorers Join the Palace Explorers, weekly parent/carer and toddler sessions for children aged 24. £5.50 per child, which includes a drink and healthy snack, booking essential. 9.30-10.30am

Imperial War Museum IWM shows and records war through the eyes of the people who lived it. Be moved. Be inspired. Be transformed. Open 10am to 6pm daily, admission free. 19+20 October Animals in confict See the new Puffin/ IWM publication ‘Tales of Amazing Animal Heroes’ jump off the page, with interactive storytelling adventures in conjunction with leading vet charity PDSA. 10am-4pm, free drop-in. Daily Documentary challenge Make and feature in your own mini-


October 2019 • Families South West 45

Kew Gardens

Oi frog and friends

Ocean Film Festival Photo by Travis Burke

Museum of London Docklands West India Quay, E14 4AL ands Until 27 October Secret Rivers For centuries, Londoners have existed beside a series of waterways, which have shaped the city and people within it. Discover the forgotten secrets and stories of London's rivers, streams and brooks through excavated artefacts, paintings, prints and contemporary art. Ages 5+, free.

Natural History Museum Volcanoes and Earthquakes Through dramatic film footage, exhibits, interactive games and our famous earthquake simulator, discover how the powers within shape the world we live in. See lava bombs, volcanic

glass hair, and crystals created under intense pressure beneath the Earth's surface. Dinosaurs The Museum's dinosaurs are world-famous, you can’t miss this. Museum of the Moon is six-metre model featuring meticulously detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, ambient moonlight and an evolving soundscape. Investigate for families, every weekend Get a feel for how scientists work by having a go yourself. Explore hundreds of real nature specimens that form the evidence Museum scientists use in their daily work. Drop-in, ages 3-11, 11am-5pm. Dino Snores, once a month on Saturdays Discover what really happens at the museum when the staff and visitors have gone home. Children aged 7-11 years, from 7pm to 9.50am the following day. Tickets from £54.

National Army Museum Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HT The National Army Museum is a leading authority on the British Army and its impact on society past and present. Through its collections the museum preserves and shares stories of ordinary people with extraordinary responsibilities; exploring the role of the army and its relevance today. Free children’s trails cover a wide range of topics and suit a variety of age groups. free. Play Base, daily Whether your child wants to take on the soft play assault course, climb aboard a truck or prepare scoff in the cookhouse, Play Base lets every child shine. Ages 0-8, £4.50 per child for an hour-long session. 12, 19 & 21 October Giant games for little soldiers: Second World War edition Step inside the life-size board game this October half-term and battle it out to see who wins. FREE.

Royal Museums  National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, Royal Observatory The Great Explorer is an interactive game for families. Borrow a tablet device and set sail across The Great Map to explore distant lands and discover treasures from all around the world. Where will you visit and what will you find? Take a photo and share

The Battle Gallery looks at British the National Army

your adventure. 11am-4pm, free. Character Encounters Saturdays. Join an exciting performance and journey bringing maritime history to life. 12noon, 1, 2 and 3pm.

V&A Museum of Childhood Bethnal Green E2 9PA This gem of a museum houses dolls, dolls' houses, puppets, teddy bears, games, childcare, clothing, furniture and art and photography. Everyday drop-in activities include storytelling, arts and crafts, and trails. There's dressing-up, role play and an under 3s area, an indoor sandpit, and regular special events. Free

ART ACTIVTIES Sir John Soane’s House WC2A 3PB This magical, mysterious museum encourages young visitors to explore Soane's treasures and develop new skills with specialist guidance. Free drop-in activities for all ages and families can take part together from 1.30-4.40pm.

Kensington Palace Try a digital mission Download the free 'Time Explorers' app then meet

The National Maritime Museum is fantastic place

Review by Roving mum Noemi Garcia

for a cultural day out. We arrived there by boat from Westminster pier to Greenwich, the best way for the kids to enjoy the trip and recognize some of the most iconic buildings in London. Once there, we went directly to the National Maritime museum where we visited the Moon exhibition dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, featuring over 180 objects, including artefacts, famous pictures and moon rocks from NASA's Apollo 11 mission. The girls picked up a trail and they were soared into space! After the exhibition we went to the Ahoy! Children's gallery (Free weekdays during term-time. £3/per child weekends and school holidays) where the kids were playing in this fantastic soft play with maritime themes as polar exploration, pirates, stoke the boiler of a steamship, buy and sell fish in the marketplace, and an interactive boatyard. Sundays are free make and do activities for all ages and families in the learning space in the museum (from 11:30am-4pm) and we were there making some Chinese shadows in different shapes as moons and space rockets. It was a great day out with the kids with a lot of fun and learning.

46 Families South West • October 2019

tactics and technology at Museum

The National Maritime Museum

a character from history, explore the palace, complete challenges and win a badge. Go on a Family trail Explore the Palace together with an activity trail. 5-11yrs

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

Tate Britain Under Fives Explore the Gallery Experiment with a range of materials while discovering exciting routes and journeys through the galleries alongside other families.

Tate Modern Family Friendly Art Activities A range of free arty and crafty workshops, see website for details. Free

V & A Museum Pick up a family trail from the Information Desk and explore the museum through puzzles, drawing and observation. For ages 7-12. Free

Museum of the Moon

CHILDREN FILM SCREENINGS Clapham Picturehouse: Saturdays, 10.30am. Tickets £1 with £4 membership. BFI films for families Saturday Film Clubs 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 8-11, 10.30–12.30, Young Filmmakers for ages 12-15, 2-4.30pm £95 per child

Barbican Family Film Club: Saturdays, 11am. Tickets are £2.50, bring the kids and escape the cold while you chill and watch a movie. Great price. All ages.

Electric Cinema, Kid’s Club: W11 2ED Saturdays, 9.30am, Check out the newly refurbished Electric Cinema in Notting Hill with its plush, red velvet beds, sofas and armchairs. Looks like a great way for Dad to occupy the kids on a Saturday morning. Tickets £8 per person. All ages

Electric Scream: Mondays, 10.30am. Tickets from £15.50. Babies up to one year old, only.

Enjoying the log trail at Kew Gardens

4pm Contact Caroline Flint 07973 657 642, email

Ritzy, Brixton, Toddler Time:

National Gallery Storytelling

Thursdays 11am, £3 per child, adults free. Big Scream: Fridays, 11am. £7.50.

Every Sunday National Gallery, WC2 10.30am, 11.30am & 12.30pm, Fly away on the magic carpet as it comes to land in front of a different painting each day. Ages 2-5. No need to book, just meet in the Pigott Education Centre Foyer. (entrance on Orange Street at the back of the National Gallery). Admission is free, but operates on a first come, first served basis and places are limited.

BABIES AND TODDLERS Messy Play The Bright Emporium, Clapham Every Saturday 9.15am-10am. Ages 1-3. 10.15am-11am Ages 3-5.

NCT Bumps and Babies Group Riverside Pub, St George’s Wharf, SW8 2LE Every Tuesday Meet up with other pregnant people or people with babies - completely free and nice drinks available. 2.30-

Pram Chorus daytime choir Balham, Brixton and Streatham Weekly sessions in the morning, bring your baby and sing along. No singing experience, expertise or talent required. The idea is to do something fun, creative and sociable. Taster session £5, then £8/session, drop-in £10.

Would you like to earn extra money? Capital Focus Groups are looking for people who enjoy giving their opinions and are willing to share their views on the products and services they use for many of the country’s largest companies and well-known products. It’s free, it’s fun and you will be financially rewarded as a thank you for taking part! Register now to earn extra money, by calling Liz on 07761 128059 or

26.10.2019 FROM 10AM TILL 3PM


October 2019 • Families South West 47

Profile for Families Magazine

Families London SW October 2019 issue 290  

Top information for parents in SW London: over 200 local events listed, What's On, fireworks, Halloween, half term activities, school open...

Families London SW October 2019 issue 290  

Top information for parents in SW London: over 200 local events listed, What's On, fireworks, Halloween, half term activities, school open...