Families London SW Sept 2019 issue 289

Page 1



South West

Back to School Special IN THIS ISSUE

School news, open days, reader offers, after school activities, weekend activities, babies and toddlers, theatre and much more... Issue 289 September 2019


Try a FREE no-obligation drama class at www.perform.org.uk/try


6-7      Reader Offers galore! • 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: editor@FamiliesSW.co.uk News: news@FamiliesSW.co.uk Adverts/Artwork: adverts@FamiliesSW.co.uk Events/Diary Dates/What’s On: whatson@FamiliesSW.co.uk Next Issue: October 2019 ISSN 1354-9553. All contents ©Families SW 2019.


Families showcases local businesses

8-32    EDUCATION How to choose the right school Open days listing School news Confidence for girls Outdoor learning Wandsworth’s first Play Street! The Interview, a valuable tool

33-37  NURSERY Is your child’s behaviour a concern? Why prioritise play? Maths anxiety Head lice and nits

September 2019 Issue 289 57-62  WHAT’S ON             • Diary dates • Theatre • Ideas for the weekend • Museums and galleries • Babies & toddlers • Art activities

Cover photo competition! See page 40

39        Blogger becomes best-selling author 42-55 CLUBS & CLASSES FEATURE Choose the right club or class What’s all the fuss about phonics? Mindfulness teacher brings peace Clubs & classes news and information

56        5G dangers: who to believe?


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

September 2019 • Families South West 5

Enjoy great Reader Offers

Exclusive offer for Families readers: 25% off * any treatment on your first visit

Moreton Place Beauty & Wellbeing Founded by mother and daughter, Angela and Rachael Burnett, Moreton Place Beauty & Wellbeing is a boutique beauty salon with exquisite design and a team committed to providing a service of excellence, where “customers are placed first, foremost and above all”. The salon features a nail bar, four treatment rooms and a relaxing facial garden exclusively open for the spring/summer months. Specialising in facial treatments they work with the following skincare brands: Natura Bissé, Environ, CACI, Germaine de Capuccini, Odacité and Dermalogica. Their experienced therapists also deliver massage, waxing, tinting, threading, nail and lash treatments in luxurious and peaceful rooms. Although Moreton Place is only a 4 minute walk away from Pimlico tube station, you will be surprised to find the moment you walk through the door you feel as though you are miles away from London. 40 Moreton Street, London, SW1V 2PB www.moretonplace.co.uk * Not to be used in conjunction with any other discount or promotional offer.

Authentic and healthy Napolitan cuisine  in a child-friendly environment

A real find, you won’t be disappointed. Reviewed by Noemí García, one of Families roving mums

“We went to Donna Margherita after spending the morning in the Battersea Art Centre, opposite in Lavender Hill: it is perfectly located! The music and the decoration takes you directly to an Italian Piazza eating al fresco, the genuine taste of Italian homemade food. We had the degustation menu with Bruschetta Napolitana, Fritturina, organic bread, Ravioli, Pappardelle, Spaghetti and the best Zuppa ever with mussels, squid, prawns, langoustines and clams with cherries and bread. The adults loved absolutely everything! The winning dish for our 2 and 4 years old daughters were the pizzas with bear and bunny shapes and the torta caprese for desert. They only use the best organic ingredients with gluten free pasta and and can adapt everything to a smaller portions or combinations for kids and for adults.” 183 Lavender Hill SW11 5TE Book now on 020 7228 2660 www.donnamargherita.co.uk

French traditional madeleines with a touch of ooh la la! We all know Biscuiteers and love Maitre Choux, new on the baking scene is BISOU les madeleines: they aim to revolutionise the humble madeleine by recreating it in various exciting flavours. “Our aim is to offer high-quality products (we only use natural ingredients in our recipes) with great design. Our regular and mini madeleines are perfect for any occasion.” In addition to sweet madeleines, they offer a collection of savoury mini madeleines that are the perfect finger food for your 20% off any online parties. We love their orders with code madeleine towers for special FAMILIES Valid celebrations—they are simply until 31/12/19 stunning and quite different! Admire the range on www.bisoulesmadeleines.com and start savouring.

MG Hypnosis

A one hour hypnotherapy session for £75, normally £155 for first visit (excluding weight loss and smoking cessation) for children, teens or adults*

Hypnotherapy is a treatment that uses Hypnosis to alter the way you feel and think and to change aspects of your life, which need improving. Hypnosis is a perfectly natural condition, which we experience every day of our lives, like daydreaming. Under hypnosis, we are capable of making significant changes to our thinking patterns and unlocking unlimited potential to improve and transform our lives. Common conditions treated: stress reduction, exam anxiety, phobias, habits, relaxation, confidence boosting, and motivation. *Valid until end October. See www.mghypnosis.co.uk for more information, or call with  questions on 07931 547414.

6 Families South West • September 2019


from our local businesses

Reader Offer 20% discount with code Families

FREE Teddy Offer

Little London Bloomers

Dance classes accompanied by live piano music!

This independent clothing brand, based in London, was established in the summer of 2018, specialising in handmade traditional British Bloomers and accessories for babies and toddlers. They are a mother and daughter duo, lovingly hand-making each pair of bloomers, ensuring quality, care and pride is taken over each and every stitch. All their bloomers are made from luxuriously soft, personally sourced fabrics, and are fully lined and finished with a beautiful grosgrain ribbon. Alongside bloomers they create scalloped skirts, shorts and traditional collared shirts to complete the look. Their collections include traditional Liberty fabrics as well as fun patterns and prints to suit every style. Their bloomers are traditional, stylish and comfortable for the modern baby and toddler! www.littlelondonbloomers.com

The Vacani School of Dance, in Wandsworth and Battersea, offer children’s dance classes from the age of 2 ½ years, in Ballet, Modern and Contemporary Dance. All their Saturday Ballet classes are accompanied by live piano music, which makes their little ones’ Adventure Ballet Class very special and unique. This September they are offering a Free Trial for readers of Families Magazine and the first 5 readers to enroll in our classes in September WIN A VACANI TEDDY BEAR! www.vacani.com for more information or e-mail enquiries@vacani.com www.facebook.com/VacaniSchoolOfDance/ www.instagram.com/vacanischoolofdance/

10% off classes quoting Families if you book before 15th September

Unique, nurturing & educational class for pre-schoolers

Having trouble conceiving?

Little Speaking Tree are classes aiming to support and enhance life communication skills for pre-school children, in 45 minutes of uninterrupted calm. The courses are backed with extensive research and focus on activities to support listening, concentration, understanding, reasoning, expression and speaking. “Our aim is to strengthen your child’s confidence, relationships and positive interaction with the world around them—so important in today’s busy, digital-filled environment.” They offer 12 week courses, Wednesday or Friday mornings (3 age groups, Acorns (1.5-2.5), Saplings (2.5-3.5) and Oaks (3.5-4.5/5) info@littlespeakingtree.co.uk www.littlespeakingtree.co.uk

One in six couples in Britain struggle to start a family and they need to seek help from a fertility expert.



Quote Families to get £50 off your initial consultation (normally £180) until the end of September 2019 with a Specialist Fertility Doctor

If you are having difficulty starting your family, the Concept Fertility Clinic offers a wide range of services, ranging from simple advice to full IVF at their clinic and laboratory in Putney. Concept Fertility Clinic 14 Point Pleasant SW18 1GG 020 8870 2107 or 020 3388 3000 www.conceptfertility.co.uk September 2019 • Families South West 7

PARKGATE HOUSE SCHOOL An independent co-educational preparatory school and nursery 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 www.parkgate-school.co.uk PARKGATE HOUSE SCHOOL 80 Clapham Common North Side, London SW4 9SD

10 Families South West • September 2019


How to choose the right school for your child By Claire Winter

Whether it's for primary or secondary school, in the next few months the majority of parents have to make big decisions about what school preferences to shortlist for their child. But, don’t panic! Families has asked parents across the UK to give their top tips on how to make the right choices. What type of school? Do you want to choose a fee-paying or state school? Day or boarding? Single-sex or co-ed? What sort of school will suit your child? There are lots of factors to consider when you start looking at prospective schools. Mandy says: "Our son is really sensitive, and we felt a busy state school would not suit his character at all. We were lucky his grandparents offered to help with the school fees, so we chose a local independent school that didn't have an entrance exam. He loves it." Do your research If you are looking at state schools, find out what catchment area you are in. Your local LEA website can help with this. If you feel you might be on the edge of a catchment area, it’s worth asking your local authority or the school whether children where you live have been offered places in previous years. Linda says: “When we filled in our preference list for primary school, we already knew we might not get our first or second choice because the local authority had told us we were on the edge of the catchment area. This was really helpful because we made sure that we were slap bang in the middle of the catchment for our third and fourth choices.” Make sure you research the admissions policy for all schools in which you are interested, state or independent, primary or secondary. Many primary schools have a siblings-first policy whilst schools that are affiliated to a church may have special requirements related to your family religion. You need to know whether you fulfil the entry requirements. Many independent schools have entrance exams which you need to understand. Similarly, if you live in a grammar school area you need to find out if you are in catchment for the school and when the 11+ examinations take place.

12 Families South West • September 2019

Visit the school It is vital that you visit all the schools you are interested in. See our Independent school open days listing, it’s worth visiting them at least a year before you need to apply in order to come up with an initial shortlist. You can then visit again closer to the time of making your applications. You can search for state school open days online, as well as finding out more about the school from their website. Pay attention to the attitude of the school at open days. You want the school to be friendly and welcoming to you at this time. Lisa says: “I attended an open day at the school which was our first choice for primary because it is an Outstanding school with a very good reputation. But I found the attitude of the school towards parents really off-putting. Basically we were told at the open day that they wouldn’t be answering any questions about the school until we got offered a place. Needless to say, I scratched them off our list!” It’s very helpful to book an appointment to see the school during the working day. This way you get to see how the pupils interact with the teachers and you can see if the school will really suit your child. What is the Head Teacher like? Most Head Teachers make a speech at their school Open Days and these are well worth listening to. The Head is responsible for the ethos and vision of a school and is also a key decision maker. She or he are also responsible for employing key staff responsible for both teaching and pastoral care and so his attitude and outlook are likely to trickle down throughout the school and be very influential overall. Isobel says: "We put a lot of weight on what the Head Master/Head Mistress was like. They really drive the culture of a school. Next up was the kids. Watching them interact with each other and their teachers. That was a real eye-opener in some classrooms! We chose

our primary school because when the Head Master asked a question they all put their hands up. He picked a girl to answer but got her name slightly wrong. She was confident to correct him, politely, before answering the question. That stood out for me as both respectful and confident—two characteristics I'd want my children to have." Think about logistics How far away is the school? If you work, do they have a good breakfast club and afterschool care? Can your child get to school by bus or a coach or can they walk to school? Will you have to drive them? "I wanted my daughter to go to a school she could walk to" says Amanda. "She could have travelled further by bus to a school with better results, but I loved the small size of our closest school and the emphasis they put on play." Clare agrees: “I wanted my boys to go to a local school, primary and secondary, which they could walk to and from and benefit from physical exercise. Especially at secondary level, I wanted them to have local friends so that they could develop their independence and social skills outside of the school day. The academic performance of the school was secondary to these factors as I


The White House School

Get talking... strongly believe that these other factors also contribute significantly to doing well at school." Will the school suit your child? Some children may have special needs or find large, noisy schools scary; some may need to be challenged whilst others will do better in a school which is a bit more laid back. Think about what type of environment your child needs to thrive. An academic school or a school that is smaller and friendly? Do they need additional support and can the school provide it? Do they need an organised and more structured day? Or are they more creative and require a school that focuses more on art and creative pursuits? Does your child have any friends going to that school? Anna Louise wanted a friendly school for her daughter. "When it came to senior school, we visited the most academically successful school but found it very corporate. Then we went to a less academically successful school, but all of us loved its warmth and friendly atmosphere, so we chose it. Four years later, we have no regrets because the pastoral care has been superb. My


Understandably many children get anxious when they go back to school for a new year. Make sure you reassure them and keep on talking about it.

daughter has been diagnosed with autism and anxiety, and the school has been wonderfully supportive. To succeed, children need to be happy and feel safe, and my daughter's school does just that for her."

Fiona says: “Tell your children to remember that this isn't just new to you, but to everyone in your year. You're not alone.”

Making the decision Don’t be swayed by the opinions of other parents: you know what is best for your child. Choosing a school is down to individual choice and, once you’ve done the research and homework, remember to listen to your heart, as well as your head and, of course, prioritise your child’s wellbeing first and foremost.

Lizzie says give them a chance to talk about it. “Go for a walk and allow them to share what they are thinking about their new school and share that it’s okay to be nervous. You can reframe it as an adventure and get them to talk through how they’d tackle it and see if they can then apply it to going back to school.”

If your child is old enough, make sure you include them in the process of choosing a school. Let them look around the schools with you and ask them what they think. Talk with them about the decision-making process and make the decision with them.

Emma is an advocate for homeschooling. “I’ve got a slightly out of the box approach and know that there are other options if your child is not happy in school. Many parents don't realise that Home Education is an option that can be worked to fit in with working and family life.”

Then trust that you have all made the right choice and that all will work out for the best.. We’d love to know how you chose your child’s school. Let us know on our Facebook page FamiliesSW/London


Jennifer: "It is all too easy to be busy and let them get on with their lives. I try and be present and available for my child and get into the habit of talking about their school day, their friends or what they are up to."

September 2019 • Families South West 13

14 Families South West • September 2019




September 2019 • Families South West 15

Shrewsbury House Prep children in the library

School Open Days The school where your child will spend most of their teen years will have a huge influence on their development and character. Your choices are important—which is where Open Days come in. Take your son or daughter with you; they will see things through a different set of eyes, and their opinion matters. Not all open day dates were available when we went to press: check the websites of the schools you're interested in for more information and where necessary, to book first. SW1 Westminster, 7-18y, B. 6th form B&G. 020 7963 1000 www.westminster.org.uk Burdett-Coutts & Townshend CE Primary, 3-11y, B&G. Open mornings in Sept, Oct & Nov. 020 7828 6790 www.burdettcoutts.co.uk Grey Coat Hospital, 1-18y G. Open events by ticket from website. 0207 969 1998 www.gch.org.uk More House, 11-18y, G. Open evening 7/11, book via website. 020 7235 2855 www.morehouse.org.uk Knightsbridge, 3-16y, B&G. Tours on Tues & Weds at 9am. 020 7590 9006 www.knightsbridgeschool.com Eaton Square, 2-18y, B&G. 020 7931 9469 www.eatonsquareschool.com

SW3 Hampshire, 3-13y, B&G. Open 17/9 at 9am. 020 7352 7077 www.thehampshireschoolchelsea.co.uk

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, 311y, B&G. Open days and visits call: 020 7589 2438 www.stjosephs.rbkc.sch.uk Hill House, 4-13y, B&G. Tours of school essential. 020 7584 1331 www.hillhouseschool.co.uk

SW4 Eaton House, 4+y, B&G. Book a visit on www.eatonhouseschools.com Lark Hall Primary, 4-11y, B&G. Open morn every Wed from 11/9 at 9am, eves 25/9, 30/10, 27/11 at 5pm. 020 7622 3820 www.larkhall.lambeth.sch.uk

Parkgate House, 2.5-11y, B&G. Open 5/10 at 9.30am 0207 350 2461 www.parkgateschool.co.uk

termtime. Booking required. 020 7352 9247 www.redcliffeschool.com

SW11 SW6 Parson’s Green Prep, 4-11y, B&G. Open 5/10 Book on: 020 7610 8085 www.parsonsgreenprep.co.uk Sinclair House, 2-11y, B&G. Open 3/10 at 10am. 020 7736 9182 www.sinclairhouseschool.com Fulham Pre-Prep, Prep & Senior, 4-18y B&G. Open various dates. 020 7471 4217. www.fulham.school L’Ecole des Petits, 3-6y, B&G. Visits are by appointment only. 020 7371 8350 www.lecoledespetits.co.uk

SW7 Prince’s Gardens Prep, 3-11y, B&G. Launch event: 23/9 at 10am www.princesgardensprep.co.uk/family

St Philip’s Catholic Prep, 7-13y B. Open 12/10 at 10am after booking or individual appt via: 020 7373 3944 www.stpschool.co.uk Queen’s Gate, 4-18y, G. Visits all year. 0207 594 4982 www.queensgate.org.uk

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 www.newtonprepschool.co.uk

SW10 Redcliffe 3-11y, B&G. Tours Tuesdays and Thursdays in

16 Families South West • September 2019

Christ Church CE Primary, 3-11y, B&G. By appointment: 2/10, 13/11, 4/12, 8/1 at 9.30am 020 7228 2812 www.christchurchbattersea.co.uk Dominie, 6-12y, B&G. Tours by appointment. Find out more about their specialist teaching for dyslexic and dyspraxic children. 020 7720 8783 www.thedominie.co.uk Dolphin, 2.5-11y. B&G. Open Mornings Thursday by appointment. 020 7924 3472 www.dolphinschool.org.uk L’ecole de Battersea, 3-11, B&G. Visits by appointment 020 7371 8350 www.lecoledespetits.co.uk Thames Christian, 11-16y, B&G. Open mornings 24/9, 28/9 and 9/10. 020 7228 3933 www.thameschristianschool.org.uk

SW12 Northwood, 4-13y, B&G. Open day 11/10 9am-2pm 020 8696 8788 www.northwoodschools.com • 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 www.hornsbyhouse.org.uk White House, 6m-11y B&G. Open 12/10 at 9.30am www.whitehouseschool.com

Ravenstone Primary, Recep-11y, B&G. Book first. 020 8673 0594 www.ravenstoneschool.co.uk London Steiner, 3-14y, B&G. Contact school to visit. 020 8772 3504 londonsteinerschool.org

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

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

SW15 Alton, 3-11y, B&G. Open 9.30am first Tuesday of each month, termtimes. 020 8876 8482 www.altonschool.org.uk Falcons - Peregrines Nursery, Nur11y. Open 28/9 at 10am www.falconsgirls.co.uk Ibstock Place, 4-18, B&G. Visits via bookings on:020 8876 9991 / 020 8392 5803 www.ibstockplaceschool.co.uk Putney High, 4-18y, G. Open for visits: Junior 020 8788 6523; Senior: 020 8788 4886 www.putneyhigh.gdst.net Hurlingham, 2-11y, B&G. Online registration and arrange a visit 020 8874 7186 www.hurlinghamschool.co.uk Granard Primary, 3-11y, B&G. Open at 9.15am on 18/9, 4/10, 20/11, 3/12, 9/1. 020 8788 3606 www.granardprimary.co.uk


Mosaic Jewish Primary, 4-11y, B&G. Open 26/9, 17/10, 13/11, 4/12, 9/1 and 21/5 at 9.30am after booking via: www.mjps.org.uk Sacred Heart Roehampton, Recep-11y, B&G. Open 5/11 and 12/11 at 9.30am. 020 8876 7074 www.sacredheartroe.wandsworth.sch.uk

SW16 Streatham High, Nur-18, G. Register online 020 8677 8400 www.schs.gdst.net

SW20 Rowans, 3-7y, B&G. Visits by appt. 020 8946 8220. www.rowans.org.uk Ursuline Prep, Nur B&G, 4-11 G. Open 10/10 at 9.30am. Register on www.ursulineprep.org

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

SE21 SW17 Burntwood Academy, 11-18y, G. Open 25/9 at 6pm and 8 Oct at 8.45am. 020 8946 6201 www.burntwoodschool.com Ernest Bevin College, 11-18y, B&G. Open 30/9, 4/10, 8/10 at 9am and 1/10 at 5.30pm. 020 8672 8582 www.ernestbevin.london Smallwood Primary School and Language Unit, to age 11y, B&G. Tours all year on Weds 9-10am. Book on 020 8672 6024 www.smallwood.wandsworth.sch.uk


Dulwich College Junior, 7-10y, B. Open 12/10 9.30am. 020 8299 8432 www.dulwich.org.uk/juniorschool

SE22 James Allen’s Girls’ 4-18y, G. Open mornings 25/9, 5/10, 17/10. 020 8693 1181 www.jags.org.uk Alleyn’s, 4-18y, B&G. 020 8557 1500 www.alleyns.org.uk

SE26 Sydenham High, 4-18y, G. Book online: 020 8557 7004 www.sydenhamhighschool.gdst.net

Roche, 2-11y, B&G. Open 21/9, 11/10, 20/11. 020 8877 0823 www.therocheschool.com Wandsworth Prep, 4-11y B&G. Open 25/9 and 13/11. Contact on: 020 8870 4133 www.wandsworthprep.com Saint Cecilia's CE, 11-18y, B&G. Various dates. 020 8780 1244 www.stceciliaslondon.com

SW19 King’s College, 7-18y B, 16-18y G. Open 14/9 at 9am & 8/10 evening. 16+ on 24/9 evening. www.kcs.org.uk Our Lady Queen of Heaven RC, to age 11 B&G. Visits by appt on 020 8788 7420 www.ourladyqueenofheaven.wand sworth.sch.uk Hall Wimbledon, 4-16Y, B&G. Open Junior 23/9, 9/10 and Senior 28/9, 15/10. 020 8394 6144 www.hsw.co.uk Study Wimbledon, 4-11y G. Visits booked via: 020 8947 6969 www.thestudyprep.co.uk Wimbledon High, 4-18, G. To visit: 020 8971 0900 www.wimbledonhigh.gdst.net


SURREY Trinity 10-16y B, 16-18 Co Ed. Open 5/10 at 9am. 6thF 14/10 by appt. 020 8656 9541 www.trinity-school.org Hawthorn’s, 2-13y, B&G. Open mornings 12/10 and 22/11 after booking or by individual appt on: 01883 743048 www.hawthorns.com Whitgift, 10-18 B. Open 21/9 020 8633 9935 www.whitgift.co.uk/opendays Shrewsbury House, 7-13y, B. Open 28/9 at 9.30am. Register online. 020 8399 3066. www.shrewsburyhouse.net

BATH Kingswood, 9m-18y, B&G. Senior Open 28/9 at 9am www.kingswood.bath.sch.uk Paragon, 3-11y, B&G. Contact for tours. 01225 310837 www.paragonschool.co.uk Monkton Combe, 2-18y, B&G. Open Mornings Senior: 14/9 & 16/11; Pre-prep & Prep: 5/10 & 15/11. 01225 721133 www.monktoncombeschool.com


September 2019 • Families South West 17

18 Families South West • September 2019




September 2019 • Families South West 19


The Interview, a valuable tool for Heads... Growing numbers of children and too few places has generated fierce competition for top independent school places in London.  The number of children registering to sit gruelling entrance exams has grown to such levels that parents and children are required to be meticulous in their preparation.   It is perhaps this combination that presents a fresh ‘selection’ challenge to headteachers of London’s top schools… how to accurately identify and subsequently choose “best fit” children? For many, the interview has become the most effective tool for aiding the selection process, enabling them to see beyond the prepared—often formulaic—answers associated with excessive tutoring.

How to get it right? The interview structure frequently consists of both individual and group scenarios incorporating problem-solving tasks that provide the opportunity for children to demonstrate ‘individual creativity’ and the ability to ‘think outside of the box’—something that cannot be showcased effectively through the written test. Every school has a unique ethos and it is the role of a successful Head carefully to select the right children to uphold and contribute towards maintaining it. SW London education specialists Yellowbird Education have long recognized that preparation must extend to this subjective element of the admissions process to ensure a candidate feels both confident and comfortable to present themselves. Their experienced team work alongside a group of Head teachers to offer accurate Mock Exams and Interview Practice to equip children with skills and techniques with which to succeed within competitive school admissions. www.yellowbirdeducation.com

OPEN DAYS 2019 OPEN MORNINGS (9am) Every Wednesday from 11th September

OPEN EVENINGS (5pm) Wednesday 25th September Wednesday October Wednesday30th 31st October Wednesday November Wednesday27th 5th December Smedley Street, London, SW4 6PH T: 020 7622 3820 E: admin@larkhall.lambeth.sch.uk www.larkhall.lambeth.sch.uk

20 Families South West • September 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)


Become a school Governor Wandsworth is asking local people to consider becoming a school governor – and is keen to hear from people from all ethnicities and backgrounds so that governing bodies truly reflect the communities they serve. Every school has a governing body and they play a vital role working with the head to improve standards. Some have children at the school, but many do not. Training and support is provided by the council. Find out more at http://i4s.wandsworth.gov.uk/Page/13619

Hasib Dewan is Vice Chair of Governors, Hillbrook Primary School Being a school governor gives you the chance to contribute to the quality of the experience children have at school by using the skills and knowledge from your day to day life. As someone who works as a technology and business transformation consultant, I work with a school near where I live to look at opportunities for improving school facilities, mapping out plans over computing lessons, but also thinking about where technology is heading and how best to bring that into the school experience for Hillbrook’s children. The best bit about being a governor is that everyone comes from different walks of life, so whatever your background, there is always a way that you can fit into a governing body and make a positive impact. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living - depending on your interests you could get involved in things like quality of teaching, something subject specific, school finance, or support the school in raising standards around attendance.


I wanted to become a school governor to contribute to my local community and I’m really passionate about education. As someone born and raised around the Wandsworth area, I’m really invested in the progress of our little part of London, and through volunteering a small amount of time a month as a governor, I get to be part of a vibrant little community. I love hearing about all the great things the school do during initiatives like diversity week, and one of my favourite things to be a part of are our regular school quizzes, where it's great to see parents and children coming together and having a good time. If you’re the kind of person that wants to give a little back to their community and have some time to spare each month then being a governor is something I couldn’t recommend highly enough. To think you have had even a small part to do with the positive learning experience of children in your local area is a brilliant feeling.


September 2019 • Families South West 21

Education Ernest Bevin College launches STEM stream

From this September Ernest Bevin College Year 7 boys will be entered into the STEM stream to receive a tailored curriculum and additional enrichment activities in order to promote academic excellence in STEM subjects and an advancements in a STEM career path. Students will benefit from specialist teaching in the STEM subjects which include Science, Design and Technology, Engineering, Maths and Computing. They will also have a number of opportunities for cross-curricular STEM learning and learning outside the classroom. Around two-thirds of the Sixth Formers who leave Ernest Bevin go on to study a STEM subject at university such as Computer Science, Engineering or medical sciences. www. ernestbevin.london

Ernest Bevin College STEM students with the Mayor of London at the Metropolitan Police Careers Fair.

The White House School is going from strength to strength From this September, children at The White House will benefit from a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Studio where Drama, Music, Ballet, Gymnastics and more will take place. The dedicated space will continue to enhance the school's strong Arts programme which already sees many of their children win Music and Drama scholarships at 11+. In 2017 The White House School announced they were moving to two-form entry, whilst continuing to maintain their small class sizes and exceptional pastoral care and quality of teaching. As part of this, the school has been transforming and developing their building and enhancing the facilities on offer. The school has also developed their technology capabilities in-school with the introduction of 20 state of the art Chromebooks which bring ICT learning into the classroom. www.whitehouseschool.com

400th anniversary! Dulwich College has marked its 400th anniversary in 2019 with a wonderful almanac of commemoration and celebration for its diverse and vibrant community. Highlights included the Dulwich Olympiad with 900 students from 11 international Dulwich College schools participating in sport competitions, music and drama performances and art masterclasses, a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral and the School Service Day which involved 1,400 pupils and 200 staff helping in community-focused projects and fundraising events. To read more about their 400th Anniversary year and to view the full programme, including events open to the wider community: www.dulwich.org.uk/400th/programme-ofevents

22 Families South West • September 2019


New Head of Prep at Sydenham High School

Burntwood teacher gains Leadership place Congratulations to teacher Charlotte Sullivan from Burntwood School, who has been accepted onto the prestigious Leadership Legacy Project by SSAT (the Schools, Students and Teachers network). She will be part of an impressive group of future education leaders from across the country designated as SSAT Leadership Fellows. Successful Leadership Fellows are all in their first 2-4 years of teaching and have been selected by their Headteachers as already showing the potential to become outstanding school leaders. Involvement in the programme demonstrates commitment by Burntwood School and SSAT to developing the next generation of system leaders. SSAT is fully committed to supporting the development of the next generation of education system leaders and is investing in this prestigious project, free to participating schools. The opportunity will allow SSAT Leadership Fellows to engage with some of the best leaders nationally and internationally and to examine leadership in other sectors. www.burntwoodschool.com

A new independent co-educational senior school to be called NorthWood Senior will open in 2020. Northwood Schools, which owns Broomwood Hall and Northcote Lodge pre-prep and preparatory schools, announced the most significant expansion plans in its history earlier this year, following increased demand from existing parents, who wanted the option to continue their children’s education with the Northwood group beyond age 13. The new school, initially for pupils aged 13 to 16, will operate at the site of one of the group’s pre-prep departments on Tooting Common. The new head will be Susan Brooks, currently Deputy Head Academic at Broomwood Hall. The requirement for a stand-alone local site for a senior school, with access to excellent community facilities and the space to flourish with its own sense of community and identity, led to the decision to establish this new school at Garrads Road, SW16. Pre-prep children currently at Garrads Road will be given places at the pre-prep departments in Ramsden Road. www.northwoodschools.com


Ms Victoria Goodson has joined Sydenham High School GDST as Head of the Prep School. Victoria was head of the Lower School at Newton Prep. Victoria has a wealth of educational experience and is passionate about educating and empowering girls. Drawn to Sydenham High School's warmth and commitment to offering excellent teaching and learning, Victoria is committed to providing an outstanding education where every girl can reach, if not exceed her potential, through a range of academically ambitious and inspiring educational opportunities. She’ll be supporting all girls to develop the confidence and skills that they need to be strong, resilient and successful learners. www.sydenhamhighschool.gdst.net


Brand new prep for Kensington Prince’s Gardens is a brand new, independent preparatory school, in the heart of South Kensington, for children aged 3-11 years, opening in September 2020. It will be a unique school, where the children will benefit from a ‘uniquely-tailored curriculum’ and rigorous 11+ preparation, with access to world-class learning spaces and industry-leading technology including a cutting-edge learning zone and an Innovation Lab. Mrs Alison Melrose has been appointed Head Elect of Prince’s Gardens Preparatory School from Sept 2019, in preparation for the school’s opening. Mrs Melrose is an internal appointment from Cognita. Don’t miss the school launch event on 23rd September: reserve your place from www.princesgardensprep.co.uk/family Call 020 7591 4620 or contact admissions@princesgardensprep.co.uk

New independent senior school planned


September 2019 • Families South West 23

24 Families South West • September 2019




September 2019 • Families South West 25

“This school allows me the freedom to be me...” Sara, Year 4

Contact us and book a visit today - 020 7590 9000 registrar@knightsbridgeschool.com


26 Families South West • September 2019


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

If you would like to find out more about the school, contact the Registrar on office@wandsworthprep.com Tel: 020 8870 4133 • www.wandsworthprep.com



September 2019 • Families South West 27

Education impressive. This has proved successful, with the girls winning over 33 scholarships in the last three years in Academics, Art, Music, Drama and Sport. Trying many new things and, more importantly, believing that you can move outside of your comfort zone effectively, gives girls the confidence to think fluidly and originally to problem solve—key qualities in an increasingly computer-generated world. Team work is also essential. As one pupil, Amaya, puts it, ‘In Science, we do lots of collaborative work which helps us learn from each other.’ How can self-strengthening be fully developed?

Confidence for girls: and why it matters A positive mentality starts early argues Oliver Snowball, Headmaster of Eaton House The Manor Girls’ School


n June, Eaton House The Manor Girls’ School had a 10th anniversary party. It was a chance to bring to the fore the core values of the school—academic confidence, empowerment, a spirit of enquiry, dynamism, musicality, energy, friendliness and sensitivity to drama and art. Over the last decade this has allowed our girls to emerge with a quiet inner confidence, a lifelong love of learning and a desire to be a force for good.

These are lofty ideals to inculcate in girls, but how are they introduced in practice? And why is confidence so important to girls in the first place? We firmly believe that girls should be encouraged to flourish without the pressure of gender stereotyping and that their confidence should run high whatever they do. Simply put, that means they should be taught from the age of 4 that they can do any activity brilliantly, whether it is a STEM subject, or a sport such as cricket in which women have proved so

Two examples spring to mind, one in the classroom and one on the sports field, emphasising a spirit of enquiry and a determination to push through difficulties to reach your goal. In the classroom, Philosophy Books for girls to write and draw in were recently introduced because we wanted to challenge the girls with open-ended questions such as ‘What’s more important, time or money?’ By completing the books, the girls will know more clearly where they stand on a range of issues, and also that it’s fine to change their mind at any time. On the sports field, the Epsom Cross Country Meet in March was a barometer of the girls’ confidence. After weeks of gradual improvement, every single member of the team took on board all the guidance given and pushed themselves hard. As a result, they won the competition, beating 25 other schools in the process. Ambition and endeavour came together in equal measure, and a wonderful moment of success was realised. We’re doing pretty well in cricket too. www.eatonhouseschools.com

Wandsworth borough’s first ever Play Street!! Granard Primary School held Wandsworth's first ever Play Street on Cortis Terrace in June. Sara Rahmani, Travel Plan Co-ordinator, told Families: “The statistics are staggering: 8 out of 10 children in London do not achieve the recommended one hour of physical activity per day. One in three car trips made by Londoners could be walked in under 25 minutes… we want to teach our children that making changes to the way they travel can help contribute to a greener, cleaner environment.” We couldn’t agree more. Sara went on to explain: “The aim of the Play Street was to provide our children with a safe space to play and to ease the congestion and road safety concerns that our families often experience during drop-off and pick-up time by facilitating a timed traffic restriction on the road outside the school gate. By demonstrating that closing the road outside our school is achievable, we are aiming to encourage more regular street closures. Ultimately, we want to affect a permanent change in the way children travel to school.” We hope this event will inspire more schools to try this approach and to raise awareness about travel and its impact on health, wellbeing and the environment. www.granardprimary.co.uk

28 Families South West • September 2019



All change at Hall School Sometimes, schools have to manage big changes to move forward, and Hall School Wimbledon certainly has since last September, when it was sold to Chatsworth Schools, a new educational group in the market, whose model is to drive learning forward at every level. The new Head started building on what is good about the school—its ethos of happy children through a caring, nurturing pastoral system—whilst bringing the school more into the 2020s with better technology and facilities and a clear academic direction. OFSTED recognised the transformation, even after only 14 weeks, as the school moved from “inadequate” to “good” and “outstanding” across all areas. They are now working to build more classrooms, bring the Junior School up to the Senior School site, a new drama studio/ concert hall, space for cookery lessons and allotments. Hall School Wimbledon is now one of the schools many parents put first on their list to visit. www.hsw.co.uk

A real community school overlooking Richmond Park

Outdoor learning Parkgate House School pride themselves on their location, overlooking Clapham Common. The children are fortunate to have ample opportunities to explore the natural environment on their doorstep. The children are provided with a variety of experiences to encourage them to reach their full potential in Outdoor Learning. The teachers help the children to develop a positive and inquisitive attitude towards the outdoors and the world around them. Parkgate told Families: “We provide suitable outdoor learning activities for all children in the Early Years, including out-of-classroom experiences such as school trips, lessons on the common, nature walks, visits within the local community, taking the curriculum topics outside the classroom and building in relevant outdoor experiences. In Nursery 1 we undertake a Nature Walk each term: this walk focuses on the change in seasons, and the children collect objects along the way to support their inquiry-based learning. They use their senses to explore and investigate the common. Pupils in Nursery 2 and Reception undertake one hour of Outdoor Learning per week. These sessions coincide with their topic each term and are cross curricular. For example, one week we may be measuring shadows as part of a maths topic, the next week we might be developing our

speaking and listening skills on a listening walk. We also complete science experiments, art work etc. The sessions on the common are not weather dependent so the children gain experiences outdoor no matter the weather. We aim to make learning fun and memorable, and develop risk-taking skills and resilience. We also develop learning skills of enquiry, experiment, feedback, reflection, review, communication, problem-solving, and support the children to become independent and co-operative learners.” www.parkgate-school.co.uk

The Alton School in Putney is an inclusive community school, set within gorgeous extensive grounds which overlook Richmond Park—just a short walk from Roehampton Gate. They offer 30 hours free nursery provision to all 3-4 year old children. There’s a high-quality breakfast club on site, and after school care nearby. Want to see for yourself? Open Mornings are at 9.30am on the first Tuesday of every month during term time. To book a tour, it’s 020 8876 8482. The Alton School, Danebury Avenue, London SW15 4PD. www.altonschool.org.uk

Hawthorns School committed to becoming Zero Waste

To advertise in Call: 0208 696 9680 familiesonline.co.uk

Pupils from The Hawthorns School in Bletchingley, Surrey worked with local artists Pippa Ward and Anna Louise Cox to create a piece of art highlighting the issues caused by single-use plastics. Led by the Head of Conservation, Lizzie Bruce, and Eco Team pupils, plastic bottle tops collected by the children and their families were threaded onto fishing line, which was subsequently attached to the pipe. The sight of the torrent of bottle tops that seem to be gushing out of the pipe creates a very visual reminder of the plastics that drain into our


rivers and seas and its presence will prompt dialogue about single-use plastics continues for years to come. Headmaster Adrian Floyd commented: “Here at The Hawthorns we are very conscious of the impact we as a school have on the environment. As part of our sustainability programme, The Hawthorns School is committed to becoming Zero Waste to Landfill next year.” The Hawthorns School Prep School in Surrey is for boys and girls 2–13yrs. www.hawthorns.com September 2019 • Families South West 29

YEAR 7 OPEN DAYS Burntwood is an oversubscribed Academy for Girls which has an established tradition of academic success, providing a relevant and challenging education which enables all members of our school community to reach their full potential.

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

30 Families South West • September 2019

- OPEN EVENING Wednesday 25th September 6.00pm - OPEN MORNING Tuesday 8th October 8.45am

‘The best education today for the women of tomorrow’



ST MARK’S Church of England Primary School

'Through Christ, we achieve our Personal Best'

At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, we host two Open Days for Reception in the Autumn term for prospective parents and carers of children who wish to apply to our school. On these Open Days, parents and carers will be given a tour of our school by pupils to see classes in action and have an opportunity to speak to senior leadership staff and current parents. Outside of these Open Days, please feel free to telephone the school office to arrange a visit to our school.

your attendance

020 7589 2438

School Tours Mondays and Fridays at 9.15am

Cadogan Street, London, SW3 2QT www.stjosephs.rbkc.sch.uk

Harleyford Road, Kennington, London, SE11 5SL TEL: 0207 7351467 email: admin@stmarkscofe.lambeth.sch.uk Website: www.stmarkscofeprimarylambeth.co.uk



A school where children develop the passion to learn, the skills and knowledge to achieve and the confidence to take Christian values into our diverse society.


September 2019 • Families South West 31

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

caroline@collegeguardians.co.uk • +44 (0) 1684 581600


The Alton School is set within gorgeous extensive grounds which overlook Richmond Park just a short walk from Roehampton Gate. We have extensive facilities that offer our children a wide array of vibrant and diverse opportunities.

We offer 30 hours free nursery provision to all 3-4 year old children. High quality Breakfast Club on site and After School Care nearby.

We have been awarded gold status by Unicef UK’s Rights Respecting School Programme. This shows a deep and thorough commitment to children’s rights at all levels of school life. Open Mornings are at 9.30am on the first Tuesday of every month during term time.

To book a tour please call 020 8876 8482 admin@thealton.wandsworth.sch.uk The Alton School, Danebury Avenue, London SW15 4PD www.altonschool.org.uk

quality of the pupils’ “ The academic and other achievements is excellent.


ISI Report 2017

For further information or to arrange a tour, please contact our Admissions department on 01225 310837 www.paragonschool.co.uk 3-11 IAPS Co-educational Christian Junior School

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: dharding@sacredheart-roe.wandsworth.sch.uk Tel: 0208 876 7074 http://www.sacredheart-roe.wandsworth.sch.uk

32 Families South West • September 2019


Is your child’s behaviour a cause for concern? You’re not alone! By Sally Britton of Snapcare, Specialist Recruitment


t Snap, most weeks we speak with In other areas where we were inexperienced, parents troubled about their unqualified and untrained, we would expect to child’s behaviour. This may be be given guidance and support, but when you aggressive, defiant, challenging or become a parent, there’s an expectation to just in other ways concerning. All get on with it. children display So it may be that certain “ Other mums in the unwanted behaviour at times, but parenting skills could improve playground seem to have when it is ongoing, severe and the situation, but your everything under control. I try to impacts negatively within the child’s behaviour may be present that image, but the reality home, school, relationships due to any number of couldn’t be more different. My daughter is reasons. It may be and friendships, the disruptive in class, unpopular and situation needs addressing. circumstantial, perhaps academically falling more and more behind. things are difficult at Snap recruit high calibre, I’ve tried discussing it with my husband, home due to work specialist childcare support, but he thinks she’ll ‘grow out of it’. I primarily for children with a pressures, parental should be able to do this, I shouldn’t relationship problems, a diagnosis, but increasingly have to ask for help. I feel like we’re asked to find support for new sibling, or moving I’ve failed as a mother” children with no formal diagnosis, home. Maybe there are triggers but behavioral and/or emotional needs. or times when behaviour escalates. Could they have a school phobia, are they being bullied or feel under too much pressure Things are often less rosy than everyone to succeed? thinks Parents may also be concerned their child The pressure for children to succeed has never has an underlying learning difficulty or been more keenly felt. We hear the lengths condition such as autism, ADHD or Asperger’s parents go to to get their child in their chosen syndrome. While this may be a worrying school, the pressure on schools to achieve thought, a diagnosis often brings relief; an targets and the stress felt by children, in a understanding of behaviour and the first step world immersed in social media. We’re fed the to addressing the child’s needs. idea of the perfect family situation; happy children, achieving academically, popular with Don’t fight alone peers and teaching staff, after-school filled The first step is to confide in someone whose with playdates and numerous activities. The opinion you trust and explain the reality of your reality and what goes on behind closed doors situation. This might be a friend or relative, or a can be very different, leaving parents with a professional such as a counsellor, health visitor sense of isolation, guilt and hopelessness. familiesonline.co.uk


or your GP. Often a recruiter at Snap is that first person a parent has divulged the information to. We can almost feel their relief when we explain how common this is—and that yes, we can find them specialist support for their child! Telling someone won’t always be easy, but it brings the situation into the open so you can see a path forward. The first person you discuss this with of course is unlikely to have all the answers, but by bringing it out in the open, the path to support has been started. Your GP can discuss referral options to a child psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist or counsellor. You may feel more comfortable speaking with a support group or finding advice online. We’ve put together a list of some excellent online resources that you may find helpful on our website. The right support will differ for each child and depend on many factors including the level of support required and resources available to the family. The key is to take that first step and believe there are many families experiencing just the same concerns as you are and get talking.

Snap Care provide SEN nannies and Mannies, buddies and enablers, educators, tutors and school supports. Tel: 020 7729 2200 www.snapcare.co.uk (look under parents-clients for some really useful links.)

September 2019 • Families South West 33

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 info@345nurseryschool.com www.345nurseryschool.com 345 Nursery School, Fitzhugh Grove, Trinity Road London SW18 3SA Tel: 020 3633 4185

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.

www.oaktreenurseryschool.co.uk Ramsden Hall, 21 Ramsden Road, Balham, SW12 8QX Tel: 020 8166 5932

34 Families South West • September 2019





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

Local children up to the age of 8yrs are welcome to join in with our fun and creative activity days during school breaks. School pick-ups and homework clubs are also available during term time.


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

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




September 2019 • Families South West 35

DISTRIBUTORS WANTED... Families South West Magazine  is looking for distributors in the local area  Do you have a car and a few spare hours a month? Join our delivery team and earn some pocket money. Email distribution@FamiliesSW.co.uk

36 Families South West • September 2019


Prioritising play outdoors By Tanith Carey


f you look back at your days at nursery and primary school, you probably remember them as the most carefree of your lives. Your time was probably spent sitting crosslegged on the floor, chanting songs and listening to stories before you ran outside for playtime with your friends. Now the nursery and school ‘curriculum’ is much more structured and schools feel they have to cut back on break-time to keep up with national targets. Recent research from University College, London shows that primary school pupils have 45 minutes less break time a week than in 1995 while secondary pupils have 65 minutes less. Other research from the Nuffield Foundation has found that schools have been cutting back on play-time since 2006. All this comes at a cost. As they spend more time indoors, playing video games and watching screens by themselves, the UCL study found they are also spending less time face to face with each other. When children play together, they learn how to compromise, make up rules, think creatively, learn important facial and verbal cues, and discover what behaviour is acceptable to others and what is not. Playing together is how children learn to play different roles, imagine situations from different perspectives, share ideas and create


worlds in which all participants belong. Get it wrong, your playmates don't want to play anymore and the fun stops. So what we can do as parents to help kids find more time to play together and get the socialisation they need? Prioritise more time outside When UNICEF asked children what they wanted for happiness they named three things—time with families, time outdoors and having friends. All three are closely linked. Yet children rarely get this outside time. While 73% of children ages 7 to 12 surf the internet unsupervised, according to a study by Play England, 42% are not allowed to play in their local park without an adult. Have more outdoor play-dates Research shows that when children play together, they have more fun and squabble less if they spend most of the time outdoors. That’s because there is less to argue over (after all, there are unlimited branches, twigs and leaves) and more to explore. Children also bond more when they discover new things and have adventures together. Get together with neighbours Get to know other families living nearby and look out for local places where kids can play. Get together and get permission from your local authority to turn your road into a play


street by closing it to traffic. Supervise each other’s kids in outdoor spaces so they can roam further afield. 30 things your child would like to do: by every age Whether it’s making dens, camping overnight, making a beach sculpture out of drift wood, or planting a tree, devise a list with your child of all the achievable things they want to do by a certain age. Teach friendship skills Lack of playtime means that sometimes children need help with their friendship skills. Bridge the gap with role-play games so they can learn to see others' perspectives, and set up plenty of play-dates so they can practice. Enjoy meals together so they learn the to-andfro of conversation.

Find more ways to help children learn friendship skills in Tanith’s new book The Friendship Maze: How to Help Your Child Navigate Their Way to Positive and Happier Friendships, published by Summersdale and available from Amazon.

September 2019 • Families South West 37

Family Heath Beat head lice and nits with the Bug Buster Kit If your children have had head lice before, then you may have been put off using expensive neuro-toxic pesticides on their heads. Bug Busting is a head louse detection and eradication method, which works by combining specially designed bevel-edged combs with your own family shampoo and conditioner. The Bug Busting method detects and clears lice completely without special treatments, removes lice systematically, breaking the lifecycle in four sessions spaced over two weeks and eliminates unsightly eggshells comfortably. The Bug Buster Kit is NHS approved and safe for babies, children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and those with allergies. £7.30 +P&P To order a kit or for further information and advice, visit Community Hygiene Concern (CHC) at www.chc.org or call the one to one helpline 01908 561928.

Ban cars from idling near schools Cars should not be allowed to idle with engines on when parked near schools, a report has proposed. Public Health England has recommended local authorities “consider a range of interventions” to protect children from the harmful impacts of air pollution. The report says air pollution was the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK. Air pollution is linked to up to 36,000 premature deaths in the UK each year and more than 2,000 schools and nurseries are near to roads with damaging levels of motor emissions. This report has been followed by a survey of teachers by YouGov which found that nearly twothirds would support a ban on cars outside school gates during school drop off and pick up times. More than half (59%) of the teachers surveyed want the Government to take urgent action to improve air quality near schools.

Maths anxiety affects young children Children as young as eight can feel fear, rage and despair as a result of “maths anxiety”, a condition which can severely disrupt their performance. Researchers at Cambridge University surveyed 2,700 primary and secondary students and found that a feeling that maths was more difficult than other subjects often contributed to maths anxiety and loss of confidence. Researchers say maths anxiety should be treated as a “real concern” because children suffering from it do not fulfil their true maths ability and can

find themselves locked in a vicious circle; suffering from anxiety which harms their maths performance, which in turn leads to increased anxiety. Even children who have normal competency levels in maths may avoid it because they feel anxious. Key triggers for anxiety include poor marks, test pressures, teasing by fellow pupils and a confusing mix of teaching methods, the study found. More info at www.cam.ac.uk/research/news


Principal and Owner: Jennifer M. R. Williams, NNEB RSH (Norlander)

91-93 Moore Park Road, Fulham, London SW6 2DA Telephone: 020 7736 9256 thestudiodaynursery@icloud.com

The Studio Day Nursery offers excellent year round care for children aged between 2 and 5 years. The Nursery provides a strong educational programme and wide-ranging early learning opportunities within a happy stimulating environment. We follow the Montessori method as well as the EYFS curriculum. Open Monday – Thursday 8am to 6:30pm & Friday 8am to 6pm. “Children are happy and enjoy their time in this homely and welcoming nursery. Interesting activities and resources engage children well and support their learning effectively.” “Staff provide a homely atmosphere… children enjoy attending the nursery. Effective two-way communication provides good continuity of care.” “Children behave very well for their age and stage of development. They use good manners, share and take turns. Staff are calm and polite and treat children with respect.”

(OFSTED 2018)

38 Families South West • September 2019


How a parenting blogger became a best-selling author Gill Sims started her blog as a joke with a friend in 2016. Her posts on her Peter and Jane Facebook page soon went viral as she and, most importantly, “judgy” dog chronicled the funny and chaotic realities of parenting. She is now a bestselling author who has written three books and Peter and Jane has over 400k followers. Her first book Why Mummy Drinks was a top ten Sunday bestseller for 31 weeks. Her latest book Why Mummy doesn’t give a ***k is out now. Claire Winter talks to Gill about her journey from blogger to best-selling author. How did it all start? I partly started the blog because I was fed up with the one-sided view many social media posts and blogs were giving about parenting. Social media often shows a very curated portrayal of family life where nothing goes wrong and everyone looks perfect. I wanted to write a humorous blog to show the “not so perfect” side of parenting where mums swear and not every day goes to plan! I shared my posts with friends and they started going viral in July. By September 2016, Harper Collins had offered me a book deal. Writing a blog post is quite different from writing 100,000 words but I got there in the end! What is the latest book about? My latest book continues the story of Ellen and her precious moppets, Peter and Jane and her on-going attempts to be the best mother she can. But she is thwarted at every turn. No matter how hard she tries. Peter and Jane don’t seem to have the memo on how to be the best children they possible can. They are just children—they cause chaos and ruin her life one way or another. They are also now older, so she is dealing with their teenage trials and tribulations. familiesonline.co.uk

What would you say the biggest issue in dealing with a tweenager is? Dealing with the disdainful looks and the eye rolling and “oh mother” comments and dealing with the technology they have and not really understanding how it all works. Someone asked me on the radio this morning if I could explain Snapchat for the listeners who didn’t know what it was. I said, “I have no idea, you’ll need to find a young person to explain what it is!” Why do you think your social media posts resonate with parents so much? I guess because it is the other side of parenting. Social media has made it easier for people to show just the good bits. It is very easy to make it look like life is all pastel covered cupcakes and ‘making memories.’ Everybody has lovely days but they also have those not-so-lovely days. You may decide to do some baking and then your children smash six eggs and spill a kilo of sugar all over the kitchen floor and the dog eats it all and is horribly sick. Meanwhile, everyone else seems to be nailing it and doing better than you. It can be quite depressing; lots of people like to see that someone else is also having a rubbish day, so they know they are not the only one. When you’ve spent a


fortune taking your kids on a wonderful day out to #makememories and all they want to do is go home and play Fortnite, you have to have humour. If you don’t laugh you may cry! Your books and posts are fictional but how does your family feel about them? They don’t mind, as they know my anecdotes and books are fiction. My daughter says Facebook is for old people and it’s the mum corner of the Internet. There’s nothing like children or pets to put you in your place!

Gill Sims is the author of the successful parenting blog and Facebook site Peter and Jane, which has 400+k followers. You can get her latest book Mummy doesn’t give a ***k from all good bookstores. She is also touring the UK. To find out more go to https://gillsims.com/tour/

September 2019 • Families South West 39

Planning your next family holiday?

Speak to our expert mums at Balham’s first holiday show Beverley, Carol and Kelly, the mums of award winning Balham travel agent, Travel Designers have a wealth of experience and will be there to discuss your travel ideas with you; from great beach escapes, family safaris, touring and cruising, we know it all.

12th October at b. The Bedford pu nd Meet our team a ers. pli our amazing sup

Visit www.traveldesigners.co.uk/show for your complimentary  Families South West VIP tickets. Great give-aways on the day

If you can’t make the show, do visit the team in-store for a coffee or a glass of bubbly to discuss your next family adventure. Contact us on 020 7720 8484 or Beverley@traveldesigners.co.uk or visit: 8 The Boulevard, Balham High Road, SW17 7BW.

Travel Designers work with all the Major UK Tour operator household names including Club Med, Mark Warner, Neilson, Inghams, Kuoni, Carrier, Classic Collection, Jet 2 and for those looking for soft adventure, Intrepid, Exodus and G Adventures just to name a few…. You will never pay more than by booking direct, and usually with our special offers, there are some great savings to be made, whilst supporting your local high street.

Competition Your child …

on the front page of Families South West! For the first time in 30 years of publishing, we are launching a competition to find the face of our November/December 2019 issue. Together with our roving mums team, we want to hear more from our readers: could your child’s face grace our Christmas issue? We are looking for a wintry shot—no snow and definitely no Father Christmas please—just a relaxed, informal shot in cold weather clothes, it can be a child, a family or why not with an animal. We tend to love energy filled, fun images but it is your chance to show us what our front page should look like!

Good luck everyone!

Can’t wait to see your artwork!

Go to our Facebook page to see how to enter: www.Facebook.com/FamiliesSWLondon/

40 Families South West • September 2019


Calling all baby Scientists!

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

Please tell advertisers you found them in Families

All our applicants are personally interviewed and their references checked

Nannies, Maternity Nurses, Housekeepers and Mother’s Helps Permanent and Temporary Residential, Daily, Full and Part-Time Evening Babysitting Register

Tel: 020 8947 4666 Facebook: Wimbledon Nannies Twitter: @wimbledonannies Instagram: wimbledon_nannies

info@wimbledonnannies.co.uk www.wimbledonnannies.com 184 Copse Hill, SW20 0SP

snapcare Specialist Recruitment

Individual support for children with social, emotional and autistic spectrum conditions, ADHD, OCD and gifted children









020 7729 2200

September 2019 • Families South West 41

Clubs and Classes

Choose the right club or class for your child By Claire Winter

Picking the right extra-curricular activities for your child can sometimes be overwhelming. There are a huge variety of sports and classes available now from coding to Mandarin, from street dance to circus skills, as well as more traditional sports.  Here’s our guide on how to choose the most appropriate club or class for your child.

Families asked parents for their views: Suzanne says, “I think extra clubs and lessons help build confidence and also give children a wider network of friends from other schools.”

*** Amanda likes extra-curricular activities because they give her more flexibility so she can work. “I love them for giving me an hour or two of extra time at the end of the day!”


London Youth Conservatoire

Things to consider:

Investigate this option ahead of time though, as there can be waiting lists.

Will your child enjoy the class/club? If they enjoy something, whether it’s art, football, animation or French they are likely to look forward to training with their team or attending a class every week.

How many? How many activities are too many? This is really up to you but if you are tired of driving your children to all of their activities, it’s likely your child will be too; perhaps you are doing too much. Equally, if your children are bored at home and asking to be entertained, maybe it’s time to sign them up for something new.

Try before you buy Trial classes are a great way for them to experience something before you sign up for a term or group of classes. Many clubs and classes offer a free trial before you sign up. If they are not keen on trying something new, get them to go with a friend. Can you commit? Some activities involve early morning practice or games at the weekend. Can your family life and schedule accommodate the commitment needed? If your child plays sport competitively, it can often mean training daily or at least three times a week. Think about cost Some activities are more expensive than others. 1:1 tuition or private lessons are more costly, whereas classes and team sports tend to cost less. Guiding or Scouts is an inexpensive club to join, and it’s great for team building and trying a variety of different activities.


Highlight the benefits Focus on the positive things your child will gain by taking part in a particular sport or activity. These could be a new social circle, certificates, medals or stickers, job or education opportunities in the future, greater confidence, getting fitter, or simply being with friends. After-school and weekend clubs and classes are a great way for your child to stay active and learn new things. Remember, it doesn't matter what activity your child pursues, as long as they enjoy it. Again take the lead from your child. Some children thrive from lots of extra-curricular activities while others get overwhelmed and over-stimulated. Listen to them and adjust their schedule accordingly.


Meli worries children are getting overscheduled. “I think it’s good for children to learn new skills and to develop their interests but it can be too much for children and their parents. I do feel there is too much pressure to do extra activities. I believe clubs and classes are good but in moderation.”

*** Pippa thinks clubs and classes teach her children new skills. “I like that my children get to learn things that school wouldn’t necessarily offer. It broadens their experiences and makes them more resilient to all that life offers. It also teaches them to have an open mind to new experiences and people. For example, music lessons can help with concentration, so they have a positive effect on school work too!”

*** Faye thinks that clubs and classes help your child find their passions but being at home is important too. “When they are young I think it’s good to give the kids opportunities to find the things they really love to do but I’m conscious not to overdo it!! Quality playing time at home is just as important."

September 2019 • Families South West 43

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

44 Families South West • September 2019


Clubs and Classes They focus on developing language skills through rhymes, games and activities that change each week! The classes are 30 minutes of guided activities with 15 minutes of free flow, reading, puzzles, mark making and socialising.

What’s all the fuss about phonics? Phonics? If you’ve never heard of it then you’re not alone! We all know that there are 26 letters in the alphabet but did you know that combinations of those 26 letters are used to make 44 different sounds, or phonemes? In 2006 Phonics became the mandatory way of teaching reading in UK schools. We know that it can be so hard to support your child’s learning when you weren’t taught the same way, which is why Sounds Right Phonics Classes for kids was created. Teachers Fiona, Lara and Zoe are the Sounds Right Phonics Superstars who run these fun, educational and energetic classes, for 1-5 year olds across South West London. “We absolutely love teaching the classes and

Parents say: “Not only has my son learned things but so have I. It has equipped me with the tools I need to help him at home with reading.” “I would highly recommend these classes! I’m already seeing progress with my daughter who is vocalising and talking so much more. We love how varied and fun the session is! A big thumbs up from us!”

working with parents and their children to make their introduction to reading fun!” Sounds Right Phonics Preschool classes, for children aged 2.5 to school age, are 45 minutes long and introduce a new letter sound each week. The good news is that there is nothing boring about these sessions: they build parents’ understanding of phonics whilst children learn through play. You’ll find confidence building games and activities to promote muscle development, co-ordination and turn taking along with music, dancing and laughter! MINI Sounds Right Phonics classes, designed especially for toddlers aged 12-30 months, are wonderfully active, just like most toddlers.

Sounds Right Phonics classes are currently running in Colliers Wood, Earlsfield, Mitcham, Putney, Southfields, Tooting and Wimbledon. Find your local class or get in touch at www.soundsrightphonicsclasses.co.uk

Wandsworth Mindfulness teacher brings peace to 4,000 children, teachers and parents.

Anna Wille, previously Learning and Development Manager in various large corporations, before turning to teaching, is determined to help the young develop coping skills for a happier life, in these social-media anxiety-inducing times. Since 2015 over 20 independent and statemaintained schools have worked with Anna and the MiSP’s paws.b and dot.b courses to build pupils’ emotional intelligence, such as empathy, self-awareness, selfmotivation, self-regulation and self-esteem. The results according to the pupils themselves, have been amazing; they are sleeping better, getting on with friends and siblings, finding homework less distressing, and coping better in tests.


Emma Greer, Deputy Head at Pelham Primary School in Wimbledon, where Anna has taught all of KS2 for several years, explained, “In today’s chaotic world, with its overload of stimuli, we felt that it was important to teach children how to be peaceful in themselves and to enhance the skills of mental resilience and physical stamina. The children have hugely benefitted, gaining strategies to assist them in becoming thoughtful, calm and able to identify how they feel in the world around them.”

Anna also teaches 5 to 8 week courses to teachers and parents for their personal wellbeing. She has published ‘Mindfulness Shuffle—50 fun mindfulness-based activities’ available on her website www.lovelivelead.co.uk

Anna first discovered the benefits of Mindfulness when experiencing challenges as a single mother of 3 in Earlsfield. “Mindfulness gave me my breath back, now I am helping others get theirs back too” she explains.


September 2019 • Families South West 45

Clubs and Classes

Here is a little round up of our local Clubs and Classes Young People’s Theatre Company Group 64 is a Young People's Theatre Company based in the heart of Putney. They are proud to be a resident company at Putney Arts Theatre, with classes taking place on a real stage! They told Families: ”We focus on empowering young people and ensuring their voices are valued and heard, through a creative and safe environment. Our emphasis is on sparking the imagination, whilst developing theatre making and performance skills, both onstage and off.” They run weekly drama classes for ages 4-19, holiday projects, performance opportunities and much more. For more information go to www.g64.org.uk or call 020 8788 6935.

Ultimate Cheer Melissa Reynolds, one of our Roving Mums reports: Hugely popular in the United States, cheerleading has been growing in popularity in the UK as a great way for kids to exercise and have fun! Ultimate Cheer offers children the opportunity to learn to flip, stunt and tumble their way through a routine, resulting in performing a 2.5 minute routine at the end of the year showcase.

Swimway Since 2005, SwimWay has developed a fantastic reputation for providing high quality swimming lessons for parents, babies and children. Because SwimWay specialises in 1:1 and 1:2 lessons, the children receive full, direct support in the water from their teacher. This allows them to use only a kickboard as a floatation device without sacrificing any safety measures. The SwimWay swimming programme will enable all students to develop and practice key techniques and skills, progressing as stroke and skill competency is achieved. The SwimWay instructors continually assess all students to ensure they are progressing through the

programme. Their distinctive technique can be seen as well as felt in the lessons themselves. They told Families: ”Our awards system is more focussed and specific than the majority of other swim schools, which suits our small, personal lessons.” For further information please email info@swimway.co.uk or visit www.swimway.co.uk

The one and a half hour class is open to both boys and girls of all ages, with no previous cheer experience needed. Adult classes are aimed at former University cheerleaders and offer both a competitive and non-competitive squad. Both classes are offered Monday evenings, with the children’s class located in Tooting, the adult’s class in Clapham Junction. www.ultimate-cheer.co.uk

Playball Playball don’t just teach children how to play sports, they prepare them for the future! Their focused educational sports programmes are specifically designed to promote cognitive and social development as well as physical growth, providing your child with a sound base for future learning. They offer five different age group programmes from 2yrs old all the way up to 10yrs old. Each one lasting one year. The Aim of their programmes Fun and exciting: The lessons include an impressive fun component that ensures your child is never bored.

46 Families South West • September 2019

Age-specific: Each programme caters for that specific age group and covers an extensive range of sport skills. Current: Each programme is constantly reviewed to ensure that your child develops at the right pace. Progressive: Their programmes progress from honing simple movement abilities, to introducing fundamental skills and on to the more challenging sports specific skills Brand new classes just opened for the Autumn term! 020 8123 2217 gavin@playball-london.com www.playball-London.com


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

Book your free trial class! Email: trichardson@littlekickers.co.uk Tel: 020 8675 1155 Website: www.LittleKickers.co.uk

Southfields call 020 8870 8300 email southfields@numberworks.com

Battersea call 020 7223 1882 email battersea@numberworks.com www.numberworksnwords.com/uk



September 2019 • Families South West 47

48 Families South West • September 2019


Clubs and Classes

Swimming Rocks

Elite Excel Futsal Schools

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

Does your child have a passion for football? Futsal is a modified form of football played with five players per side on a smaller, typically indoor, pitch. Although Futsal is very much a game in its own right, it encourages closer ball control and manipulation, which supports the technical development of young players. Futsal is considered a key to unlock hidden talent. “During my childhood in Portugal, all we played was Futsal. The small playing area helped me improve my close control and whenever I played Futsal I felt free. If it wasn’t for Futsal, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.” Cristiano Ronaldo For 4-12 years. In Battersea, Clapham South, Brixton and Wimbledon soon. Email futsalschoolldn@gmail.com for more information.

Baby and fitness classes Busylizzy are the destination for all your baby and fitness. No childcare needed as your little one goes too. They run 9 different weekly classes and their flexible membership options allow you to pick and mix the ideal classes to suit you and your family. They offer a FREE trial class to anyone who wants to go and give them a try. You can sign up via their website: www.busylizzyclaphamandbattersea.co.uk

LAGAD celebrates 10th anniversary In 2009 Jessica Shenton was approached by her former Ballet teacher to take over her adult Ballet classes in North London. As a former Royal Ballet School trained teacher and qualified Gymnastics coach, Jessica agreed. This led to the creation of LAGAD and 10 years on it has 5 full time staff, 50 freelancers, offer classes in North, West and South West London. The programme delivers OFSTED and British Gymnastics registered Gymnastics and Dance programmes after school and at the weekends, seven days a week.

Jessica still loves coaching, her proudest moments have not necessarily been the dizzying heights of LAGAD girls being selected for Team GB or for the World Championships, but when each child achieves their very first cartwheel, handstand or headstand balance. Classes in Chelsea and South Kensington. Beginner to advanced, 3.5 to 16 yrs. info@lagad.co.uk 020 8883 4675 www.lagad.co.uk

A confident start with Jigsaw Performing Arts A new school year is here - time to try something new with your weekend? Jigsaw popular dance, singing and drama weekend classes for 3-18year-olds are designed to develop children's confidence, selfexpression, focus and social skills, while having fun and making lots of new friends. Parents share in the



excitement and their children's progress with regular presentations, shows and reports from their team of highly experienced teachers. For more information or to book a two-week trial, search for your nearest school on jigsawarts.co.uk or call 020 8447 4530.

September 2019 • Families South West 49

Clubs and Classes

Funky Monkey Keyboard classes Bursting with inspiring teaching techniques for a stimulating experience, Funky Monkey are totally dedicated to first class electronic keyboard tuition. They have an engaging, unique scheme with informal and formal exams to work towards. Recommended! New venue in Furzedown from September, in addition to Clapham, Tooting Bec, Streatham and more. 01732 457 100 www.funkymonkey.info

West Wimbledon Dance Academy The academy has had another outstanding year! The Christmas Show 2018 sold out all 4 performances. Students were outstandingly successful in exams with 100% pass rate and 90% distinction or merit. Please contact Caroline for your child’s free trial class in September. Caroline@wwdance.co.uk 07956 606648 www.wwdance.co.uk

Waterbabies Water confidence builds life confidence, so there’s no better time to teach your baby to swim than from birth. They told Families : “ Water Babies is the world’s leading baby swim school, teaching over 50,000 babies each week across the globe. Our teachers are the only ones can who hold Swim England’s highest qualification. And not only are we experts in the water, but we are also dedicated, warm, passionate and understanding.” They are ready to guide you through that initial uncertainty of taking your baby swimming. It can be daunting! But let them give you the confidence to really enjoy time with them in the water. For more information contact Lo Winchurch on 020 7585 1510 www.waterbabies.co.uk

Creative writing through art and games Such a lovely idea from Katherine Smith, Artist and Oxford Graduate: she inspires children to become confident artists as well as writers! Ideal for years 2-6 and taking place in Wimbledon on Saturdays during term-time. 9-9.45am: Year 2; 10-11am: Years 3-4; 11.45am-12.45pm: Years 5-6; £240 per term, maximum 6 per class. www.paintwritenow.co.uk 07779 100 659

Would you like to earn extra money? Ideal for mums with a baby at home, 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 e.dahlgren@btinternet.com

50 Families South West • September 2019


Great for small parties

Perfect for Baby Showers, Gender Reveal and Bridal Showers



September 2019 • Families South West 51

3 Performing arts training of the highest standard 3 For children aged 4 - 13 Years 3 Working towards a yearly performanace & LAMDA examinations 3 Building Confidence and Promoting social development 3 Fun & Inspiring tuition taught in a Enrolling safe and stimulating environment NOW! 3 Small class sizes Little Voices lessons are held at: St Mary’s Church, Putney - Every Monday & Wednesday

BOOK A FREE TRIAL LESSON! For more information and to book a free trial, visit: www.littlevoices.org.uk or call: 0208 088 0112, Email: SWL@littlevoices.org.uk

52 Families South West • September 2019


Improving your child’s concentration Perform and parenting expert and child psychologist, Dr Claire Halsey offer their tips. Make it fun Make activities fun as your child is more likely to pay attention eg: tidying up toys is less of a chore when you offer a tickle to the child who finishes first!

Perform offers concentration-boosting drama classes throughout the UK and locally in Balham, Barnes, Battersea, Chelsea, Clapham, Earl’s Court, Earlsfield, Fulham, Kensington, Knightsbridge, Mortlake, Parsons Green, Pimlico, Southfields, Putney, Streatham, Tooting and Wimbledon. Try a FREE no-obligation class at www.perform.org.uk/try

Keep practising Games and activities can build concentration. Choose turn-taking games like Snap or Picture Dominoes or those with simple instructions.

Concentration is a vital life skill which develops from birth. Linked closely to brain development, it improves alongside a child’s memory and ability to organise their thoughts. Set up for success Reduce big distractions: television, music and screen time make it difficult to listen and concentrate, so limit these to set times.


Praise the Good Stuff Praise your child when they focus rather than highlighting when they don’t eg: “Well done for sticking with that puzzle.” Seek advice A small number of children have difficulty paying attention no matter how hard they try. Ask your child’s teacher for suggestions. If you’re still concerned, see your GP. More from Dr Claire Halsey at www.clairehalsey.com


September 2019 • Families South West 53

54 Families South West • September 2019


Register with us before Sept 15th and be part of our great ABC deal!


ttend a free trial



laim 2 nd free class!

ook for a term

Ts & Cs apply. See website


01732 For 4-8457 year100 olds Read, write & play music! 01732 457100




September 2019 • Families South West 55

When plastic was invented everyone thought it was a fantastic invention—easy and convenient. Today, everyone is aware that plastic is a total disaster for the planet, finally the world has woken up, and the clean-up has to commence. No one saw it coming.

“5G dangers”— who to believe?


t looks like we have a similar battle on our hands with EMR/wifi, and in particular 5G, which will increase the threat to the environment from microwave radiation, and increase risks to human health. Unlike with plastics, this time, we have no excuses for not seeing it coming.

Families campaigned on plastic bags as far back as 2005 with our “Kids Save the Planet” campaign and we began writing about Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) risks in 2011. However, the shift from 4G to 5G is far more than a mere upgrade, and here at Families, we want to alert you to the facts and questions being asked about this, so you can do your own research and decide for yourselves. Here Patty Hemingway outlines some of the issues being debated.

“Symptoms associated with exposure to EMR have been reported by people who were often unaware that they were being affected until after the installation of a smart meter, or new wifi router or phone mast close to home. These include: headaches, nosebleeds, insomnia, heart arrhythmias and palpitations, burning skin rashes, fatigue not improved by rest, brain-fog and confusion, muscular aches and pains, elevated blood pressure, dizziness, and allergies. When we demand faster internet or smart appliances with inbuilt connectivity, we are agreeing to 5G, which uses radio frequencies in the millimetre bandwidth at speeds exceeding 4G, and necessitating the deployment of many more new antennas and transmitters. These will be clustered at street level, within, and closer to, homes and schools. Understandably, people are alarmed. Proper independent research is required There have been thousands of studies on the effect of mobile phone and wifi radiation over the past 50 years, with more than half showing health effects from exposure to EMR, from 56 Families South West • September 2019

For more details, download Dr. Martin Pall's e-book “5G: Compelling Evidence for Eight Distinct types of Great Harm Caused by Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposure and the Mechanism that Causes Them” from www.radiationresearch.org/research

various sources. A good place to start, if you want to view these, is Powerwatch.org.uk, which only counts peer-reviewed studies. Look also at orsaa.org/campaign This group of academics and researchers based in Australia aims to make visible EMR research, which it seems the telecoms industry would rather keep out of sight. • At the beginning of the year, US Senator Richard Blumenthal grilled wireless industry representatives, who admitted the industry had done ZERO health and safety studies on 5G technology. Watch the video on youtube.com/watch?v=ekNC0J3xx1w

What next? Once you have started looking into this matter, what can you do if you want to be part of the discussion and decide for yourself if the risks to health are worth the "convenience" of receiving reminders from your fridge to buy more milk, or messaging any other household appliance? • Dr Erica Mallery Blythe explains the Maybe the idyll being sold to us via advertising mechanism for the diverse effects of EMR in a is just that—a fantasy world where we will all be video, https://vimeo.com/131798243 linked to so much happier because we can the SSITA website (www.ssita.org.uk), which is communicate with machines? There have dedicated to keeping our children been petitions requesting that the government safe at school. instructs the wireless industry to carry out We are being more research, and the latest one can be told the research has • In 2011 the WHO found at https://bit.ly/2Sk4LVZ been done and it is safe. In categorized this age of data manipulation electromagnetic and huge financial interests, the It is time to get talking to the decision radiation (EMR) as a real question, unfortunately, is: makers, schools, local councils, your Possible Carcinogen neighbours and your MP, about what should we really blindly (Class 2B). you want. If there is no guarantee that believe what we are 5G is safe for everyone, children, the being told? • In April 2019, a minister elderly, people with chronic illnesses as well of the Government of the as stressed city dwellers (all of us then!) Brussels-Capital Region announced the perhaps it comes at too high a price and we suspension of plans to provide 5G wireless don't really need it after all.” internet access throughout the Belgian capital Patty Hemingway is an experienced due to concerns about radiation levels. homeopath who has helped people with https://bit.ly/2LuHvEj environmental illnesses, and allergies, and can be contacted on 020 8333 0413 or at • In June this year, British MP Tonia Antoniazzi pattyhemingwayhomeopath@inbox.com described what she had learned about the Health-related Effects of Electromagnetic There is an EM Radiation Research Trust's Fields, in a Westminster Hall debate, and conference on 28th September in London, Can requested that we adopt the precautionary Wireless Communications Damage Your Health? principle with regard to 5G, until there is http://bit.ly/2SQMyQf further research into its safety. See http://bit.ly/2KJovyN


What’s On September 2019 Harry Hill will present his new children’s book

Go on have a family rave with Big Fish Little Fish!

If you only do one thing this month… Photo: Jeff Russell Absolute Photography

Participate in London Car Free Day londoncarfreeday.com 22nd September is the day to get on your bikes, rollers or trainers: many roads will be closed for the event in 18 London boroughs to help tackle the capital’s air pollution crisis. Did you know air pollution kills thousands of people each year and leaves two million–including 400,000 children—living in areas with illegally dirty air. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced major plans to help Londoners ‘reclaim’ the streets and get out and about enjoying hundreds of free events for London’s biggest Car Free Day celebrations. We really must support this! Check out your local events promoting walking, cycling and public transport, or better create your own “play streets” (see page 28). Help meet the Mayor’s ambitious target of 80 per cent of all journeys to be taken via sustainable modes of transport by 2041. Imagine a city where children can breathe and walk to school safely! Together we can do it.

Diary Dates ... Zippo's Circus Eel Brook Common, Fulham www.zippos.co.uk 5-10 September The Magnificent Top Hat Zippo's Circus celebrates more than 250 years of circus entertainment with amazing acts of acrobatics, comic clowns and daredevils. From £9

Get Active Roehampton Festival  The Bull, Green SW15 4EN www.enablelc/active 7 September Fun for all the family Active Kids zone, free activity sessions provided by local clubs, free adult health checks and body MOTs and free goody bags containing an activity voucher worth £5 to help you get active. Free entry

Mum2Mum market www.mum2mummarket.co.uk Nearly new sales where mums sell to mums, £2 at the door by buyers, kids go free. 14 September Ricards Lodge High School Wimbledon 10am-12pm 28 September Church of Immanuel and St Andrew Streatham 3.305.30pm familiesonline.co.uk

Clapham NCT Nearly New Sale Broomwood Methodist Church SW11 21 September Come and browse nearly new items including equipment. Clapham NCT Baby First aid course take place at Eddie Catz, 279 Magdalen Road, SW18 3NZ. Book on www.nct.org.uk The course consists of a single session 7-10pm £59. Date tbc

Trinity Hospice’s biggest community event of the year!

Family Walk & Fun Day Royal Trinity Hospice, 30 Clapham Common North Side SW4 0RN www.royaltrinityhospice.london 22 September Your fundraising will allow Trinity to keep the hospice’s care free and helps them to reach their event target of £50,000, enough to fund one Community Nurse Specialist for a whole year. You can choose between a 2, 5 or 8 mile walk.

Southfields Harvest  St Barnabas Church, Lavenham Road, Southfields SW18 5EP www.southfieldsharvest.org.uk 28 September Lively neighbourhood festival


celebrating all things local. Enter the Southfields Bake-off, enjoy craft beer and cider, home-made honey and jam, allotment veg and Southfields sausages, hot off the BBQ. Bring your garden apples to be juiced. Great community event. 12-3pm. Free entry

Wimbledon Guild Waggy Walk  Starting and finishing at the dogfriendly Hand in Hand pub on Wimbledon Common 28 September A fundraising dog walk for a local charity supporting people throughout Merton. Open to everyone, with and without dogs, and if you book in advance, your dog goes free! 4km or 7km walk. Adult £10, child £5, dog £5, family ticket £25

National Poetry day 3 October The challenge encourages schools to create poems, performances, displays and special books on a grand scale as part of the 25th anniversary of the UK's biggest celebration of poetry on National Poetry Day. This year's theme is Truth, and #MyNPDPoem invites students aged 6 to 13 to express the truths that matter to them, in poems.

Clapham Book Festival  Omnibus Theatre claphambookfestival.com 5 October Local arts charity Clapham Writers has created a trail around Clapham Common for families. The whole trail takes around 60 mins, starting and ending at Clapham Common Underground station. Find out more about Clapham authors for all ages on the website. An exciting roster of authors on offer including Frank Gardner OBE, Clapham resident Simon Berthon, Ursula Buchan and many more.

Wimbledon BookFest  In the Big Tent on Wimbledon Common www.wimbledonbookfest.org 3-13 Oct Book now. A packed Children’s programme including: Tickets go Harry Hill introducing his fast! 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.

September 2019 • Families South West 57

Puppet Theatre Barge - The Insect Circus

THEATRE LAST CHANCE TO SEE All these shows end on 8th September

Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Ave, W1 www.gruffalolive.com The Gruffalo Show reviewed by Families Roving Mum Melissa Reynolds: “Julia Donaldson’s beloved book is back in It’s a theatrical form, and it’s a must-see for deep, dark wood of fun! any Gruffalo While the costumes, fan! especially that purple-horned Gruffalo are great, it’s the audience interaction that makes the show. My son gleefully roared along with everyone else pretending to be the fearsome Gruffalo and laughed along at funnier parts.”

London Palladium Josephthemusical.com Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat With Jason Donavon as Pharaoh! All ages.

Vaudeville Theatre www.nimaxtheatres.com The Worst Witch, by Jill Murphy. Most suitable for Ages 7+. From £20

Farmageddon at the BFI

Wimbledon Guild Waggy Walk 28th September

Puppet Theatre Barge  TW10 6UT www.puppetbarge.com Until 6 Oct The Insect Circus The strange and beautiful world of the Insect Circus. Beetles and grasshoppers, wasps and dragonflies, demonstrate their dexterity with great skill and humour. Presented using marionettes, the show breathes new life into the traditional techniques used in Victorian trick marionettes. A show without words. 3+, from £9

Unicorn Theatre 47 Tooley St, London SE1 2HZ 18 Sept-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

Troubadour White City Theatre

A brand new state-of-the-art venue in West London

Book via nationaltheatre.org.uk 020 7452 3000 or at the Troubadour Theatre Box Office: 0844 815 4866 peterpanonstage.com 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.

Colour House Theatre   Watermill Way, Colliers Wood, SW19 2RD www.colourhousetheatre.co.uk 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

Lyric Theatre 29 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho Box office: 0330 333 4812 www.nimaxtheatres.com 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

Book ahead for these popular shows!

New Wimbledon Theatre ATGtickets.com/Wimbledon 0844 8717646 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, The Grinch discovers there’s more to Christmas than he bargained for in this heartwarming and hilarious musical. 4+ from £13. 11-16 November Annie This ‘glorious revival’ (The Times) stars Birds of a Feather’s Lesley Joseph as the tyrannical Miss

58 Families South West • September 2019

Hannigan. With its Tony® awardwinning book and score, including the unforgettable songs It’s The Hard-Knock 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 ALL-DANCING TRIUMPH’ (OK! Magazine) 2yrs+ from £13.

booking fees. It includes a wide variety of London musicals, plays, comedies and children’s shows.


Battersea Arts Centre Lavender Hill www.bac.org.uk 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 that this building holds, dating back to when it was used as Battersea Town Hall. 6-11. Duration: 90 mins 11am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm. New community garden will open on Town Hall Road this autumn, watch this space.

BFI films for families www.bfi.org.uk/families 22 September Shaun The Sheep funday workshop Bring your little ones along for some baaaaarmy fun, arts and crafts and learn to animate your own adventures. Also in the foyer: The Wind In The Willows. Every Saturday until 12 October BFI Learn About... Suitable for all home-educated children and their parents. An inclusive place where curriculum subjects can be explored creatively using film and media. Each month offers a different subject area to be explored, using your newlyacquired filmmaking skills. £12 Saturdays in September 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


Kensington Palace ©Historic Royal Palaces Photo: James Linsell-Clarke

hugely popular so book early. Mini Filmmakers for ages 8-11, 10.30– 12.30, Young Filmmakers for ages 1215, 2-4.30pm £95 per child

Chelsea Physic Garden www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk 1 and 29 September Children’s activities A morning Garden Safari for children aged 3-6 on the first Sunday of each month, herbal remedy making for children aged 6+ on the last Sunday of each month, and pond dipping afternoons for all ages on both days.

Natural History Museum  www.nhm.ac.uk Investigate for families Get a feel for how scientists work by having a go yourself. Explore hundreds of real nature specimens that form the evidence Museum scientists use in their daily work. Drop-in, ages 3-11, 11am-5pm 20 September Unique sleepover for 7-11yrs to explore the Museum after dark while taking part in fun and educational activities: explore a torch-lit trail, get creative, enjoy an educational science show. At midnight, it's time to settle down to sleep. In the morning, breakfast is served early, get to experience a live animal show before waving goodbye to the Museum when it opens to the public at 10am £60

Victoria & Albert Museum

The Gruffalo. Tall Stories

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.

Spend time in Kew Gardens www.kew.org Melissa Reynolds, a Families Roving Mum reports: “We visited the brand new Children’s Garden and absolutely loved it! Aimed primarily at children aged 2 to 12, the natural space has been designed around Mother Nature’s essential elements that all plants need to survive: earth, air, sun and water. The plant and flowerfilled garden covers an area the size of 40 tennis courts and is also filled with over 100 mature trees. Children can experience and learn about nature through their various stops as well as getting plenty of outdoor time and exercise! Children can bounce on bright pollen balls, dig in a sand pit, slide down slides or tackle the log scramble, all in one place. Free with admission to Kew Gardens but does require a wristband at entrance that allows your child(ren) 90 minutes of play!

The British Museum www.britishmuseum.org See the museum's collection of ancient and historical artefacts including the ever-popular Egyptian mummies. Free, charge for some exhibitions. Digital Discovery Centre weekends Learn, discover and create

Archbishops’ Park SE1 7LE www.zip-now.co/london2019 Until 15 September Zip Now London, the biggest and fastest city centre zip wire, returned


to the Southbank for its third summer season. Launching from a 35-metre high tower, riders travel 225 metres with a stunning backdrop including the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the Gherkin, Lambeth Palace and The Shard. For full adrenaline, add on the 'Mega Drop' freefall experience. Open daily, ages 8+, from £25

London Wetland Centre Barnes www.wwt.org.uk 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.

Turn the travelling into the adventure “Planning an adventure day Recommendation by out with the kids Sofia Schmidt, a starts with enjoying the Families Roving Mum journey, not just the destination. Next time you are looking for a lowcost, local activity, consider taking the “RB6 river bus” ferry down the Thames as a fun and unique way of getting to your destination. One of our favourite itineraries is taking the ferry (25 minutes, £4.40) from Putney Pier to Cadogan Pier. From there we either walk to Battersea Park’s playground (free), head to the National Army Museum’s “Play Base” soft play (free for under 1s, £5.75 for 1-8 year olds), or visit the beautiful Physic Garden (£11 adults, kids free). continued on page 60

Tower of London www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london Digital Missions Download the free Time Explorers app and go on a digital mission: meet characters from history facing a tricky situation, solve their problem by tackling a series of challenges that help you to explore the palace and find the answers you need. Activity trails Packed with fun quizzes, activities, facts and illustrations, they are the perfect way to explore the Tower as a family. Trails are free and are available throughout the year.

www.vam.ac.uk/families Pick up a family trail from the information desk and explore the museum through puzzles, drawing and observation. 7-12 year-olds. There are also hundreds of exciting hands-on exhibits containing plenty to touch and try out. Free. Backpacks Saturdays Pick up a back pack and explore the museum with fantastic jigsaws, stories, puzzles and games. 10.30am-5pm

The Natural History Museum

Car free day

Zip Now London


September 2019 • Families South West 59

The Horniman Museum World Gallery photo: Andrew Lee

The ferry starts at Putney Pier and runs to Canary Wharf during peak commuter hours (starting 6.10 am– 9.50am.), Monday-Friday. (Note: All piers are wheelchair accessible except for London Bridge, Wandsworth Riverside Quarter and Cadogan Piers.)

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES Charles Dickens Museum 48 Doughty Street, WC1N 2LX www.dickensmuseum.com 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.

Clapham Book Festival

Exploration of the basement reveals a wonderful Victorian kitchen, full of period and replica items you can interact with. There are costumes for dressing up in both the kitchen and the attic to give a flavour of what life was like upstairs and down. 4-12yrs, £9 adults, £4 children

Fulham Palace SW6 6EA www.fulhampalace.org * 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 * 7 September Little Green fingers gardening workshop Children will harvest produce and flowers which have been planted in a dedicated little green fingers bed in the walled garden. 3+ £10.50 per child. 10.30-12pm

NCT Bumps and babies meet every Tuesday at the Riverside pub

* 22 September Take part in plant themed activities, games and crafts, meet the dedicated garden team who keep the garden looking so good. 3+ 11am-3pm FREE.

Imperial War Museum Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ www.iwm.org.uk IWM shows and records war through the eyes of the people who lived it. Be moved. Be inspired. Be transformed. Free

London Transport Museum www.ltmuseum.co.uk Future Engineers Gallery Have fun exploring the fascinating world of transport engineering in the new Future Engineers gallery, which opens to the public as a permanent display. Test your skills, solve transport conundrums faced by modern day engineers, and enjoy a series of interactive exhibits. London Stories Features 100 illustrations celebrating London and revealing some of the fascinating tales of London life past and present. From urban myths, historic events and remarkable characters, to daily lives and adventurous animals, the exhibition offers new insights into the cultural history and heritage of London. It’s quirky, amusing and bizarre!

Museum of London www.museumoflondon.org.uk 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+

Museum of London Docklands West India Quay, E14 4AL www.museumoflondon.org.uk/dockl ands

60 Families South West • September 2019

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 www.nhm.ac.uk Until January 2020 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, go and see them. Museum of the Moon is six-metre model featuring meticulously detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, ambient moonlight and an evolving soundscape.

National Army Museum Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HT www.nam.ac.uk Through its collections the museum preserves and shares stories of ordinary people with extraordinary responsibilities. It explores 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. Playbase, 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. Free children's trails A wide range of topics to suit a variety of age groups. Open 10am-5.30pm, admission free. Until 24 November The Art of Persuasion This major exhibition explores the life and legacy of the iconic designer Abram Games, focusing on his time as 'Official War Poster Artist' during the Second World War. Games's wartime posters have left a legacy that continues to influence the art of persuasion employed by visual designers today. Admission free for under 16s, adults £6. familiesonline.co.uk

Free Wandsworth Festival Roadshow 7th September

Royal Museums Greenwich  www.rmg.co.uk September The Moon Exhibition Visit the UK's biggest exhibition dedicated to Earth's celestial neighbour. The NMM exhibition features over 180 artefacts, artworks and interactive moments, charting the cultural and scientific story of our relationship with the Moon. £5.85 children, £9 adults. The Great Explorer 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? 11am-4pm, free. Character encounters Saturdays. Join an exciting performance and journey bringing maritime history to life. 12noon, 1, 2 and 3pm.

The Foundling Museum 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk Britain's first home for abandoned children and London's first public art gallery reveals the stories of the Foundling Hospital's founder Thomas Coram, the artist William Hogarth and composer George Frideric Handel. Admission free for under 16s, from £10 adults.

The Horninam Museum  Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ www.horniman.ac.uk The museum's music gallery and hands-on base, regular weekend and holiday drop-ins and workshops allow family visitors to explore the collection through arts and crafts, music, stories and hands-on sessions. Within 16 acres of beautiful green space with the oldest nature trail in London, an animal corner, a butterfly house, and a Farmers' Market every Saturday morning. Free, charges apply for special exhibitions and the aquarium. Until 27 October Brick Wonders Discover amazing wonders from around the world made entirely from LEGO bricks. Build your imagination at the interactive play areas, £5 children, £9 adults, £20 families.


Walk & fun day for Trinity Hospice 22nd September

Annie, New Wimbledon Theatre

Tower of London www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london Armoury in Action A family friendly exhibition revealing the fascinating story of arms and the armoury at the Tower. From shooting arrows and assembling firearms to brandishing swords, a thousand years of history at the Tower is brought to life in this exciting, hands-on experience.

Underbelly Festival Southbank SE1 8XX www.underbellyfestival.com A wealth of comedy, music and family performances burst to life at this year's Underbelly Festival at the Southbank. See the full line up on the festival website. 8-29 September The Showstopper’s Kids Show If your children could create their very own dream musical show, where would they start? From their imaginations straight onto the stage the Showstoppers bring their ideas to life. Ages 6+, from £14.50 15 September Basil Brush’s Fun Family Show Britain's most loveable fox takes you on a journey of laughs, storytelling and song in show for all the family specially written for the live stage and packed with fun and excitement. Ages 4+, from £10.25 21 & 22 September The Lovely Bug Hall There is making and dancing and puppets of all shapes and sizes. Set to an original soundtrack by the composer Tom Ashbourne this is a unique and magical show which is designed to be ASC friendly. Ages 4-104, from £10.50

National Portrait Gallery

ART ACTIVTIES Tate Britain www.tate.org.uk Dates in September Under Fives Explore the Gallery. Experiment with a range of materials while discovering exciting routes and journeys through the galleries alongside other families.

V & A Museum www.vam.ac.uk/families Throughout September Family Activities Pick up a family trail from the Information Desk and explore the museum through puzzles, drawing and observation. There are also hundreds of exciting hands-on exhibits containing plenty to touch and try out, plus regular activities and workshops for ages 712. Free

www.npg.org.uk Every third Sunday of the month Drop In Family Sundays. Drop-in with children aged 3+ to take part in portrait-related events. Free

The National Gallery www.nationalgallery.org.uk Every Sunday Magic carpet storytelling Fly away on the magic carpet, which comes to land in front of a different painting every Sunday. At 10.30, 11.30 and 12.30. 2-5 free

Tate Modern www.tate.org.uk Throughout September Family Friendly Art Activities A range of free arty and crafty workshops, see website for details. Free

V&A Museum of Childhood Bethnal Green E2 9PA www.museumofchildhood.org.uk 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


September 2019 • Families South West 61

BAC family heritage trail Photo: Adam Trigg


The Colour House Theatre

with your little one at these fun, sensory sessions. This September, you'll be inspired by music. For under-5s. £5.

Pram Chorus daytime choir 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. 2.304pm Contact Caroline Flint 07973 657 642, email caroline.midwife@gmail.com

National Army Museum www.nam.ac.uk 9th September Tiny Troopers Sing, play and create

www.pramchorus.com 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.

Screaming with Laughter https://screamingwithlaughter.com No date available at time of going to press London’s original afternoon comedy club, designed for parents with babies under 1 year. See the best

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

Chelsea Physic Garden

acts from TV and the comedy circuit without having to book a babysitter. Buy tickets at www.wegottickets.com/ScreamingWi thLaughter

relax and enjoy some wonderful music. £10 per adult, children free, tickets online or on the door. Dates vary depending on venue.

BYOB Comedy

www.tara-arts.com We love this No dates as we go to small theatre press in Earlsfield A range of children's classes, parent and baby shows, Froggy's Famous Fanclub, Baby Broadway and Bring Your Own Baby Comedy.

Tara Arts Clapham, Earlsfield, Teddington www.byobcomedy.com No date available at time of going to press Bring Your Own Baby Comedy A funny, Sure to friendly afternoon give a boost of top comedy and to morale! you get to bring your own baby! They provide toys, baby changing, buggy parking, bottle warmers and more, so that baby is happy and you can relax and enjoy top comedy stars from the circuit and TV.

Singing Mamas Choir Venues in Streatham High Road and Clapham Common North Side southlondonsingingmamas@gmail.co m 07947 609780 www.singingmamaschoir.com Mondays and Tuesday morning A Community of Choirs for Women, with or without children. Sing world songs, folk songs, gospel and more. A warm welcome awaits all singing abilities. £48 for 6 weeks Bursary places for mums suffering with PND and DV survivors.

Kensington Palace hrp.org.uk/kensingtonpalace Daily Try a digital mission Download the free 'Time Explorers' app then meet 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

Art at Sir John Soane’s House WC2A 3PB www.soane.org 21 September 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.

Do-Re-Mi Babies Concerts Barnes, Chelsea, Fulham, Wandsworth www.doremibabies.co.uk No dates as we go to press Inspirational and fun classical concerts. Babies and toddlers are welcome to crawl, dance, sing, cry, nappy change and more, so you can

Got some information for us? Send it to: whatson@familiessw.co.uk

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

020 8462 4646 - 07802 535695 62 Families South West • September 2019


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.