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FREE! Cambridgeshire SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2013 ISSUE #20

EDUCATION SPECIAL For ages 0-12 years old

Contents & Competitions

Dear Reader,

For most of you September means back to school – and back to the afterschool clubs and classes. Some of you will have little ones starting primary school for the first time (such a big step) or you will have youngsters finishing primary and you will be thinking about which secondary school to send your child – wondering where the time has gone! These are momentous milestones for you and your little ones and this issue should have something to help everyone. One of my favourite events in the What’s On pages this issue, is the Cambridge Film Festival with an open air screening of Finding Nemo on Jesus Green. Why not take a picnic – or ask Carluccio’s to prepare one for you with special Bambini Picnics* for children and settle down for the evening as a family. (* please mention Families Cambridgeshire when ordering) I hope you enjoy my first issue of Families and the new look we’ve worked hard to create. Please don’t forget to mention

What’s in this issue? 4 News 5 Education News 6W  hat’s On Great days out and events to keep you and your family occupied during September and October Families Cambridgeshire if you use any of the companies listed. Keep an eye on our website which is constantly updated with events and what’s on pages or follow us on twitter for regular tweets about what’s on in the area.


not transferable or is no cash alternative. Tickets are TERMS & CONDITIONS There years or over. Employees and volunteers of Imperial War IWM Duxford or their at refundable. Entrants must be 18 ing , other businesses operat Museums, Duxford Aviation Societyter accepts no responsibility for entries delayed or lost in relatives may not enter. The promo d, Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR Duxfor the post. The promoter is IWM

Recommended spooky events this Halloween

11 Which Secondary is right for my child?

12 C  lubs and Classes Choosing extra-curricular activities for your child

14 L  istings Great clubs and classes in your local area

WIN a family ticket worth £70 to the Duxford autumn air show on Sunday 13th October! The Autumn Air Show celebrates 40 years of air shows at IWM Duxford. We’ll be recreating many of those early flying displays and showcasing the iconic aircraft that call IWM Duxford home. Already booked to take part are the Belgian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Army Air Corps Apache, the Royal Naval Air Squadron Lynx helicopter, the RAF’s Sea King helicopter, the F-86 Sabre jet aircraft and the B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B. Enjoy an atmospheric day with fabulous flying, activities to enjoy across the site and the whole museum to explore too! For further information go to IWM Duxford is offering a lucky Families Cambridgeshire reader the opportunity to win a family ticket to the Autumn Air Show on Sunday 13 October.

Enter online at

9W  hat’s on for Halloween?

20 things you need to know when choosing ‘big school’

Competition time!

What is the name that the B-17 Flying Fortress is known by?

Starting a new pre-school

10 S chool Open Days

DON’T MISS A COPY! Receive Families Cambridgeshire by post for just £9.30 for 6 issues (1 year) or £18 for 12 issues (2 years). Call or email for a subscription form.

To be in with a chance of winning answer this question:

8 S callywags

12,000 copies of Families Cambridgeshire available through schools, nurseries, hospitals, clubs and classes, selected shops and restaurants. If you would like copies for your establishment please let us know. EDITOR: Lisa Exell 01945 861336 DESIGN: David Slade Cover image courtesy of Stephen Perse Schools, copyright 2013



Families Cambridgeshire is part of the Families group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under license.. We take every care preparing the magazine, but the publishers and distributers cant be held responsible for the claims of advertisers, the accuracy of the contents nor for any correspondences.



News & views

Get your kids Energized! EnergiZe is a weight management programme for children aged 7 11 who are above their ideal weight. Programmes run for 12 weeks where the children attend each week with a parent / carer for interactive workshops and fun, active games. EnergiZe is run free of charge. New programmes are starting at the end of September in Comberton, Cambridge, Wisbech, Bottisham and Huntingdon. To book a place, contact EnergiZe 01480 418647 /

Tags of fun!

Remembering everything they need to take to school and bring home again is a daily challenge for most children. TomTag is a new invention by two mums that helps children to be more organised and independent. TomTag is a colourful daily checklist that clips to a school bag and is practical and fun to use. Picture cues identify the items a child needs to remember to take with them so it’s even suitable for non-readers and those with additional needs. Each pack contains 6 colourful button holders, one for each day of the school week, plus an extra tag to list the items a child needs every day. A generous supply of blank buttons is included along with a set of picture stickers for a wide range of school items and activities including sports, musical instruments&school essentials. www. at only £9.99 per pack. Buy before 31st Oct 2013 using code FAM10 and receive 10% off every pack.

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Chariots for charity

Chariots of Fire is the region’s longest running fundraising event, and celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year. The race follows in the footsteps of the famous film which documented the British team’s path to victory in the 1924 Olympic Games, with teams of six each running a 1.7 mile course in relay format. This year, all sponsorship monies raised will go to a leading disability charity, Papworth Trust. For over 100 years charity Papworth Trust has been supporting disabled people to have equality, choice and independence in their lives. Monies raised through Chariots of Fire, will go

towards urgently needed renovations and improvements to its Cambridge day centre. The day centre, located on Hawthorn Way, is an essential resource for its service users to learn new skills and make new friends. The race takes place on Sunday 22 September and starts and ends on Queens’ Green. For more details or to make a donation visit:

Virgin Health Bank to provide cord blood stem cell banking services for Cambridge’s parents Virgin Health Bank, the leading independent cord blood stem cell bank, is now providing cord blood banking programmes for parents whose babies are born at the Rosie Hospital. Parents having babies at the Rosie Hospital are now able to have the cord blood stem cells of their newborns collected and stored through a new arrangement with Virgin Health Bank (VHB). Uniquely in addition to its Family Banking service VHB also provides a Community Banking service through which parents are able to donate some of the stem cells from their baby’s cord blood. Access to the donated cells is then given to Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) on a free of charge basis. The Community Banking programme will increase the number of stem cell units available for transplant, improve the likelihood of finding suitably matched units for patients and significantly reduce the cost of sourcing units. Cord blood is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord after a birth. It is a rich source of stem cells which, once collected and processed, can be used in clinical therapies to treat and cure a range of blood and immune system disorders. If parents decide to bank their baby’s cord blood stem cells with VHB, the cord

blood will be collected from the umbilical cord by hospital phlebotomists. It will then be transferred to Addenbrooke’s Stem Cell Laboratory to be processed and stored for up to 25 years. CUH benefits from the arrangement by gaining access to the cord blood units donated to VHB’s Community Bank and by generating additional revenue for the hospital through charging VHB service fees. For further information visit www. Cutting-edge technology comes to Rosie Hospital

Education News

Class Sizes Swell

Department of Education figures have revealed a significant rise in the number of children in classes of more than 30 students. The number of five-to seven-year-olds taught in classes of more than 30 pupils has risen dramatically in the past year, with figures showing that over 70,000 children Going to school? are taught alongside 30 other pupils in 2013, compared with Take a hike! around 47,000 last year and 28,000 four years ago. This has prompted claims from teachers that the government is failing to address a serious shortage of school places, with critics adding that the government’s new free schools have not always been opened to in areas with the greatest need for extra efiv of r be The num t in Beat the traffic
and get you and your kids 
out in the places. ‘They are opening new secondary gh u ta ds ol rseven-yea n a fresh air during 
International Walk to School Month schools in areas where there are surplus th re o m f classes o n this October. Each year, primary school children places,’ said Stephen Twigg, shadow se ri as h s il 30 pup e from across the UK join forces with over 40 countries Education Secretary, ‘whilst the need th in ly al ic dramat worldwide to celebrate the benefits of walking to for primary places couldn’t be greater.’ ar ye t pas school and this October is no different, with the monthHowever, the Department of Education said, long activity encouraging pupils to walk to school at least ‘Children are only permitted to join classes of once a week. Many parents know that walking is actually 30 pupils in exceptional cases, if for instance they quicker and less stressful than taking the car and they value are in care or from military families. Classes often fall back the opportunity to spend quality time with their children. It naturally to 30 over a year or two.’ The increase is largely the also increases air quality with fewer cars on the streets and result of a mini-baby boom after declining pupil numbers in strengthen communities, where children and parents are seen the early 2000s, with the situation looking like it will only get in the streets! Stop moaning about the traffic… start clearing worse, as the National Audit Office forecasts that admissions it! will rise by another 240,000 in September this year.

Why we should all walk to school

Exploring some great results An independent study into the effects of Explore Learning membership has recently been published by The University of Reading. The study tested 1,539 Explore members compared to a control group of children who did not attend Explore, and found that: “Explore Learning members’ improvement in maths was 30% higher than that of the

comparison group.” “Building confidence, overcoming shyness to put up their hand to ask for help, being more independent and less reluctant to try without assistance were all elements that parents recognised in their children and directly attributed to Explore Learning.” To read the full report, visit

Building blocks for new nursery Staff, children and parents at kidsunlimited Fulbourn are all extremely excited that work has begun on a brand new nursery at Capital Park in Fulbourn. The new nursery, which will replace kidsunlimited’s existing nursery at the nearby Ida Darwin Hospital, should be complete in time for children to transfer by

March 2014. Once built, the nursery will boast six large home-bases, each tailored to the children’s specific age groups. There will also be three large external gardens for children to discover and explore. In addition to this, the nursery will be set amongst beautiful grounds in which the children can take regular walks and adventures and enjoy activites such as forrest school and mud kitchens. Michelle Knowles, Nursery Manager at kidsunlimited Fulbourn, said “I’m so excited that work has started on our new nursery, the plans look fantastic and I’m sure the children will absolutely love it.” 0845 365 2900 SEP T EM BER / OCTOBER 2013


Families Fun Saturday 7 September

W hat’s Ons

Haddenham Steam Rally 40th Anniversary

WHERE? Sutton Road, Haddenham, Nr Ely , Cambs, CB5 3PT WHEN? 9am (SAT & SUN) HOW MUCH? Adults £8.00 OAP £6.00 Child £3.00 Family Ticket £20.00 Haddenham Steam Rally celebrates its 40th Anniversary. The first event in 1971 was a much smaller event than today and totaled less than 50 exhibits plus a country bygones display and our usual extensive fair.

place Things to do, e had… to go, fun to b …for kids of all ages!

Saturday 14 September

Bringing Audley End to Life

Horrible Histories Barmy Britain

WHERE? Audley End House and Gardens Saffron Walden WHEN? 11- 4pm (SAT & SUN)

HOW MUCH? Family ticket £34.00 Go and see the Service Wing and Stables brought to life by costumed characters at Audley End. See how the estate springs to life at this time of year and learn some seasonal recipes from MrsCrocombe in the kitchens. 0870 333 1183

Sandringham Game & Country Fair

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WHEN? 10am – 6pm (SAT & SUN) WHERE? The Game and Country Fair takes place in Sandringham Park, so please be aware that it is not at the Visitor Centre Whole areas devoted to falconry, fishing, wildfowling, archery and many other country sports and pursuits, together with lots of activities for families (and their dogs!) makes this event a true celebration of country living. HOW MUCH? Adults £11.00 OAPs £10.00 Children £4.00 (under 4s FREE)

11 - 12 September Mucky Pups... Ugly Bug Ball

WHEN? 10:15 am-11:45 am (WED & THURS) WHERE? Wicken Fen Ely National Nature Reserve Meet in the Visitor Centre HOW MUCH? Child £3.95 Seasonal fun, craft and adventure for under 5s. Party bug style! Fun and games with an insect-inspired twist, the event will be mainly outside - take your wellies and waterproofs. 01353 720274




WHERE? Thomas Clarkson Academy Corporation Road, Wisbech WHEN? 2pm and 4pm HOW MUCH? From £12.00 We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! So it’s time to prepare yourselves for HORRIBLE HISTORIES live on stage with the world premiere of BARMY BRITAIN! Don’t miss this horrible history of Britain with the nasty bits left in! 01945 474447 Box office

Heritage Open Day: A Victorian Mill

WHERE? Houghton Mill, nr Huntingdon WHEN? 1pm - 4.30pm HOW MUCH? £3.95 Experience the atmosphere of the Victorian mill. See the mill at work producing stoneground wholemeal flour. Find out about the characters that worked there, and have some fun getting to grips with interactive exhibits and playing with Victorian toys. 01480 301494

Saturday 15 September Whittlesey Summer Festival

WHEN? 9.30 - 16.00 WHERE? Rear of The George, Market Place, Market Street & The Childers Social Club Whitlesey Cambridgeshire PE7 1BD HOW MUCH? FREE A traditional street market with children’s activity area and indoor crafts market. Includes a town street parade and live performance stages in two areas. Classic car

display , entertainers, attractions, pony rides and free fairground rides for children.



Cambridge Film Festival Open air film; Finding Nemo

WHERE? Jesus Green WHEN? Please arrive from 6pm with the film due to start when it is dark enough (around 8pm) HOW MUCH? FREE From the creators of “Toy Story” and “Monsters, Inc”, the comedic and eventful journeys of two fish - Marlin and his son Nemo - who become separated in the Great Barrier Reef when Nemo is unexpectedly taken far from home and thrust into a fish tank in a dentist’s office overlooking Sydney harbour. Buoyed by the companionship of a friendly-but-forgetful fish named Dory, the overly cautious father embarks on a dangerous trek and finds himself the unlikely hero of an epic journey to rescue his son who hatches a few daring plans of his own to return safely home. No booking is necessary. For more family films during the festival from the 19th – 29th September visit the website www.

Cambridge food and Garden Festival WHERE? Parkers Piece WHEN? 10am – 5pm HOW MUCH? FREE The 6th annualCambridge Food, Garden & Produce Festival returns once again to Parker’s Piece with Arts, Crafts and Gift marquees as well as Lifestyle stalls and a fantastic Food Hall, there will be something for everyone and entertainment for the children.

Saturday 21 September Wimpole at War- 1940’s Weekend WHERE? Wimpole Estate WHEN? 10:30am - 5:00pm (SAT & SUN)

Families Fun HOW MUCH? Adult £9.60, Child £5.20, Family £27.10 Wimpole travels back in time to the 1940s when food was rationed and growing your own became vital to your survival. Re-inactors displays and demonsrations throughout the day.Estate wide event and all tickets include the House, Gardens and Farm. Free for National Trust members. 01223 206 000

Sunday 22 September Too cool for School? An Evening with Benjamin Zephaniiah

WHERE? The Theatre, Ormiston Bushfield Academy, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, PE2 5RQ WHEN? 6.00pm HOW MUCH? Tickets £8/Concessions £5 As part of the we love words festival Benjamin Zephaniah will present an evening of poetry and performance for young people and families. Zephaniah is a popular writer of poetry and prose especially with young people; his first book of poetry for children, Talking Turkeys, was reprinted after only six weeks. Suitable for 4 years plus. For full details on all the events please contact: The Key Theatre box office tel 01733 207239

walk around Overton Lake. Please note; bookings prior to event are essential Please call the Nene Park Trust on 01733 234193 or e-mail

Wednesday 23 October

Soham Pumpkin Fair

WHERE? The Recreation Ground Soham WHEN? 1:30pm HOW MUCH? £2.00 adults Kids FREE This years celebration of the pumpkin has a theme of “50 years of the Beatles” and includes contests, majorettes, Choirs an appearance by Mr Pumkin and lots of pumpkins!

Sunday 13 October

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The University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas

WHEN? Starts 23 October WHERE? Events are held in lecture halls, theatres, museums and galleries around Cambridge and entry to most is free. The festival celebrates the very best of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The Festival will see a host of inspiring interactive sessions for people of all ages, including a Horrible Histories session, line dancing for preschoolers, a pre-history day, a hands on session exploring whether humans and animals see the world in different ways, a backstage tour of the ADC Theatre, learning French through chess and a walk exploring the hidden history of Indian students at Cambridge. The Museum of Classical Archaeology is running a passport to the past activity where children can learn about the past through designing a passport and following a trail around the museum. For specific details and dates please visit

Thursday 26 September Bat Walk

WHERE? Ferry Meadows Country Park WHEN? 6:15pm - 8:15pm Join park rangers and members of the Cambs bat group for an informative presentation on bats and then a walk in the park to try and discover the bats that call ferry meadows home. Booking is essential. Please call the Nene Park Trust on 01733 234193 or e-mail

Saturday 28 September Stories by the Lake

WHERE? Meet at the Discovery Den Ferry Meadows Country Park WHEN? 3:00pm-4:30pm HOW MUCH? FREE Join storyteller Claire Stevenson for our family storytelling walk. Enjoy a series of folk tales and contemporary stories and a gentle

Duxford Autumn Air show

WHERE? Duxford WHEN? Opens 8am Flying starts at 2pm – 5.30pm HOW MUCH? Adults £24.75 Child £12.35 (under 4s Free) Silver Day Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children) £110.00 The Autumn Air Show celebrates 40 years of air shows at IWM Duxford. They will be recreating many of those early flying displays and showcasing the iconic aircraft that call IWM Duxford home. Already booked to take part are the Belgian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Army Air Corps Apache, the Royal Naval Air Squadron Lynx helicopter, the RAF’s Sea King helicopter, the F-86 Sabre jet aircraft and the B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B. Enjoy an atmospheric day with fabulous flying, activities to enjoy across the site and the whole museum to explore too!

Sunday 27 October Falling Leaves Festival with the RSPB

WHERE? Burwash Manor WHEN? 11am – 4pm Learn how to help the wildlife in our gardens. There will be children’s activities with things to make and do, tractor and trailer rides around the farm and a chance to spend time with the RSPB experts trying to spot some of the birds at Burwash Manor Farm that you don’t see very often – they’ve got quite a few birds at Burwash that are on the protected ‘red list’; it’s a result of their farming in a very wildlife friendly way.



Families Advertorial


The months before children start ‘big school’ is an important stage in their development, so at Scallywags day nursery, there is an experienced and skilled team dedicated to ensuring that each child is well prepared for that big step. At Scallywags, the focus is always on learning through play, giving children the opportunity to develop at their own pace, recognising their strengths and providing support where it is needed.

Its not just the children themselves who benefit from the pre-school curriculum at Scallywags – the team guides parents through the transition from nursery to school, offering advice and help at every stage. Scallywags has an excellent reputation for pre-school activity and families benefit from the strong links and supportive relationship the nursery has with all the local schools.

The ‘Early Years foundation Stage’ (EYFS), the national curriculum set up by the government in 2008 provides a framework for this learning. At Scallywags, the team focuses on activities to keep the pre-school children happily engaged, to develop concentration and introduce learning content – such as reading and writing - in a way that children find engaging and stimulating.

Providing learning in the year before formal education begins, includes the teaching of basic skills, but also building children’s confidence as they take the first steps towards independence. Cooking, gardening, Spanish and music are just some of the other subjects tackled in a friendly, fun and stimulating way, with plenty of outdoor activity every single day too. Scallywags is an accredited ‘Forest School’ so the children learn to understand and respect nature and animals as they play. 8



At Scallywags, making the leap from nursery to school can be as easy as A,B,C, with lots of fun along the way.

nts can Don’t forget – pare pre-school have 15 hours of ugh the activities free thro funding nursery education scheme.

Halloween Fun Between 19 Oct - 2 Nov

W hat’s Olan ces

p Things to do, e had… to go, fun to b

Halloween Special!

Halloween Ghost Tours – Punting and Walking

WHEN? 30th October to 2nd November WHERE? Starting from Scudamore’s Mill Lane Punting Station each evening between 6pm and 9pm Experience Scudamore’s thrilling Halloween Punting and Walking Ghost Tour. Hear tales of ghouls and fright as you glide along the river on a lantern-lit punt and creep through Cambridge’s most haunted streets. Seven spooky tours will leave nightly from the 30th October to the 2nd November Booking is recommended as this limited edition tour is extremely popular. Contact our Bookings Team on 01223 359750 or email

Ghoul School

WHEN? 25th October – 6:30 pm younger children, 7:30 pm older Children WHERE? Wisbech Grammar School Spooky tours of Wisbech Grammar School including terrifying tours and ghostly tales, topped off with a fearsome feast of hot dogs and pumpkin soup. All washed down with a blood red brew of cranberry juice, fruit juices and spices. Brave spirits attending the event will bump into gaggles of ghosts and ghouls roving around the blacked out campus, together with the odd grimacing skeleton, while eerie music wafts across the site. 01945 583631

Batty Halloween

WHEN? 31st October, 10:30am 12:30pm & 2pm - 4pm WHERE? Lode Lane, Wicken, Ely, HOW MUCH? £4.75 Ages 3-10 Spooky Fun at the fen with ghostly games, crafts and outside activites. Pre-booking is advisable. 01353 720274 events

Week of Wickedness

WHEN? 28th October - 1st November 10 - 4pm last entry is at 3pm WHERE? Maize Maze, Skylark, March There will be the usual fun yard attractions plus apple bobbing, witches hat game, pumpkin carving, fancy dress, pumpkin shy and face painting. 01354 741212

Little Monster’s Ball

WHEN? 26th October 4pm and 6pm WHERE? Wicksteed Park HOW MUCH? £3.50 for kids 50p for adults The annual spooktacular that is The Little Monster’s Ball! There will be fun, games, prizes and fancy dress with Wicky Bear and friends. 01536 512475


WHEN? 19th October - 3rd November WHERE? Alton Towers resort HOW MUCH? Familiy Ticket £95 (£23.75 per person) if booked online in advance Alton Towers Resort’s annual Scarefest returns for 2013. For brave young visitors there’s a chance to learn how to spook with Phil & Franklyn’s Ghoul School then meet up with the famous freaky four for more Halloween excitement. Join Skelvin to hear his silly spooky stories and listen to Patch talk about the creepy creatures that live in Franklyn’s Freaky Farm. There is a 9pm ride close on selected dates for those who dare to ride in the dark.

Halloween Ghost Walk

WHEN? Friday 26 October until Wednesday 31 October (except Saturday 27). 7.30pm and 8pm each night WHERE? Begins from outside Peterborough Museum (Priestgate) The city centre walking tours visit a number of sites which are reputed to be haunted, including the ghosts of the Cathedral precincts and even the museum itself. As a special treat for Halloween, costumed extras en route will bring some of the ghosts to life! Walks last about 100 minutes and they are fully accessible for wheelchairs. The walks go ahead whatever the weather. Not recommended for those under 8 years of age or those of a nervous disposition! Tickets are strictly pre-booked only. These can be purchased in person or over the phone from Peterborough Museum (Priestgate, 01733 864663) or from the Visitor Information Centre (Bridge Street, 01733 452336).





Open days 2013 The Stephen Perse Foundation Union road, Cambridge, CB2 1HF 01223 454700 The Stephen Perse Foundation is different. They achieve exceptional exam results without sticking blindly to the syllabus or cramming facts and figures – what you learn in class is only half the story. Go and see for yourself how they foster a love of learning: their open mornings/evenings are a great chance to experience the many different aspects of life at Stephen Perse Foundation schools. The format of these open events varies across each part of the school but the events include: student tours; presentations by the principal and students; musical recitals; dance displays; sports showcase; departmental activities for all ages. • Stephen perse pre-prep (city and Madingley) - 12th October 2013 • Stephen Perse foundation junior school 12th October 2013 • Stephen Perse foundation Senior School - 5th October 2013 7th November Open day

Kimbolton School

St Faiths School

Kimbolton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 0EA 01480 860505 Saturday 5th October 09:30 – 11:30am

Trumpington Rd, Cambridge, CB2 8AG 01223 352073 Saturday 12th October 2013

The Leys School Cambridge, CB2 7AD 01223 508904 26 September (Sixth Form Open Evening) 12 October 11+ Open Morning 16 November General Open Morning

The Perse Upper School Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8QF 01223 403800 Saturday 28th September

The Perse prep School Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8EX 01223 403920 Friday 4th & Saturday 5th October

The Perse Nursery and pre-prep 92 Glebe Road, Cambridge, CB1 7TD 01223 403940 Saturday 12th October

The Peterborough School Thorpe Rd, Peterborough, Cambs, PE3 6AP 01733 343357 Saturday 12th October 10:30am & 3:30pm

Dame Bradbury’s School Ashdon Rd, Saffron Waldon, CB10 2AL 01799 522348 Friday 4th October 09:30 – 12:00pm Saturday 5th October 09:30 – 12:00pm 10



The Old Palace at KIngs Ely

Kings Ely School Kings Ely Cambridgeshire, CB7 4EW Children need plenty of time and space. They need stimulation, challenge and lots of fun. They need to feel that they belong to a happy, nurturing community to which they can contribute so much. They need to try things, get it wrong, try again and make it work. King’s Ely create life-long learners in a vibrant and friendly environment where you can give your child the best possible start. See what they can do for your child.  To visit Open Events or make an individual appointment, please email admissions@ or call 01353 660702. For further information visit  King’s Ely Nursery & King’s Ely Acremont (ages 3-7) Saturday 14 September 9.30-11.30am King’s Ely Junior (ages 7-11) Saturday 14 September 10.00am – 12pm King’s Ely Junior (11+ entry) Tuesday 24 September 5.30 – 7.30pm King’s Ely Senior (13+ entry) Thursday 19 September 6.00 – 8.00pm King’s Ely Sixth Form Saturday 12 October 11.15am – 1.00pm

St Mary’s School Bateman Street, Cambridge, CB2 1LY St Mary’s School, Cambridge is an independent day and boarding school for girls aged 4-18. Find out more about St Mary’s by attending one of their open mornings in October. You will be able to tour the school, talk with teachers and students, and join in interactive lessons. They are also holding our annual Sixth Form Open Evening on Thursday 7 November from 7pm to 8.30pm where you will have the opportunity to view the new state-of-the-art Sixth Form Centre. To book your place at any of our forthcoming events visit our website or telephone 01223 224167. Junior school Saturday 5th October 09:30-12:30 Senior school Saturday 12th October 09:30 – 12:30

Friends School Mount Pleasant Rd, Saffron Waldon CB11 3EB 01799 523351 Saturday 12th October 10.00am - 12.30 pm

Wisbech Grammar School North Brink, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, PE13 1JX 01945 583631 Saturday 28 September 9.30am – 12.30pm Senior School Open Morning Saturday 5 October 9.30am – 12.00pm Magdalene House Preparatory School Open Morning

St Edmunds College Old Hall Green, Ware, Herts, FG11 1DS 01920 824247 28th September 9:30-2:00pm


Which secondary school is right for my child? Joanna Moorhead on the 20 things you need to know when choosing ‘big school’ MAKE YOUR OWN MIND UP. It’s amazing how many parents never even look round a school because of what they’ve heard. A school that doesn’t suit another family could be just right for yours

only do you need to pick up on the head’s attitude and values and what matters most to him or her, but you also need to pay special attention to anything that’s said about the entrance criteria. Understanding that is the crucial next stage.

LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD’S FEELINGS AS WELL AS YOUR OWN. Choosing his or her primary was down to just you and your partner; but your 10 or 11-year-old deserves a say.

IF YOU LIKE A SCHOOL, DO YOUR HOMEWORK ABOUT WHETHER YOUR CHILD FITS ITS ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS. However much you love the school, and however much you think your child would thrive there, you’ll only get a place if you fulfil the criteria. Read the school’s entrance policy through very, very carefully. If you don’t fulfil the requirements, could you change something so you do? If not, move on: there’s no point in wasting a choice or railing against something you can’t change.



USE OPEN DAYS WISELY. If you can, go to a daytime visit (especially to a school that seems a strong contender) because you’ll see it in working mode.


NOTHING ADVERTISES A SCHOOL LIKE ITS PUPILS. Do they seem happy? Are they polite? If you have time, hang around in the area at home time. Are they well-behaved?



HOW ABOUT THE STAFF – do they seem happy and fulfilled working there? Take opportunities to chat to them.

LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS. If a school doesn’t feel right, move on. You don’t have to explain yourself or your reasons for doing so to anyone else (although you do, of course, need to discuss it with your child if your instincts are different).


DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN IN THE DETAIL: what you’re aiming to get is a sense of the school. Does it feel happy, productive, calm? Is there a sense of order and caring? These things matter more than the nitty-gritty.


THINK ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S TALENTS AND INTERESTS AND PONDER CAREFULLY WHETHER THEY’LL BE CATERED FOR. But think too about what the school offers that might be harder to pick up at home. We’re a family of journalists, where literacy is easier for us as parents; so I’m glad my girls went to a school that specialised in maths and science, even though these weren’t their strongest subjects.


PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT’S ON THE WALLS – and not just the artwork. What are children being warned about, or encouraged to do? Are there any school visits being advertised? What clubs seem to be thriving?


10 LOOK AT THE SCHOOL’S LEAGUE TABLES, BUT DON’T PIN EVERYTHING ON THEM. Read the Ofsted report too and pay particular attention to how the school has done over time. If it’s had a dip, are there signs of improvement or suggestions that it could turn round? WHERE DO PUPILS GO ON TO FROM THIS SCHOOL? You want to see at least some youngsters doing well academically and aiming for good courses at top universities.



GO TO THE HEAD TEACHER’S TALK AND TAKE YOUR NOTEBOOK. This is an important part of the event: not


YOU’RE BOUND TO TALK TO OTHER PARENTS, and you want to talk to other parents, but don’t get pulled along by their tide. Do your own research and develop your own views: knowledge is power.


KEEP TELLING YOURSELF (BECAUSE IT’S TRUE!) THAT THERE IS NO PERFECT SCHOOL. Every school has strengths and weaknesses. There’s more than one school that can be right for your child.


WHEN THE TIME COMES TO FILL IN THE FORMS, ALLOW YOURSELF LOTS OF TIME AND DO IT EXTREMELY CAREFULLY. There may be supplementary forms, and there may be complicated arrangements for giving them in (especially if you’re applying to faith schools). If you find it all too confusing, talk to your child’s primary teacher or primary head, or call the education department at your local authority.


HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION FOR WHAT YOU’LL DO IF YOU DON’T GET THE SCHOOL YOU’RE HOPING FOR. Just having that plan will make you feel more relaxed.


REMEMBER THAT THERE’S A LOT OF MOVEMENT IN THE FIRST FEW WEEKS after places are allocated, and many children get in from waiting lists.




REMEMBER THAT, AT THE END OF THE DAY, PARENTS MAKE MORE DIFFERENCE TO A CHILD’S FUTURE THAN A SCHOOL DOES. Even if your child doesn’t get into your first choice of school (and one in seven didn’t last year) your attitude to that could be a much bigger factor in what happens next for your child than the school itself. Have confidence, first and foremost, in your child. And believe that, together, you will work things out if and when you come up against problems.



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Clubs & Classes

Extra-curricular activities ot long after your son or daughter disappears through the classroom door for the first time, the choice becomes bewildering. Their schoolbags come home stuffed with leaflets from this or that organisation promising all manner of benefits from enrolling in their classes. You may find yourself feeling guilty if you don’t sign up to everything. Please take a deep breath and relax. Extra-curricular activities are not essential; many children do perfectly well without them. However, there are some benefits from a few well-chosen groups, clubs or classes. With the best will in the world, school cannot teach all the skills you might consider essential for modern life. Swimming lessons, for example, or cycling proficiency are crucial for safety. In addition, carefully selected activities can bring numerous other benefits that could help your child now and in the future. They will get a huge confidence boost from participating in an enjoyable activity they are successful at. A shy child, for example, may flourish in a dance class. As well as learning new skills, more subtle benefits include fostering a sense of community, increasing self-sufficiency and allowing a child – particularly one in a large family – something they feel is their own. Club time can also allow one-to-one time for other children. While these advantages are very real, care must be exercised when choosing activities. Too many and the wrong ones will only leave everyone fed up and exhausted. The easy choices are the ones your children are desperate to do. Although beware of signing up for something just because your son or daughter’s best friend is doing it, this may not be a good enough reason. Ask yourself if your child gets something from the activity that they don’t get elsewhere and that it complements what’s already going on. For example, an active youngster who is already in the


football team might be better balancing their activities with music or drama than adding another sport. Equally a child timid in the classroom may get great gains from being in a choir if it boosts their confidence. A more tricky area is an activity you’d like your child to do when they’d rather spend their after-school time at home relaxing. Only you can tell if they are genuinely exhausted by a day’s education or not. However, do take their views into account as there really is no point in forcing a child into something they hate. And some school stages are more taxing than others. After-school activities affect the whole family. No one wants to spend all their time ferrying children from one activity to another while dinner that still needs to be prepared and other children become resentful. So only commit to out-of-school activities that fit comfortably into the schedule and budget. It may transpire

“Subtle benefits can include fostering a sense of community”




Words Ellen Arnison Main Pic King’s Ely

Football or ballet, drama or Brownies - how do you know what, and how much, out-of-school activity is right for your child?

Clubs & Classes that your time and money can be better spent on family activities at home. When you do decide on a class or club – take some time to check it out. Find out how long it has been running, do other parents recommend it, are the staff Disclosure or CRB checked? While extra classes keep your children entertained and active, it’s also important that they have some unstructured time – even that they are allowed to feel bored. If they bounce from one organised thing to the next, they’ll never learn the important skill of amusing themselves. Liat Hughes Joshi, author of Raising Children: The Primary Years, told Parentdish: “If you decide to do none at all, you won’t be short-changing her if her after-school activity consists of nothing more than a TV programme, a snack and some good, oldfashioned playing.”

SEN ACTIVITIES Children with special educational needs can benefit hugely from well-chosen extra-curricular activities. Even with the best educational support, SEN children can often feel ‘less’ than their peers. They may be aware of their difficulties and differences and this can have a profound effect on their confidence.

Therefore an activity they can participate in successfully is a huge boost to their self-esteem. For example a dyslexic child, for whom school is a struggle, may blossom as a leading light in the dance troupe. Equally there are other more educational and developmental benefits that make extra-curricular activities important. Dyspraxic youngsters, for instance, can find their co-ordination improves while doing karate or trampolining. Clubs can be important social outlets for SEN children, perhaps giving them a chance to meet others facing similar challenges. The school or local authority will be able to advise about SEN groups in your area.


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Clubs & Classes Drama Clubs and Classes JILL BRIDGER SCHOOL OF DANCE Cambridge, St Ives, Camborne, & Hardwick Term starts 9th September Age 18mths to 18 years Jill Bridger school of dance offers Ballet, tap, modern dance, musical theatre and Pre-school Melody Movement dance along with melody bear. 01480 469711 CAMBRIDGE PERFORMING ARTS Bodywork Company Dance Studios, Cambridge Ages 3 – 18 Throughout the year, hundreds of children aged 3-18 years old throng to an impressive range of classes in a variety of dance disciplines as well as drama, musical theatre and singing. To many, these classes are also the first steps along the way to a diversity of stimulating professional careers in the arts. 01223 314461 SYLVIA ARMIT SCHOOL OF DANCE Ely, Barton, Bourne Sylvia Armit School of dance offers ballet, Tap, National and historical dance repertoire classes for all ages and abilities. Tuition offered by fully qualified registered teachers of the Royal Academy of Dance and the international Dance teachers association. 01223 873173 KING SLOCOMBE SCHOOL OF DANCE Emanuel Road, Cambridge CB1 1JW Classical Ballet, modern theatre, contemporary and tap dance. The king Slocombe school of dance has been established for nearly 75 years and

has hundreds of ex pupils dancing, teaching, choreographing and working in the dance profession throughout the world. 01223 356023 RATZ COOL Angles Theatre – Wisbech Juniors 5-9, Intermediate 10-14, Seniors 15-19 years, Mixed 10-19 The Angles Theatre’s school for the performing, technical and creative arts. Acting Classes Saturdays or Wednesdays Dance/Movement classes Saturdays Singing classes Saturdays Technical Crafts classes Saturday Creative crafts classes Saturday 01945 585587 NORMA TERRY SCHOOL OF DANCE St Ives & Needingworth Term starts 7th September Melody Movements – pre-school – Classical Ballet from age 4 – Morden jazz from age 4 Tap Dance from age 5 Please contact for booking and costs. 01480 496820 EDEN DANCE Chesterton Sports Centre New Term Starts Saturday 7th September Eden Dance prides itself on providing small classes, personal attention and a warm & friendly atmosphere. The objective of the school is to encourage children to gain benefit from the pleasure of dancing. Age 3 to Senior Citizens 01223 650861 RAZZAMATAZ THEATRE SCHOOL CRC Sports Centre Cambridge, CB4 2QT Age 2 to 18years Razzamataz Theatre Schools offer

PERFORM Hills Road Sports & Tennis Centre, Purbeck Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PF Wednesdays 4pm to 5pm, Ages 4 to 8 Every child is different. And so are the things they enjoy.Some are energetic and outgoing, others are quieter and more sensitive. Whatever your child is like, you’ll know the most important thing is that they are happy and fulfilled. Perform is a different type of drama school. We use a unique mix of drama, dance and singing specially formulated to bring out every child’s true potential. Classes are kept small to ensure lots of individual attention by our experienced  teachers - hand-picked for their warmth, energy and professionalism. A Free taster class is available. 0845 400 4000




STAGECOACH Coleridge Campus, Parkside Federation, Radegund Rd, Cambridge, CB1 3RJ Stagecoach Cambridge provide’s quality part-time training in the performing arts for children aged 4-18yrs. Our aim is to nurture and develop young potential through singing, acting and dance classes in Cambridge, Is there a little star stretching young in your family? imaginations and building confidence. Open every weekend during term time and workshops during the school holidays, come join the fun! NEW WEEK DAY EARLY STAGES (4-6 YEARS) -Thursday’s 4.00pm - 5.30pm Limited Availability 01223 359974 exceptional training in dance, drama and singing together with exciting opportunities to perform. 01223480025 www.razzamataz. THE PAULINE QUIRK ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS Cambridge, Age 6-18 years Since 2007 PQA has given 6-18 year olds an outstanding training in performing arts in an environment that is both friendly and rewarding 084567 32022 HELEN O’GRADY ACADEMY Linton: Mondays (4-5pm for 5-9 yrs, 5-6pm for 9 - 15yrs) Comberton: Wednesdays (4-5pm for 4-8yrs, 5-6pm for 9-11 yrs and 6-7pm for 11-15yrs) Milton: Thursdays (4-5pm for 4-8 yrs, 5-6pm for 9-11 yrs) Cambourne: Fridays (4-5pm for 4-8yrs, 5-6 for 9-11 yrs, 6-7pm for 11-14 yrs, 7-8pm for 14-18 yrs) Cambridge: Saturdays (10-11am for 4-8 yrs, 11-12am for 9-11yrs, 12 -1pm for 11- 14 yrs) The cost is £8.00 per lesson – charged per term.  Development through Drama. This acclaimed self-development drama programme helps to develop children’s confidence, self-esteem and communication skills, If you wish to join this highly successful and fun programme in your area, please contact us for your FREE trial lesson. 01462 713406 / 07710 171851

Sports Clubs and Classes THE LITTLE GYM Units 1-3 Chesterton Mill, Frenchs Rd, Cambridge, CB4 3NP At the little gym takes a noncompetitive, progressive approach to motor skill development. The Little

Gym offers a wide clarity of gymnasticbased classes that help children reach their greatest potential. Age 4 months – 12 years 01223 324554 NEALE WADE GYMNASTICS CLUB Neale Wade Community College, Sports Hall Wimblington Road, March, Cambs, PE15 9PX Community based gymnastics club, affiliated to British Gymnastics and the Eastern Counties Gymnastics Association. Based in March, in the Fenland area of North Cambridgeshire. Please call for details of classes Age 5 plus 01354 692437 www.nealwadegymclub. FENLAND GYMNASTICS ACADEMY 21 Algores Way, Wisbech, Cambs PE13 2TQ Fenland Gymnastics Academy is a vibrant and friendly gymnastics club. Success is celebrated at all levels. We have achieved Gymmark (which is a quality control qualification awarded by British Gymnastics). Ages 4 Plus. 07792 543320 GRAFHAM WATER YOUTH CLUBS Grafham Gibbons Climbing Club Huntingdon £10 per session Sundays 10am-12 noon  A fun and exciting way to climb with other young people. Games, skills, techniques, NICAS awards and much more! 01480 810521. RYA Team 15 £15 membership and £12 per session (£16 per session for non-members) Alternate Saturdays AM 10am - 12.30pm and PM 2pm until 4.30pm, 27 April, 11, 25 May, 8, 22 June, 6, 20 July, 3, 17, 31 Aug, 14, 28 Sept, 12, 26 Oct 2013 T15 - Grafham Flyers is the RYA’s youth windsurfing club designed to get young people into the exciting sport of

Clubs & Classes windsurfing. From basic board balance to cutting edge techniques, T15 can make it happen. 01480 810521 RYA OnBoard £15 membership and £12 per session (£16 per session for non-members) Tuesdays 6pm - 8pm, 23 April through to 10 September 2013 Alternate Saturdays AM 10am 12.30pm and PM 2pm until 4.30pm, 20 April, 4, 18 May, 1, 15, 29 June, 13, 27 July, 10, 24 Aug, 7, 21 Sept, 5, 19 Oct 2013 OnBoard is the RYA’s scheme to get young people in to the sport of sailing. OnBoard is designed for all young people, from those who have never sailed before right through to the advanced young sailor. 01480 810521 SEALS SWIMMING The Grove School Campkin rd, Cambridge. The Granta School, Linton Course length 3 week crash courses and weekly lessons Teaching children to swim by using warm pools, small classes with a ratio 3/6 to 1, employing outstanding teachers who continually develop skills. 0845 6809876

Tessa Competes and has won at national level. Now Tessa and her team can teach you to the level you require, on a selection of horses at Hall farm stables for further information: 01223 860087 Enjoy the tranquility of Paxton Lakes

PAXTONS SAILING CLUB Paxton Lakes, Hall rd, (next to the nature reserve) Little Paxton. We are an official RYA training centre and welcome people of all ages and abilities. We have a large selection of club owned boats & equipment available. Price per Child £75 Powerboat - RYA Levels 1/2/Safety Boat – 12 hours tuition in 3 to 4 lessons. This course teaches boat handling and seamanship in powerboats. It covers launch and recovery, boat handling, safety, securing to a buoy, anchoring, leaving and coming alongside and man-over-board. Price on application 07812 124690 CLEVER SWIMMING Linton Sports Centre Tennis Academy Cambridge road, Linton, Cambs, CB2 4JB. Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, Thursday’s, Friday’s, Saturdays’s. 1st class 4-5 pm 2nd class 5-6pm 3rd class 6-7pm Step-by-step water confidence and safety skills for babies, children and adults.

1-2-1private swimming lessons individual attention for faster progression. Perfect for any ability level, from beginners to advanced swimmers 0772 883 2961 RIDING LESSONS Hall Farm Stables Waterbeach,

MIKES TENNIS Barton, Cambridge, Comberton, Debden, Ely, Exning, Fairstead House, Girton, Great Chesterford, Histon, Impington, Linton, Newmarket, Saffron Walden. Courses for all ages and levels of players. For more details visit the website or to book a class call Mike on 07702 291099 LITTLE KICKERS Cambridge, Kelsey Kerridge Sports Centre, Cambridge, Cherry Hinton Village Centre, Cambridge, Impington Sports Centre, Cambridge, Cambourne Church Little Kickers toddler football programme is an ever-evolving quest to teach fundamental football techniques & elementary life skills in a vibrant, group play environment. Little Kicks 1 ½ to 2 yrs 3 months, Junior 2 yrs to 31/2 yrs Mighty31/2 to 5 and Mega Kickers 5-7.


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Families Cambridgeshire issue 20  

Families Cambridgeshire Issue 20 September - October 2013. The really useful magazine for parents of 0-12 year old's.Includes regular whats...