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Keep moving | Read more books | Keep learning Issue 303 January/February 2021 January 2021



Learning Challenges for Kids From Bella Learning, these are open-ended, purposeful tasks, differentiated by age, that your child can do as part of home-schooling or at the weekend.

Challenge 1

Challenge 2

Challenge 3

Create a poster.

Create a rainbow collage.

Audit your toys.

Challenge 4

Challenge 5

Challenge 6

Celebrate a story.

Make a family tree.

Make a sunshine picture.

Challenge 7

Challenge 8

Challenge 9

Create an observation chart. 6 January/February

Interview a relative.

Make a treasure hunt.


Get Moving with our Family Dance Party Playlist!

A-B-C, Easy as 1-2-3!

Happy Pharrell Williams (feat. Minions)

Can’t Stop the Feeling! Justin Timberlake

Gangnam Style PSY

Twist & Shout The Beatles

YMCA Village People

Dancing Queen ABBA

Who Let the Dogs Out Baha Men

Roar! Katy Perry

January/February 11

My New Year’s Resolutions! This year I want to:

This year I need to:

This year I am going to start:

This year I am going to stop:

This year I am going to learn:


Click hereKEEP CUT OUT AND Magazine

Visit to download for more copies.


Support Your Child’s Mental Health Help your child to understand how they are feeling and why with these free downloadable resources from PlanBee.

Feelings and Emotions Cards

These cards will get your child thinking and talking about feelings.

Design your Own Emotion Emojis

Your child can draw emojis that represent their feelings.

Worry Monster Activity Sheets

Help your child deal with their emotions. 18 January/February

Mood Tracker

Children can express emotions they are experiencing by colouring in an object.

Synonym Emotions Booklet

Identify words that are similar to emotions like angry, sad and happy.

Draw the Emotion

Feeling Check-in Cards

Emoji Emotion Faces Cards

Mindfulness Colouring Sheets

Challenge your children Check in with your to think about how different emotions are child and see what they are feeling. expressed facially.

Ask your child to talk about when they’ve felt these feelings.

Perfect to help young minds relax.


New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Children Pre-School

Ages 5 to 8

I need to brush my teeth every morning and before going to bed.

I need to go to bed on time every night. I need to wash my hands before every meal. I will start eating at least three fruits and vegetables every day. I will start doing my chores every day. I will stop fighting with my brother/sister/others. I will stop interrupting when someone is talking. I will learn how to tell an adult if I see anyone being bullied.

I need to wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before I eat anything. I am going to start tasting a new food every week. I am going to start listening to my mum/dad. I will learn a new word every day. I will learn how to help clear the table when I have finished eating. I will stop hitting my brother/ sister/others.

Ages 9 to 11

I will learn to make a simple meal. I will learn how to tidy my room properly. I want to choose one author and read every book they have written. I will start having one screen free day every week. I want to save ÂŁ20 in my piggy bank. I need to eat fruit or vegetables with every meal. I need to do my homework before anything else after school. I will stop leaving my clothes on the floor.

January/February 9


Kids’ Wellbeing Books All books can be purchased via, an online bookshop with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops.

First Emotions: How am I feeling?

Don’t Worry, Little Crab

The Worrysaurus

Mindful Kids

A gentle and simple A picture book working introduction to strong through anxiety and emotions for little ones. building courage.

A fun, reassuring tale about dealing with worries, by a bestselling author.

16 January/February

Ollie uses superpowers to overcome school bullies.

No Worries

50 creative mindfulness Interactive self-care games/exercises to activities for children help children find calm to find happiness, calm and relaxation. and confidence.

Mind Hug: The First Ruby’s Worry: A Story Big Bright Feelings A picture book Book adventure into mindfulness.

Ollie and His Superpowers

A perceptive and poignant story.

Worry Angels

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers. Ages 8+.


2 16





Six Steps to Good Mental Health Help support your child’s mental health with these steps from PlanBee. Name emotions and feelings This helps your child develop a vocabulary to explain their feelings. Explain the physical sensations Help your child recognise how different emotions feel physically. Understand when/why Once your child can spot/name their emotions, help them understand the triggers. Help regulate Once they understand the source of an emotion, help them regulate. Keep everyone safe When feeling a big emotion, your

child’s brain doesn’t work in the same way as when they are calm. Help them stay safe and maintain boundaries. Once your child is calm, relate Listen, empathise and share similar experiences to help them understand their feelings and know you care.

Example of Steps 1-3

Example of Steps 4-6


Regulate/Keep Everyone Safe/ Relate

Name “I can see you are really angry.”

Regulate “Take a deep breath with me.”

Explain “Your face is scrunched up and your fists are clenched.

Keep Everyone Safe “I cannot let you hit me. If you need to get your anger out, try hitting this cushion.”

Understand “I am wondering if you are angry because someone didn’t let you play.”

Relate “Once I was so angry I wanted to throw things. Your grandad helped me calm down by giving me playdough to squeeze.”

January/February 19

A village school in the heart of London ‘A hidden gem’ says the Good Schools Guide

Stellar 11+ results to top London schools. • Specialist teachers in key subjects. • Parents effusive over our lockdown and in-school learning. Critical thinking and interview preparation throughout Year 6. • STEAM lessons for all (nationally accredited). Pastoral care as important as academic success. • Spectacular LAMDA results Music embedded in the curriculum. • Amazing outdoor space. • Sport for all.

Prepare for the future; enjoy the journey!



• 020 7610 8085

January/February 2021 • Families South West 21


The Benefits of Nursery and Things to Consider

The Lowdown on Potty Training

By Gabrielle Nash

By Andrew Campbell

Choosing good quality childcare is one of the most important decisions parents make. So whether you are assessing options for returning to work or considering part time childcare for your toddler, a nursery may be what you need. So what factors should you consider? READ MORE

There are various potty training methods and none of them are right or wrong! Each comes with advantages and disadvantages. So it’s important to consider what style is the best fit for your family. Slow and gentle, get it over quick or somewhere in between…. READ MORE

Working with Little Ones at Home

By Dr Sarah Mundy

Like me, you may be thinking that your multi-tasking skills were pushed to the limit before Covid! Working from home whilst looking after a preschooler isn’t easy so here are my tips on maximising your work time whilst still meeting your little one’s needs. READ MORE

January/February 13

Children’s difficulties in communicating during Covid-19


e find it hard enough as an adult to communicate and speak through a facemask; for a child this is not only impossible, it has far reaching implications for their education. We asked Alice Clark owner of The Willow Nursery in Clapham, to explain what happened in their nursery. “It is well known that since the first lockdown in March 2020, the whole country has seen a regression in speech and language amongst children. From infancy, children need to read facial expressions and see parents and teachers smiling when they are communicating. At nursery school, young children look to their teacher for changes in expression—when they are asking a question, when they are looking pleased or disappointed, when there is a potential danger. They also need to hear a change in the tone of their teacher’s voice. In a noisy classroom, this is a challenge for any child. If they cannot see or

When a challenging child needed a quick reminder of how not to push playdoh into the keys of our precious piano, a noise of disapproval from the teacher and a downward turn of the mouth was all but lost, and the event reoccurred several times! Phonics a no-go area with a mask When teaching letter sounds, the child needs to see the shape of the mouth and hear the subtlety of different sounds. Not only were children confused but they thought we had gone a bit bonkers—what on earth were we asking them to do?!

hear properly, young ones become unable to read any given situation and regulate a response, with social interactions becoming threatened.

putting our children or ourselves at risk. We did however, continue our thorough deep cleaning and handwashing and social distancing from parents.

Masks are clearly having a detrimental effect The issues around wearing masks became apparent very quickly so together with the staff we decided that we would remove the facemasks unless we were in extremely close proximity and

In the first couple of days, when wearing masks, we were seeing the serious impact they were having on our children. When commending children on their excellent work, they were looking searchingly at our facemasks, unable to see the wide smiles and upturned mouths.


With Covid-19 causing mayhem— how can children learn to interact and interpret situations when one of the most expressive parts of the body is covered? The decision that we made continued to allow our children to thrive socially, emotionally and educationally, encouraging the development of communication and language, whilst keeping children, staff and parents safe and Covid-free.” 55 Grafton Square, Clapham Old Town SW4 0DE

January/February 2021 • Families South West 13

St Mary Magdalen Montessori St Mary’s Summerstown Montessori SW14 : 020 8878 0756 • SW17 : 020 8947 7359

Calling all young Scientists! Help us discover how babies & kids learn! We’re recruiting infants from birth to school age to take part in fun studies at the Birkbeck Babylab in central London. Our prime location is easy to reach and we refund travel expenses. We also have online studies you can do from the comfort of home

020 7631 6258

THE MONTESSORI SCHOOL Providing Education and Care in a Warm, Welcoming Environment including Cookery, Ballet, Dance, Football and Singing as part of our curriculum. Private fees or Free Government Funding. Good OFSTED with excellent love and care.

Nigh!ngales Nursery has been described as South London’s best kept secret! Tucked away between Clapham South tube and Clapham Common, we are proof that ‘good things really do come in small packages!’ We provide an exci!ng learning environment, mee!ng the individual needs of children and families and are ideally situated across the road from Clapham Common, close to Clapham South tube Sta!on and Balham train sta!on. The nursery is situated in a converted house in the beau!ful, secure grounds of Saint Francis Xavier Sixth Form College. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are a small family‐ orientated nursery. Our aim is to create a warm, caring and s!mula!ng environment, as we realise that choosing a nursery is one of the most important and difficult decisions you will make. We are open 51 weeks of the year from 8:00am to 18:00pm daily and currently have vacancies for under 3’s.

For more informa!on please email or visit our website www.nigh!

14 Families South West • January/February 2021



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


January/February 2021 • Families South West 7

8 Families South West • January/February 2021

Granard Primary School “Growing together; Achieving together”

A child’s first school is an important stepping stone into education. Granard is friendly, caring and inclusive. We nurture each child’s academic, sporting and music opportunities to enable them to succeed academically and socially. We provide a caring and nurturing environment for children from Nursery to Year 6 (age 3 — 11).

To find out about our excellent teaching, the support we offer and see our wonderful facilities, visit our virtual tour at For further information, please contact the school office on 0208 788 3606.

20 Families South West • January/February 2021

Nursery Places available:

Free 30 hours where eligible Free 15 hours part-time 15 hours top-up available

Breakfast and After School Care available



Families urgently need a research breakthrough now

MARCH 2021


of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease

Sign today fo up r your



Together we will find a cure

Registered charity number 1153487 (England and Wales) SC046840 (Scotland). Company limited by guarantee number 08570737.

Photos by Venture Studios


A Traditional Teaching Nursery - Learning through Play Ofsted rated 'Good' nursery. Established in 2000, very homely, friendly and staff are fully qualified in Early Years. Age 3 months to 5 years with three spacious rooms to explore, learn and grow in confidence and intellect. There are two large gardens. Open all year 8am to 6pm. 15/30 hours weekly free sessions available for 2-4yrs.

Please contact our office on 020 7274 8333. 50 Gresham Road, Brixton, SW9 7NL "Overall, staff provide a stimulating learning environment where children are motivated and eager to learn" OFSTED

Welcome to


Well established, independently run Montessori nursery school offering high quality education in a friendly and caring environment. Small classes with qualified staff ensure excellent levels of pupil contact. Extra activities include sport, drama, music and forest school. Lovely outdoor garden.

10 Families South West • January/February 2021


The Impact of Covid-19 on Working Mums By Mandy Garner The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for many individuals and groups, with working mums, particularly single working mums, being one of them. But the picture is complex. Women dominate in many of the most risky frontline sectors such as health, social care and education and in some of the hardest hit sectors such as hospitality and retail. Parttime jobs, traditionally done by women, have seen a precipitous fall, BUT women are less likely to be unemployed than men and many have gone into full-time roles. Then there is self-employment which has seen a big decline. A recent report from IPSE and Starling Bank showed women freelancers have been hardest hit financially by late payments of money owed to them and the associated mental impact and women-led businesses have suffered disproportionately. What is clear is that the impact of childcare problems during the pandemic has been most keenly felt by women, with countless studies, including our own surveys, showing women have been carrying most of the childcare/home schooling burden, despite dads increasing their input generally.

Our latest survey shows lockdown restrictions and school or year group closures are still causing huge challenges. READ MORE

Bella Learning Games Fun educational games to download, print and play.

Reception, Year 1 & Year 2 Packs

Available Now! For examples, tips and advice, find Bella Learning Games on Facebook and Instagram.

January/February 23

CLUBS AND CLASSES Upbeat pop and rock courses Upbeat music offers Saturday sessions, private tuition and multi-activity music holiday camps. Try out new instruments, sing and dance, audition for one of their Senior bands, write and record a song, perform at a gig. Or have your very own Upbeat Pop party ON their OFFline. For children 4-18 years. Join the band! The Little Gym At Home Want to keep the children active? Make sure to visit The Little Gym @Home! The Little Gym Wandsworth and Fulham online have a great selection of pre-recorded videos for ageappropriate activities for children 4mths-12yrs. Little Gym teachers have designed gymnasticsbased activities in a class experience to keep your child moving, learning and keeping fit at home. More uploaded each week on their YouTube channel “The Little Gym UK”. Try Time rugby Fancy getting your 2-7 year old outside, being active and having lots of fun? Try Time Kids’ Rugby offer classes on Saturdays and Sundays in Battersea, Clapham, Fulham, Wandsworth, Wimbledon and NEW: classes now in Streatham and Tooting. They invite you to go along and give them a try. Book a free trial for 2-7 year old girls and boys.

Award-winning, original, multi- sensory musical classes. Bubbles, costumes, massage, sensory textures and lights, puppets and more. Also deliver fabulous parties. Classes designed for each stage of your baby’s development. Baby bells: Newborn- sitting Beeps: Sitting- Standing Happy house: Toddler & siblings * Classes in Clapham, Battersea, Balham, Putney, Kew, Wandsworth, Fulham, Chelsea, Barnes, Sheen, Earlsfield, Southfields and Victoria. * Classes in Streatham, Wimbledon, Colliers Wood and Tooting Music lessons improve concentration and memory A study shows young musicians who play an instrument, practise frequently and regularly perform have increased memory and attention skills. The findings come from a recent study, which showed how musically trained children performed better at attention and memory recall exercises. They also had greater activation in brain regions related to attention control and auditory encoding.

Helping children believe they can do anything Singing, dancing and acting classes for 4 - 18 year-olds

BATTERSEA 07956 288928

NEW MALDEN 0208 540 7791

FULHAM 07498 213142

PUTNEY 020 8099 9861 WIMBLEDON 020 8946 3400

Stagecoach Performing Arts is the trading name of Stagecoach Theatre Arts Limited. Stagecoach Theatre Arts schools are operated under franchise and are independently owned by their Principals. Stagecoach and Creative Courage For Life are registered trademarks of Stagecoach Theatre Arts Limited.

26 Families South West • January/February 2021

Now booking ahead

24 Families South West • January/February 2021

FEBRUARY HALF TERM CAMPS AND COURSES Stagecoach Performing Arts The Mansel Road Centre, Mansel Road, SW19 4AA 07710 056094 Book online: Bookings are open and places are limited for Wimbledon Stagecoach half term holiday workshop. Five days to have fun and be creative, working on different musicals throughout the week. Develop confidence and skills in acting, dancing and singing, working in small groups to suit age and ability, led by top industry professionals, no experience necessary, open to everyone aged 6-16 years. 15 - 19 Feb.

Funky Monkey now online too 01732 457 100 Popular Funky Monkey Keyboard classes are now offering step by step videos to learn the keyboard from the comfort of your own home—learn at your pace. For 5-8yrs and 9-12yrs.

Upbeat music Pop and Rock Courses Saturday sessions, private tuition and multi-activity music holiday camps. Try out new instruments, sing and dance, audition for one of their Senior bands, write and record a song, perform at a gig or have your very own Upbeat Pop party offline. For 4-18 years. Join the band!

Perform’s three day holiday courses Visit to book. 020 7255 9120 15– 17 February: three day courses from 10am to 3pm each day. This year the theme is The Lion, the Quote LSW140221 for a Witch & the Wardrobe: A drama, dance and singing £40 discount if adventure for 4-10s awaits on you book before the other side of the wardrobe this February. With magical 14th February creatures, snowy landscapes and a triumphant royal victory, this magical production is the perfect half-term treat. Perfect for 4-10 years. In Wimbledon, Chelsea, Clapham South and Fulham.

Youngstars 07749 343116 15-19 Feb half term course. Guaranteed fun holiday camps in TEN locations. Fun, games and excitement whilst introducing aspects of several sports including: football, basketball, cricket, lacrosse, hockey, t-ball, tennis, rugby & athletics all within a non-competitive & all inclusive environment. Ages 3-12yrs.

Role Models online 020 3637 7107 Me and My Feelings Course. (10am–11.30am). £225. 5-7yrs. Online Leadership Course. (10a –11.30am). £225. 8-11yrs. Me and My Confidence Course. (4pm–5.30pm). £225. 5-7yrs. Online Collaboration Course. (4pm–5.30pm). £225. 8-11yrs.

Summer in the Alps...

The Alps may be an obvious destination for the ski season, but how about a summer visit? A summer visit will set you up for the whole year, with plenty of fresh air to fill your families’ lungs. With reasonably priced flights from London airports to Geneva then a short drive to Morzine, there is a warm welcome waiting from Paul and Francesca Eyre at Chilly Powder. With the main chalet plus two chalets next door, you can organise

‘Express Yourself’ during Children’s Mental Health Week

From 1 to 7 February children and families across the UK are encouraged to take part in Children’s Mental Health Week with the theme ‘Express Yourself.’ Run by the children’s mental health charity Place2Be, children will be encouraged to explore the different ways in which they can express themselves and find creative ways to share their feelings, thoughts and ideas. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography or film, and doing activities that make them feel good. According to Place2Be, around three children in every primary school class has a mental health problem, and many more struggle with challenges ranging from bullying to bereavement - not to mention the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Find a range of resources to help families take part at www.childrensmentalhealthweek


your own meals, or join the party for dinners that you usually only dream of. Family friendly early evening meals for the children and a daytime crèche for little ones not quite as active as you, with drinks in the bar for the grown ups, or in the Jacuzzi on the terrace. For more about Chilly Powder chalets for summer and winter visit and more about summer in Morzine visit

These companies usually run February Half term course, please check with them nearer the time Et Patati Patata Fun French Day Camp 30 hours of French for 416 yrs, 3 age groups and a Teen programme. Number1 London’s French Day camps. Naomi Martin Touch Typing Weekly touch typing courses for children aged 718yrs £250 per week. The Little House of Science 0800 092 1062 Very popular February Half-term Science Camp. Swimway Balham, Clapham, East Sheen, Kensington, Kew Gardens, Putney, Wandsworth and Wimbledon 020 8871 3972 Very popular intensive swimming courses, book early. NEW! Brand new purpose built 20m training pool in East Sheen opening in February 21. Also parents & baby lessons and group adult lessons. All Star Tennis Leaders Gardens (SW15 1LS), King Georges Park (SW18 2GJ), Wandsworth Common (SW18 3RT) and Tooting Common (SW17 8JU) 020 8871 4706 All Star Tennis are award winning camps. South West Swimming School Emanuel School, Battersea Rise. To book or reserve a place contact 020 8767 2723 Intensive courses 30min classes from 9am-12pm.

Role Models



January/February 2021 • Families South West 27

28 Families South West • January/February 2021

Nuturing talent and inspiring passion for writing the fun way (8-11 years)


A term-time Storytelling Club New! Young Debaters Club email:

• 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.

30 Families South West • January/February 2021


Encouraging constant learning Dr Cath Bishop “Let’s race!” “Who’s going to win snakes and ladders?” From early childhood, it seems natural to compare and compete with others. But, historically, what marked us out from our ancestors was our ability to co-operate in large numbers, communicate and connect through ideas and stories. This is how we learn. Whatever our age or circumstances, we can always learn. And learning sits at the heart of the latest thinking on innovating, resilience and leadership. To help instil a learning habit in our children, let’s look at three areas. Let’s start with co-operation. It’s sadly overlooked or underplayed. Games are often set up to determine winners and losers. In the classroom, children compete to be the first one to put their hands up with the right answer. They learn that they look good when they have that answer, that they are being compared with their peers, and that they look better when others get things wrong. These competitive experiences block them from learning with and from their peers. Teaching, supporting and challenging each other is the most e ective way to learn; co-operation between children is also an essential ingredient for mental health. Next, let’s embrace those ‘why’ questions that drive parents with toddlers crazy – they are the most brilliant basis of a learning mindset. A relentless focus on simply acquiring knowledge and skills without knowing why they matter or what impact they could have, reduces the motivation to keep learning.


To find out more about our warm, friendly, secure and stimulating school call 020 8748 2081 (mornings) or visit

The ‘why’ helps us to master the ‘what’ and work out the ‘how.’ Finally, as parents, we need to consider how we answer those questions – or not. We want to be clear. But it’s really not necessary for any of us to know the finer details of how planes stay up in the sky, or how long it takes to get to the moon. It’s much more useful to explore our children’s potential thoughts on these things and maybe find more questions. The future is uncertain – and always has been. Asking questions, developing them and exploring di erent perspectives is the best way to foster a learning mindset, ready to discover new possibilities. Dr Cath Bishop is an Olympic medallist, International Diplomat and Cambridge University Business Coach. Her new book The Long Win: The search for a better way to succeed is out now, published by Practical Inspiration Publishing, priced £12.99. For more information, visit

Innovative app helps with children observation Obversation is the key to following a child's progress in Early Years. In order to facilitate this, Nightingale Montessori has recently chosen to utilise the 'My Montessori Child' App. This has proved invaluable in recording the progress of each child— giving both teachers and parents learning insights, which in turn will support their next steps. Parents have continuous access to their child's records enabling direct communication with teachers. The benefits of the app have been even more apparent during this pandemic as parents have been able to support their children with home learning/activities. The app is used in conjunction with the EYFS.

Barnes Montessori Nursery, c/o Barnes Sports Club, 261 Lonsdale Road, London SW13 9QL

See more local news and events on: FamiliesSWLondon



To advertise: 020 8696 9680 | Editorial: News: | Adverts/Artwork: Events/Diary Dates/What’s On: Next Issue: March/April 2021 | ISSN 1354-9553. All contents ©Families SW 2021.


January/February 2021 • Families South West 15