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Issue 127 March-April 2019

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In this issue...

The days are getting lighter and all of us are waiting for the longer, warmer days. It is the perfect time to plan family days out, book the children into a club or an Easter workshop, and even to think about the bigger things like choosing the next school your child will go to. We have it all in this issue! Enjoy! 2 4 6 8 10

News & Views

Cutting childcare costs Learning the times tables Why children misbehave... Surviving car journeys

Like us on Facebook Families West Magazine


Finding family friendly work

13 Easter Workshops

14 What’s On in West London

20 Classified ads and party listings

Follow us on Twitter @FamiliesWest

Perform’s Four Ways to boost your child’s self-esteem

A child’s self-esteem is influenced by feeling loved, valued and believing good things about themselves. Perform have teamed up with positive parenting expert, Anita Cleare, to bring Families top tips for boosting self-esteem. Encourage Independence When children do things for themselves and are praised for this, they feel proud. Teach your child to dress themselves and wash their own hair. Use believable praise. It’s not believable to tell your child he did something well when he clearly didn’t. Praise concrete achievements. Saying ‘Well done for keeping on running' (even when he lost the race) tells your child exactly what they have done well. Listen to their ideas Expressing ideas and being listened to help children feel valued. Involve them in practical family problem-solving by asking for their input. This helps them feel they are making a positive contribution. Encourage laughter and show you care Play, chat, share jokes and funny stories. Laughter helps children relax and feel good about themselves. Be affectionate. Snuggle and cuddle! Show your child they are utterly lovable exactly as they are. More tips from Anita can be found at: at To book a FREE confidence-building Perform drama class in Chiswick, Acton, Ealing, Kensington, Notting Hill, Shepherds Bush and Brook Green visit:

Massive congratulations to pupils at the West London Dance Academy who took their exams last term and scored between 83% - 96%. A special mention to four dancers who were nominated by the examiner (out of 7500 dancers from all over England) to compete in the International Theatre Dance Awards held in Manchester in February 2019. They are also very proud to have their first Advanced 2 Ballet student Annie Tran complete her Professional Vocational training with 96% Distinction and a commendation from the examiner. Also, Miss Victoria who completed her Level 4 Ballet Teaching Diploma with a mark of 95% Distinction, under the WLDA Intensive Teacher Training programme. She is now fully qualified to run her own Dance School. Pupils from the academy have also auditioned and gained full-time dance places at Arts Ed and The Royal Ballet School. Excitement is growing for their sold-out production of Alice in The Greatest Wonderland which takes place on March 30th and 31st at the Paul Robeson Theatre, Hounslow Arts Centre.

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News & Views

Join All Stars Cricket today!

All Stars Cricket is a programme aimed at children aged 5-8 years old to give them a great first experience in cricket. Sessions are accredited by the England & Wales Cricket Board and delivered nationwide at over 2,000 centres. All Stars Cricket will help your child develop key skills in a fun and safe environment where parents can join in too and help create #BigMoments you’ll both treasure! Following successful registration, All Stars Cricketers will receive a brand-new kit bag full of goodies to help them get their summer of cricket started and fully look the part when they attend their 8 weekly sessions. This year we have a brand-new Cricket World Cup themed activity book that is full of top tips, games and, it’s a great place to keep those weekly stickers to celebrate your All Star's achievements. Plus, it’s all delivered straight to your door. To find out more about how to get involved this summer, visit: and get your place booked as session begin May 2019.

Forest School fun in Chiswick

Forest School nurseries have experienced a surge in popularity over the last few years, with more and more cropping up across the UK. Buttercups Forest School in Chiswick though is slightly different. Like other nursery Forest Schools, Buttercups uses trained Forest School Leaders who follow the Forest School curriculum, teaching children how to safely use tools such as hand-drills and saws, how to erect tents and, most importantly, an appreciation for nature. The children spend all day out of doors, eating, playing, sleeping and exploring, getting bucket loads of self-esteem and team working experience and learning how to assess and manage risk. Unlike other providers, Buttercups Forest School is completely enclosed within the grounds of Buttercups Nursery Homefields. The children here don’t have to rigidly stay in sight of their designated carer and instead are free to properly explore. They can choose which activities they want to take part in, be it building a den, investigating insects or making mud pies, thereby developing a real love of learning. As the nursery is close by children can be easily transferred if they become too cold or poorly, and the on-site chef provides hot meals every day - a real winner in the colder months! For more information see:

Arabic for Women and Children Families welcome – Goal Oriented • Dynamic • Innovative • Effective • Native Female Teacher (& mother of 3!)

Call Reem on

07956 845 053

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Cutting the cost of childcare

By Stephanie Rough

Childcare can cost parents up to 45% of their disposable income; after housing, it is the second largest household cost. At the most expensive end, a full-time nursery place or child minder can set you back over £1,300 per month. When you factor in other costs such as commuting, it’s no surprise that many parents decide it is not financially viable for both parents to continue working. However, with some foresight and planning, there are some ways to cut your childcare costs.

Family Members Many parents turn to family members for at least some element of their childcare. From full-time care, to part-time regular days to ad hoc school holiday care, childcare from family members is free! In fact, paying them anything at all has tax implications, but, you can pay their expenses without being seen to employ them. Help from Friends Building a network of local working parents offers the opportunity for sharing childcare responsibilities. Looking after each other’s children on days when you are not working can reduce costs especially during school holidays. Providing no cash exchanges hands, you don’t need to register as a childminder, but if the arrangement is regular and more formal, you may want to consider public liability insurance in case a child has an accident in your home.

Nanny Sharing Nannies are expensive which is why it’s common place now to share, particularly when/if you only have one child. Whilst it’s not as easy as a 50/50 split in relation to costs, as each family must be registered separately as an employer, there are definite savings on both employer National Insurance and the nanny’s salary.

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It’s important to be realistic in your needs. Paying a nanny with her own car may come at a premium (simple laws of supply and demand!) but if you only need her to drive once a week, would it be cheaper overall for her to use public transport or take a taxi instead? Au Pairs Live-in au-pairs are now very popular providing families with childcare and help with general household duties. At £100 to £140 per week for 25 to 30 hours of work, au pairs are considerably cheaper than nannies and many other forms of childcare.

Company Benefits Are there benefits available from your employer? Whilst company childcare vouchers are now closed to new entrants, those already in the scheme can continue to save up to £243 per month tax free to pay towards OFSTED registered childcare. In addition, companies may also offer discounts at certain childcare providers to help save you money or offer a back-up care provision. Re-Consider Working Hours Childcare is inherently inflexible but maybe your working arrangements don’t have to be! So before searching for childcare see if you can make them more flexible. If you are considering working part-time, check whether local nursery providers offer discounts on less popular days (some do!) before confirming your work days. Remember that employees have the statutory right to take reasonable time off to deal with an emergency involving a child and the right to up to 13 weeks unpaid parental leave prior to a child’s 5th birthday. March-April 2019

Employees are also entitled to make a formal application for flexible working hours annually and many employees arrange informal flexible working direct with their line manager. Can you work from home to help take the pressure off commuting and being late to collect your child? Are compressed hours or term time only working an option? Co-ordinate a plan with your partner to work out a weekly routine. If one of you starts work early and the other later, this may reduce childcare costs.

Free Hours and Tax-Free Childcare Tax credits and a new style of childcare voucher (replacing the employer scheme) can create savings of up to £2,000 per child for parents meeting the eligibility criteria. In addition, children ages 3 and 4 in England are entitled to 15 hours free childcare for 38 weeks per year. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to 30 hours free. Whilst most nurseries do offer these free hours, you do need to check (especially for the 30 free hours) and calculate if any additional costs must be factored in. To check if you are eligible, please go to:

Stephanie Rough is Corporate Childcare Manager at Parental Choice, the essential one-stop shop for guidance on making the right decisions on your childcare needs. For further information, please visit:

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Do please contact us if you wish to advertise your Half-Term Activities? Email us at:

Nursery places available for 2019

March-April 2019

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Learning the Times Tables - Tips & Tricks


In 2020, it becomes compulsory for all Year 4 students in England to undergo a new times table test and this is likely to put additional pressure on parents to help their children get to grips with their times tables.

Children’s inability to instantly recall times tables and manage simple multiplication is a recurring theme of mathematics teaching reported by teachers in primary schools. These skills need to be embedded by Year 4 in order to prepare for the maths teaching for the next two years. At secondary school, lack of basic numeracy, including not knowing their multiplication tables really well, can lead to an inability to grasp new concepts and really slow children's mathematical progress. While it may seem tedious to practise times tables with your child, by ensuring your child is confident with times tables you will be equipping them with essential tools for success in maths.

Getting Familiar with Multiplication Concepts The first step with multiplication is to make sure your child understands what multiplication really means. In other words, they need to understand that 4 x 3 is the same as 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 and be confident with such number sequences. The Rule of Commutativity Show your child that each answer repeats, so, technically, they only have to learn half of the tables. In other words, 4 x 5 is the same as 5 x 4. The rule of commutativity helps them understand that they know more than they might think.

Point out patterns It doesn't all have to be memorised by rote. There are clues and helpful hints that can be learned. For example 2x is just doubling the number. This is the same as adding the number to itself: 2 x 2 = 4, 2 x 3 = 6, 2 x 4 = 8 etc. So the pattern is 2, 4, 6, 8 etc. And once these are 6 Families west London

remembered then the rule of commutatavity above means they also know 3 x 2, 4 x 2 etc. 9× has a pattern too: 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90. Notice how the tens (first digits in every number) go up by one and the units (second digits) go down. All the multiples of ten will end in zero. All the multiples of 5 end in either 5 or 0 and are half as large as the multiples of ten. (10 x 5=50 which is half of 10 x 10 = 100). Any number x 0 is always 0. No matter what. The answers to the 4 times table are double the answers to the 2 times table. For example, 3 × 4 = 12 is the same as 3 × 2 × 2. Likewise, the answers to the 8 times table are double the answers to the 4 times table. For example, 5 × 8 = 40 is the same as 5 × 4 × 2. Learning the 11 times table is

actually easy up to the number 9. It is simply doubling the appearance of the number you wish to multiply by. For example, 2 x 11 = 22, 3 x 11 = 33, 4 x 11 = 44 and so on.

Teach the Tricks The great thing with times tables is that there are many tricks that can help your child memorise them more easily. Let's take a look at a couple of tricks: 2 times tables: Double it! Two times a number simply means add the number twice. 6 x 2 is actually 6 + 6 and 8 x 2 is the same as 8 + 8. 4 times tables: Double the number you are multiplying, then double it again! It is simply a matter of doubling the number, then doubling the answer. For example, 4 x 5 is 5 + 5 = 10 and then 10 + 10 = 20. 4 x 5 is 20. 12 times table is 10x plus 2x.

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For example: 10 x 4 = 40, then add 2 x 4 = 8

Drilling Some drilling is inevitable. Drilling should be done once the child is familiar with their tables or at least a set of numbers. Drilling should be started in order and once you feel they are getting there you can mix it all up. They may hesitate at the beginning but the more you drill the more the times tables will be embedded into their memories.

Everyone’s different Some children like to learn by rote; for others it doesn’t work at all. To support their learning, work out what will make times tables stick in your child’s mind, whether that’s singing them, putting them into practice with puzzles, playing games with them or writing them out. Good luck!


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Independent French School

Do please contact us if you wish to advertise your Half-Term Activities? Email us at:

For boys and girls aged 4-11 Welcoming and friendly community

Recommended by 100% of parents (Ofsted - Parent View) International environment with daily English lessons at all levels Numerous PTA clubs, Morning/Afternoon and Homework clubs Building skill with individual attention School visits (pre-registration essential) 7/3/19 - 4/4/19 - 6/6/19 59 Brook Green, Hammersmith, London W6 7BE +44 20 7602 6871

Equipping children and young adults with the skills and strategies to manage the many issues they face with bullying, confidence, friendships etc

Email: · Tel: 07522 715842

Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School Independent Co-educational School for girls aged 3-11 and boys aged 3-7 Priory House, Priory Avenue, London W4 1TX

The school is well known for its friendly, nurturing atmosphere and excellent entrance examination results for boys at 7+ and girls at 11+ The school has thriving drama,art and music departments with a wide range of sports and extra-curricular activities. Pupils develop personal qualities of confidence, creativity and respect for others, in preparation for the challenges and opportunities of the modern world. “Pupils’ personal development and welfare are outstanding.They leave the school well prepared for the next stage of their education.” (Ofsted September 2017) To arrange a tour please call the School Office on: 020 8994 1804. Tours are arranged on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

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Why children misbehave... and how to handle it

Human beings are fundamentally social beings. Our primary goals are to belong (connection) and to have a sense of purpose and contribution (significance). In their pursuit of these goals, it is normal for children to test the waters by misbehaving. They do so when they are struggling to achieve these goals and feeling discouraged.

When children misbehave and parents feel frazzled, we often resort to quick fixes such as punishment, reward and bribery, because yes, they deliver temporary results. However, many of these approaches do not empower children to find connection, belonging and a sense of purpose and contribution. This leads to a vicious cycle of discouragement and renewed misbehaviour. To see sustained behavioural change, we need to focus not just on the misbehaviour, but on the belief behind the behaviour - the discouragement our children are experiencing. Then we need to use parenting tools based on encouragement that help our

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children experience their deep need to belong and feel capable through contribution. Building confidence and resilience

Here are some strategies that we can use to help our children develop the skills they need to pursue their goals.

Connection before correction Brain research has shown that children do better when they feel better. This does not mean feeling better because they get everything they want. They feel better because they feel connected (belonging) and responsible (significant). Thus it is very important to make a connection with your child before you attempt correction. One of the easiest ways to do this is to validate their feelings.

Validate feelings “I know you’re upset because you can’t have that toy, but if you save your pocket money, I’m sure you can purchase one soon.” You are connecting by showing understanding and validating your child’s feelings AND you are giving them the opportunity to contribute (earn and save their money) instead of

rescuing them and buying something for them.

Positive time out When your child misbehaves, firstly you need to check in with yourself and make sure you are calm enough to deal compassionately with your child at that time. If you are not, chances are you will react with short-term strategies. Say to your child that you are upset and need some time by yourself. This models self-regulation, an essential life skill. Ask if it would help him to have some chill time too. To ensure your child understands what you are doing, discuss as a family what happens when we’re stressed – our brains are flooded with stress hormones so we can’t think. Then explain that when one of you is stressed, you can ask for chill out time in a different place in the house that works for each individual. This Time Out should ALWAYS be a choice and NEVER a punishment. Focus on solutions Reduce power struggles by focussing on solutions rather than consequences of bad behaviour. Learn to think in terms of problem =

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solution instead of problem = blame and punishment. It can be effective and empowering to help children explore the consequences of their choices by asking, “What do you think caused that to happen, and what ideas do you have to solve the problem?” This teaches them valuable life skills such as problem-solving, respectful communication, decisionmaking, conflict resolution and negotiating strategies.

Effective parenting means constantly looking for win-win solutions, rather than winning at the expense of your child. Co-operation is the best way to avoid power struggles and feelings of inadequacy in children, reducing your stress in the process.

Jane Nelsen is the founder of the Positive Discipline Methodology programme. London-based educators Joy Marchese and Kristina Bill worked with Jane to co-author the book Positive Discipline for Today’s Busy (and Overwhelmed) Parent: How to Balance Work, Parenting and Self for Lasting Well Being. Published by Harmony Books and available from Amazon at £12.99.

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A Head’s reflections on school’s mathematical prowess

groups that represented them. The challenge was to complete the problems one by one and to swiftly present the answers to the markers on stage, who were the teachers from the schools present. As each problem was solved, the children returned to their seats and progressed to the next one, with the object of completing as many as possible, during a given period of time. And all at once, mathematics became a joy; a puzzle to be solved; an urgent collaboration of young minds; an energetic quest amidst the most electric exuberance that was 11 year old children with a purpose. What was overwhelming to behold, was the outstanding participation of absolutely everyone and to that end, it is almost a pity to have ‘winners and not winners,’ but of course that was the essence of the magic on the day!

I never excelled in mathematics whilst at school; this engendered in me, a strong admiration for those who did. As a Head, I was keen to explore ways in which mathematics was relevant to the children in a way that was accessible to all, was exciting, was fun and in a way that built confidence.

We are fortunate in the independent sector, to have small class sizes and to be able to work with a manageable size of pupils that results in productive attention to all. The catchment area of our school is, in addition, an oasis tucked away in west London that bursts with an abundance of family life that is ambitious and aspires for the best for their children, beyond and above any socio-economic stereotype. As such, in Ealing, we are blessed with exceptional independent and maintained schools.

The selection of highly qualified staff together with an inspiring and imaginative curriculum is the essence without which a bright and shining star cannot glow.

All children are stars and all children have the potential to glow. Our choice of mathematics scheme five years ago was spurred from a critical appraisal of what was available to primary schools in the UK at that time. We were keen to find a scheme that was practical and that enabled children of all abilities to make good progress, supporting the less mathematical ones of us and stretching the most able. We embraced the Singapore Maths scheme and began an intensive training programme for our teaching and non-teaching staff. The rest is history. The top and most highly selective schools in our local area, were invited to a Maths Challenge run by DC Beagle, aimed at testing skill and speed;

mostly problem solving based, the challenge sets to test the ‘inquisitive mind’. Six of ‘the best’ schools in Ealing from both the independent and maintained sector, accepted our invitation and the two hour long challenge took place on the 6th of February 2019. It was an event that reached out to our local community and brimming with anticipation and excitement, we welcomed our neighbouring schools to Harvington, and revelled in the opportunity to bring together children of the same age to mingle and to share in their passion for mathematical problem solving.

Children were arranged in pairs and each school had up to 5


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We were immensely proud to not only gain first, but also second place in the competition.

“And all at once, mathematics became a joy; a puzzle to be solved; an urgent collaboration of young minds; an energetic quest amidst the most electric exuberance that was 11 year old children with a purpose.”

My reflections on our success are many and touch upon the oldest debates in education, providing evidence for discussions such as, gender stereotypes, differentiation (Singapore Maths does not promote differentiation), competition, small classes/small schools, I could go on. But for now, our school community celebrates; our school community is proud; and our winners glow, heads bowed with humility, quietly bursting at the seams.

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“Are we nearly there yet?” A survival guide to holiday car travel!

By Claire Winter

Spring is here and it’s possible you may be heading away during the Easter holidays or, if not, in the months to come. Many families opt to travel to their holiday destinations in the UK or Europe by car which can be economical and also means you can generally take more luggage. The trick is how to survive these trips without things turning nasty in the backseat.

Be Realistic You may think it’s going to take seven hours to get to Cornwall but take into account for unscheduled loo stops, unexpected car sickness and getting lost despite having an excellent Sat Nav and Google Maps.

Take gadgets Digital devices such as iPads, Kindles or similar are great for long journeys but do not peak too soon! Car journeys are also a great opportunity to talk to your kids and have some really fun and more in-depth conversations than usual. Equally, listening to music on the radio or on CDs can be a great shared activity. Golden oldies, in particular, can spark conversations of the “Remember when...” variety. Save the gadgets for when things start getting tricky. You can whip out a fully charged iPad when they have asked “Are we nearly there yet?” 10 Families west London

for the tenth time or started turning on each other in a menacing way. Be sure to bring portable chargers so you can recharge your devices. A headphone-splitter is also a great invention, as this allows two children to plug headphones into the same device. Bring plenty of snacks Pack a cool bag or lunchbox full of snacks for each child and adult (you don’t want a ‘hangry’ driver). If you don’t want the kids going loopy from eating too much sugar, try sugar-free lollies. But remember most sugar-free sweets eaten in large quantities can have a laxative effect! Travel early or late. Get on the road early to beat traffic jams or leave after rush hour or even later. Just pop the kids in PJ’s and eventually they will fall asleep and hopefully sleep through the journey. Of course, you may be tired travelling

during the night, but you can drink gin and rest when you get there!

Games are good Top Trumps, travel games and story dice are all winners when it comes to travelling in the car. Kids also love a drawing pad and felt tips. Make sure they don’t draw or look down for too long though as this can often cause car sickness. Don’t overload the car interior. Try not to shove things into every seat well. If the kids are comfortable they are less likely to moan! Just pack stuff into the boot or invest in a roof box. It’s all about audiobooks Many families have given up on reading and watching films in the car because of carsickness, but audio books are always a winner! The whole family can listen to all the Harry Potter books, some Roald Dahl classics

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and many other favourites. You can borrow audiobooks from the library or download them onto your phone and sync it with the car’s stereo. We also create holiday playlists with everyone’s favourite music on them too.

Don’t forget the essentials Baby wipes, tissues, water, travel sickness medicine, snacks (never forget the snacks!), different layers of clothing, a bag for rubbish (this can double up as a sick bag too but hopefully you won’t need it)! Remember to have FUN Last but not least, don’t forget your sense of humour. Things often go wrong when small people are involved. Family time isn’t all hearts and flowers and learning to cope with friction and setbacks are all part of life’s big adventure. The journey to a destination can be just as fun if you decide it’s going to be!

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Finding more FAMILY FRIENDLY work

Flexible working is one of the top three benefits that today’s jobseekers look for; particularly if they are parents. Meanwhile, employers are being encouraged to publish their parental leave policies and increasing numbers of employers are offering family friendly parental leave policies, from carer’s leave to the ability to buy extra holiday.

It’s not just women who want family friendly working.’s recent survey of dads shows 73% say they are considering seeking flexible working. The truth is that modern family life requires flexibility and employers who don’t offer it will lose out. Employers also need to do more than offer flexible working policies; they need to back this up with a culture that normalises different ways of working.

Otherwise employees often feel side-lined or end up working overtime because expectations are not reduced in line with hours. When this flexible working policies and the right culture work together then great opportunities arise.

Samantha Hamilton-Davies is a Senior Associate (Due Diligence) in the homeworking legal team of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, based in Manchester. Samantha works four days a week from home and has been promoted since joining the homeworking team. In her previous role Samantha had faced a long commute. She says that without her homeworking role she might have eventually left the legal profession. Claire Brown left a ‘million miles an hour’ job in the City and is now working part time as the Internal Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager at Carpet Right. The post means she can use her skills and experience in a senior role AND still has enough time for her family and voluntary job running her village’s residents association. Such cases are not confined to the big corporates. SMEs like IT firm, Hireserve, has grown by employing

experienced professionals on flexible hours. Their hours have increased as their families and the firm has grown.

So how do you land this kind of job? The answer is research and being clear about what you want and why it is good for your employer. Research the best family-friendly employers. Don’t just look at their policies everyone can look good on paper, but read what others say about them; talk, if possible, to people who work there; find out what the companies offer beyond the statutory requirements; and look at whether they are shouting out about it on their careers page or LinkedIn. Does it matter to them? Do they really get it? It’s not just the provision of a flexible role that matters. It is about the employers’ overall attitude to flexible workers. Line managers’ attitudes, in particular, are crucial to ensuring flexible working doesn’t mean career stagnation.

With regard to clarity, it is best to be upfront about what you need and to put a business case for why it is in both your interests and that of your potential employer. What do they get by allowing you flexi hours? What do you bring to the organisation that they need? Remember not to downplay or apologise for skills gained outside the workplace. 12 Families west London

By Mandy Garner

March-April 2019

When Visa in Europe was advertising the post of Director of Talent, mum-of-four Pippa Edwards, who was a Talent Manager, expressed her interest but told her manager that she didn’t want to work full time. He said: “Have you considered a job share?” “In that one sentence everything changed for me,” says Pippa. “I started to believe I could have my cake and eat it.” Pippa now job shares with mumof-three Vicki Mawson, a former Talent Acquisition Director at L’Oréal. Both women think the company has benefited from the job share, getting a depth of expertise that one person alone would not provide. “Before I thought that I would have to make a choice between working part time and having a career” states Pippa. I had come to accept that that was the reality, but my boss showed me that I could have both and that was so powerful. So many women should have that opportunity and not have to make that choice.”

Mandy Garner is editor of which links top family-friendly employers with female professionals and highlights examples of best practice to encourage greater innovation across sectors. They have just launched a partner website for dads at:

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DRAMA, DANCE AND SINGING WORKSHOP in W4, W8, W11 and SW7 PERFORM ALICE IN WONDERLAND HOLIDAY WORKSHOP Children will be tumbling down the rabbit hole into the magical and topsy-turvy world of Wonderland this Easter. Perform’s dynamic team of actors, singers and dancers will inspire and encourage your child as they create a thrilling performance for family and friends. Ages 4-10, 10am3pm. 8-10 Apr at Kensington United Reform Church, Allen St, W8 6BL, St Michael’s Hall, W4 3DY and on 15-17 Apr at St Barnabas Church, Ealing, W5 1QG. Call: 020 7255 9120


9 Apr LOTIONS AND POTIONS INTRODUCTION TO HERBAL MEDICINE FOR A SPRING BOOST Learn about the history, geography and science of chocolate and celebrate this very special plant-based food. The day includes craft activities, a Garden tour, chocolate tasting and the chance to create your own mixtures to take away. 10.30am-2.30pm, ages 6-11. 11 Apr DINNER WITH DINOSAURS A Triassic treat! Use the Garden map and dino profiles to find the living fossils that these magnificent reptiles wolfed down for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For ages 5 - 12. 16 Apr CHOCOLATE TUESDAY Learn about the history, geography and science of chocolate and celebrate this very special plant-based food. The day includes craft activities, a Garden tour, chocolate tasting and the chance to create your own mixtures to take away. For ages 6 - 11 Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HS.

10, 11 Apr MARVELLOUS MAMMALS Learn about the hedgehog population of Regent's Park and learn how they are looked after. Play some animal survival games and search for mammal tracks in the garden, hear stories and create natural crafts. Drop-in 11am-3pm. 16 Apr NATURE EXPLORERS: WILD EXPEDITION Young adventurers will navigate the park after honing their compass skills, then create a treasure map to lead their fellow nature explorers on a treasure hunt. Trekking through the park marking their journey using a journey stick, they'll explore hidden gems like a water meadow. They'll create a map with either clay, pencils, natural materials or iPads, then return to camp to create a giant map of the park. Suitable for ages 8-11 years 17, 18 Apr NATURE EXPLORERS: SPRING TO LIFE A fun, outdoor day of discovery with nature inspired activities for ages 8-11, 10am-3pm. ISIS Education Centre, Hyde Park W2 020. Call: 7036 8040


8-11 Apr 4 DAY MUSIC CAMP: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Create a bespoke music and drama show using real instruments, costumes and recordings. No experience necessary. 10am-3.30pm, for 5 - 11 years old 10 Apr MUSICAL STORYTELLING SHOW: THE LAMB WHO LOST HER JUMP For 3 - 6 years old, 11-12pm. 12 Apr INSTRUMENTAL EXTRAVAGANZA Try a range of instruments and enjoy a truly wonderul musical adventure. Available instruments include Trumpet, Violin, Piano, Keyboards, Percussion, Guitar, Ukulele, Flute, Clarinet. 2-3.30pm for ages 4-11. The Music House for Children.


Date TBC. Cookery classes and workshops for children aged 3-14+ in specially designed children friendly kitchens. The Kids Cookery School. Call: 020 8992 8882


8-18 Apr ENVIRONMENTAL WORKSHOPS Outdoor and creative activities in Holland Park and the Ecology Centre wooded Wildlife Area. A fun-packed programme for five to ten year olds includes sessions on dragonflies, mammals, spiders, animal homes, trees, and animal-themed craft sessions on animal tracks and birds. 10am-12 noon and 2-4pm, booking essential. 10,17 Apr NATURE EXPLORER AFTERNOONS Fun nature based drop in activities for all ages. 12-4pm. 10 Apr CHILDREN’S NIGHT SAFARI’S A fun-filled evening to search for the Park’s nocturnal inhabitants and explore the woods at night. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring a torch with you. 7-9pm. 12 Apr HOLLAND PARK STORYTELLING WALKS Awaken your senses as you listen to stories woven along a walk through the secret corners of Holland Park. This interactive family activity will encourage everyone to create and share their own stories of wonder. 2-4pm. 27 Apr FAMILY BIRD SONG WALK A beginner’s introduction to birds and their

calls. Free, 8-10am. Holland Park Ecology Centre, Holland Park, Ilchester Place, W8. Call: 020 7938 8186


8-12 Apr FUN FRENCH IMMERSION HOLIDAY CLUBS With creative activities and projects such as arts and crafts, cooking, singing, dancing, sporty games (indoor & outdoor according to venue & weather), theatre & language games. 9am-3pm with half day sessions available, for ages 3-5 and 6-8.


8-12 Apr FUN FRENCH IMMERSION HOLIDAY CLUBS: 9-23 Apr EASTER HOLIDAYS PONY DAYS New and intermediate riders for ages 4+ 10am-4pm. 17-19 Gunnersbury Avenue, Ealing, W5 3XD. https://


1-18 Apr MINI MULTI SPORTS CAMP For ages 3-12 including netball, tennis and football. Takes place at Rocks Lane Multi Sports Centre, 60 Chiswick Common Road, Chiswick, London, W4 1RZ. Call: 020 8994 1313

From Baby to Ballerina

Classes for Boys and Girls aged 21/2 to 16 years old Ballet, Pointe Work, Modern Jazz, Tap, Annual Performances

Classes held in: Bayswater, Notting Hill Gate, Oxford Street, Shepherds Bush and South Kensington

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WC1B 3DG DIGITAL WORKSHOPS Takes place at weekends and school holidays on a variety of themes. Free, 11am-4pm, for ages 7+ (unless stated). 30 Mar LITTLE FEET: ANIMAL EXPLORERS Find out where in the world animals call home and programme a robot to help find them in the galleries. For under fives. 11am-4pm. 27 Apr LITTLE FEET: ANIMAL PATTERNS Spot different animal patterns and use tablets to make a slot-together animal model to take home! For under-fives, 11am-4pm.


W8 6AG Until 24 Mar HOME FUTURES Are we living in the way that pioneering architects and designers throughout the 20th century predicted, or has our idea of home proved resistant to real change? Explore today's home through the prism of yesterday's imagination. Admission £8 children aged 615, £16 adults. CREATE AND MAKE once a month on Sundays and during school holidays. Be inspired by the museum and its exhibitions through informal drop in sessions focusing on light-touch design and making. Ages 5-11. GET INTO DESIGN workshops and courses run for families and young people. Led by specialist tutors, they include input and inspiration from some of the rising stars in contemporary design. Check the website for dates and details. Ages 8-11.


WC1N 1AZ 17 Mar SMALL BIG ADVENTURES Immerse yourself in stories told through piano music in this family-friendly Sunday concert. 21 Mar and 18 Apr BACH TO BABY Discover the award-winning classical concert series for babies, toddlers and parents. Themed concerts are performed by pianist Miaomiao Yu along with other internationallyrenowned musicians. 9 Apr STAR BAKER: HOUSE CHALLENGE Shape your own fantasy house from biscuits in this creative workshop. For ages 5+ at 11am, 1.15 and 3pm. 11 Apr TOY HOMES Create your own pullalong home in this workshop with Anne Harild. For ages 5+ at 11am, 1.15 and 3pm 16 Apr MUSIC FOR BEDROOMS Become a composer and create a piece of music which expresses your identity. For ages 5+ at 11am, 1.15 and 3pm.


SE1 6HZ EXHIBITIONS: HOLOCAUST Film, photographs and a large number of rare artefacts document the history of the Nazi persecution of the Jews and other groups before and during the Second World War. For ages 14+

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Spring into Easter at ODDS FARM PARK A FAMILY IN WARTIME Explores the lives of William and Alice Allpress and their ten children and what life in London was like during the war. SECRET WAR The clandestine world of espionage, covert operations and the work of Britain’s Special Forces. FIRST WORLD WAR Discover the story of the war - Over 1,300 objects including weapons, uniforms, diaries, letters and souvenirs, will be on display as well as a recreated trench with periscopes and a dug-out, along with a soundscape and projection will evoke what daily life was like for the troops.


WC2E 7BB FUTURE ENGINEERS GALLERY Families, young people and ‘big kids’ can get hands-on and 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. 9, 10 Mar WELLBEING WEEKEND Often we use public transport to get us somewhere quickly. But did you know that you can use public transport to slow down? A weekend of wellbeing, and a chance to explore how you can take care of yourself in this busy, bustling city. For ages 3-13 from 11am-4pm.

6-22 Apr ILLUSTRATING LONDON Have you heard of the bunny that hoped around London on the Underground? Or the bus that leaped over Tower Bridge? Do you know all the people that live, visit and travel all around this wonderful city? Join us to meet illustrators who have captured their favourite London Stories in this year’s Poster Prize for Illustration. For ages 3-12 from 11am-4pm. Every Tuesday SINGING AND STORIES Find out how people get around the city. With stories about hopping on a bus to the Museum and songs about catching a tube to London Town, there’s something for everyone. Sessions include singing and dancing, as well as the chance to see and touch objects from the Museum collection. For under fives at 10.45am, 12, 1.45 and 3pm.


SW7 5BD Every weekend INVESTIGATE FOR FAMILIES Get a feel for how scientists work by having a go yourself. Come and explore hundreds of real nature specimens that form the evidence Museum scientists use in their daily work. Drop-in, 11am-5pm. 16 Mar, 13 Apr DINO SNORES FOR KIDS Ever wondered what goes on at the Natural History Museum at night? 7 - 11 years. 7pm till morning, torchlit trails through the museum, live animal shows and more. 28 Apr DAWNOSAURS Early morning fun and learning for families with children on the autistic spectrum.

March-April 2019


W1U 3BN 16 Mar HORRIBLE HELMETS FAMILY DAY A fun and creative family day for deaf children aged 5+ Join Deaf guide Edward Richards for a special tour of the Wallace Collection, try on some real armour in our armoury and make some spectacular sculptures. Free, but booking essential. 9 Apr STORYTELLING SHOW: KING ARTHUR’S QUEST A dramatic re-telling of the legend of King Arthur plus a chance to make a crown afterwards. 11am. Free. 11, 12 Apr MAKE YOUR OWN HELMET Join artist Hattie Moore to make your very own helmet, much like the ones that inspired Henry Moore. Free, drop-in, for age 6+ 16, 17 Apr HELMET HEADS Using Henry Moore’s helmet heads as inspiration you will work with artist Alex Hirtzel to create your own versions from air dry clay. You will carve, mould and create textures into the surface to form a 3D model. For ages 7-10.


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What’s On


NW1 2DB 24 Mar FAMILY TAKEOVER: MAKE AND CREATE Enjoy playful multisensory activities and learning resources for all ages. 12-4pm, free, drop-in.


SE10 9NF Every weekend: CUTTY SARK CHARACTERS Come aboard to hear Cutty Sark’s incredible stories brought to life by characters from the ship’s past. Suitable for ages 3+ Every Weds TODDLER TIME Bring your little sailors along for songs, stories and playtime on board. 10-11.30am for ages 4 and under. 6 Apr SEA SIGNS A fun-filled day of family craft activities, storytelling, character performances and guided tours for deaf and hearing families. Activities are either BSL-led or supported by BSL interpreters. 11.30am-4pm for ages 4+ 7 Apr FLY THE FLAG Learn how to send a coded message using signal flags and design your own flag in this fun family workshop. What will your messages say? 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-4pm for ages 4+ 9-11 Apr FANTASTIC FLOWERS Celebrate the start of spring and Cutty Sark’s journeys to Wales by crafting your own daffodil. Take your creation home with you or add it to our Cutty Sark garden. 11.30am-1.30pm and 24pm for ages 4+ 16-18 Apr DASHING DRAGONS An artistled workshop- learn how to create your own dragon inspired by Cutty Sark’s voyages to China and Wales. 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-4pm for ages 4+


SW6 6EA every Mon and Tues THE PALACE EXPLORERS A weekly parent/carer and toddler sessions for children aged 2-4. £3 per child, which includes a drink and healthy snack. 6 Apr EASTER TRAIL The Easter bunny needs help from some young detectives! This children's activity will make for a funfilled time for all. The beautiful building and gorgeous garden will be chock-full of clues. Hunt them down and solve the puzzle! 6 Apr LITTLE GREEN FINGERS This hands-on gardening workshop is for children and their carers to explore how vegetables and flowers grow, with the opportunity to sow, plant, and care for produce and flowers in an exclusive Little Green Fingers bed in our beautiful Walled Garden. 10.30am-12pm for ages 3+ 21 Apr SPRINGTIME AT THE PALACE Celebrate all things springtime at this Easter Sunday family activity day, with seasonal storytelling, creative crafts, Easter trails and a host of fun-filled activities. 11am-3pm for ages 3+


KT8 9AU 3 Mar STORYTIME SUNDAY Enjoy a wellknown story in the comfort of the palace and join in with themed toys. Aimed at under 7s. 11.30am, 1 and 2.30pm. Until 31 Mar QUEEN ANNE'S FAVOUR LIVE PERFORMANCE AND TOUR With a new queen on the throne in 1702, there are opportunities to become a favourite and gain advancement at court. Yet being Queen Anne’s favourite may well be a mixed blessing? Both stakes and prizes are high, and the fall from grace can be crushing, but if you succeed... Could you be a royal

favourite? Explore the baroque palace, meet some of the characters involved, and make your own decision. Daily at 11.45am, 1.15 and 2.45pm.


TW9 3AB 6 - 22 Apr EASTER HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES Families can explore the colour spectrum and find out what it means to plants. They will be invited to make beaded pendants to add to a new temporary structure and will be able to watch it become more colourful as the Easter holidays go on. 13 Apr-27 Oct CHIHULY AT KEW: REFLECTIONS ON NATURE The world's most celebrated contemporary glass artist is back, showcasing his work against the stunning backdrop of Kew Gardens. There will be fun and interactive illustrated trail specially designed for families. Fun and inspiring activities for families that reflect Chihuly's artwork and use of light, colour and form will take place over the Easter holiday 22 Apr LITTLE EXPLORERS Hands-on fun 90-minute learning sessions aimed at children aged 2-5. Curious children (and parents) will connect with the living environment as they explore, observe and question the natural world around them. There will be fun-packed adventure in the Gardens with games, stories, crafts and dressing up. You'll find out what makes plants grow, where your food comes from and some of the ways that we use plants in our everyday lives. You'll investigate animal habitats, insects, bees and pollination and the changing seasons.


HP10 0LX A FABULOUS DAY OUT AT THE FARM! Meet the farmers and get close to the animals in the hands-on area and in the large undercover animal barns. There is a massive adventure play area with a four lane astra slide, two drop slides, a netted area with zig zag chicanes and tunnels, swinging ropes and much more. Also, a special Toddler and Under 5’s areas. 6-23 Apr SPRING INTO EASTER This year, the Easter Holidays are all about carrots at Odds Farm Park! Join the ‘Quest for Carrots!’ - a most unusual Easter Egg & Carrot Hunt - to earn your sweet treat! Plus, enjoy fun shows with the Oddsocks Family, in addition to Spring-themed arts, crafts and games, lambing and of course the re-opening of the H2Odds Water Play! Combined with the fun of the giant indoor playbarn, award-winning Marmalade’s Tearoom, acres of outdoor play and plenty of animals to meet, including lots of adorable baby lambs and cheeky kid goats, you won’t want to miss it!


TW7 4RB 31 Mar MOTHER'S DAY Decorate a mug for your table at home with this family craft workshop. Booking essential.


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March-April 2019


UB3 2UE 31 Mar PINOCCHIO Based on the fantastical children’s book, a high energy re-telling of Pinocchio’s extraordinary adventures packed with comedy, audience interaction and a host of new songs. 28 Apr BEAUTY AND THE BEAST An Easter panto with Kerry Katona & Basil Brush.


WC2H 9HU Booking until Oct 19 MATILDA THE MUSICAL The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Roald Dahl’s magical story about a girl with extraordinary powers.


EC1R 4TN 10 Mar THE MAGIC WORD - LET’S ALL DANCE In a secret, magical forest lives the beautiful Forest Queen. But the Queen is rather spoilt and does not know how to ask for help nicely. Once she learns The Magic Word she discovers the beauty of sharing and the joys of true friendship. A new ballet suitable for all, especially 2 - 11 year olds, including children with special needs.


W6 0QL 9 Mar THE SELFISH GIANT Inspired by the short story by Oscar Wilde and featuring powerful storytelling, captivating puppetry, enchanting music and a sprinkling of audience interaction magic. For ages 5-11. 16 Mar THE BOY WHO WANTED TO FLY Billy is stuck in a hospital room and it’s miserable! But all that’s about to change. When a cool hospital porter comes swinging by with his trolley of books, he leaves a tattered old tome on Billy’s bed. Little does Billy know that the book is his ticket to a whole world of adventure! Pulled into the pages, he’ll be transported far from his bed into strange new worlds and make the journey of a lifetime. For ages 5-11. 23 Mar THE TIN SOLIDER When a toy tin soldier falls in love with a music box ballerina, a jealous toy goblin throws the soldier out of the playroom window. The tin soldier sets off on an adventure to get back to his ballerina. Will he make it back, or will the jealous goblin ruin his chance of happiness? Told through a blend of wonderful puppetry, multimedia and live music. For ages 4-11. 13 Apr OUT OF THE HAT! When Doris and Delilah wake up to find something strange and sparkly has fallen from the sky, they are inspired to put on the world’s greatest magic show. But will the conjuring trick work and will anything ever come out of the hat? For ages 2-8. 20 Apr THE THREE BILLY PIGS They set off to build their dream houses. But then these homes are put to the test by a misunderstood wolf who has a little bit of a problem. For ages 3-8. 27 Apr HANSEL AND GRETEL A colourful retelling of the classic Grimms’ fairy tale,

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serving up a feast of delicious music, dynamic scenery and knock-your-socks-off puppetry. For ages 3-8.


WC2A 2HT 16-27 Apr ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET AND ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET SCHOOL - MY FIRST BALLET: SLEEPING BEAUTY With a narrator to help the young audience follow the classic story of Aurora and her true love’s kiss, and a shortened version of Tchaikovsky’s beautiful melodies, this is an enchanting first encounter with dance for children.


W9 2PF Until 14 Apr MY SHADOW AND ME DREW COLBY A cartoon created live out of nothing but darkness and light. One person (and his shadow) meet and go on an incredible, imaginative, shadowy journey where creatures emerge, engage and transform beautifully. The show uses minimal language in combination with electronic music, a kazoo, a shaker and non- verbal voice effects. Little encounters between characters are explored and tiny stories unfold. For age 4+ 30 Mar-24 Apr THE INSECT CIRCUS The strange and beautiful world of the Insect Circus. Using marionettes, beetles and grasshoppers, wasps and dragonflies, demonstrate their dexterity with great skill and humour. For age 3+


W5 5BQ 2-9 Mar BUGSY MALONE Rival hoodlums clash in this gangster-spoof. In New York City, the mobster rivals Fat Sam and Dandy Dan are battling for power. Between the dancing and singing at Fat Sam’s Grand Slam, Dan’s destructive ‘splurge guns’ wreak havoc as he shoots up the place. Hoodlums and broads get caught up in the crossfire as tensions erupt with custard flying from all angles. Will Bugsy stay out of trouble long enough to see his dreams come true?


TW9 1QJ 20-24 Mar TOM GATES LIVE ON STAGE Tom's doing everything possible to stay out of trouble but somehow he's got three sad faces on the school achievement chart! And getting another sad face means Mr Fullerman won't let him go on the school trip! This exciting and hilarious new adventure brings Liz Pichon’s fantastic characters to life and is perfect for all the family.


SE1 8PX 19, 20 Apr ARACALADANZA - PLAY Enter a magical world full of puppetry, balloons and fantastical costumes. Plus children can take part in an exciting array of free fun, games, crafts and activities as part of the Family weekend event.

March-April 2019

Moving London open weekend at THE FOUNDLING MUSEUM


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EC1R 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Mar, 5 Apr RUG RHYMES FOR THE UNDER-FIVES A short session of nursery rhymes, poems and rhyming stories, and the opportunity to look at and borrow books. Free but booking essential. 4, 11, 18, 25 Mar DRAGON BABIES Bring your little ones to shake, rattle and gong. Gamelan for ages 3-5. 30 Mar FUNHARMONICS: CONDUCTING SCIENCE - VOICE BOX On-stage experiments with the whole Orchestra, astounding facts and extraordinary musicmaking. Bring along your lab coat and your voice, open up your ears and expect the unexpected! For age 6+ 30 Mar OAE TOTS: FUNHARMONICS A magical, interactive introduction to musicmaking for children sitting up-close to orchestral musicians and taking part. For ages 2-5. 6-13 Apr TABBY MCTAT Separated from his best friend Fred, and alone, Tabby finds shelter and a new life with all the home comforts that any cat could dream of. However, memories of his life with Fred haunt him, and he sets off to search the streets for his long-lost friend. Original songs and a sprinkling of magic in this heartwarming tale. 28 APR OAE TOTS: A WORLD OF MAGIC An interactive concert inspired by Mozart’s fairy tale opera, The Magic Flute. Experience

an enchanting story by Hazel Gould, and learn how music can conjure magic to help our heroes and heroines live happily ever after. Lots of action and activity for little ones including a chance to meet the players and the instruments in the venue foyer after the performance.


SE1 2HZ 26 Mar-28 Apr THE POLAR BEARS GO, GO, GO! Join the two very loveable but slightly hapless Polar Bears on their holiday adventures. Will they ever reach their destination? Or are they just going around in circles? For ages 2-5 21 Mar-28 Apr THE SHOW IN WHICH HOPEFULLY NOTHING HAPPENS Welcome to the most boring show in history: an actor who never gets to perform and a security guard who just hopes nothing will occur. Created in the Netherlands, this carefully crafted, absurdist masterpiece of hope, humour and failure has been adored by critics and children across the world. For ages 6-10.

Kensington Bach to Baby image by Jack Woodhouse BACH TO BABY CONCERTS

CONCERTS BACH TO BABY 18 Mar, 8 Apr in Notting Hill (St. John’s Church, Lansdowne Crescent, W11) 22 Mar, 26 Apr in Chiswick (St. Michael and All Angels, Bath Road, W4) 27 Mar, 17 Apr in Kensington (Saint Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road SW7) 2 Mar, 6 Apr in Ealing (Haven Green Baptist Church, 2 Castlebar Road, W5)


W1U 2PB 7 Mar CHAMBER TOTS: UNDER THE SEA Music-making workshop for children aged

1 - 2 at 10.15 and for ages 3-5 at 11.45am. 16 Mar FAMILY CONCERT: STAN & MABEL AND THE RACE FOR SPACE Music-loving dog and cat, Stan and Mabel, are back! And this time they’re joined by a whole carnival of animals as they escape from the School for Wild and Dangerous Animals in search of a safe place to call their home. For age 4+ 9 Mar CHAMBER TOTS: ON THE FARM Music-making workshop for children aged 1 - 2 at 10.15 and for ages 3-5 at 11.45am. 4 Apr CHAMBER TOTS: TRAIN RIDE Music-making workshop for children aged 1 - 2 at 10.15 and for ages 3-5 at 11.45am. 17 Apr CHAMBER TOTS: IN THE GARDEN Music-making workshop for children aged 1 - 2 at 10.15 and for ages 3-5 at 11.45am. 24 Apr FAMILY DAY: WILD RIVER ADVENTURES Interactive workshop day for families with children aged 5+, 10:30am - 3:30pm

Families West London 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 West London are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families West London. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but 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. Design by Martin Driscoll. Email: Printed by The MANSON Group Ltd, 8 Porters Wood, Valley Road Industrial Estate, St Albans AL3 6PZ.

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My teenager WON’T talk to me...?

By Dr John Coleman

Parents and teenagers need to be able to talk together. Yet in so many families this turns out to be a major challenge. Parents feel their teenager won’t listen, and teenagers feel exactly the same: that their parents aren’t listening.

One 14 year old girl put it like this: “My parents expect me to tell them everything, but how can I when all they do is nag? Why haven’t you done this? Why haven’t you done that? That’s all they say.” Why does this breakdown in communication occur?

Parents have the sense that their young person really prefers to talk to friends or communicate via social media. They feel that they, as parents, don’t matter anymore. They feel rejected and pushed aside. They feel that their young person no longer has any respect for their opinions. Naturally, this is hard to take. On the other hand, teenagers feel that they are being treated as children. They feel their parents do not want a conversation but to dig for information or tell them what to do. It is not surprising that these misunderstandings lead to a situation where both sides feel irritated and frustrated with each other.

So what can be done?

Before trying to address the situation, remember: Timing is critical. Your teenager won’t always talk at the time that is best for you. Your teenager won’t talk about the things he or she considers to be private. Interrogation doesn’t work! Your teenager won’t talk if he or she thinks the conversation is going to turn into one. Your teenager won’t talk if he or she feels you are busy, distracted or likely to be interrupted. Despite the above, teenagers DO want to talk to their parents. So how can they learn to talk to each other? It’s helpful to understand some of the aspects of teenage life that have an impact on communication. Firstly, there are times when teenagers feel that they need to be in control of communication. They will talk, but in their own time, and in a way that feels safe for them. This is partly to do with lack of

confidence, but also to do with confusing emotions. Both these factors mean that it is not always easy to talk openly at any point. This means that parents will have more success in conversation with their teenager if they talk in a manner that makes their young person feel their views are respected. Good communication has to be a two-way street and talking and listening go hand in hand.

Secondly, it is important to recognise that during the teenage years, young people do need a degree of privacy to sort things out and work through them for themselves. They are striving to be independent individuals, taking decisions for themselves, rather than talking things through with their parents all the time.

Finally, we have begun to recognise just how much change is taking place in the brain of our young people during the teenage years. The brain is maturing and undergoing radical transition. It’s not easy for young people to adjust

March-April 2019

to such major change. As a result there are bound to be times when they struggle to behave in a grownup and sensible manner.

However, parents DO still matter to teenagers - hugely - and have a key role to play. They provide the endorsement, love and structure that makes a young person feel safe and secure. Without them, your teenager would be lost. However, you now have a different role from the one you had before. If you can step back and think about their needs, communication will improve. If you can listen, your teenager WILL talk.

Dr John Coleman trained as a clinical psychologist, and was formerly a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. He is the Founder of a research centre studying adolescents and their families. His book Why Won’t My Teenager Talk to Me? (Routledge RRP £15.99) is available from Amazon.

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Activities, Clubs & Classes · Parties · Classifieds


HARTBEEPS Award-winning, original, multi-sensory musical baby and toddler classes with original music, bubbles, costumes, twinkles, sparkly parachutes, puppets and more. Classes in West Kensington, North Kensington, Notting Hill, Shepherds Bush and Maida Vale. t: 07738 522856 Classes in Ealing, Fulham, Putney, Kew, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Wandsworth, Barnes and Acton.


DANCE GALLERY Dance Gallery is Ealing’s leading dance school and specialises in modern, jazz, tap and musical theatre productions for children aged 4-18 years. t: 0208 566 9672 ·

KENSINGTON BALLET 18 months - 2 years. Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill and Fulham. t: 07957 650 042 ·

STAGECOACH PERFROMING ARTS Provide fun and engaging weekly classes in dance, drama and singing in a safe and happy environment. Students aged 4 to 18 years are taught by a professional and experienced team of teachers. They offer two-week trials for all new students so that your child can try the class out. To enrol go to: Chiswick - 020 8398 4709 Hammersmith & Kensington: 020 8398 8106 Ealing: 01494 260249 WEST LONDON DANCE ACADEMY Ballet classes in Chiswick & Ealing. Free Trial Lesson. e: · t: 07795 578781

WEST LONDON SCHOOL OF DANCE 21/2 - 16 years. t: 020 8743 3856


ARTSED EXTRA Fun and engaging weekly Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance classes in Chiswick. Develop skills and grow in confidence! Available to children 4-16yrs of all abilities. e: · t: 020 8987 6692

HUZZAH Performing Arts & Mindfulness Build confidence from the inside out with a Huzzah weekly class. Drama, dance, singing and a touch of mindfulness. Ages 4 - 7. Saturday 1 - 2.20pm in Queen's Park. Sunday’s 10 - 11.30am in West Hampstead. Creative, calm, confident kids. Sign up for a FREE TRAIL at:

PERFORM Weekly drama, dance and singing classes for 412s. Perform is a unique children’s drama school that has a special emphasis on child development. Perform uses a mix of drama, dance and singing to bring out every child’s full potential. Run by highly experienced actor-teachers, in small groups, Perform classes focus on developing the 4 Cs: Confidence, Communication, Coordination, and Concentration. The perform curriculum ensures plenty of fun, using a mix of energetic games, catchy songs and funky dances. All class materials are written by Perform, with apps, CDs and videos that the children can play at home to keep the magic alive. Perform offer no-obligation FREE trial sessions. Visit: to book a FREE class today. Venues: Acton, Brook Green, Chiswick, Ealing, Earls Court, ,Hammersmith, Ickenham,

Kensington, Maida Vale, Notting Hill, Shepherds Bush, Turnham Green. e: t: 020 7255 9120

STAGECOACH PERFORMING ARTS Provide fun and engaging weekly classes in dance, drama and singing in a safe and happy environment. Students aged 4 to 18 years are taught by a professional and experienced team of teachers. They offer two-week trials for all new students so that your child can try the class out. To enrol go to: e: Chiswick: 020 8398 4709 Hammersmith & Kensington: 020 8398 8106 Ealing: 01494 260249


KIDDIKICKS Football (W2,W4,W8,W10,W11,TW8). For boys and girls from 18 months to age 7. e: · t: 020 7937 7965


SWIMMING NATURE Teaching babies, children and adults the fundamentals skills required to improve water confidence and learn to swim. For 25 years, our hands-on approach helps students reach their goals faster. Swimming Nature deliver lessons in Kensington, Hammersmith, Marble Arch. For more details visit or give us a call on 03445 040506.

time and they can come to the venue of your choice. Stagecoach Kensington: t: 020 8398 8106 Stagecoach Chiswick: t: 020 020 8398 4709


VICTORIA PAGE Private tuition 21/2 - 11 years. t: 07050 246 810

VIVIEN BORNEMANN Home tuition. Art, Craft and design. All ages. t: 020 8932 1010.


WEST LONDON BABIES Chiswick Sling Library, Family First Aid session, Breastfeeding Buddy sessions and Pregnant Parents Social Club. Also The Bub Hub which runs every fortnight and is a collective of professionals working together to support parents during the first year of their baby's life. Mums of More than One, 6-12 month old focus and lots more. t: 020 8090 8710


BOO BOO THE CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINER t: 07961 355269 SILLY MILLIE tHE CLOWN Parties for 3 - 9 year olds. Funny magic show, puppet’s, party games, silly songs and balloon animals. Impossible = I am Possible t: 020 7823 8329 or 07939 239 397


BIRTHDAY PARTIES AT ODDS FARM PARK For more information including full party terms and conditions and to book visit:


020 8987 8404 4 Acton Lane Chiswick Park W4 5NB BLUEBERRY PLAYSONGS Fun, inter-active, musical parties for the under 5’s since 1991! Guitar-accompanied songs with actions, joining in, instruments, games and dancing. t: 020 8677 6871 e:


PARTY PLUS They have a wide range of themed party ware available from stock. For mail order and more visit:



TUITION “HOME TUITION” FULLY QUALIFIED TUITION IN ART, CRAFTS AND DESIGN Help with exams for school, portfolio’s for college, or, just for fun!! ALL AGES WELCOME

Contact: Vivien Bornemann 020 8932 1010

Party Listings DRAMA

STAGECOACH Their themed parties for 4-10 year olds combine drama, dance and singing with a wide range of party games and storytelling all based around your chosen theme. You choose the date and the


For all your party needs, Balloons Partyware · Banners · Decorations and much more. 9:30am - 5pm Monday - Saturday.

ARABIC For Women and Children. Female teacher. t: 07956 845 053

PERFORM PARTIES Based around an exciting theme of your choice, Perform’s energetic party leaders use a magical mix of songs, games and laughter to create funfilled, action-packed parties to remember. Call 0207 255 9120 or visit: for more info.


ADAM ANTS PARTIES t: 020 8959 1045 or 07969 121094 e:


EXPLORE LEARNING Maths & English Tuition Centres. 5 -14 years. Free Trial session. Ealing 020 8090 8710 Hayes 020 8561 8530 Westfield London 020 809 01216


BETTY BLYTHE Specialises in bringing the Tea Service party to your own home or venue of your choice. They can also host up to 10 in their Vintage Tea room. e:

Profile for Families Magazine

Families West London March - April 2019  

Families West London March - April 2019