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Nursery & Childcare Messy Play to Ofsted - all you need to know IN THIS ISSUE

Bumper Easter Guide

Spring Days Out Egg Hunts Holiday Camps & Activities


Times Tables: Tips & Tricks Boost Learning with Clubs & Classes



100% Distinctions & Merits in our LAMDA and IDTA exams in 2018 FOR A FREE TRIAL, CALL


Issue 96 March/April 2019


Easter Wizard of Oz 8 - 22 April

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Thorpe House School in Gerrards Cross, proud to be tailored for boys.

A truly unique school in the local area, we are passionate about the benefits of single sex education and believe that boys need to be taught in an environment that supports their style of learning. If you’d like to find out why Thorpe is the first choice for our parents and their 3 - 16 year old sons, join us at one of our upcoming open mornings on: 5th March, 09.30 - 11.30 Friday 10th May, 09.30 - 11.30 Book your place at

thorpehousesch #TailoredforBoys

Editor’s welcome I hope you had a wonderful half-term!

Issue 96 | Mar/Apr 2019

In this issue 3 6

News & Views Easter days out

Early years special

9 10 12 13

Is your child’s vocabulary holding them back? Get messy An inspector calls Nannies and childminders - the same or different How to prepare for nursery nerves Top 5 baby apps for new parents Finding more family friendly work Five of the best scientifically-based parenting books

14 15 16 17

School matters

Learning the times tables – tips & tricks Can Eleven Plus prep be fun? Yes! How? Supporting your child with exam stress Noticeboard- School Open Days How extra-curricular activities boost learning Magnificent multi-camps, astounding activities & wonderful workshops! 30 Families interview with Meriet Duncan 18 20 22 23 24 26

What’s On guide

32 Get out and about with our round-up of what’s happening in March and April 38 Reading with Ed 39 Delicious carrot cakes in flower pots Tel: 01296 586586 email:

Editor: Chrissie Wilson. Design: Graphic Resolutions. Published six times a year.

UPCOMING ISSUE: May/June - Party special. Due out: 29th April. Advertising and editorial deadline: 1st April. Find us on Facebook: FamiliesChiltern

Follow us: @Familieschilter

The Easter holidays will be here before we know it. No sooner that one holiday ends, another begins! We’ve got everything you need to plan for Easter - from holiday camps to days out inspiration and all the best events to entertain the kids over the next two months. This issue is our early year’s special with plenty of great features, from the best baby apps to deciphering Ofsted reports and finding flexible work. ‘Messy play’ is making a come-back, we’ve even heard that the Duchess of Cambridge has been making a mess of the palace with papier mache as it’s good for development, so maybe it’s time for us to get out the slime and not worry too much about the cleaning. It’s always exciting when the sun comes out and we can tear open the doors and let the kids have some fun outside away from their screens – playing in the fresh air, climbing trees, scraping knees and baking mud pies in jungle kitchens. They’ll be grumpy teenagers before we know it, let’s not miss a moment to create real memories! Enjoy,

Call-out for volunteers as Scouts waiting list grows! The number of young people in Buckinghamshire involved in Scouting increased by 2% last year to 8,600, yet there are still over 1,700 children on the waiting list to join Buckinghamshire Scouts. James Palin, lead volunteer said, “Scouting provides so many different opportunities and experiences for young people and those involved are telling their friends at school, who then want to join. The challenge we have is to find more adult volunteers so we can start new sections.” For further information or to volunteer, please visit

Get ready to party! Our next issue is our ever-popular party issue, that includes all things partyrelated and a local directory so you can find everything you need to plan the perfect party. If you’d like to be included in this issue, contact us for more information, tel: 01296 586586 or email:

Congratulations to our competition winners from issue 94, November/December 2018: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Fiona Jenkins, Chalfont St Peter. Peter Pan: Kelly Lloyd, Wendover. My Mum Tracy Beaker: Ana Wainwright, High Wycombe

Reach over 40,000 readers, advertise in Families Chiltern, email:

Families Chiltern 3

News & views

Scouts & Girl Guides perform to raise money for YES - Youth Enquiry Service Now in its 33rd year, the High Wycombe Scout and Guide Gang Show will be taking place from 10-13 April at Lancaster Arts Centre, Wycombe Abbey School. The group members would love you to come along and enjoy the talent of 100 local members of the Scout and Girl Guide Associations and help them raise money for YES- Youth Enquiry Service. To find out more, visit www.

Lack of sleep damaging for children More than a third of primary school children are failing to get sufficient sleep, according to research by the University of Leeds. The study has linked poor sleep with difficulties in paying attention in class, keeping up with school work, forgetfulness and absenteeism. The NHS recommendation is that children of that age should get 10 hours sleep per night but the study discovered that out of 1,100 children ages 6 to 11, 36% were getting only eight hours sleep or less on a weekday night. Just under a third of children reported that worrying about school work was keeping them awake, whilst around one in six children reported that they found it difficult to sleep because of concerns about bullying or friendship. The researchers identified that children who had access to technology in their bedroom were more likely to experience a shorter night’s sleep and recommended that parents consider removing technology from their children’s bedrooms. More info at www.leeds.

4 Families Chiltern

Enjoy British Science Week Families can enjoy a ‘wonder-full’ time together during British Science Week 2019 which will take place from 8 to 17 March. Science Week is a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths with fascinating, entertaining and engaging activities for all ages taking place across the UK. Last year there were over 2,100 events involving almost 1 million participants. You can download a series of FREE activity packs at www. filled with resources and ideas to try out at home or school, without the need for a science background or expensive equipment. To find an event near you, visit

Are you needing extra support with your baby or toddler? Baby Beyond and You is the brainchild of Kerry Casey, a qualified paediatric nurse and health visitor. Through her work, she realised there was a gap in the market as the only support available was during the hours of 9am to 5pm and parents needed expert advice and help from an experienced health and childcare professional at all hours of the day. The new service was created to offer the right advice, practical guidance and support to expectant families and those with newborns and toddlers. It aims to empower parents to become confident and have happy, healthy children. A new mum said, “When Kerry stepped in to help us, we were exhausted and confused by conflicting advice. Kerry gave calm, reassuring and excellent practical guidance. She is an absolute angel!” If you require extra support, please contact her on 07704 426441.

News & views

Social media companies face government action

Trailblazing mental health care scheme for children Around 16,000 children and young people in Buckinghamshire are set to benefit from a new ‘trailblazer’ scheme to transform children’s mental health care and ensure those in need get the right support at the right time. The county is one of 25 areas across the country so far to receive Government funding for this new initiative, equating to £2 million over a two-year period. Two ‘Mental Health Support Teams’ are being created, made up of a range of health and care professionals, to work closely with 40 primary and secondary schools who were invited to apply to take part in the scheme last year. The schools involved will have their own senior mental health lead among their staff who will work closely with the Support Teams who can respond to mental health concerns pupils may experience. The scheme will also fund more child psychologists for Buckinghamshire, helping to ensure young people with more severe needs receive treatment as quickly as possible. Vivek Khosla, Clinical Director at Buckinghamshire Mental Health Services, said: “This is great news for children and young people, teachers and parents who will now be able to get advice and help at an earlier stage. We know that the earlier mental health problems are identified, the better the health outcomes for children and young people.” The scheme is intended to be rolled out and fully operational in Buckinghamshire over 2019/20. It is hoped the plan will be developed further in the future, allowing more schools in the county to become involved.

The government has announced its desire to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. Digital minister, Margot James, says, “There is far too much bullying, abuse, misinformation and manipulation online. We have heard calls for an internet regulator to place a statutory duty of care on platforms and are seriously considering all options. Social media companies clearly need to do more to ensure they are not promoting harmful content to vulnerable people.” A white paper is forthcoming. For more information on making the internet safer for your child, visit

Family safety week Accidents are the biggest killer of children and young people with at least one child under 5 killed each week. Every year, over 2 million children under the age of 15 have an accident in and around the home which takes them to A&E and half of the under 5s visiting do so as a result of a preventable accident. Family Safety Week, which commences on 1 April, is run by the RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) to help raise awareness of the ‘simple things you can do to stop your child becoming an accident statistic.’ RoSPA provides free resources and advice to help families keep children safe in their homes. Its free Keeping Kids Safe packs also enable schools, nurseries, playgroups and children’s centres to hold child safety session for parents. Find out more at

Newly renovated indoor pool & swim school launch On 30th January, Thorpe House School in Gerrards Cross and Seriously FUN Swimming Schools celebrated the launch of the school’s newly covered and renovated 18 metre indoor swimming pool and learn to swim facility. Olympic swimmer Adrian Moorhouse MBE hosted the ribbon cutting ceremony at the pool which is a joint venture between Seriously FUN and Thorpe House. The school pool will now be enjoyed by all pupils aged 3-16 years for lessons, galas and to train the elite school swimming team Seriously FUN will offer weekly, term time and school holiday lessons to the public for children aged 3 to 12 years of all abilities. They also offer classes at Teikyo Japanese School (Wexham), Aylesbury Grammar School (Aylesbury) and Chiltern Wood School (High Wycombe). To book, call 01753 364364 or visit Thorpe House School can be reached on 01753 882474 or

Helping children believe they can do anything Singing, dancing and acting classes for 4 - 18 year-olds AMERSHAM 01494 565402


AYLESBURY 01525 790795

BEACONSFIELD 07795 157014

HENLEY AND MARLOW 01494 533203

THAME 07376 361495

HIGH WYCOMBE 01494 533203

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.

If you have news for the next issue, email:

Families Chiltern 5

Spring fun


By Katie Taylor

Days Out

With so many events this Easter, it’s hard to know which ones to choose! So here’s our pick of favourite family days out that will make for a really special Easter.

Easter at the National Trust © Chris Lacey

It isn’t Easter without some newborn animals

Easter at the National Trust’s Cliveden Spring offers the perfect time to head outdoors and explore nature at the National Trust’s Cliveden near Maidenhead. Popular with families, features such as the storybook play area and giant Cliveden maze, have been designed especially with little ones in mind. From Saturday 6 to Saturday 27 April, join the annual Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt through Cliveden’s colourful spring-filled gardens on a fun family exploration. There will be nature themed activities to complete along the way with children needing to keep a look out for

can also take a self-led bluebell walk around the estate. Walks run between 10am and 5pm and are free (usual entry applies). Visit or call 01628 605609.

hidden clues, before enjoying a Cadbury’s chocolate treat at the end! The hunt is open from 10.30am until 3.30pm and costs £3 per child. Normal admission charges to Cliveden apply, but no advance booking is needed. As the hunt is available for 2 weeks, you can avoid the queues on Easter weekend and come earlier on in the school holidays. For those with a head for heights, why not take part in the tree climbing event taking place from Wednesday 17 to Friday 19 April. Challenge yourself and your friends to see who can get the best view from up high. Booking for this event is required and is suitable for ages 6 and up. £20 per place. Throughout April, families

Join the Quest for Carrots at Odds Farm Park from Saturday 6 April to Tuesday 23 April with a carrot themed Easter egg and carrot hunt. Not forgetting the new spring babies born at the farm, the re-opening of H2Odds Water Play, crafts, activities and shows with the OddSocks Family. For more information, call 01628 520188 or visit

What's On at Bucks County Museum

Samurai: Warriors of Ancient Japan Exhibition 6 April – 13 July Rock and Fossil Day Saturday 13 April, 11am – 4pm Easter in the Stuart Household Sunday 21 April, 11am – 4pm Monday 22 April, 10am – 5pm Don't forget to visit the Roald Dahl Children's Gallery for hands-on discovery and science. Information and booking tel. 01296 331441 Bucks County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP 6 Families Chiltern

Spring fun

Meet the Spring Babies this Easter at Green Dragon Eco Farm and Rare Breeds Centre near Aylesbury, daily from Saturday 6 April to Monday 22 April. Visitors can get close to the new arrivals, bottle feed lambs and win a family day out at the farm by taking part in the Quiz Trail. The Wildlife Zone and Pets Corner will be open for extra special animal encounters. Visit

NEW Wizard of Oz at Mead Open Farm Journey through the magical land of Oz this Easter at Mead Open Farm in their new immersive walk through experience. Plus, see new Easter shows and adorable baby animals. There’s also a new extended indoor play area and Grain Store Kitchen Café to discover, as well as lots of outdoor fun. Go to their website for entry details,

to costumed re-enactors. On 9 and 16 April catch Terrific Tuesdays, join in crafts and activities from 11am-3.30pm. Over Easter weekend, visit the newborn Oxford Down lambs born on the museum site, learn about the lambing traditions of the Victorian Chilterns and take part in the Easter trail or arts and crafts, all included in entry price. Visit to find out more. Over at Buckinghamshire County Museum and Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery in Aylesbury, on Saturday 13 April, mini archaeologists can explore the handson displays of rocks and fossils, meet experts or bring your own specimens to share with others at the Rock and Fossil Day. The event runs from 11am-4pm. On Sunday 21 and Monday 22 April, step back in time and discover what Easter was like in the Stuart household. This living history event includes meeting the household members their servants prepare for the Easter Feast under the watchful eye of King James 1. This event runs 11am to 4pm both days and entry to the museum is by donation. Visit

trail left by the Easter Bunny, find the eggs and join in spring craft activities. There are also the woods to explore and hunt for mini beasts. Best of all, this event is FREE, drop in between 10am and 3pm. Find out more at

Why not catch a show at Wycombe Swan Theatre Calling all palaeontologists! Dinosaur World Live is coming to the Wycombe Swan Theatre on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 April, meet the Tyrannosaurs Rex or maybe a Triceratops. This exciting show is suitable for ages 3 + and includes a 15-minute meet and greet session with the Dinosaurs. On Sunday 28 April Sooty comes to town with his Big Family Laughter show, this fun filled show brings magic and music as well as the chance to meet Sooty after the show. To book visit www.

More top picks… If you are a big science fan, Miss Honey’s Science School at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden is one for your Easter ‘to do’ list. This exciting workshop gives visitors the chance to take part in some awesome experiments and takes place on Friday 12 April and Thursday 18 April, visit If History is your thing, you can catch the brilliant stage production of Horrible Histories Barmy Britain on Saturday 27 April at the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham, to book visit If you are adventuring into London this Easter, you can see Tabby McTat by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, or experience the Kaleidoscope, an immersive event inspired by the way a baby develops senses at the Southbank Centre, www. Top museum choices while in London are the Transport Museum at Covent Garden or visit the Wallace and Gromit Stamp Exhibition at the Postal Museum,

Calling all Thomas the Tank Engine fans!

Extend learning during the holidays with an adventure at one of our fantastic museums The wait is over as Chiltern Open Air Museum in Chalfont St Giles reopens for the 2019 season with a by donation weekend on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March. Experience living history and visit the new World War 1 Nissen hut and talk

Head to Bucks Rail Centre in Quainton on Friday 19 to Monday 22 April to enjoy A Day Out With Thomas. Take a ride on Thomas himself, meet the Fat Controller and Percy the little green engine, take a miniature train ride or get your face painted and enjoy one of the live kids shows! Visit

Hop into spring and enjoy the great outdoors at Amersham Field Centre On Monday 15 April, drop into Amersham Field Centre for an Eggciting Easter Community Day. Visitors can follow the

For lots more fabulous holiday fun, check out our What’s On guide on pages 32-37.

Email: • Tel: 01296 586586

Families Chiltern 7

Early years special es 1 Ag o 1 t 2

Open Morning Tuesday 30 April 2019 0930 - 1130 hours

Book online at

Visit us to find out about all the opportunities Gateway School can offer your child. Whole School Open Morning: 9.30 - 11.30 on Saturday 9 March Call us on 01494 862407 or visit to book 1 High Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 9AA

Learn | Play | Grow Means-tested bursaries available for Reception entry 2019 Independent day school for girls aged 4 - 18 Pipers Lane, Great Kingshill, High Wycombe, Bucks HP15 6LP • 01494 718255 • @PipersCornerSch

Independent Day School for girls 4 - 16 years Day Nursery & Pre-School for girls and boys from 6 months

Abbot’s Hill is a happy and thriving community in which pupils are encouraged to aim high, to grasp opportunities, enjoy learning and to make lasting friendships.

Whole School Open Day Saturday 9 March, 10am-12pm Last tours begin at 11.30am. No booking is required.

Prep School Working Open Event Tuesday 26 March, 9.30am See our Day Nursery, Pre-School and Prep School in action. Please contact the Registrar on 01442 839169 or visit our website to book your place. Bunkers Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP3 8RP E:

8 Families Chiltern

Early years special

Is your child’s vocabulary holding them back? By Charlotte Gater One of the biggest factors affecting your child’s ability to progress at school is their language skills. If they cannot understand what is being said, or articulate their own thoughts, then school can be a confusing and isolating place. A recent speech by the Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, highlighted the need for children in the early years to develop good language skills, ‘because when you’re behind from the start you rarely catch up.’ According to the Department for Education, nearly one third of children aged 4 and 5 lack the language skills necessary to describe simple events or to even speak in sentences.

Here are some ideas you can fit into your busy lives in order to help your little ones develop their language skills: Encourage reading for pleasure from an early age This ensures that positive reading habits are set up from the start. Building a love of stories, books and reading is key to developing a child’s vocabulary. For very young children, create opportunities for sharing books throughout the day, not just at bedtime. Lead by example and let your child see you reading for pleasure as they become independent readers themselves.

Don’t be scared of using challenging language Children learn from what is being said around them, so if you model using a variety of language then your child will learn more and start to use different words themselves. Use more challenging words and then explain what they mean to increase their vocabulary.

Join the library Books can be expensive, and it may take time to find the types of stories that engage your child,so join the library and tap into this free goldmine!

Attend music classes or story time sessions These are also great ways to engage your child and build their language skills.

Label your house Involve your child in labelling items around the house so they can learn lots of new words. Write the words and get your child to trace over or copy them if they are able. They can also draw pictures on the labels to help them remember the words.

Talk with your child

Make word learning fun

Conversation is key to building language skills. Whether it’s over dinner, on the journey home from school or before they go to bed, take the time to have a chat with your child. Sometimes it’s hard to get anything out of children and ‘fine’ or ‘okay’ are given as standard answers. Try a few open questions to get them expanding their answers like, ‘what was the best thing about your day?’ Or; ‘Tell me about what you did at nursery?’

Play quick and easy word games such as ‘word of the week’ where points are scored every time the word is used in context correctly. Traditional games such as Hangman, Scrabble and Boggle increase literacy skills. ‘I Spy’ is good for younger children and can be adapted for older children to ‘I hear with my little ear’ and then giving a clue to the meaning of a word: for example “a word that means the opposite of ‘agree’” or “a word that explains how plants get energy”.

Harness technology Technology can help increase literacy skills if you use it in the right way. Some recommended resources are: Oxford Owl ( has a series of free e-books for 3 to 11 year olds, some of which you can listen to as well as read. There’s also lots of helpful resources you can use at home. Audio books are great when you’re traveling in the car or getting ready to go out. Listen to stories and then talk to your child about the story. Apps such as Pirate Phonics, Hairy Letters and Reading Eggs (www.readingeggs. are great to get started with language learning. When you are out and about, let your child take some photos to make a picture diary. Then when you get home, look through the photos and get them to describe what you did. You can also turn your adventures into a book. Book Creator (www. allows you to make 40 e-books of your own for free.

Email: • Tel: 01296 586586

Families Chiltern 9

Early years

Claire Sharp, Head of Early Years at The Beacon boys’ independent school in Amersham, explains how important Messy Play is for a child’s development.

Developing communication When children learn to play independently and co-operatively in the relaxed environment that Messy Play encourages, this really helps develop good communication with others, both between children and with adults. When adults are actively involved in Messy Play, there are plenty of opportunities for them to ask open-ended questions to encourage the child to verbalise what they are doing, or how they are feeling, and new vocabulary can be easily introduced whilst the children are playing.

As I was reading the Mr. Men story of Mr. Messy to my Reception class the other day, it occurred to me that as adults we tend to take on the role of Mr. Neat and Mr. Tidy, tidying up after our children and trying to steer them away from things that might make a mess, but I firmly believe that Mr. Messy had the right approach! Imagine your own children as Mr. Messy. How many times do we say “Please don’t do that! You’ll get sticky / dirty / messy!”? We fail to see that getting sticky, dirty and messy has a very important role in how children learn about themselves and their environment. Messy Play can be quite challenging for adults, but I would encourage you to take a deep breath, say a big thank you for the invention of the washing machine, and let them Get Messy!

exploration and offers so many wonderful opportunities for stimulating their senses - seeing, tasting, listening, touching and smelling.

Improving physical development Messy Play also really helps to improve physical development in young children. Both fine and gross motor skills are developed as the children roll and squash playdough, or stir and mix potions and paint.

Building self-esteem

Stimulating senses A major benefit of Messy Play is that it helps children to make sense of the world around them. For example, a tray full of jelly or cold, cooked spaghetti can provide lots of fun and

There are no rules or expectations when it comes to Messy Play. Children are free to explore, problem solve and think of their own ideas. In addition, as there are no right or wrong ways to play, this helps build children’s self-confidence and self-esteem.

Enhancing imagination Arts and crafts involving paint, glitter, collage and glue encourage children to let

Friday 17 May 2019 09:30 - 11:30

Leading Independent Prep Day School for boys aged 4-13 | Amersham, Buckinghamshire

Saturday 5 October 2019 10:00 - 12:00

Book your place 01494 432764



10 Families Chiltern



| Bus routes from Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, Penn, Hazlemere, Chalfonts, Jordans and Chorleywood Bursary Award Scheme available from Year 3


Early years

their imaginations run free and to express themselves unreservedly.

Preparation is key! If you’re thinking of introducing Messy Play into your little one’s day, remember, preparation is very important. Although Messy Play can be done indoors or outside, Messy Play is just that! It’s very messy! At The Beacon, we are fortunate to have a large outdoor space and a very easy-to-clean hard floor in our creative area. The reward

of watching the boys develop in confidence and skills totally outweighs the time spent cleaning up afterwards!

Messy Play ideas These ideas are ones that we have tried and tested in class and are very popular with our Beacon boys. 1. Shaving foam. We hide small toys for the boys to find or add spoons and containers for exploration. Kids foam soap is also fantastic. It is very similar to

shaving foam, but it comes in a variety of colours and can be moulded into shapes as it has a slightly firmer texture. 2. Cooked spaghetti and pasta. We add food colouring whilst it is cooking (if you do it after cooking, you will find that most of the colour will come off on the child’s hands!). It feels very sticky and is a little worm-like, but the children love the sensation of it in their hands. 3. Playdough. This is always popular. We use a non-cook recipe and add interesting items to it, such as glitter, colour, stars or dried lavender. The boys are given objects, such as cutters, rollers and cake cases, and are encouraged to manipulate the playdough into whatever they fancy making. 4. Ice. Freezing small toys in blocks of ice and encouraging children to think of ways of getting them out is fantastic for problem solving and is rich in language opportunities. 5. Arts and crafts. Paint, glue, glitter, collage and junk modelling are all amazing for encouraging imagination. If you like the idea of Messy Play, but are not quite feeling brave enough to risk your house, you can always come along to one of our Messy Play Mornings at The Beacon. Your children will have fun learning through play, and we will clean up after them! Our next Messy Play Mornings take place on Saturday 2 March, and Saturday 18 May, 10:00 – 12noon. Email admissions@ or call 01494 432764 to book your place at either or both sessions.

Email: • Tel: 01296 586586

Families Chiltern 11

Early years

An Inspector Calls! The role of an Ofsted Inspector in assessing a nursery setting Whilst there are lots of important considerations when choosing a nursery or pre-school for your child, it’s unlikely you’ll make a final choice without at least a cursory glance at the setting’s Ofsted report. The acronym is one used frequently by parents, but how many of us actually know what it actual stands for, or how a nursery or pre-school gets its Ofsted rating? Sangeeta Gardiner has been an Inspector for The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) since it was set up in 1992 and has conducted well over 150 inspections of nurseries, pre-schools, and child-minders. Becoming and remaining an inspector requires rigorous, ongoing training and examinations, meaning that Ofsted Inspectors are very knowledgeable. One of the key things an

Inspector examines is how a setting safeguards the children in its care. Inspectors check to make sure safeguarding policies are implemented, that staff have the relevant legal background checks and that they’ve been properly recruited. “I’ll ask staff members how they got their jobs” reports Sangeeta. “Being a friend of a friend is simply not good enough. I also probe more deeply if I discover staff members have moved around a lot.”

Open Mornings

Wednesday 6th March 2019, from 9am Saturday 11th May 2019, 10am – 1pm If you would like to attend one of our Open Days please contact the Registrar, Mrs Annie Bird on 01494 429006 or at Godstowe Preparatory School, Shrubbery Road, High Wycombe, HP13 6PR


Checking safeguarding arrangements also involves monitoring how children enter and leave the setting and what provisions there are for visitors. “It’s also important that children are being taught how to keep themselves safe” comments Sangeeta. “For example, they need to know that it’s dangerous to walk while holding a pair of scissors.” Changes in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) framework place more emphasis on the importance of a child’s emotional security, so Inspectors also observe how confident and secure children feel in their environment and in their interactions with others. Early year’s education is all about learning through play, but the word ‘teaching’ is still used in the EYFS framework. Staff ‘teach’ children about their world by asking them open ended questions. “I observe the language teachers use and how they’re interacting with a child” says Sangeeta.” I’ll ask staff why they have chosen a particular activity and how it contributes to a child’s learning.“ Ofsted Inspectors also observe children and then question the Key Person responsible for those children about them. “If a child is upset, the Key Person should be able to tell me about the child’s circumstances, for instance, if they are new to the setting” says Sangeeta. “There should also be information about a child’s development, and planning for a child’s next steps.”

So, what happens if there are issues with teaching methods? A lot depends on whether the majority of staff are working positively, and, where there are staff who are performing less well, that the manager of the setting recognises this. “Part of the inspection is a joint observation with the manager” says Sangeeta. ”If a staff member has set up an activity that hasn’t worked well and the manager isn’t aware of this, that needs to be addressed. However, if the manager is aware and can support a staff member to improve their skills, then this provides good evidence that the nursery is working well towards improving its provision.” Sangeeta owns two settings in Greater London. How does she ensure they meet Ofsted’s high standards in her setting? “Good communication and reflective practice are vital. As a team, each setting regularly fills out a self-evaluation form, so that everybody involved can reflect on what works and what doesn’t, and a clear direction can be formulated.” Sangeeta is always aware of what is happening at each nursery, but also stresses that the quality of her managers and teachers is exceptional. “The managers of my settings are experienced and well-established members of the team and have known many of the children and their families for a number of years.” You can find Ofsted reports for settings in your local area at

Early years

Nannies and Childminders: the same or different? By Sarah-Jane Butler There is sometimes a perception that a nanny is superior to a childminder. After all, a childminder looks after your child alongside others in their home, whereas a nanny is personal to you, works in your home and, unless you have a nanny share, looks solely after your child and, often, your house as well. Childminders must be Ofsted registered and have certain childcare qualifications. Some nannies may have higher level qualifications than childminders, such as an NNEB Level 3 in Childcare or a Childcare Degree. However, many actually have no qualifications at all and, in some cases, little experience either. Unlike childminders, nannies are not regulated and don’t have to be registered or have any qualifications. All a nanny needs in order to care for children is a DBS (formerly CRB) check and even that doesn’t have to be up to date. A good nanny agency will ensure that your nanny has the right qualifications and/or experience and is appropriately screened. However, the rise of internet search sites often drives parents to find a nanny online in order to avoid agency fees. Unsuitable nannies can therefore slip through the net and may be much cheaper than a childminder. Many parents also pay their nannies cash in hand without accounting to HMRC for the tax and national insurance they owe, so the savings overall may seem substantial. Do remember though that not paying tax or NIC is illegal and can carry substantial penalties if discovered. Not only that, but it unfairly deprives your nanny of any state benefits in the future. If you decide to employ a nanny, do make sure she has the right

skills, experience and/or qualifications. However much money you save, there is really no advantage in 1:1 care in your own home if the nanny you employ is inadequate or unsuited to the job. Sarah-Jane Butler is CEO and founder of Parental Choice, a one stop shop for advice and guidance on all your childcare needs, including payroll and employment contracts for nannies. For more information, please visit

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01494 726433 Families Chiltern 13

Early years

How to prepare for nursery nerves

It’s a big step to start nursery, not just for your little one, but for you too! Letting go of little hands on their first day is much easier if you prepare well ahead. The team at The Kiddies Academy Day Nursery, Deputy Manager Yasmin and practitioner Ashah, share their best tips to help smooth the transition between home and nursery. Together they have a wealth of practical and academic knowledge, having seen hundreds of children grow in their care. We all know the feeling we get when our little boy or girl is ready to step out into the big world to achieve their next milestone. So many questions race through our minds: Are we ready? Is my child ready? Will they be ok? We have many issues that we are looking to resolve and whilst doing so, we can make ourselves even more anxious and our nerves can transfer to our children. To overcome these thoughts and feelings, you can prepare yourself before the big day arrives by following a few easy steps. A few weeks before their first day: • The nursery is likely to offer settle in sessions which you should make the most of, bearing in mind that each child is different and the number of sessions your child requires will depend on their individual needs. • Prepare a list of questions before you arrive so you can ask them during the visit; no question or query is irrelevant. • Be open and honest with the nursery about your child’s needs and interests so the planned activities can be tailored to them. ‘All About Me’ is a good way to

put across children’s likes and dislikes and your nursery will often send you a form to complete. You can arrange to meet other parents beforehand for a coffee or play so you can discuss any anxieties together. It’s always nice to hear how other parents are feeling and it will also give your child a familiar face on their first day which will be reassuring for you all. Ask the nursery to add you to their mailing list and Facebook page so that you can learn about any upcoming events and what they do on a daily basis which will help you be more familiar with the general routine. Depending on your child’s age, you may want to see if the nursery follows a particular routine for naps/meals and start a similar pattern at home to allow the settling process to be seamless. Healthy foods are a big part of nursery and so giving your child some new experiences with different textures, smells and tastes will help encourage your child’s excitement to try something new.

The week before: • You can practice the journey to nursery together, talking about what you see

on the way and discussing where you are heading so your child can make a connection to their new nursery whist engaged in a fun conversation. • Prepare a comforter – having a comforter at nursery is a helpful resource to make the new space feel like a home from home. If children are to get upset, they have something familiar to help soothe them. • Read books with your child – it’s a nice idea to read a story about starting nursery and the new transition. A lovely story my children and I enjoyed reading together was Goat goes to Playgroup by Julia Donaldson. It’s a good way to speak with your child about their new environment and the many fun things they can expect and the new friends they will make. Nursery is a fantastic adventure and it’s a time to see your child begin to grow and develop, make new friends and become more independent. As nerve-racking as it may be to let go of your child as they enter nursery for the first time, it’s an exciting adventure for the whole family. The nursery team do very quickly become your life-long family.


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Early years

Top 5 Baby Apps for New Parents A new baby can cause untold disruption to routine and life in general. This is where the right apps can come into their own and make life a little bit easier. The following apps can help you track feeds, sleep times, find baby change facilities and learn new skills:

British Red Cross Baby and Child First Aid

White Noise

Baby Monitor 3G

There are lots of apps that play ‘white noise’ to help your baby go to sleep. White Noise Lite is on android and iPhone and plays ambient sounds such as waves crashing or rainfall. However, Spotify also has a great selection of white noise – and you reap the benefit of everything else Spotify has to offer. More info at

NCT Baby Change

A brilliant app created by the experts at the British Red Cross to help you keep your little ones safe. Packed with videos, easy to follow advice and a test section, it offers great reassurance on a range of baby-related issues at the click of a button, enabling you to act fast. More info at uk/first-aid/first-aid-apps

Allowing you to turn any connected device into a baby monitor, this app acts as a live audio and video baby monitor over Wi-Fi or mobile data and claims to have unlimited reach, working in a similar way to FaceTime or Skype. More info at

Baby Tracker This helps you to locate changing facilities to use in your surrounding area and aims to take the stress away from being out of the house. The app relies on parents providing feedback on changing facilities after use and adding any new locations to the map. More info at

This helps you track feeds, whether breast, bottle or solid so you can keep an eye on when and how much your baby is eating. There are also other baby feeding apps which can track things like which breast you last fed from, pumping sessions and how much breast milk you have stored in the fridge or freezer. Find out more at

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Families Chiltern 15

Early years

Finding More Family Friendly Work By Mandy Garner

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, 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 Internal Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility [CSR] Manager at

Carpetright. 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


Part-time Job Opportunity

Based in Amersham, Titans has provided fun and effective touch typing tuition for children (7-18 yrs) and adults since 2012. Due to expansion, an enthusiastic and engaging person is now required to both teach and help with some administration. A demonstrable interest in the motivation and development of children is essential; touch typing skills/own car an advantage; full training will be given. Work pattern negotiable/flexible; initially approx. 2-5hrs/week @ £20-25/ hour (inc. hol pay) + some travel expenses. You must be able to work some afterschool and school holiday hours. Possible franchise opportunity coming later in 2019 Further info requests/CV (by 30.3.19) to: Clare at 01494723631

16 Families Chiltern

Successful ‘business mum’ is seeking 5 working partners to work part-time from home, alongside & without compromising family commitments or current career. If you have a supervisory, managerial, sales, marketing, recruitment or self-employed background, or you wish to develop an extraordinary lifestyle,

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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. 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 mum-of-three Vicki Mawson, 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 www., 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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Early years

Five of the Best Scientificallybased Parenting Books An Expert’s Choice By Dr Sarah Kuppen New parenting books seem to pop up all the time – so much so that the choice can be a little overwhelming.

The Science of Mom The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby’s First Year by Alice Callahan takes a clear, nicely paced approach to talking the reader through the science behind some of the most contentious parenting issues. Callaghan covers research on many of the areas parents care about most, such as feeding and sleeping.

The Informed Parent

How can we know which guide will give us the answers to the questions that are most relevant to our needs, with an approach that we feel comfortable with? I came across and read a vast selection whilst I was writing my own parenting book. I used a science-led, evidencebased approach and while the selection of genuinely research-orientated parenting books is not particularly large, there are a few books that I would highly recommend:

Your Baby Week by Week Your Baby Week by Week by Simone Cave and Dr Caroline Fertleman was the book I used for my own children. It was a gift to us and I have given it many times as a gift to others. The thing that’s really great is that you can dip in and out of it, as and when you like. In those first few months when you’re really exhausted and all you want is a response to the exact question you’re looking for, this book provides specifics on questions on milk, sleep and crying time. The essentials to caring for your baby.

1-2-3 Magic

I really like The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child’s First Four Years by Tara Haelle and Emily Willingham. It’s obvious the authors have plenty of experience communicating science to the lay reader. Not only do they present the most up-to-date knowledge on controversial topics, they also discuss this in relation to the personal choices they made when raising their own children. Tara and Emily offer just the right amount of personal anecdote, making the review of the research evidence easy to digest and the book overall an easy read. I also like that they address in detail the thorny topic of sleep training and controlled crying.

With 1.6m copies already sold, 1-2-3 Magic: 3 Step Discipline for Calm, Effective and Happy Parenting by Dr Thomas W. Phelan is the book on discipline and young children. Phelan believes that all discipline situations can be sorted into two categories – the behaviours you want to start (such as tidying up or getting ready for school) and those you want to stop (such as whining, fighting or anything anti-social). While it can sometimes can feel overly controlling, this book is full of clear practical advice. Parents are certain to find something useful to add to their parenting repertoire.

How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A survival guide to life with children ages 2-7 by Joanna Faber and Julie King is part of a very popular series. Through the use of practical examples, the authors illustrate the unhelpful communication patterns parents often fall into when dealing with their kids. They also provide loads of story examples, which many parents will relate to, with examples of how to deal with them. There is something here for everyone.

Dr Sarah Kuppen is a chartered psychologist and senior lecturer in Developmental Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University. She specialises in early child development, writes a parenting blog at and is the author of Little Kids, Big Dilemmas: Your Parenting Problems Solved by Science.

Taking your daughter on a journey of wonder and discovery. What makes us special? Forming part of the Maltman’s Green School community our girls benefit from excep�onal facili�es, classes with specialist teachers, extensive outdoor spaces and cross year group collabora�on that helps develop social skills and build confidence.

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School matters

Learning the Times In 2020, it becomes compulsory for all Year 4 students 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 over 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 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 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.

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.

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 Independence

Encourage Laughter and Show you Care

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.

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.

Use Believable Praise

More tips from Anita can be found at

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.

To book a FREE confidence-building Perform drama class in Amersham, Beaconsfield, Berkhamsted, Gerrards Cross, High Wycombe, Tring, Tylers Green or Wendover, visit

Thursday 28

“Inspiring and achieving together, using our unique gifts given to us by God”

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School matters

Tables – Tips & Tricks Teach the Tricks

Everyone’s Different

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

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!

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.

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Families Chiltern 19

School matters

Can Eleven Plus Prep be Fun? Yes! How? By Kaitlin Lloyd, Manager of Flying Start Tuition, Berkhamsted.

Preparing for the Secondary Transfer test (more commonly referred to as the Eleven Plus) takes dedication, perseverance and hard work - on both your child’s part and your own. But it can also be great fun! In fact, preparing for the Eleven Plus (11+) can literally be child’s play. Here are our favourite ideas for building key exam skills in ways that are as enjoyable as they are effective. Non-verbal reasoning:


Non-verbal reasoning questions test visual reasoning, spatial awareness and logical reasoning ability. Family evening in: Complete a jigsaw puzzle, hold a family Jenga or Q-bitz contest or enjoy a fast-paced game of Dobble. Family day out: Support your child in plotting a car journey or walk on a map and have them lead the way. Chores: Ask your child to help you to interpret a set of IKEA flat-pack instructions, check you have all the necessary bits and assist you in putting it all together – taking care of small fingers of course! Independent activities: Invest in some child-friendly flatpack…Lego! Your child should mix following the instructions in a Lego construction kit with more imaginative, creative play. Computer-time can be spent playing Minecraft, Tetris or, for a real challenge, 3D Tetris.

The 11+ exam requires strong mental and written arithmetic skills and the ability to process information presented through word questions, diagrams, timetables and more. Questions cover material from the Year 5 syllabus and some Year 6 topics, such as algebra. Family evening in: Play maths bingo! Call out sums using the four operations and players who have the answer on their number card can tick it off. To increase the challenge, you could create number cards and questions using fractions, decimals and percentages. Alternatively, the popular card game Cribbage tests speedy mental arithmetic skills. Family day out: Embark on a maths trail through your local town. Ask maths-based questions inspired by your surroundings – look out for dimensions that can be estimated, timetables that can form the basis of time questions,

20 Families Chiltern

tessellating paving patterns and more - there is plenty of inspiration to be found online. Chore: Practise answering money-based questions whilst doing the weekly grocery shop. Your child can estimate the shop’s total cost, calculate whether it will be within budget, work out the savings that special offers equate to and check your change. Independent activities: Set puzzles like Sudoku, Kakuro and Hitori. All require logical reasoning and the ability to spot mathematical patterns, whilst Kakuro also builds arithmetic skills. To avoid boredom, introduce an edge of competition – a race against the clock… or yourself!

English: The exam includes comprehension, which assesses children’s ability to interpret and infer from lengthy written information, and cloze procedure, which tests whether children can identify vocabulary in context. SPAG skills (spelling, punctuation and grammar) are also rigorously examined. Family evening in: Snuggle up for a shared reading session. This could mean your child reading aloud to you, taking turns or you reading aloud and ensuring your child is following along. Make sure you discuss the text as you go along – encourage your child to retell, predict and empathise. Family day out: Take a trip to a museum to inspire your child to write a diary entry or newspaper report about their experiences. Chore: Give your child the responsibility of proofreading letters, emails to family or simple work documents. Include some deliberate errors

to give them the satisfaction of catching you out! Independent activity: Use story starters to get your child’s creative writing juices flowing, or have fun writing a short story together. Encourage as much reading as possible.

Verbal reasoning: The verbal reasoning section of the paper demands a high level of spelling and vocabulary, logical reasoning and pattern recognition. Family evening in: Expand vocabulary with board games like Scrabble, Articulate and Apples to Apples, with extra points awarded to those who can remember what new words mean at the end of the game! Family day out: Venture on a treasure hunt! You can use a ready-made map purchased online: Treasure Trails is one site that bases hunts on local towns. Ensure clues require logical reasoning to decipher. Chore: Challenge your child to reorganise your DVD or book collection into alphabetical order or categorise them by genre, publication date or any other connection they can make. Independent activity: Gift your child with a book of word puzzles like crosswords, word searches and cryptograms. Teach them how to write coded messages or write your own letter for them to decode. Need a little help preparing your child for the 11+? Flying Start Tuition’s awardwinning tuition programmes have something for everyone. To find out more, call 01494 772 898, email hello@flyingstarttuition. or visit www.

School matters


Verbal Reasoning



Accelerator courses ….get up to speed with the four 11+ subjects

Designed for children with little or no prior tuition who need to get their skills up to speed in a short space of time. Accelerator courses are organised into subject modules, covering the core areas of English, verbal reasoning, mathematics and non-verbal reasoning, so that you can choose the appropriate ones for your child. Our intensive Accelerator courses are 10 hours over 4 consecutive days during the Easter, May half term and summer holidays.

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Mathnasium of Amersham 29 Hill Ave, Amersham HP6 5BX Call 01494 729 726 eMail Mathnasium of Bramhall 36 Woodford Road, Bramhall SK7 1PA Call 0161 637 6050 eMail Mathnasium of Chiswick 261 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick W4 4PU Call 0207 993 2234 eMail Mathnasium of Clapham 122 Northcote Rd, Clapham SW11 6QU Call 0207 078 7000 eMail Mathnasium of Crouch End 29 Broadway Parade, Crouch End N8 9DB Call 0203 004 9404 eMail Mathnasium of Radlett 289 Watling St, Radlett WD7 7LA Call 01923 388 641 eMail

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Families Chiltern 21

School matters

Supporting your Child with Exam Stress By Vicky Bellman

We have come to the time of year when many children are preparing to face exams or tests at school. These exams or tests vary in their significance for your child’s future. For some, they will be the stepping stone to the next part of their educational journey and for others, an assessment of their progress this academic year. Regardless of which category the exams or tests fall into, exam time is likely to be a pressured and overwhelming time for most children and their parents. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you support your child at this time: Keep it in Perspective Yes, of course exams are important. But everyone involved needs to remember it’s not the end of the world if there’s a hiccup and things don’t go as well as expected. There is almost always another chance.

Help Manage Expectations Working longer than is advisable

Encourage Good Work Habits

a break. It’s important not to schedule too many study sessions in one day – one or two would be the appropriate maximum for this age group on a weekend or school holiday day, but less if they are also managing homework. Otherwise your child will become stressed and it’s much harder for them to learn under pressure.

Primary school children may find it hard to sustain concentration for longer than 30 minutes without

Remember the Building Blocks

for their age, or expecting grades significantly higher than their capabilities could well be detrimental to your child’s emotional and mental well-being. It’s important you guide your children appropriately in this area.

Again, when it comes to the real basics, we can easily forget the building blocks for emotional wellbeing. Make sure that your child is getting enough good food, water and sleep!

Free Time is Vital

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22 Families Chiltern

It’s a difficult balancing act, but it’s important to remember that primary school age children need plenty of free time - structured studying has to be balanced with plenty of unstructured free time. Relaxation and fun are vital. Getting outside to play and spending time relaxing with family

and friends are super-important at this time. A useful analogy to share with your children is that human beings are basically machines. We need fuel, and we also need to switch our engine off every now and again. Otherwise, we risk overheating! On any long-term journey in a machine, comfort breaks and fuel fill ups would be an accepted and necessary part of the journey. Humans are no different.

Make Time for You You can’t pour from an empty cup. Your children need more from you when preparing for and going through exams or tests. To be able to give more you need to be able to have more fuel in the tank.

Connection is Important Make sure you have family down time; perhaps, watching a movie one night with popcorn, or going for a family walk, or day out. Don’t just save the treats for the exam results, as this reinforces to children that they have more value when they achieve more. Let them know that their wellbeing and enjoyment of life is as vital when they’re striving for success, as well as when they’re achieving it.

Calm Little Minds is the leading specialist in Buckinghamshire, delivering prevention, intervention and treatment of emotional difficulties for children and families.

Email: Website: Telephone: 07395 636 382

Vicky Bellman is a counsellor at Fegans, a Christian charity which counsels children and provides support for parents. For more parenting advice on stress and mental health, visit parent

School Noticeboard

Independent School Open Days Abbot’s Hill School

Whole School Saturday 11th May 10.00-13.00.

Whole School Saturday 9th March 10.00-12.00. Prep School Working Open Event Tuesday 26th March From 9.30 (booking required).

If you would like to visit, please call the Registrar on 01494 429006. High Wycombe, co-ed nursery 3–5 yrs; co-ed pre-prep 5–7yrs; girls 7–13 yrs.

To book, call 01442 240333 or go to Girls 4–16 yrs, boys 6mths–5 yrs.

Heatherton Co-Ed Nursery and Girls Prep

Bedford Girls School

Friday 1 March 10am-12pm. Friday 10 May 10am-12pm.

Wednesday 6th March & Thursday 2nd May 10.00-13.00.

Please reserve your space online. Girls 7–18 yrs,

Berkhamsted Day Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep

Call Admissions on 01494 726433 or email to book your place. Amersham, Co-ed nursery and girls 5-11yrs,

Maltman’s Green School

Friday 1st March 9.00-12.00.

Call Admissions on 01442 358001, email or visit the website to book your place. Co-ed, 6mths – 11yrs,

Gateway School Saturday 9th March 9.30-11.30.

If you would like to attend, call 01494 862407 or go to Great Missenden, co-ed 2–11 yrs.


Whole School: 22nd March & 14th June 10.00-12.00. Stay & Play Complimentary Session for 1-3 yrs: Saturday 18th May (booking required). Gerrards Cross, Girls 2–11 yrs, booking encouraged on 01753 883022,

Pipers Corner School Tuesday 30th April 9.30-11.30. Book your place online at High Wycombe, girls 4–18 yrs.

Early Years & Pre-Prep Wednesday 6th March From 9.00. Years 3-8 (Prep) Thursday 7th March From 9.45.

St Mary’s School See the School in Action: Wednesday 6th March, Prep: 9.30-12.00, Senior school: 9.30-13.00. Gerrards Cross, girls 3–18 yrs,

The Beacon Friday 17th May 9.30-11.30.

If you could like to visit, call 01494 432764 or email Amersham, boys 4-13yrs,

Thorpe House Tuesday 5th March & Friday 10th May 9.30-11.30. Book your place online, Gerrards Cross, boys 3–16 yrs.

St Teresa’s School Thursday 28th March Saturday 30th March

9.00-11.00. 10.00-12.00.

Please call to book an appointment on 01844 345005 or at Princes Risborough, co-ed rising 3–11 yrs.

Westbrook Hay Prep School Saturday 9th March 9.30-12.30. Friday 17th May 10.00-12.00. Book your place online at Hemel Hempstead, co-ed, 3–13 yrs

Please check school websites in advance of visiting open days.

An outstanding Independent Prep School for boys and girls aged 3-13 years

Happiness, Confidence, Success


Saturday 2nd March, 9.30am – 12.30pm Friday 17th May, 10.00am – 12.00pm

I believe in the spirit of inquiry Open Mornings Wednesday 6th March, 10am Thursday 2nd May, 10am

Contact: 01442 256143 London Road, Hemel Hempstead HP1 2RF

Telephone: 01234 361918 Bedford Girls’ School is part of The Harpur Trust

Email: • Tel: 01296 586586

Families Chiltern 23

Clubs & classes

How Extra-Curricular Activities Boost Learning Taking part in extra-curricular activities after school can have a positive impact on children academically and socially. Claire Winter explores how. Learning something outside of the classroom can give children a sense of wonder about the world, and more time to explore their wider interests. Extracurricular activities are also useful for broadening their academic and social lives. Fiona Todd, Executive Head teacher from The Rural Church Schools Academy Trust (www. explains that with a much narrower curriculum than in years gone by, children need to do extracurricular activities to experience a wide range of disciplines and to develop socially. “Pupils who focus entirely on their studies do so often at the expense of their development as social beings. Rather than distracting pupils from their learning, extracurricular activities complement study and help to develop key skills that will support them in their future.” Lots of studies have shown that extra-curricular activities can boost academic performance in children. They also have

better organisational and time management skills because they have to balance their hobbies and school work. Being part of a team or an after-school activity can also be a great boost to their self-esteem. Teamwork and being part of a group, like a Brownie pack or Scouts, also helps children understand about loyalty and showing up for other people. Stepping away from the curriculum also means your child will enjoy their academic work more because they have had a break and can look at it with fresh eyes. Joel Sadler, engineer and founder of Piper (www.playpiper. com), the award-winning STEM DIY Computer Kit, is passionate about giving kids time to explore and make things. “Think back to your early childhood and visualise the learning moments you cherished most. Do you see a dusty chalkboard with math equations? Or do you see that thing you did, or built that made you

feel proud?” Joel says what he learnt outside of school shaped what he did as an adult. “I don’t remember the equations - but I do remember being creative with my hands with LEGO blocks, making mischief with DIY potato canons and trying to hack bootleg floppy disk video games to run on my family DOS computer.” He points out: “History also highlights extra-curriculars as a secret sauce to unlocking creativity - successful innovators all have stories about key learning moments as kids that got them on a path of creating technology. Those epiphanies typically happen far away from the classroom. A young Bill Gates was busy taking apart his family piano (and not putting it back together), teenage Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak hacked DIY electronic kits together to prank their friends and make free phone calls. The seeds of learning and innovation may be planted in the classroom - but they grow and blossom in your free time.” Extra-curricular activities also equip children with skills they need later in life. Doing something like leading a scout

Quote: 'Families' for a FREE taster class

Eleven Plus Test Preparation, Maths and English tuition. Holiday courses available. Tuition tailored to suit your child’s learning needs, after school and on Saturdays. Pen and Ink Tuition Ltd 25 High Street Chesham Bucks HP5 1BG 01494 773300 24 Families Chiltern

group or learning first aid to help others encourages responsibility and shows children how to look after others. External clubs and classes also provide important social opportunities. Making friends outside of school means exposure to new and different people and the opportunity to learn about different individuals, cultures and lives. But how much extra is too much? Fiona Todd emphasises the importance relaxation time. “Children need to achieve a balance and have some ‘downtime;’ sometimes it is good for them to sit and be bored! In schools, we often see tired children due to parents overscheduling the number of out of school activities their child takes part in.” Getting that balance right can be tricky. Spend some time with your child and talk to them about what interests them, do some research on the local clubs and classes in your area and go and try them out. Many will offer a free trial session. Being passionate and committed to something outside of school will really help your child in later life when it comes to choosing further education and a career.

Structured and fun swimming lessons in Aston Clinton, Aylesbury, Buckingham, Wendover & Weston Turville Contact the team for more info; 01869 226223

Clubs & classes

Classes held Every Monday at 4.45 p.m. Chalfont Leisure Centre Nicol Road, Chalfont St. Peter SL9 9LR Ch

Every Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Beacon Centre

For more information please contact us on

Holtspur Way Beaconsfield HP9 1 RJ

07709327274 or 01753 882012

Email: • Tel: 01296 586586

Families Chiltern 25

Holiday camps

Magnificent Multi-Camps, Astounding Activities & Wonderful Workshops!

How can you keep your children occupied this Easter? Well look no further, our extensive list of exciting Easter entertainment should provide something for everyone, most which will be running during the summer holidays too. These activities can build resilience, sharpen social skills, encourage positivity, maximise health & happiness and may assist in finding a unique interest for your child to pursue. What are you waiting for? When you call, don’t forget to mention Families Chiltern.

Be happy & active at Kids Play Activity day camps Based at Mead Open Farm, Leighton Buzzard, little adventurers aged 4-11yrs will have maximum holiday fun from 8.30am-5.30pm come rain or shine. There’s the indoor PlayWorld, go-karts, A-Maizing maze and hands-on animal activities to name but a few to keep your children entertained. Call 0333 1230037 or visit www. for more information.

Multi-Activity Day Camps Have amazing adventures with a holiday activity day at an ALF village These fun days are for 8-14 year olds looking to explore some adventurous activities. The days run 8.45am-5pm and a packed lunch is provided, all for £40. 9-18 April at Longridge, Marlow & 8-19 April at Green Park, Aston Clinton. Find out more at or call 03303 030101.

Banish the boredom blues with BASECAMP this Easter

This camp engages children through multi-sports and arts & crafts, keeping them active while making friends in a fun environment. It runs every school holiday 8am-6pm for 5-12yrs and costs £22/day. Climbing for 7+yrs is available on Tuesdays & Wednesdays 2-3pm for an extra £3, prebooking is essential. For more information or to book, visit

Berkhamsted School’s excellent indoor & outdoor facilities provide the perfect location for a range of courses in the school holidays. Various options are available, from multi-activity camps for ages 5–11 to specific sporting camps, including cricket, tennis & netball. Non-sporting courses include Easter treats cookery, arts & crafts, Chinese language & culture, IT computing. Plus, there’s a forest school for 3-7yrs where they can explore and discover nature and an outdoor adventure course for 7-11yrs. For 3–5yrs there is MiniBASECAMP, where children can safely experience a range of age appropriate activities to develop sporting, artistic & social skills. BASECAMP is available every school holiday, most courses run 9.30am to 4.30pm and there is a wrap-around care option extending the day to 8am-6pm. For further info, visit www. or call 01442 358115.

Easter and summer tennis and multi-sports camps plus term-time coaching at Chesham Bois Tennis Club These camps and after school courses cater for all standards and we welcome players as young as 2 yrs old. Come and have some fun at Chesham Bois Tennis Club. Apply early to avoid disappointment.

Visit for an application form or call Peter on 07885 206587

26 Families Chiltern

Get active at Wycombe Leisure Centre

Have bundles of fun at Barracudas Activity Day Camps Easter holiday entertainment is sorted for 4.5–14 yr olds with a brilliant programme of over 80 amazing activities. Standard hours are 8.30am to 5.30pm and cost £40/day. The camps run at Wycombe Abbey and Hemel Hempstead Schools from 8-18 April. Early & late pick-ups are available to extend the day from 8am to 6pm. Visit www.barracudas. or call 01480 467567 for further details.




Hip Hop


Musical Theatre Fun Dance Classes Amersham


High Wycombe



Pre-school classes Tylers Green

Gerrards Cross

Popstar Parties Street Dance Mamma Mia High School Musical Grease Frozen MER SUM HOPS Princess and Pirate Parties S K WOR W NO G IN BOOK

E: T: 07765 114444

Holiday camps Be entertained, energized & active with Clubsport

Have an awesome time with Get Active

Running every day of the holidays, Beechview School in High Wycombe & Holtspur School in Beaconsfield are the venues for these active multi-sports camps. Offering a wide range of activities such as netball, dodgeball, archery & basketball for 5-14yrs and run from 8.30am-4pm, extended day available with pick up at 6pm. Visit or call 01494 700817 to find out more.

These exciting, energetic & educational camps designed for 4-12yrs promise fun & imaginative sports sessions combined with challenging games, activities & themed arts and crafts. They are running from 8-18 April at Prestwood Junior School and Redgrave Sports Centre in Marlow. Choose from 8am-3.30pm at £24.95/ day, 9.30am-6pm at £26.95/day, 9.30am3.30pm at £19.95/day or 8am-6pm at £28.95/ day. Find out more on 01344 860868 or www.

They won’t be bored with Busy Living Playschemes There is plenty of fun in store for children 4-11yrs at the Busy Living Playschemes- build dens, learn new skills such as martial arts, off-site trips to the woods and make new friends. The holiday clubs are held every day of the holidays from 8am-6pm at St Joseph’s in Chalfont St Peter and Bearbrook School in Aylesbury. Sibling discount is available. To enquire, call 07866 763 716, email or visit

Be wowed at Woodrow High House Day Camps From 8th-18th April, the beautiful grounds and facilities of Woodrow High House are the perfect setting for lots of fun and games this Easter, for age groups 5-7yrs & 8-11yrs. The camps run from 9am-5pm and costs £38/day (with a 10% sibling discount) or £152 for the week (one-day free). Extended hours are available from 8am to 6pm- £43/day, £172/week. For more info, visit or call 01494 432433.

Burn off some energy at The Elms multi–sport camp This Little Chalfont based sports camp offers an array of activities such Tag rugby, football, cricket, basketball, hockey, dodgeball & indoor games. It is running 8-11 & 15-18 April for 4–12yrs, at a cost of £140/4 days or £39/day. Half days are also available. Find out more by calling 020 8954 8787 or visit

Get physical at a Premier Sport camp Keep busy, active and have fun with a huge range of activities & sports. Designed for 5-12yrs and running at Manor Farm School, High Wycombe and Wendover Youth Centre, there’s a choice of 8am-5.30pm, 9am-3.30pm & 9am1pm. Performing arts courses are also available. Visit or call 01953 499040.

Outdoor & Nature Go on an adventure at Amersham Field Centre There’s fun to be had for 5-11yrs at Amersham Field Centre at Mop End. On 16 April there is a bug hunt for 5-7yrs and young naturalist session for 8-11yrs. On 17 April for 5-7yrs there is an Easter Eggsplorer session and for 8-11yrs there is an Easter Eggstravaganza event. Choose from half days at £12.50 (9.30 to 11.30am, 5-7 years) or full days costing £25 (9.30am to 3pm, 8-11 years), extended hours are available plus 10% sibling discount. To book, call 01494 721054 or visit There is also a free Easter Community day for all ages on 15 April, drop-in 10am-3pm, children must be accompanied by an adult on this day.

Go wild in the woods Outdoor Forest School inspired fun for 5-10yrs in Gerrards Cross. Enjoy games, woodland crafts and bushcraft activities in the woods, dell and meadow. Velarium Holiday Club with Under the Canopy Forest School, 15-16 April, 10am-12pm. Call 07971 406 671 or visit:

Creative Arts Feed your imagination with a craft workshop Queens Park Arts Centre in Aylesbury is the location for some fabulous creative daily workshops for 7+yrs, running from 8-12 April, 10am-3pm at a cost of £20 for members & £24 for non-members. For workshop details, visit or call 01296 424332.

Dance yourself dizzy with Tring Park’s Easter dance course An intensive course offering a range of dance genres taught by highly experienced professionals. Evening activities provided plus talent contest in the on-site theatre & a trip to see a show/dance performance. 15-18 April for day pupils aged 8-16yrs, at a cost of £352, 14-18 April for boarders aged 9-16yrs at a cost of £473. Previous dance training essential (ballet, grade 1-advance 1 standard or equivalent.) For further details, visit or contact:


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Have a splashing school holiday! Group Swimming Intensive Courses Private 1-2-1 Lessons

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Book online at

Rated 5 Stars - Jan 2019

they can’t wait to come back!

For more activities & events, find us on Facebook & Twitter @FamiliesChiltern

Families Chiltern 27

Holiday camps Alice in Wonderland: Perform’s three day Easter holiday course for 4-10s This April, your 4–10 year old can have fun tumbling down the rabbit-hole into the topsyturvy world of Wonderland. Their dynamic team of actors, singers and dancers will inspire and encourage your child as they create a thrilling performance for family and friends. Alice in Wonderland runs in Beaconsfield, 15-17 April, 10am3pm. Contact 020 7255 9120, email enquiries@ or visit for further details.

Get creative & express yourself at Mini Monets Art School An inspirational art camp in Chalfont St Giles for 5-14yrs where children not only create, they can learn about techniques, materials & the subject of art from a professional artist. Running 15-18 April and costing £55/day or £199/4 days choose from Lego Robot wars & Manga workshop, Drawing & painting contemporary art, sculpting and graffiti & street dance! For more information, contact Debra on 07900 212499 or visit

Sport specific Perfect your tennis with Peter Lavery Tennis camps The aim is to make sure your children have fun at Chesham Bois Tennis Club whilst also teaching them tennis – from the basics at tots level (2-4yrs) and mini red level (4-7yrs), to fine-tuning their technique as they get older & more confident (8+yrs). Find out more by calling Peter on 07885 206587, email or visit www.

AMERSHAM ADVENTURES Fun outdoor holiday activities for 5-11 year olds

Tuesday 16th April Bug Hunt 5–7 year olds Young Naturalist 8-11 year olds

Wednesday 17th April Easter Eggsplorer 5–7 year olds Easter Eggstravaganza 8-11 year olds

Easter Community Day Monday 15th April FREE! Drop in between 10am-3pm. No booking required but children must be accompanied for this event

Book Family Activities Online

Amersham Field Centre, Mop End, HP7 0QR All sessions led by friendly and professional tutors. Activity days: 9:30am – 3pm Extended Hours available Tel: 01494 721054

Improve your water confidence with Seriously Fun Swimming

Awe-inspiring inventions with Little House of Science

Running at Aylesbury Grammar school or Thorpe House School from 8-12 April at a cost of £80 are intensive swimming courses for a variety of levels. Take a look at or call 01753 364364.

Children will discover the most amazing inventions of humanity: hot air balloons, airplanes, rockets, cars, submarines and Mars exploration rovers. They will also learn the stories of people who wanted to explore the unknown and dared to dream big. 16-18 April, 10am3pm for 4-9yrs at Chalfont St Peter Community Centre, £45/day, £120/3 days. To find out more, call 0800 092 1062, email or visit,

Educational Sharpen your skills with Flying Start Tuition 11+ accelerator courses will be running as follows: 8-11 April, 9.30am-12noon (non-verbal reasoning or English) 1-3.30pm (Maths or verbal reasoning), 15-18 April, 9.30am-12noon (English or Maths), 1-3.30pm, (Verbal or non-verbal reasoning). For course availability, bookings & info, contact: 01494 772 898, email or visit,

Prepare for the 11+ with Marie Redmond Tuition Intensive 4-day 11+ Easter Courses for Year 5 pupils created by Marie Redmond MEd and led by qualified, experienced teachers. The course focuses on exam techniques and skill gaps, in small classes. Educational games and activities are an integral part of the course which runs 1518 April, 10am-1pm in Amersham, Beaconsfield & Stoke Poges. For more details, call 01494 956 809, email or visit

Get some extra practice with Pen & Ink holiday courses Easter holiday 11+ refresher & catch up sessions in Chesham for year 5. 8-12 April, 10am-12noon, £40/session. 8 April: comprehension & cloze; 9 April: fractions, decimals & percentages; 10 April: mixed calculations & word problems; 11 April: verbal reasoning & 12 April; non-verbal reasoning & spatial reasoning. Call 01494 773300 or visit

Science & Superheroes with The Kiddies Academy Fun and exciting holiday camp on 8-18 April for children aged 4-8yrs at The Kiddies Academy Day Nursery in Beaconsfield. Slime making, yoga, sports, cookery and lots more activities to keep the children exited and stimulated throughout the day. Week 1: Superheroes; Week 2: Science. 10am-3pm, £30, includes lunch and snacks, (extra hours 8am-6pm available). Find out more at www.

Get baking at Beverley Glock Cookery School Beverley Glock will be at Berkhamsted Basecamp on 8 April running a full day workshop from 9.30am-4.30pm for 7-14yrs and costs £70. Make pasta from scratch, a ragu or vegetable filling and béchamel topping finishing off with a classic Italian orange polenta cake. Call 01442 358115 or visit On 10 April, an Easter baking workshop is running in Princes Risborough for 5-12yrs from 10am-1pm and costs £50. The children will make carrot cake in terracotta pots, model rabbits & carrots in sugarpaste, Easter biscuits & hot cross scones. Visit www. or call 01844 275692.

Become a talented typist with Touch Type Titans Easter touch typing course in Amersham for 9+yrs in a fun, comfortable & rewarding environment. Runs 8-12 April, 2-5pm, £145, plus £25 for recommended software. Other courses and private tuition also available. For more details visit www.touchtypetitans. com or call Clare on 01494 723631.

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 they 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, simply visit and get your place booked as sessions begin May 2019.


Ofsted Good Clubs in school holidays Flexible bookings between 8am - 6pm at Chalfont St Peter & Aylesbury. Range of activities for 4 - 12 year olds Sibling/full day bookings discounts. 01494 722318

Join us for a fun and interactive, Science Club! It follows the school curriculum, STEM and covers many exciting topics each week such as: the Universe, Stars, Chemistry and an introduction into Physics. Various locations in Buckinghamshire. See website for details: https://buckinghamshire. Or call us: 079 234 69636

28 Families Chiltern

Holiday camps

Holiday Courses Sum_180x130mm_2019_AW.qxp_Layout 1 13/11/2018 12:10 Page 1

Holiday Courses 2019 summer term

Summer Acting Course (10-16 years) Sunday 4 – ThurSday 8 auguST

Summer Dance Course 1 (8-16 years) Sunday 4 – ThurSday 8 auguST

Boys Day of Dance and Paul Watson Bursary (7-16 years)

Summer Musical Theatre Course (10-16 years) Sunday 11 – Friday 16 auguST

Sunday 19 May

Summer Dance Course 2 (8-16 years)

Summer Day of Dance (7-16 years)

Sunday 18 – ThurSday 22 auguST

TueSday 28 May

Musical Theatre Day (7-16 years) WedneSday 29 May

Junior Acting for Camera Day (7-13 years) ThurSday 30 May

Junior Ballet Intensive Day (7-13 years) Friday 31 May

Tring Park holiday Courses are a great way to find out more about Tring Park associates and the main school. Participants get to meet new, like-minded friends and experience different genres.


New for High Ropes &


Bushcraft China Camp

Additional hours available 08:00 - 18:00



Arts & Crafts

Forest School

Computer Skills


Email: • Tel: 01296 586586

01442 358115 Families Chiltern 29

Families Interview

Is it true that without bees, In recent years, there have been worldwide concerns with regards to honeybees who are suffering a decline in their population, and the detrimental effect that this would ultimately have on ecology and the environment. Local beekeeper, and children’s author, Meriet Duncan’s recently published book Betsie Valentine and the Honeybees is a beautifully illustrated adventure that aims to educate children about the importance of the humble honeybee. Families met with Meriet to find out more.

What inspired you to write Betsy Valentine and the Honeybees? In 2015 my first grandchild was born, a grandson. As any grandparent will tell you, the arrival of a grandchild is life changing, it’s a wonderful experience that takes you quite by surprise. I have three sons and two nephews and was, of course, thrilled to have a grandson! However, out of interest, I asked my son what he would have called a daughter and he said, “Betsie Valentine.” I loved the name and, for some reason, it stuck in my mind and I built up an image of how she would have looked and as quickly as that happened, it all disappeared somewhere into my subconscious! A couple of months later, I was inspecting my bees when a little bee landed on my cuff.... I glanced down at the bee and she seemed to be looking at me and a rhyme popped into my head and I said it out loud to her! She turned in a circle and stayed where she was. I don’t know why, but I wrote the rhyme down. I carried on with the inspection repeating the rhyme over and over. On my way home, I started to think about the little bee that had landed on my cuff and the rhyme I had made up and I suddenly thought – “That’s it! I am going to write a children’s book about a little girl who, through the power of a magical rhyme, turns into a honeybee and learns all about the secret life of the honeybees! I will visit schools and anywhere that will have me, to talk to children and adults about the importance of honeybees.” And so, Betsie Valentine was born. She was, I say, a gift from somewhere for which I am very grateful.

Why are bees so important? Honeybees perform a task that is crucial to the survival of agriculture: pollination. Globally, there are more honeybees than other types of bee and pollinating insects, so it’s the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. Honeybees make an invaluable contribution to ecosystems around the world. Seeds, fruits and berries eaten by birds and small mammals are all from plants that are pollinated by honeybees, making them the guardians of the food chain and the biodiversity of our species. They have co-evolved with flowering plants over millions of years. The bees need the flowers for foods, while the flower needs the bee to reproduce. And now as a result of honeybee farming, the honeybees are in danger; we need the bees for our survival and the bees now need us in order for them to survive.

What can we do to protect the bees in our garden and help them to flourish? We can plant bee-friendly flowers and flowering herbs in our gardens. Pop a stone in your bird bath so the honeybee can land on it and drink water. Buy local and raw honey and don’t use chemicals and pesticides to treat your lawn and garden. Finally, join your local beekeeping association and become a beekeeper. 30 Families Chiltern

Families Interview

,we may cease to be? How can we educate our children about this topic? We can educate our children by encouraging them outside – into the garden, or by taking them on walks. We can point out the bees and insects that are on the flowers, point out the wild flowers, weeds, crops etc and tell them what it is they are doing and why it is so important. We can encourage schools to have apiaries and help to support them.

What was it about the humble bee that sparked your interest? I became a beekeeper as a result of a conversation with someone around a dinner table. There is another book in that story! The moment I was taken to an apiary and one of the beehives opened up for me to see inside, something inside clicked and I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. The more I learned about the honeybees, the more I wanted to know and the more I wanted to be a part of their conservation.

How do you raise awareness of the plight of the bees?

Day Nursery & Pre-school 30 hours funding is available!


Day Nursery and Pre-School

As a local author, where do you find your inspiration? I find my inspiration from where I live, in the heart of the beautiful Chilterns. I have a great love of outdoor life. I have a horse and a dog, so I spend a lot of time outside amongst nature. It is not difficult to become inspired when out and about in the fresh air, walking a dog or riding a horse!

Would you recommend self-publishing and do you have any advice for budding authors? I would recommend it; you have control of how you market your book and where it goes and, of course, the finances! Well known authors are now self-publishing. There used to be a stigma attached to it but that no longer exists. My best advice – if you believe in what you have written, then be brave and go with it! As Kevin Costner said in Field of Dreams, “build it and they will come!” Meriet is available to talk about honeybees and to give a reading from her book to local schools, nurseries, libraries and other venues. For further information on the book, visit






I visit schools, libraries and local venues in Buckinghamshire as my book is an educational adventure aimed at teaching children and young at heart adults about the life-cycle and importance of the

honeybee. It is my mission to visit as many schools as I can and hopefully to have a copy of my book in as many school libraries, libraries and National Trust Gift shops as possible! You can arrange a visit by logging on to my website, www.BetsieValentine. com/contact, and dropping me an email- I will get back to you right away!

Aylesbury Football Club Haywood Way, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. HP19 9WZ T: 01296 338676 E: Our opening hours: 7.30 am - 6.30 pm

Chalfont St. Peter

Mill Meadow, Gravel Hill, Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire. SL9 9QX T: 01753 886477 E: Our opening hours: 7.45 am - 6.00 pm

Maple Cross

Maple Cross JMI School, Denham Way, Maple Cross, Hertfordshire. WD3 9SS T: 01923 710818 E: Our opening hours: 8.00 am - 4.00 pm

Register your interest



To register your interest, please download our form from our website and email it to:, or

Email: • Tel: 01296 586586

Families Chiltern 31

What’s on

Compiled by Katie Taylor Photo: National Trust, Waddesdon Manor / Peter Greenway

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th March FAMILY YOGA Where Inspiration Blooms, Chartridge. Fortnightly yoga class for families & kids 8-14yrs, Saturday: 11.30-12.30pm, Sunday Big Dog, Little Dog 10am-11am.


Sunday 10th March UNDER THE CANOPY FAMILY SESSION Under The Canopy Forest School, Gerrards Cross. 11am-1pm, booking required, £30/adult & child. Monday 11th March UNDER THE CANOPY STAY & PLAY Under The Canopy Forest School, Gerrards Cross. 10am-11am, 18mths-4yrs, booking required, £8. Wednesday 13th & Thursday 14th March ZOG Wycombe Swan Theatre, St Mary St. See website for times, booking required, adults £17, child £15.

March Tuesday 5th March BOUNCE & RHYME Chesham Library, Elgiva Lane. 10am-10.30am, under 5’s drop-in, free. HANDS ON VICTORIANS Bucks County Museum & Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, Aylesbury. Entry by donation.



RELAX KIDS Where Inspiration Blooms, Chartridge. 6-week course (or try a class) for 5-8yrs, 4-5pm, booking required. Support mental & emotional wellbeing; movement, games, relaxation & mindful techniques. Wednesday 6th & Thursday 7th

TIDDLEY TOTS & TALES High Wycombe Library. 9.30am-11am, 0-5yrs, drop-in, free.

PLAY WITH CLAY – MAKE A BOWL Where Inspiration Blooms, Chartridge. Pottery for beginners, 11am-12.30pm, see website. WEEKLY TO 28 MARCH

Friday 8th March BOOGIE BEAT SESSIONS Bucks County Museum & Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, Aylesbury. 10.15am-11am, u4s, booking required, £4.


CHIDDLERS’ HOUR: JAMES & THE GIANT PEACH Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 10.30am-11.30am, 0-3 yrs, booking advised, £3. CODE CLUB Amersham Library. 5pm-6pm. 8-12yrs, booking required, free.

ANIMALCOLM Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Exchange St. 2pm & 6pm, booking required, see website.

DUPLO CLUB Chesham Library, Elgiva Lane. 10.30am-3.30pm, drop-in, free.

ARM KNITTING WORKSHOP Where Inspiration Blooms, Chartridge. 10am-12noon, beginners welcome. CLIVEDEN CRITTERS WEEKLY Cliveden, nr Maidenhead. TO 9 APRIL Little ones can join a fun workshop. Explore the estate & learn about nature. 10.30-11.30am, booking advised, £5 plus entry. Thursday 7th March EVERY THURS

SATURDAY STORYTIME High Wycombe Library. 11am-11.15am, under 10’s, drop-in, free.

Friday 15th March CHIDDLERS’ HOUR: THE GIRAFFE THE PELLY & ME Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 10.30am-11.30am, 0-3 yrs, booking advised, £3. FANTASTIC FRIDAYS Where Inspiration Blooms, Chartridge ‘Bee’ Happy Watercolour Class. Every Fri learn a new skill with a glass of wine or two. 7-9.30pm, adults.


Saturday 16th March DUCKPOND MARKET Village Green, Chalfont St Giles. 10am-3pm, drop-in, free.


SIGNED STORIES DAY Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. Enjoy BSL signed storytelling, use Signly - sign language app - to explore the galleries and meet furry friends from the Hearing Dogs. All day, free for Museum visitors.

Saturday 9th March

Wednesday 6th March

BOUNCE & RHYME Chesham Library, Elgiva Lane. 10am-10.30am, u5s, drop-in, free.

Thursday 14th March

JUST RELAX Where Inspiration Blooms, Chartridge. 4-week adult relaxation class (with creche) 1.15-2.15pm, see website.


THE BOY WHO HIT PLAY WITH CHLOE DAYKIN Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 12pm & 1.30pm, booking advised £3 plus admission. museum

Monday 18th March UNDER THE CANOPY STAY & PLAY Under The Canopy Forest School, Gerrards Cross. 10am-11am, 18mth-4yrs, booking required, £8.


This Easter, 6 to 22 April 2019 Celebrate all things Matilda at the Roald Dahl Museum this Easter

32 Families Chiltern

What’s on

Whatever place you’re into

“Holiday Fun.” Keep your little ones entertained in the holidays at our holiday camps Lots to enjoy including, swimming, football, trampolining, arts & crafts, climbing (optional) and lots more… Visit our website for more details

Operated by Places for People Leisure Ltd. in partnership with Wycombe District Council.

Wycombe Leisure Centre 01494 688100


Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston present






my first ballet

SAT 22 – SUN 23 JUNE in the night garden LIVE


To be included in the May/June issue, email us by 1st April:

Families Chiltern 33

What’s on Photo: National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra

ROBIN HOOD Elgiva Theatre, Chesham. 10.30am, booking required, adult £4, child £3. Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st March BY DONATION DAY Chiltern Open Air Museum, Chalfont St Giles. Museum opens for 2019. Learn about WWI in the new Nissen hut with costumed re-enactors. 10am-5pm, entry by donation. Sunday 31st March HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 Elgiva Theatre, Chesham. 1pm & 4.30pm, booking required, adult £7, child £6. SUNDAY SCOFF N STROLL Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 2pm & 3pm, 6+yrs, booking required, £12.


Photography School at Waddesdon Manor, see 10th April Tuesday 19th March NATURE TOTS College Lake, Tring. 10am-11.30am, booking required, £7/child. Wednesday 20th March MACRAME WORKSHOP Where Inspiration Blooms, Chartridge. 10-12.30pm. Make a plant pot holder or set of shelves, no experience necessary. Thursday 21st March

CODE CLUB Chesham Library. 2pm-3.30pm. 8-12yrs, booking required, free.

Monday 1st to Tuesday 30th April


SPRING HERBAL MEDICINE WORKSHOP Where Inspiration Blooms, Chartridge. 1.30-4pm, booking required. SPRING RETURNS TO COLLEGE LAKE College Lake, Tring. 10.30am-12.30pm, booking advised, £4. Monday 25th March

NATURE TOTS College Lake, Tring. 10am-11.30am &1pm-2.30pm booking required, £7 per child. Friday 22nd March

UNDER THE CANOPY STAY & PLAY Under The Canopy Forest School, Gerrards Cross. 10am-11am, 18 months-4yrs, booking required, £8. Friday 29th March

CHIDDLERS’ HOUR: CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 10.30am-11.30am, 0-3 yrs, booking advised, £3. Saturday 23rd March A STORK’S JOURNEY Elgiva Theatre, Chesham. 10.30am, booking required, adult £4, child £3.

CHIDDLERS’ HOUR: FANTASTIC MR FOX Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 10.30am-11.30am, 0-3 yrs, booking advised, £3. Saturday 30th March CRACKLING CLAY BADGES Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm & 3pm, booking required, £3 & museum admission.

BLUEBELLS WALK ALL Cliveden, nr Maidenhead. APRIL Follow the planned walk around the estate to see the blanket of purple. 10am-5pm, dependent on weather, call in advance or check website, included in entry. COTSWILD EXPLORERS ALL Cotswold Wildlife Park, Burford. APRIL The Cotswold Wildlife Park’s new ‘CotsWild Explorer’ activity trail launches in April for children aged 6-11 years old. The Egg themed trail pack (available from the gift shop) comes with a pop badge, lanyard and a pencil, for £2.50 per pack with 10% going to Penguin conservation. Wednesday 3rd April WATERCOLOUR TREES MASTERCLASS Where Inspiration Blooms, Chartridge. Learn how to paint watercolour trees, 1.30-3.30pm, see website. Friday 5th April BOOGIE BEAT SESSIONS Bucks County Museum & Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, Aylesbury. 10.15am-11am, under 4s, booking required, £4.


CHIDDLERS’ HOUR: ESIO TROT Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 10.30am-11.30am, 0-3 yrs, booking advised, £3.


WORKSHOPS Brand NEW venue nr. Chesham craft & wellness workshops for parents Creche on-site run by experienced nannies Set in an acre of stunning countryside Available for private hire

see website for details 34 Families Chiltern

What’s on Sat 6th April to Mon 22nd April


SPRING BABIES AT EASTER Green Dragon Eco Farm & Rare Breeds DAILY Centre, nr Aylesbury. Visitors can meet the spring babies & bottle feed lambs. Don’t miss the new Wildlife Zone & Pets Corner for extra special animal encounters. 10am-4pm, adult £9, child £8. Sat 6th to Tues 23rd April


SPRING INTO EASTER Odds Farm Park, Wooburn Common. DAILY Join the ‘Quest for Carrots’ - a most unusual Easter Egg & Carrot Hunt - to earn your sweet treat. Enjoy fun shows, lambing, H2Odds Water Play, spring arts, crafts & games. Daily 10am-5.30pm (last entry 4.30pm.) £15.95/pp, (u2’s free).

Tuesday 9th April

SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN Bucks County Museum & Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, Aylesbury. Unbound Theatre Company from Queens Park Arts Centre perform Anthony & Cleopatra in the delightful setting of the Museum garden. 2pm, entry by donation, (BYO chair). WHAT IF? WITH PAUL LYALLS Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 12pm & 2pm, booking advised, £3. Sunday 7th April


MATILDA’S PHIZZ-WHIZZING EYE TRICKS Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 12pm, 1.30pm & 3pm, booking required, £3 plus museum entry.


Monday April Please find below a proof of your advertisement for8ththe Sat 6th to Sat 27th April POTTERY SHEEP & LAMBS Mar/April 2019 issue (No. 101) of Families TVE. EASTER FUN


BUNNY ON A BRANCH Queens Park Arts Centre, Aylesbury. 10am-3pm, 7+yrs, booking required, members £20, non-members £24.


PEARL POWER WITH MEL ELLIOTT Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 12pm, 1.30pm & 3pm, booking advised, £3. POND ADVENTURES AT COLLEGE LAKE College Lake nr Tring. 1.30pm-2.30pm, 6+yrs, booking advised, £4. TERRIFIC TUESDAY Chiltern Open Air Museum, Chalfont St Giles. Spring crafts & activities included in admission price. Museum: 10am-5pm, activities: 11am-3.30pm, adult £10.50, child £6.50.

Queens Park Arts Centre, Aylesbury. CADBURY’S EASTER EGG HUNT EASTER FUN Weds 10th to Sat 13th April 10am-3pm, 7+yrs, booking required, members £20, Cliveden, nr Maidenhead. DAILY non-members £24. Hop into spring with ALL this nature-themed Please CHECK INFORMATION IS CORRECT especially HIGH WYCOMBE GANG SHOW trail, complete with chocolate treat. Lancaster Arts Centre, Wycombe Abbey School. EASTER FUN dates, telephone numbers and addresses. Mon 8th to Fri 12th April 10.30am-3.30pm, drop-in, £3 plus entry. 7.30pm Wednesday-Friday, 2pm & 7.30pm Saturday, booking required, adult £10, child £7. EASTER CRAFTS FUN Any changes need to be made at thisEASTER stage. Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted. Saturday 6th April T: 07867 514138 / 07753 414605 EASTER FUN Make and decorate an Easter craft at the visitor centre. Wednesday 10th April Any further amendments will be charged for. 10am-4pm, £2/craft LITTLE GRAND TOUR E: Waddesdon Manor, nr Aylesbury. ANIMAL ANTICS ADULT & CHILD Art workshop, ( snacks, worksheets, postcards). WATERCOLOUR Little People Media,WORKSHOP 29 Furrow Way, Please contact by return either& to amend or approve your EASTER FUN 10.15am-12.15pm, 7-12yrs, booking required. £45 Mon 8th to Mon 22nd April Where Inspiration Blooms, Chartridge. (incl. parent entry). advertisement. Maidenhead SL6 3 6+yrs, NY booking required, £50 one 1.30pm-3.30pm, EASTER WIZARD OF OZ AT adult & child, £15 per extra child. MAYA THE BEE MEAD OPEN FARM DAILY Elgiva Theatre, Chesham. Mead Open Farm, Billington. 10.30am, booking required, adult £4, child £3. Journey through the magical land of Oz in HIPSWITCHING HEROES a new immersive walk through experience. Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. Plus, see new Easter shows & adorable baby animals, 10.30am, 12pm, 2pm & 3pm 7+yrs, booking SAMUARI: WARRIORS OF 10am-6pm, see website. required, £3 plus museum entry. ANCIENT JAPAN DAILY TO 13 JULY Bucks County Museum & Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, Aylesbury. CADBURY EASTER EGG HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL Discover stunning examples of historical Hughenden Manor, High Wycombe. Waddesdon Manor, nr Aylesbury. Samurai armour & weapons. Entry by donation. Trail, 10am-4pm, child £3. 10am-4pm, 10-15yrs, booking required, child £40 (incl. admission).

Thames Valley East

For more activities & events, find us on Facebook & Twitter @FamiliesChiltern

Families Chiltern 35

What’s on Monday 15th April

POTTERY EASTER EGGS Queens Park Arts Centre, Aylesbury. 10am-3pm, 7+yrs, booking required, members £20, non-members £24. Thursday 11th April

EASTER COMMUNITY DAY Amersham Field Centre. 10am-3pm, drop-in, free.


Mon 15th to Mon 22nd April

STICKY CHICKIES ON STICKIES Queens Park Arts Centre, Aylesbury. 10am-3pm, 7+yrs, booking required, members £20, non-members £24. STICKTACULAR College Lake nr Tring. 10am-12pm & 1pm-3pm, booking advised, £4.

Tuesday 16th April

Saturday 13th April BLUEBELL WALK Cliveden, nr Maidenhead. 10am-5pm, drop in, free with admission.

STICKTACULAR College Lake nr Tring. 10am-12pm & 1pm-3pm, booking advised, £4.


MISS HONEY’S SCIENCE SCHOOL Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 12pm, 1.30pm & 3pm, booking required, £2 plus museum entry. EASTER FUN


MATILDA’S SUSPICHY MESSAGES Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 12pm, 1.30pm & 3pm, booking required, £3 plus museum admission.


HIPSWITCHING HEROES Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 10.30am, 12pm, 3pm & 3pm 7+yrs, booking required, £3 plus museum entry.

TERRIFIC TRUNCHPOTS Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 10.30am, 12pm, 2pm & 3pm, booking required, £3 plus museum admission. Friday 12th April


CADBURY EASTER EGG HUNT Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted. 10am-4pm, trail £5, (early bird £3/15th-18th.)


EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA Queens Park Arts Centre, Aylesbury. 10am-3pm, 7+yrs, booking required, members £20, non-members £24.


TERRIFIC TUESDAY Chiltern Open Air Museum, Chalfont St Giles. Village Fete themed family crafts & activities. Museum: 10am-5pm, activities: 11am-3.30pm, adult £10.50, child £6.50.

Explorer Trail at Cotswold Wildlife Park - 1st to 30th April

Weds 17th & Thurs 18th April ROCK & FOSSIL DAY Bucks County Museum & Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, Aylesbury. 11am-4pm, entry by donation. Sunday 14th April

Weds 17th to Fri 19th April


MATILDA’S PARTY Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 12pm, 1.30pm & 3pm, booking required, £2 plus museum admission. UNDER THE CANOPY FAMILY SESSION Under The Canopy Forest School, Gerrards Cross. 11am-1pm, booking required, £30 per adult & child.


DINOSAUR WORLD LIVE Wycombe Swan Theatre. See website for times, booking required, tickets £14. EASTER FUN

TREE CLIMBING Cliveden, nr Maidenhead. 10.30am-5.15pm, 6+yrs, booking required, £20. Wednesday 17th April


MATILDA’S PHIZZ-WHIZZING FRIDAY EYE TRICKS TOO Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 10.30am, 12pm, 2pm & 3pm, booking required, £3 plus museum entry.

Introducing the magic of ballet to children aged 3+

Sat 4 – Sun 5 May 2019 01494 512 000

36 Families Chiltern

Illustration: Mark Ruffle MFB Sleeping Beauty_87mmx130_High Wycombe Families Mag.indd 1

2/5/2019 5:16:56 PM

What’s on Thursday 18th April


Thursday 25th April

MISS HONEY’S SCIENCE SCHOOL Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 12pm, 1.30pm & 3pm, booking required, £2 plus museum entry.

NATURE TOTS College Lake, Tring. 10am-11.30am & 1pm-2.30pm, booking required, £7. Saturday 27th April

POND ADVENTURES AT COLLEGE LAKE College Lake nr Tring. 10am-11.30am, 6+yrs, booking advised, £4. Fri 19th to Mon 22nd April


APRIL EASTER LAMBING Chiltern Open Air Museum, Chalfont St Giles. 10am-5pm, adult £10.50, child £6.50.

CADBURY’S EASTER EGG HUNT Waddesdon Manor, nr Aylesbury 10am-4pm, child £3. Normal grounds admission applies. Saturday 20th April

DAWN CHORUS Cliveden, nr Maidenhead Enjoy a guided walk & hear early-morning birdsong, followed by breakfast. 5.30am-8.30am, booking required, £25.

Spring Babies at Green Dragon Eco Farm, see 6th-22nd April

DAY OUT WITH THOMAS Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton. 10.30am-5pm, booking advised, pre-booking: adult £14, child £10, on the day: adult £17, child £13.


ALICE IN WONDERLAND Elgiva Theatre, Chesham. 3pm, booking required, adult £16, child £14.

Sunday 21st April


EASTER IN THE STUART HOUSEHOLD Bucks Country Museum, Aylesbury. Come & help the Stuart Household celebrate Easter in the early 1600’s, 11am4pm, drop-in, entry by donation.


Sunday 28th April & 22 APRIL

MATILDA’S SUSPICHY MESSAGES Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 12pm, 1.30pm & 3pm, booking required, £3 plus museum admission. Monday 22nd April

BUCKSWASHLING BRAVERY WITH ALFRED TAYLOR-GAUNT Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 12pm, 1.30pm & 3pm, booking advised £3 plus admission. DUCKPOND MARKET Village Green, Chalfont St Giles. 10am-3pm, drop-in, free.

BARMY BRITAIN Elgiva Theatre, Chesham. 1.30pm & 4pm, booking required, adult £15, child £12.

APRIL SCOFF ‘N’ STROLL Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. Walk in the woods, listen to extracts from My Year & afternoon tea in café. 2pm walk & tea at 3pm or 3pm walk, tea at 4pm. Booking required, £12 per person. PINOCCHIO The Elgiva Theatre, Chesham. 2.30pm, booking required, adult £14, child £12.


TERRIFIC TRUNCHPOTS Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden. 10.30am, 12pm, 2pm & 3pm, booking required, £3 plus museum admission. Tuesday 23rd April


NATURE TOTS College Lake, Tring. 10am-11.30am, booking required, £7.

THE SOOTY SHOW Wycombe Swan Theatre. 11am & 2.30pm, booking required, tickets from £12.50. Sat 4th to Sun 5th May MY FIRST BALLET: SLEEPING BEAUTY Wycombe Swan, St Marys Street. English National Ballet introducing the magic of ballet to children 3+. Various times, booking required, see website.

Where buildings come alive through history




Exciting 2019 events programme


6th to 22nd April 2019

HANDS-ON FAMILY FUN ACTIVITIES! Bottle-feed the lambs & kids

‘Beautiful hidden gem’ Tripadvisor

See the chicks & ducklings Watch the piglets play Take part in the quiz trail

01296 670444 Claydon Road Hogshaw Bucks MK18 3LA

WWW.COAM.ORG.UK Open daily: 10am - 5pm 30 March to 31 October 2019

Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire Just off junction 17 of the M25

To be included in the May/June issue, email us by 1st April:

Families Chiltern 37

Book reviews

Reading with Ed Ed the blue owl is back with a selection of his favourite children’s books for spring

FOR 5-7 YEARS Oscar and the Catastrophe by Alan MacDonald (Egmont £5.99) Meet Oscar the dog and his boy Sam. Sam has a secret known only to the two of them but he will let you in on it. Oscar can speak! When they hear they have a new neighbour they are intrigued to know who it might be. Oscar is horrified that Mrs BentleyWallop has arrived with a large white cat. However Sam is more worried about the jewel thief in town. Oscar and Sam decide to become detectives, but this proves more difficult than they thought. Will they be able to sniff out the culprit and solve the mystery? ED SAYS: ‘This is a lively and funny story with amusing illustrations. It is great for boys and girls reading on their own or reading together.’

Beverley Glock

Cookery School in Princes Risborough Cookery Classes and Workshops For children and adults Splat Cooking Parties

01844 275692

38 Families Chiltern

The Travels of Ermine: Trouble in New York by Jennifer Gray (Usborne £5.99) Ermine is so excited to be in New York with its high-rise buildings, yellow taxis and Central Park Zoo. She is thrilled to be with Michael S Megabucks’s son on his birthday, particularly to be visiting the zoo. This is going to be a really exciting day! But meanwhile Ermine’s suitcase is switched and she discovers some robbers are pursuing her. This trip is quickly turning into more of an adventure than Ermine had bargained for! And is there really a reward at the end of this amazing trip?

The Girl, the Cat & the Navigator by Matilda Woods (Scholastic £6.99) Oona Britt dreams of an exciting life on the ocean waves. She sets sail aboard her father’s ship The Plucky Leopard as it starts out on a whale hunt although her father doesn’t approve of girls aboard ships. Oona has heard of a mysterious creature called the Nardoo and she wants to track it down. But life at sea can be dangerous, cold and windy. If she fell overboard she might drown. However it would doubtlessly be an adventure – and Oona had always dreamed of going on a great adventure.

ED SAYS: ‘Here is another entertaining story for young children. If you enjoy this super book about Ermine’s travels you will want to look out for Ermine’s next exciting adventure.’

FOR 7 YEARS PLUS The Legend of Kevin by Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre (Oxford £8.99) Kevin is a flying pony. One night in a raging storm he is blown onto the balcony of Max’s flat. Max adores animals and his greatest wish is to have a pet but when he sees Kevin on the balcony in the dark he wonders if it could be a frightening polar bear. He decides he should not be afraid of the animal and invites him into his bedroom. The storm waters rise and the town is besieged by creatures but when Max and Kevin share their quick thinking – and biscuits – they embark on an adventure together to help others. ED SAYS: ‘This is a hilarious and fastmoving story with great characters and wonderful illustrations. Books by this writer and illustrator duo are always most attractive and enjoyable.’

ED SAYS: ‘This is an enchanting and atmospheric tale complemented by super illustrations. It will delight readers who have ever dreamed of a magical adventure at sea.’ Ed’s Reading Room is an exciting free book review website for primary children in homes and schools. It was created by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Les Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitness walking and healthy eating. See these reviews, download the specially written reading activities for these books and buy the books online at www.EdontheWeb. com. Check out Ed’s tweets: @ kidsbookreviews – and have fun reading!

Get cooking

Delicious Carrot Cake Flower Pots Spoil your mum with these gorgeous mini cakes as an Easter treat or Mother’s Day gift. With thanks to Beverley Glock Cookery School in Princes Risborough. Ingredients for 4-6 cakes: • 225g self-raising flour. • 100g light muscovado sugar. • Half a teaspoon baking powder. • Pinch of salt. • 1 tsp ground cinnamon. • 150ml sunflower oil. • 75ml milk. • 2 eggs. • 120g carrots. • Orange and green sugarpaste. • Packet of oreo biscuits for soil. Ingredients for 4-6 cakes: • 160g icing sugar. • 50g soft butter. • 1 tbsp cocoa powder. • A little milk. How to make carrot cake flower pots: Make sure you season the flower pots the day before you want to make the cakes so they have time to cool. 1. Wash your hands and ask an adult to season the flower pots; wash them thoroughly with hot water and detergent and leave to dry naturally. Once dry, grease the inside with plenty of butter and bake them in the oven on 200c/gas 6 for an hour. Remove and leave to cool, your pots are now seasoned and should be non-stick. 2. Ask an adult to preheat the oven to 200c/gas 6 and put a shelf onto the centre runner. (AGA Roasting oven shelf on oven floor) 3. Place the flour, sugar, baking

powder into a bowl, mix. 4. Mix the oil and milk together, add the eggs, beat well. 5. Peel and grate the carrots ask an adult to help you. 6. Add the carrots to the mixing bowl then tip in the oil, milk and eggs. Mix everything together 7. Grease and line the flowerpots with baking parchment, making sure to put a circle of parchment in the base to cover the hole. Spoon the cake mixture equally between the flower pots. 8. Ask an adult to bake the cakes for 20-30 minutes until they are pale golden brown and springy to the touch. 9. Ask an adult to remove the cakes from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool. 10. Make the buttercream by beating together the icing sugar, soft butter and cocoa powder, adding a little milk to make a soft icing. 11. Whizz up the oreo biscuits in a food processor until they are crumbs. 12. Spread a tablespoon of buttercream on top of the cakes, top with oreo crumbs to look like soil. 13. Use the orange sugar paste to form carrot shapes, top with a little green sugarpaste and lay or slightly bury the carrots in the oreo soil. 01844 275692 © Beverley Glock 2018

Beverley Glock Cookery School is holding an Easter Baking Workshop on 10th April and children will learn to bake these carrot cakes in terracotta pots as well as Easter biscuits and hot cross scones. To book, visit or call 01844 275692.

Email: • Tel: 01296 586586

Families Chiltern 39

Don’t miss our May/June issue, to be included email:

Spring into Easter

Daily 6th April to 23rd April

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. See website for full details. T 01628 520 188 Open daily 10.00am – 5.30pm Nr Beaconsfield HP10 0LX (M40, J2)

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Profile for Families Magazine

Families Chiltern March/April 2019  

The really useful FREE local magazine for families with children aged 0 to 12 years in Buckinghamshire.

Families Chiltern March/April 2019  

The really useful FREE local magazine for families with children aged 0 to 12 years in Buckinghamshire.