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September/October 2013

Dorset Back to School issue Education Features Extra curricular activities


Westbourne, Mon - St. Michael's, BH2 5QU Southbourne, Tues - St. Katharine's, BH6 4AR Ringwood, Thurs - Greyfriars Centre, BH24 1DW Bournemouth Centre, Fri - St. Andrew's, BH2 6JJ

The really useful magazine for parents with children 0 to 12 years in Dorset

In this issue 02

News & Information


Education: Has England got it wrong ?


The best possible start at a new school


Which secondary school is right for my child?


The Benefits of Inclusion


Say goodbye to being shy

News 5 8

Langside School Celebrate the Arrival of Graeme’s Bus Langside School, a specialist day school for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities run by Diverse Abilities Plus, welcomed the unveiling of a brand new and much needed minibus. The bus debut was an opportunity to celebrate the arrival and an opportunity to recognise and thank the many supporters from the local community that attended. The minibus has been named ‘Graeme’s Bus’ after Graeme Hunt, the founder and inspiration of Charity Folk, a local folk band. The group have raised over £85,000 for Langside School over the past sixteen years and the bus has been dedicated to Graeme, who unfortunately passed away eighteen months ago.

12 Extra-Curricular Activities 14

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Staff from Langside School and Diverse Abilities Plus also raised money through fundraising events including a sponsored walk and a fashion show. The new minibus will change the lives of those that attend Langside School as children, families and staff will now benefit from more days out and have the opportunity to explore activities and events further afield.

Front cover image - Stephen Perse Families Dorset Editor: Sarah Carr

Jonathan Seaward, Principal at Langside School, said: “Staff, children and their families have been looking forward to this moment for a very long time. We really appreciate all the efforts made by Graeme, Janet, local businesses, staff and supporters of the charity.”

Tel : 07876 761 623 Email: Next issue: November/December 2013

Janet Hunt said: “Graeme devoted a lot of his time raising money for this amazing charity and he would have been thrilled to know that the minibus is named after him. I am very pleased we could raise all this money and provide something so valuable to a charity that does so much for the local community.”

Booking deadline: 1 October 2013 Copy deadline: 7 October 2013 24,000 readers per issue Printed by Bishops

For more information on Diverse Abilities Plus and Langside School, please visit or call 01202 718266.

New Children’s Laureate @familiesdorset Copyright: Families Dorset, Sept/October 2013 Data Protection: if you send us your name and address in order to win a prize in a competition, we may supply your details to the company offering the prize. If you would prefer us not to do this please state this on your entry. Disclaimer: Colour transparencies and any other original materials submitted for publication are sent at the owners risk and whilst every care is taken, neither Families Dorset not its agents accept liability for loss or damage. We take care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for consequence. Families Dorset is part of a group established in 1990 headed by Families South West London. All

Malorie Blackman, the bestselling author of the awardwinning Noughts & Crosses teen series, has been crowned the Waterstones Children’s Laureate for 2013–2015. As part of her role she will call on teachers and parents to spend at least ten minutes per day sharing a book with their pupils and children in an impassioned bid to get more children reading more, as well as working to make reading ‘irresistible’ for teenagers. ‘I am honoured to have been chosen as the eighth Children's Laureate,’ said Malorie Blackman. ‘Stories have inspired me and taught me to aspire. I hope to instill in every child I meet my love and enthusiasm for reading and stories.’

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September - October 2013

News Opportunity Sizzle is a rapidly expanding, home based business operating in an industry that has grown despite the recession. Are you facing redundancy? Do you need a career that you can work around your family or are you just looking for an extra income? If you are hardworking and enjoy helping people this could be for you. We are now looking for motivated, positive and enthusiastic people that would like to earn £300 - £4000+ pm around their existing commitments, no boss, no targets and no qualifications required. Successful candidates will receive award winning training and on-going support. To find out more please visit or

Roald Dahl Day Make a date with mischief and mayhem on Roald Dahl Day on 13 September. This year Roald Dahl Day celebrates all the tricksy characters that fill his books, including George and his mayhemic medicine, those foulsome Witches and Matilda and her parent-scaring tricks. After all, no birthday celebration is complete without a little bit of mischief! There are lots of ways to join in the fun: sign up for Puffin Virtually Live on 13 September to find out more about Roald Dahl and his characters, plan your costume for Dahlicious Dress Up Day on 27 September or throw your own Roald Dahl party. For ideas see, and help Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity raise money for seriously ill and disabled children. Roald Dahl’s Matilda © Quentin Blake

Class sizes swell Department of Education figures have revealed a significant rise in the number of children in classes of more than 30 students. The number of five-to seven-year-olds taught in classes of more than 30 pupils has risen dramatically in the past year, with figures showing that over 70,000 children are taught alongside 30 other pupils in 2013, compared with around 47,000 last year and 28,000 four years ago. This has prompted claims from teachers that the government is failing to address a serious shortage of school places, with critics adding that the government’s new free schools have not always been opened in areas with the greatest need for extra places. ‘They are opening new secondary schools in areas where there are surplus places,’ said Stephen Twigg, shadow Education Secretary, ‘whilst the need for primary places couldn’t be greater.’ However, the Department of Education said, ‘Children are only permitted to join classes of 30 pupils in exceptional cases, if for instance they are in care or from military families. Classes often fall back naturally to 30 over a year or two.’ The increase is largely the result of a mini-baby boom after declining pupil numbers in the early 2000s, with the situation looking like it will only get worse, as the National Audit Office forecasts that admissions will rise by another 240,000 in September this year.

The Big Draw The largest drawing festival in the world returns throughout the month of October, taking place in 20 countries across the world and offering 1400 events in the UK alone. The Big Draw connects people of all ages with museum and gallery collections and urban and rural spaces in new and enjoyable ways, offering unlimited scope for those who love to draw and those who think they can't. Why not hold a Big Draw event in your school or local library? Get inspired and find out how to organise your own event, plus discover what events are taking place near you at

National Poetry Day Mark this 3 October with a nationwide celebration of poetry. Poetry is for everyone, everywhere, from assemblies, bus-queues, cafes, greengrocers, hospitals and ice-rinks to waiting-rooms, yacht clubs and zoos. This year’s theme is water, with Coleridge’s great phrase ‘Water, water, everywhere’ as inspiration. Check out the website for a myriad of poems on the subject, together with ideas on how to turn the theme of water into lines of poetry. Participants this year are challenged to smuggle poetry into the most unlikely places, not just in libraries and classrooms but on fishing boats and ferries, via postcards, mobile phones and announcements on station platforms. Find out more at

Jeans for Genes Day Wear your jeans on Jeans for Genes Day on 20 September and help change lives. In aid of Genetic Disorders UK, Jeans for Genes Day aims to change the world for children with genetic disorders, so get your school together and raise money by wearing your jeans and donating £1. Individually, genetic disorders are rare but together they affect 1 in 25 children born in the UK - that's more than 30,000 babies each year. Their associated health problems mean that genetic disorders are the biggest cause of death of children aged 14 years and under. You can help by signing up for your fundraising pack full of everything you need to know to plan your day, at


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International Walk to School Month

Education: Has England got it wrong? Here in England our students are used to a selective, vigorous education. We specialise in subjects at an early age. Our courses are test-driven, our exams rigorous and getting more so, and subjects such as music, drama and sport have been all but squeezed out.  But have we got it all wrong?  As education minister Michael Gove announces measures to make the exams taken by students in England even more demanding, look across the border and we can see that education in Scotland is run very differently.  There, students take a curriculum in which national exams for 16-yearolds have been abolished.  While schools in England encourage students to specialise, Scottish schools traditionally aim for a greater breadth of knowledge.  Their secondary education lasts six years, ending with a single set of national exams, and their university degree programs last four years, compared with only three in England and Wales.  In a nutshell, Scottish schools focus on more than just tests. ‘When the Scottish Parliament came into being in 1999, we realised our schools were not performing as well as they should,’ said the Scottish education minister, Michael Russell.  ‘Our students were overexamined, our schools overinspected and the curriculum was too divided up and too shallow.’  So Scotland introduced the Curriculum for Excellence, paying more attention to how subjects were taught.  Starting with kindergarten, the curriculum has progressed through the system one year at a time and has just reached the 16-year-olds who, until this year, would have taken Standard Grade exams.  Students still take exams in as many as 15 subjects but those are pass/fail and set by their teachers.  ‘I don’t believe for a minute that Curriculum for Excellence is touchy-feely or that we are watering down standards,’ said Gordon Moulsdale, head teacher at Bishopbriggs Academy near Glasgow.  ‘It used to be that only students who did well on exams were thought of as the smart ones. But we’ve learned that there are different kinds of intelligence.’  The changes mean a slightly longer school week, and more time for music, drama, sports and community service: precisely the areas that have been squeezed in England by the need to prepare students for so many exams.  It is clear that in Scotland there is no appetite for the selective, competitive and test-driven approach being promoted by Michael Gore in England, and it looks like the experiment is succeeding. So should England take note?


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Beat the traffic and get you and your kids out in the fresh air during International Walk to School Month this October. Each year, primary school children from across the UK join forces with over 40 countries worldwide to celebrate the benefits of walking to school and this October is no different, with the month-long activity encouraging pupils to walk to school at least once a week. Many parents know that walking is actually quicker and less stressful than taking the car and they value the opportunity to spend quality time with their children. It also increases air quality with fewer cars on the streets and strengthen communities, where children and parents are seen in the streets! Stop moaning about the traffic start clearing it!

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

The benefits of extra tuition An independent study into the effects of Explore Learning membership has recently been published by The University of Reading. The study tested 1,539 Explore members compared to a control group of children who did not attend Explore, and found that: “Explore Learning members’ improvement in maths was 30% higher than that of the comparison group.”“Building confidence, overcoming shyness to put up their hand to ask for help, being more independent and less reluctant to try without assistance were all elements that parents recognised in their children and directly attributed to Explore Learning.” To read the full report, visit

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September - October 2013

The best possible start at a new school How do you prepare your child for his or first day at a new school? It’s all about finding the fun, says Joanna Moorhead

We moved in May, so from then until the end of July she and I would watch, each morning, as the children walked and ran and scootered past our door, in their grey and purple uniforms. They looked happy and excited; they were meeting their friends, having fun. The street would then go quiet until about 10.30am when we’d hear them again in the playground; and then again after lunch, until at 3.30pm they’d all stream out again, and head back home with their mummies and the occasional daddy. I’m sure I talked to Rosie about what it would be like in reception class, and I’m sure I taught her to open her lunchbox and get her own shoes on and off and all the other things you’re advised to do before your child’s first day at school; but the truth is that nothing prepared her for school as much as those weeks of simply living next door to it. The experience normalised what was going to be a huge change in her life: it showed her, better than any words from me could, that school was where children went when they were old enough. Watching those happy-looking kids skipping past our door, hearing them calling to their friends and generally picking up a sense that school was fun and exciting, was the best possible way of introducing her to her new life. In time my three younger daughters followed their big sister to that same school, and they – like Rosie – all took it in their stride. They, of course, were well-used to the primary by then: unlike Rosie, they would be there every morning and every afternoon, dropping off or collecting a big sister or sisters. They would pick up on the excitement and happiness of school by osmosis, seeing their sisters and their friends as they bounced up alongside their buggy – and they’d be drinking it all in.

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The summer before my eldest daughter started at primary school, a rather wonderful thing happened. We were having work done on our house, and by chance a friend mentioned that a friend of hers was looking for a housesitter. It suited us perfectly to move out of our home for a few months, to escape the builders’ dust, so we did just that. And our temporary home, as it happened, was next door to the primary school at which Rosie would start in September.

This, it seems to me, is the number one best way to get your child ready for primary school: as much as you can, show rather than tell. Try to be around the school sometimes as the children arrive or as they’re leaving for home; if you have friends with children already there, ask to go along with them sometimes for the drop-off or the pick-up. Give your child every opportunity you can to imbibe the sense that school is an exciting and interesting place to be. Every child, and every parent, gets a bit nervous before their child starts at a new school. Even after 17 years of being a parent with children in school, I’m feeling a bit worried about my youngest daughter’s move to secondary school in September. The fact that I’ve done school starts many, many times before doesn’t alter the fact that this is a first for Catriona, and because it’s a first for Catriona it’s a first for me too. But what I now know is how important it is for me to be confident, and to be positive, about the move. Of course I have mixed feelings: of course I’m a bit worried about how she’ll cope in new surroundings, about whether she’ll find it easy to make new friends, about whether she’ll like the school food and about whether she’ll settle down to the work. And when she wants to talk about those fears – because, of course, she has them too and it’s important not to deny our children’s feelings – I do. But I always remember to talk to her as well about how exciting this new start is going to be: because every beginning is a bit scary and involves risks - but our lives move on and grow and become whole because we embrace them and we’re brave about them. Children worry when we worry, and they’re confident when we’re confident. So if you’ve got a child starting school this autumn, the number one thing to do is find the confidence in yourself: empathise with your child, but empathise with the fact that her world is opening up and becoming more exciting as well as with the fact that there will be wobbles. Try not to worry too much about the problems: believe in your own, and believe in your child’s, ability to deal with these as they come along. Don’t even, for a minute, bother about things like maths and English and reading: no, honestly, I mean it. Those things are for further down the line: all you have to think about, this September, is delivering a child to school with a song in his or her heart. Do that, and everything else will be easy.


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September - October 2013

Which Secondary school is right for my child? Joanna Moorhead on the 20 things you need to know when choosing ‘big school’


Make your own mind up. It’s amazing how many parents never even look round a school because of what they’ve heard. A school that doesn’t suit another family could be just right for yours.

2) Listen to your child’s feelings as well as your own. Choosing his or her primary was down to just you and your partner; but your 10 or 11-year-old deserves a say. 3) Use open days wisely. If you can, go to a daytime visit (especially to a school that seems a strong contender) because you’ll see it in working mode. 4) Nothing advertises a school like its pupils. Do they seem happy? Are they polite? If you have time, hang around in the area at home time. Are they well-behaved? 5) How about the staff – do they seem happy and fulfilled working

there? Take opportunities to chat to them.

6) Listen to your instincts. If a school doesn’t feel right, move on. You don’t have to explain yourself or your reasons for doing so to anyone else (although you do, of course, need to discuss it with your child if your instincts are different). 7) Don’t get bogged down in the detail: what you’re aiming to get is a sense of the school. Does it feel happy, productive, calm? Is there a sense of order and caring? These things matter more than the nittygritty.

8) Think about your child’s talents and interests and ponder

carefully whether they’ll be catered for. But think too about what the school offers that might be harder to pick up at home. We’re a family of journalists, where literacy is easier for us as parents; so I’m glad my girls went to a school that specialised in maths and science, even though these weren’t their strongest subjects.

9) Pay attention to what’s on the walls – and not just the artwork. What are children being warned about, or encouraged to do? Are there any school visits being advertised? What clubs seem to be thriving? 10) Look at the school’s league tables, but don’t pin everything on

them. Read the Ofsted report too and pay particular attention to how the school has done over time. If it’s had a dip, are there signs of improvement or suggestions that it could turn round?

11) Where do pupils go on to from this school? You want to see at least some youngsters doing well academically and aiming for good courses at top universities.

12) Go to the head teacher’s talk and take your notebook. This is an important part of the event: not only do you need to pick up on the head’s attitude and values and what matters most to him or her, but you also need to pay special attention to anything that’s said about the entrance criteria. Understanding that is the crucial next stage. 13) If you like a school, do your homework about whether your child fits its entrance requirements. However much you love the school, and however much you think your child would thrive there, you’ll only get a place if you fulfil the criteria. Read the school’s entrance policy through very, very carefully. If you don’t fulfil the requirements, could you change something so you do? If not, move on: there’s no point in wasting a choice or railing against something you can’t change. 14) You’re bound to talk to other parents, and you want to talk to

other parents, but don’t get pulled along by their tide. Do your own research and develop your own views: knowledge is power.


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September - October 2013

Education 15) Keep telling yourself (because it’s true!) that there is no perfect school. Every school has strengths and weaknesses. There’s more than one school that can be right for your child.

16)When the time comes to fill in the forms, allow yourself lots

of time and do it extremely carefully. There may be supplementary forms, and there may be complicated arrangements for giving them in (especially if you’re applying to faith schools). If you find it all too confusing, talk to your child’s primary teacher or primary head, or call the education department at your local authority.

17) Have a plan of action for what you’ll do if you don’t get the school you’re hoping for. Just having that plan will make you feel more relaxed. 18) Remember that there’s a lot of movement in the first few weeks after places are allocated, and many children get in from waiting lists. 19) Don’t underestimate how much hard work an appeal can be, or how emotionally draining. That’s not to say don’t do it: just be prepared.

20) Remember that, at the end of the day, parents make more

difference to a child’s future than a school does. Even if your child doesn’t get into your first choice of school (and one in seven didn’t last year) your attitude to that could be a much bigger factor in what happens next for your child than the school itself. Have confidence, first and foremost, in your child. And believe that, together, you will work things out if and when you come up against problems.

INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS OPEN DAYS SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER Whole School Open Day: Saturday 28th September CLAYESMORE SCHOOL Iwerne Minster, Blandford DT11 8LL Tel: 01747 812122 Email: More info at Senior & Prep School Joint Open Day Friday 4th October, 9:45am - 2pm LEWESTON SCHOOL Sherborne, DT9 6EN Tel: 01963 211010 Email: More info at Lower School Open Day: Saturday 5th October Sixth Form Open Day: Saturday 19th October Milton Abbey School Blandford Forum, DT11 0BZ Tel: 01258 882182 Email: More info at Open Day: Saturday 5th October, 9.30am - 1pm CANFORD SCHOOL Wimborne, BH21 3AD Tel: 01202 847207 Email: Open Morning: Saturday 12th October, 10am - 12:30pm SUNNINGHILL PREPARATORY SCHOOL South Court, South Walks, Dorchester DT1 1EB Tel: 01305 262306 Email: More Info at Open Day: Saturday 12th October KNGHTON HOUSE SCHOOL Durweston, DT11 0PY Tel: 01258 452065 Email: More info at Open Morning: Saturday 12th October, 10am -12pm BUCKHOLME TOWERS SCHOOL 18 Commercial Road, Poole, BH14 0JW Tel: 01202 742871 Email: More info at


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September - October 2013

The Benefits of


By Rachael Ross

When I went to school in the mid ‘70s and ‘80s, children with any form of disability were not actively encouraged into mainstream education. This absence of anyone with a disability was also reflected in the wider community. Consequently when I left school, and for much of my early adult life, I had never even met or spoken to a person with a disability, leaving me awkward and unsure how to interact in their company. Thankfully times have changed, and children with a wide variety of additional needs are now commonplace in mainstream education. Children like my son Max. Max is eight and happens to have Down syndrome. Until the 1970s it was still widely believed that children with Down syndrome were uneducable, and they were denied that most fundamental of childhood rights; an education. We now know that with right specialist support these children can learn alongside their peers, and today, more children than ever before are being successfully included in mainstream schools. That’s not to say that special schools do not play an equally important role. It has to be a decision based on what’s best for each individual child and their specific needs. For Max, the benefits in attending mainstream education are huge. Speech and language issues are a significant problem for nearly all children with Down syndrome, and can lead to frustration and isolation if not tackled head on. Studies show that when they attend mainstream school, these children develop at least two years faster with spoken language and literacy. They also benefit from having positive role models. Max needs to be around his typically developing peers, not just for PE and playtime, but there needs to be meaningful interaction. He needs to feel that he is

mainstream’, there is a real risk that 30 years of slow uphill progress will be undermined unless there is adequate investment in training, research, resources and specialist support.

We are very fortunate that Max’s teachers have created a welcoming and caring environment where he is very much a part of school life. When we visit, I am always overwhelmed by the genuine affection and friendship shown to Max by both staff and pupils. Many of the children have grown up with Max, and see it as nothing unusual that he is in their class working with them.

We have seen glimpses of what can be achieved as children with the right skills and support go on to lead more independent and productive lives, enter employment, and become valued members of their communities. But as yet, there has never been an entire generation of children with Down syndrome that has passed through the system with adequate and sustained support in all areas of need, continuing into early adulthood. Until this happens, we will never be sure of their true capabilities.

In turn, I’m sure the children benefit from being with Max. They learn to celebrate differences. They learn acceptance and patience, and will hopefully grow into more tolerant adults which will lead to a more accepting and integrated society. Inclusion is helping to steadily improve society’s attitude towards Down syndrome, fuelled by more positive media portrayal. Several top retailers including M&S, Next and Boden have used children with Down syndrome in their advertising campaigns. Actors with Down syndrome have played characters in popular TV shows such as Glee and Downton Abbey. Individuals are becoming role models, and are themselves changing misconceptions, like Simon Beresford, who in 2007 became the first person with Down syndrome to complete the London Marathon, and now eight marathons later is an inspiration for people around the world. More is being achieved than ever before, but there is a still a long way to go. Down syndrome is the most common cause of intellectual disability and yet funding does not reflect this. The situation has worsened in the recent economic climate, and parents are becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of access to specialist support like speech and language therapy, which help enable their children to participate in mainstream education. As the Coalition Government plans to ‘end the bias towards

Images © Steve Reid Blitz Photography


part of the class, part of the wider school community, with the same opportunities and responsibilities as the other children. Otherwise how can we expect him to interact successfully with society as an adult?

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Rachael is the Chair of Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association (Footprints) which offers friendship, advice and a wide range of educational services to children, their families, schools and professionals in Portsmouth and across the South East. To find out more visit

Some Facts about Down syndrome • •

• •

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Approximately 1 in 1,000 babies in the UK are born with Down syndrome Most people born with Down syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21, making a total of 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46 In 1960 the life expectancy for someone with Down syndrome was 10. In 1983 it was 25. Today it is 60+ Studies show 87% of children with Down syndrome attend mainstream primary schools, but only 25% go on to mainstream secondary schools as access to specialist support like speech and language therapy declines further It is estimated 80% adults with DS could enter employment with the right support, only 20% are given the opportunity

September - October 2013

Keep conscious and carry on! Soulful insights for conscious parenting Whatever our background or beliefs, many of us are beginning to develop an interest in living a more ‘conscious’ life - that is, a life based in present moment awareness, appreciation and authenticity. In this article, Neil Seligman examines what it takes to be a ‘conscious parent’ and explains why it is worth the effort!

Parent from a space of authentic humanity

Whatever you do as a parent, every child will come to believe these three illusions at some stage in their development: 1) I am different. 2) There is something wrong with me. 3) I am alone. So we might say that the aim of parenting is not to demonstrate perfection or to protect children from encountering the illusions, but to reveal our own humanity, so that when they meet these trials they have everything they need to meet the challenge. Here are three practical suggestions to parent from a space of authentic humanity: 1) Genuinely welcome failure as a rich source of learning and inspiration. 2) Teach children that it is safe to experience difficult emotions (like the ‘weather of the soul’). The trick is to feel emotions fully and express them in words, movement or art. Tell your children when you feel sad or upset so that they feel comfortable doing the same. 3) Introduce the idea that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Pain is a neutral energy that we all must experience whereas suffering is the story about the pain eg. “I should not be in pain – poor me”. In the intimacy of authentic humanity, children feel safe to experience their own vulnerabilities and learn to deal with them beautifully as a normal part of life. The family then becomes a sanctuary of welcoming for all aspects of uncertainty, a forum of love where no matter what occurs there are always rich human resources to draw on.

expectation. In order to do this we must control our natural desire to ‘shape’ the child. Shaping is an opposing energy to welcoming as when we shape another, we fix them in our mind as our judgment. The outcome of shaping is the limiting of potential as it causes the child to experience a conditional aspect to love. We might say to the child – you are going to be a doctor, or a tennis player, you will go to this type of school, you will be this type of person. Shaping is never positive for the child and is entirely unnecessary as a fully welcomed child will willingly communicate their authentic desires and preferences and seek your loving guidance. A welcoming parent therefore promotes self-sufficiency, stability and authentic development in the child.

Speak the language of disapproval not shame

When a child does something that we consider to be wrong or inappropriate it is vital that we show disapproval for the behaviour rather than shaming the child for who they are. Language is crucial here: There is a world of difference between saying: 1) I am extremely disappointed with you and 2) I am extremely disappointed with your behaviour. It is of course crucial that we guide children with clear boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, yet when we need to express disapproval we must learn to do so without breaking relationship and without withdrawing unconditional love. Disapproval for actions should not be expressed as commentary on the essential

nature of the child which would be shaming the child as fundamentally flawed. Shame language creates insecurity, unworthiness and feels like wholesale rejection. Alternatively, disapproval in relation to behaviour allows the child to engage with you about what went wrong and what the consequences should be for the behaviour whilst all the time being safely held in the context of a relationship based in unconditional love.

Further Reading Christopher McCurry: Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance Daniel Siegel: The Whole-Brain Child - Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind Neil Seligman is Director at The Conscious Professional Ltd. Neil is a Life Coach, Reiki Master and Meditation Teacher.

Centre your parenting in the energy of welcoming

The most important thing you can do for any child is to welcome their unique nature fully such that their essential self comes forward, safely nurtured in unconditional love beyond


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September - October 2013

Boscombe Children’s Centre receives UK’S first ever Families First Award Boscombe Children’s Centre is the first in the UK to complete the Families First Quality Award which recognises Sure Start children’s centres’ excellence in providing information, advice and assistance to local families. The Families First Quality Award, developed by the National Association of Families Information Services (NAFIS) and coordinated by UK charity, the Family and Childcare Trust, aims to exceed the requirements set out in the Childcare Act 2006 which places a duty on local authorities to provide parents with information and advice about family services and childcare, including for children with additional needs. Children’s Centre manager, Lynn Bourne, said: “Boscombe Children’s Centre is delighted to have become the first centre in the UK to be recognised under the Families First Quality Award. Our staff were interviewed about their work with families, presented case studies and provided evidence of the quality of information given to parents. A range of services were also observed and parents were invited to give their feedback to assessors on the quality of support they receive from the children’s centre staff.” NAFIS manager, Anthony Ellison said: “For many children’s centres, it is a challenging time as they are being asked to work more efficiently while still delivering excellent outcomes. Families who attend a Sure Start centre with the Family First Quality Award can be confident that its services are designed to meet their needs. “The award also gives children’s centres the recognition they deserve and functions as an effective quality improvement tool, giving staff the confidence they need to provide an excellent service to all families in their local area.” Families First assessors evaluate children’s centres against 10 standards which include reaching out to marginalised and vulnerable parents, ensuring that parents can access universal early years services for their children, and working with local authorities to ensure signposting and referral to other specialised services when needed.

Ed’s Reading Room is an exciting free online book and story club for primary children in homes and schools. Each month, recently published books are selected as Ed’s Books of the Month for Owlets (age 5-7) and Owls (over 7s). On the website, there are fun literacy activities to accompany each book, including wordsearches, quizzes, poetry and reviews, and there are new original stories in Edtime Stories. There are also lots of other fun online activities, complementary to the curriculum. For further information visit

FOR AGES 5-7 YEARS Short John Silver

by Chris Inns and Dave Woods (Orchard £4.99) ED SAYS: ‘The story of Short John Silver tells us what happened to this famous pirate before he grew up! Short John Silver needs the help of Captain Poopdeck and his crew of scoundrel pirates to help him find Treasure Island and he promises they can all share the buried treasure. After their adventures sailing the Seven Seas they are eager to get their hands on their reward. But things aren’t always what they seem! ‘This is a very funny tale on the high seas with super illustrations throughout – ideal for young readers on their own or reading together.’

Catch that Bat!

by Adam Frost (Bloomsbury £4.99)

ED SAYS: ‘Tom and Sophie love living on a houseboat with their parents who both work with animals. In their latest adventure they learn a lot about nocturnal creatures that prowl and swoop while most humans are sleeping. They particularly become involved with a young bat who is in danger. Will Tom and Sophie’s moonlight vigil help to reunite the young bat with its family? ‘This is a fantastic story that gives detailed information about working with animals. It is full of zoological facts and is great fun for boys and girls alike.’


Families Dorset

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FOR AGES 7 YEARS PLUS The Thunder Omen by Caroline Lawrence (Orion £4.99)

ED SAYS: ‘It is the midwinter festival of Saturnalia. Threptus, the young apprentice of the soothsayer Floridius, is enjoying the feasting and fun. However, along with the celebrations, pantomimes and general mayhem, disaster is threatened by the thunder omen. Will Threptus be able to help Floridius overcome his latest dilemma? With Floridius and the sacred chickens, Threptus’ life in Ostia is always chaotic. ‘This is an exciting mystery full of historical facts about ancient Rome that will delight young readers.’

Binny for Short by Hilary McKay (Hodder £9.99) ED SAYS:

‘Binny’s life has been difficult since her father died and her dog Max disappeared. When an aunt leaves Binny’s family her house at the seaside, it is a mixed blessing. Of course they will have fun by the sea with days full of sunshine and freedom but memories of the aunt loom large over Binny. And the memories of Max don’t quite go away. Is there any chance she will be reunited with him? ‘This is a brilliantly written story that is gripping in a gently humorous way. As you read it you feel as if you too are on holiday by the sea.’ September - October 2013

Say goodbye to being shy By E. Dolton

How to help your child overcome their shyness Shyness is a perfectly normal trait in childhood, but when lives become restricted by shyness, we must take action as there is no question that shyness robs us of opportunities that other people take for granted. Take Holly’s experience with her 6 year old son, Thomas, “Thomas is a lovely little boy but when he met anyone he hadn’t met before he was unable to speak, he lost all his manners and just looked at the floor.” This is not unusual. The good news is that there are a lot of practical things that can gently encourage a shy child to be more outgoing.

Mixing in society Start by inviting one friend over for half an hour at home, then moving to more friends, more time and then outside the home. Children learn social skills from watching others so model the kind of interactions you want to encourage: be warm and friendly with people you don’t know, introduce yourself to new people, ask people for help, and compliment friends. Drama queens (and kings) Shyness doesn’t necessarily mean low self-esteem; it usually comes from fear or feeling worried about what other people think. Simple acting techniques from drama classes soon equip children with the ability to express themselves more clearly in front of others. Equally, presenting ourselves in a confident manner by sitting up straight and making eye-contact, even when we don’t feel like it, will make any child feel bolder because of the positive way others will react to them.

Facing up to it Perhaps the most effective way to help your child to be less shy is to talk openly with them about it. Refer to situations that are daunting and empathise “sometimes I feel worried about speaking up at work, but I always make and effort and feel good afterwards”. Holly added that she “used to read books to Thomas that had themes of facing fears or overcoming challenges”.

Dress Rehearsal Watch what situations trigger shyness in your child then role play them later at home, giving hints on how they can feel more courageous when next out in public. “Thomas always felt nervous going to birthday parties, so we decided to set up a party scene at home, using his favourite toys


Families Dorset

and acted out the different scenarios: giving the party boy their present; saying hello to other children; asking the adult where the toilet is; saying thank you on leaving. It worked a treat”, said Holly. A karaoke machine or sing along DVD will encourage your child to be more adventurous with their speech and movement. Record them pretending to be a news reader, or presenter interviewing their ‘celebrity’ friend.

Lights, camera, action Trying new activities in a gradual way helps overcome shyness. Holly had always been encouraging Thomas to try out new things, “I knew Thomas had achieved an improved level of outgoingness when in the end-ofterm football lesson, Thomas waited 30 minutes for his turn to kick a ball through the cones and straight into the goal - in front of everyone. He has really come out of his shell” Taking trays of nibbles round guests,being photographer at a family occasion, going into a shop and asking for the price are all great ways to take their mind off their shyness. But don’t force them into doing things that make them uncomfortable, play to their strengths. Your child’s shyness will vanish if he is encouraged to get better at things he already excels at. Above all, being calm will sooth many a shy child. Relax Kids ( sell a range of CDs that provide ‘chill skills’ that relax children and as a result boosts their confidence.

Our attitude is crucial We all want our children to outgrow their shyness and latest research indicates that how parents respond to shyness is what makes the difference. Labelling our child as ‘shy’ would certainly be discouraged; they often turn into self fulfilling prophecies. In the same sense, we should always avoid dismissing any feelings of shyness e.g. “don’t be silly, big boys don’t get shy”. Comments like this lead children to feel that their worries are not valid, leading to anxiety. Be supportive by combining empathy with confident assertions, “Ahh, I can see you’re feeling a bit worried, but I’m really confident you’ll be able to handle it”.

A child’s ability to comfortably relate to a wide variety of people is one of the most important ingredients to happiness and success. The thing to remember is that the majority of children will find their way through all of this with a bit of guidance, and will soon be waving their hands in the air to answer questions, belting out songs during group sings, and being the first in the queue for trying new things.

Shaking off shyness for a child with SEN Children with learning disabilities need to be given a healthy dose of praise and constructive criticism to develop into shyfree, confident adults. Positivity - A child with learning disabilities is prone to undergo more stress and frustration than the average child. Praise all victories, big and small. Provide simple responsibilities in social situations – distraction from feeling shy Pair your shy child with another child in each important setting. Coordinate your efforts with those of other relevant adults. Help them find his or her areas of strength - explain the significance to them and offer many chances to use them. Discuss the various aspects of your child’s life with them: school, friends, homework, teachers etc. Sources

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September - October 2013

Extra-curricular activities

By Ellen Arnison family – something they feel is their own. Club time can also allow one-to-one time for other children. While these advantages are very real, care must be exercised when choosing activities. Too many and the wrong ones will only leave everyone fed up and exhausted.

Football or ballet, drama or Brownies - how do you know what, and how much, out-ofschool activity is right for your child? Not long after your son or daughter disappears through the classroom door for the first time, the choice becomes bewildering. Their schoolbags come home stuffed with leaflets from this or that organisation promising all manner of benefits from enrolling in their classes. You may find yourself feeling guilty if you don’t sign up to everything. Please take a deep breath and relax. Extracurricular activities are not essential; many children do perfectly well without them. However, there are some benefits from a few well-chosen groups, clubs or classes. With the best will in the world, school cannot teach all the skills you might consider essential for modern life. Swimming lessons, for example, or cycling proficiency are crucial for safety. In addition, carefully selected activities can bring numerous other benefits that could help your child now and in the future. They will get a huge confidence boost from participating in an enjoyable activity they are successful at. A shy child, for example, may flourish in a dance class. As well as learning new skills, more subtle benefits include fostering a sense of community, increasing self-sufficiency and allowing a child – particularly one in a large

The easy choices are the ones your children are desperate to do. Although beware of signing up for something just because your son or daughter’s best friend is doing it, this may not be a good enough reason.

Families Dorset

Liat Hughes Joshi, author of Raising Children: The Primary Years, told Parentdish: “If you decide to do none at all, you won’t be short-changing her if her after-school activity consists of nothing more than a TV programme, a snack and some good, oldfashioned playing.”  

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

Children with special educational needs can benefit hugely from well-chosen extracurricular activities.

So only commit to out-of-school activities that fit comfortably into the schedule and budget. It may transpire that your time and money can be better spent on family activities at home.

Even with the best educational support, SEN children can often feel ‘less’ than their peers. They may be aware of their difficulties and differences and this can have a profound effect on their confidence.

When you do decide on a class or club – take some time to check it out. Find out how long it has been running, do other parents recommend it, are the staff Disclosure or CRB checked?

Therefore an activity they can participate in successfully is a huge boost to their selfesteem. For example a dyslexic child, for whom school is a struggle, may blossom as a leading light in the dance troupe.

While extra classes keep your children entertained and active, it’s also important that they have some unstructured time – even that they are


allowed to feel bored. If they bounce from one organised thing to the next, they’ll never learn the important skill of amusing themselves.

SEN Activities

Equally there are other more educational and developmental benefits that make extracurricular activities important. Dyspraxic youngsters, for instance, can find their co-ordination improves while doing karate or trampolining. Clubs can be important social outlets for SEN children, perhaps giving them a chance to meet others facing similar challenges. The school or local authority will be able to advise about SEN groups in your area.

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September - October 2013

Community South West prize helps Dorset Scout group build for their future

Coasteering – the ultimate family adventure in Dorset

A Scout group in Gillingham which won a competition celebrating the importance of community spirit in the South West has been presented with its £1,500 prize. St Mary Gillingham Scout Group received the most public votes in the Community South West competition in Dorset for their project to replace their ageing scout hut with a brand new facility.

The Dorset coastline is a real winner when it comes to providing exciting activities for the family to enjoy. Aside from its spectacular views, the Jurassic coastline offers young minds a fantastic living example of geography, history and science. The challenge for families is finding ways to explore all these aspects whilst maintaining the fun factor.

Nearly 10,000 people cast votes online and by post to choose four winners (one each in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset) as part of the Community South West Campaign, in association with regional insurer Cornish Mutual.

Coasteering offers an exciting way to discover the Dorset coast from a brand new perspective. Kitted out in wetsuits, helmets and buoyancy aids, you are challenged to jump in the sea, traverse the rocks, scramble over boulders and travel with the waves for a unique exploration of the cliffs.

The campaign was launched in February by TV presenter Monty Halls and followed independent research commissioned by Cornish Mutual which found that 93 per cent of people in Dorset felt community spirit played a key part in making their neighbourhood a good place to live. St Mary Gillingham Scout Group has more than 100 youth members and 20 volunteer leaders. They are currently based in a hut within the grounds of Gillingham School, but in order to secure their future must find a new headquarters. In 2007 the Group purchased a piece of land in Milton-on-Stour and have been granted planning permission to construct a timber clad building on the site. The Scouts and their local community have already rallied together to raise over £78,000 for the project, but need to double this in order to undertake the build. The Community South West prize cheque was presented by Cornish Mutual Insurance Inspector Stuart Gale to Scout Leader Lee Charlton and members of the Scout group whilst on camp near Sherborne. Stuart Gale said: “St Mary Gillingham Scout Group are an integral part of their community and have a hugely positive impact on the life of the area. They have been working very hard to raise funds for this vital new hut and I’m very pleased to be able to present them with this prize, which will help them get a step closer to their goal.” Group Scout Leader Colin Westbrook said: “We have experienced an enormous amount of support towards the project from individuals, organisations and charities and winning the Community South West prize has provided a further boost. As well as being a brilliant new base for the Scout Group, the headquarters will provide a valuable resource for the wider community and really benefit the people of Gillingham.”

Local company, Land & Wave offers 3-hour coasteering sessions for families, with a minimum age of 8. You just need to take old trainers to wear in the water and a swimming costume – the rest is provided. They deliver coasteering all year round, providing toasty 5mm wetsuits and special socks to keep you warm in the water. September & October usually provide perfect conditions for coasteering. The water is warm and the summer crowds are gone. Land & Wave use two locations; Dancing Ledge near Swanage or Man of War by Durdle Door. Both are stunning parts of the coastline with far reaching views and amazing rocky features to explore. Coasteering is a fantastic bonding experience for the family too; encouraging team work and communication as siblings and parents spur each other on to go for that higher jump or enter a darkened cave through the water. Giving children the opportunity to assess risk for themselves is an incredible confidence booster. Sophie Tanner is a lead instructor at Land & Wave and says, “Coasteering is one of Dorset’s best kept secrets. People are always amazed at what fun they have on a session. It really brings families together and is a great shared experience.” Your next adventure awaits... To find out more about coasteering in Dorset visit or call 01202 460440

This year’s Community South West campaign follows the success of Cornish Mutual’s previous campaigns (FarmSafe; Come Together, Eat Together; and Dig Down South West) and continues the theme of supporting aspects of life important to its 24,000-plus Members and people living and working in the South West communities which Cornish Mutual serves.


Families Dorset

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September - October 2013

Out & About

What’s On

We aim to be as accurate as possible but the listings are compiled several weeks beforehand and may be subject to change. Please contact venues in advance to check details and prices. 14 September

Fit Christchurch Christchurch Quay Family fun sports day. Physical activities, healthy menus and sports displays. 10am – 4pm


To 29 September

octonauts Weymouth Sea Life Park Lodmoor Country Park, DT4 7SX Visitors will dive into action with the Octonauts, the team of undersea adventure heroes from CBeebies. Young fans of the TV show will embark on an exciting new mission of extra activities and fun-filled events. Plus you can meet members of the crew!

To 19 October

Animate! Two Centuries of Animation from Pencil to Pixel Dorset County Museum Dorchester, DT1 1XA An interactive exhibition suitable for all the family, Animate! traces the use of animation in commercials, propaganda, pop videos and youth culture and the innovations of CGI, Pixar and recent computer games. Using the latest technology form Hue Animation, there is also the chance to have a go at making your own stop-frame cartoon!

7 – 8 September

Dorset County Show Dorset Showground SP8 5RJ Since 1841, the Dorset County Show has been a celebration of all things Dorset and the countryside. Dedicated to superb family entertainment, showcasing agriculture, great shopping and so much more! 8.30am – 6pm Ticket from £12 (advance booking) Children 16 years and under are free

11 Sept – 18 Dec

Animal-kite making with the RSPB Bournemouth Gardens An RSPB event for children. Come along and have a go at making an animal kite. Find us on the grass near the bandstand. 10am – 3pm, Free event.

Storytelling Lighthouse, Poole Centre for the Arts, Poole, BH15 1UG Michele O’ Brien, storyteller, actor and educator will be co-creating and co-exploring traditional and modern stories that allow preschool children to initiate story sessions. Listen to the story, then have fun acting out your favourite character, through drama, dance and music. Not your ordinary storytelling session! Performance: 11am-12noon Ticket Price: £5 Children, accompanying Adult free

7 – 8 September

11 – 25 September

7 September

Party in the Park Ashley Cross Green, BH14 8UF The event is a family event filled with fun and laughter with an opportunity to wine and dine at your leisure and sit back and listen to the sounds of local talented bands. The day also gives a chance to help raise money for a local charity. This


years event is in aid of Wessex Cancer Charity 12pm – 7pm £3.00 for one day, £5.00 for the weekend.

Families Dorset

Tank Action Displays The Tank Museum Bovington, BH20 6JG Watch in awe as tanks from as early as World War Two roll into action with thundering engines and life-like explosions! 1:00pm

Twice As Nice, Nearly New Sales Southbourne Children’s Centre Stourvale Road, BH6 5JB 10am - 11.30am Kindermarket St Aldhelm’s Church Hall, BH12 1AD Buy and sell outgrown childrens clothes, toys and equipment. £1 entry, and free for kids

14 & 15 September

Family Camp Weekend Brownsea Island Enjoy a family adventure on Brownsea Island. This is a rare chance to spend the night on Brownsea Island. Come along and take part in camping, a bbq and a night time sing-song.

15 September

Little Pickles Market Littledown Centre, BH7 7DX A family market for you to buy and sell pre-loved/unwanted children’s items. £1 entry per adult, children are free and goody bags for the first 100 buyers. 10am – 12pm

20 - 22 september

Arts by the Sea Festival Bournemouth Lower Gardens, BH2 5AA Bournemouth’s third Arts by the Sea Festival returns offering an explosion of entertainment for all the family. Kicking off three weeks of exciting arts activity, the free outdoor opening weekend extravaganza brings an inspiring mix of events and performances day and night, to suit all ages - an ideal day out for family and friends as well as a great experience for art addicts.

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23 September

Verwood Buggy Walk The Hub, Brockway, BH31 6WW A free volunteer-led walk designed to improve your health and run every week to help you establish a regular exercise routine. A great opportunity to get out in the fresh air and meet new friends whilst getting to know your local area better, following the quiet footpaths through Verwood. This walk is especially designed for parents with little ones; all routes are suitable for buggies.

23 Sept – 25 Oct

Red Squirrel Walks Brownsea Island Celebrate 50 years of the National Trust on Brownsea Island with our outdoor festival season. Join our guided walks and see how many rare red squirrels you can spot. At this time of year the red squirrels come down from the canopy of trees to store food and can be seen playing in the low branches. Join our squirrel walks leaders as they show the best places to spot them. Walks at 11.30am & 2pm. Free event (normal admission charges apply).

29 September

The Wessex Heavy Horse Annual Show SP7 9PL The Wessex Heavy Horse Society’s Annual Show. Classes for In Hand, Harness, Turnout and Ladies’ Cart. Arena displays, wagon rides, children’s activities. Vintage vehicles and stationary engines. Refreshments, trade stands and craft stalls.

5 October

Aliens Love Underpants Lighthouse, Poole Centre for the Arts Poole, BH15 1UG Theatre 2.30pm £12 This zany and hilarious tale based on the best-selling children’s book is delightfully brought to life on stage for the very first time. With stunning September - October 2013

Out & About effects, madcap action, original music (and lots of aliens of course!) this fantastically fresh and funny production will delight the whole family. You’ll laugh your PANTS off! For families with children aged 3 and up

12 October

NCT Sale The Wey Valley School, The Wey Valley Campus, Dorchester Road, Weymouth, DT3 5AN Admission £2 per family

13 October

Twice As Nice, Nearly New Sales Beaufort Community Centre, Beaufort Road, BH6 5LB 10am -11.30am

14 – 25 October 5 – 6 October

Bournemouth Marathon Festival Stunning sea views, fresh crisp clean air and the very best of Bournemouth and Poole will be on show as the south coast is home to a new international marathon for the first time. The Bournemouth marathon festival brings many distances together in one unique festival of running. Kids aged 6-14 years old can take part in a 1.5k or 3k run on 5th October.

Shark Week Weymouth Sea Life Park Lodmoor Country Park, DT4 7SX SEA LIFE Adventure Park will be hosting a special Shark Week event in celebration of one of natures most magnificent but misunderstood creatures. In an urgent bid for shark’s conservation, SEA LIFE will be proudly supporting the Shark Trust & Shark Alliance in presenting a range of exciting, interactive and memorable experiences to raise awareness about the wide range of sharks’ species and the challenges that they are facing.

27 October

6 October

Postman Pat Live! Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre Westover Road, BH1 2BU A brand new, fun filled, all action show featuring everyone’s favourite postman. See Pat and his friends live on stage, with an exciting new story based around the forthcoming feature film. As local talent scouts come to Greendale, Pat’s friends encourage him to give it a go. How will he get on? Will Pat become a new singing sensation and leave his postbag behind? With songs, laughs and participation, together with brand new scenery and costumes, Postman Pat Live is the must see show for 3-6 year olds this year! Performances: 12.30pm & 4pm Tickets from: £11.00


Families Dorset

Little Pickles Market Littledown Centre, BH7 7DX A family market for you to buy and sell pre-loved/unwanted children’s items and this time with a Halloween twist! £1 entry per adult, children are free and goody bags for the first 100 buyers. 10am – 12pm

29 & 31 October

Outdoor Activity Days Brownsea Island Celebrate 50 years of the National Trust on Brownsea Island with our outdoor festival season. Come and join our outdoor activity team for an action packed island adventure, choose from archery, low ropes and den building 11am-4pm All tickets £8 To include your event in our What's On guide, send your event details to:

October Half Term & Halloween The Home of Halloween Adventure Wonderland Christchurch, BH23 6BA www.adventurewonderland. Open Daily from 10:00am The park is opened into a world of spooks and skellys with some fangtastic events thrown in.

26 October

Halloween at Corfe Castle 10:00am – 4:00pm Explore the spooktacular castle this Halloween, if you dare! Find the ghosts and pumpkins on the family trail and enjoy the other hair-raising activities on offer. To 3 November Halloween Trail Studland Beach Take the Halloween trail through the woodland and claim your prize. 10:30am – 3:30pm All tickets £2 To 3 November

26 Oct – 3 Nov

Half Term Halloween Fun Abbotsbury Children’s Farm Nr Weymouth, DT3 4JJ

26 Oct – 3 Nov

Spooky Halloween Trail Portland Castle Castledown, DT5 1AZ Are you brave enough to take on the challenge of our spooky trail this Halloween? Find the creepy clues hidden around the castle grounds and solve the challenge to win a terrible treat! Also enjoy some ghoulish crafts. 10am – 5pm Family ticket £12.50

28 Oct – 1 Nov

Halloween Family Fun Week Farmer Palmers Organford, Poole, BH16 6EU Low key scary event for little ones! Pumpkin carving, face painters, fancy dress and spooktacular timetable!

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29 October

Scooby-Doo! Adventure Wonderland Christchurch, BH23 6BA

As part of our Home of Halloween half term week, who better to join in the spooky fun but the ever popular superstar that is Scooby-Doo! The ghost hunting hound will be on hand to meet and greet his fellow Halloween humans at intervals throughout the day and add an extra-ordinary dimension to what has always proved to be a very entertaining experience. You’d be barking mad to miss it!

31 October

Halloween Celebrations Bournemouth Lower Gardens, BH1 2BU Make sure you take the children along to Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens for some spooky fun. Tales from the Horrible Haunted House Priest’s House Museum Wimborne Minster, BH21 1HR Ghostly storytelling 7pm – 9pm Eerie walk Brownsea Island Celebrate 50 years of the National Trust on Brownsea Island with our outdoor festival season. Join us for spooky tales and eerie happenings on Brownsea Island. Enjoy this rare opportunity to see the island at night. Follow our storyteller to learn about the creatures that come out when it gets dark and hear some of the scary tales from the island’s past. You may even meet some of them! Then calm down with hot dogs and hot chocolate. Ticket holders must catch the 5.30pm boat from Sandbanks. All tickets £15. September - October 2013

More Halloween Fun! 31 October

Halloween Party Sovereign Shopping Centre Bournemouth BH1 4SX The Sovereign Shopping Centre will be hosting a FREE spooky Halloween Party for shoppers. There will be a guess the weight of the pumpkin competition, a fancy dress competition and FREE face painting! Prepare for a fright as the ghosts and ghouls of The Sovereign Shopping Centre will be judging the fancy dress competition! Free admission

Halloween Fun Day at Hardy’s Birthplace Hardy Country Bring the whole family along to Hardy’s Birthplace in Dorset for a Halloween Fun Day. Try your hand at apple bobbing, making shadow puppets to star in our shadow theatre and creating your own spooky pumpkins. Listen to spooky ghost stories around the bonfire. Why not come along in your scariest Halloween costume. 11am – 5pm Free event (normal admin charges apply)

Horrible Halloween Haunted House Priest’s House Museum Wimborne Minster, BH21 1HR Spooky art and craft activities for all the family. 10m – 4pm. Admission £2 Halloween Spooktacular Kingston Lace House & Gardens Wimborne Minster, BH21 4EA Join us for some scary fun. 11am - 5.30pm Free entry (normal admissions charges apply)

Halloween Fun Monkey World Wareham, BH20 6HH www. Free entry to all visitors in full Halloween fancy dress costumes.

31 Oct – 2 Nov

Halloween Fun Evenings Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens Nr Weymouth, DT3 4LA Free face painting (scary faces) and a free prize for children in fancy dress. 5pm – 8.30pm

Maths & English tuition centre For 5 to 14 year olds of all abilities t Courses mapped to the National Curriculum. t Adapts to the individual needs of your child. t Convenient for families - Open 7 days a week. t Award-winning tuition - voted Education Investor Supplementary Education Provider of the Year. “Explore Learning members’ improvement in maths was 30% higher than that of the comparison group after controlling for gender, age, year group and special educational needs.” Independent Efficacy Study by the Institute of Education at Reading University (2013). See

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Profile for Families Magazine

Families Dorset Issue 7 Sept/Oct 2013  

Families Dorset Issue 7 Sept/Oct 2013