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Confidence, Communication and Concentration Book your FREE Drama Class today Watch your child’s self-esteem soar with Perform’s unique drama, dance and singing classes. Our weekly workshops will do wonders for their social, linguistic and physical development as well as being the best fun they’ll have all week.

Classes for 4 – 8s and 8 – Visit perform 12s. to find your nearest venue.

0845 400 1277

IT’S MIGHTY QUIET - there’s something missing. Oh yes; children. The house no long hums with the background burble of television and thumps of footsteps as various offspring (ours plus whoever stayed for a sleepover) dawdle into the kitchen shaking sleep from their eyes and looking hopefuly at the cereal boxes. That “aaah� you can just hear is the collective sigh of parents across London as the children clatter into classrooms for a new school year - here we go again! Robina Cowan, editor

IN THIS ISSUE 2-3 Local News and Views New businesses, mumpreneurs’ news, money off childrenswear for Families readers, and a fund-raising talent show

4-7 Education News News from local schools, Open Day dates and classroom campaigns

8-13 Clubs and Classes The what, why and where of out of school activities, plus hundreds of local contacts

14 Mothers Mean Business A fabulous, action-packed community cafe has opened in Brockley. We find out how it all came about

LocalNews email your news to

Handmade in Crystal Palace A delightful new shop has arrived in Crystal Palace that’s perfectly placed to put a smile on the faces of anyone looking for a birthday/ well done/ justbecause-I-love-you present for someone special. Juliette’s Handmade Gifts sells just that: knitted and stitched soft toys, bags and children’s clothes; greetings cards, wooden toys and more. Crystal Palace Triangle - as it is known locally - is full of interesting independent shops and great places to eat: and Juliette’s Handmade Gifts is a welcome addition. Find it at 3 Belvedere Road SE19 (opposite Vintage Hart), open 10am-6pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 11am-5pm Sundays.

15 The Book Page Justine Crow’s browse through the best new books for autumn

Crafty Crystal Palace A new craft market has opened in Crystal Palace. Organised by Rebecca Leathlean, owner of Alhambra in Kirkdale, with jeweller Sally Earlam, the market will sell jewellery, rugs, cushions, mosaics, natural skincare, plants, childrenswear, fairtrade toys, cakes and more. The market is open from 11am-4pm on the last Sunday of every month outside the Westow House, 70 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace SE19 1TX. For more information, see

16-19 What’s On Diary dates for grown ups, plus shows, events, productions and workshops for the whole family

20 The Back Page Local business contacts to make your life easiershows and family workshops

Front cover: Boy wears cotton rich jumper, non-iron shirt, pleated trousers and shoes, all Marks & Spencers Next issue: 30th September 2011,

copy deadline mid September Families South East PO Box 11591, London SE26 6WB 020 8699 7240 Š Families South East. We take every 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 any consequence. Families South East is part of the Families group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence.

Sew East Dulwich Tucked away behind Moo Too in Lordship Lane, Sew East Dulwich is a treasure trove for hunters of knitting and crochet needles, yarn, patterns and craft books, plus ribbons, buttons and haberdashery to finish your creations. To help you get started (or brush up on rusty skills), there are also adult classes in knitting, crochet and sewing. For details, call 020 8299 6105, see, or pop into the shop at 45 Lordship Lane (on the corner with Frogley Road), East Dulwich SE22 8EP.

'D\$XWLVPZRUNVKRS verbal behaviour consultants



families south east - september 2011

Fourway Pharmacy 12 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London SE24 9HU • Moltex, Nature, Bambo and Tushies eco-friendly nappies • Buggiboards • Baby passport photos • Green toiletries, homeopathy, aromatherapy • Friendly and free health advice

Special offer! Free pack of eco-friendly nappies when renting a TENS machine for labour!

Roger Humbles MRPharmS

020 7924 9344 e mail: w w w. f a m i l i e s s e . c o . u k

Best feet forward

New networking group

Four million children are wearing the wrong sized shoes, according to research from Glasgow Caledonian University; which can harm growing feet. When children wear the same shoes to school, day in, day out, it matters that their feet are properly supported. Are ballet style pumps OK? Does it matter if you pass shoes down to siblings? Trained shoe fitters in good shoeshops are the best people to ask about your child’s feet, and Biff in Dulwich is a good place to start. Go to and click on our parenting articles for Biff’s expert advice. If last term’s shoes no longer fit after a barefoot summer, Biff has a good range of sturdy (and stylish) children’s shoes, and the autumn childrenswear is now in stock too. Hot-foot to 43 Dulwich Village, SE21 7BN, 020 8299 0911,

This September, SE London Mumpreneurs are launching a new networking group for mumpreneurs who would like to come together on a more regular basis to support and inspire each other, and find new business. The SE London Mumpreneurs Networking Group will meet once a month from 15 September over coffee and cake between 10am-12noon. Membership is £155 for the year which includes the monthly meetings, a feature in the group’s monthly e-newsletters, a listing on the website, and a discount on other events run by SE London Mumpreneurs. For more information, call 07909 691605 or go to

Maxine’s a Mumpreneur Entrepreneur Maxine Lewis has earned herself a place in the final lineup of The Mumpreneur Awards, an annual ceremony aimed at celebrating parents throughout the UK who manage the difficult task of juggling business with family life. The mother of two from Lee in south London, set up Gander Kids last year to supply funky and stylish play furniture and toys to the UK. She is now the exclusive UK distributor for P’Kolino after she persuaded the American manufacturers to meet her for a coffee whilst they were holidaying in the UK. Having launched Gander Kids in November last year, Maxine hopes she has what it takes to walk away with the prize. She said: “In under a year I am distributing nearly 100 quirky and novel products to over 20 retailers. The interest has been phenomenal and I’m delighted to have been recognised for my achievements in business so far. To have made the shortlist for the Best Start Up in the Mumpreneur Awards is really exciting.” Maxine is also in with a chance of winning the title of The Inspirational Business Mum 2011, sponsored by Intuit, which will be awarded to the mum who is an inspiration to all women in business, and could walk away with a fantastic prize package including a family holiday at Haulfryn’s Devon Hills. We wish her well! For more information about Gander Kids, go to For more information about the Mumpreneur Awards, go to

Emerging – for life

South London’s Got Talent On 30 September, some of south London’s finest entertainers will be putting on a fabulous show to entertain families and raise funds to support a community building in south London. South London’s Got Talent will feature Amigo’s Magic, local singers, dancers, a juggler, a ventriloquist and a stand-up comedian. The show will run from 6-8pm with a 30 minute interval and is suitable for all ages. The venue is the Nettlefold Hall, 1 Norwood High Street SE27 7JX. Tickets £5; book yours on 020 8480 8176 and see more at

A coat for all seasons Polarn O. Pyret of Sweden have cracked the dilemma for parents everywhere this autumn, with a coat that can handle warm, windy, raining, snowing and freezing weather. The breathable outer layer is flexible and lightweight, yet still waterproof and windproof. When it turns properly chilly, add the soft fleece jacket, complete with thumb-holes to stop sleeves riding up, and your children will be ready for whatever the weather throws at them. Polarn O.Pyret produce comfortable yet stylish clothes that are designed to withstand wear and tear, and last to be handed down from brother to sister. READER OFFER: Families readers can claim 10% off autumn childrenswear from Polarn O.Pyret with the voucher on page 16. You can use it instore (see website for stockists), or online at

Wings for Life

Labels4kids - for cash

On 18 September, the Vale Practice in East Dulwich is sponsoring a 5k Charity Run and Art Sale in support of spinal cord research charity Wings for Life. Enthusiastic runners, walkers, helpers and artists are all welcome, along with supporting friends, family and neighbours who are up for a great day out in the fresh air to support a wonderful charity. The run starts at 11am outside Dulwich Leisure Centre (meet at 10am), where artworks and paintings will be on sale. To register for the run, email: The Vale Practice offers an A-Z of treatments from acupuncture to yoga classes (OK so yoga isn't strictly 'z' - maybe zumba will be along soon), taking in homeopathy, osteopathy and more along the way. For an appointment or more information, call 020 8299 9798.

Children’s labelling company Labels4Kids are recruiting sales agents. In exchange for a small start up cost, readers who refer friends and family to company’s website can earn money back in commission. You get to show and explain products you like to others who may also benefit from their use, and make some money too. Over the years Labels4Kids has been entered in and won numerous high profile awards, including Online Retailer of the Year in 2010. As well as ordering kits through the website, customers can read blogs on numerous topics on the latest educational and parents related issues. There is also a Labels4Kids Facebook page where news, discounts offers and news are posted. For orders, go to To ask about becoming an agent, email

Herne Hill School for love, care and an excellent education

Aiming far – for life

Independent Co-ed Pre-Prep & Nursery

3-7 Years, Founded 1976, Member ISA

Visit on Open Morning Sat. 24th Sept. 10am-12.30pm or join a Headteacher's tour during term time. We look forward to meeting you! The Old Vicarage, 127 Herne Hill, SE24 9LY Tel: 020 7274 6336

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september 2011 - families south east


Back to School

Herne Hill School is ‘outstanding’

School News Leading girls’ education At a recent conference looking at girls’ education, delegates talked at length about what the young women of today should expect from school and how girls’ school heads and teachers can best prepare them for the world of business and commerce. Louise Simpson, Head of Bromley High School told us: “Inevitably the topic of sexualisation and gender stereotyping was discussed. In my school the girls are refreshingly at ease with themselves. There is no pressure to wear their hair in a particular style, have high-heeled shoes to impress the boys or spend hours in front of the mirror each morning applying make-up. That is not to say that my girls don’t care how they look, or are behind in the fashion stakes. Far from it. The difference is that in my school they don’t need to worry about those fripperies during school time - as a day school our girls have plenty of opportunity to socialise with whomever they choose at weekends and after school, including boys in the local boys’ school. This means that they really can have it all. A girls’ school allows them the time and space to develop the confidence and skills that they need to rise to those challenges while they develop as a young person - and in a day school such as GDST schools like Bromley High, she can still have a boyfriend out of school. Lucky girls!” Bromley High is one of 26 Girls’ Day School Trust schools across the country. The next next open morning is on 1 October: email

Other GDST schools include Sydenham High School, Streatham & Clapham High School and Blackheath High School. For information on the Trust and its schools, go to

Deptford Green School From September 2012, pupils and staff at Deptford Green School will embark on a new voyage with the opening of a £32 million, state-of-the-art building and the launch of ‘DGI’ - the school’s international sixth form. Deptford Green School is a successful and dynamic school, where high achievers thrive, benefitting from small class sizes, innovative teaching and the best equipment. Deptford Green GCSE results are at record levels and the progress students have made over the past three years puts the school in the top 10 per cent of schools in the country for achievement. Visit one of the open events this autumn and see for yourself. For more information, go to

During the recent summer term, Herne Hill School, which specialises in the education of 3 to 7 year-old boys and girls, was inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. ISI have just published their report on and deliver an extremely strong endorsement of the school’s ethos, staff and curriculum by giving the highest possible rating of ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’ to every aspect of the school. (The inspectors deem overall achievement to be excellent and that “pupils are very well educated and achieve very high standards in both their learning and personal development”.) Not surprisingly, the school’s Director, Dominik Magyar, and its Headteacher, Jane Beales, (pictured) are very pleased with the inspection’s result. Mr Magyar said: “Reading the report has made us very proud of our fabulous staff and children. Everyone always tries very hard to live out our school ethos of “love, care and an excellent education” and do their best for the children. But to have the quality of our provision and outcomes endorsed to such a high degree by such an authoritative body is beyond our expectations and highly rewarding. It also provides great motivation for the future.” Mrs Beales added: “I am particularly proud of the recognition our pupils and teaching staff received for their dedication and hard work. The inspectors repeatedly mention the children’s enthusiastic attitudes to learning and their exemplary behaviour, and the quality of our teaching and staff. As a head teacher, you cannot wish for more!” Herne Hill School is holding an open morning on 24 September from 10am-12.30pm. For admission information, call 020 7274 6336 or see

Open Meetings 2011 James Allen’s Preparatory School 4-11 Thames, because small schools build big futures Saturday 1 October 10am-12 noon

Tours for Reception–Year 2 are at the Pre-Prep 2 Dulwich Village, SE21 7AL Talks by the Head of the Pre-Prep at 10.40am and 11.40am Tours for Years 3-6 are at JAPS 144 East Dulwich Grove, SE22 8TE Talks by the Headteacher of JAPS at 10.40am and 11.40am Please arrive any time between 10am and 12 noon for a tour of either or both sites For information about additional Wednesday tours at JAPS contact Katherine Graham Tel: 020 8693 3465


families south east - september 2011

OPEN DAYS Wednesday 28 September 10.15-12.15 Saturday 1 October 10.00-13.00

Exceptional independent secondary school for boys & girls For enrolment and all inclusive fee details call 020 7228 3933 Thames Christian College, Wye Street, London SW11 2HB

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Herne Hill School for love, care and an excellent education Independent Co-ed Pre-Prep & Nursery, 3-7 Years, Founded 1976, Member ISA

Junior School

Independent day school for boys and girls aged 4 –11 Townley Road, Dulwich, London SE22 8SU


Co-educational Excellence

Saturday 17 September 10am – 12.30pm Thursday 3 and Tuesday 15 November 1.30 – 3.00pm The Headmaster will give a short talk during the morning/afternoon, and visitors may look around the school. It is not necessary to book for Open Days. For further details please see our website We look forward to welcoming you to Alleyn’s Junior School. Please email or call 020 8557 1519 to obtain a prospectus or for any other information.

Excellent and Outstanding: 58 times ! ISI, the Independent Schools Inspectorate, have just published their inspection report on Herne Hill School (see The words excellent (the highest rating for Whole School and Key Stage 1) and outstanding (the highest rating for the Early Years Foundation Stage) feature an incredible 46 and 12 times, respectively. We are proud of this stellar result achieved by our staff and pupils and would like to thank and congratulate them all! Come and see what makes Herne Hill School so special on Open Morning, Sat. 24th Sept. 10am – 12:30pm. The Old Vicarage, 127 Herne Hill, London SE24 9LY Tel: 020 7274 6336

OPEN DAY SATURDAY 24 September 2011 10am - 1pm



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Back to School School News

Beddy Road Safety Scheme

SCHS joins Get Set Network Streatham & Clapham High School has been officially welcomed to London 2012’s Get Set network, in recognition of their commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Values. LOCOG awarded SCHS a plaque and certificate to acknowledge their involvement in the London 2012 education programme. They join schools and colleges across the UK as members of a special London 2012 community - the Get Set network and will receive access to exclusive competitions and 2012 Games related opportunities over the coming years. SCHS is committed to promoting sport both within the school and in the wider community. There is a Hockey Academy at its all-weather pitch, where pupils from other Lambeth schools take part in training and matches. SCHS pupils compete at a national level in gymnastics and, with a strong representation at the London Youth Games, a fantastic number of girls have been selected by Lambeth to represent the borough in gymnastics, netball and hockey. SCHS also works closely with Henry Cavendish Primary School where, as Young Leaders, girls assist with the organising and running of their Sports Day. SCHS is planning a number of cross curricular activities, not only for the school but also for the wider community. These will allow girls to engage in the Olympic movement in a variety of ways. The culmination of the year will be the school’s biennial Summer Show, which will have a distinctly Olympic theme, and will involve girls across year groups, from Junior to Senior. Streatham & Clapham High is an independent junior and senior girls’ day school, and a member of the Girls’ Day School Trust. For admissions information, call 020 8674 6912 or go to

Classroom Campaigns

Struggling to read This year’s Key Stage 2 results, released in August, show a fall in the proportion of children achieving above the expected level in both reading and writing. Schools Minister Nick Gibb commented: “... a third of children are still struggling in the three Rs. There has been a decline in the proportion of children - both boys and girls - who can read and write beyond the expected level. And the results of our weakest readers and writers also remain a real concern. We are determined to raise standards of reading. There will always be some children for whom reading is a struggle. However, we can and must do much better for the one in 10 boys who at the age of eleven can read no better than a seven-year-old.” He added: “We are ensuring more schools use the tried and tested reading mechanism of phonics. We’re introducing a reading check for all children at the age of six to identify those that are struggling and ensuring they can be targeted. It is also critical that children read for pleasure. All primary school children should have a reading book on the go at home. Evidence from around the world indicates that the more a child reads, the better their attainment in all subjects - not just reading - will be.”

A new safety scheme is teaching 5-7 year-olds about road safety in an engaging and fun way. Nationwide logistics company Bedfords Transport is visiting primary schools across the country with real trucks that children can climb inside, delivering messages about stopping distances, blind spots and the dangers of reversing trucks. The Beddy road safety scheme runs in conjunction with the charity Brake UK. It is backed up with a website featuring truck and forklift characters that children can interact with, plus lesson plans that parents and teachers can download to help reduce injuries and fatalities. Interested schools and teachers can contact Lauren Slack on 01924 422 456; the website is

Sunshine Week From 19-23 September, schools can join in the first national Sunshine Week to help raise funds for the Variety Club children’s charity. Every school taking part can access supporting materials including posters, sponsorship forms, fundraising ideas and lesson plans. The activities introduce 5-13 year-olds to the Variety Club and explain how the charity lights up the lives of disabled and disadvantaged children in the UK. For more information, go to

Open Days If the next date is not yet listed, contact the school for a prospectus and admissions information: Sydenham High School GDST, 020 8557 7000, juniors 15 Westwood Hill SE26,, Senior school open day 17 September 2011, Junior school 24 September 2011 Herne Hill School, 24 September, ages 3-7, The Old Vicarage, 127 Herne Hill SE24 9LY, 020 7274 6336,

Blackheath High School GDST, 8 + 13 October , 8 + 16 November, juniors Wemyss Road SE3 020 8852 1537, seniors Vanbrugh Road SE3 020 8853 2929,

Streatham & Clapham High School, 24 September 2011, juniors Wavertree Road SW2, 020 8674 6912, seniors Abbotswood Road SW16, 020 8677 8400,

Colfe’s School, Horn Park Lane SE12, senior school 020 8852 2283, pre-prep and prep 020 8463 8240,

Deptford Green School, 26, 27 and 28 September, Amersham Vale, New Cross SE14 6LQ, 020 8691 3236,, Thames Christian College, 28 September and 1 October, Wye Street SW11, 020 7228 3933, Alleyn’s School, Townley Road SE22,, juniors 020 8557 1519, 17 September, 3 and 15 November 2011, senior school 020 8557 1500 Bromley High School GDST, Open morning 1 October 2011, juniors and seniors, Blackbrook Lane BR1, 020 8781 7000, James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGS), 1 October, senior department East Dulwich Grove SE22, 020 8693 1181,


JAPS, 1 October, pre-prep, 2 Dulwich Village SE21, 020 8693 3465, prep department 144 East Dulwich Grove SE22, 020 8693 0374,

families south east - september 2011

Croydon High School GDST, Old Farleigh Road CR2, 020 8260 7500, Dulwich College, Dulwich Common SE21, 020 8299 9263, Eltham College, Grove Park Road SE9, 020 8857 1455,, junior and senior schools Old Palace of John Whitgift, Old Palace Road, Croydon CR0, 020 8688 2027, Rosemead Preparatory School, 70 Thurlow Park Road SE21 and Elmcourt Road SE27, 020 8670 5865, St Dunstan’s College, Stanstead Road SE6, 020 8516 7200,

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A dynamic secondary scho ol where high achievers thrive

Deptford Green School Open events 2011 Monday 26 September 9.15–11.15am Tuesday 27 September 9.15–11.15am Thursday 29 September 6.30–8pm Amersham Vale, SE14 6LQ

SYDENHAM HIGH JUNIOR SCHOOL Independent education for girls




“I enjoy being busy and having lots of fun whilst working hard.” Anjali, Year 7

A GDST school



4+, 7,+ 11+ and 16+ 2012 Fees assistance & Scholarships available (11+ and 16+) Tel: 020 8781 7000

OPEN DAYS 2011 10.00am - 1.00pm

Saturday 24 September 9.30am - 11.00am

OPEN DAYS 2011 10.00am - 1.00pm

Saturday 17 September 9.30 am - 11.00am

Tuesday 27 September Tuesday 11 October Thursday 10 November For more information please call our Admissions team

Tuesday 4 October Thursday 13 October Tuesday 15 November Thursday 24 November For more information please call our Admissions team

020 8557 7000 Email: 19 Westwood Hill, Sydenham, London SE26 6BL

SYDENHAM HIGH SENIOR SCHOOL Independent education for girls

020 8557 7000 Email: 15 Westwood Hill, Sydenham, London SE26 6BL

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september 2011 - families south east


Clubs and Classes By Robina Cowan

With the constant wail that schools focus on teaching children to pass tests, adding out of school activities gives your child a chance to shine and have fun outside the classroom. Hobbies lead to new friends, they reveal hidden talents and develop skills that could become a real advantage one day. Everyone is good at something, and finding it is a huge confidence booster. Just because you drop the ball in PE doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be great at swimming or dancing; the child who isn’t interested in the bright lights can still shine in an arts class or on the sports field. There really is plenty of variety to choose from, as we’ve been finding out. Try our advertisers they’re here because they want you to know about them and will be happy to answer any questions you might have. For more information all year round, children’s activities are also listed on our website

Hamish, 11, concentrates on sports: I do football, cricket and rugby at school, and karate on Saturday mornings. The extra practice means I get on better teams at school

What to do: where to go Music Music gives amazing educational and developmental benefits. From just three months, babies actively enjoy music groups, and as soon as they can shake a rattle, they can join in too. Belting out a song teaches rhythm and helps develop speech. Those hand actions you do when you sing nursery rhymes? They boost spatial reasoning, which will later be useful in maths and science. Playing an instrument is great for dexterity and co-ordination. It teaches teamwork and responsibility, and improves concentration and memory. At six or seven, children night start with a recorder, keyboard or violin. From eight, guitar is an option. Brass and wind instruments are best left to older children, when children can join their school band or orchestra. Try these: MONKEY MUSIC, 3 months to 4 years, Blackheath, Greenwich, Dulwich and Herne Hill 020 8764 5185, Forest Hill, Sydenham and Crystal Palace 020 8699 0977, Beckenham, Bromley, Chislehurst and West Wickham 020 8777 6700, TIN PAN ANNIE, babies and young children, Dulwich and Herne Hill, 020 8670 0644, CATERPILLAR MUSIC, Rotherhithe and Bermondsey 020 8979 9139, Dulwich 0778 613 0537, Blackheath and Lee 020 8693 9731 FUNKY MONKEY KEYBOARD CLASSES, ages 5-8, 0800 107 7949, MUSIC FOR LITTLE PEOPLE, under 5s, Lee Green, Beckenham, East Dulwich, Bromley and Chislehurst, 020 8852 0118,

BEA’S BABY MUSIC, babies to 6 years, West Norwood 020 8670 9378, BECKENHAM JUNIOR CHOIR, ages 7-11, Beckenham, 020 8650 9164, BECKENHAM YOUTH VOICES, ages 11+, Beckenham 020 8650 9164, JASSPA, ages 4-17, East Dulwich 020 8613 6444, BOPPIN’ BUNNIES, pre-schoolers, Greenwich, Blackheath, Charlton, Honor Oak, New Cross, Eltham and Plumstead, 020 8127 8846,

Practical considerations While it might seem tempting to guide your child to musical, sporting and artistic genius outside the classroom, they need time for just ‘chilling’ too. Liz Baker is a parent, and also a school teacher. In her view: “there is no point in enrolling in every class going. Don’t assume your child will get an academic head start. They will only benefit academically when they are ready, and not before. Remember children get exhausted too - give them time to themselves. Children should choose and be given a taste of each activity before deciding if he or she wants to commit to it long-term - there’s no gain in putting your child under pressure.” • Think ahead. You may need to put your child’s name on a waiting list, particularly for more popular classes • Stay local. Walking distance is best, otherwise getting there and back becomes another chore • Great staff. The best leaders are enthusiastic, skilled, trained, and have eyes in the back of their heads to spot children who need a little more encouragement, particularly when they are new and might feel shy • Additional costs. Will you need specialist clothes or equipment? Does the club offer these second-hand? Is there an annual subscription or insurance charge? How much are exam fees? • Look-see. Many clubs offer a free trial class, especially if they run on a term basis. If that’s not possible, ask to pay weekly for the first two sessions • Give it time. Some children are prone to dropping out. Unless you think they are completely and utterly unsuited to the activity, or really, really hate it, stick it out for at least a couple of terms.


families south east - september 2011

Active Bodies Regular exercise is hugely beneficial to longterm health and fitness. It’s easy to see the value of activities that help children burn off some energy at the end of the school day, or build skills in sports which they already enjoy at school. Even the tiniest children can benefit from the social side of playing team games, or the fun element of learning a ‘solo’ sport like trampolining, tennis or diving. When children are engaged, they pay more attention - 61% of young people claim to be better behaved in PE than other lessons, in most cases simply because they enjoy it more. This is particularly true amongst boys, and children who admit to misbehaving at school - of whom 73% claim to be better behaved in PE lessons. Try these: ages from children to adults, East Dulwich, SOUTH LONDON DANCE STUDIOS, children 020 8693 9111, from 18 months to adults, 130 Herne Hill SE24, 020 JASSPA, ages 4-17, East Dulwich 020 8613 6444, 7978 8624, DIDDI DANCE, ages 2-4, all areas, 07973 982 790, LITTLE GEMS DANCE COMPANY, all ages, Sydenham 0794 617 6452, CRYSTAL PALACE DIVING CLUB, ages 6 to teens, 020 8771 4729, MICROSPORT, under 5, Beckenham and Bromley, 01263 741938, TENNIS-4-KIDS, ages 2-11, East Dulwich, ZENITH DANCE, ages 3 to adult, Greenwich, Blackheath and Bromley, 07877 391 005, 07774 507810 or 07999 547 565, GYMBOREE, ages 3-5 years, Herne Hill, OPEN DOOR, all ages, Blackheath, 020 8557 020 8123 8423, 8456, TUMBLETOTS, 6 months to 5 years, Dulwich, YOGA, ages 3-12, East Dulwich 020 8299 9798, Blackheath, Battersea and Clapham, 020 8464 4433 GAMBADO, toddler classes, Beckenham, YOUNG STARS, ages 3-7, Herne Hill and Dulwich, 020 8662 6910, 07920 426499, BOOGIE MITES, babies to preschoolers, SPORTS EXTRA, all ages, 08453 716 121, 02392 817 274, PUSH STUDIOS, dance and active classes for all

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Club Directory EARLY YEARS




MA DRA AGES 12 - 19





Book Your Free Session Today TEL: 0208 244 4873

Imagination for the Everyday Early years Drama

+ Weekly classes in Lee, Blackheath and Hither Green

+ Schools, nurseries and parties too! - 07801072776

The Nature Bug

Fun, friendly and rewarding music classes for children aged 0-5.

Classes in Lee Green, Beckenham, East Dulwich, Bromley and Chislehurst.

Inspiring children to love nature

Weekly classes teaching children about nature through fun interactive games, movement & music, art & craft & stories. Age 2½ - 4 yrs.

07521 778136

Fun French for Children

Fun Spanish for Children

• 3 – 11 years old • Games, Songs & Drama • Native French Teachers • Professional Materials • Free Trial Session

• 3 – 11 years old • Games, Songs & Drama • Native Spanish Teachers • Professional Materials • Free Trial Session

For SE3, SE4, SE12 SE21, SE22, SE23 & SE24

For SE21, SE22, SE23 & SE24

Call Séverine: 020 8699 7665

Call Séverine: 020 8699 7665

Call now for a free trial class Contact Rebecca Vicary

Tel: 020 8852 0118 Email:

Une école francaise pour enfants francophones ou bilingues agés de 2 à 7 ans We don’t teach French as a foreign language but simply use it as a living language Herne Hill

Native teachers

Pour plus de renseignements: email: Contacter Fatima Bida-Foster 07917 301550


Last spaces for this term . . . Weekday ‘Melody Movement’ music & dance classes for children from 18 months to 3 years Ballet, tap, modern & street dance classes for children and adults

130 Herne Hill, SE24 9QL 020 7978 8624

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september 2011 - families south east


You name it We label it!

Lunchboxes • Water Bottles Books • Uniforms • Footwear

T: 01635 298326

LEARN YOUNG HAVE FUN Rally round for a smashing time. A fun filled introduction to tennis for 2-8 yr olds. Played indoors with small rackets, sponge balls and scaled-down court. Aids agility, co-ordination and balance. A positive introduction to tennis with lots of fun. Weekend and weekday sessions now available. For further details ring Gordon on 07877391005 or e-mail

East Dulwich & Dulwich Park 0778 613 0537 (Suzie)

Rotherhithe & Bermondsey 020 8979 9139 (Tim & Emily)

What will we discover Inside the story sock? What do you think is hiding? Come here and take a look... Story Sock is an original and exciting class where stories are explored and brought to life with characters, props and activities that educate, enrich and entertain.

Dotty Socks - 2-3 years Stripy Socks - 3-4 years Call Katy today to book your FREE INTRODUCTION CLASS in Blackheath or Greenwich | 07957 136270


families south east - september 2011


Arts and Crafts

With over 60 different languages now spoken in schools across the UK, we are bringing up our children in a truly multicultural society. Experts agree that the earlier a child starts learning other languages, the better. Children are extremely receptive to new ideas and information, especially when they’re having fun. Preschool language classes build confidence and familiarity on an instinctive level, typically through songs, dances and simple games. School age children should be more aware of grammar and syntax, and supplementing school lessons with a language club will pay dividends - boosting their confidence, vocabulary and appreciation of different cultures. Try these: LE CLUB FRANCAIS, ages 3-11, all areas 020 8699 7665 EL CLUB ESPANOL, Dulwich, Forest Hill and Herne Hill, 020 8699 7665 CADET ROUSSELLE-ECOLE, bilingual children (French) aged 2-7, Herne Hill, 07917 301550,

Children love to get messy, and the chance to create their own piece of art is something special. Even the smallest child loves the sensation of clay between fingers, or the thrill of splodging finger paints on paper. Expressing themselves through the arts whether through painting, drawing, storywriting or making ‘junk models’ - gives children the freedom to unleash their creativity and push boundaries. By providing a balance and a creative outlet, art skills complement and assist literacy and numeracy skills in the classroom. If you’re not artistically inclined yourself, or never have the time to sit down and help your child create a wonderful cushion, collage or clay model, why not leave it to the experts? Try these: STORY SOCK, classes for ages 2-4, Blackheath and Greenwich, parties for ages 2-6 years, 07957 136270, THE NATURE BUG CLUB, preschoolers, Telegraph Hill, Greenwich, Blackheath, New Cross, Lewisham, Lee, East Dulwich, 07521 778 163, CRAWLEY POTTERY STUDIOS, all ages, Forest Hill 020 8516 0002, CRAFTY COOKS, children’s cookery, Forest Hill and Hither Green, 07811 108523, PLAY WITH CLAY, ages 6-14, Streatham, 07930 413 649, WOODCRAFT FOLK, ages 5-15, Bromley, 020 8777 4397,

Theatre Arts “I like acting and pretending to be someone else and learning songs and dances with my friends,” says five-year-old William, who has attended a children’s performing arts club for nearly a year. For boosting the confidence of shy or reserved children, drama can’t be beaten. And the skills that a child learns through performing arts classes will stand them in good stead throughout their lives twenty years down the line, they’ll thank you when it comes to addressing a meeting room or chairing a conference. Performing arts classes are not only for children with starry aspirations. Theatre arts bring literature to life, and build self-confidence. Learning to perform in front of an audience can help children with public speaking; role playing and improvisation give their minds freedom to develop while developing empathy for other people’s feelings. Try these: PERFORM and PERFORM PLUS, Londonwide, ages 3 months to 12 years, 0845 400 1277, STAGECOACH THEATRE ARTS SCHOOLS, ages 416 years, Dulwich 0845 055 6368, Blackheath 020 8417 0100, Sydenham 020 8949 1116, Beckenham 020 8979 2156, FREEDOM ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS, ages 3 to 19 years, Dulwich, Forest Hill, Herne Hill and Gypsy Hill, 020 8244 4873, THEATRE TOTS, preschoolers, Elephant and Castle, Hither Green, Blackheath, 0780 107 2776, MONTAGE THEATRE ARTS, ages 3 to adult, Brockley, 020 8692 7007, THE ALBANY, performances and classes for all ages, Deptford, 020 8692 4446,

School Support Parents choose out of school academic subjects for their children for a host of reasons - perhaps your little one excels in maths and you want to give them more challenging and stimulating tuition - or maybe you simply want to supplement what is being taught at school by introducing the skills needed for independent study and fluency in the subject. Whatever your reason, group or individual tuition can make a huge difference to your child’s progress and greatly enhance their school-based studies. More and more parents, particularly in London, are hiring private tutors to give their child the edge when it comes to achieving in class, or practising and preparing for exams. If your child is bringing home good school reports and is happy and settled, there’s no need; however there’s no longer any stigma in finding extra help if you want to, and the best classes are fun as well as educational. Try these: YES TOUCH TYPING, all ages, Greenwich 020 8858 9180, KIP McGRATH, tutorial assistance in reading, spelling, comprehension, English and maths, preschool to secondary school, UK wide including Forest Hill 020 8291 6603 and West Norwood 0800 530 0375, FLEET TUTORS, all ages and areas, 020 8580 3911, CUBE TUITION, 020 8291 5522 or 020 8946 7682, TALKING TOTS, preschoolers, Forest Hill and Dulwich, 07967 126 148, INKHEAD CREATIVE WRITING, ages 8-16, 020 8778 0183, KUMON maths and English, all ages, 0800 854 714,

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Club Directory




$FWLRQVRQJVDQGUK\PHV 0XVLFDQGPRYHPHQW )XQZLWKSHUFXVVLRQ 0XVLFDOJDPHV Since 1993 thousands of children across the UK have grown up with Monkey Music. Our unique teaching curriculum was written by classically trained musicians, and introduces music to very young children in a way they can easily understand and enjoy. 5RFNœQ¡UROOIURPPRQWKV +HLJKKR²IURPPRQWKV -LJJHW\MLJ² \HDUROGV 'LQJGRQJ² \HDUROGV :LQQHURIWKH%HVW1DWLRQDO3UH6FKRRO$FWLYLW\$ZDUG

Act, sing and dance at your local Stagecoach Here’s a way to spend weekends that’ll have 4-16 year olds buzzing. Enrol them in your local Stagecoach Theatre Arts school where they learn to act, sing and dance. The skills they learn aren’t just for the Stage. Our students grow in conďŹ dence and self-esteem ‌..Skills for Life! There’s no audition – all they need is enthusiasm.

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Beckenham Beckenham Blackheath Blackheath Dulwich Dulwich Sydenham Sydenham

020 256 8979212 2156 01932 0800 5519 020169 8417 0010 0845 055 6368 0845 055 6368 020020 8949 1116 8949 1116



september 2011 - families south east


We are looking for babies and children between the ages of 0 and 12 years to assist us in a range of fun activities investigating how children see. The Child Vision Lab is based at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in Central London. We will refund any travelling costs up to £20.

020 7608 6819

Club News Perform expands

Gymboree wins award

London-based Perform drama, dance and singing workshops started a class in January 2000 with three children. They now have 3,500 children attending their workshops across London, helping children develop their social skills whilst having the best fun of the week. Perform Plus offers a unique mix of drama, dance and singing specially formulated to bring out every child’s true potential. Classes are kept small to ensure lots of individual attention by their experienced actor/ teachers. They work exclusively with 8-12 year old children and their focus is entirely on The 4 Cs: Confidence, Communication, Co-ordination and Concentration. Principal Lucy Quick told us: “We are incredibly excited about opening new classes in Blackheath and Sevenoaks from September. It’s an amazingly creative area, and we have found some fantastic local people to lead the workshops.” Perform’s 4-8 year-olds meanwhile are this term taking a dramatic journey filled with colourful wild adventures within tropical rainforests. Southeast London classes are held in Dulwich, Blackheath, Bromley and Petts Wood, and children are invited to a free trial session. For more information, call 0845 400 1277 or go to

Gymboree Herne Hill has won in the ‘best national pre-school’ category in the 2011 ‘What’s On 4 Junior’ awards. Now in their fifth year, the awards celebrate the best activities, classes and party providers from all over the UK, as nominated and voted for by parents. For over 30 years Gymboree has been offering fun, interactive classes for 0-5 year-olds. Classes include baby play sensory exploration for infants, gym classes, music & dance classes, arts classes and more. Gymboree also hosts preschool birthday parties. For more information or to book a free trial class at Gymboree in Herne Hill, call Charlotte on 020 8123 8423 or visit

Diddi Dance is growing Diddi Dance has added another venue to its ever-expanding London classes. Parents can now take their pre-schoolers to Hither Green on Friday mornings, for funky sessions which help with co-ordination, rhythm, gross motor skills, socialisation and confidence. There are classes all over London, and parties are available too. For information, contact the founder Anne-Marie Wilkins on 07973 982790,

Freedom Youth Theatre

Family Legal Services To arrange an initial free consultation please ring

020 8858 6971 Friendly, professional legal advice Email Visit Norman House, 110-114 Norman Road, Greenwich, SE10 9EH Find us just around the corner from Greenwich train & DLR stations


families south east - september 2011

Beckenham Junior Choir Beckenham Junior Choir (ages 7-11) and Beckenham Youth Voices (ages 11 to teens) are local young singers who meet weekly to make music and prepare for public performances. Established in 1993, the choirs attract a wide range of similar aged children from many different schools, all of whom have a love of singing a variety of different songs, often accompanied by a pianist and young instrumentalists. Both choirs meet on Wednesday evenings in Beckenham, and new singers are always welcome without audition. For more information, call the director of music John Webber on 020 8650 9164 or see

Crystal Palace Diving

Freedom Youth Theatre are inviting 12 - 19 year-olds to audition for their production of ‘A Christmas Carol’. Auditions will be held on Tuesday 6 September from 6pm - 8pm at The Charter School, Red Post Hill, Dulwich. The majority of the audition will take place in a group environment however some children may be asked to read individually. Cast members do not need any previous experience just lots of energy and enthusiasm! The Youth Theatre is part of Freedom Youth Academy, which runs numerous performing arts, drama and dance classes for children ranging from 3 to 19 yearolds. For more information, contact Freedom Academy on:020 8244 4873,,

The Crystal Palace Diving Club is the 2011 Top Junior Diving Team in England, training elite divers who compete for Great Britain at Europeans, Worlds and at the Olympic Games. Talented children who show competitive potential are offered trial places in the club’s ‘school talent teams’, and compete for their schools every term in the London Schools competitions. Talent testing takes place every month and is overseen by international coaches, and is part of the ASA England Talent Scheme ‘Search for Future Diving Champions’. The diving classes are for children aged six years to teens, at the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace. For information, go to, call 020 8771 4729 or email

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What do the children say? How much extra-curricular activity do children think they should be doing, and what are their favourites?

Imogen, 8, says: “I did tap dancing with my friend Molly but I didn’t like it, but I like Brownies and I’m in the school rounders team. I just wish we beat other schools more often!”

Talking Tots Hearing your child say their first words is exciting for any parent and we all know how important it is to encourage this essential skill. Helen Mardling of Talking Tots offers some top tips to help young children communicate with confidence: • From an early age, tell your baby what you’re doing, whether it’s changing his nappy or making his supper. But don’t forget to leave time for him to answer you, even if it’s just with a gurgle for now • Read together as much as you can. Books and stories help build your child’s vocabulary and if Mum and Dad can join in with silly voices and sound effects, it will encourage your little one to try out new sounds too • Be descriptive. If your child points to a tree, talk about how big it is, what colour it is, what sound it’s making. Help your child to learn how to describe the world around them • Don’t correct children’s speech. Don’t tell your child when she gets something wrong, but don’t use baby talk yourself. Instead, use the correct words and gradually she will begin to copy you • Play games. Simple games are a great way to introduce numbers, colours and letter sounds. As you tidy up, suggest he finds the red toys while you put away the yellow toys. Challenge your toddler to count blocks when you build towers, or steps as you go upstairs • Sing songs with your child, especially those with fun noises and actions. Encouraging her to join in will develop her vocabulary and memory • Encourage your child to get involved in household chores. As you sort the laundry, for example, talk about colours and shapes. Talking Tots classes are held in the Dulwich and Forest Hill area. For information call Helen on 07967 126148 or visit

Funky Monkey free trial Funky Monkey Keyboard Classes have kids swinging all over town with their fun packed, all action group keyboard lessons. The classes teach children how to read and write music and play the electronic keyboard to a recognised exam. Five to eight year-old beginners can try their first lesson free during the new term which starts from 19 September. Classes are held in Brixton, Dulwich, Herne Hill, East Dulwich, Blackheath and Streatham. For information and bookings, visit, call 0800 107 7949 or email

Tumble Tots are active The government recommends that our under five year-olds need three hours of physical activity a day to help with the crisis of obesity. Chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies says: “All young children should be encouraged to be active. For children that are not yet walking, there is considerable international evidence that letting children crawl, play or roll around on the floor is essential during early years. Play that allows under-fives to move about is critical and three hours a day is essential.”Tumble Tots have recognised the

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Danny, 12, says, “When I was younger I did football club, recorder club, cooking and chess club, but now I’m at senior school, I’m just doing football for now” Jackson, 9, says: “I go to swimming, football and piano classes. I’d like to give up the piano because I don’t want to practise every day, but my Mum won’t let me” Ruth, 3, says: “I do ballet like Angelina Ballerina and I wear a tutu.”

importance of promoting a healthy active lifestyle for babies and children from six months to seven years old for over 32 years. Their active play programme is designed to develop children’s physical skills of agility, balance and co-ordination and climbing as well as develop their positive personality traits. The sessions are 45-minutes, once a week. For classes in southeast London, call Julia Forrest on 020 8464 4433 or email

Crawley Studios

Great Fun for Any Age Come along and enjoy the excitement of painting the item of your choice. We provide a large selection of unpainted pottery, from egg cups and mugs to ducks and dinosaurs, as well as paints, brushes, stencils and stamps.

Children’s parties with a difference For further details please ring:

Another year of Story Sock! Story Sock is up and running and ready for another busy year. Owner Katy told us: “It’s hard to believe that another year has passed and it’s time, once again, to begin our autumn term. It’s so rewarding seeing the children get so enthusiastic about books after all that was always our key intention - but it’s also fantastic to see how the combination of stories, arts and crafts, songs, games and drama are also encouraging language, creativity, listening skills, motor skills and confidence. The classes, for 2-4 year-olds, are held in Blackheath and Greenwich. To book a free trial, or ask about Story Sock parties for 1-6 year-olds, call Katy on 07957 136270, or go to

Tel/Fax: 020 8516 0002 Open daily weekdays, weekends and evenings by appointment only 39 Wood Vale, Forest Hill, London SE23 3DS

The Nature Bug Children who are fascinated by creepy crawlies and bugs have the chance to join The Nature Bug. The new club teaches children about nature and encourages wildlife exploration through themed games, movement and music, art and craft activities, and stories. Classes are held weekly during term times in a number of southeast London venues, for 21⁄2 to four year-olds. For more information, call 07521 778 163 or see

Boppin’ Bunnies Boppin’ Bunnies is a pre-school music session with a twist. The sessions are led by professional musicians and workshop leaders. Most are hand picked from London’s Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Trinity College of Music and Universities specialising in Music. All teachers are Early Years music specialists and play live instruments to little ones, including the violin, clarinet, saxophone, cello or French horn. Children can try out real instruments and use sensory materials so everyone - including parents can play, dance and sing together. For more information and a free taster class, call Anna on 020 8127 8846 or 07855 916 496, or see

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At Tumbletots we endeavour to provide the opportunities, through a challenging environment of active physical play, for children to fully explore and develop their physical capability, especially their motor skills of balance, agility and co-ordination, whilst at the same time stimulating the imagination and having fun. Classes also include music, songs and rhymes, and are split into different age groups starting at six months up to 5 years.

Information / bookings: for Dulwich, Blackheath, Battersea and Clapham Call Julia Forrest on 020 8464 4433 or email september 2011 - families south east


Mothers Mean Business From Big Top to Tea Pot Former high-wire performer and mother of two, Sally-Anne Donaldson, tells Families how she swapped one tough balancing act for another with the launch of her family arts cafe, Tea Dance for Little People. Tea Dance for Little People offers the Brockley community, parents and carers of young children a relaxed escape from routine in a quality cafe, serving excellent fresh salads, sandwiches, cakes and, of course, tea and coffee. Pre-school-aged children get to experience a unique approach to physical and creative development led by specially trained artists, dancers and musicians. Unlike other cafes, at TDLP, jumping on the sofas is positively encouraged! We launched in July to great fanfare. The Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock, and VIP guests joined local families at the two-day Hearty Arty Tea Party and gave TDLP a warm welcome to the area. This exciting new venture is where I want to channel all my years of experience as a performer and choreographer. Trapeze artist, stilt-walker, dancer, film and TV actress - I’ve done it all. I have choreographed for dance, circus and carnival companies in Peru, Lithuania, Romania and France as well as at home. I capped that phase of my career with an MA in Dance Anthropology, focussing my research on creative movement practice with young children. Fieldwork for the qualification was conducted in Lewisham and that’s when I decided to turn research into practice. I’m proud to be part of a growing international community that is raising the profile of theatre and movement as effective early intervention in the health, well-being and development of children. And, in a nutshell, that’s how Tea Dance for Little People was born. The cafe’s theme changes regularly so no two visits are the same. Meticulous planning, a creative approach to frugal resources and the incredible generosity of so many volunteers helped me transform the cafe from living room to beach in a weekend. Many more exciting themes are coming soon. We mark the seasons, special events and cultural festivals too. Halloween at TDLP will be an experience children won’t forget. Our resident witches and wizards, all artists trained in the TDLP methodology, will help the children learn a monster dance, cast spells and create spooky characters. Watch out too for our spectacular alternative Christmas grotto or get in touch to talk about giving your child a truly unique birthday party.

TDLP is for every child While the vibe is bright, fun and playful, TDLP has a serious purpose. It was inspired by years of performing, teaching and research with families, children, young offenders and women in prison. TDLP’s aim is to promote the health and wellbeing of 0-5 year-old children and strengthen the bond between child and parent or carer through exposure to the arts. I believe that every child should have easy access to a range of artistic disciplines and experience them at a pace that suits. Our artists are trained to observe and follow our visiting Little People and involve them just as much as they want, even if that’s just watching from Dad’s lap the first time. Every child has something to gain from visiting TDLP.


families south east - september 2011

Our exciting outreach programme will take the TeArtists, as we call the performers, to schools, nurseries and children’s centres, ensuring the greatest number of children possible get to benefit from this pioneering introduction to music, song, dance and movement. With determination, I believe TDLP will expand across London and nationally. We aim to surprise and delight everyone who comes through the door and I am confident that TDLP is unlike any other children’s activity available for many miles around. Visitors have told me they found our artists’ approach to entertaining their children inspirational. Others have said they were able to replicate some of the activities at home cheaply and easily. That kind of feedback means a job well done. It is these ambitious goals and the response from parents and children that have kept me going when someone less stubborn may have given up!

Jumping hurdles Money has been the biggest obstacle to getting started. I was thrilled to get a grant from Lewisham Council to cover some start-up costs and to have the goodwill of my landlord at the Tea Factory in Brockley as well as local architect firm Green Tea Architects. Luck has played a significant part too. Earlier this year, I entered a competition through Families South East magazine for a public relations and marketing package from a local company, Nifty Pigeon, and, yep, I won! This really helped me get the word out there about TDLP while I juggled the mind-bogglingly long list of other tasks, including those in my role as artistic director. That’s where my real passion and expertise lies. Among the other challenges I’ve faced in the frenetic months of setting up is balancing my passion for TDLP with the needs of my family. As a mother of two pre-school children, I have to work very hard to make sure that I get the time my daughters and I need together without compromising the quality of the work I’ve taken on. I’m not unique in this though and, like most mothers in business, my evenings are when I do my thinking, planning, catch up with correspondence and keep my website updated.

Not-for-profit social enterprise It is tough to balance all the conflicting priorities but when you really believe the work you are doing is valuable it all becomes worthwhile. I am driven by the conviction that TDLP, a not-for-profit business, will grow and succeed so that one day I will make a basic living from it and my children will feel proud of their mother building something from nothing. I’m also compensated for the hard work with a good degree of flexibility in the arrangements I make at work. Luckily, my job is all about children so my very own Little People are always welcome and often stop by to join in whatever activity is going on at the time. Because I’m my own boss, I don’t have anyone who can derail my delicate work/ life balance by calling a sudden meeting or demanding my presence elsewhere. Unlike some working mothers, I don’t have to deal with working away

from home or travel. As a performer I spent long periods touring, a lifestyle that I couldn’t contemplate now that I have two young children. So there are real benefits to the work and lifestyle I have chosen. That lifestyle involves juggling many competing priorities. And, since becoming a mother, I have like those who came before me, learnt to multi-task and squeeze in a seemingly impossible number of tasks in my day. I started my MA while working hard as a performer in theatre for babies, pregnant with my first child. I finished it two years later, a week before giving birth to my second!

Get in touch If another parent asked me for advice on setting up in business alone, I’d encourage them to think very carefully about the sacrifices they will make in terms of time with their children and the security of a regularly paid 9-5 type job. I’d tell them that the level of dedication needed to pull it off is high. That means you will succeed if you’re working for something you really believe in. Most importantly, I’d tell them that, if I had my time all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. That’s a pretty good recommendation, isn’t it? TDLP is always looking for help of one kind or another - whether you’re a dab hand with a drill and hammer, can turn your hand to cleaning, helping in the cafe or greeting our visitors. We run an innovative scheme which we call the TeaTime bank. Volunteers help with the many jobs that need doing in return for time credits that they can use at the venue. This is a creative way of launching on a shoestring that works for us and our volunteers, and has helped us make many new friends in the Brockley community. If you like the sound of what we do, come and experience it first-hand. You can find out all about us on our website:; you can email me directly at or call 07817 176018. I’d love to welcome you to TDLP. Drop by. The kettle’s on from 10am to 7pm, 7 days a week at The Tea Factory, 106 Endwell Road, Brockley SE4 2LX.

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The Bookseller Crow

is a fantastic, volume stuffed shop run by some of the most knowledgeable bookworms in the business. Call in for the feel of a real bookshop, or if you’re too busy, pick up the phone or point your mouse at their website for a fast mailorder service. Justine Crow recommends this month’s best titles. BARELY HAS THE festival mud dried under my nails and it’s time to go back to school. It’s been an odd summer, spent mostly without my eldest. I’ve always thought of her as being irritatingly insistent who believes, like my sister - her beloved Aunt Crusty, who told her teacher she wanted to be Barbara “Walkies” Woodhouse when she grew up - that her way is the only way. However it seems, as I watched Trasha beating up the pop-up tent we took to Camp Bestival because it wouldn’t do as she bid, First Born does have the practical knack about her and I missed the can-do attitude that has bypassed Trasha in the gene pool. She merely has attitude. Still, we had a fabulous time at the ultimate family event and though I whimpered, “Never again..” as we hauled our grubby backsides back to the car, grass in hair, earwigs in wellies, I seem to remember sobbing the same statement all those years ago when I first gave birth. Then I went on to have Trasha. And out of the kindness of my heart, provided a small brother for her to torture. BUDDHISM FOR MOTHERS by Sarah Napthali - Allen & Unwin, rrp £8.99. I know what you’re thinking, one glow-stick and hire-wire workshop and she’s born again hippy. Well, for a start, the workshop was all booked up and secondly, I told my teacher I wanted to be a hippy when I grew up (and if not that, a trendsetter). What I did notice when we arrived as the ocean of tents multiplied and spread like knocked-over cereal, was all the stressed parents threatening to kill their children if they so much as set foot on a semi-inflated lilo. But, by the time they’d spent four days drunk in a field using compost loos, being entertained by the ghastly Mr Tumble, a raft of ballet dancers, old rockers and young rappers, those same parents were remarkably supine, whilst their kids ran wild. Billed as a calm approach to caring for yourself and your children, merely sitting back and giving yourself time to read this book will work wonders on the stress levels and save you the price of a ticket. And your inner glow stick will stay lit longer than a muddy weekend. BIRTH OVER 35 by Sheila Kitzinger - Sheldon rrp £9.99. A new edition, this is a vitally informative guide to the business of sprogging past the thirty mark. Given that it seems to be the norm’ these days, there’s still a frisson of shock when you read that 95% of Downs cases are due to age, but Kitzinger says there are risks attached to having babies too young too. She puts it all into context and advises on the cringeworthy stuff also, like breaking the news of your pregnancy to teenage offspring soon after you’ve lectured them on the importance of family planning. Have no fear doll, that will NEVER be me. HOMEWORK HELP FOR MUMS & DADS by Karen Dolby - Michael O’Mara rrp £9.99. Careful not to veer off into the choppy waters of key stage terminology and achievement levels, this surprisingly simple book briskly tackles all the subjects, breaking them into easily surmountable tussocks. With tips and experiments, games such as Shape I Spy, explanations of things like coordinating conjunctions (gulp) and mnemonics - My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles.. go on, guess.. - all done in nice big writing. Now it’s the children’s turn. LUNCH IN PARIS by Elizabeth Bard - Summersdale rrp £8.99. And when you’ve done your homework (and cooked the tea, sorted the washing, changed the baby, ironed the cat etc), you can lock yourself in the bathroom with this story of recipes and romance in Paris. Cold shower optional, though recommended. The answer is the solar system, by the way. YOU’RE IT! by Katie Hewett - Anova Books rrp £5.99. Categorised as ‘travel’ and ‘holiday’, most of the myriad games in here will remind you of your schooldays and mindful of that, illustrated in the much-loved Ladybird style, there are also lists like top ten school dinners and excuses for not doing the aforementioned homework - 3. “the house was so cold we had to set fire to it to keep warm”. I used that one several times.

THE MAGIC CITY by E.Nesbit - Jane Nissen Books rrp £7.99. While we were at a standstill in the cruelly hot sun on the M3 this summer (it only rained when we were not in the car), we listened to The Enchanted Castle by our local literary heroine and what struck me was how brazenly we indulge in fantasy when it is put to us elegantly. Nesbit had a bottomless capacity for transforming the seemingly standard frolics of her protagonists into sparklingly supernatural adventures, no less so in this lesser known of her lovely novels. Then, it was straight back to the reality of Fleet Services. Shudder. THE BIG BOOK OF BIG TRUCKS - Usborne rrp £9.99. This comes with four giant fold-outs. Well, I’ve seen plenty of those on the road these last few weeks too and I can’t see the fascination. They all seem to be driven by oiks who look like Morrissey and behave with the same camp intransigence. Meanwhile, wherever you stand in the nature vs nurture debate, there’s no denying that the trail of pre-schoolers in the bookshop crashing the cash on chunky books about wheels are boys. Though my other sister, Aunty Biff, told her teacher that she wanted to be a lorry driver when she grew up (she’s now in advertising). BORIS GOES CAMPING by Connie Weston & Tim Warnes - Oxford University Press rrp £5.99. Nice teepee but Boris doesn’t half look like he’s been on the wacky-baccy. Takes me right back to a field in Dorset. FIRST WEEK AT COW SCHOOL by Andy Cutbill, illustrated by Russell Ayto - Harpercollins rrp £6.99. No pretext to reality here, with cowpat classes and moosic lessons but I’m nothing if not topical, eh? And I saw a few moo cows this past summer too. In Normandy, we even drew our deckchairs up to the gate of the meadow next-door and watched the herd of milkers for hours. It was better than telly. THE ARTIST WHO PAINTED A BLUE HORSE by Eric Carle - Puffin rrp £12.99. This lucky world still has Eric Carle in it and his new one has a yellow cow inside. And a purple fox. And a polka dot donkey. It is all about breaking the rules creatively, something I thoroughly approve of. A HOME FOR MR TIPPS by Tom Percival - Harpercollins rrp £6.99. We sold a shedload of Tobias & the Super Spooky Ghost Book and this one is also deeply wonderful to look at. It is a bit scary in parts but hey, the kids need a little of that at bedtime. It wouldn’t do to send them off to sleep on a diet of nothing but fluff and ickle bunnies. But it does have a happy ending. THE CAMRA GUIDE TO LONDON’S BEST BEER PUBS & BARS by Des de Moor - CAMRA rrp £12.99. Hah, here’s one for the children that definitely has a happy ending - the bottom of a glass! Seriously though, who hasn’t been gagging for a cold beer with the horrible offspring in tow only to stop dead on the threshold mortified at the thought that perhaps children aren’t allowed in? Or vice versa. That your quiet moment will be spoiled by a hundred nappied hooligans under three foot tall. It’s all in here - kids, kegs and grub. Some boozers you’ll know (congrats to the Grape & Grain!) and some you previously wouldn’t have touched with a proverbial pole. And there’s a ton of fizz at the back. So First Born is back from her travels and now possibly the most terrifying episode in my parenting career has begun: the search for a university (plus all the paperwork). She’ll be needing that can-do attitude because they’ve already really frightened us at a meeting by saying it is going to be a noddy nightmare and nobody has a hope in hell of success. And those that are will have to pay nine grand a year and be in hock forever. And it doesn’t seem like five minutes ago that I asked her, as she sucked on a straw in a Barbie beaker what she loved most of all, chocolate milk or mummy? And she replied without a care in the world, “Chocolate milk.”

The Bookseller Crow, 50 Westow St. Crystal Palace, London SE19 3AF Telephone: 020 8771 8831 email: w w w. f a m i l i e s s e . c o . u k

september 2011 - families south east


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What’sOn See our online listings for MORE activities: then click What’s On

Diary Dates for Grownups ADULT JEWELLERY-MAKING WORKSHOP 16 September, ALHAMBRA HOME & GARDEN, 148 Kirkdale, Sydenham SE26 4BB, 020 3417 6385, Sally Earlam will help you make your own matching bracelet and earrings. You may also bring an item of your own jewellery to repair. £30, all materials provided. Book on 020 3417 6385 or email

ARCHANT GOOD SCHOOLS SHOW As well as stocking gorgeous yarns, books, haberdashery and fabrics we also run knitting, crochet and sewing classes. For more information call us on: 020 8299 6105 www. 45 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London, SE22 8EP

16 + 17 September, OLYMPIA, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX, Two days, two floors of exhibitors and experts to help parents find the best schools for their children, from juniors to seniors. The show brings together representatives from many of the UK’s top independent schools. Keynote speaker Tony Little, head of Eton College will be followed by other high profile, informative guest speakers.Open 9.30am-5pm each day. Admission free but book first.

TDLP SWOP SHOP 17 September, TEA DANCE FOR LITTLE PEOPLE, 106 Endwell Road, Brockley SE4 2LX, From Monday 12th, take in your good quality, washed and ironed clothes, books and toys for 0-5 year olds. When you arrive on Swop Shop day you will get a points card in return to ‘spend’. Anything over your points is cash payment, with all funds going to TDLP social enterprise. There will also be local artisans and health practitioners selling and promoting their work, alongside the usual excellent cafe and TDLP play. 11am-2pm.

NEARLY NEW SALE 17 September, St FAITH’S CENTRE, bottom of Red Post Hill, Herne Hill/ North Dulwich SE24 Good quality baby equipment, children’s clothes, toys and books. £1 entry and open to everyone, refreshments available. Organised by Dulwich and District Twins Club with profits goint to King’s Premature Baby Unit. 10am-12noon.

NEARLY NEW SALE 17 September, St JOHN’S CHURCH, 251 Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham BR3 3JN, Good quality baby clothing and equipment, plus childrenswear, toys and nursery goods. Organised by and in aid of Beckenham & Borders NCT. 11.30am1pm.

ALTERNATIVE FAMILIES SHOW 17 September, GRAND CONNAUGHT ROOMS, Covent Garden, London WC2, A one-stop show about modern parenting. Alongside a host of supporting exhibitors, leading authorities will talk on topics such as fertility treatment, co-parenting,

Call Greg Randall on

020 8670 6141 We help with family problems, including: • Divorce • Separation • Civil partnership dissolution • Disputes about children • Inheritance disputes

Our experience includes dealing with substantial assets We aim to resolve disputes in a constructive and non-confrontational way We can also help with pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements Bank Chambers, Westow Hill, Upper Norwood, London SE19 1TY


families south east - september 2011

surrogacy, adoption and fostering, legal issues surrounding parenting rights, and ethics surrounding parenting by single people or gay couples. Children’s entertainment will be available, allowing parents to speak to the experts. Open 10am-5pm, tickets £12 on the door or £8 booked online.

SPANISH CONVERSATION CLASSES From 28 September, ALHAMBRA HOME & GARDEN, 148 Kirkdale, Sydenham SE26 4BB, 020 3417 6385, A 12 week Spanish conversation group for adults, with intermediates on Wednesdays, and beginners on Thursdays. 7.30-8.30pm, £8 a class. Book through the shop or email

BE STEP-WISE 30 September, 24 Stephenson Way, near Euston NW1 2DP, 020 8761 1633, An all-day workshop entitled ‘When your partner has kids’, run by trained professionals. Discover more about the practicalities of step-family life, pick up useful insights and problem-solving ideas, ask questions and join in with the discussions. 9.15am-4.30pm, £100 includes lunch.

ADULT CROCHET CLASSES 5, 12 and 19 October, ALHAMBRA HOME & GARDEN, 148 Kirkdale, Sydenham SE26 4BB, 020 3417 6385,, Lindy Zubairy will be running a six-hour mixed ability course taught over three workshops. £55, all materials provided. Book through the shop or email

ONE DAY AUTISM WORKSHOP 15 October, NOVOTEL LONDON, 113 Lambeth Road SE1 7LS, 0333 440 201, A workshop for parents, carers and teachers to help get started with teaching children with autism or a developmental delay. The day will cover child assessments, setting up a successful learning environment, making learning fun, monitoring learning and Q&A sessions. 9.30am-5pm, £185 includes refreshments and a full teaching manual to take home.

FIRST AID FOR NANNIES, AU PAIRS AND PARENTS Various dates in SOUTH LONDON, 020 8675 4036, Would you or your childcarer know what to do in an emergency situation? Qualified nurse and first aid trainer Emma Hamnett runs intensive one-day Early Years First Aid courses for nannies and au pairs, and separate courses for interested parent or adults, covering CPR, the recovery position and injuries in babies, children and adults. For dates and more details, call Emma on 020 8675 4036 or see her website.

Events & Exhibitions V&A MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green E2 9PA, 020 8983 5200, This gem of a museum is fascinating for families with young children. The collection includes dolls, dolls’ houses, puppets, teddy bears, games, childcare, clothing, furniture and art and photography. Everyday drop-in activities include storytelling, arts and crafts, and trails. There’s dressing-up, role play and an under 3’s area, an indoor sandpit, and regular special events. If it’s sunny there’s an outdoor space to enjoy a picnic. Open 10am-5.45pm daily, admission free. THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES. Until 26 February 2012, When re-told to children, fairy tales often assume an air of innocence. Good always triumphs over evil, heroes are selfless and love is everlasting. Some fairy tales however, explore the darker side of a child’s imaginary landscape. The Stuff of Nightmares takes a closer look at the playthings of innocents, and features an installation made by local schoolchildren, alongside

work by Katherine Tulloh, Ruhe Weinbergh, Daniel Bell and Sharon Brindle.

MANGA WORKSHOPS 10 September, SADLER’S WELLS, Rosebery Avenue EC1R 4TN, 0844 412 4300, An afternoon of activities related to the world premiere of Sadler’s Wells’ latest production TeZukA. The show is inspired by Japanese ‘god of manga’ Osamu Tezuka, who created some of the world’s most famous manga characters including Astro Boy and Buddha. There will be calligraphy, movement and animation workshops, tickets £6 for all three.

BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM FUN BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R, 020 7601 5545, The Bank of England Museum tells the story of the Bank of England from its foundation in 1694 to its role today as the UK’s central bank. Examine intricately-designed banknotes, feel the weight of a genuine gold bar and

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Theatre, Shows and Music THE RAILWAY CHILDREN WATERLOO STATION, London SE1, 0871 297 0740, London’s breathtaking theatrical event is once again staged at the former Eurostar terminal where a 1,000 seat venue has been built around the railway tracks with audiences seated either side. Join Bobby, Peter and Phyllis as they tell the story of how they became The Railway Children in an adaptation of E.Nesbit’s classic story. Tickets from £22.75.

WOYZECK ON THE HIGHVELD 6-10 September, BARBICAN, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS, 020 7638 8891, Handspring Puppets’ production tells of a migrant worker sho struggles to survive in a callous, inhospitable, urban landscape, with hand-carved puppets, animated film and haunting music. Ages 14+, tickets from £18.

IN THE NIGHT GARDEN LIVE 10-24 September, BRENT CROSS, London 0844 581 1251, Popular children’s TV characters Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends are brought to life with full-size costumes, enchanting music, magical puppets and spectacular panoramic projections, creating an immersive theatrical experience to make audiences feel they are actually entering the magical world of ‘In the Night Garden’. One of last year’s top-selling children’s theatre productions in the UK with rave reviews, extended runs and sell-out performances, the production takes place in its own all-weather, custom-built, inflatable showdome. Performances throughout the day, tickets £10-£29.50.

UNICORN THEATRE PRODUCTIONS UNICORN THEATRE, 020 7645 0560, BILLY THE KID, 24 Sept-30 Oct. The only thing Billy ever wanted to do was play for Chelsea - and his dream came true when he was signed by the club to become a champion striker for the first team. But that was 1939. Then the Second World War began and Billy’s life changed forever. Will Billy the Kid ever see his beloved Chelsea again? And will they remember him? Billy the Kid is adapted from the hit novel by Michael Morpurgo, former children’s laureate and award-winning author of popular children’s books, including War Horse. Ages 8+, tickets £8 to £19, family tickets £34-£54. THE MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER, 17-18+24-25 September. Michael Rosen’s play is based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ and follows Miranda’s daughter as she discovers the magical isle for herself. Ages 3-6, tickets £9 children, £11 adults, £32 families. UNDER A FOREIGN SKY, 4-8 October. Inspired by the global economic crisis, Paula B Stanic’s play asks what happens to young migrants when they arrive in a new country and try to make new lives for themselves. Ages 13+, tickets £9 children, £11 adults, £32 families.

FAMILY SUNDAYS AT THE ALBANY THE ALBANY, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8, 020 8692 4446, Enjoy lunch and the Sunday papers in the cafe or garden, then take in a show which is suitable for under 7s. Tickets £6. DISCO KIDS, 18 Sept and 2 October. Get your groove on at a disco party for the under 5s and their family and friends. Featuring a live DJ, chill out area and special entertainment. TWO FOUR SIX EIGHT, 25 September. Craig has been invited to his best friend’s birthday party. There is an invitation to read, presents to wrap, cakes to buy and a house to find. Who will explain the rules of Musical Chairs? Join in with the funny and delightful show which has music, balloons and far too much wrapping paper. Ages 4+. A BIRD IN YOUR EAR, 9 October. A collection of stories with puppets, songs and opportunities to jump on stage and join in. Ages 3+.

SOUTH LONDON’S GOT TALENT 30 September, NETTLEFOLD HALL, 1 Norwood High Street, West Norwood SE27 9JX, Celebrate some of South London’s Greatest Talent in a show featuring local singers, dancers, a juggler, a magician, a ventriloquist and a stand-up comedian. This great family show is suitable for all ages, and all money raised will support a community building in south London. 6-8pm with a 30 minute interval. Tickets £5, book on 020 8480 8176.

Be part of the second Women V Cancer cycle ride raising funds to fight breast, cervical and ovarian cancers


women V cancer

Cycle India see the pikes and muskets that were once used to defend the Bank. Children’s activity sheets provide fun for younger visitors. Open 10am-5pm Mondays to Fridays, admission free. OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND, 17-18 September. The Bank of England will be open to visitors for thirty-minute guided tours, which will include the Front Hall, Garden Court, the Monetary Policy Committee’ meeting room and the Court Room. No booking required. 9.30am5pm. THE BIG DRAW - Designs on Your Money, 24-28 October. Learn about the sophisticated security features contained within banknotes, and design your own secure notes. The event includes a competition with prizes to be won. 10am-4.30pm.

GEFFRYE MUSEUM EVENTS GEFFRYE MUSEUM, Kingsland Road E2 8EA, 020 7739 9893, Special workshops and quizzes inspire creativity and provide amusement for accompanied 5-11 year-olds on the first Saturday of each month and during school holidays. Places allocated 30 minutes in advance of each workshop. Museum open 10am-5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, from noon Sundays.

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PLACES 19 – 28 October 2012 27 October – 5 November 2012 LIMITED 9 – 18 November 2012 Join this amazing team of women for an incredible 350km adventure in Rajasthan starting with a visit to the stunning Taj Mahal and finishing in the “Pink City” of Jaipur For information and to register online: • 0845 408 2698 Raising funds for these charities:

Registered Charity Nos: Breast Cancer Care: 1017658, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust: 1133542/SC041236, Ovarian Cancer Action: 1109743. Women V Cancer is a charity established under the Charities Aid Foundation Charity No. 268369

Acting as agents for

Managed by

ction for charity


To take part you need to pay a registration fee of £250 and raise minimum sponsorship funds of £2,800. We are also supporting cancer care in India so £50 of the funds you raise will be added to a donation from Action for Charity and used to fund a project helping women fight cancer in India. Women V Cancer is managed by Action for Charity to raise funds for the above charities. Action for Charity is the trading name of Action Events Limited. Company Registration No. 3615142. Registered Office: 2nd Floor, Newcourt House, New Street Lymington, Hampshire SO41 9BQ.

september 2011 - families south east


MoreWhat’sOn Find even more activities: then click What's On



CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS, Clive Steps, King Charles Street SW1A, The Churchill War Rooms were originally the Cabinet War Rooms, created in 1938 as underground storage areas for the Office of Works Building in Whitehall. They were soon converted to house the central core of government and to become a temporary military information centre serving the Prime Minister and the Chiefs of Staff of the air, naval and land forces. Visitors can hear the first-hand personal accounts of those who worked in the Cabinet War Rooms during the war. Learn what life and conditions were like underground and experiencing the authenticity and emotional resonance of walking through the corridors where Churchill made history. Open 9.30am-6pm, admission free for under 16s, £15.95 adults. OUT OF THE BOX, 17+18 September and 15+16 October. Examine replica objects that have become unique symbols of Churchill, the most famous of British wartime leaders. A grown-up dressing up box contains iconic Churchill replica items such as hats, coats and cigars. Take a step further in Churchill’s footsteps by handling the objects and even trying on the clothes. Interpreters will be on hand to help visitors learn more about the collections and direct them towards original items on display, for example Churchill’s own Siren Suit which can be found in the ‘daily routine’ area of the Museum.

CUMING MUSEUM, 151 Walworth Road SE17 1RY, 020 7525 2096, FAMILY CLUB, Thursdays. Explore and play with the Cuming explorers. 10am-11.15am for under 5s and their parents/ carers. ELEPHANT TO CAMBERWELL, until 29 October. An exhibition exploring the history of the area through the voices of its residents. Paintings, photographs and prints drawn from the Southwark Art Collection and local history library include images of buildings now lost to development or reused in new ways.

HMS BELFAST On the THAMES by Morgans Lane, Tooley Street SE1 2JH, Discover the exciting stories of those who served HMS Belfast; exploring the nine decks where sailors once hurried up and down its ladders, or take a look at the mess desk where her 950-strong crew ate and slept. Open 10am-6pm, admission free for under 16s, £13.50 adults. GUN TURRET EXPERIENCE. Immerse yourself in the new Gun Turret Experience, a chance to see what fighting at sea would have really been like. Overlooking the front of the ship, or Fo’c’sle, is the forward most of HMS Belfast’s Triple Gun Turrets. Lights, audio, videos and projections will recreate the experience, highlighting the hectic and cramped conditions that would have seen twenty-six men in this confined space at any one time. The guns are trained and elevated onto a target some 12.5 miles (20 kilometres) away in north-west London - the London Gateway Motorway Services Area on the M1 - a reminder of the awesome power of naval gunnery in the Second World War. Entry included in general admission price. WAVING NOT DROWNING, 10+11 September. Do you know your ‘jack’ from your ‘penant’? Learn about naval communication and have a go at sending your own message by signalling across the ship or across the Thames using semaphore. 11am-12.30pm and 2-4pm drop-in. WHAT LIES BELOW, 22-30 October. What lies beneath the battle cruiser? From Roman coins to shopping trollies, the unique quality of the Thames mud has preserved and will continue to preserve whatever we drop throughout the centuries. Rubbish or archeology? This free family activity explores the history below the ship. 11am-12.30pm and 2-4pm drop-in.

and colours at the popular Dino-Paints as well as testing their dinosaur knowledge with dynamic quizzes. Open daily 10am - 6pm, timed entry tickets £11.25 children, £14.25 adults, £42.60 adults, discounted for Greenwich borough residents.

MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS, West India Quay E14, 020 7001 9844, Open daily 10am-6pm, admission free. Regular programmes of weekend and holiday events and workshops help visitors find out more about London’s history, covering events such as the Great Plague, Londoners’ jobs and occupations, and Roman life. A PIRATE’S LIFE FOR ME, September Sundays. Meet a pirate and learn the truth about life in the old port of London and on the high seas. Ages 7+, half hour lunchtime and afternoon sessions. TREASURES MADE IN FELT, 10 September. Find out about feltmaking and design your own treasure to take home. Ages 5+, 12.301.30pm and 2.30-3.30pm, tickets on application. MONDAY MUDLARKS, 19 September. Sing, rhyme and play together in special monthly musical sessions for babies, toddlers and carers. LONDON FOREVER, 24 September. From the Romans to the Olympics, celebrate London as a centre of global trade, insustry, the arts and sports. Help create an animation that reflects London as a melting pot of cultures and traditions. 12.30-1.30pm and 2.30-3.30pm, ages 5+. THE CAPTAIN KIDD STORY, until 30 October. A new exhibition focusing on the legendary privateer turned pirate. From cannons and hidden treasure maps to female pirates and gibbet cages, the exhibition explores the myths and mysteries surrounding common perceptions of pirates. 17th and 18th century English society will also be depicted, looking at gruesome ritual executions and the greed and manipulation of the infamous East India Company.


NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, Cromwell Road SW7 5BD, 020 7942 5000, Dinosaurs, volcanoes, precious gems and creepy crawlies - discover the diversity of the natural world through the nation’s finest collection of natural history specimens. Fascinating exhibitions display up to 70 million plants, animals, fossils, rocks and minerals, with a hands-on education centre where you can meet real scientists at work. Museum open 10am-5.50pm, admission free. SENSATIONAL BUTTERFLIES, until 18 September. Did you know that a butterfly tastes with its feet? Have you ever wondered how a caterpillar sniffs out its next meal? Experience the sensory world of butterflies and learn more about the surprising life they lead. 10am-5pm, admission free for under 4s, £3.50, families £12.

TOWER OF LONDON TOWER OF LONDON, EC3N 4AB, 0844 482 7777, Tower open 9am-5.30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10am Sundays and Mondays. Admission free for under 5s, children £10.45, adults £19.80; book for less online. FIT FOR A KING. Discover 500 years of spectacular arms and armour worn by kings and royal princes in this stunning exhibition on the first floor of the White Tower. Learn about the personalities, power and physical size of our nation’s kings, from the Tudors, and the notorious Henry VIII, to today’s royal family through the historic collection. POWER HOUSE. Discover the stories and personalities behind the major organisations of state, who took care of royal business behind the mighty Tower walls, from 1100 to the present day. The exhibition showcases the roles of the major organisations that provided the bedrock of England’s power throughout the centuries. ROYAL BEASTS. Find out about the Tower’s imperial Royal Menagerie. Founded during the reign of King John in the early 1200s, it became a regular feature of the Tower for over 600 years. Visitors can encounter a diverse cast of former Tower residents through arresting modern animal sculpture by artist Kendra Haste and new interactive sensory displays. The recently restored north wall walk and the never before opened Brick Tower will host some of the displays, including sights, sounds and smells of some of the animals.

NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM, Royal Hospital Road SW3 4HT, 020 7881 6606, The history of British land forces from 1485 to the present day, with costumes, paintings, artefacts and special displays telling the stories of men and women who served in British armies across the globe. Open 10am-5.30pm daily, admission free. DRAW YOUR WEAPONS, from 1 September. A colourful and dynamic exhibition exploring the history of the war comic, in partnership with leading publisher DC Thomson.


families south east - september 2011

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE MUSEUM, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, South Bank, London SE1, 020 7620 0347, Uncover the lady behind the legend at the brand new Florence Nightingale Museum on London’s South Bank. The museum presents a vivid retelling of her story and how modern nursing began. The museum’s unparalleled collection features highlights such as Florence’s pet little owl Athena as well as her lamp and medicine chest from the Crimean War. Engaging interactive exhibits as well as regular contemporary art exhibitions enhance the experience, visitors even use stethoscopes to hear the audio tour. Admission £4.80 child, £5.80 adults, £16 families.

IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM EVENTS IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, Lambeth Road, London SE1, 020 7416 5000, Museum open daily 10am-6pm. Admission £3.95 children, £5.95 adults, families from £12.50. ONCE UPON A WAR, until 30 October. Five of the best-loved classic war stories for children are dramatically brought to life through stunning life-size sets, intricate scale models and interactive exhibits. The titles are ‘Carrie’s War’ by Nina Bawden, ‘War Horse’ by Michael Morpurgo, ‘The Silver Sword’ by Ian Serraillier, ‘The Machine Gunners’ by Robert Westall and ‘Little Soldier’ by Bernard Ashley. The exhibition explores the themes of loyalty, separation, excitement, survival and identity throughout the books, then goes behind the scenes to explain the authors’ inspiration through interesting and sometimes unseen items including manuscripts, early sketches, interviews and photographs. INTRODUCTION TO THE HOLOCAUST. 24+25 September. A useful starting point for families who wish to learn about the holocaust. The drop-in session is suitable for children aged 11+: the Holocaust Exhibition is recommended for ages 14+. 11am-12noon.

CHILDREN AT THE V&A V&A MUSEUM, Cromwell Road SW7 2RL, 020 7942 2000, During any visit, families can pick up a trail from the Information Desk and explore the museum through puzzles, drawing and observation. Suitable for 7-12 year-olds. There are also hundreds of exciting hands-on exhibits containing plenty to touch and try out. Museum open 10am5.45pm daily, admission free. SATURDAY BACK-PACKS. Pick up a back pack and explore the museum with fantastic jigsaws, stories, puzzles and games. 10.30am-5pm.

DINOSAURS UNLEASHED Until 31 December, The O2, Meridian Gardens, Peninsula Square, Greenwich SE10 0DX, 0844 844 2121, www, Dinosaurs last roamed Earth 65 million years ago - now they’re back and unleashed at The O2. With over 22 life-size dinosaurs, a prehistoric CGI aquarium, holographic video presentations by wildlife expert Chris Packham, real and replica fossils, interactives galore and more than 40 educational interpretation panels, this unique exhibition appeals to family audiences, especially budding young palaeontologists aged 2-12. Children can get their hands dirty and dig for fossils, piecing them together in the Fossil Zone. They can also create their own dinosaur skins

MUSEUM OF LONDON EVENTS MUSEUM OF LONDON, London Wall EC2Y 5HN, 020 7001 9844, Open daily 10am-6pm, admission free. Regular programmes of weekend and holiday events and workshops help visitors find out more about London’s history, covering events such as the Great Plague, Londoners’ jobs and occupations, and Roman life. See our website for full details: What’s On at LITTLE MOLES, termtime Wednesdays. Weekly hands-on creative sessions for 1 to 5 year-olds and their carers. 3.30-4.30pm, free but book first. UNDER 5s STORYTIME, last Tuesday of the month. Stories, music and interactive fun for under 5s and their carers. 3-3.30pm. ROMAN SLAVE WOMEN, 11 September. What would London have been like 2000 years ago if you were a woman and a slave? Meet Martia Matrina, a woman working for a wealthy household, and hear her stories about stuffed dormice and the exotic goods arriving from all over the Empire. Ages 5+, hourly from 1-3pm. STREET CHILD, 11 September. Based on Berlie Doherty’s novel of the same name, this engaging family show dramatises the stories and adventures of Jim Jarvis. A gripping an exciting story of a Victorian orphan, brought to life in a visual feast of puppetry, projection and live action, followed by a discussion and book signing. Ages 7+, 1.302.30pm, free but book first. MUSEUM EXPLORED, 18 September. Join a museum host and explore the galleries through fun, hands-on activities. Ages 5+, 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-4pm. MOVING LONDON, 25 September. Create a film that brings Victorian London to life in this hands-on digital session. Ages 5+, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm starts, free but book first.

FAMILY EVENTS AT THE HORNIMAN HORNIMAN MUSEUM and gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23, 020 8699 1872, Museum open 10.30am-5.30pm daily, general admission free, charges apply for special exhibitions and the aquarium. The museum’s music gallery and hands-on base, regular weekend and holiday drop-ins and workshops allow family visitors to explore the collection through arts and crafts, music, stories and hands-on sessions. All this within 16 acres of beautiful green space.

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BALI - DANCING FOR THE GODS, until 8 January 2012. An exhibition exploring Balinese culture and the central role of dance as a visual feast. Beautifully gilded costumes, lavishly decorated artefacts, puppets and sculptures are featured alongside unique film and photography from the 1930s. Admission fee.

NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM EVENTS National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and Royal Observatory, Romney Road, Greenwich SE10, 020 8858 4422, The museum’s new Sammy Ofer Wing allows the museum to completely change the way it presents its galleries, exhibitions and events. A new, purpose designed exhibition gallery will host a full programme of temporary shows, while a permanent gallery - Voyagers - introduces the story of Britain and the sea. Rest your sealegs with break in the new restaurant and cafe, taking in the views over Greenwich Park, along with a state-of-the-art library. Museum open 10am-5pm daily. Admission free. EXPLORE SATURDAYS. Meet a character from the past and take part in an exciting performance that brings maritime history to life. Suitable for ages 6+. Noon, 1, 2 and 3pm start, free. DISCOVER SUNDAYS. Be inspired by the museum’s galleries and take part in free design, craft, illustration and music workshops designed for families. Suitable for all ages. 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-5pm, free. PLAY TUESDAYS. Young children can have fun with their families as they explore the museum through making, music, dance and drama. 10.30 and 11.30am, 1 and 2pm, suitable for under 5s; collect a ticket from the admissions desk. The museum’s new Sammy Ofer Wing allows the museum to completely change the way it presents its galleries, exhibitions and events. A new, purpose designed exhibition gallery will host a full programme of temporary shows, while a permanent gallery - Voyagers - introduces the story of Britain and the sea. Rest your sealegs with break in the new restaurant and cafe, taking in the views over Greenwich Park, along with a state-of-the-art library. HIGH ARCTIC, until January 2012. An exciting exhibition which conveys the scale, splendour and fragility of our unique Arctic environment through an immersive installation which encourages us to question our relationship with the world around us.

DISCOVER GREENWICH OLD ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE (next to the Cutty Sark), Greenwich SE10, Unlock the history of Maritime Greenwich, through artefacts, artwork, film and stories of former lives to bring the past to life. A permanent exhibition takes visitors on a journey from the College’s Tudor beginnings, through its naval past, as the Royal Hospital for Seamen and Royal Navy Staff College, right up to the present day. Special objects, including personal items from Henry VIII’s palace, as well as fascinating stories from monarchs, admirals and architects help chart the historic town’s development. Activities for children and families play a significant part in the new destination, enabling families to maximise their visit to Maritime Greenwich and for children to explore and understand the history of the magnificent site.

Art Activities ART AT SIR JOHN SOANE’S HOUSE SIR JOHN SOANE’S MUSEUM, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields WC2A 3PB, 020 7440 4263, Tucked away in Lincoln’s Inn Fields at the heart of London, this magical, mysterious museum encourages young visitors to explore Soane’s treasures and develop new skills with specialist guidance. Sir John Soane (1753- 1737) was an inveterate collector, filling every nook and cranny of his beautiful home with items that fascinated him. From fossils to classical fragments from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and from contemporary paintings to architectural models, drawings and literature, he intended that after his death both his house and its extraordinary contents should be used to educate and inspire. Free drop-in activities run on the third Saturday of every month, with activities for all ages and families can take part together. 1.30-4.40pm.

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ARTPLAY AT DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village SE21, 020 8693 5254, On the first and last Sundays of every month, adults and children are invited to drop-in for a different workshop activity each week. Make everything and anything from bunting to block printing and all things in between. 2-3-30pm, free with a gallery ticket or £2 per child.

FAMILIES AT THE TATE TATE BRITAIN, Millbank SW1, 020 7887 8888, Open daily 10am-5.50pm, and until 10pm the first Friday of the month. Family trails are available daily from the Information Desks and are free for 5yrs and under. Go on a journey around Tate Britain and post your discoveries into your ‘Post it’ box as you go. When you get home, open up the box and show your friends what you found. Or you could follow the ‘Join up’ trail: play the listening game, search for shapes, patterns and talking hands, and make your own sculptures. Every weekend the free Art Trolley encourages children to imagine and create, make colourful collages, style a wonderful sculpture or perhaps make a sketchbook and fill it with great ideas.

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september 2011 - families south east


Families South East PO Box 11591 London SE26 6WB Tel: 020 8699 7240 Email: Contact: Robina Cowan

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Families SE Sept 2011  
Families SE Sept 2011  

Families magazine for southeast London, September 2011