Families London SW issue 229 Sept 2013

Page 1

September 2013 Iss

ISSN ue 22 9 135 4-95 Est 53 19

Free ! 90.

k Ta


ea copy

SouthWest HUGE Clubs and classes School Open Days Back to school

The French Nursery school

Credit Steve Reid Blitz Photography, Gosport 07540 972360

Bilingual education in SW7 and SW1 • 2-5 years French • Spanish See our advert on page 48 For more information please call on 0207 259 2151 or email: marie-laurence@thefrenchnurseryschool.com

Families SW – useful information for parents of 0-12 year olds in SW London find us online: FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

costume kits for school history topics, simply cut out and sew the ideal sewing project orderline 07761 048 927 studio 0208 674 6225 enquiries@sew-easycostumes.co.uk


Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

n is already here on ear heave th n i e b Everyth ing that is supposed to

September 2013 ®

Credit Steve Reid Blitz Photography, Gosport 07540 972360


Contents 04-06

Local news & information


Personal development


Inspire yourself, change your life!


For the love of books


Health Gluten Sensitivity and Coeliac Disease – is your child affected? Hypnobirthing (see p24)

All content ©Families 2013 www.FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk Tel: 020 8696 9680


Editorial: editor@familiesmagazine.co.uk


News: news@familiesmagazine.co.uk

Parenting The Benefits of Inclusion

Adverts/artwork: adverts@familiesmagazine.co.uk Events, diary dates, what’s on info: whatson@familiesmagazine.co.uk

Keep conscious and carry on!

Next issue: October 2013 Deadline: early September

Five soulful insights for conscious parenting


•“Families® South West” heads a group of magazines. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. There are around 40 UK local editions with a print run of more than 700,000 copies in all, in which you can advertise too. Oh, and we have a very useful website… familiesonline.co.uk




• The best possible start at a new school • Which secondary is right for my child? • School News • Open days listing

• MOVING? Families® magazines can be be franchised in new areas. Read initial franchise information on the website or call. • Printed by Ridgeway Press Ltd, Basingstoke, Hants.


• Designed by Shirley Trimmer • 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.


What’s On • • • •

Find us on Facebook & Twitter FamiliesSW



• Extra–curricular activities • Round up of your local Clubs and Classes news • Huge choice of local after school activities

• Paper used to print Families is from fully-managed sustainable sources — meaning trees which are felled are continuously replaced. Inks are soya-based, which can be re-cycled.

September 2013

Clubs and Classes

Theatre Museums & Galleries Days out Out of Town • Diary dates




Two new French toddler groups Club Petit Pierrot is opening two new Parent & Toddler groups in Chelsea at The Vestry, Christ Church, SW3. (Mondays 3.45pm-4.30pm for 1 to 3 year olds and 4.35pm-5.20pm for 2 to 4 year olds.) There is also a drop-off class for older children at Christ Church Primary School at 1 Robinson Street, SW3, (Mondays from 3.45pm-4.30pm for 4 to 6 year olds).

Tea for three… …at Serendipity Tea Room in Streatham, serving local produce in a child friendly environment. Fine teas, freshly roasted coffee, home made cakes and delicious lunches plus arts and crafts workshops, a knitting club, Honeybee music sessions and loads more activities for children. Plus, they have a shop selling local artisan wares and, most importantly, offer a really warm welcome! 241-243 Streatham High Road SW16 6EN, 020 8127 0323.

These fun and stimulating classes will follow a devised programme, including activities such as songs, rhymes, dances, language games, sensorial activities, role-play, arts & crafts, puppets…all great fun! Small groups, excellent results, native French teachers (all CRB checked) who are passionate about teaching French to young children. Club Petit Pierrot also have classes in Chelsea, Putney (at Eddie Catz), Notting Hill, Swiss Fun French with Club Petit Pierrot Cottage and St John's Wood/Maida Vale. Call 020 7385 5565 to book a FREE TRIAL LESSON. www.clubpetitpierrot.co.uk Highly recommended by BBC, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express & Time Out.

Would you like it Featured? We are preparing a new ‘Just for parents’ series of articles: If you run a local pampering mums business, a local sewing, parenting, arts or craft or health fitness or dance class just for mums/parents let me know: editorFSW@familiesmagazine.co.uk or via Facebook/FamiliesSW It will be fun!

You LOVE our online What’s On calendar! We are thrilled to announce that traffic on our fully searchable online calendar is growing very fast. Stats show us that you make good use of the facility, generating lots of ‘hits’. It did require a large investment from Families but knowing your insatiable appetite for What’s on info we knew a searchable widget would tick your boxes! Our new Calendar lets you search per category, age group, date or location, you can search for a museum activity for a toddler, a show for a 4 year old, a holiday workshop for a teenager, a day out for the whole family. It should save you hours Googling when planning a family day out! Enjoy!



Orchestra Anniversary The National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain is proud to celebrate their 35th anniversary. The country’s premier symphony orchestra for children offers talented youngsters aged 7-14 inspiring training from professional musicians, plus plenty of performance opportunities throughout the year. It celebrates its anniversary with concerts throughout the year, encouraging young people to get involved with music. Find out more as well as how to audition for the orchestra at www.nco.org.uk

Personal postnatal Are you expecting another baby? Therese Solon, a Wandsworth-based antenatal teacher and breastfeeding counsellor, has set up a new business offering private antenatal classes for second time mums, plus postnatal home visits for first timers. Having taught NCT classes for the last ten years, Therese now specialises in teaching women-only courses, consisting of three long sessions plus a postnatal get together after all the babies are born. One to one sessions are also available. In addition, Therese offers private postnatal home visits, supporting both first and second time mothers in the early days after their baby’s birth. info@theresesolon.co.uk, 07962 990 543, www.theresesolon.co.uk

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk


Inclusion in these pages is always FREE: send to news@familiesmagazine.co.uk

New crafts club A South London mum brings the craft revolution to Battersea by opening a creative social hub dedicated to arts, crafts and all things handmade. The Old School Club is a creative and social space where people can learn, share, make and teach arts and crafts. The new club offers a mixture of short and long courses as well as a Cocrafting™ space for creative and crafting entrepreneurs. Choose from Teen Fashion Design, Little Crafters, Juniors Sewing School and regular Saturday workshops for Dads and their little ones. Unit 141, Battersea Business Centre, 99-109 Lavender Hill, SW11 5QL, 020 8970 7476, www.theoldschoolclub.co.uk

Antenatal classes with a difference

Better future for wildlife Londoners are asked to build a better future for struggling wildlife as the RSPB launches its biggest ever campaign to help tackle the housing crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. Giving Nature a Home urges the nation to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces, and the involvement of Londoners is crucial. The launch of the campaign comes a month after 25 wildlife organisations, including the RSPB, released the groundbreaking State of Nature report revealing two thirds of the wildlife species studied have declined over recent decades. ‘Although the overall problem is huge,’ says Mike Clarke, RSPB Chief Executive, ‘the solution can start on a small scale, right on our doorsteps. We need everyone to help by turning their outside space into a wildlife haven.’ Find out how you can help nature in any outside space, whether it’s a huge garden or a small planting tub on a balcony at www.rspb.org.uk/homes

If you’re expecting a baby why not take a look at the new antenatal classes from Lulubaby? A popular alternative to the NCT, Lulubaby places are filling up fast. From their Fulham, Wandsworth and Chelsea locations their team of experts including midwife, GP, consultant anaesthetist, obstetric physiotherapist, paediatrician, nutritionist and breastfeeding counsellor provide advice and support to expectant mothers as they approach the birth of their baby. ‘As a young mother of two, I am passionate about equipping pregnant women with the resources they need to enjoy their pregnancy and to feel prepared for what lies ahead,’ says Louisa Van den Bergh, founder of Lulubaby. ‘Our expectant mothers leave Lulubaby feeling inspired and empowered to find a rhythm which will work for them and their baby.’ www.lulubaby.co.uk

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

The next generation of parties For your little one’s next birthday bash why not try Richard Pinner’s Magic Show? With interactive magic, laughter, ventriloquism with Duncan the Talking Dragon and an impressive balloon model for the birthday child, it’s a show not to be missed! Book a two hour party package which includes games and competitions with lots of audience participation followed by the magic show after the party tea. Find out all you need to know about children’s parties at www.funandmagic.co.uk

September 2013


Brand new baby care suite Go and check Putney Exchange state of the art baby care suite! It is well worth a visit! It has got a separate baby changing facility and a dedicated feeding area complete with breast feeding chairs, TV and bottle warmers. They have cleverly added two spacious family cubicles which allow mum or dad to use the facilities privately together without having to split up! I wish I could have used this when my babies were little! This is the first major milestone in the redevelopment of The Putney Exchange.

Personalise that bag! Start autumn in style with a personalised bag for your little one. You’ve already fallen in love with the Pink Lining changing bags, now PL Child brings you personalised wheelie cases, rucksacks, lunch boxes, overnight bags and washbags. We especially love their Dinosaur Walk toy bag. Now your child will never pick the wrong bag up at the end of school again! For the perfect child’s gift, go to www.pinklining.com/uk Prices start at £8.


It’s all about love actually

Inspire yourself, change your life! Amanda is a psychotherapist and founder of Inspired Living, which provides motivational and life-changing advice for people of all ages and gender who want to let go of the shadows of their past and gain new direction in their lives. We asked her to reveal the most common problems she comes across...

You just have to ask Do you ask questions? Or do you just accept everything? Most of us grow up without ever questioning our conditioning. We assume that our lives and all that are in it are there because it’s normal. Our conditioning comes through, amongst other things, what our parents tell us, what goes on in school or at work, what society shows us and let’s not forget the power of TV! So we get to adulthood thinking that everything is as it should be. But what if it isn’t? How would it be if we started to question what we accept as a given and normal state? Think how our life could change!

© Elenarts - Fotolia.com

I mean after all, maybe what’s good for the neighbour doesn’t necessarily have to mean that it’s good for you, but you don’t know if you don’t ask. So how about it? How about looking at certain aspects of your life and asking yourself if they are really what you want. Oh, and before you start freaking out, I’m not asking you to throw in the towel and get rid of everything in one go; start one small step at a time. For instance: When you’re eating your breakfast, ask yourself if that’s really what you want, or if you just eat it because you’ve always eaten it. Same thing with your tea. Is that the tea you really like, or just the one you’re used to? When you do routine jobs, ask yourself if you like doing them that way, or is it maybe time to see if they can’t be done in another way which is more pleasing or satisfying. When you go to work, are you taking the fastest, most logical route, or the one you find more enjoyable? Are you doing some things because that’s the way your parents did them and you’re unquestioningly repeating the pattern? Do you buy that brand because you like it or because you’ve been told it’s great / what you want / the best? See what I’m getting at? Some of the things we do we don’t question and they can impact how we feel. It is so easy to make little changes that can immediately add to your happiness and pleasure levels. You just have to ask: is this good for me, is this really what I fancy? Imagine how your life will be when you start to fill it with events and moments that are truly enjoyable, genuinely what you want…

Q: We are moving to a new town with our children of 5 and 7. The 5 year old is not too worried about it, but the 7 year old is becoming very anxious about the new school, having to meet new people and getting to grips with a new environment. He is also really unhappy about leaving his old friends, some of whom he has known since he was born. I’m not quite sure how to go about helping him to settle in when we get there. A: Moving is one of the most stressful events in a life, and it’s not less important just because we’re younger. In fact children are probably more nervous about it because they have no idea what it represents and their security can feel as though it is being taken away from them. It is important to get both children to talk about what the move means to them and how they feel about leaving their friends behind and having to go to a new school when they get there. Do not minimise anything that they say because if they bring it up it’s important to them even though to a grown up it might appear a really small problem. Organise with some of their friends that you should exchange letters and pictures, especially during the settling in period so that they don’t feel abandoned by all their old ties. For those of you who can, get Skype up on the computer and have them chat to their old friends. Also remind them that moving is a great way to meet yet more people and make some new friends. Don’t worry if it takes them a few days before their classmates names start cropping up, let it come naturally and then suggest having a couple of over so they can get to know each other better.

www.inspiredlivingandpsychotherapy.com If you would like your questions answered for free (in full confidence), then please write to Amanda at Amanda@familiesmagazine.co.uk For more on this article and others on relationships and personal development see www.familiesonline.co.uk/loveactually


For more motivational and life-changing advice subscribe to Amanda's free monthly newsletter http://tinyurl.com/Inspiredivingnews

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

For the love of books Beanstalk volunteer readers wanted Do you have a passion for reading? Can you spare two afternoons per week during school term time and commit for at least one year? Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading. Last year 1 in 8 children left primary school without reaching the standard expected of them. That has knock on effects for them in secondary school and in the work place, but, with individual support, children’s reading skills can improve dramatically. Beanstalk works in 84 schools across Inner and SW London with 214 reading helpers supporting 511 children.

What is Fingerspelling? It has long been recognised that a combination of nonverbal communication, visual and kinaesthetic learning approaches can help children explore different ways to express themselves. The more links a child can make to a new piece of information the easier it is to remember. So to help your child learn to read why not try fingerspelling? Deaf awareness charity Signature has developed a series of books, games and videos which use British Sign Language (BSL) to help hearing children in their early years to read, spell and remember words.

Beanstalk volunteer manager Amelia Shaw said: “We are looking for volunteers from all areas of South West London but we are especially keen to hear from people interested in working in schools in the borough of Wandsworth.” Beanstalk reading helpers come from all walks of life, including parents and the recently retired. They volunteer for many different reasons but they’re united by a love of reading and a commitment to helping children to read, grow and succeed. Each Beanstalk reading helper works with three children and sees each child for two 30 minute sessions a week, during term-time, for a whole year. Together, they read, play games and talk. With Beanstalk’s support the child’s approach to learning and enjoying reading is often transformed. If you would like to know more about the scheme and the training you will receive, please contact Amelia Shaw on 0845 450 0331 or 020 7730 8259 or email: innerlondon@beanstalkcharity.org.uk You can also register online at www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk

What if you could teach your child to read in six weeks? Reading Revival is a toolkit containing everything you need to bring your child to reading fluency in a few short weeks. Impossible? Our children are beyond this stage so we have not tested the method here at Families but we’d love to hear from you! The method used was originally taught in schools years ago and has been honed over the years for maximum efficiency. It strips the process of reading back to basics and replaces complex techniques with a simple process for adult and child that is said to be extremely effective and motivational. The method complements what is taught in schools. The toolkit comprises an instruction book, shape and word cards, twelve reading books and stickers for the child. Do let us know how you are getting on via Facebook/FamiliesSW www.readingrevival.com

September 2013


SignSpell is based on the story of three friendly aliens who only talk with their hands and spell with their fingers to communicate during their adventures on the planet. Together parent and child can learn signs that can be used every day; from meeting people to different ways of expressing emotion, as they follow the alien adventures. READER OFFER Families Magazine has teamed up with Signature to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a full set of books worth £39.90 so your children can enjoy an enhanced shared story time. SignSpell books are available from www.signspell.co.uk for £3.95 per book and £39.90 for the full set. All books come with printable resources and access to videos.


THE WILLOW NURSERY 823-825 Wandsworth Road, Clapham, SW8 3JL Tel: 020 7498 0319 Est.1981 E-mail: admin@thewillownursery.co.uk Joint Heads: Caroline Henson & Virginia Bisset. Opening hours: 8.15am to 12.15pm Sessions: Mornings only Weeks open a year: Termtime Ages: Two and half to 5 years Max no. of pupils: 40. Pupil/teacher ratio: Under 3yrs: 4:1, 3-5yrs 8:1 Curriculum: Montessori and traditional methods. Activities: Art, craft, cooking, Spanish, gardening, home corner, ICT, messy play, computer club. Four specialist teachers for singing, dance, gym and cooking. Facilities: Large, bright, spacious hall and a smaller reception room. Contact: Please contact Amanda for Prospectus and to arrange a visit. The Willow is renowned for its creativity. Our aim is to create a stimulating, happy and fun environment so that the children love coming to school. We develop confidence and a keen interest to learn both independently and with individual attention.


Dawmouse Montessori Nursery Schools WWW.DAWMOUSE.COM There are now two established Montessori Nursery schools in Fulham bearing the Dawmouse name. The original Dawmouse Brunswick in Haldane Road, SW6 7EU and Dawmouse St Peter’s at St Peter’s Terrace, SW6 7JS. Both schools offer a wide range of Montessori equipment and have outdoor play areas. They will offer a safe, stimulating and active environment in which children can have fun and achieve. The broad curriculum covers all areas of the Early Learning Goals and includes science, drama, cookery and music lessons. Project work will give the children scope for creative development as well as an increased understanding of their world. We insist on our staff being Montessori trained teachers. For a prospectus and a visit to view the schools please contact : www.dawmouse.com or speak with Miss Emma 020 7381 9385


Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Calling Mums! Could you spare 45 minutes to talk about your parenting experience? If your child has an ongoing health or developmental problem I’d love to hear from you. £20 thank you voucher Please contact: Julia Finlay 07779 017965 juliafinlayosteopath@gmail.com September 2013




Gluten Sensitivity and Coeliac Disease – is your child affected? Typical symptoms include: • • • • •

The prevalence of Coeliac Disease has increased five-fold overall since 1974 (*). Yet testing for the condition has been plagued with difficulties and inaccuracies especially in children. Nutritionist Christine Bailey who specialises in digestive disorders and allergies in children discusses new tests available and the signs and symptoms to look out for. Coeliac Disease (CD) is one of the most common lifelong diseases in both Europe and the US (*). Its prevalence is estimated at around 1% of the population (*). This equates to approximately 3 million Americans and 620 000 people in the UK. The problem is that it is seriously under-diagnosed especially in children. Approximately 78% of sufferers don’t realise they have the disease – in fact only 10-20% have been diagnosed (*). What is also shocking is that there has been an increase in its prevalence over the last 50 years – one study suggested CD has increased by up to 400 percent (*) (elevated Tissue Transglutaminase TTG antibodies). While classic symptoms include diarrhoea, intestinal bloating and stomach cramps, the majority of people including children do not experience any digestive symptoms making detection harder. Left untreated, it can lead to the malabsorption of nutrients, damage to the small intestine and other medical complications. Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune condition triggered by gluten, which is found in certain foods (wheat, barley and rye). It is a life long condition and requires the complete avoidance of all foods and drinks containing gluten. If your child has coeliac disease, eating gluten will cause a reaction in their bodies that damages or destroys the villi (small projections in the intestines that help us absorb nutrients). When this occurs, the surface of the small intestine is flattened and a child's body can't absorb vitamins and nutrients from food. You’re not necessarily born with coeliac disease, although the condition is linked to certain genetic markers there is normally an environmental trigger that causes the immune system to lose tolerance to gluten. For children it can be particularly difficult to diagnose – classic blood tests are accurate only when the villi are severely damaged and in children this may not have occurred. However if left undiagnosed it can lead to development of other autoimmune conditions as well as affecting the growth and development and overall health later in life.


Diarrhoea, constipation Abdominal pain Poor appetite A bloated or painful belly, gas, flatulence Weight loss or difficulty gaining weight

These symptoms can begin during infancy (between 6 and 24 months), after the child begins to eat gluten-containing foods.

Read this popular article "Should kids eat less wheat?" on www.familiesonline.co.uk Wheat feeds more people in the world today than any other food, yet nutritional therapists are starting to advise reducing our consumption of wheat, in some cases even eliminating it from our diets totally. Discover why wheat is increasingly being linked to common allergy, sensitivity, ADD and hyperactivity in kids, coeliac disease, fatigue, weight gain and more.

If there is a family history of autoimmune conditions and / or coeliac disease then it is recommended you get your child tested. Until recently this would involve a standard blood test from the GP to look for a range of antibodies. (e.g IgA anti-gliadin antibodies, IgG anti-gliadin antibodies, IgA anti-endomysial antibodies, Tissue transglutaminase antibody and total IgA antibodies). If positive, an Intestinal biopsy is often performed. The trouble is these are not particularly accurate (*) and blood tests can be distressing for children. Thankfully there are new private laboratory tests, involving saliva collection. This is not only sensitive and accurate but also easier to undertake for young children. There are also more comprehensive blood tests, which are available privately for older children. Even if your child does not appear to be showing any symptoms (see list below) if you have a family history of the coeliac disease it is recommended you get your children tested for the genetic markers (HLA DQ2/8). This blood test will identify whether or not your child has the genetic markers that make it more likely they will develop the disease if they continue to eat gluten. Ask your practitioner or qualified nutritionist for the most appropriate tests for your family.

Additional symptoms, which may develop later, include: • Slowed growth, failure to thrive • Iron deficiency anaemia, fatigue, low energy • Skin rash – dermatitis herpetiformis • Tooth enamel changes • Bone thinning • Joint aches and pains • Headaches • Mouth ulcers • Mood changes, depression • Delay in menstruation

Signs and Symptoms Because symptoms in children are often subtle and mimic other intestinal diseases, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or lactose intolerance, the disease is often difficult to diagnose. Some children experience symptoms the first time they are exposed to gluten, while others develop symptoms later in life. If your child is diagnosed with coeliac disease it is important they receive nutritional advice to help with planning a gluten free diet, ensuring they are optimally nourished and also to ensure their gut heals. In many cases nutritional supplements will be recommended. While there are obvious sources of gluten such as breads, pastas, flours, cereals, cakes and biscuits, it is often used as an ingredient in many favourite foods such as fish fingers, sausages, gravies, sauces and soy sauce. Working with a qualified nutritionist can help you plan a healthy gluten free diet. However in some cases simply removing gluten may not be sufficient as many children with Coeliac Disease also react to other foods such as dairy so additional testing and support may be needed. •For further information about testing, nutritional support, cookery days and recipes contact Christine Bailey www.advancenutrition.co.uk (*) See online for references.

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Special needs in education

The benefits of inclusion By Rachael Ross, Chair, Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association

When I went to school in the mid ‘70s and ‘80s, children with any form of disability were not actively encouraged into mainstream education. This absence of anyone with a disability was also reflected in the wider community. Consequently when I left school, and for much of my early adult life, I had never even met or spoken to a person with a disability, leaving me awkward and unsure how to interact in their company.

Children with a wide variety of additional needs are now commonplace in mainstream education. Children like my son Max. Max is eight and happens to have Down syndrome. Until the 1970s it was still widely believed that children with Down syndrome were uneducable, and they were denied that most fundamental of childhood rights; an education. We now know that with right specialist support these children can learn alongside their peers, and today, more children than ever before are being successfully included in mainstream schools. That’s not to say that special schools do not play an equally important role. It has to be a decision based on what’s best for each individual child and their specific needs.

Benefits of inclusion are huge For Max, the benefits in attending mainstream education are huge. Speech and language issues are a significant problem for nearly all children with Down syndrome, and can lead to frustration and isolation if not tackled head on. Studies show that when they attend mainstream school, these children develop at least two years faster with spoken language and literacy. They also benefit from having positive role models. Max needs to be around his typically developing peers, not just for PE and playtime, but there needs to be meaningful interaction. He needs to feel that he is part of the class, part of the wider school community, with the same opportunities and responsibilities as the other children. Otherwise how can we expect him to interact successfully with society as an adult? We are very fortunate that Max’s teachers have created a welcoming and caring environment where he is very much a part of school life. When we visit, I am always overwhelmed by the genuine affection and friendship shown to Max by both staff and pupils. Many of the children have grown up with Max, and see it as nothing unusual that he is in their class working with them. In turn, I’m sure the children benefit from being with Max. They learn to celebrate differences. They learn acceptance and patience, and will hopefully grow into more tolerant adults which will lead to a more accepting and integrated society. Inclusion is helping to steadily improve society’s attitude towards Down syndrome, fuelled by more positive media portrayal. Several top retailers including M&S, Next and Boden have used children with Down syndrome in their advertising campaigns. Actors with Down syndrome have played characters in popular TV shows such as Glee and Downton Abbey. Individuals are becoming role

September 2013


Max Ross

Credit Steve Reid Blitz Photography, Gosport 07540 972360

Thankfully times have changed

As the Coalition Government plans to ‘end the bias towards mainstream’, there is a real risk that 30 years of slow uphill progress will be undermined unless there is adequate investment in training, research, resources and specialist support. We have seen glimpses of what can be achieved as children with the right skills and support go on to lead more independent and productive lives, enter employment, and become valued members of their communities. But as yet, there has never been an entire generation of children with Down syndrome that has passed through the system with adequate and sustained support in all areas of need, continuing into early adulthood. Until this happens, we will never be sure of their true capabilities. •Rachael is the Chair of Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association (Footprints) which offers friendship, advice and a wide range of educational services to children, their families, schools and professionals in Portsmouth and across the South East. To find out more visit www.footprintsds.org

models, and are themselves changing misconceptions, like Simon Beresford, who in 2007 became the first person with Down syndrome to complete the London Marathon, and now eight marathons later is an inspiration for people around the world.

Progress but a long way to go still More is being achieved than ever before, but there is a still a long way to go. Down syndrome is the most common cause of intellectual disability and yet funding does not reflect this. The situation has worsened in the recent economic climate, and parents are becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of access to specialist support like speech and language therapy, which help enable their children to participate in mainstream education.



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

1 ~ Parent from a space of authentic humanity From ‘ANTHEM’ by Leonard Cohen

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


2 ~ Let presence be your daily guide Being present for long periods as a parent is a truly enormous challenge. In every moment there are multiple distractions competing for attention. Being mindful of the present moment means that we bring our conscious attention fully to children when they call on our care. It means putting the phone down, listening deeply, engaging willingly and releasing ourselves fully into the now.

In practicing presence we are committing to experience every situation as ‘new’ and by doing so we might surprise ourselves with fresh solutions that emerge from this space of mindful attention. Perhaps our ‘No’ will soften and we will find new ways of saying ‘Yes’. Our conversations also move more quickly out of conflict, as when we are truly present our capacity for compassion deepens.

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

3 ~ Centre your parenting in the energy of welcoming ‘I see you, I love you, you are welcome here’. The most important thing you can do for any child is to welcome their unique nature fully such that their essential self comes forward, safely nurtured in unconditional love beyond expectation. In order to do this we must control our natural desire to ‘shape’ the child. Shaping is an opposing energy to welcoming as when we shape another, we fix them in our mind as our judgment. The outcome of shaping is the limiting of potential as it causes the child to experience a conditional aspect to love. We might say to the child – you are going to be a doctor, or a tennis player, you will go to this type of school, you will be this type of person. Shaping is never positive for the child and is entirely unnecessary as a fully welcomed child will willingly communicate their authentic desires and preferences and seek your loving guidance. A welcoming parent therefore promotes self-sufficiency, stability and authentic development in the child.

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

5 ~ Keep learning – being a great parent means being a great student Your children look to you for guidance, strength and care. They are absorbing your actions, your emotions and learning how to be, how to respond, how to behave. For you to fulfill this, the ultimate of leadership roles as best you can, focusing on your own personal development, wellbeing and learning is vital. So make time for the yoga, persevere with the meditation and read books that take you beyond your current knowledge and awareness. Anything which expands your ability to stay present, to reveal your humanity, to remain stable in the face of vulnerability will serve you and your family well.

FURTHER READING • Christopher McCurry: Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance • Daniel Siegel: The Whole-Brain Child - Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture You Child's Developing Mind • Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth – Awakening to your Life’s Purpose • Byron Katie: Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life • Brene Brown: The Gifts of Imperfection

Neil Seligman is Director at The Conscious Professional Ltd. Neil is a Life Coach, Reiki Master and Meditation Teacher practicing in Central London. www.theconsciousprofessional.com Neil is also an exhibiting fine art photographer specialising in portrait photography. www.seligmanphoto.com

Disapproval for actions should not be expressed as commentary on the essential nature of the child which would be shaming the child as fundamentally flawed. Shame language creates insecurity, unworthiness and feels like wholesale rejection. Alternatively, disapproval in relation to behaviour allows the child to engage with you about what went wrong and what the consequences should be for the behaviour whilst all the time being safely held in the context of a relationship based in unconditional love. Remember also to speak to your own feelings around your child’s behaviour and to call forward the behaviour that you would like to see. Life Coach, Jacquie Stebbings offers us this great example from family life: “Joely playfully hit me yesterday. She did it a few times and I brought in an "I" statement (about my feelings of being hit) - I said: I don't like being hit, Joely. Then I offered to her what I do like: I like to be hugged though. She then transformed her hitting to giving me a hug. Often children are wanting our attention, they want the focus to be on them I get this. Hitting is certainly a way for Joely to get my attention. Giving her an alternative behaviour is helping her to expand her perspective (and resourcefulness) on how to draw people to attend to her.”

September 2013



School feature

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

The summer before my eldest daughter started at primary school, a rather wonderful thing happened. We were having work done on our house, and by chance a friend mentioned that a friend of hers was looking for a housesitter. It suited us perfectly to move out of our home for a few months, to escape the builders’ dust, so we did just that. And our temporary home, as it happened, was next door to the primary school at which Rosie would start in September. We moved in May, so from then until the end of July she and I would watch, each morning, as the children walked and ran and scootered past our door, in their grey and purple uniforms. They looked happy and excited; they were meeting their friends, having fun. The street would then go quiet until about 10.30am when we’d hear them again in the playground; and then again after lunch, until at 3.30pm they’d all stream out again, and head back home with their mummies and the occasional daddy. I’m sure I talked to Rosie about what it would be like in reception class, and I’m sure I taught her to open her lunchbox and get her own shoes on and off and all the other things you’re advised to do before your child’s first day at school; but the truth is that nothing prepared her for school as much as those weeks of simply living next door to it. The experience normalised what was going to be a huge change in her life: it showed her, better than any words from me could, that school was where children went when they were old enough. Watching those happylooking kids skipping past our door, hearing them calling to their friends and generally picking up a sense that school was fun and exciting, was the best possible way of introducing her to her new life.

Picture credit: www.dunnesstores.com

In time my three younger daughters followed their big sister to that same school, and they – like Rosie – all took it in their stride. They, of course, were well-used to the primary by then: unlike Rosie, they would be there every morning and every afternoon, dropping off or collecting a big sister or sisters. They would pick up on the excitement and happiness of school by osmosis, seeing their sisters and their friends as they bounced up alongside their buggy – and they’d be drinking it all in.

September 2013


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



Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

School feature

Picture credit: Sinclair House

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

1 Make your own mind up. It’s amazing how many parents never even look round a school because of what they’ve heard. A school that doesn’t suit another family could be just right for yours. 2 Listen to your child’s feelings as well as your own. Choosing his or her primary was down to just you and your partner; but your 10 or 11-year-old deserves a say. 3 Use open days wisely. If you can, go to a daytime visit (especially to a school that seems a strong contender) because you’ll see it in working mode. 4 Nothing advertises a school like its pupils. Do they seem happy? Are they polite? If you have time, hang around in the area at home time. Are they wellbehaved? 5 How about the staff – do they seem happy and fulfilled working there? Take opportunities to chat to them. 6 Listen to your instincts. If a school doesn’t feel right, move on. You don’t have to explain yourself or your reasons for doing so to anyone else (although you do, of course, need to discuss it with your child if your instincts are different).

12 Go to the head teacher’s talk and take your notebook. This is an important part of the event: not only do you need to pick up on the head’s attitude and values and what matters most to him or her, but you also need to pay special attention to anything that’s said about the entrance criteria. Understanding that is the crucial next stage. 13 If you like a school, do your homework about whether your child fits its entrance requirements. However much you love the school, and however much you think your child would thrive there, you’ll only get a place if you fulfil the criteria. Read the school’s entrance policy through very, very carefully. If you don’t fulfil the requirements, could you change something so you do? If not, move on: there’s no point in wasting a choice or railing against something you can’t change. 14 You’re bound to talk to other parents, and you want to talk to other parents, but don’t get pulled along by their tide. Do your own research and develop your own views: knowledge is power. 15 Keep telling yourself (because it’s true!) that there is no perfect school. Every school has strengths and weaknesses. There’s more than one school that can be right for your child.

Paperchase robotics homework planner 16 When the time comes to fill 7 Don’t get bogged down in the detail: what you’re aiming to in the forms, allow yourself lots of time and do it extremely carefully. get is a sense of the school. Does it feel happy, productive, calm? Is There may be supplementary forms, and there may be complicated there a sense of order and caring? These things matter more than the arrangements for giving them in (especially if you’re applying to faith nitty-gritty. schools). If you find it all too confusing, talk to your child’s primary teacher or primary head, or call the education department at your local 8 Think about your child’s talents and interests and ponder authority. carefully whether they’ll be catered for. But think too about what the 17 Have a plan of action for what you’ll do if you don’t get the school school offers that might be harder to pick up at home. We’re a family of you’re hoping for. Just having that plan will make you feel more relaxed. journalists, where literacy is easier for us as parents; so I’m glad my girls went to a school that specialised in maths and science, even though 18 Remember that there’s a lot of movement in the first few these weren’t their strongest subjects. weeks after places are allocated, and many children get in from waiting 9 Pay attention to what’s on the walls – and not just the lists. artwork. What are children being warned about, or encouraged to do? Are there any school visits being advertised? What clubs seem to be 19 Don’t underestimate how much hard work an appeal can be, or thriving? how emotionally draining. That’s not to say don’t do it: just be prepared. 10 Look at the school’s league tables, but don’t pin everything on them. Read the Ofsted report too and pay 20 Remember that, at the end of the day, parents make particular attention to how the school has done over time. If it’s had a more difference to a child’s future than a school does. Even if your child doesn’t get into your first choice of school (and one in seven dip, are there signs of improvement or suggestions that it could turn didn’t last year) your attitude to that could be a much bigger factor in round? what happens next for your child than the school itself. Have 11 Where do pupils go on to from this school? You want to confidence, first and foremost, in your child. see at least some youngsters doing well academically and aiming for ...and believe that, together, you will work things out if and when you good courses at top universities. come up against problems.

For more on education including dyslexia, tips to learn times tables, tips to learn to read, school fees, bursaries, tutoring and much more see www.familiesonline.co.uk

September 2013




Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

September 2013


School feature


Time to Shine: What a great idea! Numerous studies have proven the negative effect that the media can have on teenage girls’ self-esteem and body image at a time when they are already experiencing social and peer pressure. To combat this effect, Year 9 girls from Thames Christian College are taking part in a personal development programme 'ShineGIRL' to empower them to understand their own personal worth, strengths and purpose. Sessions aim to develop a strong sense of personal identity, confidence and hope. The idea is to equip the girls to realise their full potential by identifying their individual desires and motivating them to set and achieve personal goals. Emily O’Boyle said: “The programme is a lot of fun and re-energising. It has helped me to think about myself in a positive light and consider what I would really like to achieve in life.” To find out more visit www.thameschristiancollege.org.uk or come along to one of our open days. (See Open days listing page 22)

Eridge House Eridge House is firmly committed to providing a holistic education offering each pupil every opportunity to develop their own special talents. Meeting individual needs is their number one priority. Eridge House sets high expectations of personal achievement; it successfully creates a culture of friendliness and respect for all members of the community. They are seeking the best possible standards of behaviour, performance and interpersonal skills. They want pupils “to be lifelong learners, be passionate in what they do, take calculated risks, and look at things differently, to be problem solvers and critical thinkers, to be able to work independently and with others and most importantly enjoy their life and work.” “At EH we celebrate the past, live for the present and look forward to the future.” 1 Fulham Park Road, SW6 4LJ. 020 7471 4816

• We coach children for state and independent school and entry tests: VR, NVR, English, Maths and interview preparation. • We are also happy to offer Maths and English support for children in school, and Home Education. • NEW- a dedicated Maths tutor up to A Level available for home-visits in central London Tuesday Tutors has placed many children in top state and private schools. It is advisable to contact us early, as high demand may mean that your child will be placed on our waiting list.

Experienced tutors welcome 07906 312541

tuesdaytutors@hotmail.co.uk tuesdaytutors.com


After many years of achieving excellent academic results in the 7+ and 8+ examinations, placing children in many top London prep schools, Sinclair House principal, Mrs O’Sullivan has decided to further develop the Upper School and move to new, larger premises on Fulham High Street. Sinclair House is a gem of a school with a caring ethos where each child is nurtured and where the education is tailored to each child’s needs, no ‘one size fits all’ at Sinclair. They remain committed to providing a stimulating and rounded curriculum including all year round swimming, martial arts, drama, whole school choir, school trips locally and internationally. They have a fully-equipped science lab, an ICT suite and interactive library. French is taught from 4yrs and children play sports everyday. Besides the move, they are also expanding their current Montessori nursery on Munster Road to create an Upper and Lower nursery. Mrs O’Sullivan believes that the early stages of a child’s education are key in developing strong social skills, independence and confidence, the Montessori curriculum allows children to work individually or in small groups.

Tuesday Tutors

Tel: 020 7735 8268

Sinclair House expands


Some aspects which parents will also appreciate are the shuttle bus for local children, continuity of care, with teachers staying on for years and the amazing fresh food prepared by Olive, on Munster Road! •Do go and visit the school at 59 Fulham High Street on 28th September. 020 7736 9182 www.sinclairhouseschool.co.uk

Mosaic’s Jewish Primary school Mosaic Jewish Primary School’s (MJPS) is officially opening its doors this month. The class of 30 children will spend at least their first year of school enjoying the excellent facilities of the temporary site at Queensmere Road while the development of the school’s permanent site gets underway in neighbouring Roehampton. “MJPS is thrilled to share that Lord Nash has written confirming that the Secretary of State has entered into the all important Funding Agreement,” said Shirley Lee Chair of Governors. “We are so excited as we are now a school! Yes, a school with pupils, teachers, a location for a permanent site and the final piece of the jigsaw, a signed funding agreement.” We wish them every success. www.mjps.org.uk

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Need an exercise class where you can take baby along?


A choice of no less than 45 local classes where there are creches or your baby can lie next to you. Gyms and member clubs, studio classes, pilates, pramming in the park etc

Go to FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk/exercisewithbaby To be included online email office@familiesmagazine.co.uk

Open Morning for Prospective Parents & Girls

Saturday 5 October 2013

Please visit us at www.jags.org.uk James Allen’s Girls’ School 144 East Dulwich Grove, London SE22 8TE Tel: 020 8693 1181 No need to book

English Tuition for Au Pairs Do you know an Au Pair who would like to improve her English? Milner School of English, conveniently located on The Broadway in Wimbledon, offers General English courses (Elementary to Advanced) starting every Monday. Students enjoy quality tuition and a friendly, personal atmosphere. Our courses are excellent value for money. 7 HOURS/WEEK: Monday to Thursday 1.30pm to 3.15pm. £55/week. 15 HOURS/WEEK: Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 12.45pm. £120/week. For enquiries call 020 8545 0300 or email info@milnerschool.co.uk

September 2013



Picture credit: © kolett - Fotolia.com

School feature

Open days •Westminster Under School SW1 •Westminster School SW1 •Eaton Square School SW1 •Streatham and Clapham High School SW2/16 •Streatham and Clapham Junior SchoolSW2 •Gems Hampshire School SW3 •Eridge House School SW6 •Fulham Pre-prep SW6 •Ecole des Petits SW6 •Sinclair House School SW6 •Ravenstone SW7 •Newton Prep SW8 •Ecole de Battersea SW11 •Dolphin School SW11 •The Dominie SW11 •Thames Christian College SW11 •White House Prep School SW12 •Harrodian School SW13 •Ibstock Place School SW15 •Lion House SW15 •Bertrum House School SW17 •The Roche School SW18 •Donhead School SW19 •The Study Prep School SW19 •Portland Place W1 •Ravenstone Pre-prep W2 •International School of London W3 •Arts Educational School W4 •The Falcons School for Boys W4 •The Falcon School for Girls W5 •Latymer Upper School W6 •Godolphin and Latymer School W6 •Bute House Preparatory School W6 •Fulham Prep W14 •Alleyns Junior School SE22 •JAGS - James Allen’s Girls SE22 •Sydenham Junior School SE22 •Sydenham High School SE22 •Prior Park College Wiltshire


7-13 B 13-18 B 3-13 Co-Ed 11-18 G 3-11 G 3-13 Co-Ed 3-11 Co-Ed 4-7 Co-Ed 3-6 Co-Ed 2-13 Co-Ed 2-11 Co-Ed 3-13 Co-Ed 3-10 Co-Ed 3-10 Co-Ed 6-11 Co-Ed 11-16 Co-Ed 4-11 Co-Ed 4-18 Co-Ed 3-18 Co-Ed 3-7 co-Ed 2-7 Co-Ed 2.5-11 Co-Ed 7-11 B 4-11 G 9-18 Co-Ed 1-7 Co-Ed 3-18 11-18 Co-Ed 3-7B 3-11G 7-18 Co-Ed 11-18 G 4-11 G 7-13 Co-Ed 4-11 Co-Ed 4-18 G 4-11 G 11-18 G 7-18

7+/8+ entry 14/9 and 5/10 11+ entry 28/09 7821 5788 By appointment 7963 1003 By appointment 7931 9469 28/9 10-1pm 8677 8400 The O 21/9 10-12 noon 8674 6912 ctober Open Days Individual tour by appointment 7352 7077 publis will be hed in 5/10 9.30-12noon by appointment 7371 9009 ou Octob er issu r By appointment 7386 2444 e By appointment 7371 8350 28/9 9.30-12.30 or by appointment 7736 9182 By appointment 7225 3131 By appointment 7720 4091 By appointment 7371 8350 Weekly tours on Tuesday and Thursday 7924 3472 By appointment 7720 8783 26/9 11-12.30pm 5/10 10-1pm 9/10 11-12.30 7228 3933 17/9 9am by appointment 8674 9514 11+ Open mor: 9/10 7/11 Advance booking essential 8762 6321 Jnr: 25/9 9.30 am Snr: 18/9 5-7pm 28/9 9-12noon 8876 9991 5/10 10am-12pm 8780 9446 Showrounds by appointment; Nursery Open 30/9 1.30-3.30 8767 4051 21/9 10.30-12.30 noon 8877 0823 By appointment 8946 7000 Nov 8 or by appointment (Sam Loggie) 8947 6969 Tours: 1&8 /10 9-11am. Open ev: 30/9 5-6.30pm. 7307 8700 By appointment 7262 1190 By appointment 8992 5823 2/10 6-8.30pm Year 7-11 entry 1/10 6-8.30pm 6th Form entry. 8987 6666 28 Sept 10.30am-12.30pm 8747 8393 By appointment 8992 5189 Jnr By appointment. 5/11 11+ entrance only. Tickets required 0845 638 5800 19/9, 25/9, 15/10 4.45-6.30pm 8741 1936 Tours by invitation after registration 7603 7381 By appointment 7371 9911 21/9 10-12.30 8693 3457 5/10 morning 8693 1181 28/9 10-1pm Rcption Taster Morning 3/10 9.15-11 am (booking) 8557 7000 21/9 10-1pm 3/10 9.30-11 am 8557 7000 3/10 6-9pm 11/10 9.30-3pm & 12/10 9.30am 01225 835 353

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

School feature

Is your child ready to learn… everyday? The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) and the charity Family Action have launched a joint Ready to Learn Every Day campaign aimed at helping parents to support their children’s learning. Families Birmingham Editor, Wendy Flynn, talked to NAHT President, Bernadette Hunter, about the campaign and why their advice is relevant to all parents. The guide also asks parent to support children by establishing set family routines for bedtimes, mealtimes and homework and recommends having a regular time for a family meal. “It doesn’t have to be every day, but even just at weekends where everyone has a meal together and talks as a family,” says Bernadette.

“It’s no surprise to us parents, to read some recent research that shows children are best placed to succeed in school when parents are actively involved in their education. But it is not all about helping out with homework. In fact, preparing children to be ready for learning can be far more basic – like making sure they know how to take turns and to listen; that they go to bed on time; have breakfast before going to school and turn up on time, having remembered their pencil case, PE kit and homework.

With busy lifestyles and a culture of TV dinners, Bernadette fears we risk losing these communication skills, which are so important. “What we are seeing now are some young parents who have never experienced eating together as a family,” she says. Bernadette readily says some of the advice – like bedtimes - might seem obvious, but she adds: “We know from talking to parents that they can really welcome this advice. The Ready to Learn Every Day series of leaflets are about giving parents the confidence to set the boundaries for their children.”

The first NAHT and Family Action Ready to Learn Every Day guide covers these sorts of issues: bedtimes, family routines, organisation, behaviour, communicating with your child and spending time with them.

It is good news for those of us who feel daunted by hot-housing parenting. The crucial factors in determining our children’s success in school and beyond could well be the time we spend talking to and playing with them and the ground rules and routines we establish for them at home. It could be that simple!

Common sense advice Sleep time: With many of us working long hours, and constantly pressed for time, even those with the very best of intentions can forget the basics. A HR manager shame-facedly admitted to me that, when her child started school, the teacher called her aside and told her her daughter was falling asleep in class because she was so tired. Bernadette is not surprised. “Not all parents realise how much sleep their child actually needs (under 5s need 15 hours and older primary school children should have 10 hours). And not all parents realise that if you allow your child to watch TV or play on the computer before going to bed, they will have trouble going to sleep” she says. Talking and listening: Bernadette stresses the importance of talking and listening to children and spending time with them. Again, self-evident – but think about it for a moment! How many of us harried parents will recognise situations in which we have been checking e-mails or texts as our child was speaking to us? And many of us would also probably admit to having allowed a child watch TV rather than play with them because we were simply too tired? But as Bernadette explains, there is more active learning in playing traditional games than in passive viewing. “Sometimes parents

September 2013


find it difficult to find the time to sit down and play with their children. It is easier to put something on the TV than to play the traditional type of games. But when you play a traditional board game, as well as being fun, children are learning to co-operate when they play, to take turns and to understand rules. They are picking up lots of key skills – speaking, listening and concentrating.” Ironically, while we are living in an age of 24/7 communication - instant messaging, Skyping and TV on demand - these very same tools are taking their toll on communication at home. Family meal times, where children learned to talk and to listen, are waning, and traditional board games are giving way to solo computer games and screen time.

Ready to learn every day guides The first of the four guides urges parents to set aside time for talking without being interrupted by TV, radio, phones or computer; time where we REALLY do listen to our children, talk to them about their day, and tell them about ours. It also suggests that we share books or play games in a quiet environment away from the TV, and that we play games like jigsaws and board games that encourage concentration.

The Ready to Learn Every Day guide can be downloaded from www.familyaction.org.uk/naht

Tip for a self-imposed break from technology For a while every Friday to Saturday night I stopped using email, text or phone. Eventually my first step then turned into a step further: my husband now also switches off and now we also actually turn off the phones, TV and internet. Our friends are trying to call us? They now know to leave messages, we’ll reply later. We also banned planning, chores and instead we play games, take walks and bake/cook. What a huge sense of peace. “When I had my daughter I was busy recording every funny thing she did or she said but I found out I had been focused on that and not on her. I wasn’t really there, present, enjoying her or the moment.” Now I just want to experience it. It’s also freeing myself time to just be. When the 24 hours are over, it’s exciting to go back to ‘normal’ time. I feel like my spirit has been reset, like I’ve fallen in love with my husband or daughter all over again.



HypnoBirthing: a case study by Ashley Parker

Choosing hypnobirthing doesn’t mean your labour will go as you planned - far from it. No-one can know what’s going to happen, as Hanora Habberjam found out. The difference is how you deal with it. “I decided to take a hypnobirthing course because I like to be in control of what’s happening,” explains Hanora, “in as far as you can with something like the birth of a baby!”

a file, book and a cd so that I could practice at home and it felt good to be able to stop occasionally and focus just on myself and the baby amidst the day to day stresses of my working life.

“Hypnobabies are often described as calm and serene and adjust well to sleeping and eating patterns.”

“I remember working on distraction techniques and spending quite a lot of time learning about breastfeeding including the physiology of what happens. I’m sure one of the reasons I managed to breastfeed so successfully afterwards was because I understood what was actually happening during feeding.”

“I’d not had a great deal of time to think about being pregnant,” says Hanora,”I was teaching at the time and undertaking some other professional training too so the decision to take the course was a way of giving me permission to focus on the baby.” “The five week course began when I was around 27 weeks pregnant and both myself and my husband attended the 2 hour sessions. We were given proper explanations of the process of childbirth - understanding what’s happening takes away a lot of the fear about the process. Another really important aspect of those first sessions was the way in which we talked about labour. Gone was the language of ‘pain relief’, ‘drugs’ and ‘pain management’ and we began using much more positive language and terminology. There was lots of positive affirmation, relaxation and visualisation and I was trained to breathe properly. I was given

As is often the case though, things didn’t go according to plan for Hanora and her baby was 14 days overdue. “I was induced,” she tells me,” and I really hadn’t wanted that at all. Medical intervention would mean I wouldn’t be in complete control of my body. But all was not lost; this was where the hypnobirthing course really helped. I was able to use so many of the techniques I’d been taught to help me stay calm throughout the whole labour. I made good progression without pain relief because my breathing was so effective.” But then came another setback, Hanora was placed on a monitor, her contractions slowed and ultimately she needed a Caesarean. Her baby hadn’t moved down as the cord had been around her neck.

“Fear and tension (is) responsible for 95 percent of labour pain.” “I know that things didn’t go as I’d imagined they would but the training I had helped me approach each decision calmly. I learned there are no prizes for a ‘perfect delivery’ and that birth is just the start of life with your baby.

Visit our Food section! • Local restaurant reviews • Recipes... • Cooking with children • Food books reviewed • Ingredients tried and tested

• The NHS is currently running a trial about hypnobirthing (the SHIP trial), with the aim of demonstrating its effectiveness and how the unnecessary medicalisation of normal births can be avoided. HypnoBirthing is regularly being offered now within maternity units and hospitals across the UK. Hypnosis is recognised in the UK by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and has been approved by the British Medical Association (BMA) for over 40 years. “Eleanor was an impressive 10lb 2oz which is why she was perhaps a bit tricky to deliver! Looking back I can say I honestly enjoyed my labour. Other women may read this and think it must have been a ‘nightmare’ but it’s all a matter of perspective hypnobirthing taught me that. Many women have experiences just like mine but it can be made easier by learning the coping techniques of hypnobirthing. “Of course everything was fine in the end. Eleanor’s now four and a half, has a baby brother and has just started school. I keep on learning from her every day.” Further Information • For more information about Ashley Parker visit: miracleinthemakinghypnobirthingyork.co.uk • For further general information about HypnoBirthing visit www.thehypnobirthingassociation.com • Childbirth without Fear by Dr Dick-Read • www.mghypnosis.co.uk • www.hypnobirthing.co.uk • www.birthconfidence.com • http://birthintobeing.com

An independent nursery school for children 2 to 5 years

• EYFS and Montessori Method of teaching (only accredited Montessori nurseries in SW12) • French, Ballet and Music classes • Morning, afternoon and full day sessions (term time only) Nightingale 1 Montessori: St Luke's Church Hall, 194 Ramsden Rd, SW12 Ofsted outstanding and MEAB Accredited Nightingale 2 Montessori: St Stephen's Church Hall, 35 Weir Rd, SW12 Ofsted good and MEAB Accredited

By Neil Hennessy-Vass www.FamiliesOnline.co.uk/food


Contact: info@nightingalemontessori.co.uk Nightingale 1 Montessori 07958 567210 Nightingale 2 Montessori 07930 401769 www.nightingalemontessori.co.uk

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

The Families® Clubs & Classes feature

Extra-curricular activities By Ellen Arnison

Football or ballet, drama or Brownies - how do you know which, and how much, out-of-school activity is right for your child?

Pictures from fotolia

Not long after your son or daughter disappears through the classroom door for the first time, the choice becomes bewildering. Their schoolbags come home stuffed with leaflets from this or that organisation promising all manner of benefits from enrolling in their classes. You may find yourself feeling guilty if you don’t sign up to everything. Please take a deep breath and relax. Extra-curricular activities are not essential; many children do perfectly well without them. However, there are some benefits from a few well-chosen groups, clubs or classes. With the best will in the world, school cannot teach all the skills you might consider essential for modern life. Swimming lessons, for example, or cycling proficiency are crucial for safety. In addition, carefully selected activities can bring numerous other benefits that could help your child now and in the future. They will get a huge confidence boost from participating in an enjoyable activity they are successful at. A shy child, for example, may flourish in a dance class. As well as learning new skills, more subtle benefits include fostering a sense of community, increasing self-sufficiency and allowing a child – particularly one in a large family – something they feel is their own. Club time can also allow one-to-one time for other children. While these advantages are very real, care must be exercised when choosing activities. Too many and the wrong ones will only leave everyone fed up and exhausted. The easy choices are the ones your children are desperate to do. Although beware of signing up for something just because your son or daughter’s best friend is doing it, this may not be a good enough reason.

September 2013

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

So only commit to out-of-school activities that fit comfortably into the schedule and budget. It may transpire that your time and money can be better spent on family activities at home. When you do decide on a class or club – take some time to check it out. Find out how long it has been running, do other parents recommend it, are the staff Disclosure or CRB checked? While extra classes keep your children entertained and active, it’s also important that they have some unstructured time – even that they are allowed to feel bored. If they bounce from one organised thing to the next, they’ll never learn the important skill of amusing themselves. Liat Hughes Joshi, author of Raising Children: The Primary Years, told Parentdish: “If you decide to do none at all, you won't be short-changing her if her after-school activity consists of nothing more than a TV programme, a snack and some good, old-fashioned playing.”

SEN activities Children with special educational needs can benefit hugely from well-chosen extracurricular activities. Even with the best educational support, SEN children can often feel ‘less’ than their peers. They may be aware of their difficulties and differences and this can have a profound effect on their confidence. Therefore an activity they can participate in successfully is a huge boost to their selfesteem. For example a dyslexic child, for whom school is a struggle, may blossom as a leading light in the dance troupe. Equally there are other more educational and developmental benefits that make extra-curricular activities important. Dyspraxic youngsters, for instance, can find their co-ordination improves while doing karate or trampolining. Clubs can be important social outlets for SEN children, perhaps giving them a chance to meet others facing similar challenges. The school or local authority will be able to advise about SEN groups in your area.


Clubs & classes feature Compiled by the lovely Amanda. Thank you Amanda!

Round up of your local Clubs and Classes news I am simply in awe at the huge range of classes available in South West London! The choice of classes on offer is truly unbelievable: from dance classes with your baby in a sling, art and manga, Italian, mandarin and of all kinds of sports and instruments and choirs… we are truly lucky to live here. Spend a bit of time reading through this feature and choose the activity your child will flourish in. I know what I’d like to do!

Tumble Tots


Is the country’s No. 1 Physical Play Programme. Classes also include songs, rhymes and exercises. Classes are split into different age groups to provide a safe and nurturing environment. Contact Julia on 020 8464 4433 or julia.forrest@tumbletots.com for more information quoting ‘Families’, 10% off class fees if booked by end Sept.

The aim of Playball is to expose 2-8 year olds to constructive and enjoyable movement through a multi-activity program. They believe that creating a positive attitude towards sport and physical activity at an early age is the key to lifelong participation. 07738 375 317 gavin@playball-London.com www.playball-London.com

Budokwai JudoGym and Art Classes Set in the heart of Chelsea the Budokwai offers a unique environment for babies and toddlers. Let your child learn through fun, friendship and creativity in their Art and JudoGym classes. Crawl, run, jump, play and sing in a beautiful purpose built dojo. Get creative in their Art classes. 020 7370 1000 for more details, www.budokwai.co.uk

Small art classes One or two places available for individual or small group tuition in artist’s private Fulham Studio. Experience of 40 years. Painting/drawing/all mediums. Could join small girl on a Thursday at 4pm after school. Would suit child at school in central Fulham or Chelsea. Also coach privately for GCSE. Call Mrs Meyer 020 7386 7871

Musical Express Is the local, independent, well -loved music and movement class for pre-schoolers with venues in SW18, 19 and 20. Parents and children stay together and have fun with a new surprise each week and plenty of time to try all the percussion instruments and learn through play. Visit www.musicalexpress.co.uk to find out more.

Bouncing Bunnies

Heaver studio

Ecole de Danse Balham Jean-Pascal Cabardos of the Ecole de Danse in Balham is an acclaimed ballet teacher and dance professional. World travelled and held in high regard within the dance world, Jean Pascal trained and performed as a professional dancer at Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and Deutsche Oper Berlin Ballett, going on to teach at the English National Ballet School. At the Ecole de Danse, Jean-Pascal brings his passion for elegance and performance to South London, offering a range of classes to all levels from 2 years to 72, with plans to offer stage experiences; school shows and communities events. www.ecolededanseofbalham.co.uk/

is a fun fitness class for under 5's, using music, dance, stories, songs and games. They think keeping fit should be exciting and enjoyable so their class includes plenty of hopping, skipping and jumping, and bunnies too! Classes in Balham, Putney and Clapham. For a free trial class call Kirsty on 07956 802 294. info@bouncingbunnies.com www.bouncingbunnies.com

Club Petit Pierrot Songs, rhymes, dances, fun language games, roleplay, sensorial activities, arts & crafts, cooking,

New classes for Monkey Music Award winning preschool Monkey Music classes for babies and small children (3 mths -4yrs) are flourishing in existing venues all over SW London and are launching new classes at CINEWORLD CINEMA in Chelsea, EAT, PLAY, LOVE on Battersea Park Road and classes in SOUTHFIELDS Monkey Music

are expanding due to popular demand. Visit www.monkeymusic.co.uk for full venue and class details.


puppets…Established in 1993, the ever-popular Club Petit Pierrot, with its stimulating and innovative programme, offers fun French lessons for children across London. From 8 months (Parent and toddler) to 8 years old, these lessons will give your child an excellent headstart in French. They also teach in many prestigious schools and can even organise private tuition at your home. www.clubpetitpierrot.co.uk Call 020 7385 5565 to book a FREE TRIAL LESSON. Highly recommended by BBC, Daily Telegraph and Time Out.

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Clubs & classes feature Blue Wave swim school

Song Academy Singing and songwriting for 6-14 yrs A unique and creative outlet for musical children in Chelsea, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham and Notting Hill.

Fruity Tunes

Blueberry Playsongs

Come along for a free trial at their warm and friendly, under 5’s guitar led music activity sessions containing lots of instruments, streamers and puppets. They have flexible entry and no termly fees! Sessions are on in Northcote Road, Battersea, Clapham and Southfields. For more details check their website www.fruitytunes.net or call John on 07970 488 437.

Are classes where little ones can participate in the joy and experience of live guitar-accompanied music. Talented group leaders will get the best from every child with nursery rhymes, action songs, instruments, games and dancing. Classic familiar songs, new ones to learn and props add to a fun and lively class. Established 1991, now in Barnes, Clapham, Wandsworth, Chelsea and Wimbledon. 020 8677 6871 6871 info@blueberryplaysongs.co.uk www.blueberryplaysongs.co.uk

Blue Wave swim school Swimming lessons for all ages and all abilities including “Adult & Child” lessons; suitable for babies and toddlers. Offering private and small group lessons, delivered by qualified and experienced teachers. Lessons are held in Southwest London. For more information or requesting your lessons please visit www.bluewaveswim.co.uk 07764 615 047.

Latino Bambino Offers a dance programme for Mum and Baby where new mothers wear their babies in carriers or slings whilst dancing to the pulsating Latin American tempo and also Toddler classes for 1-4 year olds full of Latin beats, movement and lots of props. Fun, lively and affordable dance entertainment available for Children Birthday Parties. www.latinobambino.com 07961 838 349.

Club Italiano The focus is on speaking Italian. Most children have one parent who speaks Italian. They learn through action songs, role -plays, and structured activities. Basic reading and writing is covered for older children. They practise some popular tunes and simple conversation phrases (ex: Come ti chiami ? Come stai ?). Each week they introduce a new theme. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Cost: £ 363 per year, for 310yrs in Fulham. On Thursdays 4 to 5pm. To enrol call Stefania tel: 020 87486418.

Members learn how to write, perform and record their own songs, express themselves in a vibrant group. The end of term Gig is a unique chance to perform their own songs with a professional band at The Troubadour. Also holiday workshops and birthday parties. £215 for a 10 week term 07710 023743 or contact@songacademy.co.uk

NumberWorks’n Words Why NumberWorks'n Words? They are the afterschool tuition experts, bringing out the very best in children by: • providing a happy and stimulating environment • providing tailored, individualised tuition according to each child's needs • setting goals and monitoring progress • using their own programmes, designed by specialist Maths and English educationalists. Call Lauren 020 7223 1882 www.numberworksnwords.co.uk

HAPKIDO SELF DEFENCE classes available for children, teenagers and adults. Dan Jun breathing, Kicks, punches, throws, joint-locks, tumbles, jumps and breakfalls. Hapkido teaches: •Respect •Discipline •Control & sensitivity •Defence

•Fitness •Confidence •Inner calm & peace •Strength & agility

Instructor: Jon Bailie, 2nd Dan Qualified Hapkido Instructor and fully insured Classes available @ St Luke's Community Hall SW12, Broomwood Hall SW11, The Contact Centre SW4 and other venues

For all enquiries/bookings, please call on

07932 667 336 Private tuition/home visits also available


September 2013



Clubs & classes feature Diddi Dance

Allsorts drama

Diddi Dance SW London is expanding - classes are opening from September in Surbiton, Wandsworth and Balham. Their 45 minute classes blend fun and games with learning skills like co-ordination and socialisation. They offer 14 different dance themes including reggae, flamenco, salsa and tap. The first class is FREE! To book a free trial contact Clair on 07877 664 809.

Their children’s popular classes are held at More House School, 22 – 24 Pont Street on Fridays, ages 4 – 6, 4pm – 5pm. Ages 7 – 10, 11 - 14 & 14 – 16, 5pm – 7pm. Saturday classes at Notting Hill Prep, Lancaster Road, W11 and South Hampstead Jr School, Netherhall Gardens, NW3 ages 4 – 6, 10am – 11am and Ages 7 – 10, 11 - 14 & 14 – 16, 11am – 1pm. To book a free trial class tel 020 8969 3249 or 020 8767 5298 www.allsortsdrama.com

Rugbytots Is the first UK rugby specific play programme for children between 2 -7 years. Rugbytots combines the multiple skills used in rugby, and other sports, with a fun, enthusiastic and energetic programme designed to enhance your child's social and physical skills. New classes coming in September; they also do birthday parties. Call Lorna on 0845 481 6444 or lorna@rugbytots.co.uk

Inkhead Run writing workshops for ages 7 to 14. They will be holding Exam Busters workshops at Northcote Road library in Clapham over half term to help children in their school entrance exams; along with story writing courses. www.inkhead.co.uk info@inkhead.co.uk. 07943 514 408.

Funky Moves Bringing out the fun in funky! A range of fantastic funky street dance classes for kids aged 4-16 years. Classes start in September in Wandsworth, Barnes and Chelsea. Kids learn great moves and grooves to the coolest tunes around at the moment! Courses run for the Autumn term and finish with an amazing finale performance for the parents. Friendly, funky and current classes. www.funkymovesdance.cocm info@funkymovesdance.com 07810 431101

Upbeat Music courses Saturday sessions Join them for a free trial at POPKIDS

(5-8yrs) in Parsons Green on September 14th.

La Sylvaine and Wendy Bell Schools 2013 has been a “vintage” year for La Sylvaine and Wendy Bell Schools. Congratulations to the following pupils who gained places in prestigious schools. Royal Ballet School Associates Program: D. Oldano, C. Merry del Val, A. Bourguet Laine Theatre Arts: E. Adlard, The Centre: I.Magambo Lasylvaineschool@aol.com 020 8208 5007

Stagecoach Putney nurtures and develops young people’s potential through dance, drama and singing. Their expert teachers help to build confidence and skills. All are welcome, no experience is necessary - just lots of enthusiasm! Availability for 4 – 18 year olds, after school, at weekends and for holiday workshops. Contact them today. 0845 2657050 or www.stagecoach.co.uk/putney


Stagecoach Fulham

La Sylvaine

Stagecoach Fulham Provides quality part-time training in the performing arts for children aged 4-18yrs.They pride themselves on offering a safe environment where children can receive quality training in singing, dance and drama, whilst enjoying the classes with old and new friends every weekend. They teach students to act, sing and dance and then watch as they become more confident, poised and self-assured. These skills do not end when the curtain falls, they are skills for life. Call Principal Alison Bullman 0845 20 25 727 fulham@stagecoach.co.uk www.stagecoach.co.uk/fulham

Sessions include singing/ dance/ drum games/ CD recording and end of term performance. POPKIDS SENIOR also includes guitar and drum kit playing. 07816 901 396 for more information or to book a place. Courses also available for 9 - 15 yr olds. upbeatmusic@btinternet.com www.upbeatmusiccourses.co.uk

Club Tricolore This buzzing French language club was set up in 1987 by Teresa Scibor, whose unique and proven method of teaching has inspired and helped children of all ages to absorb French naturally and with a good accent. Teresa runs French immersion classes with art and craft for 2½ – 5 year olds on Wednesdays at Broomwood Methodist Church Hall from 3-4pm and Fun French for older children from 4-5pm at the same venue. Adults can join The French Cocktail Party in Webbs Road or a French Coffee Morning to practise their French. Teresa also prepares pupils for Common Entrance and GCSE examinations. 020 7924 4649 or 07889 967 003 www.leclubtricolore.co.uk

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Clubs & classes feature Act Drama This Autumn 2013, the Christmas show will be .. The Snow Queen. Act Drama Saturday classes, for 5-16 year olds, are high energy, fun and inspiring. The classes are led by professional actors who teach drama and performance, Students are encouraged to free their imagination and express their creativity, Act builds confidence and selfesteem. Classes and Workshops are run at Streatham and Clapham High School, 42 Abbotswood Road SW16 1AW. Book now… 1st class is free! Join this term – 10% discount to join with a friend. Jane Cameron on 07976 8731 61. actdrama@googlemail.com www.actdrama.co.uk

Stagecoach Battersea

Funky Monkey keyboard classes Offer a brilliant way to get kids started in music. Children learn in small groups how to read and write notes and play the electronic keyboard to first grade. Classes for reception (4-5 years) and junior (5-8+ years) £5 trials booking now for September in SW London. 0800 107 7949 or visit www.funkymonkey.info for full details Act Drama with Joe, Charlie and Amy Spider hands Funky Monkey keyboard

Butterfly Ballet Exciting, creative ballet classes in Barnes, Putney and Clapham Junction for children age 18 months and above. Classes are taken by Miss Catherine, a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and a former professional dancer with English National Ballet For children over 5, the RAD syllabus is studied. www.butterflyballet.co.uk info@butterflyballet.co.uk 07547 483 699

Stagecoach Battersea Step up to something new and exciting this Autumn. Stagecoach offers classes in street and jazz dance, drama and singing to children and teenagers aged 4 – 18 years. It's all about learning new skills, having fun and achieving the very best in the performing arts. www.stagecoach.co.uk/battersea 020 8946 2986 Battersea@stagecoach.co.uk Last few places for September term remaining!

The Barnes Musical Theatre club Offers afterschool classes for children age 4-12 years. Classes are split into two age groups age 47 and 8-12 and each term drama techniques, voice and singing training, dance movements and lots of drama games are explored through a well known musical including The Lion King, Mary Poppins or Mama Mia. www.barnesmusicaltheatreclub.com info@barnesmusicaltheatreclub.com 07547 483 699

We accept Childcare Vouchers

September 2013



Clubs & classes feature Il Club Italiano Italian for children aged 3-11, 4 to 5pm Wednesday: Chelsea STEFANIA Thursdays: Fulham Tel: 020 8748 6418 Also: Italian for adults in Barnes and Richmond

Cost: £363 per year.


Semokwan Martial Arts

Swim Way

Teaching Korean self -defence through Hapkido. Classes available 6 days per week in the SW4 and SW11 area. Extra classes available in Hangumdo and Nunchucks. They start teaching from 5 years and over right through to teenagers and adults. For more information visit www.semokwan-hapkido.co.uk 07932 667 336, hapkido-london@hotmail.co.uk

Is delighted to announce its new pool located in Central London/Bloomsbury (WC1E 7HY) and bookings are now open. The pool is located at ULC (University of London Union) and it is the largest in central London, measuring 33.3m x 11.5m and has a maximum depth of 3.40m. The Autumn term starts on 2nd of September. For further information please call the SwimWay office on 020 8871 3972, info@swimway.co.uk www.swimway.co.uk

www.racc.ac.uk Italian for adults classes in Richmond.

VBDance Balham VBDance school is based in Balham and specialise in ISTD Ballet, Modern and Tap classes for children. They offer imaginative and creative classes with experienced and qualified teachers with special pre-school Ballet classes for children from 2.5yrs too. Book online at vbdance.com/balham or 07841 922 631.


West Wimbledon dance academy

Maths, English and 11+ Tuition Study Centres Contact Vicky Barnett BA, MSc, PGCE Tel: 020 8876 2553 barnes@firstclasslearning.co.uk putney@firstclasslearning.co.uk www.firstclasslearning.co.uk

West Wimbledon dance academy The school continues to gain excellent exam results. In October 2012, 32 students took Imperial Ballet exams. The Pre-Primary and Primary students achieved 8 distinctions and 15 merits. All pupils at Grade 5 and Intermediate achieved distinction. The children have also had great fun performing in The Nutcracker and Beatrix Potter this year. 07956 606 648 nfo@westwimbledondanceacademy.co.uk www.westwimbledondanceacademy.co.uk Pop School and Stage Academy

Organizes music, art and drama activities for all ages in Earl’s Court. From September, in addition to band sessions, DJ classes, drama, art and Manga, Artpeggios will host singing groups, percussion groups and French drama for non-native speakers. Artpeggios will also introduce music activities for mothers and babies in September. 020 7244 4570. www.artpeggios.com

Cupcake Is a unique family club designed to offer exclusive baby and toddler classes provided by qualified professionals, for children 0 to 5 yrs old. Cupcake welcomes parents and parents-to-be into an oasis of fitness, Children’s Classes, seminars and courses, providing “fun and wellbeing for the whole family”. They are passionate about helping each child learn and flourish while you enjoy time to relax and use their amazing facilities. The fun continues in their After School Clubs and workshops for children aged 3+. 020 7186 6000 www.cupcakemum.com mumcierge@cupcakemum.com

Mini Crotchets Now in its 21st year, continues to be much sought after as ‘probably the best music group in South London’. It’s fun, it’s friendly, it’s cosy, it’s educational with great songs, wonderful puppets and Joya is just brilliant with the children. Come and see for yourself. Classes in Balham and Battersea. 020 8675 1052 Joya@minicrotchets.co.uk www.minicrotchets.co.uk

Le Club Français FUN FRENCH FOR CHILDREN FROM 3-11yrs In school teaching for Keystage 2 children We arrange Clubs for Nursery, Primary Schools for lunch and after School

Call 07918 156831 or 020 8542 2709 for details


Pop School and Stage Academy Offers exciting training in dancing, singing, acting and musical theatre. Technique classes, guest workshops and two professionally staged shows a year ensures students gain all round training. This term students will feature in short films, take a workshop with the cast of Oliver UK tour and develop their microphone technique. Classes for 3-16 years in Wandsworth. Call Amelia: 07943 656 092 Clapham@pssa.co.uk

Paint Pots creative classes @ Paint Pots House - The Boltons, Chelsea and also in Notting Hill. They offer accompanied/ unaccompanied classes for children from as young as 6 months of age in the mornings and afternoons, from Tuesday – Friday . Children love the atmosphere of exploration and discovery at these classes, where everyone has fun, makes friends and learns along the way. For more information or to book any of their fantastic classes see www.paint-pots.co.uk or 08456 434441.

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Clubs & classes feature Vacani School of dance Has been offering daily children’s ballet, tap and modern dance classes in London (Clapham, Colliers Wood and East Sheen) for over 50 years. Yes, 50 years! All ballet classes are accompanied by a live pianist. For more information and a free trial see www.vacani.com

Art fun for all ages and abilities Open Monday to Friday every week (weekends by prior arrangement) Small Groups, usually no more than 6 participants 4-6 months Stimulating the senses 6-12 months Experiencing new sensations 1-2 years ‘Playing’ with paint on a large scale 2-4 years Introducing Art & Craft materials and tools 4-8 years Project based Art & Craft – ‘After School Club’ 9-99 years Bespoke ‘Book Making’, Eco-dyeing, Printing etc.

Perform Let your 4-8 year explore the fantastic PERFORM FAIRYTALE FOREST. This term, Perform children in south-west London will not just be having fun acting, singing and dancing each week, they’ll also be exploring the magical and wonderfully exciting Fairytale Forest! Meeting many of the well-loved characters from classic Fairytales and countless cool new friends like the Funky Fairy. Don’t miss your chance to capture the magic as your children explore this fabulous fantasy world. Try out the classes by attending a Free Trial Session. Classes in Battersea, Barons Court, Chelsea, Earlsfield, Fulham, Kensington, Streatham Hill, Wimbledon and many more. Call Sarah on 0845 400 1278 enquiries@perform.org.uk www.perform.org.uk READER OFFER: £40 off if booked before October for classes in SW14 and SW10. And 10% off ten sessions or more at the Wimbledon village class (Tuesdays only). You must quote 'Families offer'.' GREAT NEWS: Perform are opening new schools in Parsons Green and Fulham. • Perform and Perform Plus Fulham on Wednesdays, 4.15pm for 4-8 year olds and 5.15pm for 8-12 year olds. Christ Church Hall, 67, Studdridge Street, London SW6 3TD. • Perform SW6 Fulham on Fridays, 4pm or 5pm (4-8 year olds) St Dionis Church Hall, 18a Parsons Green, London SW6 4UH. All readers get a free trial session in this new school and a 10% discount on fees (quote code FAMI121213 when booking).

Kiddikicks Kiddikicks, the Early Years Football Specialists provide the friendliest football themed and football skills classes for children aged from 18 months up to age 7, in halls and educational settings across London and the South East. Try also their epic birthday parties. Franchise opportunities available. www.kiddikicks.co.uk info@kiddikicks.co.uk 020 7937 7965

Themed Parties for all ages at the Studio, at home or elsewhere. Artyfizz, Ground Floor, The Courtyard 286 Upper Richmond Road London SW15 6TH 07413751871 www.artyfizz.com

Eddie Catz for classes Eddie Catz Putney already has a great range of classes on offer: from Club Petit Pierrot, Yoga Bugs, drop off childcare, Monkey Music, Amanda’s Action club, Zumba, Playball, Little Kickers and much more, from September they are introducing a new NCT Mother and Baby Stretch and Relax at the Putney site on Mondays 2.30 to 4pm. There are limited spaces so book now www.eddiecatz.com

Budding scientists Due to the overwhelming success of their maths and science club for 3 - 5 year olds, The Baby Drop is starting a new term on Wednesday 11th September from 3-4pm. Prices are £10 per hour

Tin Pan Annie music classes Fun, exciting, stimulating music for babies and young children. Expertly written programme run by real super duper musicians with that special sparkle who can jump up and down whilst playing guitar to enthral and engage your little ones. Action songs, rhymes, percussion and all the wonderful goodies in Tin Pan Annie's box! www.tinpanannie.co.uk

Artyfizz Offer daily classes for children ranging from 3 months to 8 years, recommended for their remarkably effective, fun learning experience in small groups of less than 6. The Studio is led by a Graduate Artist, Qualified Nursery Nurse and experienced Primary School Teacher and Family Therapist. Programme at www.artyfizz.com

Maths Doctor Maths Doctor is an award winning company, run by qualified teachers. They have over 500 tutors providing one-to-one maths and physics tuition across the whole of the UK. They always start with a free online assessment of your child’s level and learning style, which enables them to hand pick the best tutor for them. To request a tutor please register your details on www.mathsdoctor.co.uk or call 020 7193 1871 to arrange your free, no obligation assessment.

September 2013


The Baby Drop and they run on a termly basis. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm plus Sept 14th off Northcote Road, Battersea. (You don’t have to be a member to use the crèche facilities but you can benefit from great cost savings.) For more information call 020 7738 0019 www.thebabydrop.co.uk

Safrey Academy At Safrey, our aim is to provide fun, stimulating & affordable classes for children interested in aspects of performing arts. During Dance Challenge National finals 2012 we came 3rd place. Join us for a free taster class. www.safreyarts.co.uk 07956 920 813



Clubs and classes feature

It’s Official! Confidence is crucial when learning Linda Stone, Editor of Families upon Thames, talks to Dr Ellie Francis-Brophy from the Institute of Education at the University of Reading about some revealing new research. representative comparison group of parents whose children had no extra tuition during this period, against which to measure the progress of the sample group.

So who were these parents? In the past, extra tuition outside the classroom was generally reserved for those with learning difficulties. There was a definite stigma attached to the idea of a child needing extra help. In recent years, this stigma has been completely eradicated, with an enormous increase in the number of parents choosing to support their child’s education via independent tuition. Such parents are now respected for doing the very best they can to help their children.

But does extra tuition really help and, if so, how exactly? Dr Ellie Francis-Brophy and her colleague Dr Christina Nygaard were recently commissioned by national tuition centre, Explore Learning, to find out. However, whilst Explore Learning commissioned this research, it was not able to manipulate or change the figures or results, or influence the way it was conducted in any way. The researchers put together a nationwide sample group of parents with school age children of all ages, backgrounds, genders and ethnicity. This group had children who began tuition at an Explore Learning Centre between August and October 2011 and continued this tuition until July 2012. The researchers also put together a


They were just like most of us. Active advocates for their child’s education, but with limited time or understanding of current teaching methods; mindful of the costs of extra tuition and wanting to get the most from it; seeking improvement or maintenance of their child’s progress, or perceiving nervousness in their child about a particular subject. All wanted their child to reach their maximum potential. The students enrolled with Explore Learning and the students in the comparison group, were tested in October 2011 and again in July 2012 to measure their progress. The test used was a recognised testing tool from RL Assessments called Progress in Maths and Progress in English. The results of the research are startling. In both Maths and English, there was a greater improvement in the test results between the first test in October 2011 and the second test in July 2012 in ALL students tested in the sample group, as compared to the group who had had no tuition. In Maths, those tested had results that improved by 30% more than those in the comparison group.

Why such positive results? Between Oct 2011 and July 2012, parents of students in the sample group shared and compared the progress of their children at national Focus Groups held by the researchers.

Parents spoke of the day-to-day changes in their children during the extra tuition period. Prior to this period, many had been displaying noticeable signs of fear, frustration and anxiety when they sat down to do Maths or English homework; others were using delaying tactics; many were just unmotivated and disinterested. All the parents in the sample group noted a great change in this behaviour. Gradually, childrens’ teachers reported that children were now confident enough to have a go and get things wrong, could keep up with the pace of learning and were putting up their hands in class. At home, homework battles had disappeared and children were talking more about school. Parents felt their children were much happier, more relaxed learners. Parents concluded that the key thing that led to the improved progress was the greater confidence that extra tuition gave their children. This greater confidence naturally led to greater interest, attention and motivation. Children participated more willingly, were less daunted by a weak subject and more inclined to “like” a particular subject and feel they were good at it. As important as the extra time and help with learning, were the relationships formed with young mentors at Explore Learning, relationships that were different from those with teachers at school. Other parents cited the presence of a male mentor at their local Explore Learning centre as a strong positive. A stunning 98% of parents in the sample group said they would recommend Explore Learning to a friend.

•For further information on Explore Learning, visit www.explorelearning.co.uk

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk


September 2013

Clubs and classes feature



Clubs and classes feature

For more local Clubs and Classes visit our Online Directories Go to FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk/Directory 速

Safrey Academy of Performing Arts Street Dance, Ballet, Musical Theatre, African Dance. Classes: South London Liberal Synagogue, 1 Prentis Rd Streatham SW16 1ZW. Ages 4-16 Our aim is to provide stimulating and exciting classes held by teachers who have all worked in the profession in theatre and TV Safrey gained 3rd Place at the Dance Challenge National Finals 2012.


www.safreyarts.co.uk info@safreyarts.co.uk Free taster class & 1/2 price registration

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk


September 2013

Clubs and classes feature


Clubs and classes feature



Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk


September 2013

Clubs and classes feature


Clubs and classes feature


For a list of all the playgroups in South West London


Playgroups in church halls and in nurseries, one o'clock clubs, toddlers groups, just for dads, drop ins, payable or free. All arranged by postcode order for convenience ®

Go to FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk/Directory

Come and Join in the fun at our family friendly Tennis Club with lots on offer for you and your children! • Weekly Group Coaching Sessions (age 3+) • Fun Kids Holiday Camps • Free Junior & Adult Social Play

We are located just off Streatham High Road and convenient for Balham, Streatham, Tooting and surrounding areas. For more information, please visit www.wigmoretennis.com or contact our Head Coach, Julia Searle on 07816 004 992 or juliasearle31@gmail.com SPECIAL OFFER: Quote SWFamilies1 to receive a free trial


Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Clubs and classes feature


September 2013


Clubs & classes feature



Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Please send info for consideration to: whatson@familiesmagazine.co.uk Compiled by Joanna Parry

The Lyric Hammersmith

Please always phone before setting out in case details have changed since press deadline or we got it wrong...

Lyric Square, Kings Street, London, W6 0QL lyric.co.uk 27-28 September I Believe in Unicorns. From the book by award-winning children’s author Michael Morpurgo comes a spellbinding tale full of fun and magic. Friday 10.30am & 1.30pm and Saturday 11am & 2pm / £8.00 / Family (of 4) £30.00

Theatre Adelphi Theatre WC2R 0NS reallyuseful.com/theatres/adelphitheatre The Bodyguard Another West End adaptation of a big Hollywood blockbuster…

Ambassadors Theatre West Street WC2H 9ND theambassadorstheatre.co.uk Stomp. Celebrating its 10th sensational year in London, Stomp is now fresher, faster and funnier than ever before. 3pm and 8pm / £26-£52.50 Every Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun from 01 September

Artsdepot 5 Nether Street N12 0GA artsdepot.co.uk Aliens Love Underpants. This zany and hilarious tale, based on the best-selling children's book by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort, is delightfully brought to life on stage for the very first time. 28-29 September. 11am and 2pm, from £11

Chicken Shed Theatre Chase Side, Southgate N14 4PE chickenshed.org.uk 6 Sep-9 Nov. Professor Hallux Alive! This multi-media and immersive production for 7-11yrs will have bags of participation and fun. Meet characters from medicine’s past and present and enjoy getting to know a bit more about how the body works. 28 Sep-5 Oct. £6, free to babies under 1yr, 10.00am, 11.30am and 1pm Tales from the Shed. Highly entertaining, interactive theatre shows perfect for young children. Fridays and Saturdays 10.00am & 11.30am, £6

Globe Theatre SE1 9DT shakespearesglobe.com Until 12 Oct A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hermia loves Lysander and Helena loves Demetrius – but Demetrius is supposed to be marrying Hermia… Until 13 Oct Macbeth When three witches tell Macbeth that he is destined to occupy the throne of Scotland, he and his wife choose to become the instruments of their fate and to kill the first man standing in their path, the virtuous King Duncan.

The London Coliseum St. Martin's Lane, Charing Cross WC2N 4ES ballet.org.uk 21 September Ballet Buddies Open Day: Nureyev. ENB welcome their youngest supporters to Markova House to watch the dancers in morning class or rehearsal. Buddies will learn about English National Ballet in a relaxed atmosphere, see the dancers and have the chance to ask lots of questions. The visit includes a look at costumes and pointe shoes, refreshments and souvenirs of the visit to take home.11am-2.30pm / £7.50 (members only)

September 2013


The Lilian Bayliss Studio EC1R 4TN sadlerswells.com 7 Aug-22 Sept. West Side Story. One of the greatest musicals of all time, based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and packed with unforgettable songs and groundbreaking choreography by Jerome Robbins.

National Theatre Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PX nationaltheatre.org.uk From 25 September The Light Princess. A new musical with music and lyrics by Tori Amos and book and lyrics by Samuel Adamson. A dark fairytale about grief, rebellion and the power of love. Times and dates vary as this production is in rep.

The Polka Theatre 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB polkatheatre.com Every day from 27 September The Planet and Stuff. One simple question: ‘How can we solve climate change?’ The children at Polka want a straight answer, but so far no one has been able to help. Today all of that is going to change. Or else! / £12 | £8 Concessions | £8 previews 28 September The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Other Furry Tales. What happened to the wolf and those three little pigs? Why was Goldilocks walking in the woods? How did the three Billy Goats Gruff really deal with that troll? 11am and 2pm / £10 | £8 Concessions

Puppet Theatre Barge Little Venice, Blomfield Road W9 2PF puppetbarge.com Every Sat, Sun 7-29 September The Hare and the Tortoise and other tales from Aesop. These well-known fables from Aesop’s famous collection are brought to life with drama and humour. Staged with beautiful lighting Puppet Theatre Barge

What’s On and carved marionettes. For ages 3+2.30pm / £10.00 / Concessions £8.50

Putney Arts Theatre Ravenna Road, Putney SW15 6AW putneyartstheatre.org.uk 3-7 September. The Birds The UK premiere of a new play from the awardwinning writer of The Weir and The Night Alive. 7.45pm, £12/£8 17–21 September. Dancing at Lughnasa By Brian Friel. 7.45pm and Saturday matinée 3pm. £12/£8 25–28 September. The Drowsy Chaperone Book by Bob Martin & Don McKellar, music & lyrics by Lisa Lambert & Greg Morrison. 7.45pm and Saturday matinée 2.30pm

St James' Church 197 Piccadilly W1J 9LL nationaltheatre.org.uk Pope Joan. A truly unique theatrical experience, Pope Joan is written by promising new playwright Louise Brealey (co-writer and star of BBC’s The Charles Dickens Show, currently starring in Sherlockwith Benedict Cumberbatch). Every day from 1-15 September

Regents Park Open Air Theatre Inner Circle, Regents Park NW1 4NU openairtheatre.com The Sound of Music. The classic musical in the open air theatre. Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh. 2.15pm, 7.45pm / £15 Every Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat from 1-7 September Dinosaur Zoo. Direct from Australia, Earth’s Dinosaur Zoo brings these awesome pre-historic creatures to the stage as you've never seen them before! From £15 Every Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat from 1-8 September

The Royal Albert Hall Kensington Gore SW7 2AP royalalberthall.com BBC Proms. Unmissable! To 7 September

The Southbank Centre Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8PX southbankcentre.co.uk 15 September Monski Mouses' Baby Disco Dance Hall. DJ Monski Mouse brings her high-energy smash-hit parents' and children's dance event for under-fives to the Spiegeltent. 1pm / £8 28 Aug-8 Sept Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs. Join Flinn as he discovers a pirate hiding in a cupboard, hold on tight as the cupboard falls away and tumbles into a real life adventure. For ages 2+

Ambassadors Theatre West Street WC2H 9ND theambassadorstheatre.co.uk Romeo & Juliet and Prince of Denmark / Tory Boyz. National Youth Theatre in Rep at the Ambassador's Theatre. Every day from 23 September

Richmond Theatre TW9 1QJ atgtickets.com/Richmond 5-7 Sept Gotta Sing Gotta Dance. An exhilarating journey 8 through the wonderful world of musical theatre page 42


There's no room to list more here, but use our unique local searchable What’s On calendar on FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk NEW!

What’s on Warm loving environment for 2+ to 5 year olds Montessori-qualified staff International atmosphere Light and airy premises Private sunny patio Fulham /Hammersmith border Please ring— Morning sessions plus Tuesdays 1-3pm

020 7381 3511 020 7736 8729

features two hours of spectacular song and dance numbers. 11-15 Sept Grandpa in my Pocket - Teamwork! A young ensemble cast bring all your favourite Sunnysands characters to life before your eyes in this brand new stage show.

The Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street, Southwark SE1 2HZ unicorntheatre.com Sensacional. After a sell-out visit in February 2013, Sensacional is back to charm the very youngest audience members. / £10-£16 Every day from 21 September DoraDora is a storer. You could even call her a hoarder. Birdcages and books, bicycles and balls, boxes and biscuit tins, Dora finds and keeps everything. / £10-£16 DoraDora

The Foundling Museum 40 Brunswick Square, Camden Town WC1N 1AZ foundlingmuseum.org.uk Flourish. The show includes painting, sculpture and photography by talented artists up to the age of 25, each of whom has experienced the challenges of growing up being looked after by someone other than their parents. 10am-5pm To 15 September

The Geffrye Museum 136 Kingsland Road E2 8EA geffrye-museum.org.uk 20-22 September Ceramics in the City. Ceramics in the City returns to the Geffrye with an exciting range of work by around 50 selected ceramicists, a mix of both leading names and rising talents. 10am - 5pm 21 September Marvellous Magnets. Creative workshop for children. Create ceramic-inspired magnets for your home. 2 - 4pm 22 September Tea Party Headdresses. Creative workshop for children. Craft a terrific tea party headdress using card and other materials. 2 - 4pm

Horniman Museum

Every Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun from 13 September Othello: The Remix. Following sell-out runs on both sides of the pond, The Q Brothers return to the UK with their lightening fast hip-hop adaptation of Shakespeare’s powerful tale of betrayal, jealousy and self-doubt. / £10-£16 Every day 12-29 September

Museums & Galleries Bank of England Museum Threadneedle Street EC2R 8AH bankofengland.co.uk Open House Weekend at the Bank of England. As part of the Open House London Weekend, the Bank and its Museum will be open to visitors on 21 and 22 September. 9:30am - 5:00pm

British Library NW1 2DB bl.uk Write, Camera, Action! Visit their pop-up photographic studio where you can use props and words to create your own propaganda image. 11.00-16.00 08 September

The British Museum Great Russell Street WC1B 3DG britishmuseum.org Life and Death: Pompeii and Herculaneum. Preserved under ash, the cities lay buried for just over 1,600 years, their rediscovery providing an unparalleled glimpse into the daily life of the Roman Empire.10.00am to 5.30pm / £15.00 / Concessions £12.50 Every day in September


100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ horniman.ac.uk Busy Bees. Join lively sessions for under 5s. 10.45am, 11.30am, 12.15pm Every Tue and Fri in September To 24 Nov. Amazon Adventure. Take a trip to the Amazon and discover a diverse landscape of exotic plants, unusual animals and fascinating cultures.10.30am to 5.30pm / £6.00 / Child £3.00 7 Sep Art Makers. Have fun with different art techniques to create something fabulous to take home. – Fox Masks, 14 & 21 Sep – Plaster Casts from Nature, 28 Sep.1.30pm & 2.45pm / £3 Every Sat in September Hands on Family Workshops. Handle different museum objects each week in these popular themed sessions. 11.45am & 1pm Every Sat in 28 September Rainforest of the Sea. Stunning photographic exhibition showing the incredible diversity of life within the coral triangle in South East Asia. Free To 15 September

Imperial War Museum Lambeth Road SE1 6HZ iwm.org.uk To May 2014 Architecture of War. Bringing together highlights from IWM’s art collection, Architecture of War presents artists’ responses to the impact of warfare on our surrounding landscapes and environments. From 1 Sep Horrible Histories®: Spies. Uncover the deadly world of spies at this major new interactive exhibition for families. Horrible Histories®: Spies brings the horrible history of Second World War spies and their secret schemes to life, based on Terry Deary’s book from the bestselling Horrible Histories series. / Adult - £6.20 Child (4-15) £3.30, Children under 3 go free

The London Transport Museum Covent Garden Piazza WC2E 7BB ltmuseum.co.uk To 1 Oct. Poster Art 150: London Underground’s Greatest Design. Since its first graphic poster commission in 1908, London Underground has developed a worldwide

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Please send info for consideration to: whatson@familiesmagazine.co.uk

reputation for commissioning outstanding poster designs, becoming a pioneering patron of poster art - a legacy that continues today. £15.00 / Free for Under 16s

The Museum Of London London Wall EC2Y 5HN museumoflondon.org.uk 29 September Enter a Victorian photograph. Create fictional Victorian characters and their life stories, then using blue screen technology, dress up and enter a photograph from the time. 12.30 – 1.15pm, 2.00 – 2.45pm & 3.30 – 4.15pm 7-8 September Summer of cycling for families. A fun day of all kinds of cycling activities, safety, fashion and art all on the theme of riding a bike. Bring family and friends as they will have something for everybody from beginners to experts.12.00 – 4.00pm

The Museum of London Docklands West India Quay, Canary Wharf E14 4AL museumoflondon.org.uk Every Thurs in September Under 5s Storytime. Join the Museum of London Docklands in its galleries for a fun and interactive story, told using puppets, museum objects and music - then come and play in Mudlarks children's gallery if you have energy to spare! 3.00pm 16 September Mini Mudlarks Babies Group: Musical Mondays. Sing, rhyme and play together in this special monthly musical session as part of their Mini Mudlarks babies group (6 months-walkers and carers). 12.45pm to 1.45pm

The National Army Museum Royal Hospital Road SW3 4HT nam.ac.uk Every Sat in September A Soldier's Life in...Workshops. Drop in to these one-hour Saturday workshops and learn about the life of a soldier. 2pm and 3.30pm 21 September If the Invader Comes…This day of hands-on activities will give you and all the family a taster of life in the Home Guard, take part in drill, have a go at putting out fires, learn about unexploded bombs and marvel as the gun and searchlight teams scan the skies for danger. Finish it all off with a sing song round the piano! 10.30am - 4.30pm

The National Gallery Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN npg.org.uk Every Sun in September Family Sundays. Activities designed for families to enjoy and learn together, 11am and 3pm, free, age 5-11. 11am and 3pm Every Sun in September Magic Carpet Storytelling. Fly away on the magic carpet, coming to land in front of a different painting each day. Ages 2-5. 10.30-11am and 11.30am–12pm / Free

National Maritime Museum Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF rmg.co.uk Every Sun in September Discover Sundays. Be inspired by our maritime past and explore your personal connections to the sea. 11.30am and 2pm Every Sat in September Explore Saturdays. Meet a character from the past and take part in an exciting performance that will bring maritime history to life. 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm Every Tue in September Play Tuesdays. Young children can have fun with their families as they

explore the Museum through making, music, dance and drama. 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2pm / £3 To 15 September Visions of the Universe. Looking at the development of telescopy, photography, and our understanding of our place in the cosmos. £8/7

The Natural History Museum Cromwell Road SW7 5BD nhm.ac.uk 19 September Revealing What Lies Beneath. You may be aware of CT scanners in hospitals, but did you know we have one at the Museum? Find out what it’s used for and how it helps our scientists discover more about the specimens they care for. 12.30pm and 2.30pm 23 September Defeating Disease. Take a closer look at one particular parasitic infection – schistosomiasis – which affects an estimated 200 million people worldwide. Find out how scientists at the Museum are trying to understand more about the parasite behind this infection and hear about an ambitious project that aims to eliminate the disease from the plagued African country of Zanzibar. 2.30pm 28 September Dino Snores. Ever wondered what goes on at the Natural History Museum at night? Then come and sleep over. Suitable for children aged 7 - 11 years old. 7.00pm / £49.00 Sensational Butterflies Exhibition. From chomping caterpillars to beautiful butterflies, the Museum comes alive this summer.10.00am to 5.30pm / £4.50 / Family £16.00 To 15 September

Tate Britain Millbank SW1P 4RG tate.org.uk/britain Lowry and the painting of Modern Life. A major exhibition of urban landscapes by the much loved British painter L S Lowry (1887-1976). This is the first such show held by a public institution in London since the artist’s death. Throughout Sep

Tate Modern SE1 9TG tate.org.uk Under 5s Zone - A play space for under 5s, inviting children on a creative, physical and sensory exploration of themes inspired by Cubist art works. Free

V&A Museum of Childhood Cambridge Heath Road E2 9PA museumofchildhood.org.uk Throughout Sep War Games. This exhibition explores the relationship between conflict and children’s play, providing an insight into the ways toys have been influenced by warfare from 1800 to the present day. 14 September The Designed Child. A series of workshops and talks with East London designers as part of London Design Week, exploring the theme of design for (and inspired by)children. 12-4pm Every Sat in September Romp and Roll. Bust a move in this fun, playful dance session for children aged 2 to 5 and their carers. £3 per child, 10.15 and 11.15

What’s on Wandsworth Museum 38 West Hill SW18 1RX wandsworthmuseum.co.uk 21 September Tudor Life. Ever wondered what Henry VIII ate for dinner? Or what Tudor medicine was like? Join them to discover some weird, wonderful and downright gruesome facts about life in Tudor London. 2-4pm, £3 28 September Pottery through the Ages. Try your hand at a range of pottery techniques from different historical periods. Take home a Roman amphora or an elegant Victorian vase, it’s up to you! 2-4pm, £4

Days Out Churchill War Rooms Clive Steps, King Charles Street SW1A 2AQ iwm.org.uk 17 September The Spy Who Loved. Christine Granville was one of Britain's most daring and highly decorated female special agents, and reputedly Churchill's favourite spy. 7-9 pm / £17.00 adults, £13.60 concessions.

Cutty Sark King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9HT rmg.co.uk 7 September Family fun weekend: The race is on! Create your own board game inspired by Cutty Sark’s races around the world. Drop-in workshop.11.30-13.30, 14.00-16.00 Admission fee applies 1 and 8 Sep Ahoy captain! Join Captain Woodget, Cutty Sark’s longest serving master, and hear tales of his voyages across the high seas. 11.00, 12.00, 13.30, 14.30 Admission fee applies Throughout Sep All hands on deck. Look out for demonstrations of sailing skills and hands-on activities on the Main Deck of ship. / Admission fee applies

Eltham Palace Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich SE9 5QE englishheritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/elthampalace-and-gardens 7-8 September Art Deco Fair. Back for another year by popular demand, the much-loved Art Deco Fair! Buy original 1930s objects in the magnificent Art Deco surroundings of Eltham Palace. 10am-5pm / £5.90-£9.90

Golden Hinde Unit 1 & 2 Pickfords Wharf, Clink Street SE1 9DG goldenhinde.com 14 September Thames Festival Weekend. Golden Hinde II takes part in this local annual festival celebrating the Southbank and Thames Pathway with mini guided tours from 12pm to 4pm. Come and experience the life of a Tudor sailor, visiting the various areas and learning of the history of the ship. 12pm to 4pm, from £4.50.

The Wallace Collection

Hampton Court Palace

Hertford House, Manchester Square W1U 3BN wallacecollection.org 14 September Travels Through Time. From medieval battlefields to Victorian London, musician Neil Valentine and artist Caroline Dorset guide you through a day of time travel and adventure. 10.30am – 3.30pm, £12/£8

East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU hrp.org.uk 28 September Open Air Cinema. Open air cinema coming to Hampton Court Palace. Every Fri and Sun in September Salacious Gossip Tours. See the Baroque palace in a more intimate light and hear the scandalous stories of life


page 44

September 2013



What’s on

There's no room to list more here, but use our unique local searchable What’s On calendar on FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk NEW!

5yrs+, 10.30, 11.30, 12.45, 13.45 (Thurs, Fri during term time only) £6.50/£4.50 Throughout Sep Space Safari. Join Ted the teddy bear for live music and rhyme as he journeys throughout the solar system looking for the Great Bear in the sky in this show designed especially for younger children. Age 7 and under, 11.00 (weekends and holiday weekdays) 10.45, 11.45, 12.45, 13.45 (Tuesdays during term time) £6.50/£4.50 Throughout Sep Special evening screening of planetarium show: We Are Aliens. Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame narrates this exciting planetarium show exploring how our understanding of life on Earth guides our hunt for alien life elsewhere in the Universe. 11.45, 14.45, £6.50 adults, £4.50 children/concessions, £17.50 family ticket

Wandsworth Museum

The Tower Of London

in the Baroque court. £25 7-8 September Tudor Cookery. The Historic cooks are toiling in the Kitchens of King Henry VIII, preparing the exotic dishes for his majesty as well as the plainer yet still lavish food for the court. Admission fees apply

HMS Belfast The Queen's Walk SE1 2JH iwm.org.uk/visits/hms-belfast 7-8 September Points on a Compass. From bananas in Borneo to a 21 gun salute in San Francisco harbour, explore the many countries and cultures that HMS Belfast encountered as she sailed 500,000 nautical miles across the globe in her 30 year career. 11am – 12.30pm and 2pm – 4pm

Morden Hall Park SM4 5JD nationaltrust.org.uk/morden-hall-park Open House. Discover more about the heritage of the park through their people and places exhibition. Free. 11am-3pm 21-22 Sep

Osterley Park and House TW7 4RB nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley-park 21-22 Sept Open House London. Free access for all to the House and Gardens. 12-4pm. Free 21 and 28 Sep Bat Walk. Join their wardens for a walk around the estate and use bat detectors to seek out bats, see these winged wonders in flight and learn about the life of bats. £5, 7-8.30pm approx 22 Sep Show & Tell. Join the house experts as

they uncover stories about Osterley’s collection. 9.30-10.30am, £10 29 Sep Family Discovery Day. Creative fun days for families, each with a different theme. 1pm – 4pm, admission fees apply

The Royal Observatory Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich SE10 9NF rmg.co.uk To 8 Sep Alien Revolution. Are we alone in this Universe? If aliens exist, would they be friendly or hostile? Explore the subject in an exhibition which takes an intimate look at the history of our relationship with extraterrestrial life. 10.00-16.30 / Free From 19 Sep Astronomy Photographer of the Year. The annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition, displaying the spectacular winning images from this year’s competition. 10.00 – 17.00 Throughout Sep Meet The Neighbours. Meet our neighbours in space in this entertaining interactive show, where you decide which planets to visit. 5yrs+, 10.30, 11.30, 12.45, 13.45 (Mon, Wed - during term time only) £6.50/£4.50 28 September Saturday Space Explorers. In these fun monthly workshops families can make simple cardboard instruments, including planet finders and moon dials which they can take away and use at home. 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm, 4pm, 4.30pm Throughout Sep Solar System, Galaxy, Universe. Exploring the scale of the Solar System, Galaxy and Universe and how we measure it.

Tower Hill EC3N 4AB hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon Throughout Sep Fortress Tower. Welcome to the greatest fortress in the land! Knights and squires prepare to do battle for the Kingdom of France. 2 Sep-25 Oct The People of the Mint. Find out more about the lives of the men who lived and worked at the Mint – where did the gold and silver come from and how was it turned into coins?

ZSL London Zoo Outer Circle, Regent's Park NW1 4RY zsl.org 15 September ZSL London Zoo Stampede. Unleash the animal in you and delight in the sights and sounds of nature whilst you embark on the most unique 10k run in London! Whether you want to sprint, strut, stomp or slither, this Stampede event will provide runners of all abilities with an unforgettable experience. / From £27

The London Wetlands Centre Barnes SW13 9WT wwt.org.uk Every Mon in September Pond Dipping for Adults. Why should children have all the fun messing about in ponds? Come on a Pond Safari to hunt for the many different kinds of insects and other small animals that live in fresh waters. 12pm and 3pm / Included in admission. Free for members 8 September Introduction to birdwatching. This practical introductory session will help you

Ramsden Hall, 21 Ramsden Road, London SW12 8QX

‘The unique needs of the children are promoted exceptionally well and staff are committed to meeting children’s learning and welfare needs' (Ofsted Outstanding – December 2011) Please come and see us in action and capture the excitement of learning at Oaktree Nursery School Incorporating art, music, yoga, sport, cooking and drama and all aspects of the Early Curriculum. Contact: Annabel Dixon Phone: 020 8870 8441 email: dixonannab@aol.com www.oaktreenurseryschool.co.uk


Visit 345 Nursery where “The Nursery offers an exceptionally welcoming and inclusive environment” (Ofsted November 2011). Children become independent inquisitive and motivated in this rich and vibrant learning environment. Great outdoor space! Options include Afternoon School, Lunch Club and Early Bird Club. www.345nurseryschool.co.uk Please contact us on 020-8870-8441 or dixonannab@aol.com Fitzhugh Grove, Trinity Road, London SW18 3SA

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Please send info for consideration to: whatson@familiesmagazine.co.uk

identify different birds and to understand more about them. An expert warden will guide you around the wildlife reserve. 9.30am – 11am / £20 5, 12, 19 September Big Bat Walk. A chance not only to see these amazing flying mammals and their astonishing aerial acrobatics, as well as learning more about them with a talk by one of their bat experts before heading out to the reserve. £10

Out of Town Chiddingstone Castle Hill Hoath Road, Kent TN8 7AD chiddingstonecastle.org.uk 15 September Country Fair. A packed programme of exciting and entertaining activities and displays will take place throughout the day including an Exemption

What’s on

History of London Theatreland Tours Central London location walkingtours@solttma.co.uk 8 September. Official London Theatre’s annual Theatreland Walking Tour. Take in some of London’s quirkier theatrical sights including a Victorian music hall, the first theatre to host a strip show in the entertainment district, the home of Revudeville variety and London’s most elegant stage door. 2.30pm, £9.50, age 12+

The Papered Parlour 7 Prescott Place, Clapham SW4 thepaperedparlour.co.uk 8 September. DIY Screenprinting. Immerse yourself in the world of contemporary printmaking. From creating fine art editions to revamping your wardrobe, get the skills you need to take your ideas to the next level. 12-5pm, £77.50 28-29 September. Dressmaking: Make a Dress Weekender Get all the skills you need to start stitching your way to couture heaven. 12-5pm, £147.50

Ages 3 months to 5 years Opening times 8am to 6pm (Mon to Fri) Excellent facilities Sensory Room stimulating, caring and homely environment qualified and experienced staff outside garden Good OFSTED report French Music & movement Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum baby unit close to public transport Tel for more info 020 8674 4844 58 Blairderry Road, Streatham Hill, London SW2 4SB www.oaktreedaynursery.com

Tri for Life

Chiddingstone Castle Dog show with a number of fun classes for young and old – dogs and handlers! 11am-5pm / £3 for adults and £1 for children

Diary dates/ Events Where is the Nomad? Fulham Palace and Brompton Cemetery, SW6 www.whereisthenomad.com 5, 10, 11, 12, 19 September. Catch great movies in the great outdoors. Movies include When Harry Met Sally, Donnie Darko, Edward Scissorhands, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Amelie. From £8.50

Pop Up Screens Bishop’s Park, Fulham SW6 3LA www.popupscreens.co.uk 7 September. Dirty Dancing. Watch it under the stars with a picnic. 7pm gates open, movie starts 8.30pm. £8

Baby Jumble Sale York Gardens Library, Battersea SW11 www.babyjumble.com 7 September. Kit out your entire nursery for less. £2 per family. Tables available at £25

Festival of Neighbourhood. SE1 8PX southbankcentre.co.uk To 8 Sep. Summer 2013 Festival – A summer-long celebration of neighbourhoods and communities, with the site transformed into a neighbourhood with allotments and fruit trees, a local pub, large-scale murals, flags created by Bob and Roberta Smith and a complete Beanotown.

Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire www.gosh.org/gen/triforlife 8 September. Triathlon. Try something new by taking on Tri for Life, a triathlon event raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

Lulubaby Weaning Class Melody Road SW18 lulubaby.co.uk 10 September. Join Lulubaby to find out more about optimum nutrition for children, when to start weaning, benefits of the different approaches to weaning, which foods to introduce at each stage and cooking methods. 9.30am-12pm, £50 (10 percent discount for readers of Families South West).

Mums-to-be Social The Baby Drop, 32b Webb's Road (corner of Kelmscott Road), parallel to Northcote Road, SW11 www.claphammums.com 11 September. Hosted by ClaphamMums.com and The Baby Care Company. Meet other mums-to-be, free drinks and nibbles, free manicures and taster pregnancy massages. Book by emailing info@thebabycarecompany.co.uk.

Green Shoots Day Nursery, SW8 1AR Open for 0 to 5yr olds 8am to 6pm 0207 582 3133 www.greenshootsday nursery.coop

FloatArt London Dixie Queen Paddleboat, located by Tower Bridge www.floatart.co.uk 13-15 September. As part of the Southwark Festival - a showcase on the River Thames of a selection of the country’s most current and inspirational BA and MA art graduates.

Mum2mum Market YMCA Wimbledon, 200 Broadway SW19 1RY www.mum2mummarket.co.uk 14 September. Baby and children's nearly new sale Buy top quality second hand baby and children's clothes, toys, books and equipment at a fraction of the high street price or sell and keep 100% of the proceeds. 2-4pm, admission £2 on the door, kids free


page 46

September 2013



Diary dates and events

There's no room to list more here, but use our unique local searchable What’s On calendar on FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk NEW!

First Aid for Life

Open House London 2013

Balham and Westminster firstaidforlife.org.uk 14 and 16 September. The Emergency Course A 3-hour course covering care of the unconscious baby and child as well as most commonly occurring injuries and illnesses such as choking, bleeding, breaks, bleeds, burns, head injury and febrile convulsions. 9.30am-12.30pm, £60/£65.

Battersea Power Station SW11 www.openhouselondon.org.uk 21-22 September. Open Site Visit. Battersea Power Station, built in the 1930s as a coal-powered fire station and powering over one fifth of London at its peak, will host site visits as part of Open House London for the first time. The last opportunity to see one of London’s most iconic buildings before it undergoes an eagerly anticipated redevelopment.

The Parent Practice 68 Thurleigh Road, SW12 8UD theparentpractice.com 19 September. Digital Overload in the Modern Family: find the balance. 7:30-10pm 26 September. How to be an Even Better Dad. 7:30-10pm

Landmark Arts Centre Ferry Road, Teddington TW11 9NN landmarkartscentre.org 21 September. Saturday Kids Art Club. For children 5-11 years, 10am-12pm. Print your own "battlestrip", getting ideas from the Bayeux Tapestry, William the Conqueror and narrative art. To book call 020 8977 7558 or email info@landmarkartscentre.org. From 20 September. Classical Babies. For families and babies up to 3yrs – a chance to relax and enjoy classical music by professional musicians in a baby friendly environment – no noise restriction! Runs every Friday. £10, contact Nadine Andre 07732 058705

5-a-day Fun Day Battersea Park playground. 22nd September 11am - 3pm. Activity day to raise awareness to kids and parents of the link between nutrition and physical activity. Fun activities inc face painting. A free and fun day out for all the family! Find it on Facebook: 5-a-day fun day Twitter: @5ADayFunDay

St. Michael's Table Top Sale St. Michael's C of E School, Granville Road, Southfields SW18 28 September. 9am-1pm, free entry, children’s toys and equipment, assorted jumble and jewels. To hire a table contact pta@stmichaels.wands worth.sch.uk


The Parent Practice

Alternative London Bike Tours Rivington Street EC2A 3BE alternativeldn.co.uk Fridays and Saturdays in September. 2-hour and 4-hour tours of street art, history and cultures of East London. From £12, includes bike and helmet hire. Age 13+

NCT Wimbledon & Wandsworth www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com Monday Munchkins. Every Monday in September, 10am-12pm at Elim Church, High Path, South Wimbledon. Breastfeeding Drop-in. Every Thursday in September, 10am–12pm, Gooseberry Bush Café (upstairs studio) Bumps and Babes. Every Friday in September, 10.30am–12pm, Wimbledon Park Pavilion Post-natal meet up. Every Friday in September, 1.30–3.30pm at Mood Food Café, 131 Penwith Rd, Earlsfield, SW18 4PZ

Dulwich Picture Gallery SE21 7AD dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk First and last Sunday of September. Family Sundays Enjoy a range of free drop-in activities. Get creative together at Artplay, and participate in interactive storytelling. 2 – 4pm, free for families with a gallery ticket.

Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk

Classified TUITION


ENGLISH CONVERSATION TUITION offered by experienced tutor. I have a Degree in Education, a Masters in Literature, and a TEFL certificate. Plus years of experience, including working for the BBC as trainer, tutor and journalist.


Call Geoff on 07879 414984 or email me geoffbyrne51@gmail.com

Veronique Fox-Baret Common Entrance 7/8/11/13+ Educational Tutor www.veroniquefoxbaret.co.uk

07817 617933

SERVICES PAINTING & DECORATING Interior / Exterior Experienced, Reliable, Clean Fully Guaranteed / Insured FREE ADVICE & QUOTE

Ly d i e

John:- James & Lamont

C h i l d r e n’ s Pa r t i e s

020 8462 4646 - 07802 535695

The Unique Birthday Experience The theatre of Peter Pan, Superheroes, Fairies,Arabian Nights and more... In your home! Unforgettable Bilingual English/French www.lydieparties.com



0207 622 2540

Larah Au Pairs 01932 341704 Sole trader for 25 years

Special pre-scrub treatment, removes more dirt, stains and mites, leaving a cleaner, fresher job. Call David on 07712 917894

THEO THE MAGICIAN “The Magic Circle, Equity & CRB” Fun Magic for Children & Adults Free Magic Wand & Certificate for Birthday Child 07711 724129

A F Decor



07808 732 390 clown pirate story-teller wizard

Parties for 3-9 year olds Funny Magic Show, Puppet’s, Party Games, Silly Songs and Balloon Animals Call 020 7823 8329 - 07939 239397 www.sillymillietheclown.co.uk

September 2013


Friendly, experienced and qualified teacher of children 6+ and adults. Take exams or learn purely for pleasure.


FSW needs a person

Phone Danny on

8944 0681 or 07961 428 596 E-mail: acs@amitygrove.com



Interior/Exterior Painting & Decorating Family run business established in 1981 FREE quotes & advice Excellent standard of work Fully guaranteed & insured No job too big or small 020 7223 7005 - 07538 542 303 afdecor58@yahoo.co.uk

Home and business computers repaired & managed. Consultancy and tuition also available.

Silly Millie the Clown

Au pairs, mother’s helps and couples with refs and police checked. Discount for Personal, friendly service. Families readers All areas. www.larahaupairs.co.uk

Different styles covered. Home visits possible.

Mark Lester MA, CT ABRSM

020 8870 7830 www.marklester.biz


good with figures. One day a month to start with. Knowledge of Excel, freelance. Call James 8696 9680

Public Speaking Speech & Drama, Confidence Building Wimbledon/Vauxhall. Clare Price. LGSM, LLAM

(020) 7735 3156 www.speechspecialist.co.uk



Tel: 020 8696 9680 FamiliesSouthWest.co.uk