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upon Thames

January/February 2013 Issue 86





New Year, New You!

Recruiting Now

Successful business mum is seeking 5 working partners to work part time from home, without compromising family commitments or current career. If you have supervisory, managerial, sales, marketing, recruitment or self employed background, please call Diana Page - 01235 533 362

WIN 1 year -­‐ Speech  and  Language  Therapists   -­‐  Child  Psychologist   -­‐  Drama  and  Play  Therapists   Clinics  in  Putney  &  Clapham  South     Call  us  on  0208  6737930  or  visit  

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

membership to Cedar’s Health and Leisure Club in Richmond, worth £1,000! 100 Day Passes also to be won!

Classes for 4 –12 year o ld s .uk

0845 400 1284 Covering North Surrey and the boroughs of Richmond, Kingston and Hounslow

Open_day_london_march13:Layout 1



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Ever wanted to run your own business...

…but felt unsure how to get started? MAD Academy has been providing music and dance classes for preschool children since 2004. However, there are some key locations where children do not currently have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of our high energy, yet educational classes.

Registered charity:1093411

WEAR A HAT DAY Thursday 28 th March


So we are looking for enthusiastic business minded people to join our team of franchisees to help us close the gaps. Experience with children and a love of music and dance is an advantage but a desire to build a flexible business based on term time working, is more important. For a no obligation chat and a presentation on what’s involved, come along to our next Open Day on 3rd March 2013 in London.

All attendees will receive a


discount voucher PLUS free gift!

For details email or call Laura on 07732 322540 or 0118 926 1384

REGISTER NOW | Tel: 01296 733011



Daily/live in nannies Night Nannies Mother’s Helps Temporary and Emergency Staff Maternity Nurses Evening Babysitting Service Established over 20 years All staff interviewed and reference check CRB Enhanced Disclosure For Friendly Professional Advice on all your Childcare Requirements

Call Suzanne 0208 339 0298 2

January-February 2013

Motivate - Inspire - Achieve

Sunday morning sports for boys and girls of all abilities

SportsCoach Richmond  0844 3350450 At SportsCoach your 4 - 16 year old will:   

Flourish in small class sizes Become more confident happy and active Learn and enjoy 18 different sports a year



Fencing - Archery - Martial Arts - Basketball - Tennis - Football - Netball -

Serious fun and games

Handball - Athletics - Badminton - Lacrosse -Unihoc - Tri Golf and more...

2 week trial enrolment and mid term starts available - Call today to book your child's place Classes run locally at Christ School, Queens Road, Richmond, TW10 6HW


Follow us on Twitter now

PAGE 17 CREDITS With thanks to Athelstan House School, Claremont Fan Court School, Newland House School, Notre Dame School, Thames Christian College and The Mall School for the images that make up the cover of our Education Focus.

January-February 2013

LINDA STONE, editor m: 07530 283330 t: 020 8241 0423 e: Find us and like us on Facebook @FamiliesuponT Now over 2,000 followers!

4 Family Health and Wellbeing 8 Family Food and Nutrition 9 Competition: WIN 1 year Membership to Cedar’s Health and Leisure Club worth £1,000! 10 Parenting Earning Your Child’s Confidence Concerned About Your Child’s Speech and Language 11 Enhancing Your Emotional Intelligence 12 Creating Your Perfect Family Home and Garden The Builders Have Finished. Where do YOU start? 13 Re-styling Our Living Room 14 Space, Storage, Surfaces (and Stuff) 15 Making More of Your Family Home Play and Preservation 16 The Baby Page 17 Education Focus 18 Education News 19 How to Develop Your Child’s Numeracy Skills Making an Informed Choice 20 The Search for The Perfect Child 21 School Open Day Listings 22 Considering an independent prep school for your child? Dry Ice and Exploding Jelly Beans

24 Education News 25 Mum and Career My Long Scoot to Freedom 26 New Year Bizolutions Flexible Working: The Holy Grail For Mums! 27 Clubs, Classes and Activities The Hub For Bubs At The Pub A Second Language Before 6? 28 The Two ‘Gyms’ 29 Ballet For My Baby? Looking for a Flexible Career Option? In Winter… 30 Dance Feature Anyone Can Dance The Mean Streets of TW9 Captivating the Class 32 The Club for Champions! 33 Learning to Play a Musical Instrument 34 Core Skills Create Champions In Winter… 35 Inside and Out: Perfect Play for Winter Days 36 Clubs, Classes and Activities Listings 39 Local Theatre Guide It’s All About the Classics! Competition: Win tickets to Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom 40 Families Property Guide It’s Child’s Play Protecting Your Family 41 Classifieds 42 What’s On



Rowan Johnson offers her advice

Did you know that infants and young children should not be inactive for more than an hour at a time and school children should not be inactive for periods of longer than 2 hours? We all know that lack of exercise in the lives of today’s children is leading to the growing problem of childhood and adult obesity. By encouraging exercise early, the foundations are laid for children to build and maintain a lifestyle that promotes physical wellbeing, as well as allowing them to develop leaner body composition, with less fat, and be less prone to becoming overweight. The best way to encourage children to be active is to provide opportunities for them to experience fun and happiness whilst exercising. When speaking to children about the benefits of exercise, it can be useful to encourage them to ‘Think BODI!’ This acronym helps children to easily understand the science behind exercising and fosters an appreciation of its importance.

So what does ‘BODI’ mean? B is for bones and muscles. Exercise helps children’s bones grow and stay strong and enhances their mineral density. Having strong bones is particularly important for growing children. Children with strong bones and muscles have more stamina to handle challenges and overcome adversity. O is for oxygen. During exercise the heart beats faster and breathing speeds up. More blood flows through the body to all cells and tissues, helping to move the oxygen and nutrients to every area of the body. As a result of receiving nutrients more quickly, a child has more energy. D is for disease. Exercise decreases the risk of disease and other chronic conditions including diabetes, heart and respiratory problems and orthopaedic conditions. I is for immune system. A stronger immune system means that children are less prone to colds and other childhood illnesses. This is essential given their close proximity to each other at school and during play.


Rowan Johnson co-owns Yellow Brick Road, a coaching practice for children that assists them with issues of confidence, behaviour and motivation in the areas of health and wellbeing, social and emotional development and academic and life achievement. For more information, visit

A LOCAL SOLUTION TO ‘FLAT HEAD SYNDROME’ Steeper Clinic offers some insights

You may have occasionally noticed images in the press of babies wearing specially fitted helmets and wondered why they are wearing them. Such helmets are commonly used when babies have slightly misshapen heads, a medical condition referred to as deformational plagiocephaly. Sometimes

known as ‘flat head syndrome’, it is a common condition suffered by the babies of many parents every day and it occurs when external force, such as the baby’s sleeping position, causes its head to take on an abnormal shape. The condition is characterised by the flattening of one side of the back of the head and can be noticeable from birth, or present itself in the first few months of life. Research also suggests that the condition may be linked to auditory, visual and developmental problems later in life. Kate Chauhan, Head Clinical Specialist Orthotist at Steeper Clinic in Kingston, one of the UK’s leading treatment centres for this condition, explains: “Instances of plagiocephaly have increased dramatically in the UK over the last few years, but there is still a lack of knowledge amongst many health professionals and parents about the condition. For that reason, Steeper provides free consultations for parents from across the UK on the best treatment option for their child. We can recommend repositioning techniques and, if necessary, can provide a clinically effective programme


Above all, physical activity improves psychological functioning. Children’s self-esteem and confidence improve and the risk of illnesses such as anxiety and depression is reduced. Studies show that children who are physically fit develop better memory and concentration, tend to sleep better and are better able to handle the physical and emotional challenges of the day - from running to catch a bus to studying for a test. Our children are the future; it is vital that we focus on reversing the trend of their deteriorating physical and mental health. Our children can benefit significantly through everyday activities such as nature walks, unstructured play, cycling or playing tag. And these benefits apply to their parents too!

Left, Sam Ashton wearing STARband helmet and above, Sam Ashton.

of treatment through STARband helmets, which have been successfully used to treat over 125,000 babies worldwide.” Tina Ashton, whose baby of 10 months has been diagnosed with plagiocephaly, is calling on health chiefs to do more for the treatment of the condition, after being told that the NHS will not fund the STARband helmet. The helmet is the leading orthotic treatment for plagiocephaly in babies aged between 4 and 18 months and costs around £2,000. “Sam has been wearing the helmet for just over 1 month now and the results have been amazing” says Tina. “He was a little bit wary of it at first but he got used to it very quickly. We’re already starting to see a visible change in the shape of his head and I really feel that the NHS should be offering some sort of funding to help parents.”

For further information on the Steeper Clinic in Kingston, or for information on plagiocephaly and treatment options, please visit 4

January-February 2013

FAMILY HEALTH AND WELLBEING SUGAR AND YOUR CHILD’S TEETH: THE REAL TRUTH! Colin Houston suggests tooth-friendly diet choice What children eat can drastically affect the health of their teeth. Sugar causes tooth decay and it is not just the amount of sugar in food and drinks that matters but how often there are sugary things in the mouth and for how long. Sometimes it seems as if we are hard-wired to love the taste of biscuits, cakes, chocolate, sweets and fruit squashes, but it’s sensible to avoid offering them to babies and toddlers for as long as possible. Chewing or sucking on sugary things can cause tooth decay even to children who only have one or two teeth! Instead, give them milk, fruit and vegetables, bread, pasta and cheese to develop more savoury tastes. A small amount of sugar in foods at mealtimes is fine for older children and, of course, steering clear of treats forever would be incredibly difficult. However, when and how these treats are consumed can make an enormous difference. It’s better if your children eat sweets and chocolate in one sitting, rather than spreading them out during the day. This means that their teeth will not be exposed to sugar for too long. Hidden sugars Remember that less obvious foods such as honey, syrup, muscovado and concentrated fruit juices all contain sugar. It’s particularly important to water down concentrated fruit juices and limit them to mealtimes.

Also, be aware and check food and drink labels for sucrose, glucose, dextrose, maltose, fructose, and hydrolysed starch, which can also cause decay. Here are some sugary foods and sugar habits to avoid: ● Sugar-coated cereal and extra sugar on cereals ● Using sweets as rewards – stickers work just as well ● Sweet drinks – even if they don’t contain sugar they encourage a sweet-tooth ● Dried fruit and concentrated fruit juices (unless diluted). The sugar in dried fruit can cause decay if consumed frequently ● Lollipops and hard sweets which bathe the teeth in sugar for a considerable amount of time ● Rusks for teething little ones – almost all of them contain sugar in one form or another If you have any concerns about your child’s oral health, speak to your dentist. He or she will be only too happy to help encourage tooth-friendly food habits that will last a lifetime.


Colin Houston is the owner of Thorpe Lea Dental in Staines, a family-friendly practice that offers free dental examinations for children, preventative dental care, pain-free technology plus cosmetic treatments such as tooth whitening and fast-track teeth straightening. For further information, visit

Does your child suffer from

Flat Head Syndrome? Free assessment and scan

Using market leading scanning technology we offer a non-intrusive 3d scan, performed by highly trained Clinical Specialist Orthotists

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Clinics in Kingston, Leeds and a new clinic opening soon in Marylebone, London | | 0113 207 0432

January-February 2013

THE FACTS ABOUT THREADWORMS: By Dr Robert Arlt MD The threadworm (or pin worm) is the most common worm parasite among children in the UK and is named because it is white and thin, like thread. Parents may be reluctant to talk about this condition so you may not initially recognise the symptoms or know how to treat them. Symptoms The first sign is itching, mainly in the early morning or at night when the female threadworm is laying eggs around your child’s anus or genital area. Threadworms are rarely visible on your child’s skin or in your child’s faeces. Diagnosis Your GP can conduct a simple adhesive tape test for eggs. Transparent adhesive tape is applied to the skin near the anus or the genital area first thing in the morning, before wiping or bathing. The tape is then placed on a slide for microscopy. You should have the results within a couple of days. Treatment The treatment normally includes taking one single dose of a medication, such as mebednazole or piperizine that kills the threadworm in the gut. These treatments are sold at your local chemist. Threadworms can easily be transmitted to other people so it’s important to treat all family members simultaneously. The transmission happens only from human to human. Pets are not involved. Once treated, threadworms can reoccur. The eggs can remain under the finger nails after scratching and be ingested again and can also develop locally in the lower intestine. It is advisable to repeat the treatment after two weeks by which time the eggs will have reached adult age. Prevention of Reinfection A child’s anus should be washed regularly and underwear, nightwear, linen and towels should be changed and washed each day. Hands should be washed with soap and fingernails kept short and clean. Children with threadworms can go to school or nursery but good hygiene within these establishments should be encouraged.


Dr Arlt is a Consultant Paediatrician at Richmond Practice where specialist integrated family health care is available Monday to Saturday with late evening appointments. In November, Richmond Practice was commended in the Best Professional Services category at the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. For more information or to book an appointment call 0208 940 5009 or visit

Looking for a new approach to your family’s healthcare? Homeopathy A gentle, holistic therapy that can be helpful in a wide range of acute & chronic complaints. Suitable for the whole family including babies and expectant mothers. Contact: Melissa Wakeling MARH RHom CEASE Therapist

07531 797929



Are you secretly relieved that Christmas is over? No more guilty feelings whilst reaching for mince pies, chocolates and glasses of wine! No more resignation about the weight you’ll put on! Are you focused on buying larger clothing in the post-Christmas sales or signing up for a gym membership that you won’t use? If this is a familiar post-Christmas ritual for you, consider this. The period of Christmas over-indulgence is only 2 weeks long. Add to this a further 8 weeks a year when you may be on holiday or out of your normal routine. That still leaves 42 weeks a year. It is how we eat during those that has the key influence on our weight and energy levels. If you can manage good eating habits 80% of the time, the remaining 20% will not have a significant effect. In order to establish healthier eating habits, you need to understand what you are and aren’t eating, so that key problem areas can be identified. Ask yourself these questions about your typical daily diet:

Do you eat breakfast? Not eating breakfast or eating a breakfast overloaded with carbohydrates, such as cereal and toast, is the BIGGEST cause of weight problems and energy slumps. This habit creates an insulin spike in the blood, overloading the pancreas and causing carbohydrates to turn into sugar. Excess sugar, if not used, is stored as fat.

How much alcohol do you drink? Did you know that each glass of wine reduces your fat burning capacity by up to 70%? Not only does alcohol contain more calories than fat, protein or carbohydrates but the body processes alcohol before the rest of your meal so it prevents complete digestion. This leads to an inability to use the sugars, which are stored as fat instead. How many takeaways do you eat? A takeaway such as pizza or fish and chips, packs a whopping 2000 calories - more than an average woman needs in an entire day! Takeaway food is normally sold in larger portions than necessary and is high in fat and sugar and low in nutritional value. Fats, sugars, processing and ready-made items are required to make the food tasty and quick and to speed up the heating time. Being honest with yourself and uncovering the truth about your diet is the starting point to regaining control of your weight, having abundant energy, being a healthy role model for your children and creating a lifetime of optimum health.


Nevil Kapadia is a Wellness Coach and owns and runs Think Slim and Trim (www.thinkslimntrim. Nevil provides personalised programmes and support to guarantee success. If you would like a complimentary Wellness Check Up, please complete the short online survey at

THAI PORT AND LETTUCE WRAPS After Christmas excesses, these pork and lettuce wraps are a delicious option for healthy eating. The kids will really enjoy assembling them at the table but you may want to reduce the amount of chilli and fish sauce for the little ones. This recipe is spicy! The following ingredients are enough for a light meal for 2 adults and 2 (small) children, but add to the quantities if you are big eaters or if this is the main meal of the day: 1 tbsp olive oil 300 g pork fillet finely diced (1cm square pieces) 1 stick lemongrass 1/2 inch ginger finely chopped 1 and a half cloves garlic finely chopped 2 red birds eye chillies 2 tbsp lime juice 1 tbsp fish sauce 1 tsp palm sugar or soft brown sugar A handful of fresh mint and coriander Optional - 2 tbsp rice (jasmine if you can get it), tossed dry in a hot pan until it starts to colour, then cooled and ground in a pepper grinder Optional - 50 g toasted cashew nuts 200 g boiled rice One head of Little Gem lettuce washed and separated into leaves

Method: Fry the pork and the lemongrass in the oil until cooked through (4-5 minutes). Combine all the other ingredients (apart from the nuts, boiled rice and lettuce) to make a dressing. Toss the pork in the dressing and serve with rice and lettuce on the side. If using, sprinkle with nuts to serve. Use the lettuce leaves to make wraps for the pork mixture – and enjoy!

extra This recipe was provided by The Claremont Road Kitchen. For more recipes, you can join their blog at

Tel: 020 8398 4184

Matwork for All Levels Pilates Studio Equipment incl. Reformers BackCare™ Classes Pregnancy and Postnatal Classes Equipment Classes Pilates Personal Training Call us to book or email PILATES EVERYDAY, EVENING, AND SATURDAY MORNING. All of our classes are deliberately kept small. More benefit, more progress and more attention for you.

© Creattiva Pilates. The Studio, Esher and Thames Ditton Golf Club, Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT10 9AL.

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January-February 2013



Imagine your child has been given a brand new puppet for Christmas. The strings are long and, untangled, its limbs hang perfectly. The spine is straight and there is symmetry in its body. You tell your child that, looking after her new puppet means taking care of it, laying it down to rest in a way that its strings won’t get tangled, picking it up carefully and maintaining tension on the strings in order for it to operate properly. So what happens if the strings get tangled or broken? How do you start to put this right, how will you make the puppet hang straight again? Now liken yourself to that puppet. I think you get the picture… As we age and ask numerous complicated tasks of our bodies, bad muscle memory patterns are learnt and imbalances formed, as muscles contract and shorten, literally pulling our bodies out of alignment. The complexity of those patterns becomes greater

as we build up the layers, so that when we end up with aches and pains or even injury, it becomes tricky to understand where it all started. One very successful way of “untangling our strings” is with pilates. Pilates is a non-aerobic form of exercise that dramatically improves strength, flexibility, co-ordination and posture. Controlled, smoothly flowing exercises train both the body and mind, improving posture, muscle imbalances and body awareness. Clients often feel and look slimmer, due to the improvement of posture and muscle tone. Before being able to correct posture and alignment with pilates, the first thing to do is untangle existing patterns by stretching and elongating tight muscles, lengthening the spine and literally re-connecting mind with body, thus enabling the skeleton to be free and balanced. Tight muscles are often weak and underused. Stretching helps to restore elasticity, hydrating muscles and ligaments and minimizes the chance of injury. Only then can the job of strengthening muscles and establishing the correct firing patterns begin. Muscles were designed to be pliable, to contract and to release, to work in partnership with other muscles and to allow us to safely perform the variety of moves we wish to perform. When you have prepared your body and achieved good posture and flexibility, you can tackle the exercise world in any way you choose, armed with an understanding of your body and the tools you need to look after yourself properly.


Sarah Duley owns and runs Pilates Plus, a pilates, gyrotonic, gyrokenesis and yoga studio in St Margaret’s, Twickenham. For further information, visit

Wear a Hat Day at Pulford School

WEAR A HAT FOR BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH ON THURSDAY, 28TH MARCH Join the fun and help fund the fight against brain tumours

‘Wear a Hat Day’ is a fun way of increasing awareness and raising money for an often overlooked form of cancer. One day every year, Brain Tumour Research asks people to wear a hat to raise awareness and funds for vital research into brain tumours. It’s a day when this important organisation encourages children and parents to make donations in order to wear a hat to school, to work, at social events or even at home. From sponsored silences to charity runs and school bake sales, educational facilities around the country are being encouraged to raise money in any way they can. Sue Farrington-Smith, Director of Brain Tumour Research, comments: “Brain tumour research receives less than 1% of national cancer research spending in the UK yet this deadly disease kills more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer, so please get involved on 28 March 2013”. For more information, visit and register your interest today by emailing

PILATES and YOGA? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? Sarah Duley reveals all

Perhaps because they are both gentle and non-aerobic, it is sometimes assumed that Pilates and Yoga are interchangeable forms of exercise. In fact, as Yoga has been around a lot longer than Pilates, sometimes it’s even considered to be a form of Yoga! Whilst Yoga has no doubt inspired exercise forms such as Pilates, they do not belong to the same family at all. Both techniques have, of course, evolved and taken influence from each other over the years and there are now many varied forms of both techniques and even a fusion of the two called Yogilates! Both Yoga and Pilates can become dynamic, vigorous exercise routines, demanding great amounts of strength of flexibility and, the good news is, that because they are actually quite different from each other, they can work very well together as complementary exercise systems. January-February 2013


● Yoga has a spiritual or meditative

background. From a symbolic perspective, yoga signifies integration, union, harmony, regulation and connection, pertaining to the human body and mind. ● First known practice of Yoga dates back 5000 years. ● Traditionally it is a holistic form of exercise that confronts states of mind, as well as body. ● Yoga breathing works with inhale, exhale, and the holding of yoga positions. It requires mental focus on the breath, without compromising on breath-length and smoothness and is called “conscious breathing” or “pranamaya.” Pilates ● Pilates has no spiritual or meditative background. ● Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates

Instructor assists woman in a pilates class

who began the system about 80 years ago. ● Pilates is concerned with increasing muscle strength, tone and core stability in the body. In its original form, Pilates is taught in a studio with specialized equipment such as the Reformer and Cadillac and the springs and pulleys of these add to muscle resistance. ● Pilates breathing encourages inhalation into the back area of the lungs which are frequently underused. The exhale is used to engage core muscles of the back and abdomen, thereby stabilising the trunk.


family food&nutrition

Savvy food shopping

- how to get the best out of your food shop! by Alison Pinta January is the month to think about your annual budget and, if you want to free up a little extra cash, consider looking at cutting the cost of your food bill. You may worry that this will mean compromising on quality, but it is possible to pare back, get great value AND still enjoy tasty, nutritious food.

Here are my top tips to help you get the best out of grocery shopping. Plan your meals: Write down what your family will eat for the week, allowing for absences, extra guests, or occasions when you’ll need a quick meal. Plan a suitable meal for each day, ensuring that you have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. Think about what needs using up

in your freezer or fridge. Then incorporate these items into your meal plan. Stick To Your List At The Supermarket: Don’t be tempted by additional items, and when you get to the checkout put back anything that’s slipped in. Eat before you go shopping – it’s easy to over shop when you are hungry. If you’re easily tempted, why not try online grocery shopping and avoid succumbing altogether! Watch The Deals: Check the maths - some savings are only worth a few pence, and some aren’t savings at all. Only buy Buy One Get One Free items if you know you will use them both. Fresh meat can be frozen for later, but will you really use the BOGOFs on fruit? Shop Elsewhere: Try meat from your local butcher – you’ll be impressed by the quality, and you can buy exactly the quantity you want, saving money and waste. Seasonal fruit and vegetables are often cheaper at your local market or farm shop and, if you run out of milk mid-week, pop in to your local corner shop instead of the supermarket. That way you’ll just buy milk and you won’t spend £20 on other items you didn’t know you needed!

extra Alison Pinto owns and runs Menus4Mums, an online resource which helps parents ditch takeaways and ready meals, serve up tasty, healthy food for their families, and save time and money in the kitchen. Find out more at and download a FREE 1 week sample meal plan.

The Secret Slimmer’s Club by Linda Stone, Editor

There are a variety of different ways in which to make adjustments to your weight in the year ahead. Some may join a gym, whilst others may elect to join a weekly slimming club or work with a personal coach or nutritionist to help them stay motivated.

factory produced ready meal. But, if you don’t have time to cook, then, of course, there’s COOK. Famed for its delicious and often decadent, home cooked food, COOK has launched its “Secret Slimmer’s Club” aimed at those who don’t want to compromise on taste but want to lose weight and be healthy. COOK now stocks a new range of “Guilt Free” meals that are as delicious as the rest of their range but are healthy and lower in both fat and calories. To join the Secret Slimmer’s Club, just pop into your local store in Teddington, Surbiton, Weybridge and now also in Twickenham and ask for a Secret Slimmer’s Card. When you show your card at the till, you will qualify for 10% off* anything in the Guilt Free range. Recipes include Soy & Ginger Chicken with Broccoli, Friday night treats such as Garlic Chicken Curry and even food you would

be proud to entertain with such as Seabass with Asparagus Tips and Linguini in a Lobster Bisque. There’s even simple ONE POT meals, such as Jambalaya with Chicken & Chorizo to pop in the microwave for a warm and filling lunch. *Terms and conditions apply

JOIN FOR FREE* Lose weight today at Rosemary Conley Classes

“I went from a size 18 to a 10 in 6 months!” Member Alison, 43.

Others, including those that want to lose weight but don’t want anyone to know they are dieting or those that simply want to eat more healthily but don’t specifically want to lose weight, may cast around for new food options on the high street. Most supermarkets offer “healthy” meals that claim to be low in both fat and calories. However, beware the ready prepared “low calorie” option if you are looking for taste and flavour. You’ll always find a home cooked meal tastier and almost always healthier than a 8


HAMPTON White House Community Centre, The Avenue, Hampton, TW12 3RN Wednesday 09:45 - 11:00 am (Slim & Aerobics)

SUNBURY-ON-THAMES Sunbury Methodist Church, Staines Road East, TW16 5AD Thursday 10:00 - 11:15 am (Slim & Aerobics)

TWICKENHAM All Hallows Church Hall, Erncroft Way, Off Whitton Road, TW1 1EW Tuesday 10:00 - 11:15 am (Slim & Aerobics)

SUNBURY-ON-THAMES St. Paul’s Catholic College Main Hall, The Ridings, TW16 6NX Tuesday 6:15 - 7:45 pm (Kardy-O-Fun)

TEDDINGTON Collis Primary School, TW11 9BS Monday 6:15 - 7:30 pm (Kardy-O-Fun) Monday 7:35 - 8:30 pm - Pilates

WHITTON Whitton Community Centre, Main Hall, Percy Road, TW2 6JL Thursday 6:30 - 7:45 pm (Slim & Aerobics) Thursday 7:40 - 7:55 pm Follow (Slim & Go) us on

Course Pre-book only - call or email!


inCLudes free PaCk *When you pay for your

first 2 classes. Valid until 28/02/13. Class price: £7.50. £28 monthly for unlimited exercise classes. Please bring voucher to claim.

Call Lorna on 020 8941 8143

January-February 2013

family food&nutrition

Family friendly weight loss! So, it’s the New Year again and you want to shift some pounds. But how much should you aim to lose and how can you do it sensibly and safely? Crucially too, how can you avoid becoming a “diet bore” or negatively influencing the young, impressionable members of your family? There ARE ways to lose weight safely, sensibly and wait for it.... even enjoyably!

become unwell....not a great example to set the kids! Establish a healthy eating diet which is low-GI, (keeping your blood sugar levels balanced and reducing cravings), caloriecontrolled and low fat. Avoid a low carbohydrate diet or long periods between meals. This can send your body into “starvation” mode, causing it to store sugar, rather than burn it. This sugar then turns into fat. Expect to lose the most weight in the first few weeks and thereafter aim for a pound or two a week until you reach your target weight. Don’t keep weighing yourself at home as your weight can fluctuate during the week. Weigh yourself once a week at the same

Here’s my advice:

Avoid the newest “fad!” Eating spinach one day and drinking carrot juice the next may result in immediate weight loss, but it will not provide you with all the macronutrients you need. Not only will you regain the weight immediately when you come off the FAD plan, but you will feel very lethargic and possibly even

by Lorna Andrews

time, preferably first thing in the morning. Exercise! The most successful way of losing weight and maintaining the loss is to combine changed eating patterns with increased activity. Pay attention to portion size Weight gain is so often about eating portions that are larger than necessary. GET SUPPORT! One of the hardest things about changing your eating habits is doing it alone. Clubs such as The Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Club offer a plan which includes family-friendly meals covering all the food groups and provided in correct portion sizes. The Club constantly monitors your calorie


intake and amends it as you lose weight and get fitter to keep you achieving long-lasting results. It also offers exercise classes which suit all age groups and to which children over 10 are encouraged to attend with their parents.

Lorna Andrews is a Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Club Leader who runs classes in Sunbury, Hampton, Teddington, Whitton and Twickenham. For more information, call 020 8941 8143 or email lorna.andrews@

Imminent legal aid cuts for divorce, co-habitees and children matters by Savita Sharm

means the end of legal aid for all Divorce and children cases relating to Residence, Contact, Prohibited Steps Orders and Specific Issues that may arise

The introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which comes into force on the 1st April 2013,

Savita Sharm is a Director of law firm Duncan Lewis,which has a Family Department of 85 staff across London. They can offer speedy advice 24 hours a day and can help secure legal aid before the 31st March 2013. For more information, contact and for £100 off your legal fees, see voucher on page 2.


Saving You Time & Money in the Kitchen enquiries



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evidence either from a doctor, health professional or domestic violence support organisation. However, there is huge concern for those with limited means, who do not fall within this category. There will simply be no legal aid available to deal with applications in respect of children and financial applications after April 2013.


Menu Plans for Busy Families


in respect of children. Legal aid will also cease for financial cases relating to matrimonial assets and assets owned by cohabitees, unless the person is a victim of “domestic abuse.” The definition of “domestic abuse” has been widened to include emotional and psychological abuse, financial abuse, coercion or control, but victims will have to show a conviction, a caution or

Located on top of Richmond hill, Cedars health and Leisure Club, is the perfect haven for rest, relaxation, fitness and a sense of well-being. our exclusive facilities include: • 20 metre Pool • Resistance Gym • Yoga • Swimming lessons • Beauty Treatments

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January-February 2013 Cedars competition advert.indd 1


07/12/2012 15:00


Earning your child’s CONFIDENCE by Sana Issa By Sana Issa

It can be hard to get a 5 year old or younger to explain in detail what went on at school or nursery. So how will you know if your child is being bullied? Will he or she be able to tell you?

even remember exactly. From my experience working in a school setting and at some nurseries as a nursery assistant, I learned that although a school or nursery day is fun, educational and active for kids, it can also be long, tiring emotionally exhausting and overwhelming. Children experience many challenges that affect their behaviour and which can provoke or invite bullying. To encourage your child to open up: ✤ Give children space so they can decide to tell you when they ready. They often start sharing at bedtime so allow 15 extra minutes! ✤ Don’t ask so many questions, instead describe what you see. For example: “You seem a bit sad” or “Gosh, you are angry, I wonder what that anger’s about?” ✤ Be aware of your body language, tonality and facial expression. If you look worried

Parents want details, information, they want the STORY. However, some children are not emotionally mature enough to verbalise or narrate this, don’t have the necessary communication skills or can`t


about your child, he or she might be scared to open up. Instead show empathy and interest in your child by acknowledging his or her feelings and noticing what he or she child is saying/doing. ✤ Use paper to draw what you think your child is feeling and show it to him/her. Ask, is this how you feel? A lot of parents report success when this method is used. ✤ Use stories: invent your own story which is similar (but not identical) to what you think your child’s experience might be and add an ending that includes something you want your child to learn. This may encourage your child to share his own story next or arm him with knowledge about what to do in future. ✤ Invite your child to think and come up with solutions to his/her problem by asking open questions: what would you like to do about it? Do you want me to speak to this child’s parents? Or you will tell your teacher?

Sana Issa is mother of 5 sons, a counsellor and has worked in schools and as a play therapist. She now runs Parenting Workshops “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen” in Middlesex and Surrey. For further information, visit or email

Concerned about your child’s


Speech and Language Therapist interacts with child

Marianne Brown gives advice on when to seek help

When children learn to communicate, just as when they learn to walk, they do so at different speeds and some will encounter difficulties along the way. As a parent though, it’s often difficult to know when a child’s development falls within the ‘normal’ range and when there is cause for concern. What is the difference between Speech and Language? Speech is how we produce or articulate the sounds that form words. Language encompasses much more than speech and refers to the way we receive, understand and express information through all forms of communication – verbal and non-verbal. Although speech problems and language problems are different, they often overlap. A child with a language problem, for example, may be good at pronouncing words but be unable to join more than two words together. A child whose speech may be difficult to understand may still use words and phrases to express ideas. And another child may speak clearly but has difficulty understanding instructions. Signs there might be a Problem As a very rough guide, and remembering that each child is different, your toddler should have an expressive vocabulary of

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around 50 words by the time they are 2 years old, and you should be able to understand about half of what they say. If your little one only uses certain sounds or words repeatedly, and is unable to use spoken language to communicate more than their immediate needs by this age, he or she might have speech or language problems, or a combination of both. Stammering and Lisps It’s worth mentioning stammers and lisps as these are two common speech difficulties. To help a child with a lisp, a therapist will demonstrate the correct production of the ‘s’ and ‘z’ sounds, highlighting to the child how the tongue is hiding behind the teeth. The child is given lots of opportunities to listen to the production of the correct sounds, and then helped to produce ‘s’ and ‘z’ correctly using visual cues such as diagrams and letters. For children who stammer, the therapist


will try to establish any factors that may be contributing to the problem, and work with the parent on strategies to help the child to talk more easily, including overcoming fear and anxiety. When to Get Help Parents are correct in thinking that some children do naturally grow out of these speech difficulties, but unfortunately it is impossible to predict which ones. What we do know is that, as with language delay, the earlier parents seek help, the more successful therapy is likely to be. We also know that children entering school with a speech or language delay are much more likely to have learning difficulties. If you are at all concerned, contact your GP, or a speech and language therapist directly. They will either be able to reassure you that everything is fine, or assess your child and work with you on strategies and techniques to help your child’s communication.

Marianne Brown is a Speech and Language Therapist and owner of Children’s Therapies which has clinics in Putney and Clapham and offers home visits in Kingston and Richmond. The team includes speech and language therapists, psychologists and play therapists and can help with developmental, behavioural, emotional and communication problems.  For more information visit January-February 2013

Enhancing your



As parents, there are occasions in most of our lives where we lash out at our children in a moment of anger. Afterwards we are mortified by this eruption of emotion and work hard to repress any similar reoccurrences. Whilst this would appear to be the right strategy, in fact, repressing the emotions that triggered the outburst will either result in another outburst or will create a distance between ourselves and our children. It is far more effective to find the courage to equip ourselves with some emotional intelligence and start to understand why we react the way we do. The first step in this learning is to understand that no one acts randomly; everyone’s behaviour is driven by their emotions. Most of us have been raised to shun our emotions and believe them to be of little value. However, if we are not “tuned in” to them, we don’t understand why we do what we do and we certainly don’t understand why others do what they do! By looking our feelings in the face, we become more mature, stronger, wiser, more compassionate and more capable of dealing with the storms of life. For instance, someone with high emotional intelligence can be experiencing a powerful negative emotion and still be a good parent. On the other hand, when we have a low level of emotional intelligence, our emotions, when they are triggered, will overwhelm us and negatively affect our children. Our response to any situation is our choice but this response can be driven by an emotion that is so powerful and so repressed that it may not be clear to us that we have any control over our reaction. The emotion that

drives these types of responses has been present long before we had children and is most likely triggered by events that happened early in our own lives. If we are honest we will recognise this emotion and our particular response to it and know that we have felt and reacted this way many times before. An unresolved emotion that we have unconsciously hidden away and denied, is very likely to affect our children in the following way: One day our child behaves in a way that triggers this particular emotion in us and we react in a negative way. This emotional reaction causes us to do something which negatively impacts on our children. Their resulting emotional state leaves them feeling how we were feeling originally when we acted that way. Now the emotion has passed from parent


Sana ssa

to child because it was not dealt with. This is called ‘transference’ and, whilst we don’t mean for it to happen and much of it is subliminal or subconscious, happen it does. The only way to stop it is to clean up our own emotional baggage. Building an understanding of your emotions and the ability to feel them and at the same time look after your family, is one of key components of emotional intelligence. Parents with a higher level of emotional intelligence can teach their own children to separate their emotions from the dramas of their own lives, which will have a positive impact on them and the lives of everybody with whom they come into contact. If everybody developed this skill, imagine the positive impact on society!


Alison Banks is a mother of 3 and founder and owner of Parenting Tutor. Alison helps families develop and nurture their interpersonal relationships in the healthiest, most fulfilling way possible. For more information, visit

Creating a new you


How to Talk So Kids Will Listen

Practical, effective skills that strengthen your relationship with your children “This is not a parenting course but a course in communication. I wish all adults who have contact with my children would take this course. Thank you Sana” April Gutensohn, Tree House Learning “Mum, I’m so glad you did the course. I just love the way you really get me now.” Sam Morgan-Davies (age 10) Workshops all year in borough of Richmond and Surrey. Term time only. For details of next workshop or further information, visit

Call Sana on 07720 591335 or email

It’s not easy parenting toddlers, teens and in-betweens

Introducing the unique concept of ToddlerCalm workshops and classes. Turning tantruming toddlers and stressed parents into calmer toddlers and happier parents. For details of your local classes, contact Kirsty Nelson

Tel: 07917 192274 January-February 2013

Our friendly family coaching sessions and holistic relationship courses will help you create a more positive, harmonious family life. “Become the change you want to see” with Chrysalis…… because sometimes we all need a little help.

Contact Karen on 07790 252936 or email

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Y O U R The builders have finished. perfect Where do YOU start? family home by Victoria Fuller


HomeSafety Alert! New Safety Regulations for Boilers Victoria Fuller tells us more.

Most boilers are installed on or adjacent to an external wall meaning the flue is short and can easily be inspected visually for leaks. However, if the entire length of your boiler flue cannot be visually inspected, you should be aware of new regulations by the gas governing body, Gas Safe (formerly CORGI) which came into force on 1st January 2013. Following a number of CO2 gas incidents, these regulations stipulate that the entire length of a concentric gas appliance flue needs to be visually available for inspection. If this is not the case, the appliance is to be classed AT RISK and turned off. The easiest way to comply with this new regulation is to have access hatches fitted along the flue length. Discreet square or rectangle hatches can be fitted into your ceiling or wall to enable gas engineers to inspect the hidden flue for obvious leaks of flue gases. The inspection hatches don’t need to be that large and are usually quite easy to fit. Tenanted properties are compelled to have annual gas safety checks and Gas Safe Engineers will be legally obliged to class appliances that don’t apply AT RISK and leave them turned off, with a warning notice that they are unsafe for use. So, if you are a landlord and your property has hidden flues, take action now! For more information, call a Gas Safe Registered firm or get in touch with Colour and Craft via

also that Remember ve of the irrespecti , all homes type of flue ve a CO2 should ha . alarm installed

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So the extension is complete, the dust has – literally – settled and your tea bag stocks have returned to normal levels now the builders are gone. So just one thing left to worry about... how to decorate and dress those lovely new spaces? Is white too boring? Will wallpaper withstand the impact of a rampaging child? Can I get a paint finish which will allow me to wipe away sticky fingermarks? How can I choose a good tradesperson? So many questions… Planning and carefully thought about “the look” you are after will really pay off with the finished effect. It need not take you too long and even if you don’t think you are massively creative, there are so many sources of inspiration. Just unleash your inner interior designer! Here are a few tips to get you started:

Search for Inspiration

Pretty much anything goes in terms of style. Gather inspiration from as many sources as you can to begin formulating “the look” you want. Consider a subscription to a quality interiors magazine, gorge on the home makeover shows and look at quality websites such as homes and for initial ideas.

Create Your Own “Mood Board”

Bring together swatches of material you like, images cut out of magazines, daubs of different colour paint which grab you – build up a picture of the elements that will make you feel good about being in your home.

Ponder Paint

You can get paint in any shade under the sun. Good paint suppliers can mix any colour you like and you can choose from a wide range of paint finishes, from those which add extra light, to those which can be scrubbed to remove the scuff marks of the kids and come up looking shiny and new. Any paint colour and brand can be mixed with an excellent, trade quality, white paint to give you fantastic paint coverage and finish, at less expense than buying a designer brand.

And Paper…

Wallpaper has undergone a revolution recently from scene stealing geometrics, to bold florals, via metallic and oriental patterns - the choice is endless. If you favour strong patterns, consider using these on a feature

wall only and for high family traffic areas, it’s wise to choose a tough, tear-proof paper; those with a textured feel work particularly well.

Testing, testing…

Once your ideas start to formulate, paint large patches of test paint on the walls in different parts of the room or stick up swatches of wallpaper. Leave them up long enough to see your choices in different lights during a 24 hour period and to give yourself a good chance to mull over the options and see which ones grow on you.

Write Down Your Ideas

Put together a clear plan for your home and a detailed scope of work to give your contractor. Make sure it really reflects your personality and the way you and your family live in your house.

Choose Your Contractor

Recommendations from friends, reputable websites such as Checkatrade or the Best of Richmond and features in publications like this one, should help you build up a shortlist of tradespeople.

Getting a Quote

Best practice is to get three comparative quotes for any project but do be wary of

making a final decision based on price alone. Consider also the experience of the contractor. Does it have a good reputation backed up by trustworthy references? Will it provide any sort of guarantee? Is its price fixed or is there the possibility of a nasty surprise at the end of the job?


Purge all your possessions and those of your children (if they let you.) It’s criminal to clutter up a lovely, newly decorated space with all your junk!

And after!

Once the project is completed, put something fizzy into chill, invite your friends round and show off YOUR new look. The one which you designed and organised. How good does that feel?


Victoria Fuller is one of the owners of Colour and Craft, a family run property refurbishment business, which helps families across South West London update, revive and add some sparkle to their homes. For more information, visit .

January-February 2013

Re-styling Our living room Linda described the problem

These days I am working so hard that, when I do have downtime, I want to crawl into a beautiful, warm place in which I can unwind and relax. So I was very excited when Angela and Melanie from Cocoon Home Styling took me up on my idea to “home style” our living room, which, for various reasons, lacks character, coziness and cohesiveness and is overshadowed by a giant shelving unit housing our daughter’s toys! From what I understood, the ladies would suggest how to make affordable changes to the room to create a space in which we would look forward to spending time. Angela and Melanie exude warmth and charm and I had no doubt that they would find a way to bring that into our home. They were quick to pick out the attractive features of the living room and to tease out my tastes with regard to colour, design and style, even though I have rarely, if ever, articulated these before! A week later they presented me with a “mood board,” featuring photos of a possible new couch and reading chair, better storage options, a gorgeous chandelier, soft furnishings, and sample fabrics for couch, chair and curtains. Angela and Melanie had interpreted my needs beautifully and I fell in love with the board at once. They also gave me a Shopping List detailing prices and retailers, with links to the appropriate websites. The products were sourced affordably from the high street and changes could be made gradually, when funding allowed.


by Linda Stone, Editor

Melanie and Angela recommended

The challenge for us was to work with the existing furnishings, add some new ones and bring them together into a cohesive whole, whilst at the same time, introducing comfort, coziness and elegance to the surroundings. From a practical perspective, the room also needed to adapt daily from being a play room for Linda’s daughter to a room in which adults can relax in the evening. We immediately identified the fireplace as a wonderful focal point for the room with very attractive soft red and green tones in its tiles. We chose these as our colour palette, adding touches of yellow for warmth. Cushions and throws in these shades would dress the cream sofa and add elegance and comfort. An alternative sofa in gull herringbone could also be introduced for added texture and colour. A beautiful wooden side table, which was sitting in a corner, would be better placed closer to the door where it will make an immediate impact. This, in turn, would create space for a simple and elegant armchair upholstered in gorgeous azure crushed velvet to go by the window, providing a place to sit in the light and read. For ambient light, we would recommend a floor standing task lamp to create a relaxed reading experience for the evening. Linda loves crystal, and so we recommended a Laura Ashley chandelier to crown the room, and add a touch of luxury and glamour, as well as a pair of

Melanie and Angela at work

crystal candlesticks to further dress the fireplace. We felt that the large shelving unit used for toy storage should be moved to Linda’s daughter’s bedroom leaving room for a more grown-up, closed door dresser base and some vintage wooden boxes to store downstairs toys in

the evening. Linda’s modern canvass pictures may better suit another room in the house. Moving these would create space for a gallery of photographs with vintage frames more in keeping with the feel of the room. John Lewis linen fabric with a contemporary metallic block print for the windows would add a final touch of traditional luxury.

Bluebell 2 seater sofa in Gull by

Jethou armchair in azure crushed velvet by

Lavenham Ceiling Light by Laura Ashley

Angela Laffan and Melanie Alsford own and run Cocoon Home Styling, which provides a home styling service for those looking for affordable interior design in South West London and Surrey. For further information, visit and also see photos of Melanie and Angela’s other recommendations for Linda’s living room at

A fantastic range of hand-crafted gift sets and “alternative bouquets” for any occasion.

For gift s with a personal touch!

Call: (01482) 638355

Babies, birthdays and beyond... January-February 2013


creating YOUR


family home


Space, Storage, Surfaces (and Stuff) Recovering Your Perfect Family Home

Not enough space? Need more storage? Want a beautiful but child-friendly home? You are not alone. Most families struggle at some stage with the bind of the Triple S – Space, Storage and Surfaces!   This is especially the case for families converting traditional storage spaces like lofts, basements and garages into living spaces, which are often open plan. The fully converted, open plan home is just not conducive to hiding all our stuff!

they can be a real feature, without blocking out light. Has your hallway been invaded by jackets, shoes, wellies, pram and more? Convert your under stairs space into adaptable, compartmentalised storage with a hanging rail and/or adjustable shelving at various heights.  Invest in furniture that makes use of every centimetre of space. Whilst fitted storage is perfect for this, freestanding furniture made to exactly fit the spaces available comes without installation fees and can LOOK fitted. It can also go with you (or be sold on) if you move. Aim for continuity in storage style. Display and storage should blend into your home and enhance its appearance. Have too many different types, styles and colours, and you are at risk of simply replacing one type of clutter with another! 

Re-Think Children’s Furniture

Bespoke sliding door wardrobe designed and created by Evoke

So how do you recover your beautiful home and avoid simply replacing ‘stuff’ with different ‘storage stuff?’


Invest in storage that you value aesthetically, as much as for its ability to “hide things.” The shelving and cupboard units in the photo (top centre) are such a centre piece in this basement, that you forget that they are hiding a thousand toys!  Alcove units also look great beside chimney breasts.  For open plan kitchens and living areas, consider hanging storage units. Designed well,

It’s tempting to spend a small fortune on cute, child-styled furniture, but it will undoubtedly need replacing in a few years. Using standard furniture amongst children’s furnishing and toys (wall stickers, mobiles) can achieve just as charming a look and be a much sounder investment.  Here’s how to adapt standard furniture for your child’s room: l Buy a wardrobe with adjustable shelving underneath so that the hanging space can start off very short and grow with your child. l A standard chest of drawers with a changing tray on top makes a perfectly safe and practical changing table. Nappies, wipes and creams can go on the top and/or in the top drawer, and clothes in the drawers beneath.  You can periodically change the handles on a standard chest to suit all ages. l A coffee table can incorporate storage and function perfectly

Transform your house into a home you love

A friendly home styling service for those that need affordable interior design “You more than exceeded my expectations and I would not hesitate in recommending you to others.”

cocoon 14

by Yasmene Davies

be sanded back and re-finished. Note that you can’t do this with surfaces made from timber veneers, which are mostly only 0.5 mm thick! 

Add Value

Shelving and cupboard units designed and created by Evoke

well as a play table, you just need to make sure it will survive every foot and crayon that gets taken to it (see below.)

Furniture Materials and Finishes

It’s not a myth that you can have beautiful furniture that survives your kids. The key is in the quality of the build, and knowing the materials and finishes to choose. Taking these things into consideration will pay off both in the short and long term.  You know the high gloss effect that reflects your image like glass and is really popular in kitchens at the moment? AVOID this unless it’s high up on a wall.  Chips and scratches will show up easily on this surface, it’s nearly impossible to repair and you’ll spend all your time cleaning off sticky paw prints! The same goes for glossy chrome plating. Go for brushed stainless steel instead. For wooden surfaces like tables, go for solid wood with a polyurethane lacquer.  Polyurethane lacquer is completely water, biro, crayon, and marker proof. Even if your child attacks it with a fork, it can

At the end of the day, furniture and storage is not cheap, but it’s essential in family homes. So, make sure what you buy is of a design and quality that will perfectly complement your home and look good for a long time. Many furniture suppliers and makers these days offer free, no obligation consultations, 3D designs and minimum 5 year written guarantees, so you can be absolutely positive that your investment will add value and that you won’t see sagging shelves in a couple of years’ time!

Understairs storage designed and created by Evoke


Yasmene Davies co-owns and co-directs Evoke Furniture, a South London producer of individually-designed, hand-crafted, bespoke freestanding and fitted furniture for all rooms of the house. For further information, visit

WIN! WIN! COMPETITION! WIN! WIN! Hoping to find some homeware bargains in the January sales? Maybe we can help! ENTER OUR CARGO HOMEWARE COMPETITION AND WIN A £50 GIFT VOUCHER TO SPEND AT ANY CARGO STORE IN THE UK! Cargo, the popular homewares store opened its new store in Kingston late in 2012. Cargo now has over 45 stores across Southern England, including local stores in East Sheen, Putney, Wimbledon and Sutton, and stocks a great range of good value furniture, lamps, cushions and decorations. HOW TO ENTER: Simply go to and answer the following question:

How many stores does Cargo have in Southern England? CLOSING DATE: 28 February 2013.

therapy for the home

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January-February 2013

Making more of your family home. by Debbie Blott Life is so busy when you have a young family that it can be hard to find time to consider the decoration of your home. But having a home that looks fantastic helps you feel great so it IS worthwhile. Here are 3 ways to help you to create a home which you and your family will love living in.

Create a fabulous focal point

You don’t have to give up on aesthetics just because you have children. A stunning focal point makes all the difference when you walk into a room and distracts the eye from things you may not be able to change. Beautiful curtain fabric, a favourite piece of art or a stunning pendant lampshade are

all things that can look amazing and remain out of reach of little hands. If you choose pieces you love, they will give you endless pleasure.

Make colour your friend

You can make a real difference to the mood of a room by choosing a considered colour palette. Don’t despair if the colours of your furniture and décor don’t go together - these days you can change the colour of just about anything with a can of paint. The secret is to stick to a simple palette and not be tempted by too many colours.

Create your child’s room together

Kid’s rooms are a great place to have some creative fun and once your child reaches primary school age, it can be very rewarding for you both to work on this project together. A great starting point is to make a “mood board.” Help and encourage your child to select and stick pictures of their favourite colours and things on a board and use it to inspire and guide you in creating a room that suits their style and personality.

Play and Preservation! At the bottom of a garden, concealed behind two low trees and overlooked by a large copper beech, an old air-raid shelter lies dormant; a small piece of history hidden by a huge mass of ivy. The owners of this garden wanted me to design and construct a play area for their daughter and the easy option for the project would have been to take down one of the trees and the ivy-covered air raid shelter and start again. However, this part of the garden is secluded and hidden – a perfect place for childhood games and secrets - and I could see that doing so would eradicate the very qualities that make it ideal for a child’s play area. The owners also wanted to keep the

shelter, so we devised a plan which would breathe new life into it. My client’s daughter is still small and he wanted a play area that would adapt to her changing needs. Not only did it have to be fun but it needed to conceal storage and a compost area within the structure too. The shelter is strong and stable and is reinforced with concrete all round, so I was able to design a structure that uses it as a core with several platforms bolted on. This allows the existing trees to pierce through, making a wonderful play folly amongst the natural elements. Access to the top deck, from which a spiral slide begins its descent, is from the middle deck, which is built with the tree as a centre piece. A lower deck acts

bespoke furniture made in London

January-February 2013

Debbie Blott is the founder of, the online place to meet people to help you to create the home you love. The Décor Café goes live on 14 April 2013 with a new kind of home and garden event at King’s College School, Wimbledon Common.

Steve Singer tells us about the design and build of a bespoke garden play area.

as a landing for the slide and is accessed by a recycled section of oak which we used as a step. My client wants to add swings and a roof to the top deck later, so I left space for these. This project was a great challenge and the outcome is an exciting place for child and adult alike, with a pinch of practicality and a successful attempt to preserve history.


Steve Singers owns and runs S.Singers Landscapes which undertakes all aspects of landscaping from design to completion. For further information and a free estimate, visit

10% OFF Bespoke Furniture



Above: New Play Area Right: Ivy-covered air-raid shelter

All aspects of landscaping undertaken from design to completion

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the baby page . the baby page . the baby page

The Power of a Loving Touch

The benefits of baby massage “Learning how to massage my baby daughter was one of the best things I did as a new parent. It was great to see and feel the benefits and I found it really encouraging when she would smile back at me. I was amazed that I could have such a positive effect on her, it really boosted my confidence.” If you are looking for a way of expressing your love for your baby, helping you both relax and improving your wellbeing, consider learning baby massage. The tradition of baby massage has been practised in many cultures throughout history. The benefits for you and your baby are numerous and learning how to massage your baby is a wonderful parenting skill. Babies learn how to relax when massaged which reduces stress and can improve their sleep patterns. The close one-to-one contact with you also helps your baby feel securely attached, loved and respected. There

by Jackie Houston

extra are many physical benefits too, including improved digestion and circulation and relief from colic and tummy pain. Massage can be of particular help to premature babies, improving muscle tone and stimulating growth hormones. By spending this close, oneto- one time with your baby, you gain a deeper understanding of his or her behaviour, bringing you closer and enhancing the bonding process. Giving and receiving

massage is shown to increase oxytocin levels in our bodies. These hormones also enhance the attachment process and relax us too! If you are feeling daunted by the idea of attending baby massage classes, it’s worth bearing in mind that, at these classes, babies run the show! In my classes, I try to reassure parents that whatever they need to do for their baby is okay. If baby cries,

Secret Solution for Pregnancy Sickness By Linda Stone, Editor.

If you are pregnant, you may not wish your workplace to find out straightaway. However, if you are suffering from pregnancy sickness, a condition which affects over 50% of pregnant women, you may find it difficult to keep your pregnancy a secret. There is evidence to suggest that acupressure can alleviate the symptoms of pregnancy sickness

and that if you stimulate the Pericardium 6 (or Nei-Kuan), a pressure point located between the two central tendons of the inner wrist, symptoms will be relieved. You can do this with the thumb of your other hand, but it will be difficult to get much else done! The alternative is new Sea-Band Mama! wrist bands which have a small plastic stud that stimulates the pressure point

your baby’s favourite Bloom Massage Because person in the world is YOU

The Power of A Loving Touch Small, relaxed, easy-to-follow massage classes in Twickenham Next course begins 17th January! Also offers professional holistic, pregnancy and postnatal massage massage in the comfort of your own home.

Visit or call Jackie on 07779 990953 16

needs feeding, changing or just simply doesn’t want to be massaged at that moment, that’s fine. A new part of the massage routine is learned each week and then repeated as the course continues, so there is plenty of opportunity to come back to bits you may have missed. Attending a class can also be a great opportunity to discuss parenthood in a non-judgemental environment and hopefully pick up a few valuable tips along the way!

in the same way. The bands can be used both to treat and prevent nausea, and relief typically occurs within five minutes of application. The wristbands are discreet and machine-washable and mean that you can stop inventing excuses for your nausea at work!


Sea-Band Mama! wrist bands are lilac in colour, “one size fits all” and are available from Lloyd’s Pharmacy, independent health food stores and pharmacies and direct from priced at £8.15 a pair.

Jackie Houston owns Bloom Massage and offers baby massage courses at her home in Twickenham. Classes are fun, informal and relaxed with small groups to allow for personal attention. Jackie also offers pre-natal and post-natal massage. For more information, visit

TOP TIPS for Massaging your baby at home by Jackie Houston

Make sure the time is right for your baby. The best time is when baby is fairly quiet, alert and not too tired or hungry. Is your baby happy to be massaged right now? Many parents choose to integrate their massage with baby’s bedtime routine, either before or after bath time, as this can aid relaxation and a nice deep sleep, but you can massage at any time of day. You will find the time that best suits you both. Make sure the time is right for YOU. Give a massage when you can be sure you are not in a rush or your mind isn’t elsewhere and you can really focus on your little one. Take time to relax yourself. Set the scene. Remove any loud noises, turn off the television and take off any dangly jewellery that may distract your baby. Perhaps put on some calming music and dim the lights. Get comfortable. Lay your baby on a changing mat or a towel. Make sure the room is nice and warm and you are not in a draft. Make sure you are comfortable too. Use an unscented vegetable oil, preferably organically grown and cold pressed if possible. Remember YOU are your baby’s favourite person in the whole world. Relax and enjoy! January-February 2013

Education Focus SPRING 2013 Making an Informed Choice

January-February 2013



Education Focus SPRING 2013

Making an Informed Choice

NOTRE DAME’S FOREST SCHOOL Since introducing the children in BlueBelles Nursery to the Forest School experience in September 2012, they have enjoyed various outdoor learning experiences in our beautiful grounds. They have made kites, identified a variety of mini beasts, learnt to recognise and name various trees, built shelters, learnt about hibernation and enjoyed getting muddy whilst making mud hedgehogs! They have also particularly enjoyed the hot chocolate at snack time! All of the children benefit from Forest School and look forward to

Notre Dame pupils collect autumnal offerings at Forest School

Pupils from Notre Dame magnify some mini-beasts

our weekly sessions. Once the waterproof clothing is on, there is no stopping them. Muddy puddles are jumped in, sticks are used to write in the mud and tree trunks are climbed. At the end of a Forest school session, the children return to the classroom with big smiles, rosy cheeks and their hands and pockets full of the treasures they have found. They are already looking forward to their next adventure in the forest!

For more information, visit

THE MALL SCHOOL BECOMES THE FIRST TO OFFER AFTER SCHOOL CARE UNTIL 6PM! The Mall School in Twickenham, which prides itself on the exemplary range and quality of services it offers to

Student at The Mall School plays an African drum

parents, has recently announced an extension to the hours of its After School Club. The After School Club will now be open until 6pm, allowing busy parents travelling from work additional time to collect their children on the way home. The Mall School is the first school in the area to introduce this later finish time. The After School Club began last September and Year 4 to Year 8 students can now stay at school after 4pm to attend Homework Club, supervised by a qualified teacher. They can also use the After School Club facility to take part in their choice of activity ranging from ICT Club to Judo, to Fencing, to Film Making. The After School Club is also available to Mall Infants who can attend from 3pm to 6pm and participate in their own age-appropriate activities.

For more information, visit 18


Boys at Thames Christian College exchange ideas

Last year, Thames Christian College pupils piloted a scheme pioneered by a new social enterprise Podium. me, which represents the voices of the under 20s across the UK. enables young people aged 13-20 to anonymously express their views on a wide range of topics such as social networks, piracy and the new GCSEs, via podcast. Adults can listen to stories and, through its links with MPS, encourages government to listen to the

youth view. comments: “ was so impressed with the articulate and well considered views of the Thames pupils that we now visit the school monthly to talk to students wishing to take part.” Hannah, a Year 9 pupil at Thames Christian College says: “ really got me thinking about issues such as whether or not Facebook reduces social skills. I really enjoyed debating the different topics.”

For more information, visit and

SPORTS4ALL SAYS ATHELSTAN HOUSE The 2012 Olympics has inspired many students to become more involved in sporting activities. Simultaneously, the new Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance places a greater emphasis on Physical Development for 0-5 year olds than its predecessor. To harness this momentum, Athelstan House School is hosting a Sports4All event with a visiting Olympic athlete to inspire and motivate the children to undertake a sponsored fitness challenge on Thursday, 14 March 2013. The challenge will involve children completing as many repetitions of 4 different fitness activities as they can in one minute! The British gymnast, Danny Lawrence, captivated the

Athelstan House pupils enjoying a gymnastics lesson

children with his fabulous display when he visited the school last year and there was a palpable increase of enthusiasm in their subsequent gymnastics lessons. We are confident that whichever athlete visits us in March will produce the same positive outcome.

For further information, visit January-February 2013


Numbers can be found all around us, so developing children’s numeracy skills from a young age is very important. There are many practical, entertaining everyday activities that can help engage your child with the world of numbers and encourage them to begin to understand the relationship between numbers and amounts.

By getting children involved in everyday household routines, parents can achieve multiple goals such as improving their child’s understanding of numeracy, making them feel more involved with domestic activities, boosting their self-confidence and increasing their sense of responsibility. Here are some household activities to help improve your child’s numeracy skills: Food shopping Reading food labels, comparing brands and prices, discussing nutritional information, budgeting and finding the best deals are all ways of getting your child involved with the weekly shopping routine. These are also likely to help them better understand the value of money, something which will be of particular use in later life.

by Curtis

Cooking and baking These are probably the best exercises to improve both your child’s mathematical and literacy skills. Your kids can read the instructions to you or the other way around, if you prefer. By following the instructions they will become familiar with quantities, fractions, temperatures and cooking times, among other things. They are also likely to experience a sense of satisfaction about being able to create food that the whole family can enjoy. Understanding and paying bills Children, even those of a young



age, are surprisingly sharp and can pick up basic tasks quickly if it they are explained patiently and clearly. When the next monthly bills arrive, show your child how much things cost, explain to them about utility companies and get them involved with the household finances and budget. Aside from improving their maths skills, they will also begin to understand basic principles such as why it is important to turn the lights off when leaving a room. Telling Time Being able to tell the time can help your child develop numeracy skills and familiarisation with numbers. Start by helping your child recognise times of day and then introduce numbers, such as 8am for breakfast and 6pm for dinner.

Curtis Kemp works for Kumon, study centres that offer supplementary education programmes. The Kumon Maths Programme takes children from counting and pencil control to calculus, building confidence and developing self-learning skills. For more information and details of your nearest centre, visit

MAKING AN INFORMED CHOICE array of choices. and preferences and those of your Are all schools pretty The truth is that different schools child. You may think that listing your much the same? If so, are right for different children. State three most local schools is all you then why are there schools are best for some whereas need to do, but unfortunately this inspections and league others thrive in the (usually) smaller isn’t enough. As parents, YOU are tables, plus ‘Free’ classes of the private sector. Mild best placed to find the right school schools, single-sex, special needs (such as mild/moderate for your child and it’s important that mixed, academies and dyslexia) are usually best supported you do lots of research, find out independent schools? by independent schools whereas the prioritisation list of each school Surrey has the highest help with severe learning difficulties and investigate last year’s allocation. proportion of fee-paying is almost always best found in the Otherwise you may find that you are schools per capita in the country. state sector. only 1.5 miles from two schools but There is also a massive demand As a parent, it’s very important end up being allocated a place at a for places at the state grammar that you actively “choose” the right school miles away. schools and the reputation of school for your child. Otherwise, the Be encouraged: the hard work will the local comprehensives varies pay off! Most parents who do their enormously. Add into the mix the local authority will do so by default, research DO find the right school for opinions of individual parents and in a random, impersonal way that 100294_FamiliesonThames_JanFeb_87x85mm 18/07/2012 13:3 has nothing to:Layout do with1your needs their child! you are faced with a bewildering

by Anita




Anita Hill and her husband Tim run ElevateEleven, a tutoring and school advice service, based in Esher. They recently published Eleven Plus Without The Fuss - A Parent’s Guide to Secondary School Selection. It is available from Waterstones and WH Smith in Kingston as well as Amazon and all other good bookshops. For further information, visit

Thamesbecause small schools build big futures

An independent co-educational school for pupils aged 2½ to 18 years

Open Mornings Whole School - 10:00am - 12:30pm

our exceptional independent school for boys and girls

Saturday 9 February Saturday 9 March Introductory talk at 10.00am For further information, tel: 01372 473624 or email:


January-February 2013

For full list of open mornings, enrolment and fee details contact 020 7228 3933 Thames Christian College, Wye Street, London SW11 2HB


Making an Informed Choice

Education Focus SPRING 2013


Linda Stone, Editor, interviews Tracey Chong, the new Head of Pre-Prep at Newland House School in Twickenham “I recently taught one of my classes about a book called “The Search For The Perfect Child” says Tracey Chong, smiling. I asked the students to tell me what qualities they thought I would value in a perfect child and they gave me some conventional answers, like, “well-mannered” and “well-behaved”. So then I told them that one of the qualities I particularly value in a child is a sense of humour. The point being, of course, that we all value different things. To be different is to be great!” It was a pleasure to talk to Tracey and I lingered in her office, a pleasant, light filled place for as long as I could. Tracey joined the school as Head of Pre-Prep in September 2012 from The Jack and Jill School, where she was Deputy Head. She’s as happy to be at the school, where her son is already a pupil in year 8, as they are to have her. She has a direct and breezy style and feels that she shares her vision with a group of staff who are open to change and a bunch of very contented children. So what about Newland House has made the most immediate impression on Tracey? Excellent teachers and fantastic resources goes without saying, as does the school’s high level of academic achievement, but Tracey feels that one of Newland House’s outstanding qualities is its “enabling environment.” “In order to really find their place in today’s world, children need to be both outstanding communicators and creative thinkers” she says. “The real aim of early education is to foster independent learning, creativity and sustained shared thinking. Children need the freedom and ability to explore and discover within the boundaries of formal learning. At Newland House, we won’t worry unduly how our Reception and Year 1 students hold a pencil, 20

as long as they are comfortable and can write – we are more interested in what they are writing and encouraging them to write more!” Newland House works exceptionally hard to provide everything parents need from a school and more. “Frequently our parents need to rely on our breakfast club. They need to know their child is in a safe, secure and nurturing environment at all times. They also want to know what’s going on and be involved, but, as working professionals, they often have limited time. We have to effectively communicate with and involve our time-poor parents” she says. Tracey has recently introduced a Friday newsletter. “It’s a great way of concisely summarising what’s been going on that week and it gives parents the vital information they

need to chat with their children about school over the weekend. We also encourage parents to share their thoughts and concerns with us and we make it our business to carefully consider what they tell us and respond to their needs.” Right now parents are making vital choices about their primary school preferences for September 2013. Many may be seriously weighing up the difference between sending their child to one of the excellent local state primary schools versus or to a school like Newland House. So what exactly does an independent pre-prep have to offer a child that the state system cannot? Tracey explains that, academically, an independent Pre-Prep education accelerates a child’s learning in Maths and English beyond the point that a state school can, preparing them for the curriculum from age 7 on. Additionally, students have more choice curriculum-wise. For instance, they learn things like French in Reception which is not on the syllabus at many state schools. I ask how significant small class sizes are. “There are some children” says Tracey “who will thrive no matter how big the size of the class. Outgoing, extrovert children can

thrive in the state system too. At the other end of the scale, there are others that may struggle no matter how small the class. It is actually the group of children in between – those who are middle of the road, quiet, compliant and

“Obviously our smaller class sizes are a huge advantage as we can really give children the individual attention and encouragement they need to bring them on.” who perhaps lack the confidence to speak out and challenge.“These children can be overlooked at state schools” says Tracey, who has taught in the state system.“Obviously our smaller class sizes are a huge advantage as we can really give children the individual attention and encouragement they need to bring them on.”She talks also about children with a particular leaning towards music, drama or sport. “Some children demonstrate a passion for something very early in life” says Tracey. “An independent Pre-Prep education will nurture that passion in a way that state schools often cannot.” But surely it’s not really possible to know each child intimately, even in a class of only 14? I’m curious as to how Tracey manages her huge administrative workload and still manages to forge a relationship with every single student. She tells me that it’s extremely important that she maintain her teaching role as part of her job – she currently teaches Maths Problems Solving, Religious Studies and French. This way she can still stay in close touch with her students, crucial not just so that she can guide other staff as to their individual needs but also so she can accurately report back to their parents. If you had to describe in one word the atmosphere at Newland House, what word would you use, I ask Tracey, finally. “Happy” she says smiling.“It’s a happy school.”And, as I finally leave, I can’t help thinking that, as far as Pre-Prep goes anyway, a fair proportion of that happiness is derived from the presence of Tracey herself.


Tracey Chong is Head of Pre-Prep at Newland House in Twickenham, a co-educational preparatory school for boys age 4 to 13 and girls age 4 to 11. For more information, visit January-February 2013


Monday, 18 March 2013 Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Newland House School

8.45am to 11.30am 8.45am to 11.30am


Whole School Open Mornings Saturday, 9 February 2013   10.00am - 12.30pm Saturday, 9 March 2013          10.00am - 12.30pm Saturday, 17 November       10.00am - 12.30pm


Wednesday, 2 February 2013 Wednesday, 27 March 2013

NOTRE DAME SCHOOL Tuesday, 5 March 2013

• Non-selective entry at reception, now registering through to 2017

2.00pm 2.00pm Newland House School

9.30am – 11.30pm

STAINES PREPARATORY SCHOOL Saturday, 9 March 2013 Wednesday, March 2013

Independent day school for girls and boys from 4 to 13 years

10.00am – 12.00pm 9.30am – 11.30am

Waldegrave Park Twickenham TW1 4TQ

• Year 3 entry via 7+ Assessment • Excellent results in girls’ 11+ and boys’ Common Entrance and Scholarship exams


• Extensive extra-curricular opportunities

Please call to confirm attendance or to arrange an individual visit


11.00am – 1.00pm

t: 020 8865 1305 e: Alhelstan House School:Layout 1 08/06/2012 08:44 Page 1

ATHELSTAN HOUSE SCHOOL 020 8979 1045 36 Percy Road Hampton Middlesex TW12 2LA

Staines Preparatory School IAPS | Founded 1935 | Co-ed | Aged 3 - 11

Where each child is special

Nursery & pre-prep school for 3 to 7 years • Nurturing environment where each child is valued for their unique qualities

Excellent academic standards and preparation for local preparatory and independent schools

Strong emphasis on pastoral care – helping children develop into confident, articulate individuals

Small classes, high teacher/pupil ratio

New state-of-the-art teaching and performance facilities for 2013 • High academic standards and results • Nursery provision from rising 3 to 4 years of age • Out of hours childcare facilities

• Wide range of activities • Highly caring environment with excellent facilities • Active Friends’ Association • School bus service • I.S.I Registered

For assistance with fee planning and other fee information please contact the Bursary. Means-tested bursaries available subject to assessment.

Contact us for an appointment to view the school

Staines Preparatory School, 3 Gresham Road, Staines, Middlesex. TW18 2BT

01784 450909 |

January-February 2013

Please contact the Registrar at Staines Preparatory School, 3 Gresham Road, Staines, Middlesex. TW18 2BT | tel: 01784 450909 | email: registrar @ website: | Registered charity no: 296691


Making an Informed Choice

Education Focus SPRING 2013


Sara Cheston from the Mall School offers her advice

How do I find out more about a particular school? A good first impression of a school can be gained from its website and Twitter feed. Here at The Mall we believe that the level of attention we pay to presenting the school directly correlates with how proud we are, both of it and our students. If I like what I see on the website, what’s the next move? Call the school and ask for a prospectus. Notice how your call is received. How quickly does the prospectus arrive? Is it sent with a personal letter? Once you’ve seen the prospectus, most schools will happily offer you a tour and a chat with the Headmaster. When should I put down my child’s name on the waiting list? 2 years before your child’s start date is more than adequate. Of course, you can put your name down earlier - some parents register with us before their child is born!

Should I see the school before I put my name down? It depends on how much time you have. Some parents do, whilst others put their name down and do a tour when offered a place. When will I hear whether my child has been offered a place? Here at The Mall, we offer places in the May of the year PRIOR to your child’s start date, so, around 16 months in advance. Parents are required to accept the place within 2-3 weeks. It’s possible to confirm later, but we do operate a waiting list so cannot guarantee the availability of a place. What should I expect when I visit the school? To receive as much attention as you need and leave with all your questions answered! Here at The Mall, Year 7 or 8 students give one-to-one tours for parents and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask them anything you want. They

will be very honest! You can also meet one-to-one with the Head. Be sure to linger and see the classes in action. From this you’ll get a great idea of the teaching environment. What if I want my child to join at Prep, not Pre-Prep? If you are applying for a place at a school like The Mall, places are offered at age 4 and at age 7. At age 4, places are offered on a “first come, first served” basis, whereas, at age 7, your child will be asked to take the 7+ test, an exam covering maths, comprehension and writing.


Sara Cheston is the Bursar at The Mall School in Twickenham. The Mall is an independent school for boys age 4 to 13. For more information about the school, follow The Mall School on Twitter (@themallschool) or visit


You can tell much about a school by attending its Open Day. Speaking to the headmaster, seeing the children in the classroom, going on a private tour, talking to the pupils, all these are vital aspects of ‘doing your homework.’ But within this spectrum, the School Open Day holds a very special place. To deliver your child the ‘very best of the best’ in education, a school must run like a well-oiled machine. On the surface, you should experience it as a duck gliding smoothly across still waters, and have no awareness of any frantic paddling happening underneath. Attending an Open Day is a great way of checking that a school can operate with this degree of efficiency. An Open Day is a huge production. Hours of time, planning and attention to detail goes in to presenting the school at its very best. The


Stone, Editor

result should be calm, alert and attentive teachers, happy, relaxed pupils and pristine resources effortlessly displayed. If it isn’t, this is not the school for you. Anna Cheshire from Admissions at The Mall School explained the preparations for its annual Open Day. “It’s my responsibility to send over 400 flyers to those registered for future entry to the school, those that have requested a prospectus, and the majority of pre-schools in the Richmond and Kingston areas. I print the labels in the summer holidays and post the flyers mid-September – parents still prefer a personally addressed envelope to an email. Many pupils from Years 5 to 8 are present at The Open Day and, as soon as term begins, I canvas parents to find out which boys are available. Younger boys don’t usually attend but all the teaching staff will be available, including those from Reception to Year 4, who can talk to parents and show examples of the boys’ work. We aim to showcase all the main areas of the school in action. Our student musicians will perform in The Mall Theatre throughout the morning, whilst the Head greets parents; in the science lab, boys might examine creatures from

our pond under a microscope or demonstrate chromatography and there will be sporting activities going on in the playground; at the pool, parents can see our swimming awards displayed, whilst lessons take place showing the pool in action. Students will also be actively working on projects in our Craft, Design and Technology rooms and ICT Suite. Refreshments are available at our French Café, where appropriately attired students act as waiting staff! We assemble some fantastic display boards showcasing the boys’ achievements and the Bursar prepares another showing the huge range of Clubs we now offer until 6:00pm during term time. The absolute highlight last year was the science experiments our Head of Science and the boys performed on the steps to the Science Lab. They were producing dry ice and making jelly beans explode! Parents commented that it was nice that we’d chosen experiments that were such fun!” For more information, visit January-February 2013

Children Learning to Succeed...

First Class Learning New centre opening in Hampton January 2013

Maths and English Tuition Does your child need help with Maths or English? Do you want your child to feel more confident, help them to realise their potential and enjoy learning? First Class Learning has the answer!

✓ Courses based on national school curriculum and guidelines ✓ Suitable for all ages and abilities - pre school to teens ✓ Flexible, responsive design to suit individual needs ✓ Helps with school assessments and exams ✓ Improves confidence and encourages enjoyment in learning Interested? First Class Learning is opening a new centre in Hampton. To find out more information please call Jennie Page.

07585 950910

A World Class Girls’ School in Surrey.. Inspiring Young Learners...Creating Life Long Thinkers Photo: Ariane Teysson

Early Years: boys and girls aged 2 - 4 Preparatory: girls aged 4 -11

To Find out about our Innovative Curriculum and a personal tour please call

01932 869991

‘Pupils are confident, caring and keen to celebrate the success of others...they have outstandingly well-developed personal qualities.’ Inspection 2011

Headmaster: Mr D S Plummer January-February 2013

t: @NotreDamePrepUK

23 23


Making an Informed Choice


020 8741 1979 CAREFUL CRB CHECKS We welcome applications from experienced local teachers/tutors.

Newland House was amongst the schools participating in the Schools’ Showcase Concerts, 6 concerts over 3 days, involving over 800 children, at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington last November. 2 of the 6 Newland House Choirs performed at the concert. The main choir gave a lilting performance of ‘Skye Boat Song,’ with a beautiful solo by one of the girls. At the end of their haunting and atmospheric interpretation of Deazley’s ‘Sing me a Song of a Lad,’ you could hear a pin drop, as the choir’s wave sounds echoed around the arches of the Landmark Centre. The Year 2 and Year 3 Choir concert was a complete sell-out and the stage overflowed with over 80 enthusiastic choristers from the

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Education Focus SPRING 2013

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NEWLAND HOUSE SCHOOL CHOIRS perform at the Landmark School’s Concerts

One of the Newland House School choirs performs in the Schools’ Showcase Concerts

school. Their programme included a punchy and humorous performance of John Madden’s ‘Wellington Boots’ and ‘Good Night’ (words by poet John Mole). The children delighted a capacity audience with their singing. For more information, visit

Bags of fun for children at STAINES PREPARATORY SCHOOL Pupils at Staines Prep have launched a new recycling initiative to help others less fortunate overseas whilst also raising funds for their School. The school is working with Bag2School, an organisation that specialises in collecting second-hand clothes and other items in their original condition and exporting them for use in other countries. Cllr Robert Watts, Cabinet Member for Environment for Spelthorne said “We estimate that in Spelthorne we throw away over 200 tonnes* of textile waste every year. Children need One TO One PrivATe TuiTiOn All areas: All subjects: All levels Sybille (KT postcodes) 01372 806780 Andrew (W and SW postcodes) 0208 993 9001 Dermot (TW postcodes) 0208 892 7610

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Celebrating Uniqueness at The Chelsea Group of Children Special School The Hall, Waynflete Street, London SW18 3QG 020 8946 8330 24

Staines Prep pupils, School Governor, Mary Robinson and Jane Lowe from Spelthorne Borough Council display their donations.

to be educated about the importance of recycling clothes so that it becomes second nature to them and to future generations. The Bag2School scheme is an excellent way of encouraging children in Spelthorne to recycle their unwanted clothes at the same time as helping people in poorer parts of the world and raising money for their school.” *based on a sample of 266 households in 2010. For more information, visit

First class learning comes to Hampton First Class Learning is opening a new centre in Hampton this month. Jennie Page, the new franchise owner, is a qualified and experienced teacher, currently working locally as a dyslexia specialist. She has recognised the need for an after school tutoring programme in Hampton to provide help for children of all ages and abilities. Children can attend the centre every week for about 30 minutes for tuition and then support this by completing a short piece of work at home, which should take around 10-12 minutes a day. First Class Learning, Hampton will offer programmes that are personalised to each individual student and its systematic approach and relevance to the National Curriculum make it unique amongst tuition centres. “As a parent, I’m very familiar with the concerns that other parents have about their children falling behind in the core competencies” says Jennie. “I believe this programme will make a real difference.” For more information, please visit January-February 2013


When I entered a big City law firm twenty years ago, I accepted the long hours working on exciting multi-million pound deals as part and parcel of the job. Things only changed when I met my husband and we had our first daughter. Leaving her with various nannies or at a nursery was the hardest thing I’d ever done and, when my mother died, I decided to take FIVE REASONS TO stock. However, it wasn’t until my second CONSULT A LAWYER daughter arrived two years later that I actually decided to change my working BEFORE YOU START life. By this time, City law firms were YOUR BUSINESS! actually recruiting lawyers on a part-time basis and I took on a three day a week Lawyers can highlight your risks and role. The girls were in a local nursery advise you about protection. for those days too and I felt as if all my problems had been solved. What could go Written agreements cover all wrong? eventualities and avoid misunderstandings For starters, it was an hour’s commute e.g. when you expect to get paid! between the nursery and the office. The girls were dropped off at dawn and collected just You can limit your liability whereas with minutes before the nursery closed. no terms, your liability is wide open. I invariably cried when I said goodbye to them and I felt permanently wracked with guilt. By law, website owners must have Then I gradually realised that I was actually certain information and specific terms on expected to fit 5 days’ work into my 3 day their website or else risk facing big fines week. I became aware of grumbling and and trouble from Trading Standards. moaning when I left the office, even though I had done a full day and the work started to You will sleep well at night knowing pile up. Trying to shave even more time off my that all risks have been assessed! commute, I resorted to borrowing one of my daughters’ scooters and got quite a few odd looks as I flew across Waterloo Bridge in my pin stripe suit! Unhappy about leaving the girls anyway, the moment I got to the office, I We are entrepreneur-friendly lawyers became anxious about whether I would get and speak your language. through the day’s work. The final crunch Quality legal advice for your business came when one of my daughter’s was ill In plain English- no legal jargon! and the nursery called requesting I come and take her home. At prices you can afford Naively, I assumed my boss would OvenReady Ready Documents Documents Oven understand. After Make sure you are legal: ‘oven ready’ all, she was a woman too. How wrong I terms and policies. Instant online was! When I asked purchase. Complete with guidance notes. for permission to leave early, she completely lost her cool and exclaimed ”This is Visit us now : ridiculous, I don’t go rushing home every time my horse offtoseemylawyer off2seemylawyer 020 8946 2355 is ill!” As I tried to explain the difference between a horse and a Joanna Tall child, I lost my temper, Your legal Mary Poppins burst into tears and fled. The scooter and I “Off to see my lawyer” is the trading name and registered trademark of Trading Terms Ltd. jumped in a cab where Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA No. 512601. I poured my heart out

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January-February 2013

Trying to shave even more tim commute e off my ,I to borrow resorted my daugh ing one of te and got q rs’ scooters uite a few od looks as I flew acro d ss Waterloo Brid my pin st ge in ripe suit! to the driver. It was then that I decided to change my life. Whilst I loved being a lawyer, I loved being a mum too. Surely the two could work side by side? I resolved that they must. I resigned the next day and set up in business on my own, working on my own terms, with flexible hours that I scheduled around my daughters’ needs. Initially, I offered my services as a temporary lawyer to assist large companies in times of overload. To my amazement, they were perfectly happy with my hours and were actually grateful for the extra help. And so my new business as a ‘legal Mary Poppins’ was founded and has been going strong for 7 years. 3 years ago, I started a niche, online practice dedicated to female entrepreneurs, as I felt there were no lawyers who truly spoke their language and understood what was required to juggle running a business AND caring for a family. My online site even has an ‘oven-ready’ document shop that is open all hours and sells key templates that most start-up businesses need! Whilst it has been a steep learning curve, I have loved every minute of being in business for myself. I now have a team of ‘family-juggling’ lawyers assisting me, each working from their own homes. Each day is different and my clients are always so excited to be starting their own business that it is a joy to work with them.


Jo Tall is the owner of Off To See My Lawyer, a small online legal practice which specialises in offering legal advice to female entrepreneurs who are setting up their own business. For further information, visit



New year bizolutions! Claire Georghiades interviews two mums who set up in business on their own last year and asks them about the year just gone and the year ahead.

Paullette Schwartz

Based in Molesey and has two teenage children. Paullette worked in digital new media based technology for major organisations such as HarperCollins, and EMI, as well as running her own web development agency. Now Paullette runs Fabulous Women which is a Social Enterprise aimed at supporting women in business. My most significant achievement in 2012 was overseeing the significant growth of Fabulous Women in the community, from one group in March to over 20 groups by the end of 2012. My chief goal for 2013 is to have Fabulous Women running in 5 regions with 50 groups and to launch the Fabulous Ideas fund. In 2013 I am resolved to stay focused on managing growth and the smooth operations of the enterprise in order to stabilise the revenues the enterprise relies upon to become self-sustaining. “I am committed to getting less caught up in the detail of day-to-day operations so that I can move Fabulous Women from an operation which relies solely on me to one which can operate without me at the helm. “My key tip for other Business Mums for 2013: Believe in yourself and your abilities and NEVER be ashamed of asking for help and support from others. For more information, visit



Martina Grubmueller

Based in Kingston Vale, Martina has a teenage daughter. Martina worked in the oil business handling commercial controlling, finance and physical oil trading. Now Martina runs Syncholistic, a Personal Development Company and, using Bowen Therapy, NLP and other tools, helps people who have suffered physical illness and emotional conflict to get back into the game, find their true potential, transform and create their lives based on their passion and purpose. She also mentors young international tennis players to optimize their mental game. My most significant achievement this year has been to create another Syncholistic website after my first one got hacked. I’ve also thrown myself into networking. If we don’t let people know what we can do for them, how are they supposed to benefit from it, let alone use our services? In 2013 I am resolved to develop a unique mental training program for tennis coaches. Also, buy a farm outside London to start an antiques business, which is a hobby of mine, and use the farm as a training facility for workshops and seminars. My chief goal for 2013 is to allow myself to work more with my imagination and follow my gut feeling. Oh yes, and outsourcing!!! All the things I dislike – let somebody who enjoys them do them instead! I am committed to stop wasting time wanting to change things that are outside my control. My key tip for other Business Mums for 2013 is: Use your intuition and find your unique special gift so you can create a more authentic and joyful way of making a living. For more information, visit

Claire Georghiades FCA is a Director of award-winning Teddington based accountancy business, Accounts Resource Ltd, which specialises in offering affordable services to small business. For more information, visit

Kids and mums enjoy themselves at a MAD Academy class

If you are looking for flexible working opportunities in the pre-school education market, the Music and Dance Academy, better known as MAD Academy is looking to expand into Greater London! Already well-established in the home counties, MAD Academy provides high energy music and dance classes for pre-schoolers, which encourage them to enjoy music and dance in a relaxed and free-spirited way, combined with carefully structured learning. The many benefits of joining the MAD Academy team include: ● 4½ day training program covering class delivery and business management ● Comprehensive set of Business and Class instruction manuals ● On-going training plus attendance at the MAD Academy annual conference ● Administration support, expertise and mentoring from a Head Office team ● Range of professionally developed marketing tools ● Your own page on the MAD Academy website Sophie Hill, franchise owner of MAD Academy in Oxford who a year ago was a Sales Manager for BT, is celebrating her first year in business. It is not easy launching a business in the current economic climate but Sophie has been bucking the trend. “It’s been a hard year, really busy,” says Sophie, “the highlight being the number of customers returning for a second and third term. I’ve already seen tiny 12 week old babies move up into my toddler classes. Wonderful!” For more information, visit

Signing fun for little ones! TM

˘ Come along and join our sign and sing-a-long sessions featuring nursery rhymes, action songs, games and stories

˘ Fun and friendly classes ˘ Lots of puppets, props and instruments ˘ Suitable for all babies and young children ˘ Singing Hands Songbooks, CDs and DVDs available ˘ For more information about our baby signing classes, toddler sessions or workshops for professionals, please contact us on: 020 8288 1706 or or

As featured on BBC Cbeebies ‘Something Special’ & ‘Tikkabilla’


January-February 2013

THE HUB FOR BUBS AT THE PUB! By Linda Stone, Editor Welcome Pitter Patter

The Cricketer’s pub on Richmond Green has been transformed into a family friendly haven! The pub has been completely refurbished into a light, clean and bright space with great facilities for families from hot drinks to high chairs. And, of course, Pitter Patter has just moved into the room upstairs. The brainchild of two mums, Shelley Henderson and Erin Thomas-Wong, Pitter Patter selects local venues as central meeting places for parents/carers and then sets up a range of classes and activities at these venues offering entertainment and development opportunities for little ones and the opportunity for parents and carers to socialise. Erin runs an already well-established Hub in Ealing, and Shelley launched Pitter Patter in Richmond at the beginning of November 2012 and is already running a programme of classes. These classes include Baby Steps First Aid, first aid sessions for parents of youngsters,

Hartbeeps, a music class for 0-4 year olds and Brilliant Monsters, for ages 1-2, weekly book club sessions which make books fun for toddlers and assist Doctor babies at a Hartbeeps class parents/carers on book choices and reading techniques. New this month will be Baby Steps Baby Massage courses, a second Brilliant Monsters class for 2 to 3 year olds and Bridge Storytelling Adventures interactive drama-based workshops for 1 to 5 year olds. Pitter Patter will also be hosting NCTeas Meet Ups at the venue every Monday. As well as being a focal point for parents/carers, Pitter Patter also hopes to create a community of class providers who will share ideas and support each other. For further information, visit


clubs, classes activities

Turn the page for our comprehensive


guide to fun, stimulati activities for your child!

A SECOND LANGUAGE BEFORE 6? By Linda Stone, Editor

Are you raising your child to be bi-lingual or would you like your child to start learning a second language at an early age? Earlier this year US researchers reported conclusive evidence that learning a second language can boost brain power. Lab tests showed that speaking two languages profoundly affects the brain and changes how the nervous system responds to sound. Against

who learn a second language before age 6 have a much better accent and chance at fluency, plus a backdrop of noisy chatter, a bilingual group of improved memory and analytic skills. It has been students was far superior at processing sounds. proven in studies that learning a second language They were better able to tune in to the important does not have a negative impact on learning information - the speaker’s voice - and block out English. In some, but not all cases, children can other distracting noises, like background chatter. have a mild delay in their “expressive” English There is also good news for parents who may (speaking) but there is no delay in their “receptive” be concerned that learning two languages at once English (what they understand) and they always or learning a second language before he/she can catch up in both languages by age 4 or 5. speak might have a negative effect on your child’s For further information, communication skills. Experts advise that children visit

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Following the huge success of the Little Kickers football training programme for kids, here is another great idea we decided to run with. Little Rugby is a fun introduction to the sport and is non-contact, so it’s safe and friendly.

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Call 02030921313 01932 429602

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819 Little Rugby A Jan11.indd 1

January-February 2013

15/12/2011 07:54


& more Clubs, Classes and activities

clubs, classes activities


By Linda Stone, Editor

In this area, we are very lucky to be blessed with a wide range of baby and child development programmes, Gymboree and The Little Gym being two notable examples. These well-established franchises have certain features in common: both originated in the US, both are hugely successful and each offers something wonderfully unique to the local community. I asked each of them to tell us a little more about its programme.


Gymboree is a child development programme for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Classes utilise music, art, movement, props, imaginary play and unique, custom-designed and patented apparatus to create a fun and magical world where children learn and thrive. Classes are themed, changing regularly to keep little ones engaged. Gymboree also offers Open Gym sessions in which children play on the apparatus and explore the Play Floor. Gymboree lessons are devised by child development experts to ensure they are appropriate for the various stages of baby and child development. Active involvement is required by parents/carers

in baby and toddler classes, as Gymboree believes that the parent/ carer is the child’s best play partner in those crucial early years. Sensory Baby Play Classes cater for babies up to the age of 6 months, after which they can progress to Play and Learn and Music classes. Art classes are available for toddlers from 18 months and some franchises also offer Theatre Arts classes for 3 to 5 year olds. Active youngsters will enjoy Play and Learn classes in the Gym Room with its unique apparatus, including slides, ladders, A-frames and tunnels, which is used in different ways depending on the theme of the class. The possibilities are endless! Play and Learn classes continue for children up to age 3.5,


‘Serious Fun’ is how The Little Gym describes its development programme for children of all ages. Fundamentally, The Little Gym is a 3-dimensional programme with gymnastics at its core and one of its key aims is enhancing confidence. The Little Gym believes that offering a child physical, social and cognitive challenges (the 3-dimensions) within this positive, nurturing environment is significant in building that child’s skill, self-esteem and future success. All this whilst having terrific fun! The programme is for all abilities and ages,not just

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when children can progress into Gymboree Pre-School, and Art and Music classes are available for children up to age 5. Designed to foster self-expression, children self-direct and create their own art and craft work, with guidance from adults. Play is often tactile, using play dough and materials like Magic Foam, small polystyrene–like balls that can be moulded into shapes.  Music classes expose children to different types of music from Baroque to The Beatles and involve dancing, working with parents to identify beat and rhythm, and singing.  All the activities are designed to develop a child’s expressive musical skills, giving them a foundation for life. Where can I find my nearest Gymboree? St Margaret’s

just school age children who can do a handstand, with babies as young as 4 months benefiting from The Little Gym’s age-specific curriculum. Babies (4 – 10 months) start with the “Bugs” programme. ‘Backflips for my 4 month old baby?’ you may ask. Well, not exactly, but the variety of skills these ‘Bugs’ achieve is amazing! “Bugs” become “Birds” and are soon toddlers or “Beasts”. The instructor guides parents through activities which stimulate motor-skills and brain development and classes are packed with information on each child’s milestones plus tips for home-based activities. Parents are fully involved - running, jumping and laughing together, making it a great way to make new friends. The atmosphere is infectious! Once a child reaches age 3, parents can relax with a coffee, and enjoy their children “going

Twickenham, Surbiton or West Byfleet. Further information at or see Clubs, Classes and Activities Listings page 36.

solo,” performing rolls, tumbles and flips before their eyes. This amazing environment, where positive praise is delivered in abundance, entices even the most wary of children to attempt new challenges. The Little Gym cannot easily be categorised. It isn’t a soft-play centre, gymnastics club or playgroup. It embraces the ethos of non-competitive sport, ‘Serious Fun’ and the importance of our children’s development for their future. It draws families in, captures their imaginations and waves them off with new found confidence and assurance. Where can I find my nearest The Little Gym? Hampton Hill, Wandsworth or, later this year, in Cobham. Further information at or see Clubs, Classes and Activities listings page 36.

Come and Join the Fun!

Book a3w cours e foreek


The award winning movement to music, dance and singing programme for boys and girls from 6 months upwards run within a fun, safe and caring environment

Cobham and Weybridge Miss Jennie 01932 866609 Nursery

New Malden, Wimbledon, visits and also Redhill, Reigate and Dorking parties available 01737 227039 January-February 2013


BALLET FOR MY BABY? By Miss Ayse and Miss Jennie Well, yes. Of course, at this age, your baby won’t be pointing his or her toes or doing pirouettes but having fun and learning how it feels to move his or her body in lots of different ways. Ballet classes for babies and toddlers are becoming increasingly popular and many providers report long waiting lists. So why is it that parents are eager to send their little ones to ballet classes? Ballet is an activity that babies and toddlers genuinely enjoy from a young age. It’s also great for enhancing self-awareness – it’s your youngster’s first opportunity to discover the many and wonderful ways in which the body can work. Learning to move to music is quite an advanced skill which enhances

the development of children’s bodies and brains. Generally, children who do ballet feel more confident and those who pursue it as pre-schoolers also benefit from the creative independence it brings. At babyballet, our classes are designed to increase a child’s coordination, balance, poise, self-control, musicality and movement, and harnessing all these skills helps young children to express themselves with self-belief and confidence. A good ballet class for young children will focus on developing gross motor skills, basic ballet and rhythm so children become comfortable with these natural abilities. The added benefit of social skills and discipline are also beneficial as children approach school age. However, the key focus in lessons for this age group has to be FUN and it is the class providers that understand this, such as babyballet, that are expanding most quickly!



I like to stay indoors and play an instrument called a cornet, which is just like a trumpet but smaller. I also love drawing – especially people and ladybugs. After school I like to play with my dog, Maggie. On my days off I like to go to Murray Park. My dog can’t walk to the park yet but I can’t wait to take her.


Miss Ayse and Miss Jennie are local babyballet franchise managers. babyballet is an exciting, educational movement to music programme for boys and girls from 6 months. For more information, visit or see Clubs, Classes and Activities listings on page 36

Children’s classes from 2 years to vocational RAD ballet, jazz, ISTD modern and tap classes Established 15 years • • • •

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Creating an environment in which your

Jo_Ad_70x55mm.indd 1 child’s love of dance can thrive Olivia Weeks, Year 5, Nelson Primary School, Whitton

Kiddikicks has franchise opportunities across the UK. Start the New Year as you mean to go on – less work, less stress, more exercise, more support and more quality time with your children. Work for yourself and run your own successful franchise business with Kiddikicks toddler and child football-themed and football skills classes, sporty merchandise and cool clothing. Be the Manager or the Coach; if you have a sporty, supervisory, managerial, sales, marketing, recruitment or self-employed background and would like to work from home, Kiddikicks could be the New Year’s resolution you make and actually keep. For more information, visit Quote “Families” in your enquiry for a 5% discount.

I like to go to Painshill Park in Cobham. They have a big café and it’s a really good place for walking. It has bridges, pretty vineyards and big lakes. It’s great to run around with my family and friends. Aaron Gibbons-Mirat, Year 5, Hampton Junior School, Hampton With thanks to Little Star Writers creative writing programme for offering us the contributions of its students. For more information on Little Star Writers, visit

16/08/2012 20:02

KBS NEW MALDEN Est. 1995 A dancing school in New Malden offering a wide range of classes for children of all ages New Saturday Classes for September Ballet for 3/4 and 5/6 years Street Dance for 7 to 10 years Principal Louise Jefferson on 020 8549 1129

Baby Sensory

Award Winning Baby Development Classes Designed for Babies from Birth to 13 Months

Sessions held weekly in Egham Hythe Staines Lower Sunbury Addlestone & Weybridge For more details contact Jo Ashe on 07810 540 352 or email


January-February 2013


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clubs, classes activities



STREETS OF TW9 By Sarah Holland

By Deborah Rich

I believe that anyone can dance, regardless of their gender, age or background, whatever their shape and size, whether able or disabled and regardless of whether they have danced before. Consequently, when I set up Flipside Dance in 2007, I decided that the school should celebrate a love of dance and performance, rather than working towards formal qualifications and exams.

Pupils from Flipside Dance perform in a show

Pupil from Flipside Dance performs in a show

This has several advantages. Students in every class share a real sense of commonality because they are grouped together based on ability, not age, and teachers can continually assess and develop their competencies. This allows them to celebrate mastering a new skill immediately and move straight on to learn a new one. Students can also be moved up a level as soon as they are ready, rather than waiting until they pass the next exam, motivating them to achieve more and pushing their boundaries. They can dance to their full potential, whilst at the same time ensuring nobody gets left behind or feels out of their depth, in a group that is too advanced for them. At Flipside Dance, our students work towards performance, with

an annual show and regular entry to the ‘Starpower’ competition. What is the point of spending hours perfecting a particular ballet technique or rehearsing a spectacular street dance routine if no one ever sees it? Performing in front of live audiences builds confidence and offers students the chance to express themselves. Dance is a diverse discipline; more than movement and technique, it can be inspirational. Free choreography keeps students attentive and helps them to pick up new compositions more quickly, whereas concentrating only on exams and rigid dance routines can dampen a student’s passion, cause stress and anxiety, and detract from the natural pleasure and freedom that dance and movement can bring. It is inevitable that some students who do not achieve full proficiency in their exams will feel as though they have failed in some way. For those to whom formal qualifications are important, it is, of course, possible to take exams at one dance school, whilst simultaneously developing performance skills at a school like Flipside Dance. I

would never discourage this as there is always a balance to be found between formality and the freedom to express. I believe that all students can benefit from studying dance. Learning to perform in front of an audience develops self-belief, whilst working successfully as an individual, or as part of a group, will prove a great asset in adult life. The sense of accomplishment performing students achieve cannot be assessed graded and printed on a sheet of A4 paper and is measurable only in their improved confidence, self-esteem and personal development.


Deborah Rich is Director of Flipside Dance, a dance school in Cobham which offers classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and contemporary/lyrical dance. For further information, visit or see Clubs, Classes and Activities listings on page 37

Are you choosing a dance class for your child? You are familiar with jazz, contemporary, tap, ballroom and ballet and know the local class providers. But what do you know about street dance? What comes to mind? The mean streets of New York? Kids in hoodies? Incomprehensible vernacular? That sort of dancing isn’t for us, you mentally wail as you watch your highly energetic pre-schooler throw himself to the floor in a rough approximation of a genuine street dance move and wonder about your decision to sign him up for ballet. One evening, you hear the sounds of a party in the building next to Richmond Station. Later, a friend tells you she was there, strutting her stuff on the dance floor. You presume it was a school reunion or 80s disco for the over 35s but, no, it was a street dance class. You’re feeling uneasy. The majority of youngsters seem as captivated by the romance of ballet as ever, but there’s a rumbling in the jungle - the street dance culture is gradually invading the leafy streets of Richmond. So here’s what is important. To fully experience Street Dance, you need a teacher who focuses on the individual components of the styles that comprise it. Generally choreographing and competing themselves, such teachers can enthusiastically emphasise the individuality and cultural significance of each individual style and help children learn how to apply the moves in creative and expressive freestyles, rather than solely in a choreography context. Learning in this way builds confidence and fitness and brings back the social element of the dance styles. It instils a genuine passion for dance and makes classes truly rewarding. So let’s assume your child is about to start a Street Dance class. You are ready for initiation, so read on!

Kids Street Dance Classes in Richmond For children 3 years onwards Have fun learning authentic moves from the different street dance styles! Call now and quote FUT 16 for a Free Trial!


January-February 2013

CAPTIVATING THE CLASS Boy demonstrates a cool move

Street Dance Dictionary Locking: a funk style from the 70s which takes inspiration from jazz and tap with emphasis on groove. Techniques include points, wrist rolls, pacing and ‘the lock’. Popping: traditionally danced to funk and electro, popping involves isolating and contracting the muscles to the beat of the music. Often used as an umbrella term to include other techniques like waving, gliding and ‘the robot’. Hip hop: a collection of social, party steps danced to hip hop music; examples include the running man, the reebok, the electric slide and, more recently, the dougie. Waacking: originating from the disco clubs of 1970s California, waacking is experiencing a huge rebirth in popularity internationally; with an emphasis on musicality, elegance, poise and individuality, this style is a particular hit with drama queens and wannabe divas. House: a fast footwork style born in the clubs of Chicago , incorporating aspects from tap, salsa and African dances.


Sarah Holland runs Dance Station Richmond which offers street dance and other dance classes for children and adults. For more information, visit www.dancestationrichmond. or see Clubs, Classes and Activities listings on page 36


clubs, classes activities


THE JOY OF TEACHING BALLET of their development in order to Linda Stone, Editor, talks to Suze captivate them. “By seeing the world Bailey, Principal of The Elizabeth through their eyes, I can create James Dance Academy about magical and interactive classes. I inspiring young ballet students. want to enchant shy and confident Gone are the days when the ballet children alike, to encourage teacher with the sternest face got the self-expression and exploration of best results. Being a dance teacher their own inner world”. Catherine today is a joyous profession and that Rufaie, mother of Rosie who started joy should rub off on pupils. Teachers with the Academy’s Melody Bear should be eager to inspire, understand toddler classes comments “I think how children learn and run classes that the Melody Bear classes are pitched work for the individuals as well as the just right for the age group, they whole class. are a very fun introduction to ballet. In 2011, Suze Bailey started the Rosie loves her lessons!” Elizabeth James Dance Academy in As pupils reach school age, Suze Richmond, wanting children to have believes in following a syllabus. This the same experience of ballet that she allows her to monitor progress and Young pupil from Elizabeth James once had. “I started ballet classes at 4 make sure ballet is taught appropriDance Academy dances as a fairy years and it was an amazing creative ately for the child’s physiology. “I have outlet for a quiet and shy girl. Moving taught syllabuses from a number of preparation for the road ahead.”  to music is so instinctive, it allows different bodies, but, for me, The It seems that Suze’s approach of you to connect with yourself and Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is instilling the core principles of ballet the artistry of ballet – it encourages the best choice because it requires with bundles of enthusiasm is really self-expression.”  teachers to continually develop a working. Her pupils are wrapped Suze explains why she set up the dancer’s skills. Pupils can take exams up in a colourful, imaginative world academy. “I was lucky enough to study from the age of 5, which is exciting of dance and self-exploration classical ballet at the Northern Ballet and rewarding, and also fantastic and almost don’t notice they are School. I worked hard honing my craft learning key skills at the same time! and gained my teaching qualifications under the watchful eyes of the The Elizabeth James Dance Academy offers ballet and tap country’s most respected teachers. classes in Richmond and Kew for children aged 18 months upwards. Now I have the privilege of passing on For further information, visit my knowledge and watching others or see Clubs, Classes and Activities listings on page 36 start their journey.”  The Elizabeth James Dance Academy now has almost one hundred pupils and a second branch in Kew. Sally Dell, BALLET ★ TAP ★ MODERN whose daughter Amelie, 4, attends Pre-Primary ballet Dance classes for everyone from says “Amelie loves A captivating introduction to ballet 18 months to adults her classes and I’ve been really impressed through storytelling for children age Our Baby Beats, Nursery and Junior with her progress, 2.5 to 5 years First Class FREE and increasing classes are a fun ntroduction to WHEN: Saturday morning independence. Suze’s dance using stories, mimes and songs support has been Monday afternoon – NEW class!! invaluable!” WHERE: Innerspace Studio, With pupils starting 07813 170707 ROYAL ACADEMY OF Kingston, KT2 6NH classes as young as 18 DANCE months, Suze believes REGISTERED TEACHER TEL: 07958 530962 it is essential to be aware of the stages




FSD also offers Private Lessons, Summer Schools, Competitions and Annual Shows.

Perform your way to success. From 2 ½ -­ 18 years plus adults. Girls, Boys and Mixed classes. All level of experience catered for. FREE Trial Lesson. Sibling discount. For all information go to flipsidedance Contact or 07759502508. Classes take place at Cobham Village Hall (KT11 2LU). flipsidedance

January-February 2013 FSD Flier Final artwork 70mm x 118mm.indd 1 10/12/2012 23:11


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The Club for Champions!By Linda Stone, Editor Eva Barron Hill dem onstrating a stre tch

The champions of Champion Aerobic Gymnastics Club

Christina Fossheim has achieved so much for someone still so young. Twice British Aerobic Gymnastics Champion, this dynamic gymnast and coach started her own gymnastics club in 2011 and, within a year, had propelled 4 local gymnasts to the medal-winners podium. Christina’s club is Champion Aerobic Gymnastics Club in Teddington, which she officially launched and affiliated with the British Gymnastics Association in 2011. The Club is already firmly on the map after Poppy Hughes, Eva Barron Hill, Amy Hughes and Isabel Boluda (pictured above), aged between 9 and 14, achieved podium positions at the British Aerobic Gymnastics Championships in October 2012. Poppy and Eva took gold medals in their categories, whilst Isabel took silver and Amy bronze. Lurda Anedinovaite (also pictured above) achieved 6th place in the category for 9 year olds.

Teddington and South West London

Have fun learning the piano Impress your friends and family Learn fast! Play your favourite songs Prepare for exams Children, adults, parents with babies and beginners very welcome. Cristian van Schuerbeck - Piano Tutor 56 Broom Road, Teddington. 07910208530


Christina Fossheim performing a stretch (above) and a floor routine (right)

Champion runs sessions for developmental and competitive gymnastics at Stanley Primary School and St Mary’s University College in Teddington and welcomes prospective new members from age 4 to book into a beginner’s class for a free trial. It will also be introducing teen fitness sessions very soon.“Aerobic Gymnastics can be taught to everyone” says Christina. “We invite children of all ages to come along for a free trial and see how they like it. All of our sessions develop strength, fitness, flexibility, co-ordination and power – and are great fun!” Christina’s vision is to raise the profile of Aerobic Gymnastics within the local area and she and her team are passionate about helping children achieve success in life through sport. Christina started training in artistic gymnastics at age 7 and typically trained for around 20 hours a week. At school, she learned to be extremely organised to both attain high grades and continue with her gymnastics

training. At 14, Christina came across Aerobic Gymnastics on television when it was still just a fitness discipline known as ‘Sports Aerobics’ but didn’t start training until she was 20. She pushed herself to adapt to this completely new style of gymnastics and was rewarded when she became Senior British Champion (individually and part of a Trio) in 2007. “My goal was always to become a British Champion for my individual routine twice before retiring” says Christina. After just missing out several times, I decided to train for one last attempt and was rewarded with a second title in October 2012. I was so proud of this achievement as I was able to represent the club I had set up and finish my career on a high note.”


Christina Fossheim has 10 years of coaching experience and is qualified as a British Gymnastics Aerobic Gymnastics Club Coach Level 3. For further information, email Christina at to book a free trial or visit

Aerobic Gymnastics: An Ascending Star A highly contemporary gymnastics discipline, already extremely popular in France and China, Aerobic Gymnastics is still developing in the UK. The combination of gymnastics, dance and supreme fitness is breath-taking and with the possibility that this sport will feature in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, it’s definitely one to watch! Performed to fast, upbeat music, an Aerobic Gymnastics routine is like a cross between street dance, aerobics and an artistic gymnastic floor routine and also incorporates moves from rhythmic gymnastics and tumbling. Gymnasts travel around the floor area using choreography

which combines seven aerobic style steps: jog, march, jumping jack, lunge, knee lift, flick kick and high kick. These steps are combined with arm patterns and transitions of varying difficulty. Transitions are used to link choreography with “difficulty” skills in the areas of dynamic and static strength, jumps and leaps and flexibility and balance.  Imagine all of this and then having to smile and sell your routine to the judges too!

January-February 2013

Royal Festival Hall Concert Weekend


classes LEARNING TO PLAY A MUSICAL activities Lamprell explores INSTRUMENT Leonard the highs and the hard work

Scientists are becoming increasingly aware of the problems caused by too much screen time for children. By the same token, for years it has been widely accepted that there are many benefits associated with learning to play a musical instrument, those benefits far outweighing the effort involved in doing so. Learning an instrument increases memory capacity, boosts team skills, teaches perseverance and discipline, improves mathematical ability, reading and comprehension skills, sharpens concentration, fosters self expression and can be a great stress reliever and source of fun. Commitment and Focus Both my son and daughter started violin at around age of 5 – of their own choice. Who knows why as we have many instruments in our house but no violins! We made it

clear beforehand that it wouldn’t be easy and that they would have to persevere to see results. Nearly 4 years on my daughter is still playing and is now starting work for her first grades. Of course, a little bribery has helped along the way; my wife has devised a system whereby good practice earns them marbles – 1 for practice – 2 for good practice and 3 for good, well focused practice. Ten marbles can be traded for small treats. This has worked well for us so far! Family Bonding My wife also took up the violin to encourage the kids and, at times, I accompany the three of them on the guitar. This probably doesn’t sound like great music to our neighbours but we have fun, and, after all, that’s the important thing. Practice It is important not to overdo practice. 5 or 10 minutes of well focused practice daily far outweighs long stretches of time

Piano Lessons with Margaret Wood Qualified & Experienced Teacher Examinations to Grade 8 Level Theory for all Instruments Walton on Thames Tel: 01932 219767/07857 689396 Email:

Richmond, Twickenham, Teddington, Surbiton, Epsom, Thames Ditton, Cobham, Weybridge & Barnes

Scarves Balls Bubbles

Shakers Bean Bags Pom Poms Parachute Also Parties !

3mths – 5 yrs (£5 Sibling £2.50) E: T: 07977 585020

Ukuleles on sale at Hillsound Musical Instruments

squeezed in the day before a lesson. Few professional musicians love practice either, so it’s important not to overwhelm your child and make music a chore. Opportunities to Work as a Team The pleasure and satisfaction of producing music in a band, group or orchestra with friends and entertaining others, is the most fulfilling part of playing an instrument and makes all the hard work and practice time seem purposeful and worthwhile. Life Experiences Along with thousands of children from across the country, my daughter, Alexis, recently played at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the concert weekend for all those learning by Suzuki method. Most of them had never met but had practiced the songs independently. The end product was fantastic – and I’m not just being a doting parent here! The music really was of a very high standard. This was an amazing experience for someone her age and a memory she will treasure for the rest of her life. When is the Right Time for a Child to Learn a Musical Instrument? I would suggest when your child is able to focus for 5 minutes or more on any given task – probably at

Leonard Lamprell owns Hillsound Musical Instruments, a leading musical instrument and repair shop. Hillsound offers music tuition for all age groups with exciting holiday workshops planned for the future. For further information, contact, follow Hillsound on or see Clubs, Classes and Activities listings on page 37.


Leonard Lamprell started repairing musical instruments from his garden shed in 2001. 11 years later, Hillsound Musical Instruments is a wellestablished business in Hampton Hill High Street, selling and repairing instruments.The most recent addition to Hillsound’s mini empire is a fully sound proofed studio room from where 9 teachers now offer drum, guitar, saxophone, piano, flute, clarinet and cello lessons. Leonard is also planning sound recording workshops for children during school holidays and will also be offering children the opportunity to have their playing laid down on CD with a backing track.

Music classes for babies and young children!

i Don’t forget to say where you saw the ad!

“The World’s No.1 Soccer Skills Teaching Method”

• Player Coaching at our Performance Academy • Team Coaching • School Sessions • Partner Club • Holiday Clinics

January-February 2013


By Linda Stone, Editor

Coerver® Coaching West London

Tel: 020 3544 2284 Mob: 07947 121213

around 4 or 5, though exposure to music can begin earlier and there are groups around that encourage this. We are hoping to start such a group in the coming year. What sort of instrument is best? The best instrument is always the one your child most wants to play! The Richmond Music Trust and Kingston Music Service hold workshops at which children can try out a huge number of instruments in one afternoon. We will also be holding such events at the studio this year so watch this space! A good starter for anyone thinking of taking up an instrument is the Ukulele, which has seen a major revival recently. They are relatively inexpensive (starting at around £16.00).

Web: Email:


Action songs and rhymes Music and movement Fun with percussion Musical games

Since 1993 thousands of children across the UK have grown up with Monkey Music. Our unique teaching curriculum was written by classically trained musicians, To book your complimentary class, call and introduces music to very young children in a way they Kingston and Surbiton: 0208 224 3971. can easily understand and enjoy. Banstead and Claygate: 01932 223309. Rock ‘n’ roll - from 3 months Weybridge, Cobham and Molesey: 0208 Heigh ho – from 12 months 224 0096. Richmond, Twickenham and Jiggety jig – 2 & 3 year olds Teddington: 0208 847 4031 Ding dong – 3 & 4 year olds

time of music Nur turing a life

Winner of the Best National Pre School Activity Award.


& more Clubs, Classes and activities

classes activities


By Amit Sohal

Footballers from Coerver Coaching

be a champion. Key to this philosophy is that skill is the foundation upon which all other football-related attributes (such as tactical knowledge and physique) is built and team success depends on both individual and small group skills. At these organisations, the focus is on developing core skills, such as first touch, running with the ball, ball striking and 1v1, during the “golden age of learning” which is between 7 and 13 years of age. Many supporters in the professional game support this philosophy, from World Cup winners to current Premier League managers.


Amit Sohal is the Regional Director of Coerver® Coaching West London. For more information about the different football coaching packages offered by Coerver®, including the Performance Academy, visit or see Clubs, Classes and Activities listings on page 38.



r New Winte Pricing admission from only £3

Five minutes from Chessington

I go to Park Lane Stables in Teddington because it’s really nice to be freezing cold and then have the warmth of the horse underneath. My favourite horse is called Minnie. I like the way the rides only have about four people on them. It’s even more exciting to go horse riding in the rain! Zoe Flashman, Year 5, Nelson Primary School, Whitton

I go to Ashford Hockey Club in Sunbury-onThames. I always enjoy going there because we have lots of warm-ups, we are taught lots of new skills and we sometimes have a match at the end of the session. I also absolutely love the river walk in Twickenham. I love walking over the bridge and running down the hill. The little walkway is so magical. It’s like you’ve fallen into a book like Harry Potter or The Magic Garden! Cordelia Broom, Year 5, Trafalgar Junior School, Twickenham With thanks to Little Star Writers creative writing programme for offering us the contributions of its students. For more information on Little Star Writers, visit

CHAMPION AEROBIC GYMNASTICS CLUB Phone today and quote FUT 17 for a Free Trial!

Combine a love of gymnastics and dance in this powerful, high energy, contemporary sport.

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Through an old wooden door the Hobblers discovered A place more magical than any other.

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Amazing de sign, lovely and helpful Hob blers, health y and delicious fo od. My two kids loved, loved, loved it!

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Call: Christina on 07957 394344 or email Maxine on 07875 139511 or email

Hobbledown, Horton Park Childrens Farm, Horton Lane, Epsom, KT19 8PT T: 0843 289 4979 E:


Training sessions for developing and competing gymnasts at our two locations in Teddington.

January-February 2013 04/12/2012 13:32

Photo by Matt Brooker

Xavi, Iniesta and Messi are some of the world’s best footballers. Each of them is a master in running, receiving and passing and striking a football, but more than that, they seem to effortlessly create around them the space they need to do these things. Many football players are considered to have natural ability and a ‘gift’ that they are born with and therefore be destined to make it to the top. But what about those players that do not have the ‘gift,’ can they be taught how to play like Xavi, Iniesta and Messi? Some coaching organisations argue that it is how a player plays on the field and his ability to win-at-all costs that makes the difference between a good player and a Xavi or Messi. This implies that football skills alone are not enough. However, this could simply be a self-fulfilling prophecy as it leads to grassroots coaches and clubs selecting only the strongest, biggest and quickest players available. Other organisations, such as Coerver® Coaching for which I work, firmly believe that football skills are ‘taught and learned’ and that it is possible to teach someone to

In Winter...I go






In Winter you need places with indoor and outdoor play areas, where you can escape inside when it pours or gets chilly. Parent-friendly places with warm food on hand for when everyone gets hungry…..

Hobbledown in Epsom

Built on a 50 acre site, Hobbledown describes itself as a “kid’s farm park adventure” but neither the words “farm” nor “park” come close to encapsulating its scale and ambition. Forget expensive rides, gimmicks and plastic, forget petting zoos, this is a beautifully conceived and realised indoor and outdoor space, which will challenge children physically, fully capture their imaginations and have them begging for more. Hobbledown brings to life the unique world of a book by children’s author, Angela Kecojevic, a mystical, fantasy adventure, which features fun, mischievous characters called The Hobblers. Perfectly capturing the spirit of the book, everything at Hobbledown from the tables and benches, to both the homes of the Hobblers and those of the farm animals is visually original and quirky. In addition, it offers some of the most unusual and exciting play equipment around. The Hobbledown Barn, a 14,000 square foot indoor play area, houses two large play frames, one soft and one wooden, which offer the prospect of

Teeney Weenies Play Café in Teddington

Last year, after less than a year in business, Teeney Weenies moved to larger premises at Imperial Pavilion, Teddington Sports Ground, where it has a covered area outside. Come the milder weather, this area will play host to messy play, a bouncy castle, swings, slide, ball games, ride- ons and a giant Connect 4 and much of the sports ground is available for running around. Meanwhile, there is plenty on offer inside. Weekly antenatal classes with Lazy Daisy Birthing commence at the café on 10th January and offer friendly tuition in relaxed,

January-February 2013

adventure. Shoot soft balls at an imagined enemy from the wooden tower or go under cover in a secret corner! Adjacent is the Hobnosh Café, which serves great food and coffee so you can relax and use our Wi-Fi while the kids charge around! Outside, three enormous play zones, the Hoblings Play Village, The Mining Village and Hobbledown Village contain a myriad of houses, towers, mazes and underground tunnels that are ripe for investigation, as well as the chance to mine for crystallite. The Low Ropes Adventure and the Aerial Walkways that link the crooked towers of the Village offer physical challenges for children of all ages. There’s even an Aerial Adventure Course for the bravest of the brave. For further information, visit active birth techniques. Remember you can book your child into the Teeney Weenies crèche whilst you do the class! In March, popular baby and toddler ‘singing and signing’ duo, Singing Hands will be performing at the café and watch this space for cooking classes in coming months! For more information about Teeney Weenies, Lazy Daisy or Singing Hands, visit, www.the or or see our Clubs, Classes and Activities listings on page 38.

Founded by local mums, Beth and Helen, Little Hamsters celebrated its first birthday in November 2012. “A lot has happened in a year” says Beth, looking round and smiling. Not least, the addition of a state-of-the-art kids playground last Summer giving the café a great outdoor area for dry weather. “A real community has developed ” comments Helen. “New parents and carers become regular visitors and arrange future catch-ups, which is exactly what Beth and I envisaged.” The ladies initially identified a gap in the market for a community-focused kids play cafe where there was as much emphasis on the parents and carers as on the children. “The kind of place we wished we’d had access to when our kids were small!” remarks Beth. “The early years of parenthood can be tiring, bewildering and lonely. Parents need a place to meet, make new friends, share experiences and advice, and relax while their children are playing and exploring a wide variety of toys and activities.” Helen points out the stack of magazines, comfy seating, freshly brewing coffee and selection of home-made cakes which make the café so inviting for parents. “We also keep a constant supply of spare clothes, nappies, baby wipes and beakers and anything else we can think of that a stressed parent might forget!” she says. For further information, visit or see our Clubs, Classes and Activities listings on page 38.


& more Clubs, Classes and activities

classes activities ART AND CRAFT

The Art Class Ages: All Art classes and workshops for children in which they can experiment with materials in a safe and creative environment and be introduced to a world of new ideas and techniques. Classes held in brand new studio! NEW weekly 1 hour Thursday sessions for pre-schoolers between 10am and 2pm and February Half Term workshops for older children! In: Sunbury Contact: Lynette Pitzolu Phone: 07971 475373 or email lynette@ Ceramics Café Kew Ages: All Children have the opportunity to create something unique. Starting with a plain white bisque shape, they paint on their design using ceramic under-glazes, it is then fired in the kiln, and their piece is ready for collection within 2-4 days. In: Kew Contact: Joanna Wronka Phone: 020 8332 661 Happy Potter Ages: All Pottery painting at After School Club every Thursday. Children make a different piece each week. NEW weekly Messy Play for Toddlers Tuesdays and Thursdays and February Half Term Workshops In: Teddington Contact: Una Fagan Phone: 020 8973 1468 Pottery and Craft Studio Thames Ditton Ages: All Friendly, relaxed studio for all ages.

Ceramic painting, baby hand/foot prints and casts. Free refreshments! January only Buy One Get One Free Studio Fee! In: Thames Ditton Contact: Sue Lewis Phone: 020 8398 6681


Baby Sensory Ages: 0 to 13 months Programme specifically designed for babies to stimulate all the senses and assist baby development, including listening and communication skills. In: Staines, Lower Sunbury, Addlestone and Weybridge Contact: Jo Ashe Phone: 07810 540 352 Gymboree Ages: 0 to 5 Play and Learn, Art, Music and Sensory Play for Babies. Classes are designed by experts in early childhood development to help young children learn as they play and teach parents/carers fun and interesting ways to engage with them. Gymboree West Byfleet is under new management! Pop along to its Open Day on 9 February from 1.30pm for free activities all afternoon! In: St Margarets, Surbiton & West Byfleet Phone: St Margarets 020 8607 9995 Surbiton 0208 398 9360 West Byfleet 01932 353313 Hartbeeps Ages: 0 to 5 Combines fun & funky music with story-telling, fabulous props & puppets and sound plays creating an amazing sensory experience. Classes fit in with the Early Years Foundation Stages, so your child is having great fun, and learning at the same

d outdoor fun for Indoor an b grown ups and little ones!

Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10.00 to 2.00

Play space for babies and toddlers 6 Outdoor Playground 6 Warm, friendly environment 6 Great coffee and food “Without a doubt my favourite of the local play cafes. Both Will and I look forward to it every week” - Natalie Robinson and Will (21 months) “A wonderful and safe environment . Seb and I love it here!” - Gill Morrow and Seb (22 months)

Kew & Ham Sports Association, Ham Fields, Riverside Drive, Ham, Richmond 07432 354274

6 Free Parking Free Wifi 6

play cafe

time. NEW props, sessions and songs! In: Long Ditton Contact: Emma Chesters Phone: 07970 898436 The Little Gym Ages: 4mths to 12 years A diverse line-up of non-competitive developmental gymnastic programs filled with movement, music, learning and laughter. The age-appropriate curriculum is designed to facilitate ongoing skill development and maximum fun. Children progress at their own pace, developing their confidence as they develop their skills. In: Hampton Hill and Wandsworth Contact: Lorna Phone: 020 8977 0099 Singing Hands Ages: Babies & Toddlers Introduction to baby signing through songs, rhymes, stories and games. Babies have a natural tendency to use gesture (eg. clapping and waving bye-bye). Baby signing builds on these normal patterns of communication. Toddler Classes also available. In: St Margarets, Twickenham, Teddington Contact: Suzanne or Tracy Phone: 020 8288 1706 Toddler Sense Age: 13 months to 3 years From the providers of Baby Sensory, a fast moving action packed programme for toddlers with great music and equipment and imaginary adventures like climbing a snow mountain and hunting with dinosaurs. Emphasis is on mobility, excitement and exploration. In: Addlestone, Kempton Park, Teddington, Cobham Phone: Addlestone & Kempton Park: Jo Ashe 07810 540352 Email weybridge@ Teddington and Cobham: Call Sarah Taylor 07970 796606 Email teddington@


Babyballet Ages: 6 months to 5 years Award-winning movement to music programme for little ones from 6 months. Fun and educational, programme is designed to encourage babies and young children to enjoy the benefits and joys of song and dance and provide them with the opportunity to express themselves. In: Cobham, Weybridge Phone: Cobham, Esher, Walton, Weybridge: Miss Jennie 01932 866609 Email Wimbledon, New Malden, Reigate, Redhill, Dorking, Epsom:

Miss Ayse 01737 227039 Email: Brooks Dance Academy Ages: 2.5 to 5 Petites Pointes ballet classes, with music and props, based on traditional tales such as The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk and Goldilocks. Familiar repetitive rhymes and creative imagery make classes easy to follow. Parents and carers are encouraged to join in to help younger children feel comfortable. In: Kingston Contact: Laura Brooks Phone: 07958 530962 Dance Fusion Ages: 2.5+ Wide range of syllabi including Ballet, Tap, Modern and Contemporary. Expectations for each individual are high but realistic and assistance is given to each individual to reach his or her potential. Saturday morning nursery dance and tap classes for age 2.5+ In: Twickenham Contact: Mina Burden Phone: 07813 170707 Dance Station Richmond Ages: 3+ Dance and Fitness Studio offering kids and teen street dance and teen jazz. Adult evening/weekend classes in various dance styles. Auditions for kids and teens performance and training group in January. February Half Term 3 Day Street Dance Intensive 18, 19, 20 February for ages 7 to 15. In: Richmond Contact: Sarah Holland Phone: 020 8940 5577 Denham Dance Ages: 2+ Ballet, Modern, Tap and Jazz. Beginning with Buttercup Ballet for pre-school children, which concentrates on the foundations of classical ballet, students proceed through classes in their dance form of choice and are encouraged to work to examination standard. NEW Children’s zumba starting in February for 4 to12 year olds. In: Walton & Addlestone Contact: Jo Denham Phone: 07957 254061 Elizabeth James Dance Academy Ages: From 18mths to 18 yrs Offering vibrant RAD ballet and IDTA tap dance classes for children who have happy feet! Using props and imaginative techniques, classes are designed to inspire whilst nurturing talent and confidence. Pupils are given the opportunity to take exams in Ballet or Tap or simply take part

Saturday 9 February, 1:30 – 5:00pm Free Gymboree activities and arts and crafts throughout the afternoon. Free tea, coffee and afternoon refreshments. No booking required. Sensory Baby Play, Play & Learn, Music, Art and Parties.


42 Station Approach, West Byfleet, KT14 6NE 01932 353 313

07971 475373 /


January-February 2013

for pleasure. Melody Bear classes for 18 months to 2.5 years. In: Richmond Contact: Suze Bailey Phone: 0208 940 5993 Flipside Dance Ages: 2.5 years to 18 years Ballet, tap, hip hop/street, contemporary/lyrical and jazz classes for children of all ages. Non exam-based school with emphasis on performance and competitions. Professional, friendly environment. In: Cobham Contact: Deborah Rich Phone: 07759 502508 Kate’s School of Dance Ages: 2 to 9 Kate’s School of Dance offer enjoyable and structured lessons in a supportive and friendly atmosphere. All students are encouraged to the best of their ability. The goal is to engage children’s imagination and instil a love of dance. NEW Pre-School Class for 2-3 year olds and a First Ballet Class for 4-7 year olds on Wednesdays in Chertsey. In: Isleworth, Chertsey Contact: Kate Broughton Phone: 07957 639 460 KBS New Malden Ages: 3+ Creates an atmosphere in which your child’s love of dance can thrive, where pupils can have fun and enjoyment in a happy school that has excellent standards. The School offers ballet, tap and modern classes to children of all ages. NEW Saturday morning classes for 3 to 6 year olds and New Tap and Modern Courses for age 7 plus. In: New Malden Contact: Louise Jefferson Phone: 020 8549 1129 Movement Warriors Ages: Boys 5+ Dance and movement classes for boys taught by Karl Morgan. Refreshingly non-traditional style of dance education covering all dance styles, yet with a particular emphasis on street, hip hop, breaking and contemporary dance. NEW classes at Twickenham Methodist Church for Ages 5-7 years & 8+. In: Kingston, Isleworth, Long Ditton, Teddington, Twickenham Contact: Karl Morgan Phone: 07726 313057 West London Spanish Dance School Ages: 4 to 6 Flamenco dance classes for children and adults in bi-lingual English and Spanish environment. Taught by Betty Cid who has 20 years dancing and teaching experience and is a fully qualified teacher of the Spanish Dance Society.

In: Twickenham Contact: Lucy Sheather Phone: 07833 195361

in the performing arts and help children develop life skills and confidence. In: Feltham, Ealing Contact: Lisa McKinnon Phone: 07932 799071

Bridge Storytelling Adventures Ages: 1 to 5 Be transported every week to another world as these interactive, drama-based workshops ignite your child’s imagination. February Half-Term workshop ‘Spring into The Lion King’, a 5-day musical extravaganza for 2-11 year olds. Classes now at Pitter Patter in Richmond! In: Twickenham, Richmond Contact: Amanda Wright Phone: 020 3222 3085 Perform Ages: 3mths to 12 A unique mix of drama, dance and singing specially formulated to bring out every child’s true potential. Classes are kept small to ensure lots of individual attention by experienced teachers. February Half Term Workshops! In: Esher, Isleworth, Kew, Kingston, Richmond, Sunbury, Surbiton, Teddington, Twickenham, Weybridge Phone: 0845 400 1284 Stagecoach Ages: 4 to 18 Caters for the needs of young performers, whether rather reserved or budding talents. Classes concentrate on singing, dance and drama rather than rehearsing for end of term presentations so every child has their chance to shine, to learn and to develop. In: Chertsey 0845 265 7081, Hinchley Wood 01932 254333, Hounslow 0845 078 0804, New Malden 020 8540 7791, Richmond 020 8332 6741, Staines 0845 055 6356, Twickenham 020 8224 6905, Walton & Weybridge 01932 254333 Theatrebugs Ages: 3.5 to 8 Stories and class plans are designed to ensure they are age appropriate for each of our three different class structures. Stories are filled with characters that children love, such as pirates, explorers, sharks, fairies, superheroes and princesses. NEW After-School Club in Kingston from 4pm to 5pm. In: Kingston, Richmond, Teddington, Claygate, Oxshott, Thames Ditton, Weybridge Phone: Greater London 0800 975 5290, Epsom & Surrounds 01483 882244 The Living Theatre Company Ages: Primary Years & Youth Theatre Tailored drama classes for children, focussing on exercises which build awareness of characters, settings, speech, scripts, physicality, emotion, sense awareness, impro and storytelling. Classes build foundations





Hillsound Musical Tuition Ages 5+ Piano, keyboards, guitar, saxophone, flute, drums, cello, clarinet. All tutors CRB checked. Comfortable but professional learning environment. At: Hillsound Musical Instruments, Hampton Hill Contact: Leonard Lamprell Phone: 020 8977 7788 Email Keys From Heaven Piano tuition for children, parents and parents with babies! Have fun, learn fast, play your favourite songs, take exams! In: Teddington and SW London Contact: Cristian Van Schuerbeck Phone: 07910 208530 Margaret Wood Piano Lessons Qualified and experienced teacher providing tuition (including theory) for

Park Lane Stables Ages: under 21 An official Pony Club Centre where children can learn on a weekly basis about horses and pony care as well as improving their riding, all whilst working towards a variety of badges and achievements. February Half-Term: Open daily with Own a Pony Mornings, badge mornings and riding lessons every day. In: Teddington Phone: 07796 842 328


Ole Kids Ages: 6mths to 10 Ole Kids provide fun, dynamic, artistic and culturally-rich Spanish classes for children and parents including singing, dancing, arts and crafts, music and storytelling. In: Twickenham Contact: Lola Fernandez Phone: 07734 900 221


GBMAA Martial Arts Academy Ages: 4 to 14 The Great Britain Martial Arts Academies are at the forefron of Martial Arts in the UK. Li’l Dragon Programmes ages 4 to 6. Kids Zone ages 7 to 8 and Children’s Programme ages 9 to 14. Children work on their own personal development through non-violent resolutions to conflict, building self-confidence and self-discipline, respecting others, setting goals and working as a team. In: Cobham Contact: Saffron Powers Phone: 0845 177 5001


Fun WithMusic! Music! Fun With

In Central CentralRichmond Richmond In Music Classes for for Music Classes Music Classes for 1-5 Year Olds 1-5 Year Olds 1-5 Year Olds For For more information, more information call: call:

For more information, call:

020-8332-2275 020-8332-2275





ss Christina’s Fun with Music cla e! Ages: 1 to 5 Fre Classes have a good mix of Weekl y ages and are structured to drama-based give the children a secure workshops for children platform for learning. Puppets, aged 18mt hs - 7 years. music, rhytmic movement and percussion instruments are used A fun way to develop your child's to encourage each child’s confidence and communication skills. growth and development. In: Richmond Contact: Christina Northcott Phone: 020 8332 2275 | 020 3222 3085

THE LIVING THEATRE COMPANY Where Imagination Comes to Life Tailored drama classes for 4 to 18 year olds Learn or improve performance skills Perform, have fun, make new friends! WHERE: Feltham

and Ealing

Contact Lisa 07932 799071 January-February 2013


& more Clubs, Classes and activities

clubs, classes activities

exams up to Grade 8 Level. In: Walton on Thames Phone: 07857689396 or email Monkey Music Ages: 3mths to 4 Progressive and educational 4 stage curricula are designed to nurture a lifetime of music. Age appropriate classes. By age 4, children have developed a sound base from which to build a musical future. NEW Saturday classes in Walton. In: Kingston & Surbiton 0208 224 3971, Banstead, Claygate & Esher 01932 223309, Weybridge, Cobham, Hersham & Molesey 0208 224 0096, Kew, Richmond, Twickenham & Teddington 0208 847 4031 Noah’s Ark Music Club Ages: 1 to 4 Offers an individual and fresh approach to music education. Maximum of 12 children per session, giving each child space to enjoy their musical experiences. Your child will be encouraged to develop musical

skills, awareness, confidence, teamwork skills, listening and concentration. Piano and flute lessons also available for children and adults. In: Molesey Contact: Becky Phone: 020 8941 8377 or email Tiny Tunes: Ages 3mths to 5 years Pay As You Go baby and toddler music and movement classes for little ones! Hide under a parachute, wave pom poms, shake maracas, dance with bubbles and sing along! As well as favourite rhymes and songs, Tiny Tunes gets the little ones dancing to some pop classics! In: Richmond, Teddington, Thames Ditton, Twickenham, Surbiton, Cobham, Weybridge, Epsom New in 2013: Barnes! Contact: Lisa Phone: 07977 585020


Little Hamsters Play Cafe Ages: 0 to 5 Relaxed environment, coffee, cakes, lunches. Soft play shapes, ball pool, ride-on toys and various exciting and stimulating table-top activities and puzzles, in a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. Outdoor playground. Indoor and outdoor seating. Free parking, Free Wi-Fi Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am to 2pm term time only. In: Ham Phone: 07432 354274 Teeney Weenies Play Cafe Ages: 0 to 7 Indoor and outdoor toys including trampolines, soft

Approved football training for kids aged 18 months to 7 years

Kingston 020 8286 6038 Richmond 020 3092 131 Weybridge 01932 847439

Where learning’s a ball

Kiddikicks Ages: under 5s Kiddikicks aims to get children and their parents off the couch and into sport and activities using its own unique style of fun, friendly, focused, skills based coaching. NEW franchise opportunities available! In: Brentford, Richmond, Teddington Phone: 020 7937 7965 Little Kickers Ages: 18mths to 7 The real goal of Little Kickers, is to use football as a fun forum to instil extra confidence, co-ordination, control and a sense of camaraderie whilst also recognising that every child is an individual, and that children develop their skills best when playing with other of a similar age and ability. In: Kingston, Richmond, Weybridge Phone: Kingson 020 8286, Richmond 020 3092 1313, Weybridge 01932 847439 Little Rugby Ages: 2 to 5 Little Rugby provides a programme of Coerver Coaching engaging, fun-based games that not Ages: 7 to 17 only build upon core rugby-themed A football skills teaching method for competences such as running, throwing boys and girls of all abilities which and catching, but also encompass broader focuses on individual skills development sports-based skills such as balance, and small group play. It is endorsed and teamwork, physical agility, listening to recommended by the top federations, instructions and hand-eye co-ordination. associations, club teams and leaders in the Free taster session. Classes will be game. Half-Term Clinic will be held at running over February half-term. Kingston on 21 February from 9am to In: Twickenham 3.30pm. Contact: Graham Ware In: Hounslow & Kingston Phone: 0203 092 1313 Contact: Amit Sohal Phone: 020 3544 2284/07947 121213 Rugby Tots Ages: 2 to 7 Champion Aerobic Gymnastics Club Rugbytots is specifically designed play Ages: 4+ programme using the multiple skills Specialises in new, dynamic form of of Rugby to create fun and enjoyable gymnastics which combines strength, environment whilst developing basic flexibility, power, agility and dance. core motor skills. NEW classes in Ham, Performed to fast, upbeat music, Kingston and Hampton. these skills are linked by aerobic style In: Twickenham and Surbiton choreography. Club set up and run by two Phone: 0845 481 6444 times British Aerobic Gymnastics Champion and holds developmental and competitive SportsCoach Richmond sessions. Ages: 4 to 16 In: Teddington SportsCoach provides your child with the Contact: Christina Fossheim/Maxine most exciting, educational and exhausting Rivers 3 hours of their week. The school provides Phone: Christina 07957 394344 Maxine its own high quality, top of the range 07875 139511 equipment, from archery and fencing through to tennis and team building. NEW Footietots Early Sporties Class for girls and boys Ages: 2.5 to 5 aged 4 to 5 years on Saturday from An introduction to the world of fitness and 9am to 10.30am. Early Sporties is a great football, teaching basic skills, scoring lots way to introduce your child to 18 different of goals and having fun on the way. All sports over a year through the team of classes are held indoors. qualified coaches. In: Hampton, Teddington, Twickenham, In: Richmond Heathrow Gym, Esher, Thames Ditton Contact: Grant Phone: 07931 707720 Phone: 0844 3350450 play, bouncy castle, slides, sand and water tables, baby corner and more. Free parking, Free Wi-Fi, drop in registered creche or book online. School delivery and pick up from Collis School. Childcare vouchers accepted for creche and wraparound care. Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 1.30pm all year except bank holidays. In: Teddington Phone: 07940 348726 The Pod Kingston Ages: 0 to 11 The Pod is a two storey soft play installation open 7 days a week for play sessions, private hire and children’s parties. With activities and equipment for all ages up to 11, babies, toddlers and children can be active, use their imaginations and let off steam in a fun, safe environment while parents enjoy a cappucino or a freshly toasted pannini from the riverside cafe. In: Kingston Phone: 020 8399 5427


Join the Pony Club at Park Lane Stables! 9am to 1pm Saturday or Sunday Includes: 1 hour riding lesson, stable management and your own pony to look after! 4pm to 5.30pm Thursday or Friday Stable management sessions – learn about grooming, tack and much more… Work towards badges and achievement awards. Age 6 upwards. No experience necessary Private or group horse riding lessons for adults and children and tailor made birthday parties also available

Open Every Day February Half Term or call 07796 842 328 38

Pottery&Craf t THE


Ceramic Painting Studio for all ages 16a High Street, Thames Ditton 0208 398 6681

Childrens Parties Baby Hand/Foot Prints & Casts Families Welcome Free refreshments Buy One, Get one Free Studio Fee January only! January-February 2013

It’s all about the classics! By Andrew Campbell

One of the premier non-professional musical theatre companies in London, Bros TC, will be staging Oliver! at The Richmond Theatre commencing on 29 January. From the horrors of the workhouse to the criminal underbelly of London, Charles Dicken’s classic novel of the young lad educated in the ways of the petty thief, who is saved by love and kindness, has become one of the best loved musicals of all time. Lionel Bart’s masterpiece is packed with unforgettable songs, including Consider Yourself, You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two, Food Glorious

Food, Oom-Pah-Pah, Where is Love? and the show-stopping As Long As He Needs Me. For more information, visit www. What makes good children’s theatre? A good story told with theatrical flair may be one answer and this certainly applies to the Watermans’ programme for January and February which features a number of exciting productions of classic folk tales. Through a combination of original live music, animation, mask and inventive puppetry new life is breathed into enduring tales including Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk Café, The Fisherman and the Pearl, Red

This is a chance for 1 lucky family to WIN a Family Ticket to see Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, Live On Stage at The Richmond Theatre on Saturday, 2nd or Sunday, 3rd March 2013. The first ever stage version of the BAFTA award-winning pre-school animation is brought to The Richmond Theatre by the makers and producers of Peppa Pig. The Little Kingdom – where everyone is very, very small – is home to Princess Holly and her best friend Ben Elf. Holly is a young fairy princess, who can fly and is learning


Riding Hood’s Magic Purse, Mazymeg and the Honey Bees and The Tinderbox. Aimed at children aged from 3 to 8, these innovative adaptations are designed to engage young minds and spark imaginations. For more information, visit

magic. Ben is an Elf. Elves don’t do magic but Ben is good at making things. Their friend is Gaston the Ladybird. In this exciting, new, musical adventure, Ben and Holly have fun and games helping Gaston clean up his messy cave; they go on a trip to The Big World with tooth-fairy Nanny Plum; and still have time to plan a surprise for King Elf’s birthday party, complete with an unplanned jelly flood. This beautiful story of elves, princesses and childhood innocence will delight all the family.



To Enter: Go to our website and answer the following question:

What is the name of the tooth-fairy in Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom? Closing Date: Friday, 22nd February 2013 (Terms and Conditions Apply)




SAT 2 & SUN 3 MARCH 2013 0844 871 7651



January-February 2013



Property Guide

CHILD’S PLAY! Securing a home near a good school by Samantha Avery

Before you had children, you were probably bemused by the level of anxiety demonstrated by parents playing the School Catchment game - those incredible stories about the lengths to which parents would go to obtain an address close to their preferred school, when their only real chance of getting their child in would have been to pitch a tent in the School Caretaker’s garden! It is only when it’s time for your own children to take part in this lottery, that the pressure mounts and you finally understand the stress this causes. As cash-strapped parents look at their options outside of the private school sector, family homes in catchment areas are in hot demand. Firstly, I must stress that we are incredibly fortunate to live in an area where the majority of state primary schools are, at the very least, rated Good, and so there are really no bad choices to be made. The key then is to choose to live in an area where there is a high concentration of good state schools as this widens your options when you start the application process. Always seek information from schools or the local authority about catchment areas. Never rely on an advert that states that

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a property is within the catchment of a particular school, because catchment areas vary wildly from year to year, and sometimes, even being in the catchment does not guarantee a coveted place. I have heard of one local state school which had 23 siblings in a class of 30 (yet, in previous years, this number had been as low as 5), and where there were consequently only 3 or 4 roads surrounding the school that fell into the catchment that year. If you can’t find a home to buy near your preferred school, renting is an excellent alternative. However, rental property is also in very high demand. There is no doubt that you can pay between 10% and 20% more for a property within a good school zone, but once you have measured the rental cost against the alternative of paying for private education, paying the additional rental is still likely to be the most cost-effective option. We only take on rental properties that we would care to live in ourselves. However, some desperate families DO resort to buying the home of their nightmares to be close to the school of their dreams! Beware of this kind of compromise. Renting a home gives you the flexibility and breathing space to take your time buying a property nearby, once you have succeeded in getting a school place. Be aware though that local councils have wised up to ‘temporaryrenters-who-get-their-kids-into-good-schools’ and may want to see proof of a tenancy agreement of at least 12 months. A popular choice amongst our clients is to rent out their own homes and then rent again in a better location to secure school entry. It’s much quicker process than selling a property and then trying to buy, and means parents can react much more quickly if another change of


Samantha Avery is the founder of Village Properties, a specialist lettings agency with offices in Richmond and Barnes. Sam and her colleagues Joanna and Anna are, between them, mothers to a total of 8 children of varying ages and are very well-qualified to anticipate what you need from a property even before you’ve thought of it yourself! For more information, visit

PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY What could be more important?

By David Saunders

It won’t happen to me..... how often do I hear this? Unfortunately, it can and it does. I know because it happened to me! Before I became involved in the world of insurance, I didn’t understand the importance of protecting myself, my family and my property. One sunny August morning, my 39 year old wife got up for work as usual. Everything was as normal. All was well. Except that, by 9.30am, my wife was dead. She collapsed on the bedroom floor and despite valiant attempts by paramedics, she died of a pulmonary, leaving my two young children and I behind. When I became a Mortgage and Protection Adviser it became my mission to help people understand not only the personally devastating effects of bereavement, but also the financial consequences. If you lose your partner and you have no life insurance, then you may not be able to cover your mortgage payments and may lose

Now booking for our March/April Spring issue! Special features include childcare, Easter Fun and Activities and all our exciting regular features including Education, Clubs and Classes, Property, Mum and Career, Parenting, Family Food and Family Health and Wellbeing. Call Linda on 020 8241 0423/07530 283330 to book or email 40

location is required. At the same time, holding on to your property, means holding on to your investment which has got to be good. See, it’s child’s play!

Buying a new property? Re-mortgaging? Buying to Let? Life or Critical Illness Protection. We have been offering helpful and impartial advice to people all over the UK for many years and can arrange mortgages and mortgage-related insurance products. We are based in Surrey and willing to undertake local travel.

01932 428925 Rosemount Wealth Management is a trading style of Rosemount Financial Solutions Ltd who are an Appointed Representative of Intrinsic Financial and Mortgage Planning Limited, which is authorised and regulated by The Financial Services Authority. Intrinsic Financial and Mortgage Planning Limited is entered on the FSA register (http:/ under reference 440703 and 44071. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Some Buy to Let mortgages are not regulated by the FSA.

January-February 2013


Property Guide NB Pantone Colour 5635

VILLAGE PROPERTIES Specialists in Letting to Corporate and Professional Tenants

020 8392 3996 Unfurnished


Paynesfield Avenue, SW14



Ranelagh Avenue, Barnes

Interior designed 5 bedroom period family home with stunning kitchen with bi-fold doors opening onto the garden, 2 bathrooms, utility and w.c., double reception and garden. Close to Mortlake Station. Available February 2013.

A fabulous period ‘Lion House’ in the heart of Barnes Village offering spacious accommodation of 4 double bedroom, 3 bathroom, family kitchen, w.c., utility room and garden. Close to Barnes Station. Available now.




Sandycombe Road, Kew

Impressive 6 bedroom period house moments from Kew Village, off-street parking, 2 reception rooms, newly fitted kitchen, 2 bathrooms, w.c., cellar and large garden. Close to Kew Station. Available Now.

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Liverpool Road, North Kingston

Detached 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house close to Richmond Park, two reception rooms, w.c., kitchen, large garden, off-street parking and garage. Available Beginning of February 13


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Barnes • Richmond • East Sheen • Mortlake • Kew • St Margarets • Kingston • Twickenham • Ham • Petersham 20 Mortlake High Street, London, SW14 8JN


your home too. Basic life insurance is normally a low cost option. It pays to have critical illness and income protection as well, if you can afford it, but whatever you do, insure your mortgage is covered. Despite repeated attempts to convince him otherwise, a friend of my family thought life insurance was a waste of money. His wife died on 1st October 2012 aged 48 and he now has to sell his home and downsize to a small flat. They had been married only 2 years when their time together was cut short, so not only is he grieving but he will have to leave his safe and familiar environment too. It is my job to make sure people are

aware of the danger of not having the correct type of insurance. Every day I examine peoples’ policies and ensure they are covered in the most cost effective way. Life insurance premiums have fallen in recent years and sometimes people are paying far too much for their cover. A good Protection Review will make ensure the security of your family if the worst happens - if you get sick and can’t work or, worst of all, if you don’t make it out of that crash on the M25.....


David Saunders is from Rosemount Wealth Management in Surrey and offers impartial advice about mortgages and mortgage-related insurance products. For further information, email or visit

“The Best Party Magic” Over 25 years of top entertainment

Dance parties for children age 2 to 6 years Latin music, dancing games, colourful props and lots of fun!

The most amazing magic, plus balloon models, games, party bags… and Harry the white rabbit!

07961 838349

Tim Barnes

(020) 8568 5706 Member of The Magic Circle


fitness and wellbeing Lilli's Cabin

Complementary & Beauty Therapy Facial Massage Waxing Tinting Shaping Manicure Pedicure Australian Body Care Ear Candling Chertsey






. 0789 181 3542

Buy and Sell 244 Ma Petite Ecole





ESHER 020 8224 5672

January-February 2013

Pre-loved Baby, Children and Maternity Goods at our Nearly New Sales Teddington 26 January 2013 and 23 March 2pm to 4pm Hampton 23 February 2013 2pm to 4pm

For stall booking and more information visit

Pilates in Twickenham Bumps, Babies, Beginners welcome

20% discount on private sessions booked in January Free trial classes daytimeThursday 17 January



01932 868113 WEDNESDAYS IN JAN

Free Entry to Painshill Park A beautiful winter walk around England’s most elegant 18th century landscape garden. Time: 10.30am to 4pm. WED 6 FEB

Winter Twig Walk at Painshill Park

Discover how to identify native Bristish tree species without their leaves. Time: 10.30am-12.30pm. Cost: £8/£5. SAT 12 JAN to SUN 24 FEB

Warm Up With Butterflies at RHS Garden Wisley

Exotic butterflies will be released into the Glasshouse to create a tropical paradise. At: Woking, GU23 6QB. Cost: Normal admission. More info: 0845 260 9000


Hovering Steam

Will you make your funnel of steam float up using just the power of magnets? For Ages: 4-11. Booking Required. Time: 11.30am-12.00pm & 2pm-2.30pm. Cost: Normal admission. SUN 3 & 10 FEB

Wacky Water

Create floating water flowers that seem to open by magic and create a bottle flute orchestra. For Ages: 4-11. Booking Required. Time: 11.30am-12.30pm & 2pm-3pm. Cost: Normal admission.

CHERTSEY MUSEUM The Cedars, 33 Windsor Street, Chertsey KT16 8AT

01932 565764

Pantomime Family Fun at Richmond Theatre

Join in the pre-show activities. At: The Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ. Time: 12.30pm & 5.30pm. Cost: Free to ticket holders. More info: 020 8332 4524

Museum Monkeys

Activities aimed at under 5s. Booking required. Time: 9.30am. Cost: £4.50 per child.

Young Archaelogy Club For Ages: 8-16. Booking required. Time: 11.00am-2pm or 2-3.30pm. Cost: £4.50. SAT 2 FEB & SAT 2 MAR

15 Minutes of Fun at Chertsey Museum

Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, TW8 0EN

Free drop in family craft activities. Time: 1.30-3.30pm. Cost: Free. Holiday Activities at Chertsey Museum Booking required. For Ages: 5-12. Time: 11-12.30pm or 2-3.30pm. Cost: £4.50.



Kew Bridge Steam Museum, 020 8568 4757

Tower Challenge

Be a junior engineer and take the challenge to build a tower out of only spaghetti and marshmallows. For Ages: 4-11. Booking Required. Time: 11.30am-12.15pm & 2pm-2.45pm. Cost: Normal admission. SUN 20 JAN

Wind Power

Create a working mini windmill and see how much energy you can generate. For Ages: 7-11. Booking Required. Time: 11.30am-12.00pm & 2pm-2.30pm. Cost: Normal admission.

2PF. Time: 3-5pm. Cost: £6 Children, £4 Adults. More info: 01932 253354 SAT 2 to SUN 3 FEB

Historic Cookery at Hampton Court Palace

Historic cooks are toiling in the Kitchens of King Henry VIII, preparing exotic dishes for his majesty. At: Hampton Court Palace KT8 9AU. More info: 084 4482 7777

Chessington World of Adventures

a wildlife trail and a scavenger hunt. At: Portsmouth Road, Esher KT11 1JE. Time: 10.30am to 4pm. Cost: Normal Admission.

Children’s Half Term Trail at Claremont Landscape Garden

Guaranteed fun whatever the weather! Get some fresh air as you walk around the Garden. Time: 10.00am to 3.30pm. Cost: Normal Admission plus 50p for trail



Free drop-in workshop for families. For Ages: 4+. At: Riverside Twickenham TW1 3DJ Time: 2.00pm-3.30pm. Cost: Free. More info: 020 8831 6000

Learn choreography and songs from the show and perform them at the end of the session. For Ages: 8-11. At: Manor Road, Walton KT12 2PF. Time: 1-4pm. Cost: £20. More info: 01932 253354


MON 18 to FRI 22 FEB

Special Arty Crafty creative fun session making a Valentine’scard. At: Syon Park, Brentford TW8 8JF. Time: 11am-12pm. More info: 020 8847 0946 www.

Half term adventure holiday club for children. Have fun and explore the woods with Wild Learning Forest School. Time: 10.15am to 4pm.

Sunday Afternoon Art at Orleans House Gallery

Mamma Mia Workshop at Riverhouse Arts Centre



Bocketts Farm

Beautiful Birds at Hersham Riverside

Short bird watching walk and some nature arts and crafts. For Ages: Under 5s. At: Burhills Children Centre, New Berry Lane, Hersham KT12 4HR. Time: 10am - 11am. Cost: Free. More info: 01372 474582 SUN 27 JAN & SUN 24 FEB

Lucky Dip Disco at Riverhouse Arts Centre

Retro Disco with bubbles, lights and games. At: Manor Road, Walton KT12

Arty Craft Valentine’s Day at Snakes & Ladders


Half Term Fun at Bocketts Farm

Daily birds of prey (Mon-Fri), early spring lambing, indoor & outdoor activities plus animal handling, tractor rides, pig racing & pony rides. At: Young St, Fetcham KT22 9BS. More info: 01372 363764 SAT 16 to SUN 24 FEB

Birds of Prey at WWT London Wetland Centre

Meet and learn about birds of prey such as owls and peregrines. Expert falconer will be on hand to answer questions. At: Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes SW13 9WT. Time: 10.30am to 4pm. Cost: Free with admission. More info: 020 8409 4400

Children’s Half Term Fun at Painshill Park Try one of the new Wild Trails, includes

Wild Learning at Claremont Landscape Garden

Wild Woodland Camp at Painshill Park

Have a wild time with tracking, wild art, bushcraft and den building. For Ages: 8-13. At: Portsmouth Road, Esher KT11 1JE. Time: 9.30am to 4.30pm. Cost: £150 for 5 days

Half Term Kids Camps at Spelthorne & Sunbury Leisure Centres

Wide range of sporting activities. Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm or 8.30am - 5.30pm. Cost: £17 per day. More info: 01784 493493

Half Term FUN at BENTALLS Free half-term events for kids. At: Third Floor, Bentalls Kingston. More info: TUE 19 & THU 21 FEB

Holiday Activities at Chertsey Museum

Must book. For Ages: 5-12. Time: 11am-12.30pm or 2-3.30pm. Cost: £4.50. SUN 24 FEB

The Seething Festival & Procession in Surbiton

Dig out your fancy dress and come along and join in or watch. Entertainment after the procession. At: Jewsons Yard, Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5PP. Time: 2.30pm - 6.00pm. Cost: Free. More info:


Mum2mum Nearly New Sale in Teddington Teddington Baptist Church, Church Rd, TW11 8PF Time: 2-4pm. More info:

Mum2mum Nearly New Sale in Hersham St Peter’s Church Hall, 1 Burwood Rd, Hersham KT12 4AA Time: 3-5pm. More info: 42

January-February 2013

Claremont Lan

Spelthorne Leisure Centres

RHS Wisley

ndcsape Gardens


Cherished Nearly New Sale in Addlestone

On Sat 9 Feb at Addlestone Community Centre, Garfield Rd, KT15 2NJ Time: 10.30am-12pm. More info: 07931 617339 cherishednearlynew@hotmail. SAT 16 FEB

NCT Nearly New Sale in Twickenham All Hallows Church, Erncroft Way, TW1 1EW

Time: 2.30 - 4pm. More info: 0844 243 6304

Mum2mum Nearly New Sale in Cobham Cobham Village Hall, Lushington Drive, Cobham KT11 2LU

Time: 10.30am -12.30pm. More info: SAT 23 FEB

Mum2mum Nearly New Sale in Hampton The White House, 45 The Avenue, TW12 3RN

Time: 2-4pm. More info:


Perform Pilates Free Trial Class in Twickenham 1st Floor, 20 Church Street, Twickenham TW1 3NJ

Time: 9.30am. Cost: Free Keep that new year resolution by booking a free trial class. More info: 074 2514 3203 TUE 29 JAN 2013

Career Change Workshop in Twickenham Cole Court Centre,150 London Rd, Twickenham TW1 1HD

Time: 7pm to 10pm. Cost: £25 Fun and inspiring workshop designed to help you with the key steps of changing careers and make a realistic action plan. More info: WED 27 FEB

Parenting Seminar in Richmond King’s House School, 68 Kings Road Richmond TW10 6EG

Time: 7.45pm. Cost: £10 ‘Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting’ comes to Richmond. Noël Janis-Norton, author talks about parenting techniques designed to improve children’s cooperation and self-reliance. More info: 020 8487 8500 info@


Booking info: 0844 871 7651


Until 13 Jan. Suzanne Shaw and Tim Vine

shine in this sparkling panto production. Tickets: £10-£29.50.


29 Jan to 2 Feb. See Full Listing on Page

39 Tickets: £12-£25.

January-February 2013

Richmond Theatre. Pantomine Fun Day

Moscow City Ballet Swan Lake

6 & 7 Feb. Moscow City Ballet is currently

at its artistic best. Swan Lake is the signature piece of their entire repertoire. The orchestra, choreography, interpretation, beauty and outstanding virtuoso performance win repeatedly rave reviews. Tickets: £19-£39.50.

Sleeping Beauty

8 to 10 Feb. Sleeping Beauty the

evergreen tale of the love of a handsome prince and beautiful princess, is a glamorous jewel in the repertoire of Moscow City Ballet. Tickets: £19-£39.50.

Chinese State Circus: Yin Tang

Riverhouse Barn Lucky Dip

How High?

18 Feb. A captivating new show with live

music, which explores children’s relationship to the world using the concept of height. For Ages: 3-8.Tickets: £6.50/£5.50. Arts ‘n’ Crafts Free Family Workshops 2pm & 4pm (booking required).

Mazymeg and the Honey

22 Feb. Weaving Dartmoor folklore, an original soundtrack and shape-shifting puppetry this is an enchanting show. Come on an adventure with Albert and see if Mazymeg can save the day. Arts ‘n’ Crafts Free Family Workshops 2.45pm & 4pm (booking required).

The Tinderbox

24 Feb. New life is breathed into Hans

25 & 26 Feb. This unique extravaganza showcases only the best in entertainment; witness acrobats defying gravity as the ancient discipline Icarian Games returns to centre stage. Tickets: £17-£26.

Christian Andersen’s fairy-tale, with puppetry, animation and music to create a memorable and touching puppetry show that will sprinkle its magic over children and adults. For Ages: 4+. Tickets: £6.50/£5.50.

2 & 3 Mar. Join Ben and Holly, and their


Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom

friends on this exciting musical adventure packed full of games, songs and laughter on an enchanting journey through the Magical Kingdom. This beautiful story of elves, princesses and childhood innocence will delight all the family. Tickets: £17-£26.

WATERMANS 40 High Street,Brentford TW8 0DS

Booking info: 020 8232 1010


20 Jan. Using puppets, live animation,

music and sound, Nice is a story of loneliness, hope, friendship and the imagination. For Ages: 4+. Tickets: £6.50/£5.50. Arts ‘n’ Crafts Free Family Workshops 2pm & 4pm (booking required).


27 Jan. Playful production of Rapunzel; a story about a girl who is taken away from what she knows and protected from the things she loves. Told in an inventive, visual and physical style with live music and magical design. For Ages: 3-7. Tickets: £6.50/£5.50.

The Gardener

9 Feb. This is a story that is being forgotten and remembered at the same time. It is being lost and made. As the leaves fall from the branches of Harry’s fading memory they turn into the green shoots of Joe’s new stories. Tickets: £6-£8.

Elephant’s Bridesmaid

16 Mar. A magical musical about

weddings and wombats and the loveliest elephant in the world. Come in your fancy clothes or fancy dress. For Ages: 4 to 104. Tickets: £6-£8.

The Secret Garden

20 to 23 Mar. Red Dress Productions

present this classic, using a mixture of physical theatre, text and puppetry. May not be suitable for younger children as it plays on the darker elements of the story. Tickets: £6-£8.


Booking info: 020 7452 3000

24-26 High Street, Kingston, KT1 1HL

Hansel & Gretel

Magic at the Rose

and Gretel in an intimate and captivating new production for the whole family. For Ages: 7-10. Tickets: £12.

Booking info: 08444 821 556

Showing 20 Jan. A popular annual fund-raising event, illusions, mind-reading and plenty of laughs make this ideal entertainment for the whole family. Tickets: £8-£10.

Rainy Day Bear’s Adventure

Showing on 26 Jan. A fun, interactive adventure full of songs and dancing with a girl named Milly and her favourite toy, “Rainy Day Bear”. For Ages: 2-6. Tickets: £7.

The Dreaming

Showing 1 & 2 Feb. A magical treatment

of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With a cast of 45 of Britain’s most promising young actors and a twelve-piece orchestra. The perfect family show. For: All Ages. Tickets: £8 to £20.


Booking info: 01932 253354

Jack and the Beanstalk Café

Until 26 Jan. Explore the world of Hansel

HAMPTON HILL PLAYHOUSE 90 High Street, Hampton Hill TW12 1NY

Booking info: 0845 838 7529


10 to 12 Jan. A brand new musical

version of this classic Victorian tale. The show is performed by an auditioned cast of children and young actors aged 7-15. Tickets: £10/£9. Booking info: 0208 408 0633


Booking info: 01372 466621

Wind in the Willows

17 to 19 Jan. Claygate Dramatic Society

present this classic children’s favourite. Tickets: Adult £9, Under 14 Free.

Bocketts Farm Park 16th - 24th feb 2013


3 Feb. Watch and giggle as two

full-grown adults play with their food and learn how many beans make five, using shadows, puppets and live music. For Ages: 3-7.Tickets: £6.50/£5.50.

half term fun

The Fisherman and the Pearl


gorgeo newbo us lambs rn due

enjoy free range family fun this february half term!

10 Feb. This is the story of a fisherman’s

love, and a precious gift that gives him knowledge of the creatures below the waves. With puppetry, mask, storytelling and animation. For Ages: 3-7.Tickets: £6.50/£5.50. Arts ‘n’ Crafts Free Family Workshops 2.30pm & 4.30pm (booking required).

› Daily birds of prey flying demonstrations! (Mon-Fri) › Plenty of indoor Plus play and activities! Animal handling, goat milking, › Early Spring tractor rides, pig racing and lambing starts! pony rides daily!

Red Riding Hood’s Magic Purse

17 Feb. A classic story reinvented. Meet an adventurous Red Riding Hood, an independent Granny, and wonderful, Wicked Wolf. Rod and glove puppets, shadow theatre and original music bring this fabulous story to life. For Ages: 3+. Tickets: £6.50/£5.50.

Rose Theatre Magic




£2 off full price farm entry per person

(max 5 people) valid any day from 2nd January 15th February 2013. Only with this voucher.


Enrolling NOW for our new term.

Come along to a free INTRODUCTORY SESSION and see how much FUN your kids can have while growing their skills and confidence.

At The Little Gym we offer a non-competitive, progressive approach to our developmental classes which enable children to reach their greatest potential. Children aged from 4 months to 12 years learn at an age appropriate pace through our structured gymnastics classes which grows new skills and builds confidence during each stage of their childhood. All this while they are just having loads of FUN with our friendly tea team of instructors. That’s what we call Serious FUN! We also do great birthday parties and holiday camps for all ages.

Book your free introductory visit NOW and secure your place. Enrolment available throughout the year. Hampton & Teddington Hampton Hill  TW12 1NY 020 8977 0099

Wandsworth & Fulham Wandsworth, SW18 1DB 020 8874 6567

Chiswick Chiswick  W4 3AN 020 8994 3729

Westfield Westfield shopping centre  W12 7GE 020 8735 0817

Maths & English tuition Explore Learning centres provide maths and English tuition to children aged 5-14, designed to improve knowledge, confidence and enjoyment of learning.

tries new things with relish. She counts the days until she can come back here!”

Explore Parent.

Book your free trial session today to find out how Explore Learning can help your child to gain confidence, enthusiasm and new skills.






As members, children work with tutors who are great role models, enthusiastic about learning and fantastic motivators. The individual focus allows children to work at their own pace – whether they are finding school tricky or are top of the class!

“The hesitancy and lack of confidence that held her back is gone. Now she


Explore helps children make fantastic academic progress, in addition the vibrant atmosphere keeps them engaged and focussed enabling them to have fun while they learn.

Cobham Hampton Hounslow Walton

01932 500 265 020 8979 7117 020 3535 8039 01932 252 033

Families upon Thames is designed by Sarah Harmer and printed by Warners, in Lincolnshire. Copyright, Families upon Thames magazine 2013. Colour transparencies and any other original materials submitted for publication are sent at owner’s risk and, while every care is taken, neither Families nor its agents accept liabilty for loss or damage. Families upon Thames is part of the Families Group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under liscense. We take every care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of the advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequence.

Families upon Thames Issue 86 Jan-Feb 2013  

Families upon Thames Magazine for January and February 2013

Families upon Thames Issue 86 Jan-Feb 2013  

Families upon Thames Magazine for January and February 2013