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ISSUE 75: October 2011



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St. John John’s Church, Matto Lane, Mattock Ealing, Ealing W13 9LA

From Toddlers to Teenagers: ers s:

We welcome children of all abilities

Pete Church, St. Peter’s Southfield Road, C hi h i k L Chiswick, London W4 5JU

Photography by

Gymnastics, Ballet, Dance Dra Drama, ma, ma Street Jazz/Tap, Boys Street Dance and Art.. For Adults: Stretch Workoutt and Body Blitz. z.

TWISTERS classes es are stimulating and fun. n. We are well known for our ur patience and understanding. g g.

For more information call: Hermione on 0208 933 9997 or Louise on 0208 840 4452 Email: w

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert, Broadcaster, Speaker and Author of the Amazon best selling book “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one of the famous black and yellow series and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She has also just launched her 1st Parenting Made Easy app for iPhones and iPads. She is currently writing a new book for Random House called “Parenting Made Easy” which will be available in April 2012. Sue offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children from toddler to teen. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and is the parenting expert for many BBC Radio Stations around the UK. She has a regular monthly parenting phone-in on BBC Radio Surrey & Sussex and her parenting articles are published all over the world. To receive Sue’s free ebook bursting with practical tips and helpful advice from toddler to teen log onto and download it today. 2

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR

October 2011

News & Views Looking for part-time work? 3P is a new west London based Search and Selection agency for people who are looking for part-time and flexible work in the west London. Launched by two working mums, ‘3P Part-Time Professional People’, aims to take the trend for part-time working and build a successful business Amanda Reuben out of it. 25% of the population works part-time but the traditional associations with low paid, low status roles are disappearing. Employers are realising that there is a huge pool of talent that can be tapped into if they are prepared to offer flexibility in more senior roles. Owned by experienced Recruitment Consultants, Amanda Reuben and Samantha Hibbert, 3P serves the business communities of west London and along the M4 corridor. 3P taps into a huge talent pool of accomplished senior Samantha Hibbert professionals who are based in west London and looking for a better work/life balance. Their office is based in Hammersmith Grove, W6. 3P offers two services: full Recruitment Consultancy or Recruitment Short Listing. Focused on working with companies at a mid-senior level, 3P aims to offer west London corporates and SMEs a tailored service that matches their roles with relevant, experienced and skilled individuals. 3P’s candidate pool is handpicked and based locally.

Cover Picture: © Andy Crane Notting Hill & Ealing High School GDST Junior School for Girls Aged 4-11

October brings our big Schools feature. Whatever stage you are at in terms of your child's early education, we have something for you. Parents in West London are gathering at independent schools for tours and talks in the run up to making their choices. It can be a very stressful time. As a family, we were at that stage last year. My big tip – make notes. Once you have looked around a couple of schools and tried to take in all the information, it can get very muddled. Write down what your child is saying as they are going around the schools. And ask questions. Lots of them. Have a look at the Families website – there is plenty of information to help you with the process. Lastly, (and probably the most difficult thing of all), try to keep some sense of perspective. For the vast majority of children, the school years are some of the best years of their lives.

Contents News & Views Education Back to school News from the schools School open dates 2011 Your child's education starts at home What’s On October half term workshops Theatre Weaning baby Mothers' Guilt Classifieds

3-4 6 8-9 12-13 14 16-20 22 23 24-25 26 27 Find us on Facebook Families West is designed by Natalie Schmidt of and printed by Ridgeway Press, 12 Campbell Court, Bramley, Tadley, Hampshire RG26 5EG. Tel 01252 885837. Copyright Families West Magazine 2011. 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 liability for loss or damage. Families West 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 license. We take every care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of the advertisers nor the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequence.

October 2011

Call them on 020 8248 3088

Pre-school Magazine Launches iPad Edition Bayard Magazines has launched an app to bring their titles to the iPad following requests from readers.Titles such as StoryBox, featuring TV favourite SamSam can now be accessed in a far more interactive form than the traditional paper magazine which Bayard has published for more than 15 years. The app has just won the Gold Award from the Parent’s Choice Foundation which is the US’ oldest non-profit guide to quality children’s media and toys. Children can play interactive games and hear the characters speaking. Storybox, both in magazine and iPad form, is aimed at three to six-year-olds. In this first issue, children and parents can enjoy: • • • • • •

an animated book-length story: How about a MOOH? an introduction to science: Why do aeroplanes leave trails in the sky? an animated picture-story: SamSam, the smallest of the big heroes – GumGum the giant animal world: Humpback whales interactive games: dot to dots, colouring, matching game, maze and more a picture-story without words: Pol

It costs £2.49 to download one issue of the magazine from Apple’s iTunes Store, with updates added regularly.

Unique Baby Domain Name Website Launched ched A new website that allows parents and family members to buy their baby’s domain name has been set up, allowing parents to create an online scrapbook for their child, which can be updated every day for the rest of their childhood to allow family members and friends to track the child’s progress. The website acts as a modern version of the more traditional baby-book, allowing new parents to create a fun, simple online diary for their baby and update their information as often as they wish, with information about growth, milestones and photos able to be added. is an ideal gift idea for families. or new parents and their families An annual subscription of £30 allows parents to secure their baby’s domain name, after which they can upload photos and information about their child and share it with friends and family. The website has several features that provide a simple way of sharing a child’s first moments- from their weight and length at birth to the moment that they take their first steps, families can capture their child’s special moments and share them by uploading to the website, which has a user-friendly and comprehensive template for the customer to follow. The domain names are completely secure and password protected, so only those family members or friends that the account holder chooses to share the login information with can then access the page. Parents will also receive a personalised certificate to print and present to their child. Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR


Futunity UK

News & Views

Futunity UK run dance classes, gymnastics classes and free running classes in Uxbridge Town Centre ,and Hillingdon Sports and Leisure centre for children aged 2+ as well as adults. The company teach a wide range of dance classes are from RAD ballet, Contemporary and ISTD Tap to Break Dancing, Street Dance, Hip Hop, and Zumba. Check out their website for full class listings,

New Bilingual Nursery in Paddington Philippe Fraser Bilingual Nurseries is pleased to announce the opening of Les Trois Oursons (meaning "the three little bears") in Paddington on Gloucester Terrace. This new French-English nursery will offer full day-care and pre-school to children from age 1 to 5. Its opening hours will be from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, 47 weeks a year. Its arrival is hotly anticipated after the sell-out success of the other two nurseries in the group. Fraser, a bilingual education specialist who speaks 6 languages says “I've always wanted to open a nursery in Paddington. I know how pleased existing families are with our service on Upper Street in Islington, and I'm excited to be able to offer it to more families with this new setting. All nationalities welcome!” For more information, look at their website:

For more details, contact Futunity UK Head Office 01895 251224, or email

Not ready for school? New research shows that thousands of children are ‘not ready for school’ by the time they reach the age of five. In fact, up to 50% of five-year-olds are not ready for school and as a consequence they are unable to learn properly when they start. Sally Goddard Blythe, a child development expert and director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in Chester, claims that children are failing to develop vital physical and communication skills after being denied interaction with their parents during their early years, as many parents are not engaging them in games, rhymes, music and books. “It’s alarming the proportion of children with immature motor skills when they start school, regardless of intelligence,” says Sally Goddard Blythe, who has released a new book, The Genius of Natural Childhood. “A significant percentage of children have problems they don't need to have. They seem to have missed out on early stages of development.” She believes that much of the reason for this is parents using electronic toys to keep toddlers occupied, rather than interacting with them in a more traditional manner, and that this can affect a child’s development even to the point of the child being wrongly thought to have behavioural problems. “Parents are tired and stressed and you can understand the temptation to put a fretful child in front of the TV or give them an electronic game to keep them quiet for two hours. But what that means is that the baby isn’t socially interacting, listening and learning to take turns when it comes to communicating.” She added: “If they have immature motor skills, it will affect their ability to sit still, pay attention, hold a pencil and even grip a knife and fork properly.” Recently there has also been an Ofsted report that found an increasing number of children are being diagnosed as having special needs.

Usha Patel from the Raviv Practice wrote in to Families West to tell us about a new affordable brain exercise programme for children with learning difficulties Bal-A-Vis-X (Balance -Auditory- Vision- eXercise) is an education programme new to this country. It was developed over a period of thirty years by respected teacher and writer Bill Hubert,from Kansas USA. Why is it effective? Bal-A-Vis-X helps communication across the key regions of the brain such as the visual, the motor and the auditory. The co-operation of these regions together with information transfer across the brain hemispheres is required for effective learning and reading. If this communication does not exist, then it results in the body not being able to implement instructions provided by the brain. This in turn manifests as a learning difficulties. How does it help? Bal-A-Vis-X uses beanbags and racquet balls and incorporates rhythmical throwing/ catching. The exercises vary in complexity and are suited for all levels of ability . It improves eye tracking, auditory processing, sequencing and co-ordination. Who can take up the training ? The workshop is suited for schools but parents with SEN children would also be able to take the training. First UK Training – 3 day workshop 11th 12th and 13th November – BOOK ON-LINE. Bill Hubert has been invited, by Usha Patel of Raviv Practice London / Integrated Brain, to come and train teachers/parents and therapists in this ground breaking programme. She is the first therapist to use this programme in this country. For more information, see video clips of the exercises plus make an on-line visit 07766 837 616. 4

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR

Specsavers Everywoman in Retail Awards The cream of the retail industry gathered at The Savoy on Wednesday 14th September 2011 to recognise and celebrate the achievements of retail’s highest flyers and to announce: Entrepreneur of the Year Winner: AnnMaree Morrison, Director of Labels4Kids Ltd. Like many great business ideas, Labels4Kids was born from personal need when Ann-Maree, the mother of 3 young boys, grew tired of her boys coming home from school with other children’s clothes. Labels4Kids produces vinyl waterproof labels, iron on, stick on and sew on labels for children’s school clothing and general items. The judges were impressed with how Ann Maree has created a dedicated following of supporters from across the globe through an active social-media strategy and online forum for parents and families on her award winning website Many congratulations Ann-Maree! October 2011

October 2011

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR



Back to school Moving on up! A new school year is underway and it’s not just the children who have things to learn. Sarah Ebner takes a look As your child moves up the school, they (and you!) will face all sorts of different issues. Here are three which I’m pretty sure you’ll encounter…

Homework You’ll soon look back upon the days of reading books and learning individual letters as a halcyon time. And if you’re anything like me, you might find that homework is taking up far too much of your – and your child’s – time. The Government is keen to promote homework and offers specific guidelines. These suggest an hour a week for Years 1 and 2, one and a half hours a week for Years 3 and 4, and 30 minutes a day for Years 5 and 6. The idea behind homework is that it builds on what children have learnt at school. The aim is to help learning and encourage children to study on their own and be self-disciplined. It’s not supposed to rely on parents teaching their children new concepts. But for pupils, homework can become a real burden, and doesn’t actually seem to enhance learning a great deal. It’s worth noting that there’s no definite link between homework and student achievement. In fact, for primary-school children, there appears to be no link at all. A review of 75 years’ worth of studies by the University of London’s Institute of Education found that the benefits were negligible. As a child moves up the school, I think homework can help with exam preparation and possibly time-management skills. But I’m not convinced that children need so much of it. However, the reality is that homework does exist, so here are some tips to ease the pain: 1) Find somewhere quiet to do it – not in front of the TV or around loud younger siblings. 2) Set up a workstation – a desk or table rather then the floor. 3) Don’t do it too late – your child, and you, shouldn’t do homework when you’re too tired. 4) Don’t help if you don’t know – it’s confusing if you offer help with maths, but don’t know the methods your child uses. 5) If all else fails, offer bribes – for instance, tell them they can play on the computer only after they’ve finished. 6

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Sport at school You may notice that your child plays a lot less school sport than you used to. PE is part of the National Curriculum, but not a big part. In Key Stage 1, children will take part in some combination of dance, games and gymnastics twice a week, but dancing to nursery rhymes never really appealed to my daughter. In Key Stage 2, they continue with these, but add in athletics, ‘outdoor pursuits’ or swimming (still across only two sessions a week). One major problem is that lots of schools don’t have sporting facilities and playing fields have been sold off (private schools tend to have much better facilities). Many teachers no longer want to spend their free time coaching sport, and, unfortunately, sporty kids tend to play their sports at clubs outside school (or ironically, in after-school clubs on school premises, but run by other people). Do encourage your child to play sport, in or outside school, as it will set them up for life. And take heart: the revised curriculum recently announced by the Government promised an element of competitive sport.

The next step: secondary schools It’s vital for you to start thinking about secondary schools before your child enters Year 6. So, you need to look up OFSTED reports, find out about schools near you and speak to local parents. There may be all sorts of application criteria which you need to address a year or so ahead (for faith schools, for example), and if you’re choosing a school which selects its pupils in some way (either academically or in a particular area such as music) you might want to think about hiring a tutor. You should plan to go on Open Days when your child is in Year 5 (or earlier if you’re very keen!). Don’t choose a school on the basis of your child’s friendships (or yours for that matter). They will make new friends, and you need to make sure this is the right school for their personality and abilities, not anyone else’s. Take advantage of parents’ evenings to find out how your child is doing. Many teachers don’t give very specific information, so you may need to press them. There’s no point entering your child for a selective school if they are not going to get in, or manage the work once they are there.

Sarah Ebner is the author of The Starting School Survival Guide: everything you need to know when your child starts primary school, published by White Ladder and available from bookshops and Amazon,

October 2011


October 2011

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR


Education We asked schools in and around West London to let us know about their new developments. Here is what they told us. Timothy Cook BA (Modern Languages) took up the Headship of Portland Place School at the beginning of academic year 2011/12. Timothy Cook He previously held posts at Head of Middle School and Head of Upper School at Dulwich College, London SE21 (where he spent 14 years) and, most recently, Deputy Head at St Dunstan’s College, London SE6. He is keen to build on the legacy of former Headmaster, Richard Walker. Mr Walker founded the school which is located in Portland Place, London W1 in 1996 and was Headmaster until 2011. Mr Cook says that Portland Place’s holistic ethos aligns directly with his own approach to education in its broadest sense. He believes that “Boys and girls at Portland Place gain a sense of self-worth from being valued for who they are and for what they can contribute. This in turn instils a sense of self-belief, which is the platform for both academic achievement and success in later life.” Telephone the school office (020 7307 8700) or email to arrange an appointment with the Headmaster or to reserve a place on one of the School Tours. Portland Place School is a part of the Alpha Plus Group:

Artist's impression of the new building

Notting Hill and Ealing High School has begun work on £15 million project to provide a new sports hall, dance studio and flexible performance space. The old school hall and gym have been demolished and the project will provide space for assemblies and whole school events transforming the school. During the construction phase they are planning curriculum activities involving the architects, construction company and pupils including an art and design competition and a project blog. Look out for more information on our website 8

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR

Avenue House School is making an exciting new addition to its excellent extra-curricular programme with the introduction of a girls’ football team from September. The girls will be coached by Miss Humberstone and will be learning all aspects of ‘the beautiful game’. The school prides itself on identifying and nurturing each and every pupil’s individual talent, be it academic, artistic or sporting. This latest club is just one of many of a wide variety of after school activities available to pupils, ranging from “The Mad Scientist Club” to ICT, Karate, Art, Choir, Drama, Ballet and more. Children are encouraged to be creative, inquisitive, disciplined and to learn the value of teamwork – all qualities which the main school curriculum also focuses on. The school’s extensive programme of clubs is praised by both parents and inspectors: “The extra-curricular activities which broaden the curriculum are excellent. A full programme of activities, which the pupils thoroughly enjoy, takes place after school… Very good use is made of excellent external facilities for sport and swimming.” (Independent Schools Inspectorate 2010) More information can be found on the school’s website – – under extra-curricular/clubs and activities.

Good Thinking Habits’ at Northwood College start in the Nursery! Girls are encouraged to ask ‘big thinking questions’ about the world around them. The school’s bright, spacious and innovative Early Years Centre, which houses both Nursery and Reception classes, is the perfect environment for this. There are interactive white boards in the classrooms, as well as computers with colour coded keyboards. The library is another area where the girls are encouraged to ask the ‘big questions’ and perhaps find some of the answers. The qualified staff place an emphasis on learning through play. All the classrooms have access to the outdoor play areas which are designed to encourage independent learning and promote physical development. The girls are encouraged to use the space in all weathers and even have their own stock of wellingtons! In Reception (age 4+), there are more opportunities for the girls to socialise and develop friendships. The open plan classroom enables them to develop their social and emotional skills, their language and communication and fosters creative development. Here teaching is more structured and greater emphasis is placed on reading and writing. The best way to experience Northwood’s Early Years Centre is to go and see it for yourself at one of their forthcoming Open events. Please call 01923 825446 for further details or visit Durston House is a very successful preparatory school for boys aged 4 to 13. They aim to provide an outstanding education for our pupils by creating a lively and stimulating environment. Academic excellence, creative arts and wide-ranging sporting opportunities make for a balanced outlook on school life. In the last five years Durston House pupils have gained thirty one academic, music and sports awards to leading senior independent day and boarding schools. On the sporting front, their rugby teams have enjoyed two unbeaten seasons out of the last four, with two members being awarded club-funded scholarships. Prospective parents are invited to attend their Open Morning on Tuesday 18 October. Telephone the Registrar on 020 8991 6532 for more details. October 2011

Education Happy Child owns four highly successful schools in West and North-West London. St Nicholas and Aston House provide care and education for children aged 3 – 11 years, whereas Buxlow and St Christopher's start with reception age to 11 years. All the schools follow the National Curriculum, as well as the Early Years Foundation Stage, with its Six Areas of Learning, for the under 5s. ( Communication Language and Literacy, Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy, Knowledge and Understanding of the World, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Creative Development. Pupils are taught using a carefully structured approach in which confidence and individuality are encouraged. “We aim to inspire a love of learning where children flourish and gain the knowledge, confidence and skills that will stand them in good stead for their future years.Our small and friendly schools are multi-cultural and welcome children of all faiths. Class sizes are restricted to a maximum of 18 pupils. This allows for carefully prepared lessons in which the needs of individuals are taken into account. Our exceptionally high standards of teaching ensure that all our pupils progress to the very best independent schools at the age of 11.”

Headmistress, Mrs Anne Stevens

From Juniors through to Sixth Form, Heathfield School was awarded the highest-possible rating, ‘excellent’ in ISI inspection categories such as pupils’ learning and achievement, curriculum offered and its pastoral care. The report, released in October 2010 and found on their website, is a resounding endorsement of the superb all-round quality of education at Heathfield School. They also had excellent 2011 examination results with an A Level pass rate of 100% with over 80% at A* – B. At GCSE they also had a 100% pass rate, with over 63% at either A* or A. Mrs Anne Stevens, Headmistress from September 2011, says ‘Heathfield is a happy, academic school offering a broad curriculum; excellent teaching and range of opportunities for personal development enabling girls fulfil their potential’.

Further information from the Admissions Secretary, Mrs Smith, on 020 8868 2346 or email

Young people need to go back to learning Art and Science subjects together, like in Victorian times when the UK was at the forefront of design – inventing photography, TV and computers. said Eric Schmidt, Google’s Chief Executive, in his keynote speech at the 2011 Edinburgh TV festival. At Thames Christian College we couldn’t agree more, which is why many of this year’s GCSE students will be studying triple science and maths alongside Art. Thames pupils will also have the opportunity to take part in a ‘Scratch’ Club run by Diane Gorea of Google where they will be given the opportunity to learn fundamental programming concepts in a creative and fun environment. They will also learn how to build their own piece of cyberspace, developing a mobile version of the school website and new Smartphone apps for iPhone and /or Android app. Dave Adkins, Deputy Head and Art Teacher, Thames Christian College comments: “At Thames we take Art seriously by setting real–life commercial briefs and bringing in experts from the IT, ceramics and advertising industries. As well as the Scratch club, we have redesigned the Art curriculum to incorporate Design Technology and enabled pupils to take two Art GCSEs: Graphic Communication and Fine Art.”

ACS Hillingdon International School has installed a brand new playground as part of their Learning through Play programme. The new play area for PreKindergarten to 1st Grade (4-6 year olds) has a variety of activities that take learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom. The recently installed climbing frames, sandpit, weather station, viewing dome for examining plants or bugs from all sides, gardening corner, crooked house for quiet reading, pirate ship, arts corner with paints/chalk boards and a reading chair with toadstool seats are just some of the activities the children can now engage in. There are even covered areas for play in wet weather. The new structured play area gives the children a physical outlet to run, jump, climb and play whilst learning skills for later life, such as math, science, art and literacy. St Benedict's Junior School has issued its first ever book, an anthology of children’s writing, under the title ‘We are Writers.’ Teachers Clemency Stimpfig and Annie Colquhoun had the idea of setting up a Book Project and the results have exceeded their wildest expectations. “We wanted to encourage our pupils to think creatively and shoot for the stars in terms of their literacy potential. We received a huge number of entries – poems, prose, letters and even gory recipes – from Pre-Prep One upwards. The children clearly enjoyed selecting and uploading their pieces, taking personal responsibility for their work. The standard of entry was high, making the selection process extremely difficult, and we have aimed for representation from across all age groups within the School. This literacy project has helped to raise the profile and standard of writing across the School and we owe a debt of gratitude to all of the teachers who gave help, time and advice to their classes to make this enterprise possible.” 020 7228 3933

Say that you saw it mentioned in Families West Magazine. To advertise in future issues of Families West. Please email or phone 020 8930 4707 October 2011

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Education Would you like to advertise in Families West magazine? Please email or phone 020 8930 4707


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October 2011

Education Notting Hill & Ealing High School GDST Junior School for Girls Aged 4-11 26 St. Stephen’s Road, London W13 8HH Developing confident learners in an environment in which girls’ strengths flourish

Open Days Autumn 2011 Friday 7 October at 1.30pm Monday 17 October at 8.45am Friday 11 November at 1.30pm Wednesday 23 November at 8.45am To reserve your place at an Open Day, for further information on occasional vacancies in other year groups or to request a prospectus contact the Admissions Secretary

Tel: 020 8991 2165 Email:

October 2011

Registered Charity No. 306983

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School Open Dates 2011

It’s that time of the year again when schools throw their doors open for parents and children to have a good look round. Some schools need for you to book beforehand so use our handy guide to plan your visits. Name




Contact Details

Portland Place School

56-58 Portland Place, W1B 1NJ


Tours: 4 Oct, 22 Nov. 9.15-11am. Open evening: 3 Oct, 5-6.30pm. Open morning: 5 Nov, 10am-12 noon

020 7307 8700 E:

Southbank International School (Westminster Campus)

63-65 Portland Place, W1B 1QR


14 Nov By appointment

020 7243 3803 E:

Ravenstone Pre-Preparatory School

The Long Garden, Albion Street, London, W2 2AX


By appointment

020 7262 1190 E:

Connaught House School

47 Connaught Square, London, W2 2HL.

4-8B 4-11G

By appointment

020 7262 8830 E:

Pembridge Hall

18 Pembridge Square, W2 4EH


By appointment

020 7229 0121 E:

Barbara Speake Stage School

East Acton Lane, W3 7EG


By appointment

020 8743 1306 E:

International School of London

139 Gunnersbury Avenue, W3 8LG


By appointment

020 8992 5823

Arts Educational Schools London

Cone Ripman House, 14 Bath Road, W4 1LY


4 Oct 5-8pm for Year 7-11 entry, 5 Oct 6-8.30pm for Sixth Form entry. No need to book

020 8987 6666 E:

Orchard House School

16 Newton Grove, W4 1LB


8 Oct 9.45am-12noon

020 8742 8544 E:

Heathfield House School

Turnham Green Church Hall, Heathfield Gardens, W4 4JU


By appointment

0208 994 3385

Chiswick and Bedford Park Preparatory School

Priory House, Priory Avenue, W4 1TX

3-7B 3-11G

By appointment

020 8994 1804 E:

The Falcon School for Boys

2 Burnaby Gardens, Chiswick W4 3DT


15 Oct 10.30am-12.30pm

020 8747 8393 E:

Aston House

Junior School: 1 Aston Road, Ealing, London, W5 2RL Senior School: 10 Montpelier Road, Ealing, London, W5 2QP


10 Oct 9.00 am – 12.00 noon. Call Olive Rhoades, School Secretary to arrange an appointment. 15 Oct 10.00 am – 12.30 p.m. No appointment required

Junior School: 020 8566 7300 E: Senior School: 020 8997 3209 E:

By appointment

020 8992 5189 E:


The Falcon School for Girls

15 Gunnersbury Avenue, London, W5 3XD

Clifton Lodge School

8 Mattock Lane, Ealing, W5 5BG


8 Oct 10am-12noon

020 8579 3662 E:

Durston House

12 Castlebar Road, W5 2DR


18 Oct 10.15am-12.30pm

020 8991 6532 E:

St Benedict’s School

Junior School and Nursery 5, Montpelier Avenue, Ealing, London W5 2XP Senior School and Sixth Form 54, Eaton Rise, Ealing, London W5 2ES


Junior and Senior Open Mornings: 10 Oct, 15 Nov Senior School Open Evening: 20 Oct

Junior & Nursery 020 8862 2054 Senior 020 8862 2254 E:


St Augustine’s Priory

Hillcrest Rd, W5 2JL


13 Oct for Prep and Reception 23 Nov for Form 3 and Year 7

020 8997 2022

Bute House Preparatory School

Luxemburg Gardens, Hammersmith, W6 7EA


By invitation after registration

020 7603 7381

Ravenscourt Park Preparatory School

16 Ravenscourt Avenue, W6 0SL


By appointment

020 8846 9153 E:

Latymer Prep School

36 Upper Mall, Hammersmith W6 9TA


Open days throughout the Autumn term. Telephone for an appointment

0845 638 5700 E:

Latymer Upper School

King Street, Hammersmith London W6 9LR


5 Nov 11+ entrance only. (children in Year 6) Tickets required by advance booking

0845 638 5721 E:

St Paul’s Girls School

Brook Green, W6 7BS


11+ entry: 1 Oct 9am and 11.15am, 5 Oct 5pm, 7 Nov 5pm.

020 7605 4882

Godolphin and Latymer School

Iffley Road, W6 0PG


6 Oct 4.45-7pm No need to book

020 8741 1936 E:

Hawkesdown House

27 Edge St, W8 7PN


By appointment

020 7727 9090

Thomas’s Kensington

17-19 Cottesmore Gardens, W8 5PR


By appointment

020 7361 6500 (Preparatory school) 020 7361 6501 (Lower School) E:

The Lloyd Williamson School

12 Telford Road, W10 5SH

6 mths – 14 yrs

By appointment

020 8962 0345

Bassett House School

60 Bassett Road, W10 6JP

Notting Hill Preparatory 95 Lancaster Rd, SchoolFamilies West PO Box W11 1QQ 32231 London W5 1JR 12


8 Oct 10am-12.30pm. Book in advance

020 8969 0313


By appointment

020 7221 0727 E: October 2011





Contact Details

Southbank International School (Kensington Campus)

36-38 Kensington Park Road, W11 3BU


22 Nov. By appointment

020 7243 3803 E:

Norland Place School

162-166 Holland Park Avenue, W11 4UH

4-8B 4-11G

By appointment

020 7603 9103 E:

Notting Hill and Ealing High School (GDST)

(Junior) 26 St Stephens Rd, W13 8HH (Senior) 2 Cleveland Rd, W13 8AX

4-18G Entry at 4+, 7+, 11+ and 16+

(Junior) Parents Only: 7 Oct 1.30pm, 17 Oct 8.45am, 11 Nov 1.30pm, 23 Nov 8.45am (Senior) Parents Only: 5 Oct 10.45am, 20 Oct 10.45am, 9 Nov 10.45am Open Evening, Parents and girls welcome – no need to book: 12 Oct 4.30pm

Booking essential. Admissions (Mrs Barwell) 020 8991 2165 E:

Avenue House School

70 The Avenue, Ealing W13 8LS


By appointment

020 8998 9981

St James Junior School

Earsby Street, W14 8SH

4-11B 4-10G

15 Oct 10am-12 noon.

020 7348 1793/4 E:

St James Senior Girl’s School

Earsby Street, W14 8SH


Open Morning: 8 Oct 9.30-12.15pm Open Evening: 12 Oct 4.30-7.30pm School in Action: 10 Nov 9-10.45am Sixth Form: 5 Oct 5.30-8pm

020 7348 1748 E:

Fulham Prep School

200 Greyhound Rd, W14 9SD


By appointment

020 7386 2444 E:

Eaton Square School

79 Eccleston Square, SW1V 1PP


By appointment

020 7931 9469 E:

Westminster Under School

Adrian House, 27 Vincent Square, Westminster, SW1P 2NN


7+/8+ entry: 8 Oct 11+ entry: 1 Oct. By appointment

020 7821 5788

Westminster School

Little Dean's Yard, Westminster SW1P 3PF

13-18B – Girls in Sixth Form

By appointment

020 7963 1003

Fulham Pre Prep School

47A Fulham High Street, SW6 3JJ


By appointment

020 7371 9911 E:

Ravenstone Preparatory School and Nursery

24 Elvaston Place, SW7 5NL

2.9 -11

By appointment

020 7225 3131

Thames Christian College

Wye St, SW11 2HB


1 Oct 10am-1pm

020 7228 3933 E:

The Harrodian School

Lonsdale Rd, Barnes, SW13 9QN


11+ Open morning: 12 Oct, 2 Nov Advance booking essential

020 8762 6321 E:

Ibstock Place School

Clarence Lane, Roehampton SW15 5PY


Junior School: 16 Nov 9.30am Senior School: 8 Oct 9.30am-12.30pm

020 8876 9991 E:

Hampton School

Hanworth Road, Hampton Middlesex TW12 3HD

Various dates for open afternoons - phone to book

020 8979 5526 E:

Orley Farm School

South Hill Avenue, Harrow on the Hill Middx HA1 3NU


1 Oct 10am-12pm or Wednesday morning by appointment

020 8869 7634 E:

Harrow School

5 High Street, Harrow on the Hill Middlesex HA1 3HP


5 Nov, 26 Nov

020 8872 8007 E:

Quainton Hall School

Hindes Road, Harrow, HA1 1RX

2-13B 2-7G

1 Oct 10am-12.30pm

020 8427 1304 E:

The John Lyon School

Middle Rd, Harrow on the Hill Middx HA2 0HN


8 Oct 10am-1pm

020 8872 8443 E:

Heathfield School

Beaulieu Drive, Pinner, Middx HA5 1NB


Open Day: 1 Oct 10am-12.30pm Open Evening: 11 Oct 6.30-8pm. Open morning: 3 and 15 Nov 10.30am-12 noon. Pre-booking not required.

020 8868 2346 E:

Northwood College GSA Independent Day School GSA IPS

Maxwell Rd, Northwood, Middx HA6 2YE


15 Oct 9.30am-12.45pm (last tour 12pm) 18 Oct Open Day (school at work, 9.30am and 2.15pm) 19 Oct 6pm for Sixth Form. Book ahead

01923 825446 E:

Merchant Taylors School

Sandy Lodge, Northwood, Middx HA6 2HT


Tours by appointment

01923 845514 E:

ACS Hillingdon International School

Hillingdon Court, Vine Lane Hillingdon, Middlesex, UB10 0BE


By appointment

01895 259771 E:

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School

Butterfly Lane, Elstree, Herts WD6 3AF


1 Oct 1-4pm

020 8266 1700 E:

Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls

Aldenham Road, Elstree, Herts WD6 3BT


Junior School: 1 Oct 10am-12.30pm Senior School: 1 Oct 2-5pm, 6 Oct 6-8.30pm,

October 2011


020 8266 2302 (Junior School & Sixth form entry) 020 8266 2338 (age 11+) E: Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR 13


Your child's education starts at home


Children thrive on encouragement, someone who will listen to them when they are struggling as well as achieving.


What can you do?

How home life can make a big difference in the education of children

Activities that involve reading, listening, writing, number awareness, sequencing, counting and learning to become aware of the world that surrounds them are perfect. They will help encourage a love and understanding of language, maths and science which are basic tools to boost any child’s education. •

Keep a library – A few books placed in reach of your children to pick up any time for browsing or talking about. A recent study conducted in the US found that children coming from a “bookish home” remained in education for around three years longer than young people born into families with empty bookshelves.

Read to your children – Sharing stories and reading together are vital to the development of a child’s literacy skills. Just ten minutes at the start or end of the day will be enough to help them to acquire the skills they need to develop as a reader.

Download free games, activities, and worksheets online – There are many websites offering free activities that encourage basic skill development for children and keep it fun.

Get number crunching – Talk about numbers and show them how useful numbers are in almost everything we do. Measure their height and work out how much they have grown, spot speed signs and funny number plates, say the time out load and how long before the next stop, compare the prices of vegetables in the supermarket and how much money you will need to pay, how long tea will take to cook, how much milk you pour on your cornflakes, etc.

Problem solving – Encourage your children to think things through and work things out for themselves. Ask them why they think metal goes rusty, why the sky is grey, why the Police car makes a noise, etc. Point out things that are different to home – buildings, accents, clothes, food, and customs. Experts suggest giving your child a simple map of where they are going, also following a recipe together are great techniques to boost concentration.

Keep talking – New experiences and discoveries are always stimulating, so encourage your child to try new things. Look for opportunities to talk to your child about their day – children enjoy sharing what they are learning.

Put a pen in their hands – Help them develop their handwriting skills by writing words and sentences for them to copy. Point out examples of lovely handwriting and pictures when you see them, encourage them to ‘sign’ birthday and Christmas cards to their friends, and always get them to sign their own artwork.

By Elisabeth Dolton Did you know that just keeping books in your home can significantly increase your children’s likelihood of going to university and that’s irrespective of background, size of family, where they live, parents occupation or any other social factor? Further research has also shown that the biggest impact on a child’s educational development is reading to them from a very early age. So if your child is starting school for the first time this year, or they are already progressing rapidly through the school years, undertaking a few small activities at home can make a huge difference to the development and education of children and powerfully build on the learning they receive from school.


Activities that involve reading, listening, writing, number awareness, sequencing, counting and learning to become aware of the world that surrounds them are perfect.


Why bother... Most of us want our children to do well at school and a parent’s role in that success cannot be underestimated. Studies in Britain have shown that children who are supported by their families with homework are likely to perform significantly better in academic examinations at 16 years old and beyond than those who do not. Recent reports show boys are still having difficulties with literacy (reading, writing or spelling), and girls having difficulties with numeracy, despite improvements in primary school results. Even the best and brightest teachers can be hard pressed to address the individual needs of every child, especially in a crowded classroom. And what if your child shows a particular interest or aptitude towards a certain topic? A love of physics can start at any age. Similarly, if your child finds a topic difficult, your interest as a parent will help, no matter how well or how fast your child understands what they are being taught. Parent’s small actions can plug these gaps, support children and really boost their development. 14

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR

Overall, making sure your activities with them are fun will make a real difference. Children thrive on encouragement, someone who will listen to them when they are struggling as well as achieving. Giving them a little personal attention that they can’t get in the classroom, all add up to fun learning for your child and peace of mind for you that they are achieving the best they can. October 2011

October 2011

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR


What's On Have a look at our website London-West for more ideas of things to do Out and About

Children playing in the Pattern Pod at the Science Museum

EVENTS RAVIV PRACTICE PRESENTATION ON LEARNING DIFFICULTIES 6 Oct 7.30pm. The aim of the presentation is to talk about the type of Learning Difficulties that exist and how the practice offers effective help for problems such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia ASD, Aspergers' Auditory Processing Disorder and others using The Raviv Method, Fast ForWord® Cogmed Working Memory Training® and new schools based programme Bal-A-Vis-X. Venue; Northolt Village Community Centre, Ealing Road, Northolt Village UB5 6AD. Parents, teachers and professionals welcome to come along. Pre-booking required. Free.

UXBRIDGE NCT NEARLY NEW SALE 8 Oct 1.30-3.30pm, Venue: Vyners School, Warren Rd, Ickenham, Middlesex UB10 8AB

HOLLAND PARK WILDLIFE AREA AUTUMN OPEN DAY 15 Oct 12-4pm, Free family wildlife activities including mini-beast hunting and bird box building. Also find out about new programme of conservation volunteering opportunities in Kensington and Chelsea. Venue: Holland Park Ecology Centre 020 7938 8186

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS WORKSHOP 28 Oct Free workshop about SEN funding hosted by children’s rights lawyer Steve Broach. An opportunity to learn about tribunals and to hear other people’s experiences of securing funding for their child’s needs. Takes place in Lingfield, Surrey. E:

THE BABY SHOW 28-30 Oct at Earl’s Court. Everything dedicated to pregnancy, birth, baby and beyond.

BONFIRE NIGHT/ FIREWORK DISPLAYS IN WEST LONDON Please check for more details and up-to-date information. To date, there are confirmed events at


Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR


5 Nov 7.30pm, Ealing Cricket Club W5 2HS £6 adults £4 children under 14.Bonfire, firework display, bar, bbq, children’s rides.


5 Nov 7.15pm, Ravenscourt Park, W6 OUL £6 adults £4 children, Under 5’s free. www.


Date tbc Maxilla Gardens, W10 6NQ. Giant bonfire, stilt walkers, fire jugglers, and massive fireworks display. Free, entrance from St Marks Road alongside the Westway flyover.


5 Nov Brentham Club, 38 Meadvale Rd, W5 1NP

October 2011

What's On DAYS OUT ODDS FARM PARK Wooburn Common Road, Wooburn Common, High Wycombe, Bucks HP10 0LX 01628 520188 Open everyday 10am-5.30pm, £9.50 adults, £8.50 children, under 2’s free. Children can get up close to whole range of rare breed farm animals as well as play in the heated barn with haybales to climb, a soft play park, indoor sandpit and games area. Special activities in September include Sheep Racing, and a Maize Maze to navigate.

BATTERSEA PARK CHILDREN’S ZOO Battersea Park, Chelsea Bridge Gate, London SW11 020 7924 5826 Daily from 10am. Usual child entrance fee £6 with activities. HALLOWEEN HALF-TERM EVENTS 22-31 Oct. PUMPKIN TRAIL Purchase a quiz sheet upon entry and use the clues to find which animals have put out pumpkins! £1 25 Oct. SLIPPERY SNAKE DAY Create a spooky snake picture and meet a real snake. Drop-in sessions 11am-1pm & 2pm-3.30pm 27 Oct MAKE A TRICK OR TREAT BAG Drop in sessions 11am-1pm & 2pm-3.30pm. 29 Oct. HALLOWEEN FUN DAY: Spooky Face-Painting: £2.50, Guess what’s in the Spooky Box £1, Spooky Colouring in Picture Free, 11am-1pm & 2pm-3.30pm.


Pipistrelle Bat – Credit BCT

Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes SW13 9WT. 020 8409 4400.

22 – 23 Oct. BATS AND SPIDERS WEEKEND Meet Bats and Spiders close up and learn more about these fascinating animals. See some common British spider species and learn how to identify them.

INTRODUCTION TO KEW Free, daily 11am and 1.30pm (throughout the year) The walk lasts for one hour and is a great way to discover Kew’s seasonal highlights and to learn about its history, plants and science.

22-30 Oct HALF TERM FAMILY FUN 10.30am - Storytelling, 11.15am Nature Crafts, 12.30pm Pond Dipping, 2pm Yuk! An interactive show about the horrid habits of wetland wildlife, 3.30pm Pond Dipping.

MELLOW FRUITFULNESS Free, daily at 12pm until the 30th Nov. The tour lasts for 1 hour and celebrates all that is Autumnal – from ripening fruits and seeds to vibrant foliage. (Register 15mns before the tour at the Guide’s Information Desk inside Victoria Gate Plaza.

26, 27 and 29 Oct WOLF TALES PUPPET SHOW 12.30 and 3pm, Based on the tales of Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs. 25 Oct CHILDREN’S PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE 9.30am-1pm, £10 28 Oct HALLOWEEN PARTY 4.30-7.15pm, A bat walk, firelighting, spooky stories and the Yuk interactive show. £10. Booking essential.

LONDON EYE Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB. Book online at to receive 10% off. HALLOWEEN IN A CAPSULE! 22 – 31 Oct 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm STORYTELLING CAPSULE AVAILABLE Willamina has forgotten how to be wicked! Are the children of London Town brave enough to help her read the Wicked Witch’s spell and reinstate her powers? Adult £21, child £11.50, family £65 (2 adults & 2 children under 16)

KEW GARDENS Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB 020 8332 5655 9.30am-6pm £11.90/£13.90, free for children under 17 (with an adult)

Daily 9.30am - 5pm £4.95/ £8.95, under 4s free, family £25.

Highlights for children: Climbers and Creepers and Stag Beetle Loggery.

A spectacular 105 acre wetland landscape of lagoons, lakes and ponds offers a safe haven for hundreds of wild bird species, dragonflies, bats and amphibians.

A LANDSCAPE OF COLOUR: KEW GARDENS IN AUTUMN As the trees shed their summer growth, one of Kew’s most popular attractions – the 18 meter high Xstrata Treetop Walkway – opens up stunning views across the Gardens and the city’s skyline.

TREE IDENTIFICATION TOUR £5, bkg essential. Weds & Saturdays at 1pm from the 1st to the 29th Oct and lasts 90mns. To book call 020 8332 5604 or email

NATIONAL TRUST PROPERTIES HAM HOUSE Ham Street, Ham, Richmond upon Thames TW10 7RS 020 8940 1950 24-27 Oct. FAMILY GHOST TOURS Enjoy spine-chilling family fun on one hour guided tours with spooky stories. Come in fancy dress. 11.30am-12.30pm, adults £8.50, children £6.50. Bkg essential: 0844 249 1895

OSTERLEY PARK Jersey Road, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 4RB 020 8232 5050 29 and 30 Oct. PUMPKIN FESTIVAL 12noon-4pm. Family activities include pumpkin carving and tasting, talks and plenty of games, culminating in the telling of the “Great Pumpkin Story” Come dressed up and get a trick or treat. Free upon normal adm charge. 30 Oct. FAMILY DISCOVERY DAYS 12noon-4pm Hands-on art and craft activities or storytelling for a creative fun day in the house and Garden.

Cooking Parties! • Fun, cooking parties • For boys and girls aged 5-16 years • Cooking classes

Give your child the best party ever! whisking, baking, giggling, rolling, making, laughing, turning, licking, joking

A great way to learn while having fun! Call for details:

0208 876 9912 email: October 2011

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR


What's On TOWER OF LONDON Tower Hill, London EC3 0844 482 7799 Mon-Sat 9am-5.30pm, Sun 10am-5.30pm £10.45/£17.05/£19.80, family £55, under 5 free. Events included in adm. Until 31 Oct THE MENAGERIE 1250-1850 Be introduced to the wonders of nature, the bizarre, the incredible and the frankly unbelievable, as the ‘raries’ and the ‘Curiosities’ of the Tower throughout the ages are revealed as you’ve never seen them before! The true stories of the royal beasts in the style of a 19th century ‘Raree Show’. Until 31 Oct A SOLDIER’S EXPERIENCE (Weekend and Bank Holidays, excl 1-2 Oct) Sergeant Gowing of the Royal Fusiliers describes his recent experiences in the Crimean War. Live costume interpreters bring the history of the Tower to life. POWER HOUSE (in partnership with the Royal Armouries). Discover the stories and personalities behind the major organisations of state, who took care of Royal business behind the mighty Tower walls, from 1100 to the present day, in a new permanent exhibition on the White Tower’s top floor

GALLERIES & MUSEUMS THE WALLACE COLLECTION Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN, 020 7563 9500/ 9551 10am-5pm. Free. EVENTS FOR FAMILIES 22 Oct. THE BIG DRAW: READY, STEADY DRAW! Free, drop-in art workshop for all ages. 24 Oct. TICK TOCK: MAKE A CLOCK 10.30am-12.30pm or 2pm-3pm. Create your own 3D timepiece artwork from sumptuous materials including embossing foil and gold tissue. £7, 7yrs+ 25 Oct. AUTUMN HARVEST: DRAWING, PAINTING AND COLLAGE WORKSHOP 10.30am-12.30pm or 2pm-4pm. Learn new techniques of painting, drawing, decoupage and collage to create your own masterpiece. £7, 7yrs+


Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR

28 Oct. HALLOW’EEN PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT: DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES 10.30am-12.15pm or 2.3.45pm. Free, drop-in workshop of make-up, mask making, lighting and acting to create weird and wonderful version of yourself. Daily: - FAMILY MULTIMEDIA TOUR with interactive games. Small fee. - FREE ARMOUR HANDLING Daily. Find out what a brigandine is and how heavy a bullet-proof breastplate really was. - FAMILY TRAILS Themed family trails available from the information desk at the front Entrance

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE 020 7306 0055, Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun 10am-6pm. Late opening Thu, Fri 10am-9pm. FAMILY EVENTS: Meet in the Ondaatje Wing Main Hall 8 Oct. ANIMATE – THE BIG DRAW 1pm-4pm. Drop-in event. Explore drawing and animation with children’s illustrator and film maker Leigh Hodginkson. All the family will have the chance to make their drawings come to life, there will be a special screening of animations at the end of the afternoon. 3yrs+ 15 Oct. STORYTELLING FOR FAMILIES 10.30am or 1.30pm An exciting story-telling session followed by a fun art activity. 3yrs+ 15 Oct. FAMILY ART WORKSHOP 11.30am or 2.30pm. Explore portraits in the Collection, followed by an art activity. 5yrs+ 24- 28 Oct. CHASING TALES 11.30am or 2.30pm A WEEK OF HALFTERM ACTIVITIES for families inspired by the “Chasing Mirrors” display. Weekdays only. 5yrs+ and their carers. 24-28 Oct. TOUR AND DRAW 11am or 1.30pm. Tour and Draw sessions exploring the Collection. Weekdays only. 3yrs+ and their carers.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM Cromwell Road, London SW7 020 7938 9123. Info: Mon-Fri 020 7942 5000. Sat & Sun 020 7942 5011 Mon-Sat: 10am-5.50pm Sun 11am-5.50pm. Free. EXHIBITIONS: 21 Oct-11 Mar 2012 VEOLIA ENVIRONMENT WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 10am-5.50pm. An exhibition of more than 100 images that uniquely combines the work of talented photographers and gifted amateurs with leading lights of the profession from around the globe. Interactive stations provide insight into what the judges, scientists and the photographers think about each photograph, while encouraging visitors to participate and not just vote for their favorite, but also join the debate surrounding the hot topics of conservation and green issues. £4.50/£9, family £24, ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES: Sats, Suns and School Hol 2pm-5pm HANDS-ON NATURE: DINOSAURS. Visit the handling trolley in “Lasting Impressions” and take a closer look at some interesting specimens with the help of science educators. Free. Mon-Fri in term time. 11am-5pm. DAILY FAMILY ACTIVITES. Free. Younger visitors can pick up an Explorer backpack and take a mini adventure around the Museum. Don’t miss the Dippy floor puzzle, perfect for under 8’s. Complete the puzzle of the 26-metre long “diplodocus” and you’ll get a funky Dippy sticker! 8 & 26 Oct. ANIMAL VISION: CAN YOU REALLY SEE EVERYTHING? 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm £ 1.30pm. Discover how eye adaptations in animals such a snake, iguanas and chameleons allow individuals to escape and locate prey. 7yrs+ 31 Oct NIGHT SAFARI: HALLOWEEN HORRORS The scientists will be bringing out their scariest specimens and will delight you with spine-tingling tales of myth, mystery and medieval witchcraft! 7pm, £28 EVENTS FOR FAMILIES: check the full listing on

October 2011

What's On SCIENCE MUSEUM Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD. Open 10am-6pm. Info & bkg 0870 870 4868. Adm is free but charges apply to some special exhibitions, IMAX cinema and simulator rides ATMOSPHERE: EXPLORING CLIMATE CHANGE “The” destination to explore the science of climate change. Free FLY ZONE With simulator area where you take control in 360 degree flight simulators or fly with the red arrows in a sensational 3D motion effects theatre. Charges apply. LAUNCHPAD SCIENCE SHOWS Launch a rocket, turn your head into a sound box, control a magnetic cloud and play with 50 more brand new interactive exhibits demonstrating light, sound, electricity and magnetism and more amazing physics phenomena. Free. 8-14yrs. COCKROACH TOURS:Visitors will be invited to take the form of cockroaches, dressing up in realistic costumes and journey through the museum exploring the impact of climate and scientific development on one of the oldest and most resilient life forms on the planet. Book on 0870 8704868. Every weekend until Dec 2011. Until 13 Nov. PROTOMODEL British Artist Conrad Shawcross has created a series of five small –scale artworks dispersed throughout the “Mathematics” gallery. This exhibition opens up a playful, questioning dialogue exploring how model-making, natural processes, cultural practices and historical circumstances all play their part in mathematical thinking.

NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HT 020 7730 0717 Daily 10am-5.30pm. Free EXHIBITIONS: DRAW YOUR WEAPONS – THE ART OF "COMMANDO" COMICS. A colourful and dynamic exhibition exploring the history of the war comic from its initial conception and subject matter to its continuing popularity. Free From 22 Oct. WAR HORSE: FACT & FICTION A new major exhibition exploring the true history behind the hugely popular “War Horse” novel by Michael Morpugo. Free.

HALF TERM SPECIAL 22-30 Oct. HORSE SOLDIERS Join cavalry soldiers from the Boer War and the Second World War and find out more about the lives of horse soldiers. Get up close to Cavalry objects from the Museum’s handling Collection and take part in creative activities. ACTIONS ZONES – VICTORIAN SOLDIERS ACTION ZONE Quizzes, games and hands-on activities help you learn about life as a Victorian Soldier and the part they played in the shaping of Britain’s Empire. Free, in “Changing the World Gallery”. KID’S ZONE Daily 10.10am-5.15pm. This new children’s play area explores aspects of army life from camping to clothing and includes a dedicated soft play space for babies, plus art and crafts, dressing-up costumes, books, interactive toys and panels. Adm charge applies.

IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM LONDON Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ 10am-6pm 020 7416 5320/5321 EXHIBITIONS To 30 Oct. ONCE UPON A WARTIME: CLASSIC WAR STORIES FOR CHILDREN The exhibition delves into the pages of wellloved books, bringing five stories of war dramatically to life. Behind the scenes of the stories, see what inspired the authors to write their books, and find out about the historical context of each story through objects, photographs and films. £3.95 to £5.95, family £12.50. To 26 Feb 2012 MEMORY REMAINS: 9/11 ARTEFACTS AT HANGAR 17 by Francesco Torres. Following the devastation of the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, the recovery effort began and the 16-acre site underwent the careful and lengthy process of being cleared. A small group of architects and curators slowly began to fill the empty shell of Hangar 17 at JFK International Airport with debris and material cleared from the site, transforming it into a storehouse of memories. Artist Francesco Torres, commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, was granted access to explore inside the hangar

and produced an extensive series of photographs reflecting on the emotional power of what remained after 9/11 HALF TERM FAMILY ACTIVITIES 22-30 Oct WAR HORSE: MAKING A SCENE 11am-11.45am, 12-12.45pm, 2pm2.45pm, 3pm-3.45pm. Design and make your own shadow puppets, depicting key scenes from the story of War Horse. Free drop-in. 6yrs+.

The Kensington Gardens Nursery School Lancaster Gate – Bayswater – Notting Hill Gate

Bilingual Nursery School French/English For children 2-5 years. (Toddlers group from 1yr) • 9h-12h part time • 9h-15h full time For a brochure please call Marie-Laurence Edmonstone 020 7259 21 51 Or email:

The Spanish Nursery School Lancaster Gate – Bayswater – Notting Hill Gate

Bilingual Nursery School Spanish/English For children 2-5 years. (Toddlers group from 1yr) • 9h-12h part time • 9h-15h full time For a brochure please call Marie-Laurence Edmonstone 020 7259 21 51 Or email:

To advertise in Families West please email adverts@ or phone 020 8930 4707 When you contact us, please say that you saw our advert in Families West!

October 2011

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR




Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA, 020 8983 5200,

Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX 020 7930 3070

Daily 10am-5.45pm. Free.



CRAFT ACTIVITIES based on the history of the household Cavalry. 11.30am (45mns). Children free with fee paying adult. Small charge for material. Bkg recommended.

To 26 Feb 2012. THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES. This exhibition explores the darker side of traditional fairy tales. The gallery has been transformed into a creepy forest, an installation based on the Brothers Grimm tale Fundevogel made with the help of local schoolchildren. 8 Oct-4 Mar 2012. MAGIC WORLDS The exhibition will delve into the captivating world of magic, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the imaginary and fantastical realms of witches, wizards, fairies, elves, dragons, magicians and illusionists. On display will be costumes, tricks, paintings, ceramics, beautifully illustrated books and posters, games optical toys and dramatic puppets. Free. HALF-TERM ACTIVITIES 24-28 Oct. MAGIC AND MAKE BELIEVE 11am-4pm A week of arts & crafts, performance and storytelling. Marvel at walkabout magicians, watch shadow puppet storytelling based on Julia Donaldson’s “the Magic Paintbrush” (10.30am, 11.15am and 12noon), take a prize-winning trail and make a magician’s hat (2pm-4pm) Drop-in, all ages. 24-28 Oct. SIMPLY MAGIC WITH DAVID WEEKS 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm. A week of spellbinding shows led celebrity magician. There are three 45mns shows to choose from, tailored to children age 6 and under (11.30am) or age 7+ (1.30pm & 3pm) £3. Bkg taken from Mon 10 Oct. 25 Oct. FAMILY FILM WORKSHOP: DADS IN DEMAND Dads! Come and create a stop motion animation film with the kids for a chance to see your name in lights at the national film premiere in London. Run by Campaign for Learning. Bkg taken from Tue 11 Oct. 3-14 yrs.

DETECTIVE TRAIL all week around the Museum and certificates for completed trails. 25 Oct. STORYTELLING 2.15pm. 3-8yrs.

BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH 020 7601 5545 Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm. Free. The Bank of England Museum tells the story of its foundation in 1694 to its role today as the United Kingdom's central bank The historical displays include material drawn from the Bank's own collections of books, documents, silver, prints, paintings, banknotes, coins and photographs. There is a display of gold, including Roman and modern gold bars, alongside pikes and muskets once used to defend the Bank. Computer technology and audio visual displays explain the Bank's present day role. 24-28 Oct. THE BIG DRAW – DESIGNS ON YOUR MONEY 10am-4.30pm. Visitors learn about the sophisticated security features contained within banknotes, before designing their own secure notes. Event includes a competition with prizes to be won.

DESIGN MUSEUM Shad Thames, City of London SE1 2YD 020 7403 6933 Workshops are suitable for children 5-11yrs. Children must be accompanied by an adult. £4 for children, £8.50 for accompanying adults, price includes entry to exhibitions. 23 Oct. FAMILY DRAWING TOUR 2.30pm. This half hour tour begins with a general introduction to the museum and exhibition and then invites you to discover the iconic objects in the museum collection. Material provided. 7yrs+. Free. Bkg essential. 24 Oct-26 Oct. GET INTO…DESIGN. 3 DAY HALF-TERM COURSE FOR 12-16YRS 10.30am-3.30pm each day. £125. This course aims to offer participants a chance to work with industry professionals to develop their interest in design and will culminate in a final celebration and display of work for family and friends to attend. Booking: 020 7940 8782 or


Household Cavalry Museum 20

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR

Please visit the websites for full details of children activities. and

MUSEUM OF LONDON London Wall, EC2Y 5HN 020 7001 9844. Open daily 10am-6pm 16 Oct. MUSEUM EXPLORED 11.30am-1.30pm & 2pm-4pm. Join one of the Museum hosts and explore the galleries through fun, hands-on activities. 5yrs and the whole family. HALF-TERM ACTIVITIES lots and lots! Here some highlights, check the website for full schedule: 22 Oct. FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AND SHADOW 12.30pm-2pm & 2.30pm-4pm. Explore the story behind the Hindu Festival of Light and make a shadow puppet to take home. 5yrs+. Free 25 Oct. MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME 12.30pm-2pm & 2.30pm -4pm. Explore how homes and clothes have changed since the 1960s. Put yourself in a picture and design your own 1960s inspired outfit. 5yrs+. Free. 28 Oct. PARTY FIT FOR A QUEEN 1pm-1.30pm, 2pm-2.30pm, 3pm-3.30pm. With our storyteller, join the festivities and street parties put on in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. 5yrs+. Free. 30 Oct. LET’S DANCE 11.30am-1.30pm & 2pm-4pm. Get dancing with one of the Museum’s hosts and get into the grooves in the 1960’s. 5yrs+. Free.

MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS West India Quay, E14 4AL 020 7001 9844. Open daily 10am-6pm. EXHIBITION To 30 Oct. PIRATES: THE CAPTAIN KIDD STORY From cannons and hidden treasure maps to female pirates and gibbet cages, the exhibition will explore the myths and mysteries surrounding common perceptions of pirates. 17th and 8th century English society will also be explored, looking at gruesome ritual executions and the greed and manipulation of the infamous East India Company. HALF-TERM ACTIVITIES lots and lots! Here some highlights, check the website for full schedule: 22 Oct. PIRATE TREASURE 12.30pm-1.30pm & 2.30pm-3.30pm. Find out about different types of pirate treasure. Design and make a giant coin to take away and paint at home. 5yrs+. Free. 26 Oct. MAKE A HAT 12.30pm-1.30pm & 2.30pm-3.30pm. Make a tricorn hat like a pirate would wear. 4yrs+. Free. 28 Oct. ALL ABOARD! 12.30pm-1.30pm & 2.30pm-3.30pm. We need your help to finish our ship. Make a sail, mast or something we need on board. 4yrs+. Free. 30 Oct. A PIRATE’S LIFE FOR ME 12.30pm-1pm, 2.30pm-3pm & 3.30pm-4pm. Meet our pirate and learn the truth about life in the old port of London and on the high seas. 7yrs+. Free. October 2011

October 2011

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR


October half term workshops Arts and Crafts

W4 Art Club 24-28 Oct HALLOWEEN HORRORS Art for children aged 16 mths+ to 11 years. 9.30am for under 5’s (accompanied by an adult) to have fun splattering, spraying, splashing , sloshing, painting with big brushes, rollers and fly swappers, cutting and sticking. Join at 10.30am for more energetic ‘painting’ and making of Halloween creatures .11.45 is Poisonous Edible Art Time. Advanced arty afternoon sessions subject to demand, for age 7+ (All day care inc lunch may be available) E: 0778 959 9931 Venue: 58 Harvard Road, W4 4ED

Corner Nine Art Kiddikicks



24-28 Oct DRAMA AND ART PROJECT 10am- 12 noon for age 8+ Free. Detective Mystery Workshop- develop an art installation, paint and draw, learn special make up and sound effects and take part in a performance where the audience has to solve a crime mystery. Booking essential. Venue: 9 Dalgarno Gardens, London W10 5LL 07763 472516 E:,

24-28 Oct. HALF-TERM SESSIONS – Kiddikicks (football 18m to 5 years), Kiddisports (Multi-sport 18m to 5 years) and Ligasoccer (football under 8’s) sessions run throughout half-term. Or arrange a bespoke session (1 to 3 hours) for your player and their friends: pick your sport and they’ll provide the coach, equipment and place. Call 020 7937 7965, email,

23 Oct CAMERA CAPERS 11am and 2pm, for ages 8+ Create your own working pin-hole camera, and get snapping. The workshop also includes a chance to view the museum’s Rothschild photographic exhibition, the colours of Another. Free. Book on 020 8992 2247.

The Little Foxes Club

The William Morris Society

24-28 Oct HALF TERM CAMP for ages 18 months to 12 years. 10am-3pm, Football Camp in Hyde Park. Daily bookings can be made on the field on a pay and play basis. Fun packed days of matches and tournaments with medals and trophies to be won at the end of the week. 020 7376 0006 e:

27 Oct ARTS AND CRAFTS WORKSHOPS for ages 6+ 10:30am – 12noon. Free. Create an Autumn Collage – Investigate the textiles and wallpapers of William Morris to develop your own autumn collage with our selection of fabrics, ribbons, sequins and buttons. 12:30 – 2pm Autumn Bag Designing Make a really useful bag – Morris’s swirling leaves, glowing fruit and enchanting flowers will be the inspiration to produce your own design which will be transferred onto a cotton bag. Venue: William Morris Society, Kelmscott House, 26 Upper Mall, London W6 9TA 020 8741 3735

London School of Tennis 25-28 Oct TENNIS CAMP at Trailfinders in Ealing


Grant Museum of Zoology 22 Oct 11am-4pm, and 24-28 Oct 1-5pm, drop-in, free, no need to book. Event: DINOS, DODOS AND DUGONGS – Family activity for Bloomsbury Festival. Discover creatures ranging from endangered to long ago extinct in the Museum’s super specimen-based activities. Take the chance to discover dinosaurs, marvel at mammoths, tickle tigers and handle hippos with our skulls, skins, skeletons, scales and fossils. Venue: Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE 020 3108 2052 5 Nov 10.30am-4pm, FESTIVAL OF GEOLOGY. Handle fantastic fossils, marvellous minerals and remarkable rocks. Try your hand at gem panning, identifying minerals and casting fossils; or come and listen to talks ranging from dinosaurs to volcanoes and much more. Field trips will be taking place on 6th Nov. Venue: Wilkins Building, University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT 020 7434 9298


Gunnersbury Park Museum

Pitzhanger Manor Gallery 25-27 Oct ART WORKSHOPS Create artwork in response to a visit to the PM Gallery. 10am-12 noon and 2-4pm, for ages 5-11 (Tue), age 4-7 (Weds) and ages 7-11. (Thurs). Learn how to make your own colourful containers from recycled materials using basket weaving techniques, collage onto paper tableware and celebrate Halloween by making scary creatures. drawing activities. E: 020 8567 1227 or drop in during normal opening hours to book.

Fimo Clay 25 and 31 Oct CRAFT ACTIVITY SESSIONS DURING THE HALF TERM HOLIDAY 10am-4pm, Fun and creative session for ages 6+ in West London. Call Clare McKnight 020 8992 3767 email:

Kite Studios 24-29 Oct ART WORKSHOPS For ages 4-8, 10-11.30am and for ages 8-15, 12-4pm at 2b Bassein Park Rd, W12 9RY 020 8576 6278 or e:

Cookie Crumbles 24 Oct SIFT, WHISK AND BAKE 10-12.30pm for ages 4+ Make Cinnamon rolls, apple muffins, pizza bread and chocolate chip cookies. 26 Oct URBAN FOODIE TRIP – MADRAS 2-6pm for ages 9-16. Make home-made naan bread, samosas, curries, mango lassie and delicious kulfi ice cream. 28 Oct LITTLE HALLOWEEN COOKING PARTY 10am- 12.30pm for ages 4-8. Marshmallow ghouls and ghosts, home-made black pasta and green edible slime. 28 Oct BIG HALLOWEEN PARTY 2 – 6pm for ages 9-15. Scary cakes, exploding drinks, bone bread and more spooky food is on the menu Venue: Maggie and Rose, 58 Pembroke Rd, London W8 0845 6014173 22

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Cookie Crumbles October 2011

dark. A moonlit adventure, based on the classic children’s book by Jill Tomlinson, is brought to life with live music, puppetry and storytelling.

Theatre BILLY THE KID until 30 Oct. A heart-warming story of football, war and dreams for ages 8+ The only thing Billy ever wanted to do was play for Chelsea - and his dream came true when he was signed by the club to become a champion striker for the first team. But that was 1939. Then the Second World War began and Billy’s life changed forever. Will Billy the Kid ever play for his beloved Chelsea again?

8 Oct 11am and 1pm, for ages 3-7. (Messy Play at 12noon and 2pm). A little bird loves the songs of a Parisian street musician so much so that when all the other birds fly away for the winter she stays behind. A story about making music, finding a friend and learning how to fly. Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, W6 0QL 0871 22 117 22

Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, Southwark, London SE1 2HZ 020 7645 0560 GO! GO! GO! SHOW 1-15 Oct A family pop musical in which Holly, Steve, Jade, Carl and Gemma awake one morning to discover that their socks are missing and the culprit is a cheeky little creature called the Fluffalope which likes nothing more than to munch his way through a tasty pile of socks. So they embark on a quest to catch him. Brand new pop songs, catchy dance moves, magic and laughter. Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0HH HORRIBLE HISTORIES 4-15 Oct Two shows to choose from – The Awful Egyptians and The Ruthless Romans, the stage adaptation of Terry Dreary’s books. The Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH UNDER A FOREIGN SKY 4 – 8 Oct for age 13+ Three young immigrants have made the journey to Britain for a new start bound by a journey and a shadow that looms above. Inspired by the global economic crisis and its portrayal in the media, this play asks what happens to young migrants when they try to start again Under a Foreign Sky. Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, Southwark, London SE1 2HZ 020 7645 0560 October 2011



CIRCLE OF TALES 9 Oct 3pm for ages 4+ A woman called Mazandaba sets out to search for stories, after hunting up and down she is told by the wise Elephant where to find the secret of wonderful tales to tell. Unique wood and wire puppets and African instruments. Watermans, 40 High St, Brentford, TW8 0DS 020 8232 1010 UGLY DUCKLING 15 Oct 11am and 1pm, for ages 3-7. A new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s muchloved tale. Journey through the seasons with the troubled little ducking as he searches for the place he belongs. Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, W6 0QL 0871 22 117 22 THE DIVING BELLE 16 Oct 3pm, for ages 4+. The magical world of Belle’s Carousel Café, Tom the lighthouse keeper and the glittering undersea life that surrounds these friends. Everything seems fine and dandy, until one day a storm brews up! Must Belle reveal her magical secret…? Watermans, 40 High St, Brentford, TW8 0DS 020 8232 1010

22 Oct 11am and 1.30pm, for ages 3-7. (Messy play at 12noon and 2.30pm). Meet two competing friends in this new adaptation of Aesop’s fable; a story about opposites, time and friendship in the greatest race on earth with a nail biting, seconds ticking, medalwinning end. Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, W6 0QL 0871 22 117 22 THE THREE PIGS AND THE WOLF PLUS CAPTAIN GRIMEY 22-28 Oct 3pm, for ages 3-7. A double bill starting with a lively show that breathes new life into the wellknown characters of the Three Little Pigs story. Then, Captain Grimey is the most miserable one-legged sea captain in the world. It's not until the golden dolphin befriends him and helps him to see the error of his ways, that he becomes Captain Shiney and finds true happiness. Puppet Theatre Barge, Little Venice, Blomfield Rd, London W9 2PF 020 7249 6876 THE UNLIKELY TALES OF MOLLY MOONSHINE 23 Oct 3pm, for ages 4+ Molly Moonshine, lady traveller and unreliable raconteur tells the tallest stories you’ll ever hear, drawn from her long life and dubious journeying. An interactive storytelling experience. Watermans, 40 High St, Brentford, TW8 0DS 020 8232 1010 THE OWL WHO WAS AFRAID OF THE DARK 25-30 Oct 11am and 1pm, for ages 2-7. (Messy play 12noon and 2pm on 29 Oct). Plop, the baby barn owl, is exactly the same as every barn owl, except he is afraid of the

Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, W6 0QL 0871 22 117 22 VIDEK’S SHIRT 25-30 Oct For ages 2-5, a much loved traditional Slovenian children’s story about Videk, a small boy who is very friendly with all the animals in the countryside. One day the wind blows away his raggedy shirt. Videk is cold – who can help him? Come with Videk and his animal friends and learn how the sheep’s wool is made into a lovely new warm shirt. An interactive story with puppets, song, live music and audience participation. Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, Southwark, London SE1 2HZ 020 7645 0560 THE PEA, THE BEAN & THE ENORMOUS TURNIP 25 Oct 1.30pm for ages 4-11. A tale of three famous vegetables! Watermans, 40 High St, Brentford, TW8 0DS 020 8232 1010 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 27 Oct 2pm, for ages 5-11. An old woman who claims to be a princess and a reluctant security guard uses music, song, puppetry and projection to play out the traditional tale of Beauty and the Beast. Watermans, 40 High St, Brentford, TW8 0DS 020 8232 1010 THE SELFISH GIANT 30 Oct 3p, for ages 5+ An exciting new collaboration of theatre and movement is used to perform the much-loved tale by Oscar Wilde. Family workshop for ages 5+ at 1pm and 4pm. Watermans, 40 High St, Brentford, TW8 0DS 020 8232 1010

Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR


Weaning baby By Joanna Parry

When to do it Department of Health guidelines recommend that the best time to start weaning is 6 months, as it is thought the stomachs of younger babies aren’t mature enough to cope with a more diverse diet, and that early weaning can increase the risk of infections and the development of allergies like eczema and asthma. Premature babies may not be ready by 6 months so consult your health visitor before introducing solids. Often, it’s best to be guided by your own baby. Babies can be ready for weaning if they: • • • • •

show interest in the food you or your older children are eating can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady can look at food, grab it and put it in their mouths by themselves have doubled their birth weight can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will tend to spit their food out and get more on their faces than in their mouths.

Never start weaning before your baby is 17 weeks old or put solids such as baby rice or rusk into your baby’s bottle. And remember, there is no rush to wean!

Getting started Bebe Pod Flex Plus Pink with Baby Stockist: Prince Lionheart

The great weaning debate When to start? What is Lactose Intolerance? Fantastic tried and tested tips It’s one of the questions that is bound to be on your mind if you have a young baby: when is the right time to wean? Over the years the guidelines have changed. Many of our parents gave us rusks in our milk when we were only a couple of months old, and when I had my first child nearly 6 years ago I was advised to start weaning as early as 4 months. Now, many mums wait until their baby is 6 months. Either way, weaning need not be a huge chore. 24

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Many parents start with baby rice mixed with formula or breast milk to get them used to a new texture. Move on to sweet vegetables like carrots, sweet potato and parsnip and fruits – apple, pear, peach and mango. Mashed bananas and avocados are good choices as they don’t need to be cooked. After introducing single tastes, move on to combinations such as potato and parsnip, leak and peas, plum and pear. Once you are well established on the first foods introduce protein – fish and chicken are good as they have a mild taste and can be mixed with vegetables. As your baby starts to chew, mash their food instead of pureeing and gradually let the lumps get bigger. By the time your baby is about seven months old it should be eating solids three times a day, which could include vegetables like courgette, broccoli and spinach as well as meat, fish, hard-boiled egg and cheese. At around this time you can introduce finger foods such as soft-cooked carrots, pasta, slices of melon, strips of omelette or buttered toast, which encourage your baby to chew and will help with their pincer grip. Always stay close to your baby when they have finger foods in case they choke. October 2011

Babies Remember, solid food shouldn’t replace formula or breast milk. Babies between the ages of 6 to 9 months still need at least 16oz of milk daily.

Top tips • • • • • •

choose a time of day when your baby is not too tired or hungry – late morning is good add milk to new tastes to encourage baby to try them once they’re used to a taste, move that food to the evening meal and introduce another food at lunchtime as long as you don’t wean your baby before 6 months there’s no need to sterilise feeding utensils puree your own food if you’ve used very little or no salt in its preparation make purees in a large batch and freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen pop them into labelled freezer bags

You DON’T need to cook everything yourself! There are some fantastic foods on the market that are just as nutritious and ‘homemade’ as if you cooked them yourself. Just more pricey and with packaging that is often difficult to recycle. Check out,, and


Never start weaning before your baby is 17 weeks old

Other allergies can be more difficult to detect, especially if they have delayed allergies. These are sometimes called food intolerances and tend to be more of a problem in infancy. Delayed allergies may cause symptoms such as eczema, reflux, colic, poor growth, diarrhoea or constipation. However, all of these symptoms commonly occur during childhood and an allergy may not be the cause. Trying to work out if the problem is due to a food allergy can be difficult and requires the help of an experienced doctor. However, exclusion diets may be possible with the help of a dietician. Lactose intolerance is not an allergy but is the inability to digest the sugar in milk. Once the problem is dealt with and the gut has recovered the intolerance will disappear, but while the condition lasts it can be managed by using a soy-based or lowlactose formula. Most babies grow out of lactose intolerance by 6 - 9 months. Gluten sensitivity can cause celiac disease which, although rare, can be serious. Symptoms of gluten intolerance include loss of appetite, poor growth, swollen abdomen and pale, bulky and smelly stools. Foods containing gluten i.e. anything made from wheat, rye, barley or oats should not be introduced into any baby’s diet before 6 months. When buying baby cereals choose gluten-free varieties and look for gluten-free products such as soy, corn, rice, buckwheat spaghetti and potato flours. The good news is that many children grow out of their allergies. In the meantime there are a range of products from soya yoghurts to dairy free chocolate buttons, lactose- and glutenfree at,,,

Making it easy


Going veggie?

There are some great products around that can make life easier when weaning:

There are no medical or health reasons against raising your baby as vegetarian, providing you feed them a well balanced diet. You can make sure your baby has enough iron through pulses, dried fruits, fortified cereals and green vegetables. Vitamin C helps absorption of iron from food so include fruit or juice in the same meal as iron-rich foods. Protein can be obtained from pulses, egg, dairy products, tofu, bread and meat substitutes.

the Beaba Babycook is pricey but cooks, purees and reheats all in one. £90 from,, Another one-stop-feeding-shop is Babymoov Bebedelice, £70 from or

the clip-on metoo (£33.95) from is great if you don’t want a bulky highchair cluttering your kitchen. They also do a tiny folding highchair called the lobster (£59.95). Chairs that convert into a child’s seat are popular, such as the Stokke Tripp Trapp from do a similar one for £160.

invest in some wipe-clean tabards for complete cover. £14.00

food thermos. £19.00

stay-put suction bowls that stay on the table, not the floor! £10

Allergies and intolerances Almost 1 in 12 young children suffer from a food allergy. Milk and egg allergies are the most common and tend to disappear before adulthood. The other common allergens are peanuts and tree nuts, fish and seafood, wheat, soy, sesame and kiwi. If there is a history of allergies in your family think about delaying the introduction of certain foods. Start out slowly with very basic purees and wait 3 days after each food is introduced before trying a new taste to ensure your baby doesn’t have an allergic reaction. If you decide to wean before six months don’t offer eggs, dairy products, fish, shellfish, citrus fruits or foods containing gluten. Avoid nuts until 3 years of age and honey until your baby is 1. There are two types of food allergies. Some are easy to spot – as soon as food is eaten an itchy rash develops, usually around the mouth or eyes. There may also be swelling of the lips, tongue and mouth, runny nose, watering eyes, vomiting, tummy cramps and diarrhoea. In severe reactions there may be difficulty breathing, wheezing and shortness of breath and a drop in blood pressure, which requires urgent medical attention. These reactions are often more common in older children and teenagers. October 2011

Websites on weaning Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR



Our biggest mothering mistake really, is believing we shouldn’t be making any.


In have a little sign in my kitchen that reads: ‘mothers are angels in training’.

Mothers’ guilt By Abi Foss

Tribal Heart


othing prepares you for first time motherhood does it? There is a life BC (before child/children), and an utterly different kind of existence afterwards; one where you are never top priority anymore, where your life revolves around others’ scheduled needs: nap times, school times, meal times, milk times, bath times, bed times. Yes, you are now in service to the next generation. For the rest of your life, you will probably find something about your children to worry about, no matter what age they are. The word ‘mother’, it has been said, is not just a noun. It is a verb.

Fake it till you make it

Angels in training

There is this crazy assumption that when motherhood hits, we will somehow, intuitively know what to do; it will all just flow naturally. The reality, I think, goes more like this: we hit the ground running, muddle through and do the best we can. And it is, as they say, just one thing after another. Once we have the routine and sleeping through the night thing nailed, then we have the joys of encouraging them to eat healthily, along with the Herculean challenges of boundary setting. After the umpteenth request to ‘please, do NOT leave your rollerskates at the bottom of the stairs,’ or ‘no, it is not OK to chew on your baby brother’s ear,’ is it any wonder we start sounding like our own frustrated parents when we yell: ‘If I have told you once, I have told you a thousand times... Why don’t you LISTEN??’ Or the classic one that makes me shudder when I imagine my neighbours overhearing it: ‘JUST PUT YOUR F***ING SHOES ON!’ Ooops. Swearing at child. Guilty as charged Your Honour. But can I claim mitigating circumstances? My son practices selective deafness, I was stressed out and we were horribly, horribly late.

Mothers aren’t supposed to shout or be cross or tear their hair out or cry and scream with frustration, are we? Especially not in supermarkets. We’re supposed to be sweet and kind and giving and patient and perfect with angelic supplies of unconditional love. We’re not supposed to park them in front of CBeebies for the morning and go back to bed nursing a hangover. No. We must provide educational activities, bake cakes, rustle up fancy dress costumes out of remnants in the recycling box, present a clean and tidy house, organise schooling, lay proper meals on the table and, often, hold down a job and even a marriage too.

Sigh. There goes another few quid in the ‘therapy for when he is older’ box.

Feeling guilty is how we punish ourselves for not reaching impossibly high standards. I don’t know any mother who thinks she ticks all the ‘perfect mother’ boxes. And you know what? Maybe we are right. Maybe, we weren’t even designed to meet every single one of our children’s needs.

But we can’t and we don’t. And we feel guilty about it. The best advice I ever heard about mothering went something like this: ‘Look, you have to accept that you are going to get it wrong. You are going to make mistakes. Everyone does. It is the only way you learn. So the best thing you can do is just resolve to love your children as much as you possibly can.’ My rules are that I always apologise for my appalling behaviour and then tell my son I love him. Our biggest mothering mistake really, is believing we shouldn’t be making any.

There is an African saying that goes: ‘It takes a whole village to raise a baby.’ In her book ‘The Spirit of Intimacy’, Sobonfu Some, a woman from the Dagara tribe of West Africa, says that it is also true that it takes a whole village to keep parents sane. In fact, it was not until she was nearly six years old that she understood that she came out of one particular woman’s womb, that she did not biologically ‘belong’ to all of the women in her village who breastfed and cared for her. We would do well to remember that one-to-one parenting is a pretty recent evolution in our species. Back in the day there would be aunties, sisters, cousins, neighbours and grandmothers all on hand for mass childcare duties. Sobonfu insists that if a child has a problem that their parents can’t sort out, he or she needs to have other adults to turn to. If nothing else, there is a much better chance the child will actually listen to sage advice. Let’s face it: children just don’t like having to listen to their parents. (I mean, did you? I certainly didn’t. Dammit, of course my son doesn’t want to listen to me!)

Hang up your halo ‘Motherhood,’ Oprah once said, ‘is the hardest job in the world. Women everywhere must declare it so.’ In my opinion, it is also the most undervalued, the most rewarding and the most important job in the world too. Hey, we’re at the coalface of building the foundations – the veritable bedrock – of society here. Let’s hang up our halos and, through example, teach our children that we are all on a lifelong learning curve, that we are all lovable despite our imperfections. That, in itself, is a great education.

Abi Foss is a hypnotherapist who writes about all things holistic and spiritual. See: 26

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October 2011

Classifieds Parties

Childcare This October on FamiliesWest Online: WIN!

A Pair of Tickets to Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model Live 2011, ExCel London Five lucky winners will win a pair of tickets to attend the show on any one day between 28th-30th October.


Closing date 30th September

James Allen

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning

Blueberry Playsongs Parties! Wonderful musical parties for 1-6 year olds. Contact us on

A thorough, professional and reliable cleaning service. Fully insured. Cleaning with a special pre-scrub treatment removes dirt, dust mites and stains leaving everything fresher and cleaner.

Phone for advice or estimate 01403 785 822/07712 917 894

020 8677 6871



A Metanium Camera + 2 runner up prizes Metanium Changing Bags We are giving away 1 purple digital camera, so you can capture every magical moment of your baby’s development.

2 runners up will receive a specially designed Metanium Changing Bag Closing date 22nd October

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Families West PO Box 32231 London W5 1JR

October 2011

Families West London October 2011  

Families West London October 2011 issue 75

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