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Issue No. 40 Sept/Oct 2011

Jump for Joy We’re Back to School! Plus: Clubs & Classes Feature Competitions Bright ideas for Half-Term, Halloween and Firework Night

The Herts magazine with the information young families want


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From your Editor…

In this issue:

You’ve bought the new uniform, the new school bag and the entire contents of W. H. Smith and the first day of school has been and gone, so, what now? If it’s your oldest child that you’ve seen off to school you may have another still at home to keep you busy from 9 ‘til 3. If it’s your youngest, or only, child you may have some well earned time on your hands: that is, until you look at your constantly growing ‘to do’ list. Even so, make sure you take some time to look through Families Herts when you down tools for a quiet coffee. We’ve got some great competitions, lots of ideas for family things to do during the half-term, where to carve that pumpkin and where to see the biggest and best fireworks and lots more besides.

See you soon, Shelley Where are we? Baldock, Borehamwood, Chorleywood, Harpenden, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertford, Hitchin, Kings Langley, Knebworth, Letchworth, Radlett, St Albans, Stevenage, Ware, Welwyn GC. Pick it up from cafes, playgroups, nurseries, schools, activity groups, selected children’s shops, surgeries, leisure centres and libraries. Get in touch to request copies for your venue.

Don’t miss a copy. Families Herts by post for just £9.30 for 6 issues (1 year) or £18 for 12 issues (2 years). Call or email for a subscription form.

News & Views: 4 Competitions: 6 Schools Feature: 8 Clubs & Classes: 14 Luca & Maya make: 18 What’s On: 19 Next Issue: Christmas Nov/Dec Copy deadline: 3rd October Front cover image courtesy of Marks and Spencer: Girls Embroided Blouse (from £9 for 2 pack), Girls Stormwear Pinafore (from £6), Girls Scuff Resistant Shoes (from £18), Girls Broderie Socks (from £6 for 5 pack) www.marksandspencer.com

Families Herts, PO Box 434, Pinner, HA5 9AH Tel/Fax: 020 8428 6384 editor@familiesherts.co.uk www.familiesherts.co.uk

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News & Views A Coat for all Seasons Polarn O. Pyret of Sweden have cracked the dilemma for parents everywhere this autumn with the coat solution that can handle warmth, wind, rain, snow and freezing temperatures. The flexible, lightweight, high-tec layers are waterproof, windproof and, most importantly

for active children, breathable. The windproof, water resistant soft fleece jacket can be fixed into the shell jacket when winter weather arrives and the thumb-holes stop sleeves riding up - brilliant. Polarn O. Pyret understand that children need clothes they can play in and parents need hard wearing coats that look good, feel good and will last all year from September through to summer showers. The wind and water resistant fleece Jacket costs from £35 and the water and wind proof coat costs from £59. They can be purchased online at www.polarnopyret.co.uk or from Polarn O Pyret shops at Westfield London, Brent Cross Shopping Centre and House of Fraser (Oxford Street).

Labels4kids for cash Children’s labelling company, Labels4Kids, are recruiting sales agents. In exchange for a small start up cost; readers who refer friends and family to the company’s website can earn money back in commission. You get to show and explain products you like to others who may also benefit from their use, and make some money too.

Over the years Labels4Kids has been entered in and won numerous high profile awards, including Online Retailer of the Year in 2010. Most recently, Ann-Maree Morrison, Director of Labels4Kids, has been named as one of three finalists in the Entrepreneur Award Category of The 2011 Specsavers Everywoman in Retail Awards As well as ordering kits through the website, customers can read blogs on numerous topics on the latest educational and parents related issues. There is also a Labels4Kids Facebook page where discounts, offers and news are posted. For orders, go to www.labels4kids.com/fam. To ask about becoming an agent, email sales@labels4kids.com.

Dry nights to come… Star of Calendar Girls and Loose Women, Lynda Bellingham, is backing Dry and Mighty, an awareness campaign from ERIC, a national children’s charity. Dry and Mighty aims to raise awareness of bedwetting which affects 1 in 12 children, while supporting families in managing or overcoming the problem. “In life, there are little things that can have a really big impact on a family and bedwetting is one of those things - but it doesn’t have to be,” says Lynda. “Any parent with a child who wets the bed knows how the embarrassment makes it hard to talk openly about it. The child can be afraid to take part in sleepovers or school camps in case anyone finds out, so it’s reassuring to know help is at hand.” The ERIC Helpline is 0845 370 8008 or find out more at www.eric.org.uk.

Contact Sports ww w.myspor tscon tact.co.uk is a new local spor ts information website. The site aims to help resident s in So uth West Hertford shire to find spor ts clubs and activities in th eir area. It is perfect for pa rents who want to get kids more active, for old er people who wa nt to stay active and tee ns and 20s who wa nt to try a new spor t. Sit e visitors can begin their search on the home page and by optin g for free site members hip will also bene fit from launch promotions , special offers, giv eaways and more.

And the Winner is … yn Garden City has been Attimore Barn Pre-School in Welw World Awards 2011’ as ‘Presery ‘Nur e shor tlisted in the nationwid School of the Year’. and highlight the very best The Nursery World Awards recognise the UK early years sector and that is being achieved throughout vation and dedication of those inno , shines a light on the hard work in early years education and childcare. Covill say: “This huge accolade Co-owners, Claire Mason and Tina ore Barn Pre-School has made recognises the difference that Attim our achievement of being rates celeb in young children’s lives and , only 6 months after ction inspe ed Ofst ing tand Outs awarded an industry award is s igiou prest this launch. To be shor tlisted for of our team.” ation dedic and work hard the to t testamen Awards will be announced on The winners of the Nursery World on, Lancaster Gate, W2 2TY. 30 September at the Lancaster Lond Barn Pre-School call ore Attim t For more information abou 175 361 0 0791 on n Claire Maso

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For inclusion in News & Views pages please ring 020 8428 6384 or email editor@familiesherts.co.uk


Take A Walk On The Wild Side

Wildchild is a completely new Franchise opportunity that is turning things inside out, upside down! Wildchild’s about introducing kids of all abilities, ages and backgrounds to a different way of doing things - Wild & Active and Wild & Creative Holiday Activities; Wild Birthday Parties and Wild School Multi Sports, Teambuilding & Outdoor Education Programmes. They appeal to all children - those who love sport and those who don’t; those who can’t wait to zip-wire in the woods; those who are thrilled to bits by archery or skateboarding; budding Disneys who can’t wait to animate or future fashionistas, fascinated by design. If you love the idea of building a hands-on business which doesn’t feel like work, call Lynda Regan on 0845 371 7099 or visit www.wildchildactivities.com

Walk in the Woods

Support for Dads

Take a walk in the woods with the ramblers this autumn. As the leaves start to change colour, Britain’s Walking Charity invites you to join them for ‘A Walk in the Woods’ week 3rd-9th October, supported by Bosch. Join the Ramblers across the country on a free woodland walk; from family-friendly forest adventures to autumnal woodland strolls. Discover hidden woodland wonders, learn about native trees and celebrate local forests. “There is nothing more magical than an autumn walk through the woods as the leaves start to change colour,” says Tom Franklin, Ramblers Chief Executive. “We want everyone to come together to celebrate British woodland and show the world the importance of being able to walk in the woods.” www.ramblers.org.uk/walkinthewoods

A new partnership between the NCT and BabyBjörn helps to improve local support for Dads. NCT, the UK's largest charity for parents, and BabyBjörn, the world leader in top quality nursery products, want to make life easier for dads by providing them with the information and support they need. Dads coming along to NCT events will now get a welcome pack of information and resources specifically for them, including a dad’s booklet and an NCT Daddy Cool DVD. “NCT recognises men have different needs to women when it comes to becoming a parent and that dads need help too,” says Miranda Seymour Smith, NCT's Director of Operations. “Our resources are a must for any man who is about to find out just what it means to become a dad.” www.nct.org.uk

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Competitions You name it We label it!

Lunchboxes • Water Bottles Books • Uniforms • Footwear

T: 01635 298326 www.easy2name.com

“Sound advice for a sound night’s sleep for you and your baby” • Are you simply but overwhelmingly suffering from lack of sleep? • Does your baby need feeding/settling through the night? • Do you need help/support to sleep train your baby? • Does your child have sleep problems?

Tel. 07947 885887 www.nightnannies.com

TIME FOR A CHANGE? NEED EXTRA INCOME? £500 – £2,000 per month Home Based Business “Without compromising your home or business life”

Win a Family Ticket to Willows Farm Village! Visit Willows Farm Village during its Pumpkin Festival running 22nd – 30th October 2011, and in addition to a programme jam packed with adorable animals, acres of adventure play, fun fair rides and children's shows, there's a FREE pumpkin for every child admission. Children can choose any pumpkin from Willows Pumpkin Patch and either take it home or carve it in the specially decorated rooms, where you'll find carving tools and staff to help.   There’s a daily carving competition with prizes plus more pumpkin-tastic fun at the Pumpkin Olympics with a certificate for every child taking part.   Make sure you don’t miss the new 'Match the Scarecrow' activity, JCB Young Drivers Zone that will be under cover for the winter, plus plenty of indoor play in Woolly Jumpers and Captain Chicken's Egg Dodge. Willows Farm Village is open daily from 10am – 5.30pm. For more information visit www.willowsfarmvillage.com or call 0870 129 9718. You’ll find Willows Farm Village (Coursers Road, London Colney, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL4 0PF) just 300 metres from junction 22 of the M25. Enter at www.familiesherts.co.uk for a chance to win one of eight family tickets (for 4 people). Closing Date: 7th October

Global Product (Est. 29 years) “Look Good Feel Good Industry” You could be anything from a parent, struggling to balance work/life through to topping up your pension … People from ALL walks of life … If you are honest and ethical and have a desire to succeed, we would like to hear from you.

Call: Alison or Ian on 01923 232242

Win Win Win Win Win Win one of ten Write & Spell Books from ZooBookoo The new Write & Spell Books from ZooBooKoo are perfect if your child is going into Reception or into Year 1 or 2 this September. For school starters there’s the Reception Words Write & Spell Book. This write and wipe 8-page booklet, with a sturdy backing to lean on and a dry wipe pen, contains over 50 high frequency words which form the target learning aims for all our little newcomers.  With a simple cursive writing style, the child can follow the dots twice and then try to write on their own.  Or, for slightly older children, you could choose the Year 1 & 2 Write & Spell Book with the next 50 high frequency words. Any 'Tiger Mum' will tell you that practice and repetition are the keys to success.  With these Write & Spell Books  children can practise time and time again, perfecting their spelling and their cursive handwriting.  Also,

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being the perfect A5 hand-bag size, they are great on the go, too.  Enter at www.familiesherts.co.uk Closing date: 7th October


Win a Samsung Wireless Baby Monitor

Nothing is more important to you than the safety of your new baby and now Samsung has designed a revolutionary new wireless baby monitoring system, providing the ultimate in peace of mind for parents everywhere. The Samsung SEW-3030 incorporates a host of advanced features whilst also being flexible and easy to use. The high resolution 3.5 inch wireless LCD video monitor and compact wireless camera allows you to keep a close eye on your baby wherever you are in the home or garden. The portable camera can be moved from room to room and the lightweight pocket-sized monitor comes with a belt clip for hands free carrying, giving you the freedom to move around and still see and hear the tiniest sound your child makes. It is also ideal for taking on holiday or when visiting friends and family. You can keep an eye on your little one remotely over the internet via Skype. It comes complete with an auto sleep mode, night vision, and a remote nightlight. It has a 2-way intercom so you can speak to baby even when you're in a different room. Plus it'll also play lullabies and can support up to four cameras, making it ideal for more than one child.

Worth £149.99

 The innovative Samsung SEW-3030 wireless baby monitoring system is available now and retails at £149.99. For more information visit  www.samsunghomesecurity.co.uk To enter go to www.familiesherts.co.uk. Closing Date: 21st October

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Alban Arena -

Two Family Tickets to be Won This Christmas, don’t miss your chance to see the magical, fun-packed, family pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at The Alban Arena. With comedy, singing, dancing, audience participation, stunning sets and dazzling costumes, this year’s Alban Arena pantomime promises to be their BIGGEST and BEST PANTO EVER! The star-studded cast includes pop icon, Toyah Willcox as the Wicked Queen; children’s favourite Phil Gallagher (CBeebies’ Mister Maker) as The Jester; the hilarious Bob Golding (from the Olivier Award winning ‘Morecambe’) as The Henchman; actress Jemma Carlisle as Snow White, and US TV star Brody Hutzler (‘Angel’, ‘Days of Our Lives’) as The Prince. They are joined by a top quality supporting cast and seven of the best professional dwarfs in the country. The Pantomime runs from Friday 9 December – Sunday 1 January, you can book tickets at The Alban Arena Box Office on 01727 844488 or online at www.alban-arena.co.uk

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Schools Feature

Is Your Child Doing As Well As You Expected? Nicci Boddam-Whetham, Head Teacher of Egerton Rothesay School in Berkhamsted, describes how children with ‘hidden’ learning difficulties can be helped to succeed in the classroom. We all hope that our children are going to be academically able, have success in sport, be creative and have good interpersonal skills. In reality we know that very few children will have all these attributes. Sometimes, however, a child has been a bright alert toddler, happy then in his or her first days at school, but as time goes on the child no longer seems to excel or be the happy alert person they once were. They may try to hide in the classroom or from showing their reading or writing skills. Conversely, he or she may become the class clown preferring to be told off for being naughty than reveal what they are struggling to do. Such children may suffer from a Hidden Disability. Such a problem may mean that they have good and bad days at school. Hidden disability may affect how well they can read how well they can write and spell personal organisation how quickly they can process information how motivated they are towards their studies how worried they are by changes how well they can concentrate. If any of the above pointers are an issue, ultimately their self esteem may suffer and they may even begin to become a school refuser. There are several possible hidden disabilities; some of the most common include dyslexia, dyspraxia and Aspergers. Dyslexia is a very frustrating disability; the student may be very good at giving a verbal answer which shows a clear understanding of the topic under discussion. When they attempt a written answer, however spelling and punctuation are awry and a few lines seems to be the maximum which the pupil can produce within the allotted time. The student needs to read and re -read every word in a text. Copying from a board is a nightmare as they struggle to remember the ‘shape’ of the word which they are copying, and the place of the word within a jumble of words on the board. Often reading is not a pleasure, and concentration seems short as the dyslexic tires from the effort to process visual and verbal language. Sequencing may be difficult – for example the ability to remember Times Tables- as may

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structuring answers. A dyslexic will often say ‘I don’t know where to begin’. Instructions can be affected. Typically if you ask a dyslexic to go upstairs and bring down three things they will return with one. Inaccurate reading may affect their comprehension. Much can be done to help dyslexics within the classroom, but, perhaps the most important thing is to accept their difficulties and ensure that the teaching environment allows them to be valued and understood by teachers and fellow students. Multi sensory education is also key, as is the teaching of concepts. Dyslexics need to know how new learning fits with what they already know as they are often ‘whole/big picture thinkers’. a phonologically based reading scheme usually helps as does extra time and support such as writing frames to help to overcome the organisational difficulties faced. It is important also that the school offers a variety of different ways for a child to show their learning including those ways which are not dependent upon writing. Another hidden disability is Dyspraxia. In a television documentary shown several years ago, a team of disabled people were trekking. The team included those who suffered from cerebral palsy, and missing limbs. Yet the team member who seemed to have greatest difficulty had no obvious problem. Although his intellect was clearly good he could not work out how to open a tin of beans, becoming very frustrated in the attempt. Another shot showed him trying to put on his sock. Finally he struggled the whole day which involved a route march, with his sock on the wrong way up, with the heel on top. He is dyspraxic. Dyspraxia is an impairment or immaturity of movement and co-ordination. Typically the dyspraxic in school will have forgotten his PE kit, drop important equipment in a hurry, miss steps on the stairs and have a poor understanding of the passing of time. Writing is laboured and slow and looks very immature. Drawing a diagram is a disaster, using scissors a problem. Often dyspraxics take a long time to learn to ride a bike, tie a tie or a shoelace. In school, acceptance again is key together with strategies for remembering things. Working on a laptop can make work more legible and, as presentation improves, raise a dyspraxic’s self esteem. An extra five minutes built into the timetable decreases panic and increases organisation. Aspergers is a form of Autism. As schooling progresses it may become obvious that a child who has Asperger’s syndrome is quite literal in their thinking; told that they need to ‘pull up their socks’ they will do just that. A comment that ‘it is raining cats and dogs’ will produce a

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long stare at the window. These children often do not understand social rules, they may not understand why people appear to laugh at them when asked – for example- if they want some more peas, they answer how many? Such a pupil may not be good at taking turns and they have difficulty interpreting facial expression or body gesture and language. They often dislike change and they may have obsessive interests. They are usually very good at rote learning. In school it is important that the approach towards them is consistent. Clear instructions are vital, avoiding ’before’ and ‘after’ statements. Noisy and distracting environments are best avoided. When change is unavoidable children need warning. If nothing else, it seems to me that awareness and acceptance are the two most important aids to success for these pupils.

About Egerton Rothesday School: Egerton Rothesay School was established in 1981 from the amalgamation of Rothesay School, founded in 1922, and Egerton School, founded in 1951. It has a strong Christian ethos and welcomes children and staff of all faiths. The school has developed particular expertise and understanding of successfully educating children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, speech and language issues and Asperger’s syndrome. Children thrive in a supportive environment with small classes and also benefit from one-to-one tuition. The approach to learning at Egerton Rothesay allows children to develop into successful and confident individuals. To find out more about what Egerton Rothesay School has to offer or to arrange a visit contact the Registrar, Liz Martin on 01442 877060 or visit www.eger-roth.co.uk


Back to Maths Basics by Nobuyuki Fujioka

Is your child finding maths hard at school? Do you feel that his or her mathematical potential is not recognised or challenged enough at school? Perhaps a back-to-basics approach is needed? A learning method that employs visualisation and regular practice and that is based on the use of the Japanese abacus (Soroban) could be the answer. Children can become confused and left behind when they are expected to learn new maths concepts before they have completely mastered basic rules that must be fully understood before successfully moving on to the next steps. In maths, it is important to try to understand what a child does and does not understand at the very basic level. For example, a child needs to fully understand what it means to “add” and “take away” single digit numbers, such as 1+1, 2-1, before they will be able to solve problems of 2 or 3 digit number additions (such as 52+26) or applied word problems. This may appear obvious but the assumption that children

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already know all the basic concepts and rules of numbers is often the cause of children struggling with maths at school, as well as slowing down the progress of children who seem to be excelling with maths. The Abacus approach to maths learning tries to make sure this does not happen by providing each student with effective learning methods and practices, which are continuously examined and improved. It is recommended that parents of young children sit together with their child and do school homework or short abacus maths exercises every day. Be patient, and break down the problems into basic numbers in the way your children understand. Be imaginative: Draw a paper abacus and use real coins to help children learn in a visual and kinaesthetic way, as in the illustration below.

1s

10s

1s

50p

5p

1p

10p

1p

1p

10p

1p

50p +26p=

1p

For some children, when it comes to learning the times tables, a story method that requires visualisation may work where rote learning will not. Here’s how it works: to remember 8 x 3 (or 3 x 8), parents can ask their child to imagine that 8 is a snowman (8 looks like a snowman) and 3 is a butterfly (3 looks like a butterfly), then ask the children to draw on a piece of paper a picture of a butterfly (3) flying around a melting snowman (8) for a whole day and night – 24 hours. By making 3x8 and its answer visually memorable the child will soon know the answer to the question - “3x8?” “24!”. There’s no getting away from the fact that time spent at home doing maths exercises and reviews of what’s been learnt at school and in the abacus class helps concepts to stick and also helps to create instant reflexes in the child’s brain. A parent’s input to a child’s education cannot be underestimated, so finding time will deliver great benefits. A parent’s patience, perseverance and belief in their child’s potential will create a major difference in their learning outcome at school and in the child’s future achievements.

To find out more about the Abacus Maths contact 01442 800 808 or contact@abacusmaths.info.

7pcs of10p & 8pcs of 1p=78p

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Schools Feature

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rd a o B e c ti o N s l o o h c S

Top Scientists at Westbrook Hay Prep School!

Lochinver House School Year 8 pupils at Lochinver House School have been successful again this year by gaining places to all the Independent Senior Schools of their choice.  Thirteen boys have been awarded Academic, Music, All-Rounder and Sports Scholarships or Exhibitions to Aldenham, Bedford, Bishop’s Stortford, Haberdashers’ Aske’s, Haileybury and St Albans.   In addition one pupil was awarded a Music Exhibition to Eton as well as Music Scholarships to both Westminster and Bedford.  To receive three such Awards is a really remarkable achievement and he was given his School colours to mark his success.  At 11+, four boys were also awarded Academic and Music Scholarships to Haberdashers’ Aske’s.

The next Open Morning at Lochiniver House School is 1st October from 10am – 12noon. For more information visit www.lochinverhouse.herts.sch.uk or call 01707 653 064

St Albans High School for Girls St Albans High School for Girls provides an exciting and challenging education in a caring and supportive environment where girls can grow and flourish. At the Preparatory School in Wheathampstead, pupils are happy and confident; learning is fun and excellent resources ensure the girls make very good progress. Our recent ISI Inspection report concluded that ‘the curriculum makes an excellent contribution to the pupils’ achievements and progress and is well planned to ensure continuity of education’. New technologies are moving at a pace and we continue to extend the opportunities the girls experience and enjoy. A rich variety of extra-curricular activities enable them to explore and exploit an endless horizon of skills and interests. The ISI Inspection report further stated that ‘outstanding results are seen in all extra-curricular activities’. In Sport this is demonstrated by results last term which saw our Under 8s Gymnastics Squad become the National Champions and the Under 11s win the District Netball and District Cross Country. The Preparatory School is working towards achieving the Schools’ Green Flag Award and the pupils are suggesting how our school can be more ‘green and sustainable’. See advert on page 10 for more details.

The Westbrook Hay Prep School Year 6 Science team won the prestigious annual Haileybury Science Challenge recently. Four children: James Young, Shri Lekkala, Matthew Smith and Hamish Michie, were competing against 64 other pupils from 17 prep schools from the South East of England. They achieved overall winning place in the competition through solid teamwork, good scientific method, and massive amounts of enthusiasm!

The children receiving their cup and their prize from polar explorer Michael McGrath and also with The Maste r at Haileybury

This year an Antarctic Expedition theme posed 3 challenges (one in physics, chemistry and biology) where pupils had to solve the sort of scientific problems that a team of explorers might encounter. Teresa Harris, Head of Science at Westbrook Hay, explained; “The boys have done incredibly well, especially as the theory and practical lab skills needed to complete these tasks are not normally taught until GCSE level. The boys worked so hard and rose to the challenge, winning the prize money and the cup!” Westbrook Hay is a co-educational prep school for children aged between 3 and 13. The school is located on London Road between Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted. Visit www.westbrookhay.co.uk or contact Kate Woodmansee on 01442 256143 to find out more.

Northwood College’s innovative Early Years Centre ‘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 the 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 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

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wellingtons! Northwood College is an Independent Day School for girls aged 3-18, which provides the highest standards of teaching and learning. Girls are offered the opportunities to develop their individual interests and talents in a warm and caring environment. Call 01923 825446 for further details or visit www.northwoodcollege.co.uk


St Columba’s College St Columba’s College provides a secure, supportive environment in which boys from the age of four up to 18 years old can achieve academic, sporting and personal excellence. At St Columba’s College, we believe in a holistic approach to education. Every young person learns from their total school experience whether through sport, music, drama and especially through service. In addition to these experiences being available within the curriculum, we offer an extensive Extra and Extended Curriculum with a range of opportunities from the Duke of Edinburgh Award and the Combined Cadet Force to debate and Young Enterprise. Each of these activities develops selfknowledge, teamwork, leadership and resilience – qualities demanded by Higher Education and the place of the future. The strength of the school lies in the combination of high expectations, with a culture of mutual respect and care, creating a stimulating happy environment in which boys thrive and learn, building firm foundations for confident socially skilled pupils. For more information visit www.stcolumbascollege.org or call 01727 855185

Local Day Nursery Celebrates Outstanding from Ofsted Munns Farm Day Nursery is celebrating after receiving an Outstanding grade from Ofsted. “We are all thrilled”, said Linda Shaylor, the proprietor. “For Ofsted to say that we offer ‘An exceptionally inclusive and positive learning environment’ is such a testament to our team. We are a family-run nursery where the needs of the children come first.” Munns Farm, part of the Hatfield House Estate, was renovated during 2006 and 2007 and has a superb location for the needs of the nursery. Children play in modern rooms with comfortable furnishings, against a historic backdrop of exposed oak beams and original brickwork. For more information visit www.munnsfarmdaynursery.com or call 01707 392999

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Clubs & Classes By Robina Cowan

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

perform.org.uk / 0845 400 1272

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

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Clubs & Classes Learn more about our advertisers: Abacus Maths Learning Course The abacus (soroban) is a proven way of boosting understanding of numbers, mental arithmetic, concentration, and memory. Children start by learning to manipulate the abacus beads to perform calculations quickly and accurately, moving towards being able to perform the same calculations in their heads. 01442 800 808 / www.abacusmaths.info

Artskool Artskool offer sessions for Toddlers which include a variety of Arty Crafty table top activities that explore vibrant colours and textures designed to encourage self expression. The sessions help to develop confidence, fine motor skills and communication. For children aged 4 and over they deliver more structured classes introducing different art media: painting, sculpture, clay, printing, collage, drawing and more. 07890 575828 / www.artskool-kids.com

Best Theatre Arts Age: 3mths-3 Yrs (Best Beans) / 4-6 Yrs (First Class) / / 6-16 Yrs (Best) / 14-16 Yrs (The Byte: young people's theatre company). At Best Theatre Arts children of all ages will realise their individual potential and learn the value of team work. They also develop confidence, self discipline and communication skills. Best Theatre Arts offers term time weekend schools and holiday courses. 01442 866118 / www.besttheatrearts.com.

Caterpillar Music A lively and happy music class for parent and child. Offers classes for 'Caterpillars' for babies and toddlers (0-18mths) plus mixed classes for 'Butterflies' (0-4 yrs). Classes last 40 minutes and a new theme is introduced each week (e.g. colours, the farm, the jungle, the weather). Live music and exciting props add interest and stimulation to young minds. 01727 753413 / www.caterpillarmusic.com

Doodley Bugs Children love to get messy and hands-on messy play is a fun way for a child to develop important physical, cognitive & social skills. The focused activities also develop fine motor control. Participating in messy play helps a child to increase their self awareness and brings an appreciation of what they can achieve especially as they take their finished projects home. 07710 889092 / www.doodleybugs.co.uk.

Drama Llamas Drama Llamas offers Interactive storytelling and drama for young children. Their original stories take children on a journey of imagination and discovery where creativity

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can flourish and natural love of language is enhanced. Each lesson is linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage and is specifically designed to help each child’s development. In addition to enhancing listening and language skills, the stories and activities explore wider areas of learning such as numeracy, opposites, scale and colour mixing. 07867 793407 / 07718 828697 www.dramallamas.co.uk

Jigsaw Performing Arts Jigsaw Performing Arts runs classes for 3-18 year olds, delivering training from an early age. Children learn stagecraft, jazz and modern dance and singing technique from teachers who work or have worked professionally in the industry. 020 8447 4530 / www.jigsaw-arts.co.uk.

Jolly Bookworms Jolly Bookworms is a pre-school activity class based around children’s books. Every class focuses on a popular children’s story but as well as a traditional-style story time, children choose from a variety of fun activities connected with the story. Each class features the ‘sound of the week’: based on the synthetic phonics system, widely used to teach reading in primary schools. The ‘sound table’ introduces children to a new sound each week. Sessions finish with a game or a song. 07913 128870 / www.jollybookworms.com.

Kiddikicks Kiddikicks offers football training for children aged under 5 years. They aim to get children into sport and activities using its unique style of fun, friendly, focused, skills based coaching. Coaches are CRB checked & FA qualified. For the older children up to 8 years there’s Ligasoccer which provides more formal coaching. 020 7937 7965 / www.kiddikicks.co.uk.

Kumon Kumon's unique approach to teaching English and maths enables children to develop their learning skills. Kumon aims to nurture confident, independent learners who will be able to face challenges in school and beyond. See advert on page 24 for your nearest centre. www.kumon.co.uk

Little Cookies Age: 3 yrs to starting school. Parents and children have fun with food together. Each week there is a new theme which children will learn about through the cooking activity plus craft activities, stories and songs. 01727 839444 / www.little-cookies.co.uk


Little Kickers / Little Rugby

Perform

Little Kickers introduces young children to the art of football. There are four levels: Little Kicks (18mths–2yrs 3mths), Junior Kickers (2yrs– 3½yrs), Mighty Kickers (3½–5th birthday), Mega Kickers (5–7th birthday). Little Rugby offers a non-contact approach to rugby training which makes it fun and safe for children aged 18 months until 7th birthday. Both are open to boys and girls of all abilities with the emphasis on learning by having fun. Visit www.littlekickers.co.uk to find your nearest class

Perform offer exciting performance classes for children aged 4– 8 and 8–12. Classes have separate sections, incorporating singing, dancing and acting, helping each individual child with their confidence, concentration and communication skills. There’s a new theme each term and this autumn it’s The Jungle. New class launches in Bishops Stortford this term. To find your nearest class or to book a free trial session call 0845 400 1272 / www.perform.org.uk

M.A.D Skill Performing Arts School

Stagecoach Theatre Arts Schools

Sessions at M.A.D Skills are specifically tailored to develop performance skills and to nurture students’ creativity in the Arts, developing and strengthening their skills and technique in a safe, fun and stimulating environment. It is a fresh new professional establishment running part-time classes in Music, Acting and Dance for children and young adults aged 6-19yrs. Call 07773 713 131 www.madskillsperformingarts.co.uk  

Age: 4-16 Yrs. Acting, singing and dancing are professionally taught in small classes and are designed to build confidence and develop communication skills. Schools run at weekends during term–time. Some schools run holiday workshops. To find your nearest class see advert or visit www.stagecoach.co.uk.

Monkey Music 3 months – 4 yrs. Monkey Music is an award winning music class founded in 1993. Using action songs, rhymes, music and movement, fun with percussion and musical games it introduces music to very young children in a way that is stimulating and easily understood. See advert or visit www.monkeymusic.co.uk.

www.jigsaw-arts.co.uk / 020 8447 4530

Fun and Arty Sessions & Parties for kids aged 4 up Annette 07890 575 828 artskool08@aol.com

Top Hat Stage & Screen School A part time theatre arts school for children aged 4-17 yrs. Top Hat offers an exciting environment where children are trained in dance, drama and singing. Top Hat is dedicated to developing performance skills as well as having fun and building self-confidence. Courses offered range from regular weekend schools in various locations. Free trials and open days are available see advert on page 15. 01727 812666 www.tophatstageschool.co.uk.

Tick Tock Music Age: 6 months-5 yrs. Tick Tock present a different performance each week and encourage their young audiences to participate in singing, actions, role-playing and song identification. Live keyboard accompanies the songs which are linked by amusing play acting scenes full of colourful costumes props and puppets. New classes starting soon in Welwyn Garden City. 07933 153054 / www.ticktockmusic.co.uk

Music for under 5’s St Albans Come & participate in our unique blend of songs, rhymes, music & drama 07933 153054 abiticktock@yahoo.co.uk www.ticktockmusic.co.uk “Tick Tock is brilliant, the highlight of my children’s week”

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Luca & Maya make ‌

Halloween Pumpkin Lanterns

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What's On THEATRE THE ALBAN ARENA Civic Centre, St Albans, AL1 3LD 01727 844488 www.alban-arena.co.uk Cirque Du Ciel’s ‘ShangHi’ 10 Sept – 8pm 
 11 Sept – 2pm & 6pm A marvellous 2 hour extravaganza, originally directed by Cirque Du Soleil’s Guy Caron, combines acrobatics, modern dance, original music, martial arts and more. Evenings - £23.50, £21, Family £70; Matinee£21, £18.50, Family £68 The Very Hungry Caterpillar And other Eric Carle favourites 22 Sept – 12pm &2.30pm 23 Sept – 10.30am & 12.30pm The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Little Cloud and The Mixed-up Chameleon by award-winning children’s book illustrator and writer Eric Carle, beautifully retold in this glowing stage adaptation with puppetry. Tickets: £10 Peppa Pig's Treasure Hunt 2 Nov – 1pm & 4pm
 3 Nov – 10am & 1pm Peppa, George, Suzy Sheep and Danny Dog are up to fun and games on a day out on Grandad Dog's boat. Tickets: £14.50, £12.50, Concs: £2 off

Bob the Builder 15 Oct (check venue for times) Local talent Dickie Olivier needs Bob's help to fix up the stage for his brand new musical, but the job doesn’t go exactly to plan. Tickets: £12.50 child, £14.50 adult, £48 family Wizard of Oz 28 Oct (check venue for times) A version of the much loved film. Tickets: £10, £8.50 concs, Family £34 Stickman 30 Oct (check venue for times) The world is a dangerous place for Stick Man. A dog wants to play with him. A swan builds a nest with him. He even ends up on a fire! Ages 4+ Tickets: £11, £9 concs, £38 Family Ticket Cinema Arrietty (U) 26, 27, 29, & 31 Aug – 2pm 1 Sept – 2pm This animated adventure from Studio Ghibli is a magical riff on Mary Norton’s cherished novel The Borrowers. Adults £6.50, Children & Concs £4.50

THE MARKET THEATRE Sun Street, Hitchin, SG5 1AE 01462 433553 www.markettheatre.co.uk The Royal Storyteller 24 Sept, 29 Oct – 2pm Her Majesty, Queen of Everywhere, will invite you into her home, introduce you to some of her favourite pets and then read you a story from the Magical Book of Ancient Tales. Ages 3-7. Different story each week. THE OLD TOWN HALL THEATRE High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE 01442 228091 www.oldtownhall.co.uk Season Launch 10 Sept – from 9.30am A family day of fun to launch the Autumn Season and unveil a new Kids Club. This jampacked day includes two chances to see Lyngo Theatre Company’s new production of The Dust Man – showing at 11am and 2.30pm (booking is recommended); free themed Storywalks, created especially for the day by Dacorum Youth Productions. The Dust Man: £6.25 / £4.25

CAMPUS WEST The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6BX, 01707 357117 www.welhat.gov.uk/campuswest Mr Men and Little Miss Party Roadshow 15 Oct – 1pm & 3.30pm The Mr Men & Little Miss are going on the road to celebrate their 40th birthday in a brand new singing and dancing Party Road show! Tickets: £13.50 HERTFORD THEATRE The Wash, Hertford, SG14 1PS 01992 531500 www.hertfordtheatre.com Theatre The Owl That Was Afraid of the Dark 24 Sept (check venue for times) Plop the barn owl was afraid of the dark.  One day, Mrs Barn Owl suggested that Plop flies down into the world to find out about the dark for himself. And so, began Plop’s adventures ... Ages 3 - 7 Tickets: £9, £7 concs, Family Ticket £29 Friend or Foe 6 Oct – 1.30pm 7 Oct – 1.30 &7.45pm From master storyteller Michael Morpurgo comes a thrilling tale of extraordinary friendship. Set at the height of the Second World War, two boys, embark on a wondrous adventure deep in the Devonshire countryside. Tickets: £15, £13 concs

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What's On THE RADLETT CENTRE 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 8HL 01923 859291 www.radlettcentre.co.uk Bob the Builder 10 Sept –1pm & 3.30pm 11 Sept – 11am & 1,30pm Local talent Dickie Olivier needs Bob's help to fix up the stage for his brand new musical, but the job doesn’t go exactly to plan. Ages 3-7 Tickets: £14.50, £12.50 (Under 16s), Family: £48 (4 people) Mr Men and Little Mis Party Road show 30 Oct – 1pm & 3.30pm The Mr Men & Little Miss are going on the road to celebrate their 40th birthday in a brand new singing and dancing Party Road show! Tickets: £13, £11 (under 16s) RHODES ARTS COMPLEX South Road, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 3JG 01279 651746 www.rhodesbishopsstortford.org.uk The Snow Queen [Ballet] 25 Oct – 7.30pm The story of Gerda and her quest to find her friend Kay, who has been bewitched by the Snow Queen. .  Murder at the Museum! 26 Oct –6-7pm & 7.30-8.30pm It is the 1890s, a dark and cold winter evening. Bishop’s Stortford police have received a call ‘Mrs Sylvester the housekeeper at 1-3 South Road has been murdered!’ Using objects on display in the museum try to discover who killed Mrs Sylvester. This is an evening opening and a great opportunity to view the museum at night – use a torch to follow the trail round the historic objects in the museum.  Guaranteed to be fun for all – and not too scary we promise! Tickets: £3 (all children must be accompanied by a paying adult) High School Mania 27 Oct – 6pm High School Mania is a high octane, high energy, high excitement show featuring all the hits from the High School Musical films, Glee and Camp Rock. Tickets: £14 WYLLYOTTS CENTRE Wyllyotts Place, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 2HN 01707 645005 www.wyllyottscentre.co.uk King’s Got Donkey Ears 2 Oct – 11am EARS! Funny things at the best of times…. But imagine being cursed with great big, furry ones! That’s exactly what happened to King Orik. Ages 4+. Free craft activity. Stay and play for no extra cost. Tickets: £5 High Jinx Magic & Circus Roadshow 26 Oct – 2pm Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year and Tricky TV’s Michael Jordan takes you on a thrilling journey of magic, circus and illusion with panto-style comedy and your favourite music. Age 5+ Tickets: £8.50

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HALF-TERM HOLIDAY CLUBS BIRCHWOOD LEISURE CENTRE PLAYSCHEME Longmead, Hatfield, AL10 0AN 01707 270772/3; 01707 262023 (bookings) www.hatfield-herts.gov.uk 24-28 Oct – 8.30am – 6pm Bouncy Castle, Badminton, Karaoke, Face Painting, Netball, Arts & crafts, Cooking, Football, Hatfield Kids Fun Zone. Age: 4-12 Cost: Hatfield Resident - £12 per day / Non Hatfield Resident - £16 per day CAMP GOSLING Gosling Sports Park, Stanborough Road, Welwyn Garden City 01707 331056 www.goslingsports.co.uk 24-28 Oct – 9.15am-3.30pm Multi activity sessions: Tennis, athletics, football, trampolining and more. Junior Base Camp (4- 7 yrs), Base Camp (8-9 yrs), Sports Academy (10-15 yrs). Early drop off and late pick up facility: 8am - 6pm at extra cost. Breakfast club and lunch available at extra cost. £23.50/ day for members, £28.50/day for non members HATFIELD SWIM CENTRE Lemsford Road, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 0EB 01707 276276 www.finesseleisure.com/swimming-pool HERTS YOUNG MARINERS BASE Windmill Lane, Cheshunt EN8 9AJ 01992 628403 www.hymb.com 25 Jul-31 Aug - 9.30am-12pm & 1-3.30pm. Choose from: Sailing, Kayaking, Climbing, Bushcraft, Caving, Bell Boating and Adventure Games. Book a half or whole day. The programmes can change due to weather conditions. Booking essential. Age 9+ Membership required. Cost: Half day - £15, Full day - £28 HERTFORDSHIRE SPORTS VILLAGE University of Hertfordshire, De Havilland Campus, Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9EU www.hertssportsvillage.co.uk Junior Sports Camps Check venue for dates. Hertfordshire Sports Village offer a wide variety of sport specific camps aimed at children of all ages and abilities. Age: 5-17 Prices vary depending on Camp. KOOL KIDZ CAMPS 0845 6032858 or 07966 483508 www.koolkidzcamps.co.uk St John Fisher School, Hazelmere Rd, St. Albans, AL4 9RW 24-28 Oct – 9am-4pm A fun and friendly OFSTED regulated camp with staff that are qualified in childcare and first aid and are CRB checked. Activities include arts and crafts, sports, go karts, bouncy castle,radio controlled cars and more. Ages: 4-11 yrs Cost: £30 per day; extended sessions available at extra cost

PLINSTONKIDS Plinston Hall, Broadway, Letchworth GC Herts, SG6 3NX 01462 672003 www.plinston.com 24-28 Oct – 10am-3.30pm Over the years activities have included coach trips, walks, cinema and talent shows, quizzes, arts and crafts, competitions, sports and games, cookery, and special themed days. Cost: £13, additional charges for early starts and tea time sessions.

PLACES TO GO ADEYFIELD ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND Turner Hill, Adeyfield. Hemel Hempstead. HP2 4LD 01442 242852 paul.banks@dacorum.gov.uk Term Time: Mon-Fri 3.30-6.30pm, Sat-Sun 1-5pm School Holidays: Mon-Fri 9.30am-5.30pm, closed weekends and bank holidays Open access, adventure playground, with a free play ethos. There is a programme of activities for each school holiday. 6-12 years; under 6's are welcome with a parent or guardian. Free BRITISH SCHOOLS MUSEUM 41 Queen Street, Hitchin, SG4 9 01462 420144 www.hitchinbritishschools.org.uk Victorian Lessons 4 Sept Heritage Weekend 10 & 11 Sept – 10am-4pm The Big Draw 1 & 2 Oct BUTTERFLY WORLD Miriam Lane, Off Noke Lane, Chiswell Green, AL2 3NY www.butterflyworldproject.com 01727 869203 Open daily 10am-6pm (Last entry one hour before closing) Tickets: Adult £7.50, Concs £6.50, Child £5.50, under 3’s free Craft Fair 10 & 11 Sept – 10am-7pm In the Garden room.  HERTFORD CASTLE Hertford, SG14 1HR 01992 552885 Beating Retreat & Scottish Country Dancing 4 Sept – 2-5pm SE Herts Scottish Country Dance Society. Dancing and displays, Tours of Hertford Castle, Refreshments Free Heritage Open Day 11 Sept – 12-4pm Exhibitions and activities inside the castle, plus Falconry Displays on the lawn Free

For free listing in What's On call 020 8428 6384 or email editor@familiesherts.co.uk


Open Day 9 Oct – 12-4pm Guided tours of the Castle building and walls. Refreshments available Free

The Worst Witch, Whatever Next! 30 Oct – 3-4pm Join us for some brilliant Jill Murphy stories and enjoy a craft activity. Cost £1

Classes in Bishops Stortford will be at All Saints Primary School Parsonage Lane, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 5BE at 9.30 am and 11.15 am.

HERTFORD MUSEUM 18 Bull Plain, Hertford, SG14 1DT 01992 582686 www.hertfordmuseum.org Toddlers Tuesdays 20 Sept & 18 Oct – 10.30am-12pm Take part in themed crafty activities, play with toys and share a story. Age 2-4 £1.50 (includes tea, coffee or squash) The Big Draw at Hertford Museum 26 & 27 Oct – 10.30am-3.30pm Come and get creative! Free

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM AT TRING The Walter Rothschild Building, Akeman Street, Tring, Herts, HP3 6AP, 020 7942 6171 www.nhm .ac.uk/tring Woodpecker Masks 13 Sept – 1015am & 2pm Will your 3D mask be green or lesser-spotted? 30-minute workshops especially for under 5s. Tickets £1.50 Summer Scrapheap Challenge 1 Sept – 10.15am, 10.45am, 11.15am, 11.45am, 2pm & 2.30pm Can you create incredible creatures by recycling materials from our colourful craft scrap heap? All ages. Tickets £1.50 Animals After School Fossils 22 Sept – 3.45pm Find out about some incredible animals and make something to take home. Age 5+ Tickets £1.50 The Secret World of Museum Science Until 6 Nov From feather forensics to digging up dodos, discover what goes on behind the scenes in our amazing bird research collections. Explore the way in which long-dead museum specimens can spark brand new discoveries. Free

THE ROALD DAHL MUSEUM & STORY CENTRE 81-83 High Street Great Missenden Bucks HP16 0AL 01494 892192 Tues-Fri – 10am-5pm, Sat & Sun – 11am-5pm Get creative with our free craft activities in the craft room at the back of the Story Centre and enjoy our free story-telling sessions in the courtyard or in Miss Honey’s classroom if it rains. These activities are available every day throughout school holidays and do not need to be booked.

LANGLEYBURY FARM Langleybury Lane, Kings Langley, WD4 8RW 01923 270603 Open: School Holidays and Weekends 11am-5pm. MUSEUM OF ST ALBANS 9a Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL1 3RR 01727 819340 www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk Tudor Treats 2 Oct – 2-4pm In Tudor times, the rich would round off a feast with sweetmeats such as sculptures of animals or castles made of marzipan and sugar. Help make sweetmeats and design your own Tudor plate to take home Cost: £1 Sixties Badges – A Big Draw Event 8 Oct – 1-4.30pm Come along and see our fantastic new exhibition on life in the 1960s and create your own swinging sixties badge to take home. Age 3+ Free Terrific Tudors 22 Oct – 1-5pm A fun filled afternoon, including story telling, handling artefacts, dessing up and mask making. Half Term Holiday Activities 24-27 Oct – 10.30am-12.20pm Varied, creative and enjoyable activities on the theme of ‘The Swinging Sixties.’ Cost: £5 Sunday Stories Story Time for the Under 7s In association with St Albans Children’s Book Group Alfie Gets In First 25 Sept – 3-4pm Listen to some Shirley Hughes stories about Alfie and Annie Rose and enjoy a craft activity Cost £1

PERFORM 0845 400 4000 www.perform.org.uk This term, Perform children in Hertfordshire will not just be having fun acting, singing and dancing each week, they’ll be exploring THE JUNGLE. Any interested 4-8 year old can try out the classes by attending a Free Trial Session. Classes run on Mondays in Rickmansworth, Wednesdays in Northwood, Berkhamsted, Radlett and Goffs Oak, Thursdays in Sawbridgeworth and Elstree, Fridays in St Albans, Saturdays in Welwyn Garden City, Chorleywood, St Albans, Tring and Harpenden. Also, a new school in Bishops Stortford on Saturdays.

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ROLLERCITY Campus West, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6BX Box Office: 01707 357117 www.welhat.gov.uk/campuswest OZ Saturdays – 10am For Beginners and Improvers and Families. BoppinStoppers Saturdays – 3pm For under 12s and their parents Sk8M8’s Saturdays – 5.30pm For over 10s Breeze Sundays – 11.30am For Families Sparks Sundays – 2pm For everyone VERULAMIUM MUSEUM St Michael’s Street, St Albans AL3 4SW 01727 751810 www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk The Roman Army vs. the Celts 10 Sept – 1-5pm Watch an exciting battle re-enactment using model soldiers. Who will win? Boudicca or the Romans? Free (Museum entry charge for non residents applies)

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What's On Meet Queen Boudicca 26 Oct – 2-4.30pm Come along and meet this amazing queen in the museum galleries. Story telling by Boudicca at 2.30pm & 3.30pm Free FUN DAYS OUT ASHRIDGE ESTATE Moneybury Hill, Ringshall, Berkhamsted, HP4 1LX www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ashridge Halloween Activities at Ashridge Estate 24-28 Oct – 12-4pm Join us to create your own spooky things to take home with you. £2 BLETCHLEY PARK The Mansion Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB 01908 640404 www.bletchleypark.org Family Fun Wednesday 26 Oct – 12-4pm Special days for children and the whole family, inc craft activities, special guided tours, spy workshops, trails, quizzes and special handling collections. CAPEL MANOR GARDENS Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield, EN1 4RQ 08456122122 Halloween Howler 30 Oct – 10am-4pm Carve a pumpkin plus other traditional craft activities for children including face painting and storytelling. Tractor rides and ghostly stories. Trick or treat with a country feel. CELTIC HARMONY CAMP Brickendon, nr Hertford www.celticharmony.org 01438 718543 Winter Celebration 23-30 Oct – 10am-4pm Spend the day with our archers, woodsmen, warriors and storytellers. Explore the Haunted Forest, Carve a Pumpkin, Craft a Wand and a Broomstick. Book Online Only for £7/person Tickets: Online £7/person or £9 at the door; Under 2s come free Samhain Family Storytelling Evening 30 Oct – 4.30-5.15pm Stories of fairies and pixies and friendly ghosts for all the family, even little ones! £5/person. Parents/carers come free (maximum two per paying child). Samhain Winter Festival 30 Oct – 10am - 4pm Celebrate the Celtic New Year with live music, archery tournament, apple juicing, bushcraft and samhain bonfire. explore the haunted forest, carve a pumpkin or make a broomstick. hog roast and celtic broth. Book Online: £7/person IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM Duxford Airfield, Duxford, Cambridge, CB22 4QR 01223 835000 www.iwm.org.uk

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Duxford Air Show 3-4 Sept See spectacular aerial displays and an impressive range of aircraft. Half Term Fun 24-28 Oct A variety of fun hands-on activities for families. All activities are included in the standard admission to the Museum and children aged 15 and under come FREE. Funday Sundays Fun craft activities each Sunday for families. LEE VALLEY WHITE WATER CENTRE Station Road, Waltham Cross, Herts EN9 1AB www.leevalleypark.org.uk Try out White Water Rafting, Kayaking and Canoeing on the course that will be used during the 2012 Olympics for the canoe slalom events! Contact venue for prices. KNEBWORTH HOUSE Knebworth Park, SG3 6PY 01438 812661 www.knebworthhouse.com Pumpkin Trail and Treats 26-28 Oct – 12-4.30pm Take part in pumpkin activities and the pumpkin trail (goody bag prize on completion), and meet the bats. For the more daring, join a twilight walk, expected at 4pm. Entrance: Adult £3.50, Child £5.50, under 2's free. MEAD OPEN FARM Stanbridge Rd, Billington, Beds, LU7 9JH 01525 852 954 www.meadopenfarm.co.uk Open daily 10am -6.30pm The popular Tractor & Trailer Rides and Sheep Races return. All activities are included in the admission price. Contact venue for times and prices. PARADISE WILDLIFE PARK White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne EN10 7QA 01992 470490 www.pwpark.com Open every day (except Christmas Day) Get up close to the animals, including tigers, lions, monkeys, zebras, camels, penguins and many more. Plus rides & attractions. Entry: Adult £16, Child £11 (save £1 when booked online) SHEPRETH WILDLIFE PARK Station Road, Shepreth, nr Royston, SG8 6PZ 01763 26 22 26 www.SheprethWildlifePark.co.uk Halloween Weekend 29 & 30 Oct Park Entrance: Adult £9.95, Child & Concs £7.95 STANDALONE FARM Wilbury Road, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 4JN. 01462 686775 www.standalonefarm.com 11am - 5pm daily Set in 170 acres of farmland with animals large and small. Lambing from Mid-March. Contact venue for prices.

WILLOWS FARM VILLAGE Coursers Road, London Colney, St Albans 0870 129 9718 www.willowsfarmvillage.com Potato Shindig! Weekends in Sept Come and harvest your own bag of free Willows potatoes from the Potato Patch and help the children learn where their food comes from. One free bag per child admission. Crop dependent on weather. Pumpkin Festival 22-30 Oct A free pumpkin for every child throughout our Pumpkin Festival. There’s a brilliant pumpkin carving area with daily prizes for the best pumpkin plus a daily programme of themed activities to keep the children entertained. WOBURN SAFARI PARK Woburn, Beds MK17 9QN 01525 290407 www.woburn.co.uk/safari Open daily – 11am-5.30pm For a day packed with animal encounters and wonderful wildlife, visit with over 80 species of animals. Drive through the park and enjoy close encounters with some of the world’s most magnificent and endangered animals. Woburn also incorporates an Abbey, Golf Course and Gardens. Entry: Adult £12.95, Child £6.25 WOODSIDE ANIMAL FARM Slip End Village, Luton, LU1 4DG 01582 841044 www.woodsidefarm.co.uk Contact venue for times and prices. ZSL WHIPSNADE ZOO Dunstable, Beds, LU6 2LF 01582 872171 www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/ Open daily 10am-5.30pm Check online for prices on the day of your visit. Online booking discounts apply.

FESTIVALS & FIREWORKS SCARECROW FESTIVAL St. Luke’s Church, Hatfield 24 Sept – 10.30am-1.30pm At "The Church-on-the-Roundabout." Displays of scarecrows based on Bible characters and constructed by local young people.  Scarecrow Garden for toddlers and various craft activities including 'make your own mini-scarecrow.'  Free BISHOPS STORTFORD GRAND FIREWORKS DISPLAY BSRFC, Silver Leys, Hadham Road, Bishops Stortford, CM23 3AQ 5 Nov – from 5pm, fireworks at 7.30pm CASSIOBURY PARK FIREWORKS & BONFIRE Cassiobury Park Avenue, Watford WD18 7HU 01923 226400 5 Nov – from 6pm Children’s firework display at 6.30pm, Bonfire at 7pm, and Fireworks at 7.30pm


Pick of the Pantos FIREWORK PICNIC CONCERT Hatfield House Hatfield, AL9 5NQ  01707 287010 www.hatfield-house.co.uk 10 Sept – 7.30-10.30pm As part of our 400th Anniversary celebrations, a fabulous firework finale has been commissioned. The fireworks will be set to music, which will be broadcast live; display begins around 9.45pm. Bring a picnic and enjoy the display. There will be a fairground, food and drinks, and other entertainment. Tickets (available through Campus West box office: 01707 357117): Adults £6, Child (5-15) £3, Family (2 adults & up to 4 children) £15, Friends (4 adults) £20 LONDON COLNEY FIREWORK DISPLAY Morris Playing Field, White Horse Lane, London Colney 6 Nov -- 6.30pm TRING PARK CRICKET CLUB Guy Fawkes Experience 5 & 6 Nov (Time TBA) Join us for the fireworks displays to be held at this historic site, where gunpowder was made. There will be a host of children's activities for your child to participate in, from making a Guy Fawkes Lantern, to even writing secret messages. Learn about the foods that the Stuarts favoured and if you are brave enough come and meet the Ghost of Guy Fawkes! There will be several 30 minute performances. Each performance will seat 60 people. Get your tickets near the Main Exhibition.

Aladdin

Jack & the Beanstalk

8 Dec-1 Jan Campus West/ Hawthorne theatre, Welwyn Garden City, 01707 357117 15-18 Dec Eric Morecambe Theatre 01582 767 525

3 Dec – 7 Jan Market Theatre, Hitchin, 01462 433553 25 Nov – 31 Dec Watford Palace Theatre, Watford 01923 225671 10 Dec-1 Jan Wyllyotts Theatre, Potters Bar 01707 645005

Beauty and the Beast 26 Nov – 15 Jan Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, 01438 363200

Cinderella 7-31 Dec Watersmeet, Rickmansworth 01923 711063 10 Dec – 8 Jan Wycombe Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, 01494512000

Robin Hood 11-15 Jan 2012 Hertford Theatre, Hertford 01992 531500 9 Dec – 2 Jan Rhodes Arts Complex, Bishop’s Stortford 01279 651746

Sleeping Beauty 9-31 Dec Broxbourne Civic Hall, Hoddesdon 01992 441946

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 9 Dec – 1 Jan Alban Arena, St Albans 01727 844488

DIARY DATES HALLOWEEN HUNT King George Recreation Ground, Bushey 29 Oct – 11am-12.30pm For further details please contact Shaz Setoudeh on 0208 2077568. NCT NEARLY NEW SALES Baby equipment, including prams and cots, childrens clothes up to 10 years. Also maternity wear, all gently used. Harpenden & District Branch Harpenden Public Halls, Harpenden, AL5 1PD 24 Sept – 10-11.45am St Albans Branch Nicholas Breakspear School Colney Heath Lane, St Albans, AL4 0TT 2 Oct – 10.15-11am Entry at 10am for members. Entry: £1.50 donation Welwyn Garden City Branch Stanborough School, Lemsford Lane, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6YR 9 Oct –10.30am-12pm Now taking debit cards. Hertford & Ware Branch Presdales School, Hoe Lane, Ware 15 Oct – 12-2pm Entry at 11.30am for members. Entry: £1, or free with cake donation.

Say you saw it in

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Printed by Warners Midlands Plc, Bourne, Lincs., PE10 9PH. Copyright Families Herts 2011. Any original materials submitted for publication are sent at owner’s own risk and, while every care is taken, neither Families nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage. Families Herts is part of a 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 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 or for any consequences.


Families Herts Sept-Oct 2011