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Maidenhead - Windsor - Marlow Ascot - Slough - Egham

Spring Special YES, YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL! Successful ‘business mum’ is seeking 5 working partners to work part-time from home, alongside & without compromising family commitments or current career. If you have a supervisory, managerial, sales, marketing, recruitment or self-employed background, or you wish to develop an extraordinary lifestyle, please call Diana Page 01235 533 362

Choosing a Nursery Spring Days Out Easter Activities


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FAMILIES Thames Valley East

MARCH / APRIL 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


News & Info

in this

issue 3 News & Info 7 Clubs & Classes News 8 Musical links to literacy 10 How to choose a Nursery 16 Bluebells 18 Health 20 Dancing for Grown-ups 23 Competitions & Reader Offers 24 Spring Days Out

am so excited about the end of winter that I’ve even got the “Wills and Kate” bug. I am even seriously considering buying a hat for their April Wedding. Whether you’re a Royalist or not, we do have the lovely couple to thank for an extra Bank Holiday and the chance to decorate our houses with bunting. With spring – hopefully – just around the corner, Families is celebrating with some great reader offers and prizes. On Page 23 you can win a Nirvana Evening Spa for two – a perfect Mother’s Day surprise.You’ve also the chance to win a family weekend break in a gorgeous Surrey hotel or dance lessons for your toddler. On the same page we have a discount voucher for Polarn O. Pyret clothes and a reader offer for Odds Farm. So plenty of things to smile about … Have a great Easter and we’ll be back in May with lots of ideas for the summer holidays, plus much more ...

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26 Easter Activities

MARCH BABIES GET COUNTED

27 Time Out 31 Parenting 32 Ed’s Reading Room 33 Bumps ‘n Babes 34 Mums Who Mean Business Marlow - Windsor Maidenhead - Slough - Egham Ascot

Spring Special

IT ALL! CAN HAVE YES, YOU is

mum’ ‘business Successful partners working seeking 5 e from home, to work part-tim & without alongside family compromising or current commitments career. ory, a supervis If you have sales, managerial, ent or recruitm marketing, background, self-employedto develop an or you wish lifestyle, extraordinary Diana Page please call 362 01235 533

Cho osin g a Nursery Spri ng Days Out Easter Acti vitie s

Cover credit: Photo from www.roomseven.com

Babies born this March will hold the honour of being among the youngest people added to the 2011 Census. These March babies will be joining communities which have used census statistics to plan and prepare for their arrival. Local authorities receive money for services like schools, health and transport, based on the number of people living in an area. So census statistics could help plan the hospitals the babies are born in and the roads they travel home on. It’s important then, to make sure all babies and pre-school children are included on your questionnaire, so that they’re counted and can benefit from the services that are built to help them. The census is a once-a-decade event, run by the Office for National Statistics. In March a white envelope with a purple C on it will drop through your letterbox. Inside will be a questionnaire which can be completed securely online or on paper. It takes about 10 minutes per adult to complete, much less for children. www.census.gov.uk

PLANNING A ‘WILLS & KATE’ CELEBRATION? PO Box 3902, Maidenhead, SL60 1AD web: FamiliesTVEast.co.uk tel: 01628 627586 fax: 08717 146 305 (calls cost 10p/min) e-mail: Editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk editor: Claire Winter circulation: 19,000 next issue: May/June 2011 featuring: Summer Holiday Activities due out: MAY 1 copy/advertising deadline: APRIL 1

Telephone: 01628 627 586

If you live in the Royal Borough and are planning a street party to celebrate the royal wedding of HRH Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton on 29 April you will be given every possible help by the local council. There’s a new leaflet giving all the information needed for hassle-free celebrations. Street parties and other community events are likely to be a major part of the royal wedding calendar and the leaflet offers practical advice and information about the things organisers need to get sorted in advance, leaving them free to enjoy the day with their friends and families. www.rbwm.org.uk

MARCH / APRIL 2011

FAMILIES Thames Valley East

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News & Info BERKSHIRE BABY AND TODDLER SHOW 10%unt discofees on

Log on to www.familiestveast.co.uk for more news and commentary

FAMILIES is proud to be the official media sponsor of the 2011 Berkshire Baby & Toddler Show. The Bracknell & Wokingham NCT (National Childbirth Trust) is hosting the event on Sunday April 10 at the Coppid Beech Hotel in Bracknell. The event is for parents and parents-to-be to find out about numerous products and services all under one roof. NCT workshops will be running and delegates can learn more about subjects such as childbirth, parenting, relaxation and first aid. Meanwhile, the FREE under-5s Kidzone will keep youngsters busy. Proceeds from the event will be used to train a peer breastfeeding counsellor for the Bracknell & Wokingham area; allowing the local NCT branch to provide invaluable help to many more parents.

For more information go to http://tinyurl.com/berksbabytoddlershow2011 IN OTHER news, the NCT has launched a national Postnatal helpline to help new and not-so-new Mums and Dads with all their parenting dilemmas. Staffed by qualified NCT advisors, the line offers support and information on everything from sleeping to feeding, establishing baby routines and body image after birth. The helpline number is 0300 330 0772 and is open 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday, with calls charged at local rates. www.nct.org.uk

GET READY FOR AN ART ADVENTURE IN OLD WINDSOR A NEW business has been set up in Old Windsor for budding artists of all ages. Hands-On Art was launched at the end of January and was conceived by former Head of Art, Janet Craig. “I wanted to sent up an ‘independent room’ where any artist of any age or ability can come along and get stuck in, just for fun. Not just pottery and painting but arts and crafts, plus clubs and activities too.” Janet has taught art for 15 years and because of this experience also runs workshops for local schools. In addition, she runs a Residential Art Trip to Cornwall, where children and teachers alike spend a whole week immersed in art and come home with a sketchbook full of ideas inspired by their trip away. She has successfully taken four of the Windsor Middle schools to Cornwall 13 times. To find out more about the studio, classes and activities at Hands-on Art, go to www.hands-onartadventures.co.uk or call 01753 831646 .

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FAMILIES Thames Valley East

MARCH / APRIL 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


RECYCLED FASHION CHALLENGE FOR ROYAL ASCOT

News & Info

ENJOY MAIDENHEAD has joined up with Windsor and Eton Town Partnership and Royal Ascot to launch an Ascot-themed recycled fashion competition across the borough to mark the 300th anniversary of the Royal racecourse. Budding fashion designers and milliners from all age groups are being invited to submit Ascot themed outfits made from recycled and unwanted materials. Royal Ascot, the greatest race meeting in the world, is famous for its world-class racing, the social element of a day at the races, history, pageantry and high fashion; the Ascot outfit should reflect at least one of these themes. Designs must be submitted by Saturday March 19 and will be displayed in the Nicholsons Shopping Centre between March 21 and 26. Judging will take place on Saturday March 26. Ascot Racecourse have offered some spectacular prizes including the opportunity to have the overall winning design displayed in one of the prominent window display cases during Royal Ascot. Competition entry forms can be downloaded from the competition page at www.enjoymaidenhead.com

PO.P PUTS A SPRING IN YOUR STEP AFTER our long, cold Winter, Polarn O. Pyret of Sweden has embraced the new season and launched their Spring jackets and coats in a rainbow of bright colours and patterns. All PO.P jackets are wind and waterproof, yet flexible and breathable so the most active child stays comfortable in all weather. The lightweight fleece jackets are highly water resistant and very popular with kids because they just love the thumb grips. Buy them a little bigger than necessary and the adjustable cuffs and thumb grips should help them to last for 2 years. Fleece Jackets from £35, Coats from £39. To find your nearest store, go to polarnopyret.com TURN TO PAGE 23 FOR A 20% DISCOUNT VOUCHER

SIMPLE CHANGES FOR MUMS IF YOU have just had a new baby and are thinking about doing some exercise, The Yummy Mummies and Baby Circuit class might just be what you’re looking for. It is a 60 minute exercise class which helps tone and strengthen the whole body following pregnancy. The class is held at Datchet Health Club on Thursday mornings from 10.30 to 11.30am. Natasha, who teaches the class, says: “All the exercises I teach are easily adaptable, so if you’re feeling tired you can be given gentler options. We always focus on the

Telephone: 01628 627 586

pelvic floor at the end of the class and babies are welcome too.” She also teaches an ante-natal class, Mums2be in Langley in Slough. It is designed for pregnant women in their second and third trimester of pregnancy. The class helps improve posture, strengthen and maintain fitness during pregnancy, plus there’s some much needed relaxation at the end. Pregnancy Massage and personal training is also available. For more information visit www.simple-changes.co.uk or call Natasha on 07984 417053.

MARCH / APRIL 2011

Blossom Ballet Pre-school dance for 18 months - 5 years

Blossom Ballet offers a

new way to learn through exciting movement classes derived from imaginative play, providing a sound foundation for dance, education and social needs. Inspirational pictures, props and instruments are used but most importantly, Blossom Ballet is about having lots of fun and making new friends. Classes in Windsor throughout the week and in Bracknell on Monday mornings Free taster class for all new pupils Contact Miss Lucy to reserve a space info@blossomballet.com 07813084283 For pupils over 5 years, please contact info@hawthorneschoolofdance.com www.blossomballet.com www.hawthorneschoolofdance.com

Next issue of Families: Summer Holiday Activities Deadline: April 1

SELF EMPLOYED? Worried about how to complete your self assessment or what you can claim as expenses? I can offer a range of finance services, covering:  Initial set up of recording system  Advice on how to improve existing recording methods  Consultancy covering any areas of concern to you  Assistance in return completion  Full completion of self assessment return You choose how much help you need and I can do the rest. Competitive rates – free initial consultation. Call Claire at CS Finance Solutions on 07825 052883 / 01628 474240 or email: csfinance@btinternet.com

FAMILIES Thames Valley East

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Academy of English Quality individual and small group tuition in Slough/Windsor/Bucks SATS/GCSE/AS/A LEVEL ESOL – all Cambridge examinations Including business/academic/general English IELTS and university preparation Tel: 07725300061 e-mail: heathercd@btinternet.com

Education LABELS4KIDS KEEPS ON GROWING LABELS4KIDS is capitalising on a successful 2010, after winning Independent Internet Retailer of the Year First Prize. In 2011, the company has continued its expansion with a website re-design, which includes an easier to use checkout, plus the exciting addition of a Spanish online store. “Here at Labels4kids we like to think about the customer first and make their shopping experience an enjoyable one”, says Ann-Maree Morrison, Company Director and a devoted fan of Families Magazines in the UK. “We hope our customers enjoy receiving our e-newsletters every now and then and will fully support our facebook, twitter and blog page, including the parents forum. We are interested in any topics for discussion that you would like to talk about and welcome suggestions for debates and new products.” Labels4kids is not just about selling name labels and I.D. products. We actively encourage a ‘labels4kids community’ to help each other and talk about child related issues on our blog and forum.” For more information, go to labels4kids.com

START SAVING FOR UNIVERSITY FEES AS SOON AS YOU CAN WITH the recent student protests against increased tuition fees still rumbling around us, lots of parents are growing concerned about their children’s future education. Because of higher tuition fees and increased living costs, students now face the prospect of finishing university with total debts well over £30,000. Although the Government insists that students won’t have to begin repayments until they are earning a decent wage packet and that poorer students will be better off than under the current system, it is still a terrifying figure to be faced with, and, if they can, many parents are deciding to start saving for university fees now. But the figures are still jaw-dropping: if you want to provide your child with enough money to leave university debt free, you need to save at least £200 per month from your child’s birth until their 18th birthday (assuming inflation of 2.5% pa and net investment returns of 5.5% pa). And if you don’t start at day one the figures are even worse – delaying the start until your child’s fifth birthday means that you would need to save a whopping £377 per month!

PRIMARY SCHOOL EXPANSION LOOKS LIKELY FOUR Royal Borough first and primary schools look set to take in more pupils from September this year. The additional buildings will be built to help meet the rising demand for schools places in the borough and will provide 30 extra primary places per year group in Maidenhead, 15 in Datchet/Wraysbury and 15 in Windsor, whilst the proposed expansion at Datchet St Mary’s CE Primary will not go ahead. The schools set to expand are: St Edmund Campion Catholic Primary and Holyport CE Primary in Maidenhead, Oakfield First in Windsor and Wraysbury

Primary in Wraysbury. Each scheme will have to put in separate planning applications and go through further consultations this spring and if they are approved building work will start during the summer holidays. The increased demand for additional school places is a result of the growing national birth rate. Locally, more than 1,600 children of reception class age are predicted by 2013. This is 300 more than in 2006. Because of this, the council will have to consult local residents on further primary school expansion in the near future.

Go to www.familiestveast.co.uk/noticeboard for details of independent school open days in March and April.

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FAMILIES Thames Valley East

MARCH / APRIL 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


SIGN OF THE TIMES BABY signing classes are becoming increasingly popular because both mother and child benefit from the classes. Babies can understand a lot before they can talk, they just can't say it. From as early as six months, babies can begin to tell their parents what they want and how they feel, if they are shown how. If baby learns to sign it means that mum doesn’t need to ‘guess’ what the crying is for, helping to bridge the communication gap. So how does signing work? Babies can control their hands long before they can control their vocal chords, lips and tongue to make understandable speech sounds as recognised words. Having awareness of their hands and the ability to make shapes with them, means that they can use them to communicate with. Signing can help early language development and it can also encourage early speech. For information on baby signing classes in Windsor and Slough, contact Elaine Dennis, 07876 338925 or email elaind@tinytalk.co.uk. www.tinytalk.co.uk

BABIES AND TODDLERS GO ‘MAD’ FOR IT BABIES, toddlers and adults are still loving the music and fun at the MAD Academy, now in its fifth year in Marlow. Anyone walking past the Sea Cadet Headquarters in Wethered Road on a Tuesday morning will not only have heard some fantastic renditions of ‘Dingle Dangle Scarecrow’ and the ‘Hokey Kokey,’ but also witnessed lots of moving and grooving to funky tracks from the sixties. Emma Lelliott, who teaches the class, says: “Whilst there’s huge amounts of science behind what we do, our aim is to make our classes fun for both the children and adults. “The success of MAD Academy is indicative of the rise in demand amongst parents for creative stimulation for their children, who have recognised the importance of music and movement for intellectual stimulation and physical growth.” For more information call Emma on 0118 979 2695 or e-mail her at emma.lelliott@madacademy.com, or check out the website at www.madacademy.com.

Telephone: 01628 627 586

Clubs & Classes news DANCE FOR TIDDLERS THE Jeannine Greville Dance Academies teaches dance to pupils from the age of two and a half to 18 years, catering for beginners to the more advanced.They have academies across Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and classes are held in Marlow and Bourne End, as well as many other locations. Principal Ann Morelle says, “Our young pupils receive tuition in three styles of dance: ballet, tap and jazz, all included in one price, and held on the same day.They learn how to develop confidence, stimulate their imagination, and improve their posture and co-ordination, but of course our main aim is to provide a fulfilling hobby that is FUN!” As the pupils progress and become more technically able they get the opportunity to perform twice yearly on stage. All prospective pupils are offered a free trial lesson, before committing to enrolment. Many former pupils have had successful careers in the dance industry worldwide. For more information and class details please call 01491 572000 or email info@jgdance.co.uk. www.jgdance.co.uk

PRE-SCHOOL RUGGER Started in 2006 to fill a gap in the child development sector, Rugbytots is the UK’s first rugby specific play programme for young children. Children are split into three age groups from age two up to seven years. Classes are running in Maidenhead, Marlow,Windsor and Bracknell, with further venues due to be added during 2011. Birthday party packages are now also proving to be popular. For more details, or to book a place, please call 0845 3133255 or email Michele@rugbytots.co.uk. www.rugbytots.co.uk.

MARCH / APRIL 2011

FAMILIES Thames Valley East

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Pre-School Fun

Musical links to language and literacy By Lyn Thomson ast year Howard Goodall the composer and national singing ambassador - said, “There is a pernicious myth that in order to concentrate on maths and English we should not concentrate on singing. In fact, it’s the other way around: schools that do the best in maths and literacy have the best music programmes.” Research from many countries over many years has proven this to be true, so it is surprising that music in primary schools in England doesn’t play a more important role. As both a music teacher and teacher of English as an additional language I am very interested in the connection between learning music and developing language and literacy. I have been running Music Matters locally for ten years now and have many families who have been with me for many years – not only because they enjoy the music, but also because they can see how beneficial the classes are for their children in other areas. Parents tell me they are often asked how old their toddlers are because they are talking so well. Once they start school, teachers often comment that these children are also very good at learning phonics, that they learn to read quickly and know how to listen and concentrate. Music Matters classes are based on the Kodály Approach, which was developed by the Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodály in the early twentieth century. Kodály believed that a good music education was the right of every child and that all could achieve in music if taught properly and logically. The Kodály approach, I believe, provides the best music education for children and truly understands the link between music on the one hand and developing language and literacy on the other. To develop their language and literacy, children need good listening skills. Without them, they will be slow to understand speech or to talk, which will then affect their ability to learn to read. Children can often be distracted and over-stimulated by sounds from the TV, radio and video games in the home and some are starting school with poor listening skills and poor concentration. They need to be taught these skills. In our classes we start with very simple exercises and make them more difficult as the pupils’ listening skills improve. The Kodály approach is all about singing and playing musical games. Because the songs are unaccompanied, the children are able to listen to the words and melody without the distraction of a piano, guitar or CD playing. The children learn specific listening skills from the songs, such as recognising the pitch and tempo of the songs. They also learn to identify songs from hearing the melody hummed or the rhythm clapped. Later, they will repeat back the rhythms that are clapped or sing back phrases of the melodies played to them. The simple songs we sing in Music Matters present a microcosm of language. It introduces children to vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar. But learning music teaches us more than just that.

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Slough Gymnastics Club A British Gymnastics Club introducing:   

Our pre-school classes offer an introduction to gymnastics in a fun, safe environment. Structured classes teaching basic motor skills, balance, co-ordination and spatial awareness. Age appropriate classes: “mini’s” for age 2-3 and “mighty’s” for age 3-4.

Come and see our dedicated facility and try a class. We also run General Gymnastics for age 4 +

email: ros@sloughgymnastics.co.uk Tel 01753 257 588 Tel 07916 143594

Play sessions for under-5s at the Phoenix Gymnastics Club Have fun in this fully equipped gym with your kids. Sessions Monday: 10.30-11.30 Tuesday to Friday: 9.30 -10.30 & 11.00–12.00 Tuesday & Thursday: 1.00-2.00pm Cost just £3.50 per child (must be accompanied by adult)

Refreshments available Phoenix Gymnastics Club Unit 1, Water Oakley Farm, Maidenhead Road, Windsor Tel:01628 778881 www.phoenixgym.co.uk

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FAMILIES Thames Valley East

MARCH / APRIL 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


Pre-School Fun rhythm-based activities can be hugely beneficial for children who speak these languages at home. Coordination and learning are also related. Students who have difficulty reading often also have poor coordination. Conversely, linking learning to movement and improving children’s coordination actually helps them learn. Although there is a serious intent behind each of the lessons, Music Matters is lots of fun as the children are learning through singing songs and playing games. They are not just being entertained, nor are they sitting behind desks writing down facts about music. They are on their feet actively involved throughout the lessons singing, reciting rhymes, bouncing balls to the beat, stamping rhythms on coloured spots, playing coordination games and much more besides! Music Matters run classes for babies to 12 year olds in Maidenhead and babies to four year olds in Knowl Hill and Wooburn Green. For further information, please call Lyn on 01628 622651 or email lyn@lynsmusicmatters.co.uk.

Always when singing songs or reciting rhymes in Music Matters, the children are keeping the beat in some way, whether it is stamping, clapping, or performing other actions. One of the best indicators of academic success, it is increasingly believed, is the ability to keep a steady beat. This is because English is a stress timed language which means that we speak to a fairly steady beat. Some syllables are stressed and others are unstressed. The distance between one stressed syllable and another is roughly the same, no matter how many unstressed syllables come in between. To give an illustration, look at where the beat falls in the following phrases. [There is a silent beat at the end of each phrase which is represented by ^ ] | | | ^ John hates jazz | Johnny

| hates

| jazz

^

| Johnny

| really hates

| jazz

^

HANDS-ON ART STUDIO

So, despite the addition of syllables, the three phrases take approximately the same amount of time to speak, and these stressed and unstressed syllables give the language its rhythm. Children need to be able to feel the beat in the written language in order to understand punctuation and to read expressively. This is important for all children, but it is particularly important for children who speak English as an additional language and whose native tongue is a syllabic language such as French, Spanish, Italian, Gujarati or Punjabi, where all syllables have equal stress. This means the language has no regular pulse. Singing songs in English that follow the natural cadence of the language and performing lots of

Pop in & Paint: ceramics or canvas Kids Clubs: after-school, Sat & holidays Grown-ups: Art Club, Girls Night In … Parties: book a Table or the Studio

www.hands-onartadventures.co.uk tel. 01753 831646 email: office@hands-onart.co.uk 42a St Lukes Road, Old Windsor, Berkshire SL4 2QQ

GYMTOTS! PRE-SCHOOL GYMNASTICS

FUN + SAFE + CHALLENGING Classes for Children walking to 3 years plus. Enjoy participating with your child in our safe indoor environment with its exciting up-to-date play equpment, based within the Altwood School, Maidenhead. Every day at 10am from Wednesday to Saturday. Our programme has been developed through more than 25 years’ experience with young children and their parents. Gymtots will enable your child to gain confidence by expanding their physical ability, coordination and social skills, with your involvement and under the guidance of our experienced staff. Our advanced class for 3 to 4 years plus, without parent participation, on Wednesdays at 3pm, is more structured and builds upon the earlier classes. Telephone

Telephone: 01628 627 586

MARCH / APRIL 2011

07 957 223 124 for details FAMILIES Thames Valley East

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Pre-school special

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Choosing a nursery that’s right for you and your children

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Robina Cowan takes a look at all the different types of preschool nursery education available, and what they offer. hildcare comes in a range of shapes and sizes, including willing relatives, nurseries, childminders, nannies and au pairs. Apart from you, of course, do nurseries offer the best childcare? That depends on what would suit your child – and finding a good nursery. If your child would thrive on the constant stimulation of other children and adults they trust, using a wide range of toys and outdoor facilities, then the answer is probably yes. Other advantages include year-round care and the experience of qualified staff, which can be particularly reassuring for first-time parents.

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WHEN AND WHERE TO START Nurseries with the best reputations tend to be hot property, and spaces in baby units are more scarce than places for 2–5 year olds, so start looking well ahead of the time you’ll need a place and join a waiting list if necessary. Some mothers start while they are still pregnant; others wait until their child is a babe in arms and they have a better idea of what they need. If you don’t know of any local nurseries, try our advertisers – they’re here because they want you to know about them or check our directory at www.familiestveast.co.uk. Otherwise, your local Family Information Service can supply a list of registered child carers in your area online at www.direct.gov.uk/childcare.

late collections. Ask to see the latest Ofsted report or read it online. Find out if there are any extra charges for nappies, meals, certain activities and the cost of the deposit to go on the waiting list. Factor in the time it will take you to travel to and from the nursery, probably during rush hour. After all this, the most important thing is to absorb the atmosphere and look at whether the children are relaxed and happy, and members of staff are responsive and caring.

NURSERIES IN A NUTSHELL Daycare nurseries

YOUR CHILD’S NEEDS Once you’ve drawn up a shortlist of the nurseries you’re considering, go and look around and ask lots of questions to see if they would suit your child. Although all nurseries follow Ofsted government guidelines, there is room for interpretation in the way the childcare and learning is delivered. For example, some nurseries might serve organic, freshly cooked meals or include additional activities such as dancing, French and outings. Consider issues such as your child’s daily routine (nap times, type of food provided, etc), staff qualifications and experience, staff to child ratios and what the staff turnover is like. Check that you’re happy with the range of toys and equipment available, cleanliness of the premises, security, the policy on discipline and

• A useful option for working parents, day nurseries are typically open from 8am to early evening and children can stay for all or part of the day. • Some parents feel uneasy about leaving their baby in sole care, no matter how well-qualified that person is. It’s reassuring to know that nursery staff can safely take breaks, and that you are covered if a member of staff is off sick. • Consistency – your child can stay in the same environment from the day you go back to work until they start school. • Social environment – children who attend nursery find it easier to settle into school routines when they join reception classes. • BUT you might need back-up childcare if your child is ill or if you’re running late…

Little Red Hen Day Nurseries Ltd Grove Park White Waltham

Nurturing, homely, calm yet stimulating and structured environment for children aged 3 months – 5 years.

Beehive Pre-school - Open 9.00am to 3.00pm. - Excellent Ofsted. - Front and Rear Garden. - Own premises and car park. - Close to Magnet Leisure Centre. - Children from 2yrs 3 months. - Up to 15 hrs free for over 3’s. - Registered Charity.

Good quality healthy meals Dedicated sleep room  Large garden  Free sessions for 3-5 year olds  All Childcare Vouchers accepted  

To book a visit or find out more call 07948 073118 www.littleredhendn.co.uk

The Hut, Holmanleaze, Maidenhead, SL6 8AW Registered Charity No : 1029550

Tel : 01628 777243

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FAMILIES Thames Valley East

MARCH / APRIL 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


NURSERY

Pre-school special

Nursery classes in schools • A first step into school, although a school nursery place does not automatically guarantee a place in reception. • Convenient if you’re already dropping siblings at the school. • Stimulation – some children are ready for school earlier than others and readily take to structured, educational play. • Age-specific activities are geared to the school children they’re becoming, rather than the babies they used to be. • BUT sessions tend to be just three hours, which isn’t practical for many families. Full-time places are few and far between.

Pre-schools and playgroups • The Preschool Learning Alliance is one of the largest providers of quality childcare in England, offering a wide choice of settings from pre-schools and baby and toddler groups to full daycare places in nurseries and children’s centres. • PLA settings are managed by experienced and qualified managers who lead teams of nursery workers and support staff, training them to meet children’s individual needs. • Parents are encouraged to be active members, so you can be more involved in your child’s care. • Small-scale settings are less daunting for shy children. • BUT you may need additional care if you work fulltime, although wrap-around hours are available in some settings and, as they tend to be community operations, don’t expect glamorous premises.

Private nursery schools • Stimulation – by two and a half most children benefit from some kind of pre-school environment. They learn without knowing it while using letters, shapes and numbers, looking at books and expressing themselves through making things, drawing and singing. • Peer group – the opportunity to make friends of the same age. • Might be more flexible on the availability of hours or days you need to fit in with your work schedule.

Telephone: 01628 627 586

Having fun at Meadowbrook Montessori School • Often smaller scale with a personal touch, and the nursery head is usually involved in the running of the school. • BUT although some offer wrap-around care, they are generally open only for school hours so you’ll need someone to drop off and collect if you’re at work.

More information • Read more local childcare articles on our website www.familiestveast.co.uk • For local nurseries and links to their Ofsted reports, go to www.findmyschool.co.uk. • The National Day Nurseries Association provides a lot of useful information including a free checklist to take on your visit, and contact details for NDNA member nurseries, www.ndna.org.uk/parents. • The Preschool Alliance website has useful sections for parents and practitioners, including links to find local PLA childcare, www.pre-school.org.uk.

NURSERY

MARCH / APRIL 2011

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Nursery News LOVELY NEW FACILITIES AT SOUTH ASCOT PRE-SCHOOL SOUTH ASCOT PRE-SCHOOL, based in Church Rd, South Ascot, has recently undergone some exciting changes inside and outside, having received funding from the RBWM Quality & Access funding pot. The improvements to both internal and external facilities include a pretty blue and white playhouse in the playground, adjacent to the pre-school garden, a new wooden pirate ship and a stunning wooden gazebo with raised sandbox. The inside of the pre-school has also seen major changes with the installation of solid oak flooring, a new toilet area and a fresh coat of paint. The pre-school, which operates during school term times from 8.45-3pm, currently has spaces for 21/2-5 year olds for morning, afternoon or all day sessions. If you are interested in sessions at the pre-school and would like to visit (five funded sessions are also available for over 3’s) contact Mrs Shaw on 01344 291775.

NEW PRE-SCHOOL FOR TAPLOW THE FLYING KITES PRE-SCHOOL opened its doors for the first time this January. Local Mums Deborah Reader and Charlotte Evans set up the school after receiving Ofsted approval in November last year. They have capacity to care for up to 24 children aged between 2 and 5 years at the Scout Hut on Institute Road in Taplow. Sessions run from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 12.30pm and limited places are still available. They have a wide range of brand new resources and offer a fun, safe learning environment. Visit www.flyingkites.eu or call Deborah on 07999 288098 for more information.

UNDER-FIVES FLOURISH AT CLAIRES COURT NURSERY THE CLAIRES COURT SCHOOLS NURSERY in Maidenhead offers a varied nursery education for children aged three and above. The Nursery focuses on different topics every term. During the January term the theme was traditional stories. The children made bread as part of “The Little Red Hen” story, cooked and ate porridge during “Goldilocks” week and did lots of movement and drama during the “Billy Goats Gruff” tale. Exploration of the school’s grounds also helps to support the children’s learning and understanding of the stories. The Nursery is open Monday to Friday, 9am-3.30pm, during term time. Working parents are also well catered for. An extended day is available for all children at the school, with a 7.30am start and after school care until 6.30pm. Plus there is a great Holiday Club, if you need your children looked after in the school holidays. Open Events are held throughout the year giving an opportunity to take an informal look at the Nursery. For more information call 01628 411480; www.clairescourt.com

LITTLE RED HEN EXPANDS LITTLE RED HEN DAY NURSERIES in Grove Park, White Waltham, has steadily grown since opening in September 2009. They have made significant improvements to their large garden, which will be extended even further in March, when they take on another unit at Grove Business Park, which will allow for an additional 18 baby and toddler spaces. They currently cater for 30 children from three months to five years in a rural setting with free car-parking and good links to the M4 and other major routes. The Florence Avenue nursery in Maidenhead also remains very popular for babies and toddlers under two and a half. At both settings, the children enjoy many varied activities, experiences, lots of outdoor play and receive the highest standards of care and education in a warm, nurturing and stimulating environment, with experienced and dedicated practitioners. For more information visit www.littleredhendn.co.uk or call 07948 073118 for Grove Park or 07906 020882 for Florence Avenue to arrange a visit.

QUALITY DAY CARE IN LITTLEWICK GREEN & BURNHAM LITTLEWICK GREEN MONTESSORI SCHOOL offers a safe, caring and creative environment for children aged 18 months to five years in the quiet village setting of Littlewick Green. The classrooms are fresh, bright and stimulating and have dedicated areas for active play as well as rest. There is also a secure outdoor play area. The qualified staff cover the Early Years Foundation Stage and Montessori curriculums to ensure that all areas of the children’s development is considered. Meals are freshly cooked on the premises and healthy eating is promoted. The Oratory Montessori Day Nursery is situated Burnham and offers similar facilities for children aged three months to five years. For more information go to www.montessorischool.co.uk or call 01628 828258 (Littlewick Green) or 01628 665621 (Oratory).

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E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


Where your little ones blossom into independent confident learners

• Poppies is owned by two qualified childcare practitioners with over 30 years’ experience. • We carefully select our dedicated childcare team who provide an outstanding level of care to children aged birth to five years. • Children are cared for in beautiful settings, a home away from home. • Excellent Parent Carer Partnerships • Freshly cooked organic food. • Large safe and secure nursery garden. “I will always be most grateful for the most wonderful settings you have created and for meeting my children’s appropriate needs. Thank you and well done. Poppies will always hold a special place for me and as I watch my children progress I know where it all began.” K.H. (parent) Poppies Day Nursery Furlong Road Bourne End Bucks SL8 5AE Tel: 01628 521522 poppiesdaynursery@fsmail.net

Poppies Day Nursery Crown Road Marlow Bucks SL7 2QG Tel: 01628 487772 poppiesdaynurserymarlow@fsmail.net

www.poppiesdaynursery.com

Telephone: 01628 627 586

MARCH / APRIL 2011

FAMILIES Thames Valley East

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Nursery Listings

Listed below is a selection of nurseries and pre-schools in and around Windsor, Slough, Maidenhead, Marlow, Ascot and Egham. Compiled by Phoebe Winter.

Details correct at the time of going to press (February). For more information on your local early years providers, please contact your local Family Information Service: Windsor, Maidenhead and Ascot, 01628 685632; Slough, 01753 476589; Bracknell Forest, 0800 328 9148; Bucks, 08456 884944; Surrey, 0300 200 1004.

SL1

Burnham Montessori School, Dropmore Parish Hall, Littleworth Road, Littleworth Common. Age: 2 to 5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 8.45am-3.45pm, term time. 01753 647557. Pre-School Stars, Cippenham Community Centre, Earls Lane, Cippenham, Slough. SL1 5DJ. Age: 2-5. Open: Monday-Friday 8.55am-3.10pm (term time only). 01628 667933 or 07855 889726. Teeny Boppers Montessori School,St Ethelbert’s Church Hall, Wellington Street, Slough. Age: 21/2 to 5 years. Open: Monday- Fridays, 8.45-11.45am and 12.15-3.15pm or 8.45am-3.15pm. Term time. 01753 532212; teenyboppersmontessori.co.uk

SL2

The Beeches Nursery, Minniecroft Road, Burnham. Age: 0-5 years. Open: Monday- Friday, 7.45am-6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01628 603800; countrysidenurseries.co.uk First Steps Day Nursery, Wexham Park Hospital, Wexham Street, Slough SL2 4HL. Open 51 weeks per year (closed between Christmas and New Year) 6.45am-5.30pm. 01753 634365 The Oratory Montessori Day Nursery,10 Lower Britwell Road, Burnham. Age: 3 months-5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01628 665621; email: oratorymdn@gmail.com Nuffield Health Day Nursery, Wexham Street, Stoke Poges. Age: 3 months to 5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, all year round. 01753-663996; email: southbucks.nursery@nuffieldhealth.com Sunshine Corner Pre-School, Village Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges. Age: 2-5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 9.00am-3.30pm, term time. 01753 644300.

SL3

Eton End PNEU School Nursery, 35 Eton Road, Datchet. Age: from 3, Open: Monday-Friday, 8.45am-3.30pm (afternoons optional), term time. Sessions for rising 3’s also available. 01753 541075; etonend.org Little Boppers Day Nursery, 540 London Road, Colnbrook Slough. COMING SOON. Age: from birth-5 years. Open Monday-Sunday, 5am-11pm, 52 weeks of the year. Call 07400 910538 or 07983 457244 or email littleboppers@hotmail.co.uk; www.littleboppers.co.uk

SL4

Bright Start Pre-School and Nursery Class, Homer First School, Testwood Road, Windsor. Age: 2 to 5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 8.40am-3.20pm, term time. 01753 831402; e-mail: staffatbrightstart@tiscali.co.uk Places currently available. Buttons Pre-School Playgroup, Dedworth Green Baptist Church, Smiths Lane, Windsor SL4 5PE. Age: 2-5 years. Open: Monday 9 to 12 & 12.15 to 3.15, Wednesday 9 to 12 & 12.15 to 3.15, Thursday 12.15 to 3.15, Friday 12.15 to 3.15. There is a lunch club on Monday and Wednesday. 07778 001 665. Children of the World Montessori School, St Edward’s Parish Centre, Dorset Road, Windsor. Age: 21/2 to 5 years. With large outdoor garden. Open: Mondays- Fridays, 9am-3.30pm, term time. 01753 833771; cotwmontessori.co.uk King’s Court First School Foundation Stage Unit, Ashbrook Road, Old Windsor. Age: 3-5. Open: Monday-Friday, 8.50-11.50am; 12.10-3.10pm, term time. 01753 866272. Little Fingers Montessori School, St Stephen’s School Rooms,Vansittart Road,Windsor. Age: 2 to 5 years. Open: Mondays-Friday, 9.15am-12.20pm, Term time. Tel: 01628 778636; littlefingersmontessori.co.uk Little Monkeys Nursery Windsor & Windsor Park, 27 Victoria Street, Windsor, Windsor Park: St Leonard's Road, Windsor. Age: 3 months to 5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01753 622149; littlemonkeysnursery.co.uk

The Windsor Club Day Nursery, The Windsor Club, Helston Lane, Windsor. Ages: 3 months to 5 years. Open: Monday- Friday 8am-6pm. 01753 855543.

SL5

Cheapside Pre-School, Village Hall, Cheapside Road, Cheapside. Age: 21/2 to 5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 8.45am-3pm (12.30pm finish Friday). Lovely facilities, inside and outside. Morning and afternoon sessions and lunch club. Term time. 01344 627111. Forest Lodge Day Nursery, Heatherwood Hospital, London Road, Ascot. Age: 0-5 years. Open Monday-Friday, 7.30am – 6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01344 877533. countrysidenurseries.co.uk South Ascot & Cheapside Pre-School, South Ascot Church Hall, Church Road, South Ascot. Age: 21/2 to 5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 8.45am-3pm; Morning and afternoon sessions and lunch club. Great new indoor and outdoor facilities. Term time. 01344 291775. Sunninghill Day Nursery, The Terrace, Sunninghill. Age: 0-5 years. Open: Monday- Friday, 7.45am-6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01344 875179. countrysidenurseries.co.uk

SL6

Beehive Pre-School, The Hut, Holmanleaze, Maidenhead. Age: 2yrs 3 months to 5 years. Open:Monday-Friday, 9am-noon and 12-3pm, lunch club available for children staying all day, term time. 01628 777243. Claires Court Schools, The Nursery, 1 College Avenue, Maidenhead. Age: 3 to rising 5. Open: Monday-Friday, 9am-3.30pm, term time. Extended day optional, with 7.30am start and after school care until 6.30pm. School No. 01628 411480. Holiday club 01628 687440; clairescourt.com Claires Court Schools, Ridgeway, The Thicket, Maidenhead. Age: from 4 (boys only). Open: Monday-Friday, 9am-3.30pm, term time. Extended day optional, with 7.30am start and after school care until 6.30pm. School 01628 411490. Holiday club 01628 687440; clairescourt.com Cookham Dean Nursery,Tythe Barn, Dean Lane, Cookham Dean. Age: 0-5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 7.45am-6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01628 481401. countrysidenurseries.co.uk Cookham Montessori School, Scout Hut, Pearce Drive, Cookham. Age: 2-5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, term times. Start times: 8.30am, 9am, 9.30am or 12.30pm. Finish times: 12.30pm, 1.30pm or 3pm. Free places for 3 & 4 year olds. 01628 529414; cookhammontessori.com Flying Kites Pre-School, The Scout Hut, Institute Road, Taplow, Berks. Ofsted registered Pre-School caring for up to 24 children aged 2-5 years. Open Monday-Friday 9.30am-12.30pm. Mums and tots group from the same venue on a Monday afternoon from 12:45-2:45pm. Tel: 07999288098; flyingkites.eu Herries Preparatory School Nursery, Dean Lane, Cookham Dean. Age: rising 3s. Open: Term time, Monday-Friday 8.30am-3.30pm full days, 9am-noon (1pm, with lunch), or 1-3.30pm. Stay and Play sessions for accompanied under-4s 9.30am-11am, March 14 and 28. 01628 483350. herries.org.uk Highfield School, West Road, Maidenhead. Age: from 21/2 (girls to 11). Open: Monday- Friday, 9am-3.30pm, term time, with optional extended day 7.45am-6pm and holiday club. 01628 624918. highfield.berks.sch.uk Holyport Pre-School, c/o Youth Club Hall, Moneyrow Green. Age: 21/2 to 5 years. Open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9.00am-noon; Wednesday and Friday 9am- noon and noon-3pm. Term time. 07840 935 401. Little Red Hen Nurseries Ltd, 39 Florence Avenue, Maidenhead. Age: 3 months to 21/2 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, 48 weeks/year. 07906 020 882. littleredhendn.co.uk Little Red Hen Nurseries Ltd, Unit 3b+4, Grove Business Park, Waltham Road, White Waltham. Age: 3 months-5 years. Open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, 48 weeks/year. 07948 073118. littleredhendn.co.uk Littlewick Green Montessori School, School Lane, Littlewick Green. Age: 18 months to 5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, 43 weeks or 48 weeks a year. 01628 828258. Email: montessorischool@aol.com Maidenhead Nursery School & Children’s Centre, School Lane, Maidenhead, SL6 7PG. A well resourced, exciting learning environment led by qualified teachers. Age: 3-5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 8.45-11.45am; 12.15-3.15pm; term time. 8am breakfast club and lunch club. 01628 623551; email: maidenhead-nur@rbwm.org; maidenhead-nur.rbwm.org

Children’s Day Nursery and Pre-School in Maidenhead Excellent quality Children’s Day Nursery, combining traditional loving care with stimulating educational programme to provide a well-balanced environment for your child. • • • • •

Under new Management, contact Anna our Nursery Manager to book your show-round

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Children from 6 weeks to 5 years old Open 7.30am to 6.15pm Monday to Friday Full time or part time (51 weeks) Pre-School educational curriculum French, swimming and music classes.

For further information please telephone 01628 623777

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


NURSERY

Munchkins Pre-School, c/o St Lukes School, Ofsted registered for children aged 2 to 5 years.Open Monday to Friday 8am to 3pm term time only. Contact: 01628 770877 / 07518 471706. munchkins -maidenhead.co.uk Positive Steps Day Nursery, St Joseph’s Centre, Cookham Road, Maidenhead. Age: 6 weeks to 5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 7.30am-6.15pm, 51 weeks a year. 01628 623777. positivestepsnurseries.co.uk Positive Steps Day Nursery, Vanwall Business Park, 94a Norden Road, Maidenhead. Age: 6 weeks-5 years. Open: Monday – Friday 8am-6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01628 630323. positivestepsnurseries.co.uk Poundfield Pre-School,The Community Hall, Radcot Close, Maidenhead. Age: 21/2 to 5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 9.15am-12.15pm, term time. Lunch club on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12.15-1.30pm. 01628 621130(am), 01628 673571(pm). St Nicolas Pre-school, Reading Rooms, Taplow. Age: 3-5 years. Open: Monday-Friday 9.15am-12.15, term time. 01628 664476. St Piran’s School Nursery, Gringer Hill, Maidenhead. Age: from rising three years. Open: Monday-Friday, 9am-noon or 9am-3.30pm, term time. Optional extended day to 6pm and breakfast club from 7.30am. Holiday club available. 01628 594302. stpirans.co.uk White Waltham Nursery School, Cricket Pavillion, Waltham Road, White Waltham. Age: 21/4 to 5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm, term time. 01628 824802. Winbury School and Pre-Preparatory School, Braywick Park, Hibbert Road, Bray. Age: 2 to 3 (Nursery) or 3-4 (Kindergarten). Open: Monday-Friday, 9am-12.15pm, (1pm with lunch) or 9am-3pm. term time. After school and holiday care available. 01628 627412. winburyschool.co.uk

SL7

Poppies Day Nursery, Crown Road, Marlow. Age: 6 weeks to 5 years. Open: Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01628 487772. poppiesdaynursery.com

Nursery Listings Kingfisher Pre-School,Baptist Church Hall, Glade Road, Marlow. Age: 2-5 years. Open:Monday to Friday, 9.15-12.15pm with optional over 3's lunch club on Thursday. Term time. 07939 825 749. kingfisherpreschool.org.uk

SL8

Poppies Day Nursery, Furlong Road, Bourne End. Age: 6 weeks to 5 years. Open: Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01628 521522. poppiesdaynursery.com

HP10

Little Willows Nursery, 2 Chapel Road, Flackwell Heath. Age: 3 months-21/2 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 7.45am-6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01628 532738. countrysidenurseries.co.uk Willow Tree Nursery, 2 Chapel Road, Flackwell Heath. Age: 21/2-5 years. Open: Monday-Friday, 7.45am-6pm, 51 weeks a year. 01628 533445. countrysidenurseries.co.uk

RGs

Meadowbrook Montessori School, Malt Hill, Warfield. Age: 21/2-12 years. Open: (Pre- Primary) 9am-noon; 1-4pm, term time, optional lunch. 01344 890869. meadowbrookmontessori.org

For an online version of these listings, go to www.familiesonline.co.uk/TVEnurseries

NURSERY Memories are made of this ...

LITTLE IMPRESSIONS

Unique casts of your child’s hands and feet

Tel 01672 811242  Mob 07780 853545 claireh@little-impressions.com

www.little-impressions.com

The Windsor Club Day Nursery & Crèche at The Windsor Club Helston Lane, Windsor. SL4 5AP Independent Day Nursery from 3 months – 5 years Ofsted approved, grant funding available for 3 years+ We offer music, french, gym, ballet, cooking and ball skills as well as freshly prepared meals and a large enclosed garden. A friendly and secure environment open Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm

01753 855543 Telephone: 01628 627 586

MARCH / APRIL 2011

FAMILIES Thames Valley East

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Bluebells

If you go down to In April and early May the local countryside and woodlands are filled with a fantastic display of bluebells. This iconic English flower is a firm favourite with nature lovers but it is in danger, as Joanne Crosse explains…

he National Trust is one of the most important guardians of the native British bluebell. A quarter of its woodland is ancient or semi-natural, providing the special conditions necessary for this plant to flourish, and giving us a springtime sight that can’t be beaten. The UK holds over half of the global population of the native bluebell, but loss of habitat, climate change, uprooting bulbs for garden use, and the continuing spread of the invasive Spanish bluebell means that this icon of spring is now under threat.Yet despite these challenges, National Trust woodlands continue to reveal magnificent displays of scented bluebells in April and May. “Many people are unaware of the plight of the native bluebell because they don’t realise that what they’re usually looking at is the Spanish flower,” says Basildon Park’s Gardener in Charge, Tim Martin. “This species was introduced to British gardens in the 17th-century, but escaped and cross-bred with the natives, which has resulted in one third of our current bluebell population being either Spanish or a hybrid. We monitor our woodland closely, and remove any Spanish intruders, which have to be crushed or burnt, or they may end up in landfill sites and continue to spread.” The native species, which will not flourish in the average garden, can be identified by its strong sweet scent, and intense violet-blue colour (rather than the pale blue of the Spanish plant), and has flowers that droop down like a bell along one side of the stem. “The powerful impact of sights like this just cannot be described, but must be experienced,” says Tim. “I’ve heard people describing them as being soothing, even spiritually uplifting, which is wonderful to hear, especially during these unstable times of recession and worry.”

T

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Into the blue, a selection of bluebell walks: The internationally famous gardens of Cliveden, in Taplow, once home to the illustrious Astor family, are liberally sprinkled with displays of delicate bluebells throughout the garden and surrounding woodlands, creating seas of hazy blue colour.Visitors can enjoy the displays at their best on a guided walk on 17 April (10.30am, £7, bookable on 01628 605069). The woodlands in Basildon Park in Reading reveal a glorious bluebell bounty.Visitors can view the bluebells and other woodland gems, such as lesser celandines, on regular guided walks around the estate every Friday at 10.30am, led by the Reading & District Natural History Group. The Vyne in Basingstoke has woods surrounding this tranquil Tudor estate which are thick with bluebells. The warden’s Springtime Amble on 1 May explores the woods’ floral bounty, whilst the surrounding meadows and parkland, full of tranquil walks, offer the chance to really ‘get away from it all’. Springtime Amble, 10am – 12pm, booking essential on 01256 883858. The beech woodlands of Greys Court in Oxfordshire are brimming with thousands of densely packed bluebells in spring, which featured on tv in 2010! There are delightful trails to follow, as well as guided bluebell walks on 28, 29 and 30 April. Guided walks, 10am – 12pm, booking essential on 0844 249 1895, £9. A great display can be seen at Cocksherd Wood, off Farnham Lane in Slough. It is a nature reserve owned by the local council. www.slough.gov.uk Why not stop at Hambleden, near Marlow, where you can go on a delightful walk circular walk, with bluebells galore.You can download a map from http://www.chilternsaonb.org Explore Waltham Place in White Waltham on a guided bluebell walk, 30 April, 2pm. Cost £7 per adult and £3.50 per child. www.walthamplace.com Warburg Nature Reserve, near Henley, has 2-mile guided walks suitable for families with older children. Free but booking

MARCH / APRIL 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


Bluebells

the woods today… essential on 01491 642001. Or visit at any time to see the woodland bluebell displays. More details at www.bbowt.org.uk Take it at your own pace at the Tinkers, Jocks and Temple Copse in Bracknell Forest, a beautiful hazel coppice woodland bursting with bluebells. A circular walk can be enjoyed through them. The best place for car parking is Jocks Lane Recreation Ground, off Binfield Road. Download a leaflet from www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/the-three-copses.pdf Whitegrove Copse, Sage Walk, off Harvest Ride, Warfield – another stunning woodland with surfaced paths great for pushchairs. No formal car park. Use Larks Hill Car park, off Harvest Ride and walk 10 minutes along Harvest Ride to access the site, www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/whitegrove-copse.pdf Popes Meadow has both open parkland, good access by car and bus and a small wooded copse full of bluebells. This site is also great for families. It is a Green Flag Award winning site and has a disabled access route (not through the bluebells though), picnic areas, orienteering and a small play park. This is in Binfield, off St Marks Road, RG42 4AY, www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/popes-meadow.pdf Cowleaze Wood, near Christmas Common, Oxfordshire, site of the former sculpture park, has a lovely carpet of bluebells in spring, www.forestry.gov.uk

BLUEBELL FACTS AND FIGURES The bluebell is associated with many old stories and folklore: ringing the ‘bells’ would summon fairies; wandering into a bluebell ring could put the walker under fairy enchantment leading to death; turning a bluebell flower inside out without tearing it would result in winning the heart of a loved one. The bluebell has lots of local names, including auld man’s bell, culverkeys, ring-o’-bells, wood bells and wild hyacinth. A Plantlife Bluebell Survey in 2003 found that non-native bluebells were present at one in six of the woodland sites surveyed. It is illegal to collect bluebell seeds or bulbs in the wild to sell, without a permit. A legal supply of native bluebells is being established, with licences granted for the sustainable harvesting of seed and bulbs, to aid official restoration projects. Correct management of native bluebell woods can go a long way to assisting the plight of this plant. Selective coppicing and thinning is essential, so that dense shade does not block out the dappled light bluebells need. Landowners should also check regularly for signs of hybrid flowers and remove them. The UK’s bluebell woods are of international importance – so please take care and leave them undamaged for others to appreciate their unique beauty.

Telephone: 01628 627 586

MARCH / APRIL 2011

FAMILIES Thames Valley East

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Health

Back pain – even children suffer these days

t’s common for many mums to suffer from Karen Carroll of Amersham Osteopathic Clinic backache during their pregnancy and for the first few years of their child’s life. After all, we discusses childhood and adult backache. have to lift car seats and buggies in and out of illnesses like chicken pox which tighten the car, babies and toddlers in and out of cots, the membranes and may predispose a the bath, their high chairs – neck and shoulder child to a headache, or a rapid growth pain, mid or low back pain seems to be almost spurt that has resulted in back pain. the norm. But has it occurred to you that our Osteopaths also consider other factors children might be suffering from mild backache as well, for example extraction of teeth as well? or having braces fitted may predispose to Backache in school-aged children is slowly headaches in those that are vulnerable or increasing – some inherit a tendency to have a minor fall may be a trigger for some backache or tension in their neck and back pain. shoulders, but lifestyle choices are also playing a Trained paediatric osteopaths have part. Increasing numbers of children are undertaken a two-year post-graduate carrying heavy bags around school and spending course on how children grow, how their more time on the computer or games consoles, bodies differ from adults’ and how to meaning they’re spending less time being treat children gently to help them physically active and playing outside. Many of us through the discomforts of growing pains, have backache because we have a poor sitting headaches, backache or poor posture. and standing posture. This is particularly a Paediatric osteopaths have studied how problem at school, when children are sitting at to encourage a child’s body to grow out desks not designed for their height, or they’re of any tendency to poor posture as it taller than their friends and don’t want to be goes through the rapid growth of stand out and so start slumping. Carrying childhood and puberty as well as to around a heavy school bag on one shoulder also prescribe appropriate exercises to poses challenges for the growing spine. support this. Children grow quickly at certain points in Osteopathy is a method of diagnosis their life and this puts stress on the muscles and ligaments (the and treatment based on the relationship between the structure and supporting structures for the bones) that have to stretch as the spine function of all the tissues within the body. Paediatric osteopathy is and limbs grow. When their bodies are growing very rapidly, the specialist application of very gentle osteopathic techniques for particularly around seven to 15, they may experience headaches or babies and children. All parts of the body need to be in good backache, especially when there are some unresolved misalignments of alignment with each other and be able to move normally. the skull, neck and chest. Girls who are starting puberty frequently Osteopathy focuses on reducing restrictions and distortions, experience headaches and backache as a result of hormonal and releasing strains and encouraging movement within the head and physical changes, as well as ligamentous laxity. Just as adults have to body framework. The application of very light, focused touch learn to look after their backs, to stretch and exercise, so we have to encourages the bones, joints, muscles or compressed tissue to teach our children good habits too; osteopathic treatment can be used release and find a better balance. As restrictions release, the to help ease neck and back pain, and headaches. osteopath can sense an improvement in how the body moves and works more harmoniously. So how does osteopathy help? Treatment of childhood and adult backache can involve some Osteopaths understand how the skull, neck and spine move and changes to diet, exercise, posture and lifestyle, as well as gentle function. A qualified pediatric osteopath has studied how to help osteopathic manual therapy and the use of new, highly effective release unresolved strains from birth, from falls and whiplash, from modalities like laser therapy to reduce pain rapidly. Sam, for example, is 12 and has been complaining of backache since he started secondary school. Once treatment had resolved the strains associated with a couple of falls during rugby and his recent braces, his back pain became far less frequent and less intense. Some postural advice and stretches further helped. Another patient, mum Tessa, had been suffering from discomfort in her neck, shoulders and back since the birth of her Reflexology, Aromatherapy, second child 24 months ago. Two long labours and comforting a Indian Head Massage & colicky babe had loosened her ligaments and contributed to poor Hopi Ear Candling postpartum posture. No time to go to the gym to exercise had meant that she had not lost her pregnancy weight, which had taken away the I am a qualified Reflexologist and compensations that her system had been able to make and her low Aromatherapist and I practise back became increasingly more painful. Gentle osteopathic treatment independently from home in a very and the use of laser therapy reduced the pain and irritability. Once special place at the end of the garden these strains were released, some gentle core-strengthening exercises (hence the name). helped Tessa’s back ease and she could then do some gentle exercise at I am within walking distance from home and begin to regain her pre-pregnancy figure and strength. Windsor Central Station, Windsor & Eton Riverside Station and a short journey Further information from Slough & Maidenhead. Treatment of children is usually undertaken by osteopaths with a post-graduate qualification in paediatric osteopathy. For more Please take a look at my website: information about adult and paediatric osteopathy, visit www.reflexaromawindsor.co.uk www.amershamclinic.com or call Amersham Osteopathic Clinic on or call me on 01753 840847 01494 434651.

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E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


TONGUE-TIE RELEASE

Health

By Dr Martin Kittel s a baby I was tongue-tied myself. So my mum took me to the GP, who took out a little pair of scissors and snipped my frenulum (the attachment of the tongue to the floor of the mouth). That was back in 1966. It is estimated that around 10% of babies are born with tongue-tie. It is more common in boys than in girls and, in 50% of affected babies, there is a close family member with a tongue-tie. Whilst not all children diagnosed with tongue-tie necessarily need to be treated, they may have difficulty breastfeeding soon after birth. Sometimes, tongue-tie is blamed for speech problems. If you are concerned about your child’s tongue-tie you should consult a medical practitioner. When I first arrived at my practice in Berkshire, I was surprised to learn that tongue-tied babies were being referred to Southampton General Hospital to have this procedure carried out, which is basically quick and easy to do within a couple of minutes. The referral process took a long time and let’s face it, it’s not what mums need when they have just had a little baby. Now, there are other clinics in Berkshire that offer tongue-tie division, but as a surgically experienced GP, I could not understand why one would not be able to

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Telephone: 01628 627 586

offer something so simple, locally. So, after training by a surgically experienced colleague, I started doing the releases myself at my private clinic in Maidenhead. The biggest surprise was the happiness such a procedure gives the mum. There has been so much praise and positive feedback for the service that I wished I had done it years ago. So when is it the right age to start doing it? The views on this vary and I recently had a mum of a two and a half year old child calling me, because the child had developed a lisp. This is clearly too late, because at that age it is very likely a child will need a general anaesthetic, whilst no anaesthetic is needed in a very young baby at all. Generally, one should not perform the procedure in a child older than 6-9 months and the development of teeth makes the procedure more difficult. If breast or bottle feeding is a problem, I feel the earlier it’s done the better. There are, however, children whose tongue is completely fused to the floor of the mouth. These babies need a general anaesthetic and a procedure carried out by a maxillofacial surgeon. But any other children with a tight frenulum can be released within a few minutes. Sometimes the wound bleeds a little but it stops fairly soon after the procedure.

MARCH / APRIL 2011

Overall, it is hoped we do everything to make this process as smooth as possible for any mum with a newborn baby and it truly takes about 15 minutes from beginning to end. We know how anxious parents are to get their babies released quickly and so bookings can be accommodated any time up until and including the day of the clinic. Clinics are usually run on a Friday. Mums will be able to feed their babies right afterwards, which is recommended, and they should notice a difference straight away. For further information call 0845 2255775 or visit our website at www.tongue-tie-release.co.uk. For more information about tongue-ties, visit www.babyfriendly.org.uk/items/ item_detail.asp?item=439

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Strictly Dancing for the grown-ups Strictly Come Dancing and a whole host of other dance shows has put dancing for adults back in the spotlight. So if you ever fancied trying ballet, the Tango or bellydancing, why not give it a go? ance can lift your spirits and emotions, as well as challenging you physically.You can dance your way through some tough times or simply re-vitalise a mundane fitness routine. Movement can help take you through a process of healing, but best of all dance can simply make you happy… Do you think you can’t dance? In fact, everyone can move and there is a dance for everyone. Don’t worry if you have two left feet and the ungainliness of a wildebeest.

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techniques to get people to move. “This dance form is not choreographed and there are no set steps but there is a structure and you can interpret it in your own way. The 5 Rhythms gives people the chance to express themselves through the different rhythms,” says Mary. The great thing about 5 Rhythms is that anyone can take part no matter what your fitness level is, your age or sex and Mary adds, “there is no pressure to conform here, it all just melts away through the dance.” She holds workshops and teaches a regular dance-movement class at the Marlow Youth Club on Tuesdays at 12.30-2.00pm, to book email mary@dancingforjoy.co.uk or call 01628 473198. For details of other classes in London go to www.acalltodance.com/lonwaves.htm.

DANCING TO EXPRESS YOURSELF

Bellydancing lessons with

Rachel for all ages and levels in Crowthorne, Maidenhead, Windsor and Twyford.

Call Rachel on 07858 480 814 Rachel@rachelbellydancer.com www.rachelbellydancer.com Photo by Maani Vadgama

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Photo: Martin Pearson

IF the thought of learning steps, keeping in time and following a teacher fills you with dread, then perhaps a more expressive dance is what you need. 5 Rhythms, devised in the 1960s by Gabrielle Roth, is a meditative dance practice where you work through different energies: Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness. Mary Nonde, a local teacher from Marlow, uses 5 Rhythms as one of her

occasion, where you can forge new friendships and network. Belly dancing is a dance form that celebrates all that is feminine, enhancing the natural curve of a woman’s body. It is also a great form of exercise; toning the arms, strengthening core muscles and improving flexibility. It certainly beats sitting on an exercise bike but can burn up just as many calories. Belly dancing can also improve your self-esteem and self-confidence as Rachel says, “it is a human instinct to be creative and belly dancing is one way of expressing your creativity through dance”. For more information go to www.rachelbellydancer.com or call 07858 480 814.

DANCING BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO OF course for many of us with daughters, our first brush with formal dance classes is the local ballet school. Who can resist the gauzy skirts and delightful absurdity of the first show? And here I put my hands up. My daughter took ballet as soon as she was old enough, partly because of my frustrated ambitions (happily, she loved it). But of course ballet isn’t only for children, Katherine Marks is teacher of adult ballet classes at the Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead. Her classes cater for a range of abilities from the totally inexperienced right through to other ballet teachers. The key to a successful class, according to Katherine, is getting the pace correct and of course giving extra attention to the less experienced pupils. Katherine says that everybody can benefit from ballet. “It can improve your general well-being, posture, stance, flexibility, co-ordination and muscle tone. It can also make you feel happy and fulfilled after giving your body and mind a good workout.” For information email: Katherine.marks@o2.co.uk or call 07939 308655.

DANCING TO BE COMFORTABLE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR BODY RACHEL is a full-time professional bellydancer and an experienced, fully qualified teacher. She teaches classes in Maidenhead, Windsor, Crowthorne and Twyford (near Reading and Twyford). She believes that the appeal of bellydancing lies in “the allure of something that is different from traditional western dance forms” and also “the challenge of making your body move in way that is different to the way you normally use it, such as, undulations and lifting and dipping your hips”. She is also keen to point out that her classes are very much a social

MARCH / APRIL 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


Strictly Dancing

By Kate Birch & Phoebe Winter DANCING FOR THE FUN OF IT BUT if ballet is not for you, why not go all Gene Kelly and try tap? Apart from being an essential skill for professionals, tap is one of the most enjoyable and rhythmic forms of dance there is. Whether its exams you want to work towards or free-work tap classes you want to attend, a local dance school could find a class to suit you. The Elite Academy teach adult tap classes in Maidenhead and Beaconsfield and cater for all, from complete beginners to advanced standard. The Principal of Elite Academy, Louisa Sweeney, has found that adult dance classes are extremely popular with both young and older adults. “No matter what your ability everyone can learn to dance! We also offer adult ballet, jazz, tap, ballroom and Latin classes for all levels. Our pupils get fit, have a good time and a laugh whilst learning a new skill.” Louisa says one of the most popular dance forms is tap. “It’s a lovely dance genre for beginners and to start with it’s not too energetic. Everyone enjoys making lovely rhythms with their feet!”

in Stoke Poges, for men and women. The Adult Tappers appear on stage in their lavish theatrical productions. The next show will be in November this year, when the Academy celebrates 30 years of teaching dance. The group has appeared on TV, in a documentary for BBC2 called ‘Making Slough Happy’. The group danced on a platform at Slough train station as the inter-city express pulled in (much to the amazement of the passengers). For details about the Orchard Academy’s classes for adults and children call 01753 663484 or go to www.orchardacademy.com. You could also try the cardio dance craze Zumba. Laurice Abbey started teaching it just under a year ago. She has always been a fitness fanatic but once she was introduced to Zumba, she got hooked, which inspired her to start teaching the classes. She puts its popularity down to it being “exercise in disguise”. It combines various styles of

Pupils love the classes: “It’s so much more fun than going to the gym!” “I find myself tapping down the aisle of the supermarket whilst pushing my trolley!” For details about their classes call 01628 825028. www.eliteacademyofdance.co.uk The Orchard Academy of Dance and Theatre Arts also teach an Adult Tap class on a Friday evening

dance such as Salsa, Merengue and other international dances. “Learning Zumba, enhances your fitness, flexibility and stamina, plus it makes you feel and enjoy the music too.” says Laurice. Her classes take place in Windsor and she advises everyone to give Zumba a try. Go to www.Zumbastic.co.uk or call 0793 337 9110. Lots of local health clubs in the area also hold classes too.

GOING ALL STRICTLY FOR those inconsolable with the end of the recent Strictly Come Dancing series, the only choice is ballroom and there are classes across the area. Try Ceroc, a modern jive fusion of salsa, ballroom, hip-hop, tango and jive (www.cerocwindsor.co.uk) or you could go for the more traditional forms of ballroom and Latin.You can, for example, find these at Dorney School of Dancing in Maidenhead where you can also take private lessons (www.dorneyschooldancingsl6.co.uk). Or perhaps you want a bit more passion in your life, so why not try Bailarin Tango in Windsor and Maidenhead? (www.bailarintangoclub.com). In the end, however, dancing does not have to be about fake tan and sparkly make-up. It doesn’t even have to be something you do in a class or have any talent for. So, just kick off your shoes (or strap on your heels), put the music on and dance. Re-live the school disco with your other half, boogie with your friends and bust some ‘moves’ with your kids (what do you mean you can’t break dance?).

ORCHARD Academy of Dance & Theatre Arts

L RO EN W! NO

Est. 1981 – Principal: Jean Orchard L.I.S.T.D.

2 NEW CLASSES for BOYS & GIRLS

Street Dance & Musical Theatre Ballet ~ Tap ~ Modern Theatre Dance ~ Adult Tap Classes Outstanding Exam Results and Spectacular Shows

01753 663484 Telephone: 01628 627 586

MARCH / APRIL 2011

FAMILIES Thames Valley East

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FAMILIES Thames Valley East

MARCH / APRIL 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


Great Competitions from WIN an Evening Spa Experience at NIRVANA SPA Enjoy an Evening Spa Experience, which includes a floatation experience for two, at Nirvana Spa. The UK’s award-winning spa welcomes you to the ultimate experience of peace and tranquility with treatments that have been specifically selected to restore and relax. The spa is home to six pure, natural pools with water clean enough to drink. Minerals and salts selected from the Dead Sea in the floatation therapy pool offer you the perfect floating experience. For more information visit www.nirvanaspa.co.uk. TO ENTER the Nirvana Spa competition just visit familiestveast.co.uk/competitions today. Closing date April 10.

WIN a term of Ballet Lessons for your toddler ... at Blossom Ballet, plus a pair of ballet shoes to help your little one get started. With a course at the Windsor school and a course at the Bracknell school waiting to be won, two lucky readers could soon have their child enrolled in dance class absolutely free. The prize must be used in the 12 week Summer Term 2nd May 21st July. Dancers will receive a certificate upon completion of the term. Blossom Ballet and its syllabi were created and carefully designed by pre-school professionals specifically for babies, toddlers and young children. Blossom Ballet offers a new way to learn through exciting movement classes derived from imaginative play providing a sound foundation for dance, education and social needs. Inspirational pictures, props and instruments are used but most importantly, Blossom Ballet is about having lots of fun and making new friends. Classes cater for children from 18months up to five years. Upon graduation from Blossom Ballet, pupils are welcome to join Hawthorne School of Dance to continue their learning in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Street Jazz. For more information go to www.blossomballet.com TO ENTER the Blossom Ballet competition just visit familiestveast.co.uk/competitions. Closing date April 10.

WIN a relaxing weekend break for the whole family

Brooklands Hotel is offering readers the chance to win a luxurious weekend away. The prize includes an overnight stay for two adults and two children on a weekend of your choosing in a family room, plus dinner and breakfast in the Brooklands Brasserie. The Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge, Surrey was launched to critical acclaim in March 2010, the hotel is situated on the historic Brooklands race track. Brooklands offers the ideal weekend break. Just 30 minutes from central London, the hotel is easily accessible by road, rail or air. There are a host of neighbouring attractions to visit including Mercedes Benz World (great for track and off road driving experiences) and the Brooklands Museum (which is home to Concorde!), although might just stay onsite and indulge in the Brooklands Brasserie & Bar or spend time relaxing in the spa – shortlisted for the Professional Beauty Awards 2011. READER OFFER – 10% OFF ALL WEEKEND BREAKS! If you fancy escaping to Brooklands we have secured a fabulous Reader Offer. Simply quote ‘FTVE_11’ and receive 10% off your room rate.Valid Friday – Sunday, until June 2011. However, it may not be used in conjunction with any other offer. For more information please visit www.brooklandshotelsurrey.com or call 01932 335700. TO ENTER this great competition just visit familiestveast.co.uk/competitions. Closing date April 10.

E TV er m Fa ad fer Re Of

Admit One Child Free When accompanied by a Full Paying Adult

Telephone: 01628 627 586

www.oddsfarm.co.uk

MARCH / APRIL 2011

Valid until 2 May 2011 Not valid with any other offer. Voucher must be redeemed by 02/05/10 to obtain discount. Only original voucher accepted – No copies or web copies. Only one child free per voucher per full paying adult.

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Spring Fun and Easter Days out with WINDSOR GREAT PARK SPRING HAS SPRUNG IN WINDSOR GREAT PARK

CLIVEDEN PREPARE TO BE A’MAZED’ AT CLIVEDEN

THE Royal Landscape, Windsor Great Park has a fantastic and varied programme of events for families this Spring, including free entry to The Savill Garden for mums on Mothers’ Day and an Easter Treasure Trail for all the family around The Royal Landscape, whose spring plant collections and fine floral displays in April provide the perfect backdrop. Celebrate Mothers’ Day on Sunday 3 April with free entry for all mums to The Savill Garden. (Normal car park charges apply). There will also be horse drawn carriage rides from The Savill Building running throughout the day from 11.00am to 4.00pm. Easter week (18-25 April) provides the opportunity for families to enjoy a good walk around The Royal Landscape following an Easter Treasure Trail. There are fun clues to solve, and things to look out for, with a chocolate treat at the end for participants. There are two trails – one which takes 40 minutes to an hour for younger children and then the second trail takes around 2 hours to complete. The cost to enter is £2.50 per leaflet (and prize), which can be purchased from The Savill Building. For more information call 01784 435544 or visit www.theroyallandscape.co.uk

THE new maze in the grounds of Cliveden in Taplow is being officially opened on April 8. The 19th-century recreated giant maze, has been two years in the making and is made from 1,000 six foot high yew trees. The National Trust gardeners have also used 1,000 metres of steel edging and 60 tonnes of gravel to produce over 500 metres of path, making it the same size as the world-famous Hampton Court maze. Its design is based on one that was built for Lord Astor in 1894. His designs for the maze were discovered in Trust archives in 2005. Apart from a few surviving yew trees that provided the exact location of the maze, little else was known about the original maze which was last plotted on an ordnance survey map in 1923. The two-year project was led by Cliveden’s Head Gardener Andrew Mudge. He said: “Once we found the old plans in 2005 we just felt compelled to recreate it. It took a lot of research and planning to firstly draw out the plans and then to prepare the ground. “The maze has been built as close as possible to the original maze site. The clearance involved removing the last remnants of the original maze, some poor trees, shrubs and perennial weeds. The whole area then had to be leveled. “Finding enough fully grown yew trees to complete the maze was the most challenging part, but once we found a supplier we managed to plant all 1,100 12-year-old trees in 20 days in October and November last year, which is of course the best time of year to plant most tree types. Yew trees create great mazes because they readily form dense hedges and are easily clipped into shape. “The maze will take a little while to really establish itself and fill out, but it’s fantastic that people can enjoy it straight away. You can’t cheat by pushing through the hedges because they are all enclosed by metal railings, and because it’s yet to appear on Google earth, there’s no cheating using mobile phones either, so it’s a real treat for people who want to puzzle their way in and out of the maze.” Cliveden is open daily from 10am to 5.30pm. For more information and admission prices visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden or call 01628 605069.

From 9 until 25 April, follow the Spring Trail around the farm and win a Yummy Treat. Plus, with plenty of cute Lambs to Bottle Feed and the return of Tractor & Trailer Rides, there’s so much to do! See reverse for ONE CHILD FREE VOUCHER. For more information call 01628 520 188 or visit www.oddsfarm.co.uk

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MARCH / APRIL 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


Easter Traditions Where the Easter bunny comes from and other Easter traditions Easter was originally a pagan festival – the ancient Saxons celebrated spring with a party in honour of the Dawn goddess, Eastre. The date of Easter changes every year because of Roman emperor Constantine’s Easter rule, which stated that it should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. This was because it was a day of maximum light (12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of moonlight). The Easter bunny also originated with the pagan festival of Eastre, as she was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit. The first documented use of the bunny as a symbol of Easter appears in Germany in the 1500s, and it was the Germans who made the first edible Easter bunnies in the 1800s. Some believe hot cross buns predate Christianity, as buns decorated with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour

Telephone: 01628 627 586

of the goddess Eastre, with the cross symbolizing the four quarters of the moon. According to English folklore, buns baked and served on Good Friday will keep for a year without going mouldy. Another encourages keeping a bun for medicinal purposes – if you give a piece to someone ill it will help them get better. Eggs are a symbol of rebirth in most cultures and had already been given as springtime gifts before Easter was first celebrated by Christians. Eggs are coloured brightly to symbolise the sunlight of spring. Medieval records note that eggs were often given as Easter gifts to servants by their masters. The most ornate Easter eggs are probably the jewelled and enamelled eggs that Fabergé made for the Russian tsars.

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Easter Activities CLAIRES COURT are running their Easter Holiday Club at The College, College Avenue, Maidenhead, for two weeks from Monday April 11 to Friday April 15 and Monday April 18 to Thursday April 21.Varied programmes start at 9am and finish at 4.30pm. Extended days available at £3 per extra hour. Advanced bookings: £30 per day, within a week of holiday starting £40. For ages 3-6 and 7-12. 01628 687440; clairescourt.com. DAVID LLOYD, MAIDENHEAD will be offering Swimming crash courses over the Easter holidays. Monday April 11 to Friday April 15 and Monday April 18 to Friday April 22. Crash courses are a fantastic way to achieve rapid progression and polish technique. They have small classes sizes and dedicated teachers. For more details contact Beth on 01628 509860. DELGADO TENNIS CAMPS will be run in Maidenhead at the Magnet Leisure Centre, Holmanleaze, at St Pirans School, Gringer Hill, and John Hampden School, High Wycombe, from Monday April 11 to Friday April 15 and from Monday April 18 to Thursday April 21. For ages 4-18, courses split according to age and level. For exact information on pricing and timing, please contact Paul on 07818 052206 or visit delgadotennis.co.uk.

10-11.30am during school holidays. Cost: £5 studio fee plus the cost of the pottery piece or £14 per canvas including all paints & equipment.The Studio also runs Kids after-school, Saturday and daytime clubs; Bumps and Babies, Mums and Toddlers club every Tuesday from 10am. Story Adventures for pre-schoolers every Thursday from 10am (different story each week then paint a ceramic tile with a symbol, character or image relating to the story – Cost: £10). Booking essential. 01753 831646; hands-onartadventures.co.uk. iFASHIONDESIGN will be organising an Easter Fashion School at the Beaconsfield School, Wattleton Road, Beaconsfield, from Monday April 11 to Friday April 15 and from Monday April 18 to Thursday April 21. 9am-3.30pm. Create summer dresses, make jewellery, hats and accessories, and be inspired by vintage and eco fashion. For ages 8-14. Cost: £26 per day, £115 for week 1 or £95 for week 2. Fashion show on last day of each week. 07980 706574, ifashiondesign.co.uk. LONGRIDGE. Activities every week day, Monday April 11 to Thursday April 21, from

8.45am to 4.00pm or 5.45pm. Includes up to five outdoor activities and lunch. £35/£40 per day. For 8 year and up. 01628 483252; www.longridge.org.uk

Pop-in and Paint: pottery or canvas, with HANDS-ON ART ADVENTURES, St Luke’s Road, Old Windsor, during the Easter holidays. Open Tuesday to Friday from 9.30am-5pm, Saturday from 10am-5pm. Special morning Kids Club sessions,Tuesdays to Fridays from

MARLOW TENNIS ACADEMY’s Easter tennis camps will be run at the Court Garden Leisure Complex, Pound Lane, Marlow, from Tuesday April 12 to Friday April 15 and from Monday April 18 to Thursday April 21. 10am-4pm; 10am-1pm or 1-4pm.The academy runs courses for all levels from co-ordination/ beginners for ages 6-8 to improvers and advanced players. Maximum of 8-12 pupils per coach. Cost for a full four day course is £120, four half days: £60. 07929 292868; marlowtennisacademy.co.uk. NORDEN FARM, Altwood Road, Maidenhead, will be holding its annual No Limits Festival of the arts for young people on Friday April 22

and Saturday April 23. The centre will be running a range of activities for children and also for the whole family to take part in. Something to suit all ages and interests. Suitable for ages 5–11+. 01628 788997; nordenfarm.org. PERFORM WINDSOR will be tackling The Wind in the Willows during their 3-day drama workshop for ages 4-8 at Clewer Youth and Community Centre, Parsonage Lane, Windsor, from Wednesday April 13 to Friday April 15, 10am-12pm. Cost of the course is £90 (25% discount for siblings). 0845 4004000; perform.org.uk. SERIOUSLY FUN SWIMMING SCHOOL is running holiday crash courses at St Pirans School, Gringer Hill, Maidenhead, and at the Teikyo Japanese School in Wexham from Monday April 11 to Friday April 15. 30-Minute lessons between 9.30am-12pm. Cost per course: £55. 0844 3511463 (Maidenhead) or 0844 3511461 (Wexham); seriouslyfun.com STAGECOACH MAIDENHEAD will be exploring The Wizard of Oz at the Altwood School in Maidenhead, from Monday April 18 to Thursday 21 April. Four day workshop, 9.30am-12.30pm, for ages 4 to 6 years, cost £60 per child; 10am to 4pm, for ages 6 to 16 years, cost £105 for the first child and £75 for siblings. To book call 0118 950 0999. THE CREATION STATION have planned special Easter arts and crafts workshops for ages 1-11 on Fridays April 8 and 15 at Birch Hill Community Centre, Leppington Road, Birch Hill, Bracknell, from 10-10.50am. Also on Wednesdays April 13 and 20 at the Windsor Methodist Church, Alma Road,Windsor. Cost: £5.50 per child, £3 siblings. 0845 303 9448 or visit thecreationstation.co.uk. THE FIRESTATION ARTS CENTRE in St Leonards Road, Windsor, is running an Easter Musical Theatre Workshop from Monday April 11 to Friday April 15. Drama, dance and singing for girls and boys 6-16yrs, performing BUGSY MALONE. 10.30am-3pm. Performance at the end of the week for friends and family to watch. Cost: £135 pounds for the week, sibling discount available. Contact Sammy on 07785233282; sammyfonfe@yahoo.co.uk.

Holiday Club

At Claires Court Schools, Maidenhead Providing quality care and peace of mind every school holiday Masses of fun, structured play and activities including: sports, team games, arts and crafts, swimming, computers and much more. Open to all children aged 3-12 years Easter: 11 April - 21 April May Half-term: 31 May - 3 June Summer Holiday: 18 July - 2 September 9am-4.30pm (extended day option 8am-6pm) Cooked lunch and tea available We Accept Childcare Vouchers Visit www.clairescourt.com/holidayclub to see details of our current programme and booking information, or call

01628 687440 New ‘Explorers’ Activities For children aged 8 and over that are ready for a greater challenge. Professional instructors will provide a programme of specialist activities to motivate and entertain. Look at our programme on the website for full details.

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E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


Time Out

Compiled by Trynke Casale

Windsor & Eton Flippin’ Pancake Challenge, March 8

Animal Skeletons at the Natural History Museum,Tring: March 10

The Mole Who Knew It Was None Of His Business, South Hill Park: March 20

MARCH

Friday March 11 to Sunday March 13. BRITISH LEISURE SHOW at Windsor Racecourse, Maidenhead Road, Windsor. 10am-5pm Tickets: adults £15 (in advance), £20 (on the door); children (under 16s) free; from Windsor Tourist Information Centre, 01753 743 915; britishleisureshow.com Friday March 11 to Sunday March 20. PROFESSOR TOAD’S TROLLEY at the River and Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley. 10am-5pm. Mr Toad celebrates National Science & Engineering Week. Free with admission. 01491 415600; rrm.co.uk. Saturday March 12. BABY AND TODDLER SALE at Little Fishes Pre-School, Furze Platt Memorial Hall, Furze Platt Road, Maidenhead. 2.30-4pm. Toys, clothes and baby equipment at great prices. Sellers: £12 a table, keep 100% profit. To book, contact 07957 176984. Buyers: £1 entry, sorry no prams. Saturday March 12. ANDY AND MIKE’S BIG BOX OF BANANAS at the Wycombe Swan, St Mary Street, High Wycombe. 2pm. CBeebies presenters Andy Day and Mike James in a slapstick comedy show for ages 4-11. Tickets: adults £10.50, children £9.50. 01494 512000; wycombeswan.co.uk. Saturday March 12. NCT NEARLY NEW SALE at The Link, St John’s Church, Windlesham. Doors open at 10.30am (10.15am to NCT members). Entry: £1. Nct.org.uk. Sunday March 13. NCT NEARLY NEW SALE at Sir William Ramsey School, Rose Avenue, Hazlemere, High Wycombe. 11.15am-12.45pm (11am for NCT Members). Entry: £1. nct.org.uk. Tuesday March 15. MONKEY BUSINESS at the Natural History Museum in Tring, Akeman Street, Tring. Make some monkey masks (for the under 5s – drop-in sessions from 10.15-10.45am and 2-2.30pm, £1.50 per child), or see and examine the skeleton of the 6-metre-long northern bottlenose whale that swam up the Thames in 2006. 020 7942 6171; nhm.ac.uk/tring. Saturday March 19. WALKING WITH HARES with the Wycombe Woodland Rangers, starting at 10am from the The Stag and Huntsman pub in Hambleden. The hares are in their breeding season, and become less careful: a good time to observe them. Booking essential. Cost: adults £4, under 18s £2, family £10. 01494 421825; Wycombe.gov.uk. Saturday March 19 and Sunday March 20. ART EXHIBITION - CRAFT, GIFT AND FOOD FAIR at Juniper Hill School, Churchill Close, Flackwell Heath. 10am-5pm (4pm on Sunday). Admission: £1, under 16s free. 07787 304919/ 01628 531465. Saturday March 19. JAMES CAMPBELL’S COMEDY 4 KIDS at the Firestation Centre for the Arts, St Leonard’s Road, Windsor. 3.30pm. Brand new stand-up comedy for children over 6, their parents and anyone who likes comedy without the rude words. Tickets: £7.50. 01753 866 865; firestationartscentre.com.

Saturday March 19. DAFFODIL WALK at Waltham Place Farm, Church Hill, White Waltham. Walks start at 2pm from the Ormandy Centre and include refreshments. Booking essential. Tickets: adults £7, children £3.50 (5-16yrs). 01628 825517; walthamplace.com. Saturday March 19.TURBINE TOURS, visit the Reading Wind Turbine, in Green Park, as part of National Science and Engineering Week. Special lectures and tours by experts at 11am and 1pm to find out how it works. Free, but booking required. Email: greeneducation@hotmail.co.uk. Sunday March 20. THE MOLE WHO KNEW IT WAS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS at South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell. 11am and 2pm. The popular children’s picture book teaching basic biology adapted for stage with music, lots of characters and fun. Tickets: adults £10.50, children £7.50, family £29. 01344 484123; southhillpark.org.uk. Sunday March 20. LET’S GO WILD! MEET THE ANIMALS at the Wycombe Museum, Priory Avenue, High Wycombe. 2-4pm. Opening of the museum’s new wildlife exhibition and meet some unusual and exotic live animals. New Garden Trail. Make an animal magnet to take home. Cost: Free; garden trail: £1.25, includes a prize bag. 01494 421895; Wycombe.gov.uk/museum. Sunday March 20. WALK ON THE WILD SIDE at Colne Valley Park, Denham Court Drive, Denham. 10am-12pm. Forage your ingredients for lunch and then cook them up at the Visitor Centre between 12-1pm. The Colne Valley Food Stall will also be selling local produce between 11am-3pm. Walk is free; if you stay for lunch, the cost is £2. Car park: £2.50. Booking essential. 01895 833375; colnevalleypark.org.uk. Sunday March 20. SCIENCE OF MOTHER NATURE at the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading University, Reading. 2-4pm. Part of National Science Week: Open Day at the Museum with demonstrations, hands-on activities, and workshops. Free. 0118 378 7391; reading.ac.uk/merl. Sunday March 20. FIX THE WATERWHEEL at Painshill Park, Portsmouth Road, Cobham. 12-4pm. Find out how the waterwheel works and have a go at experiments: launch bottle rockets, pump water, solve cog puzzles and put together a mini-wheel. Talk to technical experts. Family trails. Free with entry into park. 01932 868 113; painshill.co.uk. Tuesday March 22 and Wednesday March 23. PETER PAN THE MUSICAL at South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell. 7.30pm, also at 2pm on Wednesday. Amateur production by Eagle House School. Tickets: adults £12, concessions £10. 01344 484123; southhillpark.org.uk. Wednesday March 23. MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM by Shakespeare 4 Kidz at the Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Windsor. 10.30am and 1.30pm. Tickets: £10-£16. 01753 853888; theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk.

Till Sunday May 1. THE BRAIN DRAIN SHOW at the Look Out Discovery Centre, Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell. Shows during weekends and daily in school holidays, at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3.15pm. Cost: £1.85 per person. 01344 354400; bracknell-forest.gov.uk/be. Every Wednesday from March 2, for six weeks. WII CLUB FOR NEW MUMS at Burnham Library, Windsor Lane, Burnham. 2.15-3.30pm. Learn to use some of the Wii games (or just have a go) and meet other mums in a relaxed atmosphere. Free.Visit the library to book your place. 01628 559513. Saturday March 5. SEW, KNIT AND NATTER at Burnham Library, Windsor Lane, Burnham. 10.30am-12.30pm. Informal group meeting at the library, open to all ages. Take a project, and give or receive advice on all things crafty. Meets every first and third Saturday of the month. 01628 559513. (Also on March 19, April 2 and 16) Saturday March 5 and Sunday March 6. DAYS OUT WITH THOMAS at Didcot Railway Centre, Didcot Parkway Station, Didcot. 10.30am-4pm.. Tickets: adults £10, children 2-15 £8.50. 08444 771000 (Ticketmaster); didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk. Mondays March 7, 14, 21 and 28. STROLL AND ROLL at the Colne Vallley Park, Denham Court Drive, Denham. 10.30am-12.30pm. Walk in the park with your strollers and enjoy a hot drink at the end. Suitable for all children aged 0-5 years and their mums. 01895 833375; colnevalleypark.org.uk. Tuesday March 8. MAIDENHEAD MADNESS PANCAKE RACE in King Street, near the cinema, Maidenhead. Men and women in mad costumes race whilst flipping pancakes. Races start at 1pm. 01628 796128; maidenheadtownpartnership.org.uk. Tuesday March 8. WINDSOR AND ETON FLIPPIN’ PANCAKE CHALLENGE in Windsor Royal Shopping Centre. 10am Start. Lots of teams in 15th century housewife costume will take part in the age-old Shrove Tuesday activity. 01628 683644; windsorroyalshopping.co.uk. Tuesday March 8. BRACKNELL PANCAKE RACE in the Broadway, Bracknell. 10.45am. To enter a team costs £5 per person. All proceeds will go to the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance. 01344 350084; Bracknell.com. Thursday March 10. ANIMALS AFTER SCHOOL SKELETONS, children’s activities at the Natural History Museum in Tring, Akeman Street, Tring. Find out about animals by looking at their skeletons, then make something to take home. Drop-in, 3.45-4.30pm, for ages 5+. Tickets: £1.50. The museum houses Lionel Walter Rothschild’s collection of animals and other collections from the Natural History Museum London. 020 7942 6171; nhm.ac.uk/tring.

Telephone: 01628 627 586

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Time Out Saturday March 26. SCIENCE OPEN DAY at the Royal Holloway University of London, Egham Hill, Egham. 10am-4pm. Talks, workshops and hands-on activities for all ages on the theme of The Science of Speed. Free. 01784 434455/437520; rhul.ac.uk. Saturday March 26. NCT NEARLY NEW SALE at Egham Leisure Centre,Vicarage Lane, Egham. 10.30am-12noon (10.15am for NCT members). Nursery equipment, babies’ and children’s clothes, toys, games, books and maternity wear. Entrance: £1.50 per adult. Contact sae.nctsales@hotmail.co.uk for more information. Saturday March 26. NCT NEARLY NEW SALE at Burnham Grammar School, Hogfair Lane, Burnham. 11.30am-1pm (11.15am for NCT members). Good quality under 5's clothes, toys, books, equipment, maternity clothes. Entry: £1. To sell or help, contact sloughwindsorNNS@gmail.com or 0844 243 6264. Saturday March 26. SPRING STROLL at Lily Hill Park, Lily Hill Road, Bracknell. 2-3pm. Ranger-led walk through the awakening woodland. Suitable for all ages. Meet in the North car Park, off Lily Hill Road. 01344 354441; Bracknell-forest.gov.uk. Saturday March 26. LITTLE RED ROBIN HOOD at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead. 11am and 3pm. A merry mix up in the forest: two classic tales are interwoven with generous helpings of slapstick, clowning and music. For ages 4+. Tickets: £6.50, family £22. 01628 788997; nordenfarm.org. Saturday March 26. THE MOUSEHOLE CAT at South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell. 11.30am and 3pm. Old folk legend from the Cornish village of Mousehole, brought to life with carved wooden puppets, coloured shadows, live music and a strong and beautiful set. For ages 4-7. Tickets: adults £10.50, children £5.50. 01344 484123; southhillpark.org.uk. Saturday March 26. GODS AND GODDESSES OF ANCIENT GREECE – Dionysos, the God of Wine and Parties, at the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading. 2-4pm. Family event (with children aged 6+): hear myths, do a craft activity and have the chance to look around the collection. Cost: £3 per child. Booking essential. 0118 378 6990; reading.ac.uk/ure. (Also on Saturday April 16 – Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt). Saturday March 26. EARLY SPRING WALK IN THE LOWER LODDON VALLEY, through Ruscombe, Stanlake Park, Whistley Green and the Loddon Reserve. 10am-12.30pm. Pleasant general interest walk of about 4.5 miles with a few stiles. Meet on the lane alongside St James' Church at Ruscombe. 0118 9267441; bbowt.org.uk.

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Saturday March 26. A GEOLOGICAL WALK ALONG THE WEST WYCOMBE RIDGEWAY. 12-2pm.Two/three-mile walk led by Dr Jill Eyres, Director of Chiltern Archaeology, from West Wycombe to Bradenham, hoping to see interesting geological features.. Meet at the car park at top of the hill by St Lawrence's Church,West Wycombe. Free (donations welcome). Suitable for children aged 8+. 01494 674306; bbowt.org.uk. Saturday March 26 and Sunday March 27. NGS OPEN GARDEN at Stubbings House, Stubbings, Maidenhead. Access through the nursery. 18th Century house, home to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in WW2. Parkland, lawns, woodland walks (Maidenhead Thicket). Entry: adults £3, children free. Ngs.org.uk. (Also open on May 7 and 8). Saturday March 26 and Sunday March 27. CAMPAIGN 45 – 1940s SOLDIERS, a Pre-season special weekend at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St. Giles. 10am-5pm. Celebrate the museum’s new season by going back to the 1940s and the war campaign of 1945. Museum will fully open on Saturday April 2.Ticket prices for this year: adults £8, children £5. 01494 871117; coam.org.uk. Sunday March 27. NCT NEARLY NEW SALE in the St Crispins Leisure Centre, London Road,Wokingham. 11.30am-1pm (11.15am for NCT members). 0844 588 3870; nct.org.uk. Sunday March 27 to Saturday April 2. HENLEY YOUTH FESTIVAL, at the Kenton Theatre, New Street, Henley and other locations in Henley.This year’s theme is Fantasy and Fairytale. For more information visit www.hyf.org.uk.

APRIL Throughout April. BABY ANIMALS AND SPRING TRAIL at Odds Farm Park, Wooburn Common Road, Wooburn Common. 10am-5.30pm. See the baby lambs, bunnies and fluffy chicks in the park this Easter. Follow the Spring Trail and win a yummy treat. 01628 520188. Oddsfarm.co.uk Friday April 1 to Sunday April 3. LEGOLAND’S 15TH BIRTHDAY WEEKEND at Legoland Windsor. Three days of fun family activities. Lego birthday cake building competition and Treasure Trail hunt around the park. Look out for Legoland’s 15th Birthday Collector Badge. Tickets from £27.60 (online). 0871 2222 001; legoland.co.uk. Saturday April 2. NCT NEARLY NEW SALE at Great Marlow School, Bobmore Lane, Marlow. 1.30-3pm (1.15pm for NCT members). Entry: £1 min. donation on the door. marlowmaidenhead.nctsale@hotmail.co.uk; nct.org.uk.

MARCH / APRIL 2011

Saturday April 2 and Sunday April 3. A MOTHER’S WORK… Mothering Sunday Weekend Special at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St. Giles. 10am-5pm. Demonstrations and activities to take part in for all ages. 01494 871117; coam.org.uk. Sunday April 3. MOTHER’S DAY at Cliveden, Taplow. Free admission for mums. 01628 605069; nationaltrust.org.uk. Sunday April 3. FREE ADMISSION to the Savill Garden, Wick Lane, Englefield Green, for all mothers on Mother’s Day. 01784 435 544; theroyallandscape.co.uk. Sunday April 3. MOTHERING SUNDAY at Hughenden Manor, High Wycombe. 11am-4pm. Make your Mum a paper posy, and find out about the Victorian language of flowers. 01494 755573, hughenden@nationaltrust.org.uk. Sunday April 3. MOTHERS DAY CRUISE starting from the Packet Boat Marina, Packet Boat Lane, Cowley, Uxbridge. 2-4pm. Treat Mum to a relaxing cruise and cream tea. Cost: £4 per person, free car parking, disabled access, boat is heated and has an onboard bar if Mum needs a bit more than a cup of tea. Booking essential. 07545 924 868. Sunday April 3. MOTHERING SUNDAY – MUMS GO FREE at the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway, Station Road, Chinnor. Mums travel FREE when accompanied by a fare paying passenger and receive a complimentary posy of flowers. Steam trains run at 10.15am, 11.45am, 1.15pm, 2.45pm and 4.15pm. 01844 353535; chinnorrailway.co.uk. Sunday April 3 to Friday April 29. EASTER EGG HUNT at the REME Museum of Technology, Isaac Newton Road, Arborfield, Reading. 11am-4pm. EASTER CRAFTS on Friday April 8 and Tuesday April 26. Craft-based activities for ages 5-12. 0118 976 3375; rememuseum.org.uk. Tuesday April 5 to Saturday April 9. MACK AND MABEL, performed by the Maidenhead Musical Comedy Society at the Desborough Suite, Town Hall, St Ives Road, Maidenhead. Show times at 7.45pm, Saturday matinee at 1pm and Saturday evening at 6pm. Broadway musical set in the early days of Hollywood’s film industry. Tickets: £14. 01628 624798; mmcsonline.co.uk. Tuesday April 8. OFFICIAL OPENING OF MAZE AT CLIVEDEN. This spectacular 19th Century maze has been recreated with 6 foot yew trees and has taken two years to complete. Open daily from February 19, 10am to 5.30pm. For more information and admission prices visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden or call 01628 605069.

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


Time Out

Lego Star Wars After Dark Laser Show, Legoland: April 9

The Frog Prince, Norden Farm April 15

Craft Festival and Lambing Weekend, Chiltern Open Air Museum: April 16 & 17

Saturday April 9. BIRDS OF BURNHAM BEECHES, Ranger-led morning walk through the Beeches, Hawthorne Lane, Farnham Common. Spot some of the Beeches’ favourite flying friends. Booking required. 01753 647358; cityoflondon.gov.uk. Saturday April 9 to Wednesday April 27. EASTER EGG HUNT at the Burnham Beeches, Hawthorn Lane, Farnham Common. Just turn up and pick up a trail leaflet from the information point and try to find the Easter eggs hidden in the Beeches. 01753 647358; cityoflondon.gov.uk. Saturday April 9 and Sunday April 10. LEGO STAR WARS AFTER DARK LASER SHOW at Legoland Windsor. Learn Jedi skills to battle the dark side and other fun and interactive activities. Spectacular laser show at dusk. Tickets from £27.60 (online). 0871 2222 001; legoland.co.uk. Saturday April 9 and Sunday April 10. MEET THE EARLY VICTORIANS at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St. Giles. 10am-5pm. Historical re-enactments and activities to take part in. 01494 871117; coam.org.uk. Sunday April 10. A GUIDED SPRING NATURE WALK through Braywick Nature Reserve, Hibbert Road, Maidenhead. 2-4pm. Ranger-led spring exploration of this beautiful local nature reserve. Bring binoculars if you have them. 01628 777440; rbwm.gov.uk. Sunday April 10. COUNTRYSIDE RACEDAY FAMILY DAY at Ascot Racecourse. In association with the Countryside Alliance. Charity race at 12pm with Masters of the Hunt. Fun for all the family with countryside activities: parade of hounds, sheep dog displays herding disobedient geese, terrier racing, gun dog shows and falconry displays. Crazy Golf, climbing, quad biking, family farm and shooting gallery. Grandstand admission: £17, under 18s free. 0870 7271234; ascot.co.uk. Sunday April 10. Families is sponsoring THE BERKSHIRE BABY AND TODDLER SHOW at the Coppid Beech Hotel, John Nike Way, Bracknell. Organised by the Bracknell and Wokingham NCT branches. All you want to know about a large variety of goods and services for pregnancy, birth and parenting. Stalls, workshops (for both adults and children), crèche. Tickets: £3 on the door, £2 in advance. 0844 243 6058; http://tinyurl.com/berksbabytoddlershow2011 Sundays April 10, 17, and Monday April 25. THE CLIVEDEN SET LIVE – STEP BACK IN TIME at Cliveden, Taplow. 12-4pm. Mix and mingle with celebrities from the past and see what Cliveden was like in the 1930s. Normal admission applies. 01628 605069; nationaltrust.org.uk. (Also on Sunday May 1 and Monday May 2). Monday April 11 to Saturday April 16 and Monday April 18 to Saturday April 23. ROYAL WEDDING AND EASTER THEME MAKENDOO in Princess Square, Bracknell. Free crafts plus a free Treasure hunt with Lindt chocolate Eggs. Monday April 11 to Thursday April 21. EASTER HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES at the Wycombe Museum, Priory Avenue, High Wycombe. EGG HUNT every day between 10am-4pm. Drop in and search the museum and gardens for eggs and clues. Cost: £1. Tuesday April 12 and Thursday April 14. GO WILD WITH CLAY. Come back on Sunday April 17 between 2-4pm to paint your creations for free. Tuesday April 19 and Thursday April 21. BOUNCING BUNNIES AND CHICKS ON STICKS. For both activities: sessions starting at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm, by timed ticket on the day. Cost: £2. Friday April 15.AWESOME EGYPTIANS WORKSHOP. Session times at 11am-12pm, 1-2pm

or 2.30-3.30pm. Free, but booking essential. Learn about the Ancient Egyptians, hieroglyphics and how to build a pyramid. Led by Explore Learning for ages 7+. 01494 421895;Wycombe.gov.uk/museum. Tuesday April 12. FOSSILS, FEATHERS AND FURRY THINGS at Bourne End Library, Wakeman Road, Bourne End. Sessions at 3-3.45pm and 4-4.45pm. Investigate a collection of natural objects with staff from the Wycombe Museum and create your own artwork. Free, but please book your place via the library. 01494 421895; Wycombe.gov.uk/museum. Tuesday April 12. EATS, SHOOTS AND SLEEPS – an insight into Army Life at the REME Museum of Technology, Isaac Newton Road, Arborfield, Reading. 11am-3.30pm. 0118 976 3375; rememuseum.org.uk. Tuesday April 12. THE UGLY DUCKLING by Sea Legs Puppet Theatre at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead. 11am and 3pm. Float downstream with the Story Man, in a musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale. Suitable for ages 3+. Tickets: £6.50, family £22. 01628 788997; nordenfarm.org. Wednesday April 13 and Tuesday April 19. WILDLIFE QUIZ TRAIL CHALLENGE at Braywick Nature Centre, Hibbert Road, Maidenhead. On Tuesday April 14 in Allen’s Field, South Ascot. 1-3pm. UK wildlife quiz trail through the nature reserve. Follow the map, find the clues and the answers. Chocolate prizes to be won. Cost: £2. Just turn up. 01628 777440; rbwm.gov.uk. Thursday April 14. SPRING IN THE WILLOWS at the River and Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley. 10.30am-4pm (drop in any time). Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue bring along some of the creatures in their care. Discover what is happening in, on and around the river at this time of year. Lots of fun, games and activities. Free with admission. 01491 415600; rrm.co.uk. Friday April 15. THE FROG PRINCE AND OTHER PECULIAR STORIES from Terry Jones’ Fairy Tales at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead. 11am and 3pm. With masks, shadows, puppets and ordinary objects transformed into extraordinary characters. Suitable for ages 5+. Tickets: £6.50, family £22. 01628 788997; nordenfarm.org. Friday April 15 and Saturday April 16. SPIRIT OF THE DANCE at the Wycombe Swan, St Mary Street, High Wycombe. 7.30pm, also at 2.30pm on Saturday. With the world champion dancers of the Irish International Dance Company. Tickets: £21-£23, concessions £2 off. 01494 512000; Wycombeswan.co.uk. Saturday April 16. BABY AND CHILDREN’S MARKET at the Bulmersh Leisure Centre, Woodlands Avenue, Woodley. 2-4pm. Nearly new furniture, buggies, strollers, moses baskets, toys, clothes, books, activity toys and lots more. Also, stalls selling new baby and children's products and services. Entry: £1, children free. 07881641614; babyandchildrensmarket.co.uk. Saturday April 16. KNOW YOUR BIRDSONG WALK, meeting at 6am from the Royal Oak pub, Freith Road, Bovingdon Green, Marlow. Easy, circular walk with a ranger and learn to recognise the birds by their song. Booking essential. Cost: adults £4, concessions: £2 (under 18s), family £10. 01494 421825; Wycombe.gov.uk. Saturday April 16. GODS AND GODDESSES OF ANCIENT GREECE – Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, at the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading. 2-4pm. Family event (with children aged 6+): hear myths, do a craft activity and look around the collection. Booking essential. Cost: £3 per child. 0118 378 6990; reading.ac.uk/ure.

Saturday April 16 and Sunday April 17. BEST OF BRITISH CRAFT FESTIVAL and LAMBING WEEKEND at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St. Giles. 10am-5pm. Join in on the farm, watch demonstrations of old rural crafts and take part in special activities. 01494 871117; coam.org.uk. Saturday April 16 to Wednesday April 20. ROYAL FASHION at Windsor Castle. 11am-4pm. Special trail to see the gowns and robes worn by kings and queens and how fashions have changed throughout the centuries. Craft activities in the Moat Room. Tudor fashion fittings on Saturday and Sunday at 12.30pm and 2pm. 020 7766 7304; royalcollection.org.uk. Sunday April 17. WILDLIFE DISCOVERY DAY at the Haymill Valley Nature Reserve, off Whittaker Road, Slough. 1-4pm. Meet at the play area just off Whittaker Road. Free. 01628 829574 ext 202; bbowt.org.uk. Sunday April 17.THE AMAZING BUBBLE SHOW with Louis the Bubbleman at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead. 11am and 3pm. An Edinburgh festival hit and a sell out at Norden Farm last year. Suitable for ages 3+. Tickets: £6.50, family £22. 01628 788997; nordenfarm.org. Sunday April 17. NGS OPEN GARDEN at the Odney Club, Cookham. 2-6pm. 120-Acre site beside the Thames, lovely riverside walks. Admission: adults £4, children free (share to Thames Valley Adventure Playground). Ngs.org.uk. Sunday April 17. NATURE DETECTIVES: SPRING TREES at Runnymede, Egham. Meet at Cooper Hill Lane, top entrance of Coopers Hill Woods, near the Air Forces Memorial. 11am-12.30pm. A tour of the woods in spring, strolling through glorious carpets of Bluebells. Booking essential, limited places. Tickets: adults £5, child £2, concessions £4. 01784 432891; nationaltrust.org.uk. Monday April 18 to Monday April 25. EASTER TRAIL at the Savill Garden, Wick Lane, Englefield Green. Enjoy a family walk and solve clues to win a chocolate prize around The Royal Landscape. 01784 435 544; theroyallandscape.co.uk. Wednesday April 20. THE MOLE WHO KNEW IT WAS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS by Kipper Tie Theatre at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead. 11am and 3pm. Did you do a poo on Mole's head? Well if not you, then who? A musical adaptation of the popular children's picture-book. Suitable for ages 4+. Tickets: £6.50, family £22. 01628 788997; nordenfarm.org. Wednesday April 20. WILD ONES: EASTER TREASURE HUNT at Lily Hill Park, Lily Hill Road, Bracknell. 2-4pm. Treasure hunt with clues and prizes to be won. For ages 5-11. Cost: £2. Booking required. 01344354441; Bracknell-forest.gov.uk. Wednesday April 20. A CARTOON HISTORY OF HERE with Ian McMillan (from radio 3’s The Verb and a regular on funny quiz panels) and Tony Husband (Private Eye and Times cartoonist) at Burnham Park Hall, Burnham. 7.30-9pm. For audiences 7-107. Two funny men cook up poems and cartoons to go. Tickets: adults £10, children £5, available only from Burnham Library, Windsor Road, Burnham. Wednesday April 20. BOAT TRIPS ON THE STEAM LAUNCH ALASKA on the Thames, from the River and Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley. 45-Minute trips leaving at: 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm. Booking required. Tickets: adults £10, children £6. On Thursday April 21: VICTORIAN FUN AND GAMES at the Museum. 2-4.30pm. Victorian-themed activities: make costume accessories, play games and make Victorian-style crafts. 01491 415600; rrm.co.uk.

Telephone: 01628 627 586

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Time Out Wednesday April 20 and Thursday April 21. EASTER EGG HUNT at Greys Court, Rotherfield Greys, Henley. 10am-12pm. Hunt for clues in the garden, follow the trail and win a prize. All tickets £1.50. 01491 628529, nationaltrust.org.uk. Friday April 22. EASTER TRAIL at Cliveden, Taplow. 11am-4pm. Family Fun whatever the weather on Cliveden’s annual Easter Friday Trail. £2 per child. EASTER TRAIL EGGSTRA on Sunday April 24 and Monday April 25. 11am-4pm. £2 per child. 01628 605069; nationaltrust.org.uk. Friday April 22 and Saturday April 23. ANIMAL FARM AND EASTER COMPETITION in Bracknell Town Centre. Meet little goats, chicks and bunnies and do the treasure hunt. Bracknell.com. Friday April 22 to Monday April 25. DAYS OUT WITH THOMAS at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton Road Station, Quainton, Aylesbury. Magic shows, Punch ‘n’ Judy, Thomas theatre, storytelling, arts and crafts, miniature railway rides. Tickets in advance: adult £13, child £9. On the day: £15/£11. 01296 655720; bucksrailcentre.org. (Steaming Open Days on Sunday March 20 and every Sunday in April. Unlimited free steam train rides, also on miniature railway.) Friday April 22 to Monday April 25. HUGHENDEN’S EASTER EGG TRAIL, High Wycombe. 11am-4pm. Celebrate Easter with an egg hunt around the garden, plus make 'eggstravagant' crafts to take home. Includes a yummy prize for kids. Cost: £2 per child. 01494 755573, nationaltrust.org.uk. Friday April 22 to Monday April 25. EASTER SPECIALS at the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway, Station Road, Chinnor. Refreshments for all including a chocolate egg for children and a hot cross bun for adults. Easter chick hunt. Steam trains run at 10.15am, 11.45am, 1.15pm, 2.45pm and 4.15pm. 01844 353535; chinnorrailway.co.uk. Friday April 22 to Monday April 25. MEDIEVAL KNIGHTS AND PAGEANTRY with the Paladins of Chivalry at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St. Giles. Living history camp with re-enactments and lots of activities. 10am-5pm. 01494 871117; coam.org.uk. Friday April 22 to Monday April 25, Saturday April 30. EASTER STEAM DAYS at Didcot Railway Centre, Didcot Parkway Station, Didcot. Take a ride on the historic Fire Fly, the broad gauge locomotive. Tickets: adults £9, children 3-15 £8, family £30. 01235 817200; didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk Saturday April 23 and Sunday April 24. HUNT FOR WALLY at Legoland Windsor. Where’s Wally Easter hunt, find as many Wally’s as you can. Tickets from £27.60 (online). 0871 2222 001; legoland.co.uk.

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Saturday April 23 to Monday April 25. IVOR THE ENGINE will be steaming on the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway line over the weekend. Wallingford Station, Hithercroft Road, Wallingford, or via Cholsey Station (First Great Western line). Tickets: adults £7.50, children 5-16 £4, family £21. Trains from 11.05am to 4.35pm. 01491 835067; cholsey-wallingford-railway.com. Monday April 25. EASTER EGG TRAIL at Runnymede. Start at Memorials Car Park, Windsor Road, Old Windsor. 10am-4pm. Fun for all the family in beautiful riverside meadows and woodlands. Easter Egg activity trail, Cadburys chocolate Egghead for every child and a 'Design Your Own Egghead' competition. 01784 432891, nationaltrust.org.uk. Tuesday April 26 to Saturday April 30. GEORGE’S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE at the Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Windsor. 7pm, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday also at 2pm. Stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book by The Birmingham Stage Company. Tickets: adults £18, children £15, family £55. 01753 853888; theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk. Thursday April 28 and Friday April 29.TODDLER DAYS – WOODLAND ANIMALS at the Look Out Discovery Centre, Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell. 10am-4pm. Face/hand painting, playdough, storytelling, arts and crafts. Cost: parent and toddler £6.20, £1.40 additional toddler. Includes entrance to science exhibition. 01344 354400; Bracknell-forest.gov.uk. Friday April 29. ROYAL WEDDING CELEBRATION at Longridge, Quarry Wood Road, Marlow. 9.45am-6.30pm. Street Party from 12.30-1.30pm with food and refreshments for all ages and lots of activities to take part in before and after. Climbing, kayaking, dragon boat, leap of faith, rowing, etc. Street party tickets: £7 each. Tickets for activities range from £1 to £4 per 75 minutes. Booking required. 01628 483252; longridge-uk.org. Friday April 29. ROYAL WEDDING STREET PARTY in Burnham Park and Burnham Park Hall, Burnham. From 6pm. Live Cockney band, children’s cinema, family quiz, stalls and sideshows, traditional supper. Tickets: adults £10, children £5 (under 12s). 01628 550380; burnhampark.co.uk. Saturday April 30. BLUEBELL WALK at Waltham Place Farm, Church Hill, White Waltham. Walks start at 2pm from the Ormandy Centre and include refreshments. Booking essential. Tickets: adults £7, children £3.50 (5-16yrs). 01628 825517; walthamplace.com.

MARCH / APRIL 2011

Saturday April 30 to Sunday May 1. FESTIVAL OF MODEL BOATING at Beale Park, Lower Basildon, Reading. 10am–6pm. Model boats sailing on the lake during a programme of themed sailing times. Trade exhibitors and stalls. 0118 984 5207 or 0118 979 3310; mtmbc.co.uk. Sunday May 1. INTERNATIONAL DAWN CHORUS DAY at the Haymill Valley Nature Reserve, off Whittaker Road, Slough. 4.30-6.30am. Celebrate nature’s wake-up call with the ’Friends of Haymill Valley’. Light refreshments provided. Meet at the children’s play area just off Whittaker Road. Free, but booking essential. 01628 829574 ext 202; bbowt.org.uk. Sunday May 1 and Monday May 2.THE CLIVEDEN SET LIVE – STEP BACK IN TIME at Cliveden, Taplow. 12-4pm. Mix and mingle with celebrities from the past and see what Cliveden was like in the 1930s. Normal admission applies. 01628 605069; nationaltrust.org.uk. Sunday May 1 and Monday May 2. HEAVY HORSE WORKING WEEKEND at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St. Giles. 10am-5pm. See which tasks the heavy horses used to undertake on the farm and around town. 01494 871117; coam.org.uk. Bank Holiday Monday May 2. FAMILY OPEN DAY at Longridge, Quarry Wood Road, Marlow. 11am-5.45pm. Taster sessions in lots of activities: choose from beginner climbing, intermediate climbing, kayaking, dragon boat, leap of faith, bell boat or rowing. Tickets for activities range from £1 to £4 per 75 minutes. Booking required. 01628 483252; longridge-uk.org. Monday May 2. Meet Peppa Pig at the BARBADOS FAMILY FUN DAY at Windsor Racecourse, Maidenhead Road, Windsor. Afternoon races and family fun. Tickets on the day: from £10. Under 18s free. 01753 257299; Windsor-racecourse.co.uk. Wednesday May 4.THE HISTORICAL TRAIL at the Burnham Beeches, Hawthorne Lane, Farnham Common. Morning walk with the Rangers, taking you through time, from Iron Age hill forts, 19th century composers and on to the D-Day landings. Booking required. 01753 647358; cityoflondon.gov.uk. Saturday May 7. ART ON THE STREET in the High Street, Maidenhead. 10am-5pm. Outdoor fine art market with lots of stalls exhibiting the work of local artists. Organised by Boville’s art shop and the Maidenhead Town Partnership. Maidenheadartmarket.org. Saturday May 7. CAR BOOT SALE, Trinity St. Stephen School,Vansittart Road, Windsor, SL4 5DF. 10am-12pm. 30p entry, kids free.

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


Maternity leave for men?

Parenting

Soon mum will be able to “give” some of her maternity leave to dad. Can we really expect to see hordes of new men striding round with babies strapped to their tummies telling us all that they are on maternity leave? By Duncan Fisher ICK CLEGG has outlined plans to allow couples to share maternity leave, which should come in to place this April. The new scheme, first proposed by the last government, will let a father take up any remaining unpaid leave if their partner goes back to work early. If a mother returns to work without taking a full year’s maternity leave, the father will be able to take the remaining time up to a maximum of six months. Although in principle it is a great idea, in reality, it just won’t happen. When Government did its research on this system of leave, they found that only 8% of eligible parents (both employed) would use it. No wonder no other country in the world has concocted such a system.

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Why won’t it work? First, economics. Taking time off work for a baby is a career risk. Mothers have to take time off and for many this damages their career and increases the family’s economic dependence on the father. With bigger costs and less income already, most families are not going to decide to risk two careers. The families that will use the transfer of leave are likely to be those where the mother’s job is a lot better than the father’s. Second, culture. We live in a society that states loud and clear that parenting is a woman’s business. Look at the parent support networks, the parenting magazines, the public debate about parenting – it is even more gendered than football refereeing! Our leave system drives this point home, with almost the biggest difference in paid leave entitlements between women and men in the world. Clinging onto the idea that caring is mum’s responsibility, we have created a system where she can give “her” leave to dad. There are countries where it has become the norm for fathers to become skilled at caring for babies and young children – Sweden, Finland and Norway. What is the secret? First, they have started to tackle cultural assumptions about parenting. Some countries have promoted the idea that it is quite normal in families for care to be

shared. As it happens, they have history on their side – sharing care around a family is how we have organised parenting for 200,000 years. It is only since the Industrial Revolution that we invented the idea of a mother staying at home alone with children and being No.1 carer all on her own – an unbelievably difficult and unreasonable demand. Tackling the culture makes it much easier for fathers to ask for time off work for their children and much easier for mothers to let go, knowing that sharing the responsibility is not the mark of a failed No.1 parent. To back this up, some countries have created completely equal leave systems, except for a few weeks for the mother relating directly to recovering from the birth. Iceland has three months for mum, three months for dad, three months for either. You don’t get 50/50 parenting, nor total gender equality when you do this. But what you do get is greater caring skills among fathers. The more fathers look after their children when they are very young, the more they look after them later on and these families are more stable – they divorce less, for example. But I am hopeful. Nick Clegg is a

genuinely modern father. Despite the fact that he is Deputy Prime Minister, he is a full-on father, sharing responsibilities with his wife, Miriam. He has a genuine feel for the idea that caring for children really is a 50/50 responsibility – the buck stops with him as much as with his wife. It is the first time that a politician with this perspective has taken over the task of rethinking leave entitlements. Shared leave arrangements are popular with parents – after all, they don’t require sharing, they just allow sharing to be a viable option. The main opposition will come from business associations – the ones that believed maternity leave would end the British economy. But their argument is weak – the reality is that nowadays the economy needs the skills and knowledge of women in the workforce more than it needs full-time workaholic men. Duncan Fisher is a work-at-home entrepreneur and is a committed advocate of home business and flexible working for mothers and fathers. He has also written a book called ‘Baby’s Here! Who does What? How to split the work without splitting up’. www.whodoeswhatbook.com

Marlow Tennis Academy Easter Junior Tennis Camps 5 to 14 years Tel: 07929292868 www.marlowtennisacademy.co.uk

Telephone: 01628 627 586

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Ed’s Reading Room Hi kids, parents, grandparents, teachers – and book lovers everywhere! I’m Ed and here is my Spring book selection for you to enjoy. The books are all available online from Ed’s Reading Room at www.edontheweb.com. Ed’s Reading Room is an exciting free online book and story club for primary children in homes and schools at www.edontheweb.com. Each month, recently published books are selected as Ed’s Books of the Month for Owlets (age 5-7) and Owls (over 7s). On the website, there are fun literacy activities to accompany each book, including wordsearches, quizzes, poetry and reviews, and there are new original stories in Edtime Stories. There are lots of other fun online activities, complementary to the curriculum, in Ed’s Imaginarium. Check out Ed’s Archive for Ed’s Books of the Month from previous months.

For Ages 5 to 7 years

The Heartless Robots by Simon Bartram

Roar to the Rescue! by Ian Whybrow (Puffin Books £4.99) ED SAYS: ‘Harry is starting to think he is too old for his dinosaur friends. When he hears that Mr Oakley has been robbed, Harry calls together his fellow members of the Grand Order of the Great Oak to see if they can find the culprit. But will Harry have to call on the dinosaurs for back-up in solving the crime? ‘Harry and his dinosaurs are firm favourites with early readers. In this delightful story, read Harry’s latest adventure with his school friends as they grow a little older.’

For Ages 7 years plus

(Templar Publishing £4.99) ED SAYS: ‘Bob, the Man on the Moon, has entered his state-of-the-art robot, the Galaxobot 3000, into a competition for astronaut-inventors. When Bob wins first prize, the Galaxobot goes into mass-production in a factory on the Moon. All is going well for Bob and his six-legged canine friend, Barry. Or is it? ‘Here is another exciting story about Bob and Barry. You will fly through this page-turner of a book as you follow them on their latest lunar adventure.’

A Circus Adventure by Emily Bearn (Egmont £5.99)

Murder on Stage by Cora Harrison (Piccadilly Press £6.99)

ED SAYS: ‘Tumtum and Nutmeg, the enchanting mice of Nutmouse Hall, are putting on a birthday feast for General Marchmouse. However the guest of honour is waylaid by a circus. He can’t resist trying on the ringmaster’s outfit and is even tempted into driving the shiny red circus bus. But is there more to this circus troupe than the General first thinks? ‘This is another humorous tale of those charming mice and their adorable friends. It is a brilliantly written book with lovely illustrations.’

ED SAYS: ‘Alfie and his friends are right at the front of Covent Garden Theatre when suddenly an actor is murdered on stage. But he is not acting – this murder is for real. As he begins to investigate, Alfie has a few suspects but soon he finds himself in the spotlight. Fighting for his own survival, he and his supporters need to uncover the real culprit – fast. ‘This gripping murder mystery is exciting and atmospheric. It is a fast-paced story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.’

Ed’s Reading Room is part of www.edontheweb.com, a DTI award-winning website. It was created by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Les Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitness walking and healthy eating. You are very welcome to contact Maggie on 01753 730019 or by email at mgh@edontheweb.com about the website or about Ed on the Web Spelling Bees in schools.

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JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


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Bumps ‘n’ Babes

... IS THREE THE MAGIC NUMBER TO HELP BABY SLEEP?

ll too often new parents get set on the idea that at three months their baby will ‘sleep through the night’. For some this is a reality but for others it can be a difficult time as lack of sleep causes exhaustion to set in and they start to think they are doing something wrong. Parenting is a challenge and the pressure can really get to you especially if you are not getting enough sleep. The added pressure of a second or possibly third child also means that life can get trickier with more little people to please. Dee Booth, from Henley, is known locally as ‘The Sleep Fairy’. She is a parent and sleep expert with a track record of settling babies and young children, often in just three nights. Her success is based on getting them into a manageable routine, and teaching parents to allow their children to learn to sleep alone. She uses her 15 years’ experience as a mother, nanny and parent coach to look at the problems and struggles parents are having with sleep and behaviour and how best to resolve them. “The most important thing to consider with babies and sleep is that every child is different and will sleep through the night, peacefully, when they have been allowed to develop the skills to settle themselves throughout the night,” says Dee. A one-size-fits-all approach not only doesn’t work but also overwhelms new parents and often creates an unnecessary feeling of failure. This isn’t helped by the plethora of parenting books, sleep books and websites giving lots of generalised information about sleep routines. Dee’s service is very affordable, totally personal and she gives individual advice that is specific to your child. She visits each family in their own home and observes the household and the current sleep routines being used. She then works alongside parents to find a solution that is right for them. According to Dee, having outside advice often helps everything click into place. “Improvements can happen very quickly and remain in place long after I have left. Sometimes just having an outside perspective and making a few small tweaks to the routine is all that is needed”.

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Photo: www.stellinababy.com

3. Decide upon a specific set of ‘bedtime’ words that you use every time you put your baby / child to sleep, e.g. ‘It’s time to go to sleep now, night night’. Use a calm but firm, soothing tone and ensure other family members or carers use the same words. 4. Ensure both parents, and other carers, use the same confident, consistent, firm behaviour not only at bedtimes but also during the day. 5. Understand and attend to your baby’s needs during illness and teething so you don’t confuse this with ‘refusal to settle and sleep’. Sarah from Surrey wrote: “Sleep Fairy, and Guardian Angel, she saved my life and my sanity! I was at my wit’s end when I sought help. My ten month old wouldn’t sleep at night or during the day, but with the Sleep Fairy’s support, guidance and understanding, Ava is now the perfect sleeper. Thank you Sleep Fairy from all of us!” Natalie from Buckinghamshire said: “My second son was difficult to get into a routine and Dee was a TOTAL lifesaver. I didn’t think her three night rule would work, but it does! He is now sleeping from 7pm to 7am or later with a three hour nap

after lunch. The best call I ever made was to Dee!” Dee also offers guidance with:  Feeding issues  Tantrums  Toilet training  The “terrible twos”  Colic  Early rising For more information go to sleepfairyparentrescue.co.uk or call 07977 462252

NEW CLASSES IN WINDSOR & SLOUGH! Please contact Elaine Dennis for further information Tel: 07876 338925 E-mail: elained@tinytalk.co.uk Website: www.tinytalk.co.uk

Music with Mummy Themed, fun music classes for children aged up to 5 years in small groups Jolly Babies – specially designed for babies under one year

Dee’s top five sleep tips for your baby are:

Jackie @ Windsor: 01344 301954 Caroline @ Ascot: 01753 850772 Emma @ Maidenhead: 07966 197035 Alison @ Langley, Datchet & Iver: 01753 540949

1. Establish a good feeding routine during the day – allow a minimum of four hours between feeds / meals. 2. Ensure you set up a consistent, calm, relaxed bath and bedtime routine for your baby and use this every night.

Telephone: 01628 627 586

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Mums Who Mean Business RECLAIM YOUR VA VA VOOM Do you wish you could be more fit and healthy? Mothers often feel this way after spending years concentrating on their family instead of themselves. Some may even think that they’re too unfit to exercise or that they will have to lose weight before they can even start. aroline Sellers (pictured), a personal trainer from Taplow, says that nothing could be further from the truth. She wants to spread the message that fitness can be for everyone. Her company, Leggup Personal Training, aims to “give people a leg up to health and fitness in mind, body and spirit and give them their va va voom back.” She has set up twice-weekly circuit classes for people who need help getting started and firmly believes that exercise can be for everyone. A mum of two primary-school age daughters herself, she has spent the past year training, studying and taking the exams to get her level 3 Personal Trainer (PT) qualifications. Like many mums, after having children she felt she had lost her zest for life. She had always been very active and sporty when she was younger and decided to renew this passion by starting to run again. She has run a few 10ks and half-marathons and is now training for the London marathon in April, a goal she set herself five years ago. Caroline says that running made her believe in herself and hopes to encourage other people to do the same. “Exercise is not just about getting fit or losing weight,” she says with passion. “It brings confidence, good posture and makes the likelihood of suffering from diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle much less likely. I really would like to get everyone active, but also to empower them to take health and fitness into their everyday lives, and tell them they can do it.” The circuit classes she runs, are very accessible and quite popular. They are held every Monday and Friday morning, during term time, in the Village Hall in Dorney Reach. Often circuit classes have a reputation of being like an army boot camp but Caroline’s classes are as easy or as hard as you want them to be. “Everyone can start from scratch,” she says. The exercises are sociable and invigorating rather than daunting and

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give a well-balanced, total workout. Apart from the circuit classes, she also trains people one-to-one or in small groups, sometimes to achieve a goal, such as running a marathon or doing a triathlon. She also gives advice on nutrition and how to sustain a healthy diet. You’ll also be glad to know that Caroline doesn’t believe in diets: “They are unsustainable. They may work as a quick fix after Christmas, but not if you’ve been putting on weight over the years or when pregnant. The weight will just return when you stop whatever diet you are on.” The circuit classes cost £7 per session or £60 for ten sessions. A food diary analysis costs £55 and includes two 45 minute sessions and a week's food diary. For more information, go to www.leggup.co.uk. 07763 883373 or email leggup@hotmail.co.uk

MAKE YOUR GARDEN LOOK THE BUSINESS ALL YEAR ROUND ian Lancaster, a mum of two girls aged 9 and 5, has come up with some easy and quick solutions to prepare your outside space for summer. Whilst browsing the internet last year to do just that to her own garden, she came across some lit spheres, illuminated planters and artificial topiary balls. They looked good and added instant ‘oomph’ to the house and garden. She liked these unique products so much that she contacted the producers, bought the stock and set up her new company LanMor Homes, at the beginning of this year. Entrepreneurial Sian raised the money to set up the business herself, via eBay, without help from her husband or family. She has a background in IT sales but stopped working to have her daughters. After her first child, she followed an Ann Maurice House Doctor course in home staging. She put this to good use and gave advice to clients on how to sell their homes. She also renovated, redesigned and sold a house herself. After her second daughter was born, she wondered what to do next. Her passion for interior design led her to set up the new business and with both her daughters now at school, she manages to keep her work within school hours, so she still gets to see her family. During the day, she works hard visiting hotels, gyms and restaurants because she feels her products will suit this market too. She will also have a stand at the West Woodhay Garden Show in Newbury at the beginning of June. The topiary balls themselves can be used indoors or outdoors in planters and are zero maintenance. The lit spheres can enhance any indoor or outdoor space (Sian’s company motto is “Quickly, enhance the look of your property”) and the illuminated planters are also versatile objects. Being creative, Sian realised that the planters could also work well as an ice-bucket to keep the beer and wine cool during parties, so they can add atmosphere and be useful at the same time! For more information, visit www.lanmorhomes.com, or call Sian on 07979 756252 for a quote or to arrange a viewing.

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MARCH / APRIL 2011

E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk


Classified A SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE rtist Inge du Plessis is a mother of one who moved to Maidenhead from Cape Town, South Africa, two years ago. She is an experienced and established painter who has participated in lots of exhibitions and art events in South Africa, with three successful solo shows in Cape Town. She stopped painting for a while when she had her son in 2005, but has started working on a show again now that her son is at school, as well as exhibiting her latest work at the Maidenhead Art Market (the next one is on Saturday 7 May) and takes commissions for family portraits or other striking pieces of art. Inge likes painting big, bold, colourful people. Her paintings are narratives rather than portraits and she says that they are often like film stills. “Some are momentous, some capture the instant before something happens and sometimes I paint people as characters, set in a scene.” She is interested in painting the ‘plot’ behind the person in the painting, which to her is “of greater importance than an accurate representation of the subject”. One of her series is called Song of Songs, based on the Song of Solomon from the Bible, which focuses on the women rather than the men in the story. She depicts the female characters as strong and bold but they also have a haunting look, which gives them a sense of vulnerability too. Her pictures of her son and partner, on the other hand, are softer, warm and loving, with expressions that are full of feeling, which she captures extremely well. She is also hoping to start a day-time painting class in Maidenhead this year. To see some more images of her paintings, visit http://picasaweb.google.com/ingeduplessisart/RecentPaintings. Contact Inge via email: inge@wordwork.co.za

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FizzyBubbles

Pregnancy Yoga & Mummy and Baby Yoga Relax, boost energy, ease aches & pains, prepare for birth, connect with your baby, rebuild core strength safely

www.phenixyoga.com Call Jennie on 07954 578 439 or email jen@phenixyoga.com

Soap and Jewellery making Parties for Children www.fizzy-bubbles.co.uk Email: fizzybub@gmail.com

07748 - 645161

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E-mail: editor@FamiliesTVEast.co.uk

Families Thames Valley East Mar-Apr 2011  

Families Thames Valley East magazine Mar-Apr 2011

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