Gloucestershire Primary Times October Half Term 2021

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The Mozart Symphony Orchestra returns to Cheltenham with a live performance of The Snowman. P4








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Celebrate Christmas at Batsford with magical winter walks, unique gifts, decorations and our huge range of Christmas trees!

Join our children's Christmas trail! 1st December - 3rd January Batsford Arboretum & Garden Centre Near Moreton in Marsh, GL56 9AT. Tel: 01386 701441 See our website for Christmas opening hours

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Dear Readers,


It’s so exciting to see family activities return to near normal after the strangest 20 months most of us have ever known. Theatre, panto, museums and attractions are part of the fabric of our community, vital for children as they grow up. As ever, be prepared for setbacks and please check ahead when planning a visit. But I’m optimistic we’ll report on a thriving range of primary-aged activities in Gloucestershire from now on. Finally, I hope you enjoy the new look of this magazine. Please see below for our thinking behind it.

Mike Gartside - Publisher

October Half Term 2021 SALES MIKE GARTSIDE mike.gartside@ 01452 937123


PUBLISHED BY STARFISH PUBLISHING LIMITED, The Create Centre, Smeaton Road, Bristol, BS1 6XN 01452 937123

Primary Times is independently published and distributed free through national primary schools in Gloucestershire . It aims to inform families and children about current educational issues, forthcoming events, courses, attractions and to give teachers, pupils and parents the opportunity to participate in the magazine by adding to its contents or by joining in the competitions. It is NOT our intention to publish any racist, sexist or politically based material whatsoever. We also undertake not to carry any advertising which we would consider to be offensive to young families or harmful to the best interests of young children. Primary Times would like to thank all the schools in Gloucestershire for their assistance in distributing the magazine and for their contributions to its contents. We would also like to thank all the advertisers who have supported this publication and therefore made it possible. Please support their endeavours when and where you can. The copyright on all written material, logos and advertising artwork produced by our studio remains with Primary Times or with the relevant contributor. Primary Times is currently publishing over two million copies per issue under franchise licences throughout Britain.

Calmer Kids comp winners


ongratulations to: Hazel Kennaugh from Mitcheldean, Anke Twigg-Flesner from Newent, Hayley Vizor from Matson, Amanda Brookes from Cirencester and Becky Williams from Cheltenham. They all correctly answered that Calmer Kids earbuds are not available in c) beige and win a pair of Calmer Kids for the children and adult Calmer for themselves.






PT Glos redesign


ou’ll notice a new look to your Gloucestershire Primary Times this October, which makes it brighter and easier to navigate to the news, events and puzzles you need. We have a new mascot, Petey the Parrot (PT ... Petey - well, it made us laugh!) who offers helpful tips and can even turn his plumage different colours to signpost the magazine’s different sections. Symphony Mozart Symphony The Mozart The to returns to Orchestra returns Orchestra live with a live Cheltenham with Cheltenham The of The performance of performance P4 Snowman. P4 Snowman.








Fantastically Fun Family Events

3-7 November 2021



Gloucestershire Advertising feature

Philip, the conductor

After more than 18 months of disruption, audiences can at last enjoy ‘The Snowman’ at Christmas again, as the Mozart Symphony Orchestra returns to Cheltenham with a live performance and screening of the popular Raymond Briggs film.

The Snowman’s back!


or one day only the commented how special Mozart Symphony it is to watch the film as a Orchestra performs its live orchestra provides the popular Christmas concert in soundtrack, while The Times Cheltenham, fresh from its newspaper wrote, “You would appearance in London. be hard pushed to find a more On Thursday 23 December magical Christmas experience.” the orchestra performs the Additionally, the programme soundtrack to Raymond features the tale of Paddington Briggs’ film ‘The Snowman’ at Bear, for the first time using Cheltenham Town Hall, with the the format of a narrator movie showing simultaneously and orchestra together. on the big screen. Twelve-yearThe performance witnesses old Alice Mackenzie makes her Paddington arriving at the fourth appearance with the famous London railway station orchestra singing the song which gives him his name, ‘Walking in the Air’, made so to be adopted by the Brown famous by Aled Jones nearly family and taken to his very forty years ago. first concert at the Royal Albert First shown on 26 Hall. Needless to December 1982, the say, Paddington film was an immediate makes an an m success, nominated absolute w o n for the Academy (but The Su 23 Dec n Hall Th m Tow all. Award for Best innocent) enhaamtownh t l Animated Short nuisance e h C tenh k Film, winning a of himself, chel co.u 8746 2 BAFTA TV Award. disrupting 42 5 2 1 0 It has since become the concert a staple of Christmas and, in the family viewing, performed end, conducting in Cheltenham by the orchestra the orchestra! Listen out for every Christmas since the sounds of the jungle, Mr 2015, with one well-known Gruber’s clock shop and most exception! thrillingly of all, the trains Audiences have often in Paddington Station – all


created using the instruments available in the orchestra. The Mozart Symphony Orchestra of London is a new, contemporary ensemble and one of the most exciting orchestras to emerge from London’s vibrant classical music scene in recent years. The capital has a much-deserved reputation as a leading city in the world of classical music and the Mozart Symphony Orchestra is a vital part of that. Its famous children’s concerts are designed not just as pure entertainment but also as a fun way to introduce children to the amazing sound world of the symphony orchestra. All in all, ‘The Snowman’ is the ideal Christmas treat for all the family.

Philip Mackenzie, the conductor of The Mozart Symphony Orchestra, started learning the piano aged 8 and the cello aged 9. He also took organ lessons in a big, draughty church from a teacher with wild white hair who was very old indeed - even older than Philip is now. After taking a degree in music, he went on to learn how to be a conductor at the Royal College of Music, London. When Philip grew up he discovered that being a conductor is brilliant! He has travelled all over the world, conducting orchestras in Russia, China, India, Singapore and South Africa. While he travels he likes to go exploring and is sometimes offered all sorts of weirdly wonderful foods such as Roast Snake (yes, true, even though it sounds like something from the Gruffalo!), Snake Stew and some kind of Slimy Sea Slug in a Green Custard . . . bleugh. (Philip would much rather eat Chocolate Cake). He has performed several times on radio and television, including a TV programme in which he taught ‘Top Gear’ presenter James May how to conduct.

The Snowman tickets are available from the Cheltenham Town Hall box office: Cheltenhamtownhall. or on 01242 528764. There are two performances on Thursday 23 December at 1.30pm and 4.30pm. The shows last approximately one and a half hours (including an interval during which children may just get an ice cream!)


New tech lab shows route to future G loucestershire has opened its second Innovation Lab in Gloucester Library - a space where you can get creative and learn new skills with digital tech like virtual reality and 3D modelling. Individual innovators of all ages are invited to become a member and explore the lab’s resources with the aid of an experienced technician, and the lab will also work with schools to inspire children and develop their digital skills. The opening comes as the county’s first Innovation Lab at Coleford Library scooped a

national Contribution to Skills and Training Award for its STEMbased workshops for primary children. The workshops, held in 2019, were run in partnership

with Coleford-based SPP Pumps, giving over 300 children the chance to get hands-on with technology and learn about local job opportunities. “Sadly, most young people in our community believe they need to leave the area to have a successful career and future, so it’s been fantastic to showcase who we are and what we do to the engineers of the future,” says SPP Pumps’ Laura Hurcombe. Gloucestershire Libraries W: library-services/innovation-lab


Stroud aloud!

Stroud Book Festival runs from Wed 3 to Sun 7 Nov and features its popular School’s Day on Thu 4. Michael Morpurgo and Lydia Monks are among its high profile line up. See highlights, P9 and full story P13.

Road safety

Organised by road safety charity Brake, Road Safety Week runs from Mon 15 to Sun 21 Nov. W:

Become a reading champion T

he National Literacy Trust has teamed up with Disney to invite schools to bring ‘Beauty and The Beast’ to life in the classroom. Pupils aged 7 to 14 can explore its themes and characters, perhaps creating a wall display based on their work. Schools can send the trust photos of their display for a chance to win ‘Beauty and the


Beast’, stationery and a teacher’s tote bag. The challenge offers a full set of resources. Entry by Fri 12 Nov. National Literacy Trust W: uk/competitions/ beautyandthebeast

Being kind to beat cruel

indness is at the heart of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week. With the theme One Kind Word, it runs from Monday 15 to Friday 19 November and launches with Odd Socks Day, on the Monday, the chance for everyone to celebrate what makes us all unique by wearing your finest pair of odd socks. Schools can download free teaching resources and themed assemblies geared to different Key Stages and the whole

week is supported by CBBC and CBeebies star Andy Day - whose band Andy and the Odd Socks release a specially recorded song for the campaign. “The isolation of the last year has underlined how little acts of consideration can break down barriers and brighten lives,” says the campaign. Anti-Bullying Week W: anti-bullying-week




THE VERY BEST THEATRE, ARTS AND FILM NEAR YOU Actors Reuben Greeph and Rosalind Ford in rehearsal. Pic. Charles Flint

Sat 6 Nov Animal Antics

The Animal Guyz bring the stage to life with puppetry and animal effects, music and laughter designed to entertain and educate. 2pm. Tickets £14 (£12).

Tue 14 Dec

David Copperfield The Barn, until Sat 30 Oct Bacon Theatre

Dean Close School, Hatherley Rd, Cheltenham GL51 6EP, 01242 258002,

Sat 23 Oct Harwood Dance 2021

Dance students aged from 2 to 18 demonstrate their talents across a range of dances. Performances at 1pm & 5.30pm. Tickets £11.50.

Thu 28 Oct The Snow Queen

Gerda embarks on a fantastic journey across the frozen north in search of her friend who’s been placed under a spell by the Snow Queen. Ballet Theatre UK tell Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale in a show that promises international dancers, beautiful costumes and a magnificent spectacle. Tickets: £20 (adult)/£19 (conc)/£15 (child).

Trail designed by author and illustrator

Hannah Shaw

23th-31st October

Santa’s Best Ever Christmas

‘Private Peaceful’) from Charles Dickens’ classic novel, Barn Theatre’s production promises to be playful, fun and uplifting. Ages 6+. Performances at 7.30pm (weekend performance times vary - check the website). Tickets from £11.50..

Tue 16 Nov to Thu 2 Dec The Brothers Grimm present: Cinderella

Why does Santa think it’s going to be the best Christmas ever? Dotty the elf, Pompom the penguin and Dasher the reindeer all have their theories. Who do you think is right? Festive musical with lots of songs and a gift for every child. Ages 2-7.

It’s Cinderella – but not as you’ve seen it before in this new adaptation of the classic Brother’s Grimm story. Barn Theatre bring together song, illusion and puppetry to deliver some Christmas magic and laughter. Performances at 7.30pm (but times vary at weekends - check website). Tickets from £11.50.

The Barn Theatre

Cheltenham Playhouse

Until Sat 30 Oct

Wed 27 Oct

David Copperfield

That’s The Way To Do It

5 Beeches Rd, Cirencester GL7 1BN, 01285 648255,

Follow young David Copperfield as he learns about life in the often eccentric world of Victorian England. Adapted by Simon Reade (who also adapted

47-53 Bath Rd, Cheltenham GL53 7HG, 01242 522852,

Find out how the story of Punch and Judy first came to Great Britain and became so popular at seaside resorts in this fun-filled show with Professor Colly-

The Complete 11+ Programme The leading local 11+ service provider. Our extensive programme includes: • FREE Online Parents’ Meetings • On location Mock Tests • Online Short Courses • At Home Mock Test • Online Revision Day • Online Year 4 Puzzle Club • Year 4 Summer Activity Day • FREE Resources & Events

50p per child with standard admission

Coming Soon! Spy Experience

Find all the fun SPOOKY SPIDERS in the Garden!


A ground-breaking new spy experience for Year 5 and 6 students over three days! See our website for details!

- 4pm

Maze | Rustic play area | Shop & Café | Dogs welcome Follow us on Painswick Rococo Garden Trust is a registered charity no 1107844 06 OCTOBER HALF TERM 2021

Gloucestershire wobbles and, of course, Punch and Judy. 11am. Tickets £7.50 (adult)/£6 (child).

stage. Performances at 2pm & 7.30pm. Tickets from £15.

Sat 18 Dec-Fri 24 Dec

Mon 25 Oct-Sat 6 Nov

Christmas at Toad Hall

Six The Musical

Ratty, Mole and Badger are all getting ready for Christmas when Toad insists they all join him at Toad Hall for a Christmas they’ll never forget. Dreamshed Theatre present this specially written new production based on Kenneth Grahame’s much-loved characters from ‘Wind in the Willows’. Performances at 11am & 2pm (Mon-Fri), 2pm & 7pm (Sat). Tickets £9.

Cheltenham Town Hall

Imperial Square, Cheltenham GL50 1QA, 0844 576 2210,

Thu 23 Dec The Snowman

The Mozart Symphony Orchestra returns to Cheltenham to play the score of this Raymond Briggs Christmas classic, alongside a screening of the film. Also, look out for the antics of Paddington Bear. (See feature, P4.) Prices range from £10-£30.

Everyman Theatre

The six wives of Henry VIII are reinvented as a feisty, raucous pop band, retelling their stories in 21st century girl-power style. Performances at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. Tickets £20-£38.

Wed 27 Oct-Sat 30 Oct

Mon 25 Oct Tarzanna

A playful aerial theatre show for all the family. Performances at 2.30pm and 4.30pm.Tickets £14-£12..

Sat 27 Nov-Fri 31 Dec King Arthur: The Panto!

Wed 3-Sat 6 Nov What the Ladybird Heard

The Sub Rooms

Gloucestershire’s favourite clown and slapstick legend Tweedy has to get a “proper” job. What are the chances he nails it from day one, with no mix ups, misunderstanding or confusion? Performances at 1.30pm (Wed, Thu & Fri), 10am & 12noon (Sat). Tickets £14-£19.

Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ children’s classic story about the sleuthing ladybird and two crafty robbers is brought to the stage. Performances at 1.30pm (Wed, Thu, Fri), 10.30am (Thu, Fri), 10am & 12pm (Sat). Tickets £15.

Wed 24 Nov-Fri 31 Dec

Tue 19-Sat 23 Oct

Hansel and Gretel

Tom and Barbara attempt to live a self-sufficient life in suburbia, next door to their materialistic neighbours Margo and Jerry. Fiery Angel theatre company brings this 1970s sitcom back to the

Sun St, Tewkesbury GL20 5NX, 01684 295074,

Humble baker boy Arthur sets out to fulfil his destiny and overome the evil Morgana Le Fey in this traditional family panto written specially for The Roses Theatre by Nick Wilkes and Maurice Gran (writer of ‘Birds of a Feather’). Expect laughter, music, magic, brave knights and foolish jesters - and, of course, festive fun a-plenty. Performance times vary (see website). Tickets £15-£25.

Tweedy’s Lost Property

Regent St, Cheltenham GL50 1HQ, 01242 572573, The Good Life

The Roses Theatre

Production company Box Tale Soup with their take on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, which sees the two children imprisoned by a wicked witch.. Performances at 10am and 11.30am (see website for details). Tickets £8.50.

Wed 27 Oct Roald Dahl & The Imagination Seekers

A family show inspired by the works of Roald Dahl. All around the world Roald Dahl’s words are disappearing, not only from books but children’s minds too! Now only an organisation known as the ancient guild of tale tenders can save the stories - and they need your help. Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers is a theatrical and interactive experience, especially made for all the family to enjoy. 2pm.

Wed 22 Dec-Sat 1 Jan Beauty and The Beast

George St, Stroud GL5 1AE, 01453 796880,

A new production team have taken over the panto reins at The Sub Rooms and promise a show that is bigger, better and more beautiful and beastly than ever before. Enjoy the spellbinding story of Belle, the spirited village girl who enters an enchanted castle and melts the heart of the monstrous Beast within its walls. See website for performance times. 01453 796880.

Sat 23 Oct

Sat 11 Dec

Flutter & Fly

Marriage of Figaro: Relaxed Performance

As part of its 75th anniversary celebrations, Stroud Arts Festival has invited music group Sinfonia Viva to perform with two interactive concerts for young children and families. This is the tale of Rowan and a paper plane with well-known and original music by composer Jack Ross, and drawings Eleanor Meredith. Perfect for singing, dancing, lying down on beanbags and meeting musicians. Shows at 11am and 1pm.

Hewletts Opera perform this classic opera by Mozart, open especially to children and adults with autism conditions, learning difficulties or who have other needs that make it difficult for them to access live music. Ideal for anyone wishing to enjoy live music in a less formal environment and enjoy the experience with families and carers. 2pm. Free but booking required.

Saturday 27 November - Friday 31 December Written by

(writer of Birds Of A Feather)


(writer of Almost A Christmas Carol)

A brand new panto for ! Tickets:

£25 - £15 Family discount available

Sponsored by

Book now: 01684 295074


/glo E R E ucestershire

collections at the museum, which holds around 750,000 objects. View some of the less well-known items in storage. 1.30-3.30pm (sessions last up to 30 mins max.), donations welcome.





.u k

O . S ’ es T A W H ti m

w w w.primary TO FRI 31 DEC

REGGIE THE RAPTOR’S TRAIL THROUGH TIME Museum of Gloucester, Brunswick Rd, Gloucester GL1 1HP, www. Explore the museum for some “roarsome” family-fun. Trail sheets available on pay-what-you-can-afford basis. Book admission and trail sheets online to avoid disappointment. Suitable for all ages. FRI 22-SUN 31 OCT PUMPKIN PATCH Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, Cheltenham GL54 5FL, www. Throw on some wellies for half term fun on the farm, including pumpkin trail, spooky face painting and autumnal activities. At the end, pick a pumpkin to take home and carve for Halloween. 9am-5pm, pumpkin included in standard admission. SAT 23 OCT GINGEOWEEN Cheltenham Civil Service Football Club, Tewkesbury Rd, Uckington GL51 9SL, Spooky fun includes games, fancy dress, lucky dip, magic show with Showtime Shane, glitter tattoos, facepaint and more. Proceeds to Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice. 1pm, £8 (adult)/£5 (child).

SAT 23 & SAT 30 OCT EXCLUSIVE USE FAMILY PLAY SESSION All Sorts, London Rd, Stroud GL5 2BP, Families with children with complex health needs can book the hub exclusively. Sensory room, play space with full hoisting, sensory lighting and changing places facility. 1-2pm, contact SAT 23 OCT DISCOVERING BATS John Moore Museum, 41 Church St, Tewkesbury GL20 5SN, www. Join bat expert David Endacott to see a selection of rescued British bats up close, from tiny pipistrelles to greater horseshoe bats. Learn more about their habits, dispel negative myths and hear the sound of their calls. 10.30am, 11.45am and 2.15pm, £6 (adult)/£2 (child), booking recommended. SAT 23-SUN 31 OCT HALLOWEEN AT THE MUSEUM OF GHOULSTER! Museum of Gloucester, Brunswick Rd, Gloucester GL1 1HP, www. Join the “Museum of Ghoulster” this October half term for spooky school holiday creepy capers and ghoulish goings on. Family activities include trails, costume making, storytelling, bug hunts and more. Part of a city-wide programme running throughout October half term under the banner of Gloucester’s Creepy Capers. 10am-5pm, standard admission.

SAT 23 OCT DISCOVERY SESSIONS Museum of Gloucester, Brunswick Rd, Gloucester GL1 1HP, www. Enjoy a friendly chat with experts on a range of historical topics about the 08 OCTOBER HALF TERM 2021

SAT 23-SUN 31 OCT SPOOKY SPIDER TRAIL Painswick Rococo Garden, Gloucester Rd, Painswick GL6 6TH, www. A half term trail around the garden

Five Valleys Fireworks, Stroud, Mon 25 Oct

created by author/illustrator Hannah Shaw. Spider facts, fresh air and a prize at the end. (Psst! No real spiders are used on the trail). 10am-4pm. 50p plus standard admission.

for 5 months to 5 years. 11am-12pm, book via the centre’s Facebook page. FIVE VALLEYS FIREWORKS Marling School Playing Field, Stroud GL5 4HE, www.fivevalleysfireworks. The Rotary clubs of Stroud, Stonehouse and Nailsworth return with their annual charity event, with entertainment, Coneley’s fun fair, food, drinks, sweets and plenty of spectacular fireworks. 6-9.30pm, £8 (adult)/£4(child).M

SUN 24 OCT-MON 1 NOV HALF TERM AT BIRDLAND Birdland, Rissington Rd, Bourtonon-the-Water, Cheltenham GL54 2AY, Have a hoot this half term at Birdland’s latest attraction - The Parliament of Owls. See eight different owl species, including snowy owls, great grey owls and Chaco owls. 10am-4pm, standard admission. MON 25 OCT MESSY MONSTER PARTY Longlevens Community Centre, Church Rd, Longlevens, Gloucester GL2 0AJ, www. Little Learners throw a messy Halloween party. Expect messy play and maskmaking with a Halloween twist. Suitable

Would you like your event listed in WOW? Email: glos@ primarytimes. Deadline for our Christmas edition: MONDAY 1 NOVEMBER

CREEPY OCTOBER HALF TERM FUN Robinswood Hill, Reservoir Rd, Gloucester GL4 6SX, www. Get up close and personal with some of the park’s slimiest and squirmiest inhabitants. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust event. 11am-3pm. MON 25-SUN 31 OCT HALLOWEEN HALF TERM Dean Heritage Centre, Camp Mill, Soudley, Forest of Dean GL14 2UB, Spooky family fun including scary trails, creepy crafts and pumpkin carving. Explore the haunted cottage, design a ghoulish lantern and search the woodland for monsters. 10am-4pm, included in standard admission prices/ donation required for some activities. MON 25-SUN 31 OCT SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN Berkeley Castle, Berkeley GL13 9PJ, Past-Times Living History entertain visitors with spooky stories, gruesome games and more. 11am-5pm, standard admission prices apply. TUE 26 OCT HALLOWEEN ARTS AND CRAFTS Hucclecote Community Centre, GL3


3RT, Morning of Halloween-themed arts and crafts, plus free squash and biscuits. 10am-12pm, £5 per child, please book in advance. WED 27 OCT MAKING FOSSILS CLAY WORKSHOP The Subscription Rooms, George St, Stroud GL5 1AE, www.thesubrooms. Travel back millennia by sculpting a fossil or ammonite out of clay. Suitable for ages 8 plus, 10am-12.30pm, £21.50 (parents go free). GLORIOUS GLEVUM TOUR Museum of Gloucester, Brunswick Rd, Gloucester GL1 1HP, www. Join the museum’s resident Roman soldier for a guided introduction to Roman Glevum and the museum’s treasures. Why did the Romans settle here? What did they eat? 11am and 2pm, £8.50 (adult)/£3 (child)/£20 (family). FAMILY WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Bowditch, Slimbridge GL2 7BT, slimbridge Wildlife workshop for young photographers (and parents). 10am-1pm, £32 per adult and child. WED 27 & FRI 29 OCT HALLOWEEN HALF TERM FUN Kingshill House, Kingshill Lane, Dursley GL11 4BZ, www. Including spook-tacular arts and crafts, a terrifying trail and spine-tingling tales from storyteller, Bill. ​£2 per child. THU 28 OCT CREEPY OCTOBER HALF TERM FUN Robinswood Hill, Reservoir Rd, Gloucester GL4 6SX, www. Discover some of the park’s slimiest and squirmiest inhabitants. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust event. 11am-3pm. FRI 29 OCT HALLOWEEN FAMILY FITNESS Aptitude Fitness and Wellbeing, Southam Ln, Cheltenham GL52 3PD, Halloween fun, with 45-minute family fitness sessions, s’mores over the fire pit and children’s scavenger hunt.

Fancy dress compulsory. 5.30-7pm, £10 (adult)/£6.50 (child). SAT 30 OCT



WED 3-SUN 7 NOV CHILDREN’S HALLOWEEN PARTY Hucclecote Community Centre, GL3 3RT, Spooky Halloween fun for ages 3 to 11, with a disco and games. 5-7pm, £6 (junior non-members)/£4 (junior members)/adults free. HALLOWEEN FAMILY FUN Cleeve Hill Common Car Park, Southam, Cheltenham GL54 4EU, Follow the Halloween trail to learn about the common’s beasties before carving a pumpkin. 1-2.30pm, £2.50 per pumpkin. SUN 31 OCT HALLOWEEN OPEN DAY Llanthony Secunda Priory, Gloucester GL2 5FA, Pumpkin trail: see how many hidden creatures you can find in the grounds and building. Plus crafts and a trick-ortreat goodie bag for every child. £3 per child, adults free. WED 3-SUN 7 NOV STROUD BOOK FESTIVAL Various venues, Stroud, See panel. FRI 5 NOV BAGS 2 SCHOOL COLLECTION Leonard Stanley Primary School, Bath Rd, Stonehouse GL10 3LY, www.folss. Donate any unwanted clothing to Friends of Leonard Stanley School (FOLSS). 9-9.30am. SAT 6 NOV & MON 6 DEC BIRDING FOR BEGINNERS WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Bowditch, Slimbridge GL2 7BT, slimbridge Identify birds with the centre’s experienced wardens. 8-10.30am, £18. SUN 7 NOV BONFIRE NIGHT Hillside Brewery, Holly Bush Farm, Ross Rd, Longhope GL17 0NG, www. This popular bonfire, so badly missed last year, is expected to return in all its glory, complete with hog roast, craft beers

A five-day celebration of stories, ideas and community across a packed programme of events, talks and activities with special guests including Michael Morpurgo, Kate Mosse and Mary Portas. THU 4 NOV STROUD BOOK FESTIVAL SCHOOLS’ DAY The Subscription Rooms, GL5 1AE, schools-day The annual celebration of children’s literature and writing programmed for Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) returns as a live event after moving online last year. Authors include Kate Pankhurst (speaking about ‘Fantastically Great Women Scientists and their Stories’), Alex Warton (on ‘Daydreams and Jellyfish’) and Piers Torday (on ‘The Wild Before’). SAT 6 NOV GREEN KIDS COOK... The Pavilion, GL5 4AF. Learn to make Vietnamese spring rolls with Jenny Chandler 3.30pm. £8. THE BUTTERFLY LION The Subscription Rooms, GL5 1AE Michael Morpurgo celebrates the 25th anniversary of his children’s classic. 12pm, £8. THE EXTRAORDINARY BOOK THAT EATS ITSELF Lansdown Hall, GL5 1BB Penny Arlon and Susan Hayes lead workshop teaching how to make a pine

for the grown-ups and popcorn and candyfloss for the kids. £20 per car. WED 10 NOV MALVERN ST JAMES GIRLS’ SCHOOL WHOLE SCHOOL VIRTUAL OPEN EVENING Online, Find out what this prestigious girls’ school can offer your daughter. 6pm. FRI 12 NOV-SUN 9 JAN WINTER GLOW Three Counties Showground, Malvern WR13 6NW, A range of festive experiences from the illuminated light trail through the

cone bird feeder. 2pm, £5. SUN 7 Michae NOV Morpurg l o MAKE AWESOME COMICS The Pavilion GL5 4AF Interactive workshop with Neill Cameron. Ages 8 to 14, 3.30pm, £8. HOW TO BE COOLER THAN COOL Lansdown Hall GL5 1BB Sean Taylor on his new book featuring riddles and rhymes. 10am, £5. ROALD DAHL’S ROTSOME AND REPULSANT WORDS Lansdown Hall GL5 1BB Sara-Jane Arbury and Katie Balson with Dahl-based word games and tongue twisters. 1pm, £5. INTERVIEW WITH A SHARK... Lansdown Hall, GL5 1BB, Andy Seed on what he’s learnt chatting to sharks, tigers, a whale and more. 11.30am. £5. WHAT THE LADYBIRD HEARD The Subscription Rooms, George St, Stroud GL5 1AE, stroudbookfestival. Lydia Monks introduces the crimebusting ladybird and villains Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len from the series by Julia Donaldson. 2.30pm, £5.

Malvern Hills, or a skate on a large covered ice rink to a personalised meeting with Santa. Also, the town’s first Giant Observation Wheel. Advanced booking essential, all activities must be booked separately. SAT 13 NOV & SAT 11 DEC BEHIND THE SCENES TOURS Museum of Gloucester, Brunswick Rd, Gloucester GL1 1HP, www. An insightful and unique tour of the museum galleries and storage areas seldom seen at the Museum of Gloucester with the collections team. A friendly and knowledgeable guide OCTOBER HALF TERM 2021 09


will show you highlights from the collections, including dinosaur fossils, a sword belonging to King Richard III and more. Not suitable for children under 16. 2-3pm, £10 per person. SUN 14 NOV FAMILY FUN DAY Cheltenham Racecourse, Evesham Road, Cheltenham, GL50 4SH, www. Under 18s go free to the only Sunday raceday of the season. Children’s TV character Bing makes appearances throughout the day and there’s

inflatables, face painting and a chance to meet the animals, as well as the chance to watch the racing. For kids to enjoy the fun, their adults should buy a Club/Tatts ticket from £22. TUE 16 NOV INTRODUCTION TO FOSTERING Zoom, fostering/events Find out more about fostering and whether it could be right for your family. 6.30pm, free. Pumpkin Patch, Cotswold Farm Park, Fri 22-Sun 31 Oct



DISCOVERY SESSIONS Museum of Gloucester, Brunswick Rd, Gloucester GL1 1HP, www. Enjoy a friendly chat with museum experts on a range of fascinating historical topics relevant to the museum’s 750,000 objects. 1.30-3.30pm (please note sessions last up to 30 mins max.), donations welcome. WED 24 NOV ROBINSWOOD HILL NATURE TOTS Robinswood Hill, Reservoir Rd, Gloucester GL4 6SX, www. robinswood-hill Outdoor time for pre-school children to enjoy nature in all seasons, have fun in the mud and enjoy creative activities. 10-11.30am, £3. FRI 26 NOV-TUE 21 DEC ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury GL8 8QS, westonbirt Search for the lost reindeer and reunite Santa with his sleigh. £18 (adults)/£9 (children). 4-9.30pm.

SPECTACLE OF LIGHT Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe GL54 5JD, Illuminated winter trail and nighttime family experience. Pre-booked slots from. 4.45pm9.15pm. FRI 26 NOV-SAT 1 JAN ENCHANTED LIGHT TRAIL Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, Cheltenham GL54 5FL, www. Explore the farm park after dark on this nighttime journey with lights and sounds, crackling fire pits, a gift shop and hot food and drink. 4.30-10pm, book online in advance. SAT 27-SUN 28 NOV & SAT 4-FRI 24 DEC RIDE WITH SANTA Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, The Railway Station, Cheltenham GL54 5DT, www.gwsr. com Choose between two Christmas experiences, Ride With Santa or the Santa Express. From 9.40am, see website for times, £24 per person.

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CORKBOARD Dean’s a scream for all seasons Half term at the Dean Heritage Centre means spooktacular family fun. Enjoy scary trails, creepy craft and pumpkin carving, explore the ghoulish cottage where witches may invite you in for a cup of their brew or search the woodland for monsters. The centre’s team of artists and facilitators help you have a mons-terrific time! Then add some forest magic to your Christmas celebrations by joining the centre to enjoy festive activities in this beautiful setting. Father Christmas spends time in the homely kitchen of the cosy Forester’s Cottage, handing gifts to all the children who visit him. It’s an ideal opportunity to make sure all letters and present requests are given to the great man himself. Ffi: Dean Heritage Centre W:

Enjoy a Slimbridge Clem autumn! Pic: Hencher

Stevens Highlights at World Wildlife & Wetlands Trust this autumn include the Hawaiian landscape of Mission Possible (and meet the world’s rarest goose, the nene, pictured); the Living Wetland Theatre and Waterscapes Aviary; and birds like Sprout, the friendly pelican, Nzuri, the crowned crane, or the magpie geese. Become a Wetland Hero with Slimbridge’s own app created by Oscar-winning animators Aardman and unlock the secrets of Slimbridge. Wonder at the amphibians in Toad Hall, or the mammals in Back from the Brink and spot all six species of flamingo! During October Half Term try a Wetlands Interactive Sandbox and see what landscapes you can create or book a family-friendly photography workshop. Ffi WWT Slimbridge W:

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Pic: Joab Smith

Spooky spiders and autumn colours Nestling in a hidden valley, Painswick’s Rococo Garden is a fantastic place for families to explore. Children (and grown-ups!) are encouraged to let their imaginations and feet run wild. Whether navigating the maze, playing hide and seek, or simply enjoying the woodland play area, there’s plenty for all. In autumn the garden colours transform to rich reds and oranges. This year, children can take part in the Spooky Spider Trail created by local author/illustrator Hannah Shaw. There are fun spider characters to spot and eight-legged facts aplenty! With free parking, cakes and freshly-ground coffee, a visit to the garden is stress-free and fun. Ffi: Painswick Rococo Garden W:

REVIEW: Thriller on the roof Gloucestershire author J.M.Forster follows her debut ‘Shadow Jumper’ (now over 90,000 copies sold) with ‘Twilight Robbery’, the adventures of Jack, who has an allergy to sunlight and explores the rooftops at night. But when he finds a package among the chimneys, he becomes the prime suspect for theft. Things go from bad to worse when friend Fabien falls from the roof. Was it an accident? Or something more sinister? Fans of ‘Shadow Jumper’ can expect another exciting mystery adventure with twists, turns and red herrings to keep reluctant readers engaged. Suitable for 9+ (Ellen White)

Camping at Christmas

Cheltenham’s family-run Camp 4-2-11 follows its October half term outing to St Edward’s Senior School (Mon 25-Fri 29 Oct) with two threeday camps at Balcarras School - one for children aged 3-6 and one for ages 7-14 (Mon 20-Wed 22 Dec). As always there’s a huge variety of activities on offer, from clay modelling and baking to theatre, magic and science workshops. With Christmas on its way there’s a festive flavour to the camp with seasonal arts and crafts, elf hunts, sports, a ‘Camp’s Got Talent’ show and, of course a Christmas party with a visit from Santa himself on the final day. A standard day runs from 9am-4pm, but you can also book extended days (8.30am-5pm). Places are limited, so book early.

Twilight Robbery J.M.Forster, £6.99, Scribblepad Press,

Scarily creative!

Whether it’s being amazed at the magic show or painting your own scary pumpkin design, Taurus Crafts is the place to head to this October school holiday. Based in the Forest of Dean, the charity-run visitor centre is putting on a full programme of creative activities throughout the October holiday. So why not pop in, get creative and choose from a great selection of spooky workshops where you can make broomsticks, trick or treat bags, witches’ hats, monster head pots, spooky slime and more? Ffi. Taurus Crafts W:



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Parents’ and teachers’ news, resources and contacts

The Spy Experience! Are you looking for a different kind of holiday activity? Does your child love solving puzzles and logic problems? The new three-day Spy Experience is an exciting new event held during the May Half Term and summer holidays. It is a multimedia experience using video, audio and physical puzzles to solve an engaging secret agent scenario. The event is led by two highly experienced educators helping children develop a range of skills in a fun and exciting environment. Suitable for Year 5 and 6 students, it is an excellent way to support 11+ and national curriculum skills in preparation for secondary school. Ffi: Cotswold Education T: 07976 218062 W: www.cotswoldeducationacademy E:

Arthur’s a legend! This year’s traditional family panto from The Roses, ‘King Arthur: The Panto!’, is set to be something truly special, written for the Tewkesbury theatre by Maurice Gran (the BAFTA-winning writer of ‘Birds of a Feather’ and hit musical ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats’). Set in medieval Tewkesbury, ‘King Arthur’ tells the story of a baker boy destined for far greater things than his humble upbringing suggests. Of course, before he can fulfil his destiny, Arthur must overcome the evil Morgana Le Fey and a host of other unexpected foes. Expect scones, stones, swords, laughter, princesses, heroes, villains, dragons, wizards, magic, music, knights, foolish jesters and lots of fun in Tewkesbury this Christmas! Ffi: The Roses Theatre W: Advertising feature

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he popular November Meeting Sunday returns to Cheltenham Racecourse this year on 14 November and, as the course’s only Sunday fixture of the season, it’s famed for its world-class free family fun and entertainment. The meeting hosts children’s TV Character Bing (pictured) who makes personal appearances throughout the day, as well as offering the chance to enjoy a whole range of free kids’ activities including inflatable fun, face painting and meeting the animals. All family fun activities at Cheltenham Racecourse are free and accessible to all those with a Club/Tatts ticket on the day. And, of course, there’s plenty to enjoy out on the track too, with six thrilling races, including

the feature race of the day, the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. Racehorse The Shunter, ridden by Robbie Power and trained by Emmet Mullins, won the trophy in 2020 before going on to glory at Cheltenham Racecourse’s world-famous event, The Festival, in March this year. Take your family to Cheltenham this November and you could see the racehorse and rider who might be following in his hoofprints. Club/ Tatts tickets from £22 and, don’t forget, kids go free! Cheltenham Racecourse W: cheltenham

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Stroud reads out loud


troud Book Festival has launched a fun line-up for families and children, running at venues in the town from Wednesday 3-Sunday 7 November. Headlining is much-loved author and former Children’s Laureate Sir Michael Morpurgo, with a celebration of the 25th anniversary edition of his children’s classic, ‘ The Butterfly Lion’, winner of the Smarties Prize and the Writer’s Guild Award (ages 7+). Author and illustrator extraordinaire Lydia Monks joins for a sparkling adventure with the crime busting ladybird and dastardly villains Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len from ‘ What The Ladybird Heard’ (ages 3-6). Sean Taylor t akes younger audiences on a lively journey featuring riddles, rhymes, silly songs, and a reading of his brand-new book ‘How To Be Cooler Than Cool’ (ages 3-7). For the very youngest festival-goers, author Jane Newberry and ‘ The Big Green Crocodile’ offer an exciting, interactive storytelling session (ages 2-5). Festival favourite Andy Seed

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makes a welcome return with his latest fun and fact-filled book ‘ Interview With A Shark’ (ages 6-9), while budding cooks, comic makers and creatives will enjoy workshops ‘Green Kids Cook’ (ages 8-14), ‘Make Awesome Comics’ (ages 8-14) and ‘The Extraordinary Book That Eats Itself’ (ages 6+). Word wizards Sara-Jane Arbury and Katie Balson take a light-hearted look at one classic kids’ author’s redunculous imagery with a celebration of ‘Roald Dahl’s Rotsome & Repulsant Words’ (ages 6+). Finally, teachers and pupils throughout the district are anticipating Stroud Book Festival’s annual Schools’ Day, specially programmed for local primary school children in Gloucestershire, on Thursday 4 November.

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As the temperatures start to drop and winter swings in to greet us again, the cooler air can bring with it a hint of magic, don’t you think?

The team at Cotswold Farm Park is giving Mother Nature a helping hand again this winter, adding sparkle to the festive season with the return of their Enchanted Light Trail. This is the perfect family-friendly event, with early-evening arrival times, a dazzling display of illuminations and a rare chance to see some of your favourite Farm Park animals after dark. The Enchanted Light Trail runs from Friday 26 November to Saturday 1 January. Book online in advance.

Registered charity no. 232402


Wrap up warm and head over to the fields at Cotswold Farm Park to explore the Pumpkin Patch trail. Choose a spooky face paint design and grab yourself a plump pumpkin to take home. Entry to the field (and a free pumpkin token) is included in your Farm Park admission, or Pumpkin Field Only tickets are also available. The Pumpkin Patch runs on October weekends and throughout the half term holiday, Friday 22 October to Sunday 31 October. Book online in advance.

Children’s creative activities throughout school holidays 01594 844841 Lydney, Forest of Dean, GL15 6BU

Cotswold Farm Park W:



FOR THE KIDS THEBUZZWORD ACROSS 1. The night all the spooks and monsters come out, (9) 5. A word you might not like hearing your parents say. (2) 7 French for “and”. (2) 9. An insect known for stripping crops bare in one of the biblical plagues. (6) 10. You may be scared, you may be excited but you certainly won’t be experiencing this feeling when celebrating No. 1 Across. (5) 11. Originally one of the tribes who helped defeat the Roman empire, this word now describes someone who dresses up in dark clothes, perhaps similar to an outift you might wear during 1 Across. (4) 13. A six sided shape. (4) 15. A preposition indicating place. (20 16. Opposite of always. (5) 18. “Oh yes I am!” “Oh no you’re ...” (3) 20. What you might say if your parents say the opposite of 5 across. (3) 21. To drink delicately, (3) 23. Someone who saves the day or does something courageous. (4) 24. Speaking to be heard. (5) 28. Fashionable. (6) 29. To wander off. (5). DOWN 1. These super-realistic three dimensional images, often recreated in glass or film, might well be put to scary use on 31 October. (9)

MORE WOW WED 1-FRI 31 DEC FROM FESTIVE FUN AT THE MUSEUM P10 Museum of Gloucester, Brunswick

Rd, Gloucester GL1 1HP, www. Join the Museum of Gloucester this December for family festive fun, including a Christmas countdown calendar trail and appearances by some very special guests. More details TBA. CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS TRAIL Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-inMarsh GL56 9AT, Find Santa and friends hidden around the arboretum to win a prize. £2.50 per child, plus admission fees. Daily. FRI 3-SAT 4 DEC CHRISTMAS GIFT FAIR The Subscription Rooms, George St, Stroud GL5 1AE, www.thesubrooms. 14 OCTOBER HALF TERM 2021

Petey’s Arty Party

Petey loved our Artytude competition so much that he wanted to judge it himself! To Robin, 5, Bella, 7, Tess, 8, all of St Briavels Primary, YS A S Y ! PETE LATIONS who have all drawn beauTU tiful pictures on the theme, GRA CON “Meeting my school friends again”. They all win a £5 book token.





If you’d like to enter Petey’s next art competition about...

Autumn animals 2. The sound of someone having fun (8) 3. A woman believed to posess magical abilities. (5) 4. New or revived (eg. ...-classical) (3) 6. Everyday or normal (8) 8. A terribly sad event. (7) 10. A container. (3) 12. Sunbathers hope to get one of these. (3). 14. A mistake. (5) 17. Power. (6) 19. Amphibian creatures. (5) 22. Light coloured or unhealthy looking. (4) 25. Belonging to us. (3) 26. Opposite of night. (3) 27. Pronoun for an object/thing (2)

Browse stalls from local independent sellers, plus mulled wine, mince pies and an appearance by the snow machine. 5-9pm (Fri)/10am-4pm (Sat), free. FRI 3-FRI 24 DEC CHRISTMAS AT CLEARWELL CAVES Clearwell Caves, The Rocks, Clearwell, Coleford GL16 8JR, www. Expect another unique festive display in the caves. 10am-4pm.

TOO HARD? Why not ask a grown-up for ideas? Children under 7 will find the yellow clues easier.

send in your high resolution image to gloscompetitions@primarytimes. by Friday 12 November. Don’t forget to put Petey’s Arty Party in the subject line, include your name, age, school and home address so we can send you the prize. See tcs for competition terms and conditions.

The joke’s on us Q: What’s your favourite thing about Switzerland? A: The flag is a big plus. WED 8 DEC REINDEER TRAIL AND SANTA’S GROTTO Robinswood Hill, Reservoir Rd, Gloucester GL4 6SX, www. Get well and truly into the Christmas spirit and follow the evening reindeer trail towards Santa’s grotto. 5-7pm, see website for more info. FRI 17 DEC FESTIVE FAMILY FIREWORK NIGHT Walls Club, Hammond Way, Gloucester GL4 3YL, www.wallsclub. Expect an evening of entertainment, Christmas music, food and drink, and fairground rides, topped off with what promises to be an amazing firework display. Gates open 5.30pm, fireworks 9.30pm, £8 (adult)/£5 (child). Christmas adventure at Camp 4-2-11, Mon 20-Wed 22 Dec

SAT 18-THU 23 DEC CHRISTMAS AT DEAN HERITAGE CENTRE Dean Heritage Centre, Camp Mill, Soudley, Forest of Dean GL14 2UB, A variety of Christmas activities in a forest setting. Visit Father Christmas in the Forester’s Cottage, make some festive arts and crafts, explore the galleries to look for missing presents from Father Christmas’s sack and visit the Gruffalo’s Child. 10am-4pm, standard admission prices apply. MON 20-WED 22 DEC CHRISTMAS CAMP Balcarras School, East End Road, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, GL53 8QF, 07825 630751, Get active at the start of the Christmas break! Enjoy arts, crafts, games, elf hunts and a Santa visit. Ages 3-14.

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