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MID SOMERSET EDITION

ISSUE 66 •september 2019

tips for new school starters

school news

www.familymatters-uk.co.uk

what's on


WELCOME Hello everyone! We hope you enjoyed your summer break and have settled in nicely to your new classes ready to get started on the new school year. While we’re sure you’re missing having a lie in and having fun in the sun with your friends and family, the start of the academic year is the ideal time for fresh starts and setting yourself exciting new challenges. September is an opportunity for looking at the next stage in your school life by beginning your search for a secondary school or a nursery and we’re here with you every step of the way with advice and tips to help make school applications as easy as possible. This time of year is also great for learning a new skill or joining clubs, these are so beneficial and really help to build confidence and self-esteem – important when surrounded by new faces! As always this issue is packed full of fun things for you to do as well as helpful suggestions to make your transition into the new school year as smooth as it can be. So, whether you’re a regular reader or you’re joining us for the first time, we hope you have a great September and enjoy your first few weeks settling back into school. Don’t forget to keep us in the loop when it comes to all your achievements this term, we’d love to feature you in our next issue! We’ll see you again at October half term!

p9 what is stem?

p5 it's time to choose a secondary school

p10 sibling rivalry

p16 talk like a pirate day!

Published by Ignyte Media Ltd - email: info@ignyte-uk.co.uk call: 01761 410141 While every care has been taken to ensure the data contained in the publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Ignyte do not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All right reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system in any form without the prior permission of the publisher.

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ST DUNSTAN’S OPEN EVENING

Crispin • ASPIRATION • COMPASSION • EXCELLENCE

Wednesday 25th September 6.30—8.30pm Prospective pupils and their parents have the opportunity to gain a real insight into St Dunstan’s life. Enquiries www.stdunstansschool.com 01458 832943

Open Mornings/ Evening Thursday 17th September 09:30 - 11:30

Wednesday 2nd October 09:30 - 11:30 & 18:30 - 20:30

Thursday 10th October 09:30 - 11:30 We are holding our next Open Days on the above dates. There will be an opportunity to meet students and colleagues, and tour Crispin to find out more about a variety of aspects of the school’s work. Consistently strong academic performance Wide range of enrichment activities Strong learning environment Caring supportive atmosphere

Church Road, Street BA16 OAD Tel: 01458 442714 www.crispinschool.co.uk

OFFERING ‘WRAP AROUND CARE’ & FLEXI BOARDING

LEARN • CREATE • EXPLORE WHERE WILL YOUR FUTURE TAKE YOU? Top quality boarding provision from age 7, with superb pastoral care Pick-ups available from Bath Spa Train Station Rated ‘excellent’ in all areas of the latest Inspection Report Over 100 co-curricular activities available with a reputation for sport and links to professional clubs Inspirational music, drama and creative arts

JOIN US FOR OUR 2019 OPEN EVENTS SIXTH FORM: Monday 23 September, 6.30pm to 9.00pm PREP SCHOOL: Thursday 26 September, 10.00am to 12.00pm SENIOR SCHOOL: Saturday 28 September, 9.00am to 12.00pm Book your place at www.kingswood.bath.sch.uk An Independent Co-educational Boarding & Day School for pupils aged 9 months - 18 years

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@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk


It’s time to choose a SECONDARY SCHOOL

We know, we know, school has only just started, you’ve only just gotten back into the routine of early mornings and home work, you don’t want to start thinking about secondary school. Be that as it may, choosing a secondary school is important and this is the ideal time of year to do it as there are open days taking place all through September and into October. There are a lot of factors involved in choosing a secondary school, from what your child wants to what kind of schools are in your area and of course, what entry requirements the schools have. For some it is just a simple requirement to be in a certain post code but others will have exams or for some religious schools other commitments to consider. The whole thing can be very daunting, so we’ve put together a quick guide to help make it stress free.

ukfamilymatters |

Make a note of application deadlines These will be publicised, but you can double check either with the school or with your local authority. The majority of them tend to have application deadlines in October for those that are in their last year in primary school, so it might be an idea to start looking in year 5, especially if you are thinking about a grammar or selective school. Check the entrance requirements If you have several schools to choose from in your area, you might want to check what they need from you in order to make an application. It will save time looking around them if they require you to be a certain faith or to live in a certain area. Of course many schools have an appeals process, so there is also a chance you can use this and you will need to make a list of your preferred schools so it is good to know what will be expected of you for all the local ones.

@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk | 5


A few things to look out for when choosing a school As well as the above, when at an open day or school tour it is a good idea to engage with the staff and the pupils that you see. We’ve put together a couple of questions for you which might help you get a better idea of what the school is like. How many children are in an average class?

Are there teaching assistants for each class?

What is the bullying policy?

What pastoral care is available to the pupils?

Are there extra curricular clubs and activities available?

What percentage of pupils go on to higher education?

What are the SEN facilities?

How does the school communicate with parents?

How are pupils who are exceptionally gifted looked after and challenged?

What measures are in place for disruptive pupils?

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ukfamilymatters |

Take your child’s skills and preferences into account When choosing a secondary school you should involve your child as much as possible, they’ll want to be kept with their friends and by the time they’re in year 5 and 6 you’ll know more about them and their interests. If they’re musical, picking a school with a good arts programme would be ideal, or if they’re sporty, one that focuses on developing their skills further. Perhaps they need a little more pastoral care so a smaller school would suit them. All these things can help narrow down the search. Visit as many open days as possible We know, life is busy and this is time consuming, but it is important to know as much about these potential schools as possible. As well as attending open days, you can also book appointments to have a tour of the school while the children are in class, that way you can get a real feel for the atmosphere and how the lessons are conducted.

@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk


Top tips for starting a new school

...the parent edition

If this is your first time reading Family Matters it means your little darlings have started school for the first time! In that case, welcome, we hope they’ve settled in well. We also hope you’ve settled in too, you see starting a new school isn’t just a new experience for the children, it’s a whole new experience for parents and carers too, so here are our tips for parents of new school children.

Acknowledge your feelings about school

Treat teachers as professionals

You might think that your child is the only one who has to navigate all these new rules and regulations and learn where they fit in the school hierarchy. But you’d be wrong. Parents are often surprised by the feelings they get from simply picking up and dropping off their child or when visiting the school. Much like when you were in school yourself you’ll find the same groups congregated in the playground waiting for their children, acknowledge your feelings about judgemental parents, yummy mummies and the other groups you spot but try to keep them under control.

Teachers get a lot of criticism but they are all dedicated to doing the best for your child and the other children in their care. Schooling has changed a lot since you were there, don’t let your experiences cloud how you view your child’s school.

Make sure you get your timings right For the school there is nothing more annoying than a child that is consistently late, so make sure you are able to get them to school on time. Staff will not take kindly to having to hang around watching children that haven’t been collected on time, so being punctual is important.

Don’t take breaks during term time Yes, we know. Everyone doubles their prices during the school holidays, but there are rules about taking kids on holiday during term time for a reason. Each school has their own policy and these work with the rules and regulations set out by the local authority. If it's absolutely necessary, speak to the school, but don’t book a holiday in term time if you can help it.

ukfamilymatters |

Be realistic Obviously you think that your child is the best – they are! We all have huge expectations for our children, but you need to be realistic. Their teacher might not know your child as well as you do, but they see them every day in a classroom setting, so what they say about them and their progress is usually right.

Join the PTA If you have the time, joining the PTA and integrating yourself into school life will help you get to know different staff members as well as other parents and help you learn how the school works. Make sure you are able to make the commitment and be realistic about how much you are able to participate.

Praise teachers Positive feedback works well on everyone, so make sure to praise teachers and other staff members when you’re pleased about something.

@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk | 7


Friday 25th October 5.30 - 7.30

Music Best Costume prize Disco Lights Halloween & Glitter Tattoos Stickers Glow Sticks Face-Painting Goody Bags Children’s food & drinks included FREE Adult Buffet Licensed Bar

Children’s Parties See web-site for details

Fancy Dress

After School Meal Deals Play and Eat Monthly Passes Loyalty Cards

Tickets £15/child

Soft-Play Centre Shepton Mallet Open 7 days a week

The Blue Tower, Townsend, BA4 5SB

Mon-Thur 9.30-5.00 , Fri-Sat 9.30-6.00 Sunday 10.00-5.00

Café Free WIFI Creative Play Bouncy Castle * Climbing Wall * Sensory Zone

01749 344433 www.hullabaloojungleplay.co.uk


STEM WHAT IS IT AND IS IT IMPORTANT?

It’s the start of a new school year and for some of you, a new school entirely, so it’s time to start getting your head around a whole new set of acronyms. Some of them like PE, SEN and SENCO might be familiar, but others, such as STEM might be completely new to you. In basic terms, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and in recent years, there has been a drive to improve interest in these subjects, particularly for girls. Overall, the UK tends to have a lack of engagement in these subjects from children of all ages and genders, but as STEM subjects are becoming the biggest forces for economic growth in the UK, it is important to garner an interest in them during their time at school. The UK as a whole is in need of addressing a skills gap in these subjects and inspiring young people to get involved with these subjects and continue them into higher education is one way of narrowing this significantly. Science, engineering, maths and technology aren’t for everyone. Some children gravitate towards these subjects easily, while others are more interested in art or PE. This is fine and we would never suggest forcing children to engage in something they really dislike, but that doesn’t mean they should ignore these subjects altogether. STEM covers a wide range of things including renewable energy, recycling, climate change and more, all of which are becoming increasingly more integrated into the curriculum. In order to help your children progress in these subjects and to develop and nurture an existing interest, why not try to engage them in these subjects at home? There are a number of online resources to help you get your head around STEM and approach it outside of school in an engaging and fun way, perhaps you can get creative and have your child show you what they learned in ICT or set them a challenge with toy building blocks to help them understand the engineering side. Another option is to pick up toy chemistry sets and get involved with them.


Sibling ...HOW TO DEAL WITH WARRING SIBLINGS Having more than one child can be a joy, especially when they are all getting along, but often it can feel like you’re embarking on a UN style peace keeping mission. To promote a calm and happy relationship between siblings, we’ve put together some tip tips for coping when the kids start fighting among themselves and seeing each other as rivals rather than equals.

ENCOURAGE GOOD SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS

SUPPORT THEM THROUGH THEIR CONFLICTS

This can be as easy as rewarding them for playing nicely together and sharing or just generally compliment them and encourage them to do the same. Obviously you don’t want to break the moment when it’s happening but joining in and showing praise or just waiting until the end of the day and telling them all how proud you are will help. Positive feedback always helps reinforce good behaviour.

Siblings will fall out and they won’t always get along and the younger they are, the more support they will need in sorting out their emotions and getting past the issue. If they are really fighting, try separating them for a few minutes and letting them know that you are unhappy with this behaviour. Make sure you tell them how you expect them to behave towards each other together, this way none of them will feel like you are singling them out.


rivalry CONSISTENCY IS KEY

MEETING THEIR INDIVIDUAL NEEDS

Make sure that you set boundaries and stick to them. If you are co-parenting be sure that the two of you back each other up and stick to those boundaries. Children learn from their parents, so sticking together will show that you are being fair and working as a team which will encourage them to do the same.

While we want children to be able to play nicely and be supportive of their siblings, it is important that they remain individuals rather than a unit. Siblings can be very different from one another and have very different needs, so as well as encouraging them to be aware of each other’s needs and being kind and respectful of each other, it is also important that you set some time aside for one-to-one time with each child. We know this can be difficult especially for working parents and those who have a child with additional needs, but if you can, we would recommend it, even if it is just at bedtime or for a few minutes a day.

AGE GAPS Age gaps vary between families but while some have a couple of years between each child, others can have big or small age gaps and handling this can be tricky. If you have several around the same age, it can be difficult to find the time to be with them individually, but it is important to try, however, they will all likely be around the same stages developmentally which can make things easier. If you have an older child and a baby, you don’t want to make the older one feel left out or pressured into doing some care taking, but you do still want them to get along and respect each other. Make sure to set time aside for older children so they don’t start to feel resentment towards the younger ones for taking all your attention and involve them as much as possible in the family as a whole. It can also help if you avoid lumping them all together as this shows that you recognise their different ages and life stages.

Do you have any other hints and tips for helping cope with sibling rivalries? You can get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter and of course, chat with other parents! Find us at @ukfamilymatters


Benefits of Home Cooking When it comes down to feeding your body and mind, nothing is superior to preparing your food from scratch, with quality ingredients and served with love. If you have never experienced this phenomenon then try it out for 90 days and see how you feel. As well as that, see how your family feels as you work together in the kitchen to create a level of harmony and good health that is only possible when food is prepared in a loving manner, and eaten slowly with others.

SAVES TIME

SAVES MONEY Packaged and prepared meals cost you considerably more than cooking with raw ingredients at home. Preparing meals at home can save you money. Just by bringing your home-cooked leftovers to work for lunch can save you up to ÂŁ50 each month. Other ways to save money include buying your food in bulk, using store coupons, eating more vegetarian meals, buying on sale and freezing for later use.

In the time it takes to drive to a take away, place your order, wait for your order, return home and serve the meal, you could have made a three-course meal from scratch with time to sit and chew slowly. For those on a busy schedule, prepare half the week’s meals on a Sunday and the other half midweek, which can allow time for relaxation or beneficial exercise.

LESS SALT AND TRANS FATS Food producers and restaurant chefs use higher levels of salt and fat to make their products taste better to the consumer. Preparing meals at home allows you to control the amount of salt and oils you use in your recipes. This in turn reduces the possibility of weight gain and clogged arteries.


BALANCED MEALS Taking the time to plan your weekly menu not only helps to save time and money, but also provides a way to create meals with a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, plus all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for the adult and child’s body. When eating balanced meals your body feels satisfied, has fewer cravings and this in turn prevents late-night snacking.

AVOID FOOD POISONING When preparing meals at home you can better control the temperatures when cooking meats, keep hands and countertops clean and properly wash your raw produce.

WEIGHT CONTROL Plates have gone from 10 inches in 1990 to 12 inches in 2013. With larger portions people tend to eat more, but cooking at home allows you to control serving sizes and prevent overeating. Buy locally, in season, the best quality food, organic when possible. When cooking from scratch you know exactly what is going into your recipes. The choices you make can keep you healthy and help prevent weight gain, digestive troubles and allergic reactions.

BRINGS FAMILY TOGETHER BETTER ENERGY Food can be healing medicine or it can deplete your energy and cause sickness and pain. This may sound dramatic, but the truth is that whoever is cooking is in charge of the people we become.

Preparing meals at home and including family members in meal preparation is a way to give and share love. When food is prepared with a calm mind and loving thoughts it can become a tonic for both the physical body and the soul. Teaching children how to cook is a gift of health they will use for their entire lives and pass on to their children and grandchildren.


what’s on 4th September - 23rd October Yoga at Whitehall Come and join us at Whitehall Garden Centre in Lacock for our Yoga session from 10am until 11am every Wednesday. Whitehall Garden Centre, Lacock. 7th September Family Fun Day There will be a whole host of activities including: Bouncy castle, giant fun and games for the whole family, BBQ, animal petting and animal meets and greets. Hope Nature Centre, Wiltshire. www.hopenaturecentre.org.uk/animal-park 7th September Trowbridge Carnival Country Fayre Taking place in Trowbridge Park with stalls, activities and a dog show throughout the day. 10:00am to 4:00pm. Trowbridge, Wiltshire. 9th - 15th September Tottington Hall comes to Montacute House (9 - 15 September tickets) Montacute House was the inspiration for Tottington Hall - the setting for Wallace and Gromit's adventures in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Each time slot to view the display lasts 25 minutes. Montacute House, Montacute, Somerset. 14th September Animal Adoption Launch Event Join us as we launch our new Animal Adoption scheme. You’ll be able to sign up to help look after and support some of our most popular animals. 1pm - 3.30pm. Hope Nature Centre, Wiltshire.

14th September Family Rainbow Fun Run Come and get messy at Old Down by joining us at our second Family Rainbow Fun Run. The course is 1.5K around our Adventure Playground (which includes some of the apparatus) with a full rainbow of powder paints coating you from head to foot as you run! Old Down Country Park, Tockington. 14th September Medieval Falconry Don’t miss the Palace’s Medieval Falconry Day from 10am - 4pm when Raptor Care will return to the South Lawn for a day of fantastic flying displays, entertaining information and beautiful birds! The Bishop's Palace, Wells. 14th – 15th September South Glos Food & Drink Festival From sweet treats to savoury delights and classic real ale to cocktail o'clock, it is safe to say there will be something for everyone. Doors will open at 10am and close at 4pm. Bristol & Bath Science Park, Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, Bristol. 14th - 15th September Teddy Bear's Picnic FREE train travel for children who bring their Teddy Bear! Come and join us for this special day with lots of activities for children; Once you’ve paid your train fare there’s no extra charge for any of the activities. Avon Valley Railway, Bitton. 15th September CSF Wrestling Showdown: 21st Anniversary Event! The over the top world of CSF Pro Wrestling returns with another evening of high flying, bone crunching, action packed family entertainment as the organisation celebrate 21 years of hosting live events! Cheese and Grain, Market Yard, Frome.

For further information about each event


21st - 22nd September Peace at Last Based on the picture book by Jill Murphy, Mr Bear can’t sleep. Mrs Bear is snoring. So he goes to sleep in Baby Bear’s room. But Baby Bear is pretending to be an aeroplane. So he goes to sleep in the living room. The Egg, Theatre Royal, Sawclose, Bath. 21st - 22nd September 1940's Weekend Admire the vintage vehicle and re-enactment displays, enjoy music from Jayne Darling and the Goodnight Sweethearts. Meet ‘Winston Churchill’ and ‘Field Marshall Montgomery’ or just generally soak up the atmosphere on this special weekend. Steam train rides also taking place throughout the day from 10am – 4pm. Avon Valley Railway, Bitton. 22nd September Lion's Club Fun Runs Bradford -on–Avon Lions are once again, holding their Charity Fun Runs and hope that you will be able to join. 10am 2K Run, Walk, Toddle or Push! This can accommodate buggies and wheelchair users as well as those who are able to run or walk! Culver Close, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire. 26th – 29th September We’re Going on a Bear Hunt We're Going on a Bear Hunt follows a family on an adventure of a lifetime – running down the grassy bank, wading through the cold river, squelching over the oozy mud, stumbling into the dark forest, then peering into a cave … what will they find? Egg, Theatre Royal, Sawclose, Bath. 28th September Level's Best Farmers' Market Great local produce and crafts at this award winning market. Market runs from 10am - 2pm (please don't try to access before 10am). Montacute House, Montacute, Somerset. 28th September Day of Morris dancing with Enigma Morris Enigma Morris are a mixed Border Morris team based in South Petherton, and this year they’re celebrating their fifth birthday with a dance of dance at Barrington Court. Barrington Court, Somerset.

28th - 29th September Harvest Festival The Harvest Festival will be a celebration all things autumnal; with local produce - grown with love - craft and food stalls. Entertainment will range from live music to morris men. The Bishop's Palace, Wells. 28th September - 26th October Family Takeover Join artist educator Victoria Willmott for a series of fun and informal creative activities. Family Takeovers happen every fortnight during advertised dates and are particularly suitable for children aged 4-12 years. The Edge, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath. 5th - 6th October Glastonbury Tor - Family apple picking festival Many hands make light work, join us this Autumn for our family apple picking days. We need help picking apples in Hermitage Orchard at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, to make juice and cider. A great opportunity to enjoy a day outdoors and learn about the orchards, and enjoy some children’s games. Glastonbury Tor, near Glastonbury, Somerset. 12th October Trowbridge Apple Festival A free family event with fun, games and crafts, all along the theme of apples, to be held in Trowbridge Park. There’ll also be live music, gardening advice, apple pressing and more! 11:00am to 3:00pm. 19th October Trowbridge Carnival Procession Come along and lend your support by donating generously – the procession starts from Canal Road at 7pm, continuing through the town and ending at Cradle Bridge. Time: 7:00pm to 8:30pm. 19th October HorseWorld Charity Open Day Join us at HorseWorld for our last Charity Open Day of 2019. Meet the horses, staff and volunteers on our working rescue yard. Free entry and free parking. HorseWorld Trust, Staunton Lane, Whitchurch, Bristol.

please visit www.familymatters-uk.co.uk


Learn some pirate slang for Talk Like a Pirate Day! Every year on 19th September the world celebrates International Talk Like a Pirate Day so here is some pirate slang to help you join in! Luckily for you, if you’re reading this it means that you live in the West Country, so you’ll easily be able to pick up on the correct pronunciation. The traditional pirate voice which you hear in films and on TV is based on the West Country accent and takes inspiration from Cornwall and Bristol.

Ahoy! This is how pirates call attention to them, so for instance “Ahoy there me hearty!” would translate to “hello mate”.

Aye This is the more usual way of saying yes.

Fire in the hole! A warning that a canon is about to be fired. We’re not sure you’ll need this during International Talk Like a Pirate Day, but it might be useful at some point.

Port An important one for anyone planning a career in piracy, port refers to the left hand side of the ship, but isn’t necessarily on your left, but rather to the left of someone facing the bow of the ship.

Arr! This is more of a general exclamation. Arr! Can be used to indicate you’ve hurt yourself, been surprised or you agree with something.

Come About Also popular among shepherds, this is the command to bring the ship all the way around, either because there are strong winds or because an enemy is approaching.

Parley A chat between opposition sides to form a truce. You’ll likely know this one from the films.

Sail ho! A shout to let other people know that another ship is in view.

Avast! Simply put, this means stop.

Davy Jones’ Locker As in “if you don’t do as you’re told, I’ll send ye to Davy Jones’ Locker” or the threat of being chucked overboard.

Shiver me timbers! An expression of surprise, for example “Chocolate is on offer? Well, shiver me timbers!”

Sea Legs The ability to balance while on board a ship – people without sea legs often feel sea sick.

If you take part in any International Talk Like a Pirate Day activities at school, let us know, you can send photos and news over to us for our next issue at news@ignyte-uk.co.uk


GOING BACK TO SCHOOL WITH ALLERGIES & INTOLERANCES If you are a parent of a child with allergies or intolerances sending them to school can cause anxiety. You are completely aware of their allergies and what needs they have but starting a new school with a new teacher and new classmates mean a whole host of people who don’t know your children’s health issues. You want your child to be safe and to make sure that the school has systems in place to deal with an issue should it arise. Here are a few suggestions so you can make sure that your children have a safe, fun start to the school year. MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS AWARE OF THEIR TRIGGERS. You know what triggers a reaction, so make sure that everyone else does too. Common allergies such as pollen and dust will find their way into the classroom and children who have pets will accidentally bring pet hair into the school. When it comes to other allergies such as nuts or dairy, make sure that this is something the school is aware of and that there are systems in place to keep these things away from your child. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH AN ALLERGIST OR DOCTOR. If you have noticed that your child is coming home with difficulty breathing or a runny nose or a rash of some kind, it might be that they have been exposed to something in the classroom that they are allergic to. Making an appointment with a medical professional will give you the chance to determine what it is that is causing the reaction and will also give you an idea of a game plan to keep them safe. Medication and treatment plans will also need to be shared with the school. MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD KNOWS THEIR TRIGGERS Obviously you don’t want young children having their medication on their person, it will need to be left with a teacher or member of staff, but it is important that your child knows when they will need medication before an issue becomes serious. Make sure they are aware, particularly at lunch times so they know not to share food or pick items from a menu that will cause them an allergy. If you trust your child to administer their medication, make sure they know how and also check that someone at the school is aware of how to use it. MEET WITH THE SCHOOL Ideally all members of staff should be aware of your child’s allergies, what medications they are prescribed and how this medication should be kept and administered. Make sure they understand the signs and symptoms and what precautions need to be in place. You’ll find that many schools are nut free or have certain menu items that are gluten or dairy free so be sure to check what their policy is. KEEP YOUR CHILD’S FRIENDS AND OTHER PARENTS IN THE LOOP Communication is key when it comes to managing allergies and intolerances, so it is a good idea for your child’s friends and their parents to know so they can put precautions in place for birthday parties or play time at their house. It will also mean that as your child grows and develops their friendships, they won’t feel insecure about their health and will be able to discuss it with friends who can then also keep an eye on them.

Do you have any other tips for parents of allergy sufferers? Get in touch on Facebook or Twitter @ukfamilymatters ukfamilymatters |

@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk | 17


dance & drama

DoES actually benefit my child?

IN A WORD, YES. The idea of dance and drama (and any art subject really) being considered an easy way out and being looked down on as a preferred subject feels like it has been in place since the dawn of time, but actually art subjects are hugely beneficial. Arts education, including dance and drama lessons are really important in shaping your children, not just in their personalities but in their ability to learn too. More and more schools are having their arts budgets cut as part of ongoing funding issues, so it is important to make sure you are supporting these classes and recognising all the benefits of them. Here are ten reasons why we should celebrate arts classes in schools, rather than look down on them:

Confidence

This is a big one, while mastering any subject will help with building confidence, drama classes in particular will help with self-confidence, especially in regards to how to present yourself to other people and making yourself seen and heard. Getting involved in school productions will really help them step outside their comfort zone and grow their confidence.

Creativity

Well, obviously this was going to be a huge benefit when talking about the arts, but art subjects allow children to express themselves better than other subjects will. Having them paint in different styles, learn different dance moves or even recite monologues will give them a chance to practice their creative thinking.


Motor skills

Obviously, the younger you are the more this will apply to you but learning and practicing motor skills are all part of arts education from learning an instrument to holding a paint brush, it will all help. Learning an instrument also helps with muscle memory, which will be helpful when taking driving lessons or learning another manual skill.

Decision Making

Art subjects help with developing critical thinking and problem solving, from deciding how best to express yourself with paints, how best to compose a song or how to play a character will all help in developing these skills and will carry over to other parts of their life.

Visual and kinetic learning

Everyone learns differently, some people learn best by doing, others learn best by seeing, some learn best by being told. Art teaches you how to develop your visual learning skills by helping you interpret and criticise visual information such as a painting or a drama performance.

Perseverance

Contrary to popular belief, the arts can be challenging. Learning an instrument or a dance takes time and patience and you need to learn how to stick with a project in order to get the most out of it. This mindset will be an enormous help not only in their ongoing education with revision and homework, but also into adulthood.

ukfamilymatters |

Improving academic performance Yes, really. The skills you learn through the arts subjects are transferrable, being confident, being able to think creatively‌ all these things roll over into academic subjects. So encourage the arts!

Collaboration

When working on a drama or dance piece or even as part of an orchestra, you need to be able to work together and be able to discuss ideas. Being in an arts class will help children learn how to work together and that everyone needs to be involved. Another skill which is useful for later in life.

Responsibility

You might think this is an odd one, but within the arts, you learn that you are responsible for your own contribution and that by not doing your bit you can cause problems for the rest of the group. Being responsible for your own actions is an important skill to learn and is useful for a whole range of career options, as well as in other areas of the curriculum.

Memory retention

And finally, art subjects are great at helping to develop memory and the retaining of information. In drama classes, learning lines and cues or in dance learning certain movements and timing it to the music will help develop skills which will aid the retention of information. Useful for exam revision, homework and of course, taking part in conversations all of which will help them as they progress through school. @UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk | 19


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News and Reviews ASHCOTT PRIMARY SCHOOL WINS NATIONAL NEWSPAPER AWARD!

The children and staff from Ashcott Primary School are celebrated at the end of last term after their school newspaper won a national award. The national children's newspaper 'First News' (with a readership of approximately 2.3 million every week) asked schools around the country to enter their own school newspapers into a competition to find the primary school 'Newspaper of the Year 2019'. The children from Ashcott School news club entered the competition and sent off some recent copies of their newspaper, ‘The Ashcott Compass’ (which is written by a group of 20 children from KS2) and they have been presented with this fantastic trophy!. The school have been told that there were over 100 entries from schools around the country and ‘The Ashcott Compass’ was chosen as this year's winner! The school are so proud of the children from news club and it is wonderful that their hard work has been recognised by such a prestigious newspaper. It is also a tribute to the hard work and enthusiasm of Ms Emma Frampton who has been running the club for over five years now, publishing a quality newspaper to sell to parents and families every half term. In addition to winning the award, a photograph of the school news club appeared in First News along with an article about The Ashcott Compass. Some of the children have also been interviewed by Claire Carter from BBC Somerset Radio and Phillip Welch from Glastonbury FM asking about their experience working for the school newspaper. We are very proud of the children from news club (and Ms Frampton too!) and would like to thank all of our readers who have supported the newspaper over the last five years.

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HEALTH WEEK AT PRIDDY Before the end of the academic year, Priddy and St Lawrence’s took part in Health Week. The children enjoyed many new experiences including Wake and Shake, Tai Chi, Yoga, Run a Mile and Boot Camp. As part of the week, they took part in a ‘skipathon’ in aid of the British Heart Foundation, designed and made smoothies and fruit kebabs and competed in the Fabulous Federated Sports Day. The highlight was welcoming two GB International athletes to the school, Ollie Thorner, who took part in the decathlon, and Elise Thorner, steeplechase. The athletes talked to the students about their journey, what inspired them, their training, diet and how they keep focused.

PRIDDY AND ST LAWRENCE’S BUSY FINAL TERM Everyone at the Priddy and St Lawrence’s Federation had a very busy term at the end of the academic year. The gardens were judged as part of Wells in Bloom, they created their own amazing Forest School site at Ebborways and all enjoyed the end of term performance, All Roads Lead to Priddy. The whole school have worked to support various charities over the past academic year including Phab Kids, for which Mr Lee took part in a charity bike ride. Everyone at the school wish the former Year 6 all the best in the next stage of their journeys and hope they have settled into their new schools.

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ELMHURST STUDENTS LEARN MORE ABOUT MAYANS During the final weeks of term, Year 5 at Elmhurst School were treated to a Mayan themed morning. The children in the class made a huge effort to dress up and complete some Mayan number work as well as trying guacamole and tasting chocolate. The children also took part in a workshop that started with Professor Alice taking the children back in time to the ancient Mayan civilization from around 3,000 years ago where they learned about the different Gods, as well as finding out what it was like to live as an everyday Mayan.

CSI ELMHURST At the end of the summer term, year 5 children at Elmhurst School had a fantastic time investigating lots of different crimes at Crispin. Their behaviour was excellent throughout the day and they got the chance to meet local police officers. During the session, they got created their own ID badges, took fingerprints, collected evidence and using their detective skills, figured out who had stolen Ariana Grande’s dog!

week in which pupils ‘discovered’ an alien probe in a nearby field. As in previous years, the production was a mixture of live stage performance and filmed sequences which were produced by a professional film maker. Live music was an integral part of the production, with the children singing a selection of songs by Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Patti Page, Louis Armstrong and others. The second award of £250 was for the school’s 2019 Science Week, which was based around the theme of ‘Power Sources of the Future’, with a particular focus on solar power. Children built their own solar powered fans and vehicles, and visited local electric car company Drive Green. This science week also lead into a very exciting large scale solar power project that the school will be undertaking towards the end of the summer.

MEARE SCHOOL AWARDS

Meare Village Primary school was delighted to receive two awards from The Young People's Trust for the Environment, a charity set up to encourage young people's understanding of the environment. The first award of £500 was for the school’s 2018 Summer production ‘Close Encounters of the Plastic Kind’, which was written by staff at the school. It is the story of an alien civilization helping humankind improve the Earth’s environment. The concept for the production originated from the school’s science

SHOW OFF YOUR WRITING SKILLS ELMHURST STUDENTS! Welcome new years 3,4, and 5 at Elmhurst School! If you’re someone who enjoys writing, a new Creative Writing course is starting up at the start of the new term! The Creative Writing Club aims to help with inspiration with videos from authors and the chance to win prizes too! Make sure to speak to your class teacher about getting involved!

INSPECTORS PRAISE SCHOOL’S HIGH QUALITY OF EDUCATION FOR ALL CHILDREN Staff, pupils, parents and governors at St John’s C of E VC Infants’ School are celebrating their successful Ofsted Inspection. The school was visited by two inspectors at the beginning of July and they judged the school to be ‘GOOD’ in all areas. The inspectors have praised St John’s Cof E VC Infants’ School in Glastonbury for creating a nurturing and calm school where staff give attention to celebrating faith, culture and learning; where the most able and disadvantaged pupils are challenged well and make strong progress. Key findings from the inspection included the teachers demonstrating a good subject knowledge, being skilled in developing the pupils skills and as for the pupils, they were seen to have a positive attitude to learning and that the most able pupils make good progress. A full list of the comments are available through the school. The headteacher, Wendy Turner, said: “I am really pleased that OFSTED has thoroughly endorsed everything that we have been striving to achieve and I am extremely proud to be leader of a school that provides excellent provision for all children that attend. Our OFSTED report reflects all the fantastic work that takes place from a team of highly skilled and committed teachers, support staff and governors.” ukfamilymatters |

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“GOING OFF GRID – MEARE VILLAGE PRIMARY INVESTIGATES This exciting start to the week was followed with exploration of renewable energy and the potential installation of off grid alternatives to provide power to the school’s outdoor learning cabin. Providing power to the cabin will involve the installation of solar panels so the children met in small groups to investigate costs for all the required components. ICT and Maths combined with science to explore costs, output and specification for the off-grid provision. Children found varying prices for components on eBay, Amazon and other relevant sites following instructions to consider compatibility with the project include size of each panel, output, affordability and effectiveness. Children learnt that the cheapest components may take longer to arrive, and air miles would also clock up on the journey from China, for example. Mr Andrew North masterminded Science Week and keenly created various activities to inspire and challenge the children to fire their imaginations and make learning fun. The children are already aware of the impact plastic has on the environment following investigations during the last academic year, even performing an original play “Close Encounters of the Plastic Kind” to creatively explore the subject. In class, children went on line to participate in quizzes and play science themed games which tested and added to their knowledge in a fun and accessible format. They also built solar powered fans and vehicles. In the week following their official science week the school was visited by Owen Saward, owner of renewable energy company Planet Planning. Owen presented a really interesting assembly about his job; choosing sites for solar and wind farms. Meare Village Primary is actively seeking other partners, particularly in the construction industry, to help us improve the thermal efficiency of the outdoor learning cabin.”

Meare Village Primary School recently undertook a Science Week project which saw the school day start without power. Children arrived on Monday to find the heating and lights were off sparking a special assembly to cover the impact of the power cut and our reliance on fossil fuels. Teachers and children noticed they missed out on simple things such as a cup of tea for the adults and warmth, resulting in the children keeping their coats on. During the assembly, the children worked out that the heating could not operate without power to drive the pump to fire the boiler. Groups of children then went out to the school’s fire pit and, led by the school’s Outdoor Education teacher Emma Butler, explored the issues around using fire as a source of heating.

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“Charming, imaginative and playful”

The Observer

The Stage

Fri 1 Nov, 6.30pm

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design: www.snowcreative.co.uk photos: Chris Nash performer: Faith Prendergast

The classic tale reimagined on stage for children and their grown-ups

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WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT Chloe Wall aged 6 has achieved a Distinction in her Tap Preparatory Grade Exam with Susan Hill School of Dancing. Well done Chloe.

At a recent swimming gala at Millfield School, Dylan won 2 golds and 2 silvers in his club championships, which he is very pleased with.

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Family Matters Back to School 2019 | Mid-Somerset  

Family Matters Back to School edition for September 2019.

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