MID SOMERSET EDITION
ISSUE 68 â€¢ DECEMBER 2019
HOW TO HANDLE WINTER ILLNESS
MAKE YOUR HOME CHRISTMASSY!
We can hardly believe that it’s this time of year again, it seems like only yesterday we were wishing you all a wonderful summer and here we are, getting ready for Christmas! There’s lots of fun to be had in the lead up to Christmas and New Year and you’ll find plenty of things to keep you occupied over the holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Make sure to check the What’s On for a whole host of festive treats and keep checking our website for any additional events that are going on in the local area. One tradition at this time of year is the Pantomime, so we’ve included a guide for you so you don’t miss out as well as a few fun recipes you can try! With everything from VE Day anniversary celebrations and the Mayflower 400 amongst other things being celebrated in 2020, we think it is going to be a very exciting year, so for now, enjoy this final edition of Family Matters for 2019, we’ll see you in 2020, have a great Christmas and a happy New Year – whatever your plans.
p10 fun things to do this Christmas
p13 THE DREADED TWEENAGER!
p21 WINTER WILDLIFE GUIDE
p15 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
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CHRISTMAS P R E S E N TS
Christmas doesn’t have to be an expensive time of year. By setting yourself an affordable budget and sticking to it you’ll be able to start the New Year without mountains of unplanned debt. Use our tips to help you make the most of your money.
WRITE A LIST
Estimate the cost of each present and check that the total is within your budget. Stick to your list. Sounds simple, but it’s easy to get carried away when Christmas lights are twinkling and the displays entice you to buy everything.
See if you can find one or two areas where you can make savings, eg packed lunches for you or your children, or cancelling a gym or magazine membership which you’re not using.
If you’re buying online remember to budget for delivery costs and try and consolidate your shopping to get the best delivery prices.
PLAN WHAT TO BUY AND WHEN
SEARCH FOR DISCOUNTS
Some things are best paid for early to get the best deals, for example travel, and others best to leave until the last minute, such as stocking fillers.
You can find vouchers in magazines and voucher codes online. If there is space to enter a discount code, always search for one.
Different retailers, as well as internet and shop prices, often differ. Price comparison websites can be useful but use more than one source to get a full range of price information.
DON’T BE TEMPTED Two-for-one, three-for-two, mixand-match or other enticing offers are there to tempt you. Check the original prices to make sure that they really are value for money. And only buy them if you really need them.
BUDGET FOR DELIVERY COSTS
If you are getting benefits, did you know you may be entitled to a Christmas bonus? And if you don’t currently get benefits, find out if you should be. See the direct.gov website for more information. If you are planning to borrow to help pay for Christmas then make sure to research your options. You can find information for credit cards and loans from comparison websites.
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Save the date: Christmas Jumper Day, Friday, 13th December 2019
Raise money for
Save the Children
while wearing a fun jumper! Christmas Jumper Day is an annual event where schools, businesses and individuals wear a cosy (or ugly – depending on your preference) Christmas Jumper to help raise money for Save the Children! Basically, it is a celebration of Christmas and taking part in that wonderful tradition of Goodwill to all. Want to be involved? Your school/work place just need to sign up online for a fundraising pack which contains all the resources you need! You don’t even need to buy a new jumper – just decorate an old one! As long as it looks Christmassy, you’re good to go! All you need to do is wear donate a small sum, usually £1 or £2 in order to wear your jumper. Want to raise more money? Why not hold a Christmas themed bake sale? Or hold a Christmas design competition? You could take part in a some fun activities to get the blood pumping or get a team together and compete in a Christmas themed quiz – the possibilities are endless! Often schools and businesses like to add to both the fun and the funds by including something extra as part of the day – do you have any other ideas? You can get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter and send your suggestions. The annual event has raised over £17 million in the past few years and we’re sure that we can beat last year’s amount. If your school is taking part in Christmas Jumper Day or any other fundraising activities in the lead up to Christmas, we’d love to hear from you! Send us photos of your festive outfits and details of how much you’ve raised to email@example.com and we’ll feature them all in our next issue!
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At this time of year, there is nothing better than an apple crumble but if you want a healthier alternative, try this take on an apple crumble! WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 6 Bramley Apples The zest and juice of 1 orange 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tbsp golden caster sugar 6 tbsp of granola – plain or nutty, whatever you prefer Optional extras include 500g ready made custard, cream or ice cream to serve. WHAT TO DO: First off, preheat your oven to 160/180c. Half and core your apples and toss them in the orange zest, juice, cinnamon and sugar. If you want to use the custard, make it up and pour it into a large baking dish. Place the apples cut side up on top of the custard and drizzle left over juice, cinnamon and sugar over the top and then sprinkle over the granola. Bake for thirty minutes or until the apples are soft and piping hot – if the granola starts to go dark, cover with foil and keep baking. Once it’s out of the oven, serve with cream, ice cream or more custard if you like! This recipe can easily be made dairy/gluten/nut free if you need to by substituting certain ingredients – and enjoy!
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FU N THING S TO D O WITH TH rate Whether or not you celeb tting the day itself or you’re cu an me ’t down this year, doesn of you have to endure a case is FOMO while everyone else h wit dia me bombarding social e y’r the photos of the great time having. We’ve put together a list of fun things you can s do with the whole family thi ’re winter season whether you ng on a budget or you’re avoidi Christmas entirely.
Build a snow man
Well… This one might be a bit weather dependent, but if it snows and it is safe for you to go out and enjoy yourself, building a little snow family is always fun!
Snuggle up with a hot chocolate or other festive drink You can find plenty of spiced, festive drinks suitable for the kids and the parents at supermarkets throughout the winter months. As the nights draw in and it starts to get colder, why not make evenings a special time by cuddling up together with a warm drink and talking together? It’s a low cost way to spend time together and it isn’t overly Christmassy for those of you that don’t celebrate the holidays.
Go to the Panto It’s a British winter tradition and with moving around and joining in being encouraged, it’s the ideal thing to experience together as a family! In this issue, we’ve even put together a handy guide of what shows are on where for you!
At this time of year, you can’t escape cinnamon, apples and raisins and baking is always a great way to spend time together – plus, making stuff is always better if you can eat it afterwards! Why not make Christmas themed sweet treats or just seasonal ones, you can even leave them out for Santa as a little thank you on Christmas Eve!
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Build blanket forts
It is a universally ackn are much better than w Why don’t you get the roles to make the best f cuddle up and watch a Plus, after the kids have can hide away in them
Go searching for th neighbourhood ligh
Why stand around in t waiting for the official on in your area when go for a nice walk toge evenings searching for decorated house? Whet celebrate or decorate y doesn’t matter, this is a seeing other people’s cr and getting out and ac
HE FAMILY THIS CHR ISTMAS
Track Father Christmas
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Put together a care package
ugh to have nice While we might be lucky eno ty to do all the uni ort warm homes and the opp is. If you can, e yon things listed here, not ever kage for your pac e why not put together a car which you rity cha s local food bank or homeles ating? It is don ore bef can plan and fill together all. the season of goodwill after
Decorate the house
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, getting some winter themed décor going on is always fun, even if it’s just putting some throws on the sofas for when it starts to get chilly. You could make it fun by getting the kids involved with making the house look festive and if you do Christmas, you could get them to make their own decorations for the tree and then display them all.
Play party games
There is always a bit of a par ty atmosphere at this time of yea r, so join in by playing some party gam es. Either use a board game you have lying around or consult the internet for som e other fun suggestions, like a Christmas themed pin the tail on the donkey or a festive Who Do You Think You Are style gam e.
Do you have any other suggestions of fun things to do at this time of year? Get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter, you can find us @ukfamilymatters ukfamilymatters |
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TWEENAGER? TWEENAGER? It seems that children are growing up more quickly than they used to. These days it isn’t unusual to see eight year olds getting interested in make-up tutorials and toddlers knowing their way around an iPad better than you do. For parents, the transition from child to teenager isn’t as gradual as it used to be. If you have what is commonly known as a ‘tweenager’ you’ll already know this, but if you’re not sure or you think that your own child might be entering this phase, here are a few tips to make the whole thing a bit easier. It can be difficult for parents to not get frustrated when their formerly pleasant child suddenly becomes sarcastic and starts pushing the boundaries. You might worry that children are completely aware of how they’re behaving – but that’s not always the case. Science suggests that most kids aren’t aware of how they come across and this is all down to the changes in their brains as they start to mature and develop into teenagers – so don’t take it to heart, but do keep a check on it in case their change in behaviour is stemming from an issue such as bullying.
What can you do about it?
Classic tween symptoms:
Background photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com
Do you have a....
Not listening Answering back Refusing to do as they’re told Swearing Keeping secrets If you answer ed yes to thes e, then congratulatio ns, the tween stage has hit!
Firstly, don’t panic and don’t judge – you were like this once too! If you have a child who doesn’t listen to anything you say make sure to talk to them calmly and without raising your voice, if you nag them they’ll tune out and if you get angry they’ll get defensive. Maintain eye contact and show by your language and tone that you mean what you say. If they start answering you back or being cheeky make sure that you use the same technique when letting them know what is acceptable. Understand that they are becoming their own person and they want to figure themselves out, but at the same time, you are still the parents and what you say goes. Are they starting to use swear words or other language that you don’t like? Make sure to check they haven’t learned it from home and curb your own language if they are within hearing distance whilst making sure they know it won’t be tolerated while they’re at home.
Do you have any suggestions for parents experiencing this for the first time? Share them on Facebook and Twitter, @ukfamilymatters
HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME Not everyone wants to be that person who transforms the outside of their home into Blackpool Illuminations for two months every year. Especially with high energy costs and environmental issues, it is hardly the most sensible of ideas. Everyone does, however, need a boost, and each year Christmas provides the perfect excuse to be full of joy. Regardless of budget, there are plenty of ways to bring Christmas into your homes this year.
FESTIVE FOLIAGE AND HOMEMADE DECORATIONS
Bearing in mind what we have just mentioned about the environment and single use items, it is useful to find ways to decorate your home the ‘green’ way. Festive foliage is a great starting point for this. Pine cones, ivy and bits of fern can all easily be gathered at this time of year and they really create a great Christmas environment. You can also be a bit creative yourself and stray away from these age-old traditions with other plants and greenery.
MAKE THE LIVING ROOM COSY
Nothing beats sitting around a warm fire with the family at Christmas, watching the same films you watch every year. These movies have now simply become ingrained within our Christmas experience. What would Christmas be without Home Alone? To encourage this family time, it is imperative that you are able to create a great environment in your lounge. If you have a fireplace, then use some of these tips
Christmassy to make it nice and Christmassy. Put down a heavy rug and have blankets and pillows at the ready. Candles and mood lighting can also add to the ambience, with one option being fairy lights. Get lots of good snacks in and settle down for many evenings of relaxation.
MAKE EATING AN EVENT
Another great way to get the family together is at mealtimes. Many of us look forward to our Christmas dinner more than anything else, but meals throughout the whole holiday can be an event, too. In the same way that you made your living room nice and Christmassy, you can also brighten your dining room up with some choice lighting and tasteful decorations. Having a centrepiece is always a great place to start, so why not bring the candelabras out early. Crackers may be going a step too far, but taking some time to make mealtimes an event will truly help to create a great atmosphere. No-one will be expecting turkey every night, but designing a fun weekly menu may help to get the kids involved too.
DECORATE THE DOOR
Even if you don’t want to push the national grid to its limits, having a nice wreath and a few other decorations on your front and back doors can provide a nice welcome into the festive environment that awaits you. By following some of these simple steps, you can have your house primed and ready for the Christmas period.
Take 10 minutes on Christmas Eve to sit with the children and read this traditional, well loved poem together.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
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Twas the Night before Christmas
SKATE ON OUR REAL ICE RINK
Skate from only £5.99 on our real Ice Rink located at our Lacock site.
kate here at Whitehall Garden Centre in Lacock this Christmas. This activity is great for all ages. Join us for our disco nights every Friday & Saturday at 6:00pm and 7:00pm, or why not join us for our beginners nights every Monday at 5:00pm & 6:00pm. Skate with Olaf or Buzz Lightyear every Wednesday & Thursday at 5:00pm and 6:00pm. Once your skating session has finished why not visit our Ice Cafe for delicious hot food and drinks.
VISIT FATHER CHRISTMAS IN H I S G R O TT O
Bring your little ones along to enjoy a magical experience that will make their Christmas one to remember & meet our real life Nativity Animals! Adult: £2.99 / Child: £14.99 Tickets can be purchased online at: www.whitehallgardencentre.co.uk
FESTIVE FOOD ESSENTIALS Entertain this Christmas with our delicious array of seasonal food and drink, or why not leave the cooking at home this festive season and dine with us in style in one of our restaurants.
Discover more in store and shop online at www.whitehallgardencentre.co.uk
Mistletoe, ÂŁ5.99 each
House plants are a festive house decoration too! Bring the garden colour inside with these popular festive plants.
become the top interior trend of 2019. They are
and also add a touch of festive colour to your home at Christmas, as well as being a brilliant Christmas present!
HOUSE PLANTS! Here at Whitehall Garden Centres we have a large selection of houseplants for all. We have plants for small & large spaces, for hanging, windows & shelves or for decorative pots. Visit us in store to choose from a wide selection this Christmas.
Perfectly Potted Poinsettias!
5 OF THE BEST FESTIVE HOUSE PLANTS . Poinsettia: perfect for any window, from each . Succulents:
each . Orchid: A great all year round each . Cyclemen: Small yet attractive house plants each . Amaryllis: each
Shop online at: www.whitehallgardencentre.co.uk
what’s on Until the 24th December Father Christmas at Whitehall The Father Christmas Grotto Experience includes a festive story read by Father Christmas. Guests also meet his Elves and real reindeer. In addition to this, each child ticket includes a present, which they can personally choose. As a reminder of your visit, they will also receive a mini Christmas tree and badge. This is an extremely popular attraction. We would strongly recommend booking in advance. Whitehall Garden Centres, Lacock and Whitchurch. Weekends during 7th – 22nd December Elves' Workshop Free family event at The Galleries shopping centre, Bristol. The Elves' Workshop will be taking place between 11am and 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Each session will offer a different activity, giving little ones the chance to see what it really takes to be Santa’s assistant. Selected sessions will be pre-bookable via www.galleriesbristol.co.uk.
Until the 30th December Christmas at Stourhead For the very first time at Stourhead the tree-tops will glisten and the gardens will shimmer and sparkle. It’s definitely the most wonderful time of the year to wander beneath unique tree canopies drenched in seasonal colour and dripping with shards of light, frosty snowflakes, stars and baubles Stourhead, National Trust, Wiltshire.
Until the 5th January 2020 Ice Skating at Whitehall Skate at Whitehall Garden Centre in Lacock this Christmas. This activity is great for all ages, join in on the disco nights every Fri & Sat at 6:00pm and 7:00pm, or why not join in on the beginners' nights every Monday. Skate with Olaf or Buzz Lightyear every Wed & Thurs. Once your skating session has finished why not visit the Ice Cafè for delicious hot food and drinks.
8th December Meet the Ponies Come and enjoy Christmas mulled wine, mince pies and meet the ponies. Glenda Spooner Farm, Kingsdon.
8th, 14th,15th, 21st and 22nd December Meet Father and Mother Christmas Each child will get individual time with Father Christmas, and of course, a gift! Tickets for Father Christmas can be purchased online and always sell out in advance. The Bishop's Palace, Wells. 13th - 22nd December Jolly Midwinter Merriment The Court and formal garden will be sparkling and festive with music, dancing and activities for all. Enjoy the more relaxed ambiance on Fridays and Mondays, or family fun on Saturdays and Sundays throughout December. Barrington Court, Somerset.
For further information about each event
14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December Father Christmas at Barrington Court Meet Father Christmas in his atmospheric study; he'll have a quality gift for each child who books in to see him. Catch him while you can! He'll be in residence (weekends only) throughout December from 11am until 3pm. Barrington Court, Somerset.
19th - 22nd December Supper with Santa Would your little one love to have supper with Santa? This sell-out event includes a buffet tea, ice cream, a funky disco and a present from Santa! Puxton Park.
20th December Christmas Party at Hullabaloo Meet Santa, disco, Face painting, and much more. Christmas Tea included and a licensed bar. Hullabaloo Jungle Play, Shepton Mallet. 20th December - 1st January 2020 The Lord of Misrule returns to Montacute House (except 24th and 25th December), 3 - 6pm. No two days will be the same with the Lord of Misrule presiding over the celebrations, as he would have done in Christmases past. He will be popping up everywhere and anywhere, telling stories and spreading mischief. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/montacutehouse. 21st December A Christmas Carol Wells Theatre Company will be performing a costumed reading of Dickens' atmospheric tale ‘A Christmas Carol’ in the Entrance Hall of the Palace at 11am and 2pm. The shows will involve costumed actors, musicians and carol singers bringing this timeless tale to life in a wholly unique way around the medieval fireplace of the stunning Entrance Hall. The Bishops' Palace, Wells.
21st - 30th December Cinderella Don't miss this year's funfilled, family pantomime Cinderella brought to you by Moorlight Theatre Production. Book your tickets at www. moorlighttheatreproductions. co.uk. Meyer Theatre, Millfield School, Street.
23rd December Cale Park Christmas Party Christmas themed party with music, games and prizes suitable for all ages on Monday 23rd December. Cemetery Lane, Wincanton. 31st December Family New Year's Eve See in the big 2020 at Almondsbury Creative! All four rooms in action, with plenty of things to do for all the family, including a live performance by the amazing Soul Strutters. All tickets include a complementary meal with the delicious 'Taste of America' buffet serving you up a slice of the New World. www.almondsburycreative.com. Almondsbury.
31st December New Year's Eve Fireworks Make your New Year spectacular and welcome 2020 in style. Longleat, Wiltshire.
4th, 11th, 18th and 25th January 2020 Goat Walks Banish those January blues, and come have some fun at Hope Nature Centre! On Saturdays throughout January, where you can take the resident goats on a walk around our Animal Park. After you’ve taken them ‘out and about’, you can help feed them, alongside the sheep too. Hope Nature Centre, Trowbridge.
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Everyone talks about looking out for hedgehogs over bonfire night and spotting newly born lambs in spring, but there are plenty of other creatures you can spot throughout the winter months while out and about. We thought we’d give you the lowdown on the British wildlife you can see at this time of year, so that when you’re out exploring and enjoying bracing winter walks, you know what to look out for.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the more marshy and open areas of Somerset you might manage to see the starling murmuration as dusk starts to creep in. These murmurations look like beautiful dance performances in the sky as the starlings start to return to their nests.
No doubt these guys will be hanging around your gardens, school grounds and in hedgerows as you make your way from place to place. They have a distinctive song and are cute, colourful birds, so keep your eyes and ears peeled!
Owls You don’t even need to stay up late to catch sight of one of Britain’s owl species, some of them hunt during the day! One such owl is the short eared owl that you’ll find near wetter ground. Otherwise keep a look out for barn owls and tawny owls, especially if you have a shed or barn nearby.
Foxes You might hear them rather than see them, but foxes like to scream around this time of year!
Woodpeckers You don’t even need to be somewhere particularly rural to spot a Green Woodpecker, they’re most commonly seen in January and February and feed off the ground so you might be lucky enough to spot them.
While you might think that they hibernate during winter, squirrels are actually pretty active during the colder months, you’ll find them in wooded areas particularly.
If you spot any of these while out and about this winter, we’d love to know, drop us a message on Facebook or Twitter! @ukfamilymatters ukfamilymatters |
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Forget New Year New You, we say it every year and we feel motivated all the way up until maybe the second week in January, when we realise we’re far too tired to start trying to change our habits right now. Sound familiar? It’s the same for many of us, which is why New Year’s Resolutions tend to fall by the wayside, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Researchers suggest that only one in every ten people who set themselves goals at the beginning of the year actually accomplish them by the following December, but as its also fact that you can change a habit in less than a month, settling on and achieving a goal is completely possible – as long as you choose something that is manageable. Will you be fluent in a new language by the end of next year? Unlikely, but will you be able to hold a conversation? Probably – if you are able to dedicate the time to study and practice. Will you have played your first gig? Of course, if you are able to do the leg work and get your name out there. Could you build muscle or make healthier life style choices? Absolutely. The point we’re making is that it is easier to achieve something if it is obtainable and manageable and the best way to do this is to start off by choosing your goal and then breaking it down into chunks with a deadline for each milestone. That way, there isn’t a huge pressure and you can actually take your time to make the changes that
you want. For instance, if you want to get healthier, why not start by promising you’ll go for a walk once a week, then twice a week, then you’ll go jogging, then running and by next year, you’ll be fit, healthy and signing up for a marathon! Or what about learning how to knit? Start off by figuring out how to hold the needles, then making a few stiches before moving onto patterns. There’s no point in deciding to just jump into making a jumper, you’ll just get disheartened. Don’t feel boxed in either, sometimes we fail at sticking to resolutions because we’re pressured into doing what everyone else does. It isn’t all about learning new skills or getting fit – it can just as easily be able having a more positive outlook, making time for yourself or even challenging yourself to watch films / T V outside your comfort zone. Choosing smaller steps to get to where you want to be will help make the journey much more enjoyable and easy to manage. It’s also important to celebrate when you reach those milestones, we all love rewards after all and by treating yourself when you get to each individual goal, it’ll help keep you motivated and positive about the end result. The important thing is to not beat yourself up. Failing is ok, stuff doesn’t always work out, it’s fine as long as you learn from it and do something different next time. And of course, there is nothing wrong with deciding to set yourself a goal at the start of a new season or on your birthday – it isn’t all about New Year New You after all!
Are you thinking about setting yourself some goals this New Year? We’d love to know how you get on and what you choose, don’t forget you can get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook! @ukfamilymatters ukfamilymatters |
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CHILDREN'S WINTER ILLNESSES: THE LOW DOWN Winter has arrived, and along with it comes the dreaded cold and flu season. Runny noses and coughs abound, especially among children. Here are some pointers outlining some of the more common winter illnesses â€“ and key tips on how to keep your family healthy this winter. 24 |
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COMMON COLD A cold is a viral infection marked by runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, or headache. Children may also have low level fevers early in the illness. Colds are caused by hundreds of different types of virus and can occur year round, although they are most frequent in the winter months. Most colds worsen over 3-5 days and then begin to improve and run their course by around 7-10 days.
CROUP Croup often comes on suddenly in the middle of the night. You may wake up to your child coughing loudly. The croup cough often is described as 'barking' or 'like a seal'. Your child may also be making a high-pitched, or wheezing noise while breathing. Children with mild and moderate coughs can often be looked after at home. Severe croup will require a trip to the doctor for nebuliser treatments and steroids.
INFLUENZA Commonly known as the Flu, it usually comes on quickly with high fever, cough, sore throat, headache, and muscle aches and pains. The fever often lasts up to 5 days. There are some antiviral medications available to help fight the flu, but generally, these are only recommended for children at risk of more serious complications. Some children aged 6 and under are eligible for the NHS' nasal spray flu vaccine – check with your GP.
NOROVIRUS Also known as the winter vomiting bug, norovirus is an extremely infectious (viral) stomach bug. It can strike all year round, but is more common in winter and in places such as hotels and schools. The illness is unpleasant, but it's usually over within a couple of days.
SORE THROAT Sore throats are common in winter and are almost always caused by viral infections. There's some evidence that changes in temperature, such as going from a warm, centrally heated room to the icy outdoors, can also affect the throat.
STREP THROAT Strep is most often seen in school-aged children. Children frequently present with sore throat, headache, and stomach ache. Some children will get high fevers or vomit. Strep throat does not cause cold symptoms or coughing. It can usually be easily treated with antibiotics (it's a bacterial infection rather than a virus), and children with strep throat should be treated to help prevent later complications from this infection.
CONTROLLING THE SPREAD OF VIRUSES You can take some simple steps to help prevent the spread of a virus, though it's worth bearing in mind that people are often contagious before their symptoms materialise. For example: • wash your hands regularly, particularly before handling food • always sneeze and cough into tissues – this will help prevent any virus-containing droplets from entering the air where they can infect others; you should throw away used tissues immediately and wash your hands • clean kitchen and work surfaces regularly • use your own cup, plates and cutlery • don't share towels or toys with someone who has a cold.
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LATEST SCHOOL NEWS
News and Reviews DITCHEAT TAKE PART IN DANCE WORKSHOPS Children at Ditcheat Primary School took part in a wonderful dance workshop recently with State of Emergency, a theatre, dance and music group who visited Willow Class’ Year 5 and 6 pupils. The workshops taught the children about the Windrush Generation and their stories, they then worked on a dance that celebrated their arrival in the afternoon, they even got to do some limbo dancing! Liam Crook, the school’s sports coach, said: “All of the children loved getting involved in the dancing and waving their colourful silk as part of the dance. The workshop also gave them a real understanding of the Caribbean countries that the Windrush generation came from.”
RACE FOR LIFE AT DITCHEAT During the winter term, the whole of Ditcheat School took part in Race for Life. The children were joined by their families to complete the circuit of the school field and were incredibly lucky to have a break in the rain during the event which raised a total of £1170. Rose Boyce, class teacher, said: “Our fundraising target was £500 and we managed to exceed that by a considerable amount. All of us are extremely proud of the children.”
LEARNING ABOUT WW2 AT CRANMORE Pupils from Sycamore Class at Evercreech Church of England Primary School visited the East Somerset Railway at Cranmore as part of their World War Two theme for this term. The children were asked to wear clothes similar to that worn by children in the 1940s and during their visit, they had the opportunity to learn more about what it was like to be evacuated. 26 |
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PUPILS AND STAFF AT VILLAGE SCHOOL TOAST £300K UPGRADE Children and staff have been celebrating the completion of a new £300,000 extension and IT upgrade at their Somerset school. Thanks to a Somerset County Council-funded project, Milborne Port School has seen its roll increase from 180 to 210, with pupils now able to enjoy a state-of-the-art learning space. At the same time, the school, which dates from the Victorian era, got a much-needed ICT update, which included major re-wiring work also part-funded by the Council. Somerset’s work to build and expand schools has been highlighted as a model of good practice by Government. Six projects were delivered for the start of this academic year, with a further 13 in progress for delivery in 2020 and 2021 at an estimated cost of £88 million. Councillor Faye Purbrick, Cabinet Member for Education said: “It’s our number one priority to ensure all our schools across Somerset provide the best possible education and outcomes for our students.
“We are committed to providing sufficient school places through our new or expanded schools programme. Thanks to this programme Milborne Port has now increased its roll, with an excellent new learning space for pupils to enjoy, and had a fantastic upgrade so students are equipped with the latest ICT technology.” Head Teacher Rebecca Eyres said: “The new classroom is a wonderful development for the school. Milborne Port Primary school can now offer single year group classes. We are very grateful to Somerset County Council.”
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THE CIRCUS COMES TO EVERCREECH
SKIPATHON RAISES OVER £500
To support their Circus topic theme for this term, Cherry Class at Evercreech Primary School were visited by the Bullzini Family Circus this week. The children took part in a ‘circus skills workshop’ where they learnt new circus skills such as tightrope walking and plate spinning, as well as building upon the skills that they have already learnt in class. This was a truly fantastic event for them all.
The children at Priddy & St Lawrence’s raised a total of £511.70 for The British Heart Foundation as part of their ‘Skipathon’ in the Summer Term.
EVERCREECH LEARN ABOUT THE ANCIENT GREEKS Children from Pine Class at Evercreech Church of England Primary School took part in an Ancient Greek Day recently. They all had the opportunity to take part in role play, activities, explore artefacts and have lots of fun whilst learning. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and showed lots of enthusiasm in all that it offered!
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DITCHEAT VISIT TANKS AT BOVINGTON Year 5 and 6 children in Willow class at Ditcheat Primary School, visited Bovington Tank Museum as part of their topic about the Battle of Britain. The day started with the children learning about the roles undertaken by people at home such as the land army, the home guard and ARP wardens. They had a chance to dress up and sound the air raid sirens. The children then had the opportunity to build a replica tank next to real tank. Following this, the children went to see the rest of the museum and were particularly moved by the trench experience where they were able to walk in
SAPLINGS PRESCHOOL CHILDREN AND COURT HOUSE RESIDENTS BECOME FIRM FRIENDS Children from Saplings Preschool in WestburySub-Mendip have been making some new friends, although there’s a bit of an age gap. Last week, groups of two and three year olds arrived in Cheddar to spend a morning with the residents of Court House Retirement Home. The children explored the lovely gardens at Court House, where they found treasures like apples, feathers and flowers to show off to the residents. Jenny Rogers, Saplings preschool leader, said: “The children were really comfortable with their new friends – one of the residents brought a bag of toys to share, and there were smiles all round. We’re planning more visits so they can all get to know each other better, and develop these unique and mutually beneficial friendships.”
footsteps of a soldier from recruiting offices to the front line trenches. Miss Crook, class teacher, said “It has really brought to life all of the learning we have done so far.”
FAMILY READING AFTERNOON A GREAT SUCCESS Staff at Elmhurst Junior School were pleased to see so many families join them in October for their Family Reading Afternoon. Thank you to Mrs Greenwell and Mr Mullen for organising the event and to all the families who came along to take part.
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SOMERSET SCHOOLS’ WAR AGAINST WASTE Somerset Schools are embracing the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” message thanks to the Schools Against Waste project. Started in 2018, the project is a partnership between environmental education charity Carymoor Environmental Trust and Somerset Waste Partnership and aims to raise awareness of the waste problem and encourage ways that schools can make a difference through practicing the 3Rs. The education team has visited over 130 primary schools since the project began and has now reached over 25,000 children through an assembly and 9500 children have taken part in a workshop. Carymoor Chief Executive, Rupert Farthing, said: “The reaction to the project has been brilliant and we really want to reach every primary school in Somerset. There is real enthusiasm from children and staff to make a difference and to take the message home to parents too. Whether you’re reducing waste in your packed lunch by avoiding single use plastics or using a reusable water bottle, it all helps to reduce waste to landfill and save energy and resources.” Feedback from both teachers and children has been very positive indeed: “They enjoyed every minute they were engaged throughout. They found the size of landfill very surprising and I think they will consider whether they need things more carefully in the future.” The children also had some great feedback about how the project had opened their eyes to the waste issue. Theo said “I was shocked at the size of a landfill site. I’m definitely going to recycle, reuse and hopefully reduce the amount of rubbish we have.” Ben said “I feel really sorry for all the birds in the landfill site eating all the plastic. I’m going to try and not use as much plastic.”
PUPILS GET EARLY SIGHT OF ANCIENT SOMERTON SETTLEMENT
Children in Somerton have been given a sneak peek at an ancient settlement unearthed on the site of the town’s new school. Four classes from King Ina Academy Junior School were shown around the site of the new Somerton school by archaeologists excavating ahead of construction on Council-owned land off Northfields. Initial works have uncovered evidence of an Iron Age settlement, with signs of roundhouse buildings and some artefacts including pottery. As required by law, on behalf of the South West Heritage Trust the site is now being examined and excavated in detail. The new primary school will replace the King Ina sites at Etsome Terrace and School Lane. The aim had been to start the September 2020 term in the new school, but the significant discovery means the project won’t be completed until early 2021 – depending on how long the archaeologists need to do their work. The children had a tour of part of the site and looked at the evidence of Celtic round houses and discussed what it may have been like living in them. They found out about how archaeologists look for evidence of farming and the remains of ancient food, and even tried out some authentic replica grain grinding equipment. Councillor Faye Purbrick, Cabinet Member for Education and Transformation, said: “We’ve got a great track record of delivering new schools, so any delay is a shame. But clearly, this is a special case, with some really interesting historical finds and it’s very important that this piece of Somerset’s past is recorded and preserved. “The new school is great news for Somerton and the surrounding communities and we will do everything we can to move the project forward quickly once the archaeological work is done."
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