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ISSUE 73 •september 2019

tips for new school starters

school news


what's on

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Missing payments could affect your credit rating and ability to obtain credit in the future. Loans are typically protected by a Title Restriction and are subject to status. Wessex Resolutions C.I.C.: a community interest company limited by guarantee, registered in England, company number 4512225. Registered address: Heatherton Park Studios, Bradford on Tone, Taunton TA4 1EU. Wessex Loans and Wessex Home Improvement Loans are trading names used by this company. Wessex Resolutions C.I.C is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (675263) for credit and debt-related regulated activities.

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!

p13 what is stem

p5 it's time to choose a secondary school

p14 sibling rivalry

p20 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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Writhlington School Open Evening We are very proud of our unique offer and would like to invite you to come and see what we do best. Join us for an access all areas Open Evening at Writhlington School on


Thursday 12th September 2019 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Part of the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership

Mendip Studio School Open Evening We warmly invite you to find out more about our unique offer and hope you can come and see how you can benefit from our school. Join us for an access all areas Open Evening at Mendip Studio School on

Thursday 12th September 2019 6.30pm - 8.30pm DEVELOPING YOUR SKILLS, DEFINING YOUR FUTURE. 4 |

Part of the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership ukfamilymatters |

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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.

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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.

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OPEN EVENING Thursday 26th September from 6pm – 8.30pm.


Tuesday 24th Sept Thursday 3rd Oct Friday 4th Oct Thursday 10th Oct Wednesday 16th Oct

9.15am–10.30am 11.00am–12.30pm 9.15am–10.30am 9.15am–10.30am 9.15am–10.30am

Please call 01761 414276 or email enquiries@somervaleschool.com to book one of our small group tours. Keep up-to-date with all our news on Twitter. Simply follow us @somervaleschool

Somervale School | Redfield Road, Midsomer Norton, Radstock BA3 2JD  enquiries@somervaleschool.com |  01761 414276

 www.somervaleschool.com

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

Our core purpose is to   inspire all pupils to   believe in their abili�es  and to achieve their   highest level. 

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.

Open Day / Evening 2019  Thursday 12th September 2019  Day�me Tours: 9.15am & 11.20am (by appointment only)    Open Evening: 6.00pm—7.30pm     Head’s Presenta�on: 6.00pm    T: 01373 462539  E: oakeldacademy@educ.somerset.gov.uk 

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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?

Do you have any other advice for parents looking for a secondary school? You can get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter @ukfamilymatters


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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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.

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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 | 11


Are back-to-school blues setting in? Visit our leisure park and let the fun of the summer holidays continue! You can bounce, swim, bowl and play your way into September.

For more information or to book, visit better.org.uk/bath-leisure-park Better is a registered trademark and trading name of GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), a charitable social enterprise and registered society under the Co-operative & Community Benefit & Societies Act 2014 registration no. 27793R. Registered office: Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London, SE18 6SX. Inland Revenue Charity no. XR43398


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.



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.



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 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.

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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

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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:


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.


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.


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.

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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!


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.


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 | 23

new! piano lessons

Anchor Road, Coleford, BA3 5PB

children and adult piano lessons

contact us for more details Open by informal appointments only, including evenings and Sundays. Please call us 07866 464547. sales@abbeypianoservices.co.uk www.abbeypianoservices.co.uk

1 - 30 SEPTEMBER THIS CENTRE OFSTED REGISTERED UNTILIS 15 MARCH Help your child to achieve beyond expectations. Book now!

Midsomer Norton 01761 411400 Ability development for any child at any age Terms and conditions apply.


Helping children believe they can do anything Singing, dancing and acting classes for 4 - 18 year-olds

BRISTOL KEYNSHAM 0117 902 8925 stagecoach.co.uk/bristolkeynsham BRISTOL SOUTH WEST 0117 902 8925 stagecoach.co.uk/bristolsouthwest

Stagecoach Performing Arts is the trading name of Stagecoach Theatre Arts Limited. Stagecoach Theatre Arts schools are operated under franchise and are independently owned by their Principals. Stagecoach and Creative Courage For Life are registered trademarks of Stagecoach Theatre Arts Limited.

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 | 25





News and Reviews BARN OWLS AT BRITISH AEROSPACE Last term, the children of Barn Owl class, Kilmersdon School, spent a fantastic day at the Aerospace museum, there was lots to do, including a workshop, where the class all got to design a rescue plane and the opportunity to see inside concord!

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

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

After School Meal Deals Play and Eat Monthly Passes Loyalty Cards

Tickets £15/child

Soft-Play Centre Shepton Mallet Open 7 days a week



“Charming, imaginative and playful”

The Observer

The Stage

Fri 1 Nov, 6.30pm

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01225 386777 edgearts.org

ukfamilymatters |

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

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

@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk

01749 344433 www.hullabaloojungleplay.co.uk

HIGH LITTLETON’S TENNIS CHAMPIONS Towards the end of last term, High Littleton School competed in a Year 3 and 4 Mini Tennis Tournament. Each school took two teams containing two girls and two boys with every child playing four matches against other schools and gaining points which contributed to the overall team score. At the end of the first round, High Littleton A and B were the highest scorers and ended up competing against each other in the final. Every team member did the school proud and played some exceptional tennis, showing great displays of skill, hand eye coordination and fitness. Both teams came away with medals, A took Gold and B took Silver. As the overall winners of the tournament, High Littleton A team went on to the County Finals. Well done everyone!

KILMERSDON APPEARS AT GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL Kilmersdon School’s PTA once again appeared at Glastonbury Festival after spending a year preparing for a huge fundraising effort at the country’s most famous festival. There are a loads of people who contribute from start to finish, to help with the hard work and preparation that goes into the end result. The main task starts on the Sunday before the festival and continues through the week. The team work tirelessly on behalf of the children at the school. A huge amount is raised for the children at the festival and the school is well represented – thank you to the team and the many customers that have supported the PTA over the year.

PEASEDOWN’S MINI POLICE Over the past academic year, Peasedown St John Primary has been host to the first Mini Police Team in the Somerset area. Following a formal application process and interview, twenty Year 5s were selected to be part of the programme. They have carried out a series of community based activities including learning First Aid, creating fire safety plans and carrying out speed checks outside the front of the school. They have also attended the Methodist Church on a number of occasions to pass on vital safety information to members of the community, which has widened their

ukfamilymatters |

understanding of the world and also helped them grow in confidence and build self esteem. For the final Mini Police session, a special assembly was held attended by Superintendent Andy Williams, two local authority officers who helped with funding the programme, Louise and Tony, the local PCSOs. The children had the opportunity to tell friends, family and the school what they had gained from the programme and were awarded their Duke of Cornwall awards. Well done everyone!

@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk | 27

WELL DONE SOFI-MAI! Sofi-Mai from Peasedown St John Primary School showed an enormous amount of generosity last term when she decided to have a huge length of her hair cut off for charity which will then be donated for hair-pieces/wigs for people with conditions that mean they lose their hair. Well done Sofi-Mai!

“CHEW STOKE’S GOT TALENT!” Move over Simon Cowell – Chew Stoke is where it’s at! There was singing, dancing, (terrible!) comedy and magic at the Chew Stoke Church School leaver’s performance which had parents, family and friends clapping along and laughing so much their sides hurt! Year 6, Badger Class, who had written the play themselves, gently poked fun at the TV programme with their very own Tad ‘n Todd (AKA Isaac & Tyler, playing Ant ‘n Dec) Simon Cowface, Amanda Hedgehog, Alisha Doormouse and David Walrus. A great evening was had by all and it was a fitting finale to their time at Chew Stoke Church School. We wish this very talented class all the very best for the future – we know they will go far!

Family owned & run A caring & professional service

Midsomer Norton’s and Radstock’s only independent veterinary practice Puppy & kitten starter packages Puppy parties Pet Health Club Vaccinations Pet passports Pet behaviourist Neutering

01761 412132 enquiries@midsomervets.co.uk www.midsomervets.co.uk 28 |

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@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk

THE SPIRIT OF PEASEDOWN Huge congratulations to everyone who was nominated and received Spirit of Peasedown Awards at the end of last term! The awards celebrate the children’s achievements in terms of the learning Skills Crew. The winners were as follows: Reception, Alfie, Lincoln, Pippa, Aurora, Finley, Alex and Gracie. Year 1, Noah, Arlo, Leo, Zahara, Felix, Christopher, Lexi. Year 2, Bobby-Ray, Lysander, Ewan, Abigail, Ruby, JosieMae, Saffy. Year 3, Harry, Matilde, Charlotte, Noah, Sam, Cairo, Nathan. Year 4, Max, Luke, Harry, Lewus, Morgan, Amber, Amelie and Year 5, Zoe, Brooklyn, Joshua, William, Kaia, Maizie and Ruby.

In Year 6, the winners were: Musician, Issy; Mathematician, Malachi; Sportswoman, Katherine; Sportsman, Corey; Girl Performer, Paige; Boy Performer, Harvey; Artist, Isla; Writer, Romy and the winner of Laura’s Legacy was Jasmine.

The overall Spirit of the School winners were George and Suzie. Many congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School Charlton Road, Midsomer Norton BA3 4BD ‘Growing Together Through Christ’

Where every day is an OPEN DAY We are a smaller than average school and pride ourselves on our caring approach and our ability to meet every child’s needs, helping them develop and ensure they reach their full potential, whilst growing in the love of Christ. We welcome children of all faiths. We also offer wrap-around care as well as an independent on-site Nursery. Come and see for yourselves what the St Benedict’s experience can do for your child.

Please call 01761 418594 to make an appointment Email: stbenedicts@educ.somerset.gov.uk www.stbenedicts.info

ukfamilymatters |


www.fordfueloils.co.uk Suppliers of Home Heating Oil, Agricultural Diesel and Lubricants Also: Oil Tank replacement service Monitored top up service Boiler servicing and waste oil collection can be arranged

Farrington Fields I Estate Farrington Gurney

01761 452222

Work of Heart Tutoring Is your child struggling with reading, writing or spelling? I can help! Enjoyable, engaging, structured approach Step by step successful progression Specific Learning Difficulties Key Stages 1 & 2 and Yr7 Radstock, Westfield, Midsomer Norton

Contact Jacky 07926 356 298 jackyvernatutoring@gmail.com

@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk | 29



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.

give us follow on social media @ukfamilymatters @ukfamilymatters

Have you done something you are proud of and would like your picture in the magazine? Then ask your parents or guardian to take your picture and send it to us! It's easy..... they just need to upload the picture and a few details to our website www.familymatters-uk.co.uk and you will feature in the next magazine.

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@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk

Txt 07825768711

8 Weeks to Walking


18 Months – 2.5yrs

Mondays 1.15pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30am. Parent participation

2.5yrs – 3.5yrs

Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:30am

3.5yrs – School age

Mondays 2pm, Tuesdays + Thursdays 11:30am

7 Years

Mondays, Wednesdays 5.30-6.20pm, Tuesdays 5-5.50pm, Fridays 5-6.30pm (90 Min Class), Saturdays 10.30-11.20am

8 Years

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays 6-6.50pm, Fridays 6.30-8pm (90 Min Class), Saturdays 11.30-12.20pm

9 Years

Mondays, Wednesdays 6.30-7.20pm, Tuesdays 7-7.50pm, Fridays 6.30-8pm (90 Min Class), Saturdays 11.30-12.20pm

DROP-IN PLAYTIMES Mondays 10am-12pm, Fridays 10am-12pm (Subject to cancellation) 4 Years

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays 4-4.50pm, Saturdays 9.30-10.20am

10 Years+

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays 7-7.50pm, Fridays 6.30-8pm (90 Min Class), Saturdays 11.30-12.20pm

5 Years

Mondays & Wednesdays 4.30-5.20pm, Tuesdays 4-4.50pm, Fridays 4-4.50pm or 5-6.30pm (90 min class) , Saturdays 9.30-10.20am


Wednesdays 7-8pm

6 Years

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays 5-5.50pm, Fridays 5-6.30pm (90 Min Class), Saturdays 10.30-11.20am


Thursdays 7.30-8.30pm .£5 Per Session. No Booking Needed.





Age groups are judged on ability as well as age, gymnasts are moved up a group when we feel they are able and there is space in the appropriate class. Price £6.00 per class. All gymnasts in structured termly classes require a british gymnastics membership. October 2017-September 2018 - £19.

libertygymnasticsclub@hotmail.com Unit D, Vallis Trading Estate, Robins Lane, Frome

1 hour of coached gymnastics & games. 45 minutes for your party tea & free play. In our fully equipped gymnastics centre. All for only £120 for 10 children, additional children £6.00 each. We supply the venue & coaches, you supply the party tea!

See booking form in the gym/or book by txt 078257687 11 or email libertygymnasticsclub@hotmail.com Payment required when booking. Please bring a drink & snack. Cash/card or bank transfer payments accepted. Appropiate clothing must be worn. Non-members welcome.

A British Gymnastics registered club with fully qualified BG coaches in Women’s Artistic & Pre-School Gymnastics. Many of our qualified coaches are ex-gymnastics who have a wealth of experience at competition standard. We offer a wide range of gymnastic lessons, from pre-school to adults. We are dedicated to giving all gymnasts the opportunity to fulfil their potential by improving their co-ordination, physical condition and concentration in a friendly and safe environment whilst having fun! Our development program aims to reach national grade level. This program is by invitation only. The coaches will recognise talent in the recreational program and extend an invite to gymnasts for the chance to attend a trial session.

**NEWS FLASH** The end of 2018 saw Liberty bring home another Somerset champion,Ellie-Mae Kondratowicz in the senior group. This year 3 of Liberty’s gymnasts took part in the “English Championships”. Ellie-Mae Kondratowicz in the junior women’s artistic group, Ellie had a fantastic competition coming 42nd out of 90 of the best gymnasts in the country. In the senior women’s artistic group Sophie Hobbs Simpson excelled by coming 35th out of 71 gymnasts & Hollie Brimble 56th, 21 gymnasts have taken and passed their regional grades, 7 took and passed their national grades, 2 trained and took their compulsory grade, 1 reaching national finals. **NEWS FLASH**


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Family Matters Back to School 2019 | North East Somerset  

Back to School issue for September 2019.

Family Matters Back to School 2019 | North East Somerset  

Back to School issue for September 2019.

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