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NORTH EAST SOMERSET EDITION

ISSUE 75 • DECEMBER 2019

HOW TO HANDLE WINTER ILLNESS

SCHOOL NEWS

www.familymatters-uk.co.uk

MAKE YOUR HOME CHRISTMASSY!


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WELCOME

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.

p6 fun things to do this Christmas

p13 THE DREADED TWEENAGER!

p21 WINTER WILDLIFE GUIDE

p15 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

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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the egg presents

THE EGG CHRISTMAS SHOW

by

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FOR AGES

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CHRISTMAS P R E S E N TS

ON A

BUDGET

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

CUT BACK

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.

COMPARE 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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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!

6 |

ukfamilymatters |

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!

Make treats

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!

@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk

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


S

HE FAMILY THIS CHR ISTMAS

Track Father Christmas

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nowledged fact that movies watched from a blanket fort. family together and assign fort you can and then a family favourite together. e gone to bed, the adults m too!

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the cold l light switch you could ether in the r the best ther you yourself all about reativity ctive.

who This is one for the little ones but , rse cou of ta San believe in let on Christmas Eve, set up a tab of one up n ope and or computer n the , sites ta San ck the many Tra he as s gres pro his ck you can che ld. makes his way around the wor re mo the get to way It’s a great won’t excitable kids to sleep as he come if you’re still awake!

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 |

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


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 news@ignyteuk.co.uk and we’ll feature them all in our next issue!

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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 – and key tips on how to keep your family healthy this winter. 10 |

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@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk


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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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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Designed by Freepik

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.

S

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

H

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.

Starlings

Robins

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!

Grey squirrels

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 |

@UkFamilyMatters | familymatters-uk.co.uk | 21


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2 Mansbrook House, 15 High Street Midsomer Norton 01761 413212 www.edwardsmidsomer.co.uk

Established in 1939, we have provided eye care for nearly 80 years


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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JOIN THE RAINBOW RESOURCE SCHEME! Do you have a child or young person with additional needs in your family? Did you know you can apply for a free card, offering discounted entry to a range of attractions across the area? Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Rainbow Resource Scheme gives children and young people (up to age 25) with a special educational need or disability (SEND) a free card that allows them to verify eligibility for concessions. The card also gives the cardholder and their family a way to discreetly alert staff at the venue that they have particular needs, in case they need support. Card holders can obtain concessions on entry to many attractions including Avon Valley Adventure Park in Keynsham, The Egg theatre in Bath, the Roman Baths and Farrington Farm Shop Play Barn, to name a few. The participant venues have agreed to accept the card as confirmation that a child or young person has an additional need and to give them any discounts that may be on offer.

Here’s what one of our Scheme members said: ‘Being a parent carer is tough enough at times but taking trips to attractions or places that cost a lot of money to get into and five minutes in, your child/children has a major melt down and you have to leave, you’re then out of pocket; with the Rainbow Resource card, you usually only have to pay for your child and you get in free as a carer, I wouldn’t be without it and I encourage every parent carer to get one!’ Your Rainbow Resource card can also be used to reserve a Bag Book from your local library. Bag Books provide multisensory and storytelling for people with learning disabilities. Most Bag Books can be delivered to your local library, so please ask them for more information. The card is free and it’s easy to apply – you can do it online in a few minutes via the Rainbow Resource website; see www.rainbowresource.org.uk.

Free family information resources for all! Are you a parent needing childcare or parenting information? 1Big Database bathnes has everything you need - a wide range of useful information and resources for families, including Ofsted registered childcare, parenting support, groups, clubs and a packed calendar of activities and events.

Do you have a child or young person (aged up to 25) with Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)? Rainbow Resource signposts you to organisations, services, support, activities and groups for children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs. You can also apply for your free Rainbow Resource scheme card, giving you concessions at a wide range of local attractions, including Avon Valley Adventure Park, Farrington Farm, The Egg theatre, Bristol Zoo and Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

Find out more: 1 Big Database bathnes: www.bathnes1bd.org.uk Rainbow Resource: www.rainbowresource.org.uk You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram! Family Information online - www.facebook.com/bathnesfis Youth Info: www.instagram.com/Youth_Info_BANES


LATEST SCHOOL NEWS

EVENTS

DIARY DATES

YOUR SUCCESSES

News and Reviews ST JULIAN’S RAISE MONEY FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE IN THE REGION St Julian’s School in Wellow held a whole school assembly recently to highlight the issue of homelessness in the region. The assembly was led by the School Council and the children gave presentations on the importance of the work of organisations like the Julian House Shelter who operate in Bath. The pupils organised a school wide campaign to raise money for Julian House by getting everyone to wear a bobble hat to school. Ruth Noall, headteacher, said: “Our school council has been working hard this term to raise awareness of various issues from homelessness to recycling and promoting inclusive values to learning about European culture. “They organised a Wear a Bobble Hat to School Day for the Julian House Shelter which raised £80. The School Council also organised the school’s Children in Need fundraising campaign.” As well as the School Council raising awareness of various issues, St Julian’s also has House Captains and the EE Team, which works to promote a positive ethos and equality. Ruth Noall added: “House Captains add up and announce house points each week and also organise team building events such as designing house badges or running talent shows. The EE Team are all about helping the children get along and live out their values. They design and give out certificates when they see children playing nicely and last year, they ran a lunchtime colouring club for children who prefer quieter lunchtimes.” Well done everyone! Did you take part in any fundraising this term? Let us know and we can include it in our next issue!

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BISHOP SUTTON RAISE MONEY FOR RSPCA Well done to Libby and Clemmie in Kingfishers Class at Bishop Sutton School for raising £116.50 for the RSPCA! The pair held a cake sale to raise money, thanks to all the people who donated and bought cakes to support this good cause.

PEASEDOWN ARE DODGEBALL CHAMPIONS Huge congratulations to Peasedown St John’s School who are Dodgeball District Champions! On Tuesday, 15th October, six of the finest dodgeball talents participated in the annual District Dodgeball Competition at Hayesfield School. After a long evening, the team from Peasedown St John were crowned district champions and will be heading to the University of Bristol in January where they can compete in the County Championships!

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FIRE FIGHTER VISIT Class one at St Mary’s School in Writhlington have had a busy term learning about the Fire of London. They created a brilliant display of fire engines which can be found in the linkway, complete with wheels and axels which was a super DT project! They were also visited by local firefighters which was an exciting highlight of the last term.

FLEXI-FRIDAYS AT SHOSCOMBE Shoscombe School has decided to mix things up a bit on Fridays with its new flexible time table. Flexi Fridays allow children to experience both high quality PE lessons and Forest School outside. Headteacher, Ruth Noall, said: “Because of the beautiful grounds the school enjoys, we wanted to ensure that every child has the opportunity to use them and has the flexibility to play and experience outside adventure as much as they can. Our new Friday time table is very exciting with PE and Forest School lessons throughout the day. Premier sports coaches offer outstanding lessons that keep everyone moving, whilst also developing sporting and team work skills. “Forest School is outdoor learning that encourages children to learn about and in our beautiful grounds working as individuals and groups and learning to take risks, try something new or solve problems.” Flexi-Fridays have been introduced in addition to the new After School Club and the new play area that opened at the school earlier this year. The new timetable means that Friday classes rotate through the activities ensuring that by the end of the day, everyone has taken part in PE, Forest School, science or art.”

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LONGVERNAL IS A SCHOOL FIT FOR THE FUTURE THANKS TO GRANTS AND PUPIL FUNDRAISING! Longvernal Primary School in Midsomer Norton has benefited from an investment in the region of £800,000 from Bath and North East Somerset Council to redesign the internal footprint of the building, giving it 21st century facilities. Additionally, the pupils took part in various fundraising events to help fund a new Hobbit House, perfect for reading, stocked with a range of brand new books! The updates took a year to complete, but now every class is enjoying more spacious classrooms with art areas, dedicated reading corners and updated interactive technology to support learning. This is as well as a new room which has been designated for those with special educational needs for interventions, therapies or meetings, as well as gender neutral toilets, two accessible bathrooms and a hygiene room. Other updates include work done to the former library which is now a fully equipped computer suite Speaking to reporters, headteacher, Karen Bazeley, said: “The children were amazing during the upheaval of the building work, they were not distracted from their learning. The children are loving the extra space afforded from the enlarged classrooms and the new reading house is proving to be a particular hit!” The building work was designed by BBA Architects of Bath and the school is part of the Midsomer Norton’s Schools Partnership.

HIGH LITTLETON GETS GOLD! Recently, High Littleton School celebrated after being presented with its fourth Gold School Games Award! This is a testament to all the hard work that the school, particularly, Mr Gunning, has put in over the previous academic year. The school works hard on their commitment, engagement and delivery of competitive sports – now they’re going to go for Platinum!

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KILMERSDON PERFORM THE SECRET GARDEN

PAULTON SCHOOL IS BLOOMING!

Before half term, the pupils at Kilmersdon School put on a performance of The Secret Garden. This was as well as taking on a fundraising challenge for the NSPCC and Year 6 teaming up with the younger children in Buzzards class.

Paulton Junior School’s Gardening Club has won awards from both Bath in Bloom and South West in Bloom. The school’s club were joint winners in the Bath in Bloom School's Category winning a Gold Award, a trophy and £100, sponsored by the Bath University Gardening Club. They also received Level 5 outstanding in the South West in Bloom It’s Your Neighbourhood Competition with the school garden and Year 4 entered their project alongside the Pride in Paulton group for the joint planting outside the village hub. The school also received The Clem Preece Memorial Cup for Outstanding Effort by a School in promoting South West in Bloom. Well done everyone! The club is run by Mrs Shackleton and Mrs Shenton and is held over lunchtimes and afterschool encouraging children to get outside and grow.

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HIGH LITTLETON ELECTS NEW SCHOOL COUNCIL

HIGH LITTLETON VISIT FLEET AIR ARM MUSEUM

The school council is a representative group of pupils from each class that hold meetings every fortnight to discuss issues raised by children and make suggestions for improvements. During the October term, all classes held a ballot to vote for their class representative and the following have been elected: Archie, Emma, Roxy, Betty, Heidi, Sky, Riley, Faith, Lauren, Becky, Sam and Gemma. Congratulations all!

Deer Class from High Littleton School visited Fleet Air Arm Museum recently where they built on their learning about World War 2. During a class-based activity all about Life on the Home Front, the volunteers were impressed by the children’s knowledge which they had already retained from this term. Several children were allowed to try on genuine uniforms and others got to use a water pump which would have been used to put out fires. After a short break for lunch, the class had a tour of the museum and climbed on board Concord! They also got a chance to see the countless aircraft which fill the hangars. The children enjoyed their day out, Chloe said that she learned that women had a role in the Battle of Britain, while Sam said: “I enjoyed the fake air raid, it felt real.” Eliot on the other hand said: “I loved seeing all the aircraft at the museum.”

ST MARY’S ARE ECO FRIENDLY The Eco Team at St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Writhlington would like to thank everyone for their amazing support of the Terracycle Scheme. In the first week, they collected over 2.5kg of pet food packaging! This has been sent off and will help raise funds for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Service – please keep collecting!

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING MACMILLAN Staff and children at Kilmersdon School have said a massive thank you to all the parents that helped organise, bake and run the Macmillan Cake Sale that they held back in October. The event raised £130 towards Macmillan Cancer Support – thank you everyone for your hard work and your generous donations.

Roots  

Family owned & run A caring & professional service

Baby and Toddler   Group 

Midsomer Norton’s and Radstock’s only independent veterinary practice

1-2:30pm Wednesdays All welcome. At Midsomer Norton Methodist Church.

Puppy & kitten starter packages Puppy parties Pet Health Club Vaccinations Pet passports Pet behaviourist Neutering

Room to Grow  For more info: Hanna 07592735324

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


PEASEDOWN SCHOOL PUPILS INSPIRED BY MUSIC CONCERTS

THANK YOU FOR OUR NEW BENCH, JOEL!

Over the last month, pupils at Peasedown St John Primary School have been able to listen to and take part in a range of Classical Musical Workshops. These ranged from a percussionist who played every instrument under the sun to woodwind, strings and brass ensembles. They played pieces from Beethoven to more contemporary music from film and television. These were all made possible with the support of Lady Evelyn Strasburger, whose mission is to give children the opportunity to listen to the wealth of quality music. There are further opportunities for pupils and families to hear great music at Writhlington School as part of the Vital Arts Season. The school believes music is a cornerstone of children’s learning. Peasedown School is fortunate to have a permanent specialist music teacher and all pupils can play at least one instrument.

Huge thanks to Joel Fenton who constructed a bench for the children at St Mary’s School in Writhlington out of wood from the old sand pit!

ROTAKIDS The Rotary Club MSN and Radstock welcomed 9 new members recently and these weren’t your normal middle aged business and professional people but all children from St John’s. The new members are known as Rotakids, an initiative of Rotary of Great Britain and Ireland, which is aimed at 7 to 12 year olds. A special assembly was held and the 9 children were officially recognised as part of the Rotary family. The ceremony was held in front of the whole school and the Rotakids' families saw each individual awarded a certificate of membership. The school also received a certificate of recognition from Rotary of Great Britain and Ireland. The group are looking forward to coming up with lots of ideas to help people and will meet once a week to discuss and plan projects. The Rotakids were also invited to attend the District Conference in Southampton and talk on stage about what Rotakids means to St John’s and why they wanted to be part of it. On stage the children spoke clearly and confidently and throughout the day were polite to all the Rotarians they were introduced to. The children did St John’s very proud.

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

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WOW

UPLOAD YOUR WOW! PHOTOS AND DETAILS TO OUR ONLINE WOW! FORM VISIT WWW.FAMILYMATTERS-UK.CO.UK

WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT Name: Amirah Age: 9 Achievement: Amirah performed with her drama club friends at Cedar Hall in the Shakespeare Festival. Good work Amirah!

Name: Amy Age 8 Achievement: 6th Kup Green Belt in Taekwondo and Level 8 Swim England Award. Well done Amy!

Name: Evangeline Age: 8 Achievement: Passing level 4 swimming, good job Evangeline!

Name: Calla Age: 10, Achievement: Won the silver medal for aged 9-10s at the Southwest Tumbling championships well done!

Name: Gabriel Achievement: Chosen to represent England in the European Rapid & Blitz Chess tournament (U10's). How exciting Gabriel!

THIS COULD BE YOU!

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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Profile for Tina Veater

Family Matters - North East Somerset edition