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Your Local Free Family Magazine

Issue: 38

PLANNING AHEAD How best to extend your home

FITNESS FIRST Focus on Family Fitness

HELP... HOMEWORK! Is homework a help or a hindrance?


The hidden benefits to these ancient arts


A Wiltshire couple share their fostering journey




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Where boys thrive

We believe the period from 4 - 13 years are the most critical in any boy’s life. We invite you to come and see for yourself what a difference a Horris Hill education could make for your son.

To arrange a visit on a day to suit you, please email: registrar@horrishill.com Horris Hill Preparatory School for Boys, Newtown, Newbury RG20 2


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Welcome to Spring


n the school run this morning, we spotted our first snow drops of 2020 – a sure fire sign that spring is on the way. So, although I’m currently sitting at my desk wearing my chunky winter knit, I feel reassured that by the time you’re reading this, spring will certainly have sprung! Here’s hoping you can enjoy an alfresco cuppa and take a few moments to look at what we’ve packed into the pages of the spring Country Child mag! Hanne B and her children have been handbag shopping together, an innocuous event for some – slightly less so for Hanne’s tribe! Have an amusing read on page 7. For families looking to get in shape this spring, we have made ‘fitness’ the key topic for this spring magazine; whether you’re looking for a sporting pursuit to take up as a family or are all in need of a new workout wardrobe, you’ll find lots of sporting inspiration dotted throughout the pages of the mag. Those with children who have an interest in taking up martial arts will particularly enjoy the article on page 36.

Homework! Surely this is one of the most discussed topics out there, by both parents and pupils alike. Primary school teacher Aimee Strongman asks: Is homework really helpful for our children? Turn to page 38 for a healthy debate on the subject. We’re delighted to have Kathy and Steve West sharing their fostering journey with Country Child readers. This incredible couple have dedicated their lives to helping young people in need and their candid tale on page 10 makes for a fascinating read. We have so much fun compiling our Country Child Loves and What’s In Store pages – they’re packed with things we think you’ll like and things that we think could make your lives easier! See what you think on pages 9 and 13. As ever, for those of you who like a competition, head to our Great Outdoors page, where we’ve got a fab book giveaway waiting to go to one lucky winner! Plus as sponsors every year we announce the Sherborne Castle Country Fair dates and details and we've got two family passes up for grabs. So turn to page 20 to enter into the draw. With the Easter holidays soon upon us, our Calendar of Events has plenty of fun activities going on across the counties – diaries at the ready! As you know, we love to hear from you – so, if you have a story to share, do get in touch with the Country Child team and, in the meantime, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Meet the team... PUBLISHER

Jo Leigh jo@countrychild.co.uk


Miranda Avis miranda@countrychild.co.uk Follow us

@countrychildmag @countrychildmagazine @countrychildmag

Neither Country Child Limited (trading as Country Child Magazine) nor any of its predecessors, affiliated companies, directors or employees, shall be liable for the accuracy or reliability of any of the content (including advertisements) published in Country Child Magazine or other information accessed directly or indirectly from Country Child Magazine, nor shall they be liable for the quality of any products, information or other materials displayed, purchased or obtained by any consumer, as a result of an advertisement or any other information or offer in connection with the service or products. Country Child Limited shall not be responsible for any errors or omissions contained within any content (including advertisement) published in Country Child Magazine.

Media Sales

Matthew Cull

matthewcullmedia @gmail.com


Beth Green-Lowman


Hanne Bonczoszek

Cover and Feature Photography by

Millie Pilkington

CONTRIBUTORS: Lee Keeling, Aimee Strongman, Kathy and Steve West, Harriet Bulwer-Long, Nick Folland, Natalie Bryden and Mandi Miles. CREATIVE ARTWORK: Hanne Bonczoszek. DISTRIBUTION: Katherine Shean, Jessica Rowland, Jennifer Oakes, Geoff Humphries, Rick and Micky Poyser and Ray and Gail Leigh


Open Morning Saturday 16th May 9.30am - 11.30am

A co-educational day and boarding school from 2-13, providing a world class education in the heart of the countryside ‘‘It is possible to go and do anything after coming here.’’ TATLER SCHOOLS GUIDE


t. 01747 857914 | www.portregis.com | e. admissions@portregis.com

Minibus routes available



Spring 2020

Mellow Yellow The tone of the season


Fitness First Family exercise with benefits


What's in Store Fab Fitness Finds



Bedroom 3 Bedroom 2 Home Office

St En-Suite





General Notes 1. Do not scale, refer to figured dimensions. All dimensions are nominal and must be checked on site. 2. All dimensions to new masonry elements are to structural faces (unless otherwise noted).

Country Child Loves Editor’s spring selections 3. All dimensions are to structural elements (i.e. excluding finishes)

4. All window and door openings are to be checked with manufacturer's sizes and building tolerances added. window and door sizes and structural openings are the contractors responsibility. 5. Drawing to be read in conjunction with engineer's drawings and specification.

6. Any discrepancies should be bought to the attention of the architect. 7. DPC and DPM's are the responsibility of the contractor and are to be installed to meet current building regulations, manufacturers recommendations and advice from building control. 8. If in doubt, ask.

Planning Ahead Extension Experts Proposed Side Elevation

Living Room

Bedroom 1 Hall

Proposed Ground Floor Plan



Proposed First Floor Plan


Interior Ideas Animal Magic


Glorious Food Easter Eats Proposed Rear Elevation



Scale 1:100 0.0m









t. 07896 223 773 e. storyboardarchitects@gmail.com w. www.storyboardarchitects.co.uk a. 24 Langton Close,Winchester, Hampshire, SO22 6RJ Project Address: 38 Ashfield Road, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 3PE Client: Mr and Mrs Leigh


Drawing: Proposed Plans and Elevations

7 Family Frolics & Fiascos - Hanne B’s frolics and fiascos when going shopping. 122/SK03 9 Country Child Loves - Editor’s spring selections. 10 & 11 Focus on Fostering - A Wiltshire couple share their fostering journey. 13 What's in Store - Fitness finds for all the family. 15 Fitness First - Family exercise with benefits. 17 Mellow Yellow - The tone for the spring season. 19 What's On - Places To Go and Things To Do. 20 & 21 Calendar Pull-Out - What’s On this spring season. 23 Great Outdoors - Encouraging our children to live a sustainable life. 25 Window Shopping - We find properties that could be your new year challenge! 26 & 27 Planning Ahead - How best to extend your home, we ask the experts. 29 Food Glorious Food - Easter eats and handy lunchbox hacks. 31 Interior Ideas - It’s All About the Animals. 32 & 33 Open for Business - Business news and views in your area. 35 Top Marks - All the news from the schools, plus a word from Headmaster Nick Folland. 36 & 37 Martial Arts - The hidden benefits of this ancient art. 38 Help…Homework! - Is homework a help or a hindrance? Scale: 1:100

Drawing No.

Date: 15/05/18



© Storyboard Architects Ltd 2018

What's On Local and live entertainment


Dry Stone Walling ☐ Landscaping ☐ Paving Contemporary and Traditional Stone Cladding WARMINSTER, WILTS

Dry stone walls are one of the most charming features of the English countryside and an ancient skill that the English Heritage is keen to keep alive. All types of stone walling and paving including boundary walls, retaining walls, garden features / projects, cladding of existing buildings/structures, steps, insurance work, lime and mortared walls, repairs, contemporary/traditional stone cladding.

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With our proven track record for our print platform, we step further into the digital arena with a new website to provide more ways to connect to our Country Child audience. Please get in touch to find out more on the exciting new online editorial, brand and promotional opportunities.

Promotional prices start from JUST £15 a season! Contact Matthew Cull on

07794 447105

or email us at info@countrychild.co.uk


Why not join us on our social media channels too... @countrychildmag






AN AWARD WINNING CO-EDUCATIONAL BOARDING & DAY SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN AGED 2-13 01725 530124 • www.sandroyd.org Country Child Spring 2020 - Sandroyd - December 2019.indd 1

10/12/2019 14:18:02

Family Frolics & Fiascos By Hanne B


love spring. It means new buds and new bunnies and, I convinced myself this morning, a new handbag. My son insisted on coming with me to the shop as he is a sucker for a nice bag. My daughter and husband promised to join us as soon as they’d been to the Warhammer shop. As we meander around the shop, my darling son is casually picking out the bags he thinks would be suitable for “a lady of my age” (his words, not mine). Suddenly, he says, in a matter-of-fact sort of way, ‘I don’t think I am going to be a Christian anymore. I don’t really buy all that “God” and “walking on water” stuff and the real story of St George is actually quite boring.’ Trying to turn this rather glum view in to something positive, I ask ‘Why don’t we just take it one day at a time? Perhaps we can look at how other people make sense of the world?’ ‘This one is nice.’ He says. I take the purple and green handbag with a glittery butterfly-shaped button from his hands and place it back on the shelf. He picks out one that looks like it was made from an old cigar box and studies it in detail. ‘Yeah,’ he says. ‘Good idea. I like the Reaper. What do you call people who just believe in the Reaper?’ I can hear my own brain creaking as the cogs turn. I don’t want to have to say ‘’I don’t know’’ for the 10th time today. ‘Reaperists?’ I suggest. He sends me an empathetic look and shakes his head. I show him a nice navy bag with sensible pockets and he shakes his head again. ‘Reaperist is not a word. But there must be some people, who just believe in the Reaper cos if there’s one thing that’s for certain in this life, it’s that it ends at some point.’ Sometimes my son sounds like a tiny old

man and I smile as he continues, ‘Does he kill people?’ He holds up a stripy number with a diamanté edge finish. ‘No,’ I answer. ‘The Reaper doesn’t kill people. People die for all sorts of reasons. The Reaper just picks them up when they stop living.’ ‘Where does he take them?’ he asks… Here we go again. He’s just announced that he won’t believe in God. Do God and Heaven come as a package deal? Can you believe in one and not the other? I have to bite the bullet. ‘I don’t know.’ ‘He’s got a really cool cloak though.’ he says. ‘Shall we take this one?’ Before I can answer, he wanders off to the till with the leopard print clutch bag in his hands. As I watch him, I spot two mothers each with their buggy, each containing little girls with bows in their tufts of hair. They have stopped in their tracks and are staring at me with the despairing look I have come to know well in the last 6 years. ‘Guess what?’ As I hear this happy chirp, I turn around to see my daughter in a hat and a pair of gloves she has selected upon entering, from the window display with the finesse of a near-sighted hippo. ‘Did you know that Unicorns are the only animals in the world who can create rainbows?’ Someone once told me I would miss the mental stimulation when I took a career break to look after my kids. I often laugh at that..

Hanne is a local author who lives in Salisbury with her husband, her two children and a cockerpoo named Enzo.


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hen it comes to organising the everpopular Easter Egg Hunt, this ‘eggcellent’ sign will be sure to keep the chocolate hunters going in the right direction! £7.50 tch.net



s soon as the balmy spring weather begins to make an appearance, we can’t wait to emerge from our winter hibernation. This bell tent is the perfect garden accessory and, if you’re a festival-going-family, then surely this needs to be on your ‘must buy’ list!? £199 boutiquecamping.com ho doesn’t need a pom-pom or two in their life? Add a bit of flair to a bedroom, festival tent, kitchen or playroom with these colourful lights – every day will feel like a party! £16.50 redcandy.co.uk




or those who have children’s birthday parties, family lunches or just a casual catch-up on the cards, keeping the kids entertained at the table can be hard work. Fear not, we’ve got the solution; get your creative groove on with this fun, colourin doodle tablecloth and wash-out fabric pen set. Trust us, the kids (and adults!) will love it.. £39.95 eatsleepdoodle.com



hat better way to spin into spring than on a new, shiny set of wheels! This is the perfect season to explore your local woodlands and parks, and what better way than on your Banwood ‘First Go!’ Balance Bike ANWOOD ‘FIRST GO!’ bike? £139 bobbyrabbit.co.uk




urn your little ones into intrepid naturalists with this fab gift box. Together families will learn about the critters living on their doorsteps and appreciate the vital role they play in our ecosystem. Perfect for young and old, the Butterfly and Bug Lovers Gift Box is a fun and involving gift. £40 eatsleepdoodle.com



he Country Child team love the vibrant HappySweeds Forest Umbrella. Whether it’s raining cats and dogs or simply a ‘spring showers’ kind of day, you’ll be ready to put your best foot forward with this feel-good brolly! £39.95 cloudberryliving.co.uk hese unisex, quick drying ponchos are the perfect kiddy companion when it comes to towelling down after a dip!! £32 theholidayshop.london



Focus on Fostering Kathy and Steve West are foster carers from Wiltshire. Here they share their fostering journey with Country Child.


have been fostering with my husband Steve for the last 36 years. We started by fostering teenagers from London before fostering within our own local authority. For the past 16 years, we have been fostering for Five Rivers Child Care Ltd in Calne, Wiltshire and have looked after new-born babies right up to 18-year-olds. Over the past nearly-four decades, we have seen fostering change immensely. We love what we do and it is a privilege to have other peoples’ children living with us. We do our best to meet all the needs of these children and adapt our lives to make this happen. In order to become a foster carer with Five Rivers, it is necessary to undergo an assessment where you discuss what ages of children you want to foster (with or without disabilities), what gender, sibling groups or parent and child. You are then approved and wait for children to come into your home. A supervising social worker supports and guides you through your fostering career. Children, through no fault of their own, need to live away from their families. That’s where the foster carer steps in. The main qualities to be a foster carer include adaptability, a sense of humour, patience, good communication and listening skills. You have to work as part of a team around the child and make sure their needs are met; whether it be meeting their health needs, sorting out issues with school or contact with their birth family. You have to want to adapt your life and embrace fostering as a challenge. Any young person or sibling group joining your home will alter the dynamics of your family, and that will be different for each child you help. To help you do this, you have weekly supervision with your social worker when any new child is placed, plus 24-hour support on the phone. After an initial period of time, the supervisory visits change to monthly. Social workers offer a listening ear and can direct you to training and offer strategies to manage behaviours that you may not have met before. Training is a very important aspect of fostering. The skills you learn will help you to meet the needs of the children and young people that come to live in your home. Five Rivers Child Care offer excellent training, ensuring we meet the requirements of our young people. Theories in child care have


changed massively over the years and the training we receive is relevant and current. There is also an opportunity to share experiences with other foster carers. Support groups are essential for supporting you and your family. We meet up with other carers and exchange views and strategies on meeting the needs of our young people, as well as sharing cake and coffee! These work colleagues become your friends and help out when you need a babysitter or a coffee, or simply when you are having a difficult time and need to share your feelings. Lots of people say I wish I could foster BUT …. I have my own children Fostering gives peoples’ own children a unique experience of life and what others have to go through. As well as sharing their parents with others it enables children to work as part of a team and they are often the ones who teach the house rules to the new child. I couldn’t let them go That is part of your job. It could be you support a child for a few days, weeks, months or years and often you don’t know to start with. Two of our young people came for 6 months and have now been living with us for 13 years. Another one came for 3 weeks and has been living with us for 16 years. I couldn’t manage contact with the birth family Contact is always a troubling part to start with and at the beginning of a placement it can be quite intense. One of our children has contact every other week with her birth mother, just coffee and a cake. The other two have what is called ‘letter box’ twice a year when we write and send photos about what they are doing. We are supposed to get the same from the birth family but that doesn’t always happen. I’m a single parent As long as you have a spare room you can foster. You are paid a generous allowance, which allows you to live and care for the young person in your care. Fostering is incredibly rewarding. It isn’t easy and you have to adjust your life to accommodate others but I would wholly recommend it. For me, there is nothing more fulfilling than being a foster carer. I wouldn’t change my choice of career. It is the best thing Steve and I have done together.


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An exciting learning adventure, inside and outside the classroom! To find out more, call us on 01202 883818 or visit www.dumpton.com MINIBUSES run from Blandford, Bournemouth, Dorchester, Ferndown, Poole, Ringwood, Verwood and Wareham ‘Independent Co-educational Day School age 2-13’ Dumpton School is a company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales No. 936623, Registered Charity No. 306222, Registered Office: Deans Grove House, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7AF



An Ofsted ‘Outstanding ’ and ISI ‘Excellent ’ sc hool in the heart of the Dorset countryside

18/01/2019 14:16

What´s in Store Sports Relief

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 1. Electra Bike Bell electrabike.com £5.  2. No more tying laces with the Laceeze Band, Inferno Original size fits C13 - UK 5 laceeze.co.uk £5.99  3. Personalised Football weprintballs.com Prices start from £20  4. H2O Water bottle .wildandwolf.co.uk £13  5. The Airmesh Level 3 body protector charlesowen.com prices from £80  6. Girls Swimming Costume sunuva.com £24  7. Personalised Children's Cricket Set bespokeandoak.co.uk £30  8. Kids Quad Roller Skates prolineskates.com £29.95  9. Portable telescopic fishing rod amazon.co.uk £27.99  10. Personalised metal shoe tags oakdenedesigns.com £10  11. Boys Swimming trunks sunuva.com £39


OPEN DOORS 26 March 10am 30 April 10am

We are inquisitive

A Co-educational Diamond Model School Flexi, weekly and full boarding Daily buses across Dorset and Somerset

01963 211015 | www.leweston.co.uk | admissions@leweston.dorset.sch.uk

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28/01/2020 15:13

Fitness First

Children are miles behind their parents in the family fitness race…


esearch has revealed that a worrying number of British children are less active than their parents. A survey of more than 7,600 UK adults published in the Decathlon Activity Index 2019 shows that kids are the least active family members, when it comes to monthly exercise. When describing their families’ monthly activity levels, almost two thirds of parents said they believe they are fitter than their child, with an astonishing 77% saying that they exercise more than their child does, even with regular PE lessons factored in. Over three quarters of parents surveyed said that their family makes no effort to exercise with only 11% saying that they exercise together with their family. These findings compliment recent research published by NHS Digital, which shows that the prevalence of obesity in four and five-year-olds rose from 9.5% in 2017-18 to 9.7% in 201819. This equates to 58,000 children. In addition, just a third of children hit or exceed the daily recommended 10,000 steps walked per day. So, how can we encourage our children to get active, get fit and adopt a healthier lifestyle? Leading by example is a great start. Make a pact that, as a family, you want 2020 to be the year you all get fitter. Here are some possibilities:

Park Run: If structure works better for your family, consider signing up to a local Park Run event. These are great, all-inclusive 5K running events, which take place every weekend (parkrun.org.uk). Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes is a huge advocate of this family-friendly event, she explains “I love spending time with family but it’s also important that I encourage them to get and stay fit and

Photography: Millie Pilkington for the young ones to be inspired to be active. I am not an official ambassador of Park Run but I do them because I love the movement it has created; positive minds, integration, combating isolation through volunteering and physical achievement. It’s very empowering for a lot of people and I love to go to inspire, motivate and enjoy myself too. Well done to all that have done one, go regularly and for those that are thinking about it, give it a go as no one feels left out and everyone has a smile on their face. At the end of the day we are all doing 5k no matter how we do it.”

Blaze a Trail: Get the map out! Whether you explore an area on your doorstep or make an adventure of it and head off to an entirely new part of the country, hiking is a great way to get the heart pumping, blood flowing and feel-good endorphins coursing through your body. ordnancesurvey.co.uk

Take up a new Sport: Start from scratch and choose a sport that none of you have done before. Whether it’s curling or climbing, running or rowing, starting off at level pegging means nobody will feel left out. Over to the Obstacles: Getting fit doesn’t have to cost a penny. Devise an obstacle course in your garden or local park. Make it fun and achievable – if you’ve got a boy who likes Bear Grylls, throw in some commando rolls, or a girl who loves her animals then introduce crab walking….to be honest, anything goes!

Bring on the Biking" Disused railway lines make for the perfect cycle routes and it’s surprising just how many there are. A quick look online will reveal family friendly cycle routes near you sustrans.org.uk 15


fun freedom friends

The Curious Garden Monday 6 April at 11am

Sum12mJuley–2r2 Aucguastmps www.millonthebrue.co.uk

One boy’s quest for a greener world…one garden at a time. Join the Makeshift Ensemble as they bring to life New York Times Award winning children’s book, The Curious Garden. Original music, storytelling and puppetry all feature in this planet tending adventure for ages 3+ and their families.

Tickets: £7

Booking office: 01264 368 368 www.thelights.org.uk


Enthusiasm Magnifies

01935 810911 | registrar@sherborneprep.org | www.sherborneprep.org Connect with us


Mell w Yell w Spring Mood Board

 Organic Zoo oz x jw rising set jersey 28 organic-zoo.com  Lemon Yellow Pencil Case £2.99 tkmaxx.com  Her Softer Edge, Sundazed Cotton Ribbed Vest £37.50 themiddledaughter.co.uk  Bonds Sunflower Print Wondersuit £20 johnlewis.com  Sophie Allport Bee Hamman Towel £20 sophieallport.com  BE HAPPY fabric wall hanging £17.50, Personalised alphabet banner nursery wall art £20.50 cottonfoxprints.co.uk/  Smallable Golden Goose Deluxe Brand superstar leather trainers yellow £143 en.smallable.com  Töastie Cloud Onesie Ochre £79 toastiekids.com  Sun Woven Cotten Rope Bag £25 merimeri.co.uk  Frugi rainbow top £21 welovefrugi.com  Canopea Romy UV Bikini Bottom Sunflower €28 and Turbot UV rashtop Sunflower €44 canopea-paris.com


OPEN DAYS FRI 28 FEB & FRI 1 MAY 2020 10 AM – 12 NOON

Your child at our heart Contact the Registrar on 01722 555300 admissions@salisburycathedralschool.co.uk www.salisburycathedralschool.com


Helping children believe they can do anything Singing, dancing and acting classes for 4 - 18 year-olds stagecoach.co.uk/blandfordforum blandfordforum@stagecoach.co.uk 07702 104572

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.


What's On Walk this Way

Time for Tea



firm family favourite is coming to the theatre on 17th to 19th April. Based on the best selling children's book by author Judith Kerr, The Tiger Who Came To Tea is returning as a musical play, that the whole family can enjoy! Straight from London's West End, and having been nominated for the Olivier Award, this spectacular is packed full to the brim with songs, magic and chaos, this really is a treat for all ages! To purchase your tickets for the show visit: theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk

Places To Go Things To Do

Drummer Boy

Walk this Way


he Save the Children

Get your Glow On


alk, dance, jump or sprint your way around Poole Park for the 5k Dorset Neon Run on the

25th April. Light up Poole park with glowsticks and as much colour as physically possible, to raise money for Diverse Abilities, Dorset's disability charity. Sign your family up for the run which costs £10 per person and you will then have the choice of fundraising £45, or making a one-off donation from £25. After signing up you will receive a a Dorset Neon Run T-Shirt, as well as full event support - but please remember to wear a working headtorch! Have fun and make memories, whilst helping others! dorsetneonrun.com

adbury Easter Egg Hunt 2020! The annual Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt is back, and is taking place at Mompesson House in Wiltshire, on selected dates throughout April. Children can complete a nature checklist around the garden grounds to obtain their Easter treat. Just make sure to bring wet weather clothes! cadbury.co.uk/easter

Peppa Pig's Muddy Puddle Walk is back with a splash this Spring! A multitude of big and little people are being encouraged to take part in the Muddy Puddle walk to raise money for the international children's charity, Save The Children. Whether you get muddy outdoors or creative indoors, it all goes towards a fantastic cause, with memories that can be treasured forever! If your team raises over £150, you could even be in with a chance of winning a Peppa Pig prize! What could be better than having fun with your little ones, whilst improving other children's futures? To get onboard between 11th and 17th May, sign up now at: savethechildren.org.uk/how-you-canhelp/events-and-fundraising/muddypuddle-walk


hy not try Cooperative Drumming on Sunday 15th March? A day of drumming workshops for children and parents. Sponsored by Tisbury Coop, the day is split into two sessions; the morning for primary age children (aged 5-13), and the afternoon for secondary tweens and teens (aged 12+). Sehyogue Aulakh and colleagues from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire will be on hand to teach and exhilirate, whilst looking at a variety of music from various worldwide cultures. Early booking is advised. No unaccompanied under 12's. To book your tickets, please visit: cherubimtrust.org/tkts








SUNDAY 1 The Sherborne 10k The Flying Scotsman, The Watercress Line

5 Madam Butterfly, Theatre Royal Winchester

6 Perfect Pies, The Cooking School Warminster Open Morning, Bruton School For Girls Wilton House Antiques fair

7 Royal Armoured Corp Display Day, Tank Musuem Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever, Theatre Royal Winchester Daisy First Aid Classes For Parents, Five Rivers Leisure Centre Salisbury Curries From Around The World, The Cooking School Warminster

8 The Sunday Sessions, Marine Theatre Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever, Theatre Royal Winchester Winter Warmers around Sherborne Wilton House Antiques fair My Science Fair 2020, Wiltshire Music Centre

11 Mark Thomas: 50 Things About Us, Marine Theatre Riverdance BIC Meat Free Moroccan, The Cooking School Warminster

12 The Railway Children, Theatre Royal Winchester Riverdance BIC

13 Forest School Open Morning, Hanford School All Hallows Open Morning Owls by Moonlight Hawk Conservancy

14 Stroud School Open Day Patisserie, The Cooking School Warminster Horris Hill Open Morning Durlston Country Park: Stargazing Flower Show & Plant Fair Wimborne

15 Circus Wonderland, War Memorial Park Basingstoke Family Drumming Day, Victoria Hall Tisbury Crystal and Tibetan Singing Bowl Soundbath Shaftesbury

17 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire

18 Family Trail, Mompesson House Bread Baking, The Cooking School Warminster

19 Jane Eyre, Theatre Royal Winchester Dorchester Piano Quartet, Dorchester Arts

20 Fashion Revolution: Upcycling Workshop, Marine Theatre St Mary's Shaftesbury Open Morning

21 Lyme Regis Comedy Club With Mark Simmons, Marine Theatre Mexican Fiesta, The Cooking School Warminster Half Price Entry for Mum's Farmer Palmers Meet the

22 MOTHERS DAY Nick Cope Family Concert, Dorchester Arts Ecofest 2020, Highcliffe Christchurch Mother’s Day Lunch, Holiday Inn Winchester

24 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire

25 Spirit and Endeavour Salisbury Cathedral

26 Leweston School Open Day

27 Spirit and Endeavour Salisbury Cathedral

28 Durlston Country Park: Stargazing Bugs and Buds, Knoll Gardens The Sooty Show 2020 Lighthoues Poole

29 Spirit and Endeavour Salisbury Cathedral

2 toooB, Dorchester Arts, The Corn Exchange, Dorset

3 The Flying

9 Design Ventura Exhibition, Design Museum

10 Riverdance BIC Tasting Tapas, The Cooking School Warminster

16 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire

23 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire

Scotsman, The Watercress Line

4 Teacups And Tiaras, Theatre Royal Winchester

The Flying Scotsman, The Watercress Line South American Street Food, The Cooking School Warminster

Intermediate Knife Skills, The Cooking School Warminster

Railway Workers at STEAM








30 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire

31Giselle, Theatre Royal Winchester Easter Cookery Camp, Leweston School Sherborne

1 Plant Based Cooking For Beginners, The Cooking School Warminster

2In Conversation With Samantha Cameron Cefinn, Kilver Court

3 Blandford Vintage & Artisan Fair Catch Of The Day, The Cooking School Warminster

4 Bake And Decorate For Easter, The Cooking School Warminster Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival

5 Health-on-Line Bournemouth Bay Run Barbury International Point-to-Point Races

6 Jack And The Beanstalk, Theatre Royal Winchester Easter Art Camp, Leweston School

7 The Elves And The Shoemaker, Lighthouse Poole

8 Children's Easter Baking, The Cooking School Warminster Sand Art, Hengistbury Head Easter Art Camp, Leweston School

9 Design Ventura Exhibition, Design Museum Easter Art Camp, Leweston School

10 Comedy Club 4 Kids, Theatre Royal Winchester Day Out With Thomas, Watercress Line Easter at Lulworth

11 Lyme Regis Big Beer Festival, Lyme Regis's Marine Theatre Big Cook Little Cook, The Cooking School Warminster Abbotsbury Food Fair Bridport Vegan Market

12 Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, Mompesson House Wiltshire The Great Lydiard Park Easter Trail Easter at Lulworth Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race

15 Day Out With Thomas, Watercress Line Indian Street Food, The Cooking School Warminster Spring Ranger Days, Brownsea Island

16 Mexican Fiesta, The Cooking School Warminster Easter Football Camp Leweston School

17 The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Theatre Royal Winchester Winchester Basic Knife Skills, The Cooking School Warminster

18 The Big Bark Bath & West Showground

19 Design Ventura Exhibition, Design Museum Sand Art, Hengistbury Curries From Around Head The World, The Cooking Spring VW Festival School Warminster Stonehenge Campshite

24 Perfect Pies, The Cooking School Warminster Diesel Gala and Beer Festival Swanage

25 5k Dorset Neon Run, Poole Park Bugs and Buds, Knoll Gardens Classic Spanish Cookery, The Cooking School Warminster

South American Street Food, The Cooking School Warminster

14 Andy And The Odd Socks, Swindon Arts Centre Cadbury Easter Pasta Masterclass, Egg Hunt, The Cooking Mompesson School House Warminster Wiltshire 13 Sooty's Magic Show, Theatre Royal Winchester



20 Half Day Old Harry Rocks Kayak Adventure

21 Return To Heaven, Flux Festival 2020 Spirit and Endeavour Salisbury Cathedral

22 Return To Heaven, Flux Festival 2020 Spirit and Endeavour Salisbury Cathedral

23 Simple Suppers - Busy Lives, The Cooking School Warminster

27 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire

28 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire

29 Ben Hart, Theatre Royal Winchester Gifford Circus at Bowood House & Gardens

30 BalletBoyz, Flux Festival 2020 Leweston School Open Day

Meet the Railway Workers at STEAM

Post your event for FREE online at countrychild.co.uk

26 The Chicago Blues Brothers, Theatre Royal Winchester Diesel Gala

and Beer Festival Swanage Gifford Circus at Bowood House & Gardens







1 St Mary's Shaftesbury Open Morning Open Morning, Salisbury Cathedral School

2 Clayesmore School Open Day All Hallows Open Morning Lyme Regis Fossil Festival Sherborne Abbey Music Festival Downton Cuckoo Fair

3 Shaftesbury Food & Drink Festival Sherborne Abbey Music Festival Family Dino Day, Salisbury Racecourse

4 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire Open Morning, Bruton School For Girls

5 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire Sherborne Abbey Music Festival

6 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire Sherborne Abbey Music Festival

7 Rookwood School Open Morning Spirit and Endeavour Salisbury Cathedral

8 VE Day 75th Anniversary, The Watercress Line All Hallows Open Morning Blandford Georgian Fayre

9 Dorset Mud Run The Noise Next Door, Theatre Royal Winchester Christchurch Food Festival

10 Dorset Mud Run Christchurch Food Festival Spirit and Endeavour Salisbury Cathedral

11 Peppa Pig's Muddle Puddle Walk For Save The Children

12 Peppa Pig's Muddle Puddle Walk For Save The Children

13 Ben Hart, Theatre Royal, Winchester Chris Ramsey 20/20 Tour, City Hall Salisbury

14 Peppa Pig's Muddle Puddle Walk For Save The Children

15 Godolphin Prep Open Morning Room On The Broom, Theatre Royal Winchester

16 Sandroyd School Open Morning Port Regis Open Morning Spring Tide Food Festival Bridport

17 Alresford Watercress Festival Room On The Broom, Theatre Royal Winchester

18 Half Day Old 19 Baby Swans Hatching at Harry Rocks Kayak Adventure Abbotsbury Swannery

20 Baby Swans Hatching at Abbotsbury Swannery

21 Baby Swans Hatching at Abbotsbury Swannery

22 Jazz Jurassica Festival Live Music at Salisbury Cosy Club

23 Baby Swans Hatching at Abbotsbury Swannery Mudeford Seafood Festival

24 Mill On The Brue Open Day, Mill On The Brue Mudeford Seafood Festival

25 Sherborne Castle Country Fair, Dorset Jazz Jurassica Festival Chippenham Folk Festival

27 Half Day Old Harry Rocks Kayak Adventure Spring Ranger Days, Brownsea Island

28 Half Day Old Harry Rocks Kayak Adventure Salisbury International Arts Festival 2020

29Vintage Nostalgia Festival, Stockton, Wiltshire Salisbury International Arts Festival 2020

30 Vintage Nostalgia Festival, Stockton, Wiltshire Bugs and Buds, Knoll Gardens Family Fest 2020, Bournemouth

31 Half Day Old Harry Rocks Kayak Adventure Family Fest 2020, Bournemouth Wessex Folk Festival, Weymouth

26 Family Trail, Mompesson House Wiltshire Salisbury International Arts Festival 2020





s a proud event sponsor, carers haven’t! Country Child can What a great idea! announce the new details The Fair is for this year's Sherborne Castle organised by Country Fair. Held in the grounds volunteers and will be of the stunning Sherborne Castle raising funds for children’s charities, in Dorset, the Fair truly does have so go and have some fun and help something for everyone - including give deserving children and youth the dog! Starting at 10am, the day charities some well needed funds. features dragon boats, dog based Bank Holiday Monday 25 May events, rare breeds, shopping, an 2020. The Fair is open from 10am array of outdoor activities for all to 6pm and car parking is free. ages, music and dancing, and a silent Family passes can be purchased in auction. advance from £27. Each year, there is something OR try to win a day pass new and this year's new introduction here! Just send your entry in to is perfect for Country Child readers! us at info@countrychild.co.uk Due to its ever increasing interest sherbornecountryfair.com from families, this year sees a wonderful To be in with a chance of dedicated picnic area/ courtyard, providing a winning a Family pass to the covered/tented eating Fair simply answer: area and seating for visitors/families to sit and enjoy their picnics. Within the middle of the courtyard, there’s a sandpit/play area for T&C"s Email: info@countrychild.co.uk no later than when the children have the 1st May 2020. Editor's decision is final. finished but parents/

What is the new offering this year?



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The Great Outdoors How do we encourage our children to live a sustainable life? Country Child has some suggestions for you...


ow, more than ever, planet earth needs our help – a quick flick through any newspaper or magazine is testament to this; forest fires, melting ice, plasticridden seas, decline in species, the list goes on. Encouraging our children to live a sustainable life is key if we want to ensure future generations benefit from the wonders of our world. But how do we go about teaching our children to respect the world they live in without planting the seed of fear about the planet’s fragility? Here are a few simple steps, which are easy to implement and will help to encourage your children to embrace their childhoods in a sustainable and sensitive way:

Say NO to plastic: Every day, approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans. Working with your family to source non-plastic alternatives in the home can be a fun and inclusive challenge; wooden toys, beeswax wrap, re-usable bottles, cardboard boxes…who will be the nonplastic Prince or Princess?


Recycle: Whether you’re looking for your child’s next

pair of jeans or their first bike, talk with your child about the benefits of buying second-hand. Sites such as Ebay, Gumtree and Freecycle are not only great places to pick up a bargain, your children are also doing their bit for the planet too.

Cut back on food waste: Sit down as a family and plan the weekly shop. Coming together to decide on the meals you’d like to eat will likely reduce food waste. Consider eating vegetarian meals a couple of times a week – another great step on the sustainable ladder! Carry on Composting: Food waste makes the perfect

compost for growing vegetables – ask your child to be Composting Captain and see how quickly their food waste turns into rich plant food.

Get Outdoors: Time spent outdoors does wonders for

the soul, whether you’re a new born or ninety! A family weekend nature walk is the perfect tonic to a busy week – encourage your child to admire the beauty of the natural world and in turn they will learn to appreciate just how important it is that we strive to protect our very precious planet.


arl Mynott has spent his entire life fascinated by wildlife. He’s well aware there’s no shortage of species to discover and protect across the British Isles! It’s become a calling so strong that, after almost thirty years in the insurance industry, Carl threw in the towel to forge a new career as an author. And so the ‘British Wildlife Tales’ series was born, currently comprising four books that introduce children to the amazing wildlife that surrounds them, and helping to foster love and respect for the natural world. The entire ‘British Wildlife Tales’ series is available now britishwildlifetales. co.uk or simply answer this question to WIN a set!

How many books are in the series of the ‘British Wildlife Tales’? Email info@countrychild.co.uk by closing date: 20th March 2020. Competition not open to Country Child employees. Editor’s decision is final.

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WINDOW SHOPPING Country Child scan the borders for properties that could be your new year challenge!

Shaftesbury, Dorset £1,450,000

Marlborough, Wiltshire £1,300,000

The property has been sensitively extended and renovated over the last 20 years and backs onto the Port Regis School, giving excellent family accommodation in a quiet and secluded position. Planning consents have been granted to enlarge the roof of the adjoining garage to provide two additional bedrooms and a bathroom and to extend the master bedroom with a dressing room and balcony.

A fine Grade II listed home with the main façade of the house mentioned by Pevsner as dating from the Jacobean period. Planning consent has been granted to re-configure the utility and rear lobby area to create a breakfast room. There is also planning consent to convert part of the outbuildings to create a cottage with 3 en suite bedrooms, sitting room, games room and playroom.

Wincanton, Somerset £1,250,000

Romsey, Hampshire OIEO £850,000

An opportunity to provide a buyer with a unique chance to build an impressive country house and guest cottage with views over open countryside. Detailed planning consent has been granted to build a 7,500 sqft country house with 2,736 sqft cottage. The properties have been part built with some work already paid for.

Located in the heart of East Wellow backing onto the Blackwater river is an exciting opportunity to build a luxury 4 bedroom detached house set within approx 2 acres (plot has not been measured), there is an existing 2 bedroom detached bungalow to be retained as an annex, double vehicle access and a secluded position.






Planning Ahead Dining


Bedroom 3

Bedroom 2

With many houses needing expansion due to blended families and generations living longer, we look at how best to go about planning a home extension to get it just right. Home Office





oday, making a home is not just about fixtures and fitting, it is about having the space to Proposed Ground Floor Plan accommodate everyone. When planning an extension to your home the first question has to be - do you believe you have the best space for your extension? If yes, the next step is to ask the experts. Consider finances first. A mortgage broker is best to ensure you've found the best products available for lending. Andy Dawkins from Acumen Mortgages advises, "There are 3 main Proposed Ground Floor Plan ways to raise large sums of money to extend your property. A further advance, and second charge, and a remortgage. A good broker will consider all three before making a recommendation to you on how to proceed. Further advances are when your current lender gives you additional money on top of what you have already borrowed on your mortgage, usually as a second account on the mortgage so you can see exactly how much is owed as you go through the life of the mortgage. A second charge is when you are lent funds by a lender who is not your mortgage lender, as a completely separate loan. The “second” charge refers to the priority they have to be repaid in the event you are unable to pay the loan and get repossessed. Interest rates are generally higher to represent the additional risk to the lender. Living Room




Home Office


Living Room




Side Elevation outbuildings may be converted and Remortgaging is when you repay Proposed land with property looked at for your existing lender with another planning permission. It's wise to get lenders mortgage, and in this case a couple of builders or contractors to you would also borrow enough First Floor Plan quote for any planned work because money Proposed to complete the extension cost estimates do vary! you are planning. This is usually only Having an architect or planning advisable when you are not tied to a consultant can be a good addition if specific product such as a fixed rate, you wish to make grand designs on a but can be done at anytime if you are property." accepting of the financial penalties for Once you've got an idea on the leaving a product early." design and the costs involved, it's To discuss your options contact worth meeting with your local estate Acumen Mortgages for an informal agent to ensure your investment chat. Proposed Rear Elevation will be well rewarded in years to Or simply if you've got the money come. Estate agents have a great ready then the best way to kick start understanding on what buyers like proceedings is to ask an architect, and don't like. building surveyor or builder to visit to Charlie Stone from Rural View talk through your ideas as they may Estate Agents in Wiltshire comments: have some ideas to add into the mix. "Cottages and farmhouses can often Anthony Pears, director at Jackson Proposed Side Elevation offer great scope for an extension Stops Agency, Sherborne advises: and in an ideal world they would be "People do look into making their unlisted. That is not to say though own mark on a place and this is when that a listed property can’t be kitchen extensions are considered, Bedroom 1


Bedroom 3

Bedroom 2




Bedroom 1


Proposed First Floor Plan

Proposed Rear Elevation


General Notes 1. Do not scale, refer to figured dimensions. All dimensions are nominal and must be checked on site.


2. All dimensions to new masonry elements are to structural faces (unless otherwise noted).


3. All dimensions are to structural elements (i.e. excluding finishes) 4. All window and door openings Bedroom 3are to be checked with manufacturer's sizes and building tolerances added. window Bedroom 2 and door sizes and structural openings are the contractors responsibility. Home Office

5. Drawing to be read in conjunction with engineer's drawings and specification. St


Living Room

6. Any discrepancies should be bought to the attention of the architect. En-Suite Hall 7. DPC and DPM's are the responsibility of the contractor and are to be installed to meet current building regulations, manufacturers recommendations and advice from building control.


8. If in doubt, ask. Bedroom 1 Hall

Proposed Ground Floor Plan

oposed Side Elevation


Proposed First Floor Plan

extension of the house - the room outside. Perhaps you are planning a kitchen extension? As part of this consider if you want a terrace extending from it. Bi-fold doors are a great way to make the terrace become part of the house. Your- extension needs to be set into Note need to think contextRevandDate you will about perhaps Scale 1:100framing the terrace and extension with1mplanting. Which way 3m 4m 5m 0.0m 2m does the terrace face? If south-facing you will need to think about how to create some shade or it will be too hot at the height of the summer. This could possibly be resolved by putting up a pergola. As part of any house project there are often servicesSTORYBOARD such as oil, water and a r ctohgo i t in. e c Try t s to have drainage that need a plan oft. what you want to do outside 07896 223 773 before the build starts. That way you e. storyboardarchitects@gmail.com www.storyboardarchitects.co.uk can planw.where the services are going to a. 24 Langton Close,Winchester, go. For example oil tanks or manhole Hampshire, SO22 6RJ covers need to be suitably placed Project where they canAddress: be disguised with a 38 Ashfield Road, Andover, recessedHampshire, cover, so avoiding them being SP10 3PE randomly placed across your lawn." Client: Any renovation or restructure of a Mr and Mrs Leigh home is daunting but nevertheless an excitingDrawing: prospect. It is probably worth Proposed Plans and Elevations the upheaval, financial outlay and end Date: 15/05/18 result. Scale: 1:100



If designed sympathetically oposedextended. Rear Elevation

by a good architect the planners will be very keen to see how the property has developed through the ages; hence a modern oak and glass extension may be achieved in some cases on a property several hundred years old. When extending it is also vitally important to consider the size of the garden or grounds as it is prudent not to end up with too big a property on too small a plot. A detached cottage or bungalow in a poor state of repair

may also offer an excellent site to build a new country house, but these opportunities can be as rare as Hen’s teeth and highly sought after when they come to market." Surprisingly many homeowners forget to consider the outside space and how an extension might effect your garden usage. Fi Boyle Landscape Garden Deisgner adds, "If you are planning on extending or renovating your home do not forget about the garden. The garden is an

Drawing No.




For more advise consider contacting: acumenmortgages.co.uk ruralview.co.uk © Storyboard Architects Ltd 2018 jacksonstops.co.uk fiboylegardendeisgn.com


Advertisement Feature

Meet the Expert To have an agent or not? "Having an agent undoubtedly provides advice, experience and strategy for the sale or purchase of what is quite possibly someone's biggest asset. We negotiate these sales on a daily basis to ensure we get the best possible results for our clients." Town or country abode? "Many people have dreams of escaping to the countryside but some are more of a 'town mouse' than they think and don't wish to be too remote. It's important to look for transport links, access to nearby shops, quality schools and ideally a good pub which will only enhance community living." What to do if you are thinking of putting your house on the market? "First impressions do count! Other than keeping on top of paintwork and having a tidy garden why not also ask your best friend, who would be brutally honest, if they would change anything by perhaps removing photos or decluttering. A buyer wants to imagine themselves living in the space, so removing

Tips on the property market from Anthony Pears, Director of Jackson-Stops Estate Agents, Sherborne yourself from the property on viewings may also help." How could you add value to a house? "Hiring an architect or planning consultant can be a good idea, just to see the possible potential for the property, its land or outbuildings. If you can get planning permission for something then great, but whatever you do, avoid if you can getting planning rejected as this will serve only to remove the 'hope value' and possibly devalue your asset." Does area matter? "There is a definite rise in popularity for the West Country, with more nationally renowned destinations opening such as The Newt, No.1 Bruton and the proposed Paddock Project in Sherborne. Combined with the natural beauty of the countryside and a plethora of world class schools it is clear to see what the fuss is about." What to look for in a period property? "Look for beamed ceilings, ornate fireplaces, flagstone or wood flooring. Original features give the property it's identity. Owning a period property, particularly if listed, is a privilege as you have the honour of becoming a custodian of a very unique piece of history" For further information please telephone or email:  01935 810141 sherborne@jackson-stops.co.uk



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IDEAS Animal Magic


ooking for bedroom décor inspiration? Why not go all out ‘animal’ and let your children’s imaginations run wild!

 Zoe the Zebra Storage Bookcase £124 redcandy.co.uk  Steiff Riding Animals Leo Riding Lion £499 steiff.com  Raj the Tiger £70 bobbyrabbit.co.uk  Kids Penguin Storage Basket £110 beaumonde.co.uk  Animal Nesting Dolls £20 retrokids.com  Sophie Allport Safari Bedding Set £25 sophieallport.com Cluster of four  Sophie Allport Elephant Knitted Statement Hot Water Bottle £25 sophieallport.com  Wild Folk Print Cushion £!5 wildfolk.uk.com  World Map Wall Decal £90 minifili.com  Wild Animals Wallpaper£89 limelace.co.uk

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Home-made Heaven


hat better way to start the Easter term with home made Hot Cross Buns in your child’s lunchbox. Here we have such an easy recipe from cookykids.co.uk and we've also picked out two of our best snack box busters!

Hot Cross Buns Ingredients  270g strong plain flour  7g sachet of yeast  40g caster sugar ¼ tsp salt  1 tsp mixed spice

Method:  100g sultanas 1tsp orange zet  40g margarine 150ml warm water

(30g plain flour, 30ml water, ½ tsp olive oil – mix into a paste and put into piping bag or plastic bag with end cut off) (1tbsp water, 1tbsp sugar – 30 seconds in microwave)

Put the flour and margarine into a bowl and rub together until it looks like crumbs. Add the yeast, salt, sugar, zest, mixed spice and sultanas and stir. Add the warm water and stir with a knife until it forms a dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for five minutes. Cut into 8 pieces, form into buns and put on the baking tray. Leave to rise for 45 minutes. Brush with milk then pipe on a cross shape. Bake for 12-15 mins, fan 180C/gas mark 6. When baked, brush on the glaze.

Lovely Lunch Box Busters



vailable in Amazing Apple or Perfect Pineapple, Nim’s Kids are the perfect lunchbox addition. Not only do they taste delicious, each bag of Nim’s contains 1 of your 5 a day and they’re totally safe for the school environment making these crisps a healthy lunch box filler. More than 80% of the fruit and veg used in Nim’s is grown in the UK and the majority is sourced within 40 miles of the factory.  Nim’s Kids are priced at £2.79 in Waitrose. nimsfruitcrisps.com

adeGood is said to be the first ever, totally allergen free granola snack bar that is a perfect lunchbox treat or snack for everyone! These delicious bars are free from most common allergens so you can pack your kids off to school safe in the knowledge that they’ll be eating a safe and tasty snack! Available from asda.com stores across the UK now, each box contains 6 x 24g bars and costs £2.79 RRP.



OPEN for Business YearMATTERS End MONEY


Tax Planning

he current tax year will end of 5 April 2020, so now is the time to ensure that you have made best use of tax allowances and exemptions. Most allowances cannot be carried forward to the next tax year (although a new allowance will often become available), so they will be lost if they are not used. If you have investments which you can sell at a profit, you can realise capital gains of up to the current annual exemption of £12,000 without paying tax. Alternatively, if you have loss-making investments you could sell the holdings to crystallise those losses which can then be carried forward and offset against gains in future years. The ISA limit for the current tax year is £20,000 per person. Holding investments in an ISA means that income and capital gains are not subject to tax, so it is advantageous to make these investments as soon as possible after the start of the tax year to maximise the tax savings. You can also contribute up to the full amount of your net relevant earnings into a personal pension, subject to an Annual Allowance of £40,000. Higher earners may have this annual limit restricted so that a lower amount qualifies for tax relief. Investments in a pension are not subject to income tax or capital gains tax, and there can also be inheritance tax benefits. And finally, the new tax year provides an opportunity to make a tax return resolution. If you are one of the five million taxpayers who leave filing their tax return until January each year, trying to complete this earlier gives many benefits; any refund is paid to you sooner, you have plenty of time to budget for a tax liability and, perhaps most importantly, you avoid the stress of the last minute rush to avoid a late filing penalty.

This is only general advice and should not be relied upon; for specific advice tailored to your personal circumstances please contact: Lee Keeling at Andrews and Palmer, The Square, Gillingham, SP8 4AR Tel: 01747 823147 andpal.co.uk Lee@andpal.co.uk



Jackson Stops open new estate agents office in Sherborne, Dorset. Mill on the Brue recently won Bronze for Active and Sporting and Gold for Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism at the South West Tourism Awards Congratulations to Dorset Cowshed who came runners up in the Baby Friendly Boltholes top ten rated properties of 2019. Local store FlyJesse now stock the amazing Kit and Kin in their shop in Sherborne. Renasci Design is a fab new store in Overton, Hampshire offering a bespoke collection of hand painted furniture and home decor. Go check them out!

Coming Soon


he team at “Teal’s” have broken ground on the site of the A303's first electric car-charging, singleuse plastic free, celebration of Somerset goodness. Comprising kitchen, food market, kid’s area and lifestyle store and conveniently located at the North/South Cadbury junction on the A303, this exciting new venture promises to gather the very best of Somerset and the wider west country under one roof. Opening in late Summer 2020, Teal’s will connect local communities to local producers, and be a vibrant new canvas on which to share the region with those passing through. Founders Nick and Ash Sinfield “We’re hugely excited to be bringing this new store to North Cadbury, it gives us a great platform on which to celebrate the abundance of brilliant local producers and makers, offer nearby towns and villages an alternative to supermarkets and in doing so make a meaningful contribution to the rural economy."

Fantastic Cotton Fox


ike many mumpreneurs, the beginnings of Cotton Fox Prints started to form whilst on maternity leave. After having her second son, Ros Moreton returned to work on a part-time basis but started to use her design degree (obtained some 10 years previously) on her days off, whilst her baby napped. Ros says: “I can’t believe I made it work. I screen printed all the fabric at home and would have to get a print run done in a one to two-hour window, never sure when my son would wake up.” Now full-time, Somerset kids brand Cotton Fox Prints continues to create colourful cushions, toy storage baskets and fun wall decorations from fabric Ros has designed herself. Also, in order to keep up with demand, Ros moved to get her designs digitally printed, which allows her to sketch more complex illustrations and her supplier uses eco-friendly print on premium cotton. “Moving to digital print has been fantastic for me. It means I can explore so many more colour and pattern options and offer customers a bespoke and personalised service.” comments Ros. Based in Taunton, Ros is currently working on her baby safe toys in time for Easter. With a lot of interest already it seems bunnies might be her new bestseller. To find out more about custom orders visit cottonfoxprints.co.uk

New Moves for Rural View

Pictured above are co-directors Charlie Graham, Charlie Stone and Mark Matthews


ural View was established by Charlie Graham in 2007 as a niche estate agency specialising in the sale and letting of country property. From its early roots it quickly established a reputation as an approachable local firm offering first class customer service, and with the addition of Mark Matthews in 2012, supplying further experience and integrity. Advances in technology have created a level playing field and over the years Rural View has been able to compete head on with the bigger players, selling and letting some of the most attractive property in the locality. 2020 has now seen further exciting changes for the business, the first being the addition of Charlie Stone to the team. Charlie is extremely well known for advising on and selling country houses in the area and he brings with him a broad range of experience gained over the last twenty years working as a Director for one of the largest property companies. He will be using these skills to build on what Rural View is already known for, but also to take them forward into new markets. Secondly, Rural View are relocating their office to the charming village of Tisbury with its vibrant high street, railway station and eclectic mix of both period and modern housing. In line with the move, the brand has also been given a fresh modern look. Charlie Stone said “ We are really excited to be moving into The Loft in Tisbury, not only will it give us an excellent location in which to showcase our clients properties and engage with buyers and sellers alike, but it will also significantly increase the profile of the brand. Rural View has always had a loyal following and we look forward to expanding our offering and pushing into new areas”. From their offices in Tisbury, Rural View will offer sales, lettings and management throughout Wiltshire, North Dorset, South Somerset and West Hampshire. If you are looking for sales or lettings advice in 2020 or you are a prospective buyer or tenant do get in touch as they would be delighted to help you. ruralview.co.uk

Happy 5th Birthday


ocal Mum, Lexy Browning is celebrating five whole years of bringing crafty sparkly joy to parties in Dorset. The owner of Made By Me Craft Parties hosted an exclusive craft party to say thank you to all her customers, friends and supporters. The party was a wonderful way to mark the big anniversary, and attendees included several local competition winners along with Lexy’s chief party testers, her children. Made By Me Craft Parties was set up by Lexy to run around her two young children and offers fun, magical, beautiful and personalised craft parties for children, teens and adults for any event or occasion. The parties are unique and tailored to customers’ requirements, so if someone wants a dinosaur party or a unicorn-themed hot air balloon making party, then Lexy makes it happen! Commenting on the anniversary, Lexy said: “It’s been a fantastic five years and I’d like to thank everyone for supporting me and helping to spread the craft party magic across Dorset. It’s great to have found a business that works around my two children, who inspire me daily with their creative party ideas. I am now looking forward to what the next five years will bring and launching lots more new party ideas over the coming months.” madebymeparties.co.uk Photography: Samantha Prewett Photography.


Advertisement Feature

‘Stroud Spirit’ Stroud School Achieves Highest Grade Obtainable in ISI Inspection.


troud School in Romsey has achieved ‘Excellent’ – the highest possible grading – in its latest Focused Compliance and Educational Quality Inspection report from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). The top grading was achieved in both academic achievement and personal development, and was recognised as such from Nursery to Year 8. The ISI is the Ofsted equivalent for independent schools, approved by the Department for Education. Stroud is an exciting preparatory school where boys and girls aged 3 to 13 years old thrive in its unique family environment. This was highlighted clearly in the report where it commented that Stroud pupils “have a strong moral compass: their behaviour is exemplary. Pupils are very confident and reflective learners due to the embedding of the ‘Stroud Spirit’ across all areas of school life.” Stroud is keen to expose its pupils to as many different opportunities as possible. From language and culture days, to fantastic extra-curricular activities, all opportunities offered increase the children’s enjoyment and engagement. The school’s values: ‘Honesty, Respect, and Happiness’, underpins all activities at Stroud and the school sees these values reflected in its pupils’ behaviour every day. As a result, Stroud fosters a culture in which

its children have a genuine desire to achieve success and act as excellent ambassadors. Mr Worrall, Headmaster, commented: “Our pupils continue to impress and humble me. It is clear from the report that our sense of community, our core values of Honesty, Respect and Happiness, and the enabling of pupils’ academic and pastoral development are all operating at exceptionally high levels. It is a great platform upon which we can continue to build.” The next Open Day is Saturday 14 March, 10am-1pm. For more information or to arrange a visit, call 01794 513231 or email registrar@stroud-kes.org.uk or stroud-kes.org.uk



01747 852557




Village, primary, pre prep, private or state we want to know your school news, email: info@countrychild.co.uk

Opportunities for Life A word from Nick Folland Headmaster, Sherborne Prep School


uch is spoken today about the resilience of our youth. The pressures of imagery, social media, securing the highest grades, can all bring their own anxieties. At Sherborne Prep we talk a lot about the building of character, resilience and emotional wellbeing, and we believe a breadth of experience is crucial in developing strength of character. We currently run over 130 different extra-curricular activities each week, plus endless opportunities in music, performance on stage, sport and art with our dedicated Art Room always open and indeed, full. The capacity to know oneself and to know others develops from experience with people and learning from success and failures. During their journey with us, our pupils will inevitably experience successes, pressures, failures and a great sense of camaraderie, all helping to build a rounded citizen, altruistic in nature and, in line with our School motto - ‘Non nobis solum’ Not for ourselves alone. Children must be encouraged to try things, take risks, find their niche, realise they are not very good at certain things but potentially very good at others. They also need to celebrate other peoples’ success; a difficult skill for us all. I believe that offering a broad curriculum


is surely the key to this breadth of learning and should be at the forefront of our schooling. Our Saturday morning activity programme is voluntary for all our day pupils and yet 90% of the children attend every week to enjoy the fun and vast array of clubs on offer. From horse riding, to junk modelling, to photography and cooking, these are all fantastic learning opportunities for the children, not just in the skills they are building, but also in their awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses. Our week is a busy but enjoyable one, packed full of experience and learning as a preparation for the future. Our pupils move on to their senior schools with the core skills for learning and a set of experiences that ensure that they are well rounded individuals, with a strong understanding of their responsibilities in the wider world."

Players Pathway Pick

ix boys from All Hallows have been nominated for the Bath Rugby and Bristol Bears Developing Players Pathway. This is the first rung on the ladder of the professional rugby pathway and their nomination by Head of Games, Mr Emsley represents their excellent attitude, hard work and willingness to learn. "Rugby is a major sport here at All Hallows and as a school we emphasize the long-term benefits of good movement patterns, mental well-being and a rounded, positive approach to being healthy and fit alongside performing the best you can. We look forward to watching the boys' progress in rugby as they move onto their chosen senior schools in September"

Outstanding Ofsted


fsted praised the empathy, care and patience of the staff and in turn noted the respect, listening and good behaviour reciprocated by the children.The staff were commended for being excellent role models to the children and the pre-school environment was celebrated for being calm and happy, fun and varied.The forestry element to the pre-school and shared use of the primary school field next door provides great space for the children to learn outdoors and explore new skills. Chair Georgie Reid commented, “We are thrilled to have maintained the outstanding rating from Ofsted and we really do thank Lisa and her team of staff for all their hard work and dedication to the children!”

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Martial Arts

Country Child speaks to two martial arts academies and discovers the many hidden benefits to learning these disciplined arts.

Martial Arts is a fantastic pursuit for both adults and children. It is also well documented that Martial Arts has a positive effect on individuals suffering from the following challenges: • Poor confidence and self esteem • Lack of fitness • Lack of social skill development • Poor mental well being • Obesity • Lack of motivation, drive and will power • Victim of mental or physical abuse • Illness and injury recovery and rehabilitation • Living with mental health conditions to include Dyslexia, Dyspraxia ADD, ADHD,Autism and Aspergers


while developing skills in Martial Arts. As children get older classes should meet age specific needs, develop core skills and work on building a ‘Black Belt Attitude’ both in and out of the dojo. It is fascinating how many positive comments are received from parents about how their child is the only one in their class who is carrying their own school bag instead of their parents or how their children have been praised at school for supporting other, less confident children as a result of conversations, activities and tasks in their Martial Arts class. Children grow and become more physically capable and health and fitness are further developed as children learn how to fine tune and enhance their motor skills whilst gaining understanding of their Martial Arts movements."

As Martial Arts coaches, on any given week we have the privilege of hearing the most exciting thing about a four-year-olds day, listening about university options or college timetables with teenagers, helping children and young adults with emotional issues. In any given day we have the chance to develop skills that far exceed those of kicking and punching.We have talks about manners, about supporting communities.We teach children how to stay safe, about stranger danger and give them techniques to deal with getting lost, being approached by strangers or how to effectively deal with the bully in the playground.We develop physical skills, social skills, discipline and confidence while ensuring our members have fun, make friends and develop physically, emotionally and socially.


andi Miles of Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy explains, "Martial arts classes are not about creating a mini Bruce Lee, they are about supporting children to become healthy, well rounded individuals with self-discipline and respect for others in a fun and supportive environment, while learning and developing the physical and intellectual skills involved. Common feedback is not that ‘Freddie’ can do a tremendous Kata or roundhouse kick, it is that ‘Freddie’ has increased in confidence or that ’Sarah’ has had a massive improvement with her behaviour. Martial Arts classes are not about creating fighters, they are about creating well rounded members of society who can defend themselves and others if need be. From families who want their child off the Xbox to those who regularly attend squad sessions and competitions, there is an ongoing enhancement to life that comes about as a result of taking part in Martial Arts classes. Classes for children of all ages (the grown-ups too) should be developed to bring out the best in each age group. ‘One size fits all’ doesn’t work in life or in martial arts. In a good club, younger children have structured sessions that develop core areas such as balance, coordination, discipline, fitness, team work, memory, focus and control. These are embedded within games and focussed activities and often give the children a take home thought, action or activity. Mat chats look at how to show manners, stay safe, help parents or be a good friend and activities can include things like creating a list of five good deeds you have done to share with the class. Successes will be celebrated and coaches should support positive development all


atalie Bryden from Martial Art World adds "Martial Art classes for children are a great way to build up fitness, strength, and stamina. They also promote discipline, confidence, and improved concentration; contributing hugely to a child’s ability to focus in school and socialise with not just their peers but all age groups. Martial Arts also emphasise the importance of perseverance and a non-quitting attitude. It’s essential for children to see how important it is to never to give up, even when things might be tough. Martial arts provide training for both the mind AND the body. For Martial Art World’s juniors, the gradings are a great way to improve performance with school examinations. As they become successful after grading for their new belts, they then gain higher self-

Arts whilst moving up the grading system. Coaching and welfare teams should have an open-door policy for anyone who needs support in a safe environment to discuss worries and needs. Teenagers are difficult to engage, especially with access to handheld or console devices but with Martial Arts teenagers have fun and use their bodies. Good classes are designed as innovative, friendly, lively and challenging, offering a wide range of skills from punching to flying kicks. Alongside the skills being developed socially and emotionally, there should now be more in-depth knowledge about their art and more concentrated training needed while working towards a first Black Belt. The support for students trying to achieve their black belt from coaches esteem and become more comfortable and confident within a pressured environment. It also provides them with selfbelief, firmly instilling the idea that they can achieve most things that they put their mind to, and that hard work always brings a harvest of rewards. Confident children become magnets for their peers, attracting better friends as they become more popular. For adults, this can translate into work promotions, enhanced team ethics or better group affinity with peer groups. This is because all students become conditioned to regular testing. They become more confident in their own ability to learn and step outside their comfort zone to be tested, and to be accepted within their “own society”. In addition, they realise that they can face their fears and overcome them, which in turn will provide huge benefits in all other areas of their lives." martialartoworld.com

and peers should be second to none. Much greater physical and technical knowledge is needed now. As the growing physical skills required increase so should the knowledge on aspects such as: nutrition, skill acquisition, physiology, strength and conditioning and how to deal with stress and anxiety. Good Martial Arts classes deal with bullying, emotion management and mental health. Any good Martial Arts club teaches kicking and punching but they also help support healthy development in young people on physical, intellectual, social and emotional levels. Classes should be fun and engaging and give children a chance to grow, develop and achieve in a safe and supportive environment." basingstokekarate.com

Martial Art World prides itself on the fact that it offers all of its students and their families a complete mental health and fitness solution. MAW recognises that the student lies at the heart of everything that we offer and do. Many families and individuals continue their journey with us to black belt and beyond, with a number of students that have been training with us for over two decades.We have professional male and female instructors and onsite qualified examiners which make MAW unique in its outlook to our local community.

"Now at a deeper, technical level, training involves developing communication and group work skills, helping growth alongside friends and developing emotional and social skills that will stand them in good stead for the upcoming preteen and teenage years. Key areas for development at this age should include: agility, technique, courage, intensity, flexibility, perseverance, speed, concentration, stamina and self-confidence and coaches should be working with children to foster good manners, correct etiquette, team working and a strong work ethic, as well as working with them on antibullying and self-protection on both physical and emotional levels. Older children work on more physically challenging Martial




Is homework a help or a hindrance? Primary school teacher Aimee Strongman explains...

omework or home learning is always a topic for discussion between schools and parents. Schools want parents to do more to support their children at home following on from the day or week’s learning, and the parents usually think that there is too much homework to be done. So, is there a balance to be had? Are schools giving children too much work to take home or are parents too busy? According to the international Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and various education research partners, 15-year-olds in Shanghai spend the most amount of time on homework, working on average 13.8 hours a week. Students in Finland spend just 2.8 hours on homework per week, but still mange to perform well on academic tests, despite the correlation between success and time spent on homework. While there is no such formal evidence to prove the benefits of homework, there are certainly some arguments for it. Home learning does allow students and teachers to work more closely together. They can discuss their assignments or any problems they may have with their teacher or classmates, which in turn encourages discussion about learning as well as building on independence and resilience Homework can also bring families

closer together by allocating time that could otherwise not exist in a busy household or with working parents. It provides a dedicated time to learn and allows for communications to be had as well as allowing parents to be present in their learning and see what topics are being studied within the classroom. The action of completing homework allows topics covered in class to be revisited, therefore building on prior knowledge and reaffirming the child’s understanding. However, this all depends on the homelife a child has and indeed whether they have a supportive family. For older children, home-learning can also help harness a sense of responsibility and skills such as working towards deadlines needed for later in their academic journey. It offers independence and a chance to share their research, information and understanding with their peers and tutors, making it part of a more holistic approach to teaching and learning. The pressure on children today is heavy and the prospect of young children having to complete homework every night is quite daunting not to mention difficult when trying to fit it in between sports practice and dinner. Children also need their rest, and this is needed to refresh not only their minds but bodies too; a time for mindfulness and space away from the hubbub of

school and timetabled routine. The other thing to take into consideration is that time spent working at a desk greatly reduces the amount of time that children could be spending with their families. It is important in our digital age that ‘family time’ be an imperative activity for children growing up. Too much time focussed on work can cause conflict between parents and their offspring, causing a battle of wills and resistance from both parties, which is not conducive to forming a positive light on learning. There can be too much work and pressure put on students, which can lead to cheating as they attempt to complete assignments by any means possible, including copying from other students. There is no benefit to this, and the aim of homework has been lost. Teachers can struggle to find time to mark assignments and deliver feedback in a constructive and effective way due to the pressures of the working day and they are simply not given the time, so when feedback is finally received it could be out of date as the topic could have finished. Ultimately, if homework is to work in a way that is intended to support a child’s learning, schools need to readdress how they talk about it not only with the students but with parents as well.

Photography: Millie Pilkington


12 July to 8 August 2020

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Profile for Jo Leigh

Country Child - Spring 2020