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Christmas 2019 - Issue 17

The Tinsel Issue

What does Christmas mean to you? Yes, it’s stressful, busy, and not to mention expensive. But, for me, Christmas is about family, love, fun and lots and lots of food.

pg. 16 pg. 12

As my kids grow older, it seems the magic of Christmas has dulled a bit and I feel it’s even more important now to show them how meaningful spending time with loved ones is, but also how the act of giving is so much more special than the receiving of gifts. This issue gives so many present ideas for your children. There’s unisex, ethical, Christmassy gifts and stocking fillers. Plus under £50 and over £50 gift ideas. There’s also a section for mama too so you can start hinting to your loved ones! As well as all of this, we chat to Jo Franks, owner of interiors store, Love Frankie and discuss her move from city to country, opening her first bricks and mortar store and buying and renovating a pub! We also feature the wonderful kids store, Small Stuff and also showcase an amazing selection of womens fashion to take you through Christmas day from morning, noon and night. We have an inspiring article by Deputy

pg. 66

pg. 50

headteacher Becky Hayes about how our current education system is failing young kids and questions why society insists on putting labels on children with special educational needs. Phew! There’s a lot to get your teeth into and most importantly, there’s lots to put on your Christmas shopping list. As always, the products are all clickable so you can go straight to the store and buy. Just make sure there’s no little eyes peeping over your shoulders! I hope you love this issue as much as I do. Let the magic begin! Happy Shopping!

Anna Cascarina, Editor

pg. 32

Pink metallic top and skirt, Velveteen. Sparkly leggings, Tutu Du Monde Opposite: Dress by Noe & Zoe


CONTENTS 6 Hotlist

The hottest brands right now!

12 Christmassy gifts 14 Stocking Fillers 16 Getting ready for Christmas

We hit the salon to get ready for the festive season

28 Gifts for girls 30 Gifts for boys

On the cover

32 Small Stuff We explore this gorgeous online

kids store

34 Unisex gifts 36 Ethical gifts 39 10 of the best

50 Love Frankie We chat to interiors queen Jo

Franks about her amazing store and move to the country

56 Mama Flea Goodies to treat your self this Christmas

Our pick of the 10 best winter coats

59 Morning, noon & night

40 Baby gifts

The cutest baby gifts

42 Under ÂŁ50 44 Over ÂŁ50 46 Space Invaders

Explore the cosmos with our space inspired goodies

We give you a selection of gorgeous things to wear for every part of Christmas day.

66 Education

Education leader, Becky Hayes gives a passionate account of how schools are failing our children

72 Stockists Links to all the Little Flea brands

Cover shot by Alexa Loy. Styling by Anna Cascarina. Model wears top from





Fle a



Dinki Human Dinki Human is gender-neutral, organic and ethically manufactured kidswear brand. Ester designs all the prints in her home studio on the South Coast of the UK. She works closely with a small team of pattern cutters to ensure great fit and comfort. Garments are designed to last with design features like turn up cuffs to lengthen a pair of leggings.


Nutmeg Wall Art Nutmeg’s Snowflake wall stickers (right) have that instant wow factor, adding a touch of glamour to your walls, windows and mirrors. Update your Christmas decorations this year with this modern festive addition. These star garland stickers (above) will also create a magical Christmas window feature and also look fabulous on walls and doors too. Available in a range of 32 colour combinations to suit your home decor. Let the Christmas festivities begin.

Milk Tops Milk Tops is for women post-pregnancy, during breastfeeding and beyond. The mission is to challenge the stereotype of the one size fits all “mum category”. The creators, Clare & Lucy were determined to stop mothers being pigeonholed, so they created a range of well designed pieces that make mums feel like the boss they are! The result is quality garments that are functional and work in a particular way – Style is everything, but so is practicality. Have a look at their amazing range of breastfeeding tops and dresses.


Small Stories Small Stories is a unique collection of timeless, ethically produced, artistically inspired clothing for little ones aged 0-6. Every piece in the collection features exclusive prints that are designed in the UK. At the heart of their distinctive approach is the brush-painted style technique used by their artists, lending a ‘painterly’, textural quality to the fabric. Fun, inspiring and distinctive, yet comfortable and practical – Small Stories is the perfect attire for that great adventure story called childhood!

Fin & Zee Fin+Zee is a London based kidswear brand. They are passionate about designer garments that have longevity. They design with curiosity because they want to encourage both parent and child to create a unique style. All their garments are made by seamstresses in London. They work closely with their pattern cutter to make the designs come to life. Little Flea is in love!

Nellie Quats Part of an exclusive collaboration with influencer and style inspiration Courtney Adamo. The capsule collection was carefully curated with timeless shapes and beautiful fabric, that easily pair for sibling twinning. They’re easy-wear, adjustable pieces that grow with your child, translate easily from season to season and are designed to be wardrobe staples.


Bababou At Bababou, their design philosophy is to produce products that have a longer use compared to the typical nursery products – being kinder to the environment. The Hugg® Organic, Sustainable, Co-sleeping Crib allows for safe sleeping, giving baby their own crib space. However, when they grow out of it, the Hugg Crib can also be used as a stylish mid-century style desk and bench for the playroom or nursery.

Bobo Choses Bobo Choses’ growing-young collection is designed for kids and adults who appreciate creativity and love to have fun! We love the range of knitwear in this collection.




Shark jumper, £34.95 Dapper Baby

Advent calender, £62.95 Scandiborn

Christmas pj’s, £24 Dapper Baby

Christmas book, £12.99 Olive Loves Alfie

Elf set, £7.95 Cotton Twist

Nutcracker advent, £12.50 minifili

Gift bag, £13.95 Scandiborn

Round tree blanket, £39.95 Scandiborn 12

Hairclips, £6 Rockahula

Noel decoration, £17.95 Cotton Twist


Advent calender, £12.95 Scandiborn

Stocking, £29.95 Scandiborn

Christmas pud hat, £29 Lala & Bea

Christmas book, £12.99 Olive Loves Alfie

Dress, £ Tutu Du Monde Advent calender, £49.95 Scandiborn

Tree decorations kit, £16.95 Cotton Twist

Robin Stencils, £5.75 Nutmeg wall Art

Christmas tree wall decoration, £32 Nutmeg wall art 13

Strong girls club badge, £2.50 Mutha.Hood

Colour pencils, £8 Ottie & the Bea

Story tins, £12.95 Cotton Twist

Swag bag, £28 Scamp & Dude 14

Hairclips, £5 Rockahula

Water bottle, £18 minifili

Raincloud, £11 Ottie & the Bea

Hatley hairclip, £3.25 Dapper baby

Marbles, €25 Bobo Choses

Patches, €16 Bobo Choses

Socks, €12 Sproet & Sprout

Stocking Fillers

Glow in the dark ball, £4.99 Olive Loves Alfie

Colouring book, £9.99 Olive Loves Alfie

Elf tights, £14.50 Dapper Baby

Tooth tin, £2.50 Ottie & the Bea

Hairbands, £6.50 Rockahula

Muslin, £10 Dinki Human

Wooden car, £19 Beyond the Stork

Puzzle, £10 Beyond the Stork

Book, €18 Bobo Choses

Pencil case, £17.50 minifili

Origmi planes, £9.99 Olive Loves Alfie 15

Photography by Alexa Loy Art direction and styling by Anna Cascarina


Finlay wears stone ong sleeve tee, Dotty Dungarees. Knitted dungarees, Fub at Olive Loves Alfie. Boots, Angulus at Dapper Baby. Florence wears stripe tee, The Natty. Mustard dress, Nellie Quats. Pink socks, M&S. floral shoes, Young Soles. Chantae wears. Cherries dress, Mini Rodini at Dapper Baby. Socks, M&S. Velvet floral boots, Young Soles. Hair bow, stylists own.


Florence wears stars and stripes mix pattern dress, Noe & Zoe


Finlay wears Christmas moose jumper, Hatley at Dapper Baby. Green dungarees, Dotty Dungarees. Chantae wears floral puff sleeve top, Velveteen. Check knitted dingaree dress, Knit Planet


Finlay wears moon and stars shirt and dungarees, Fin & Zee. Brown boots, Angulus at Dapper Baby. Florence wears white linen check dress and maroon tights, Nellie Quats. Shoes, Young Soles


Chantae wears pink metallic top and skirt, Velveteen. Sparkly leggings, Tutu Du Monde 21

Florence wears Pink embroidered top, Apolina at Olive Loves Alfie. Pink knitted collar, Knit Planet


Finlay wears Black suit and fairisle jumper, Velveteen. Flat cap, River Island.



Shot on location at Farley’s Hair Emporium, Hitchin.

Florence: Ponies dress, Tutu Du Monde. Chantae: White top, Dotty Dungarees. Knitted dress, Knit Planet. Finlay: White shirt and shorts, The Natty. All boots, Dr Martens at Dapper Baby



Ponchlin Kids is a matching, stylish fashion accessory for little ones allowing them freedom to explore their surroundings, protect their clothes all while looking smart.


www.ponchlin.com | ď…­ /ponchlin

Ponchlin is a stylish, multifunctional, scarf for all mums. Ponchlin helps you reclaim your new life and identity as a mum by giving you the confidence to look great, feed in public and get back out there whilst doubling up as a beautiful, stylish scarf.

Book, £13.99 Muthahood

Tutu, €83 Tutu du Monde

Book, £6.99 Lala & Bea

Book, £9.99 Olive Loves Alfie

Ruffle top, €39.98 Noe & Zoe

Bag, £31 Velveteen

Collar, £26 Knit Planet

Tent, £32 Beyond the Stork 28

Red jumper, £85.40 Velveteen

Gifts for Girls

Hairband, £12 Rockahula

Veja trainers, £62 Olive Loves Alfie

Scarf, €49 Bobo Choses

Dress, £19.99 Animal Ambition

Nightlight, £39 Ottie & the Bea

Flamingo scarf, £32 Ottie & the Bea

Red dress, £39 and top, £18 Dotty Dungarees Boots, £59.95 Dapper Baby

Future tee, £27.17 Velveteen

Stripe skirt, £17.50 Under A Star

Hat, £29 Knit Planet 29

Transporter, £24.95 Small Stuff

Sweatshirt, £25 Cocoon Child

Hat, £32 Knit Planet

Dungarees shorts, £55 Fin & Zee

Boots, £55 Olive Loves Alfie 30

All in one, £42.50 Dapper Baby

Croc scarf, £32 Ottie & the Bea

Gifts for Boys

Quilted top, £58 Piupia

Jumper, £93.17 Velveteen

Trapper hat, £26 Olive Loves Alfie

Pack of 3 pants €39 Bobo Choses

Dungarees, £42 Dotty Dungarees

Scooter, £94.95 Beyond the Stork

Wooden plane, £32 Small Stuff

Yoof sweat, £24.95 Lella

Fleece, €80 Sometime Soon 31

Small Stuff We discover the gorgeous store and online shop Small Stuff. Full of beautiful sustainable kids toys and interiors, this kids store is one with a conscience.

Written by Donna Tweedale.


limate change and the effects of single use plastics has been at the forefront of the news of late. Thanks to the firm voices of Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg our society is getting a long overdue wake up call. We as households have


a responsibility to educate ourselves as to what we can do, and big retailers need to up their game to enable real change to happen. But it seems that leading the charge and showing the big boys how it’s done are the smaller independents.

as a finalist for Shop Indie UK’s ‘Best Small Shops’ award. What an incredible achievement. This recognition of how hard Hellen works and the presence Small Stuff has on the high street makes the store a great advocate for shopping independent, particularly in the build up to Christmas.

Hellen is the owner of Small Stuff. A beautifully curated children’s lifestyle store. Hellen works tirelessly to source fun lifestyle products that ignite the imagination with a design led focus to enable you to appreciate their aesthetic too. Hellen doesn’t stop there, She takes it further to ensure that those products are eco conscious from all angles. Their manufacturing processes, packaging all taken into consideration to ensure all products are sustainable, It is seriously impressive and so hugely important. Being eco friendly isn’t a buzz word or to be on trend for Hellen, this is deep rooted to what she believes in and her passion and

knowledge on the subject is incredible. This passion is clearly evident through the products displayed at Small Stuff, from toothbrushes to the stunning organic cotton swaddle blankets for newborns. Every piece, however small is a considered choice. It has been a tough time for the high street recently. Particularly for small physical stores, with so much drifting over to online Small Stuff is a great example of how our high streets can continue to thrive. Not just as a physical store, but as being part of the community. Having been open less than a year Small Stuff has won business awards locally and has been announced

With a clean, easy to navigate website you can be inspired by products by age, gift guides or by room of your home making the online shopping experience as personal and efficient as possible, which is great if Sheffield is too far to visit in store. You can also read through Hellen’s blog and get a deeper insight into the people behind the brands that continue to inspire the ethos of what Small Stuff stands for. That level of support and taking the time to share, educate and really champion authors, makers that are creating these pieces really connects you to the products that your child is growing up with, learning from. Making a difference and contributing to change. Visit Small Stuff over at smallstuff. co.uk or insta @smallstuff_uk


Colour changing wellies, £20 Beyond the Stork

Stripe top, £18 and dungarees, £42 Dotty Dungarees

Bib scarf, £15 minifili

Stephen Hawking book, £9.99 Olive Loves Alfie Backpack, £70 Scamp & Dude


Bobble hat, £27 Dapper Baby

Hat, €30 and Fur gilet, €45 Sproet & Sprout

Rainmaker, £9.99 Small Stuff


Snood, £29 Knit Planet Furry trousers, £40 Indikidual

Shrimp jumper, £32 Koopsen

Yellow backpack, €69 Bobo Choses

Fur jacket, £155 Olive Loves Alfie

Sweatshirt, €55 Sometime Soon

Arm warmers, £22 Knit Planet Gloves, £12 Rockahula Kids

Fur belt €32 Bobo Choses

Pyjamas, £30 The Bright Company

Stripe shirt, £60 Fin & Zee 35

Black booties, £52 Amy & Ivor

PJ’s, £36 Lala & Bea

Polar Bear top, £19.90 Dapper Baby


Blanket, £35 Little Green Radicals

Stroller, €120 Plan Toys

Knitted toy, £26 Loubilou


Baby shoes, £22 Olive Loves Alfie

Telescope, £20 Eden Project

Mechanics car, €300 Plan Toys

Free Range romper, £21 Little Green Radicals

Blanket, £40 Lala & Bea

Bonnet, £30 Olive Loves Alfie


10 of the Best


€120 Sproet & Sprout



£155 Dapper Baby


€180 Bobo Choses

€160 Bobo Choses

Keep warm in our pick of the best winter coats 6.

5. €99.97 Noe & Zoe


£54 Dapper Baby

£151.40 Velveteen


£115 Olive Loves Alfie


€170 Sometime Soon


£105 Olive Loves Alfie 39

Check all in one, £56 Knit Planet

Knited suit, £77.64 Velveteen

Croc rattle, £27 minifili

Flower romper, £23.50 Dapper Baby 40

Romper, £33 Om Baby

Town print romper, £28 Dinki Human

Trainers, £37 Scamp & Dude

Tiger dungarees, €32 Sproet & Sprout


Teether, £19.99 Olive Loves Alfie

Play all day romper, £29 The Natty

Guinea pig romper, £59 Dapper Baby

Chameleon hat, €18 Sproet & Sprout

Star dungarees, €39.98 Noe & Zoe

Hot dog romper, £24 Indikidual

Baby bloomers, £30 Nellie Quats

Set of socks, £29.50 Olive Loves Alfie 41

Octopus toy, £18 Beyond the Stork

Wooden safari, £24 Beyond the Stork

Unicorn music box, £21.99 Olive Loves Alfie 42

Owl pyjamas, £38 The Bright Company

Stacking toy, £26 minifili

Stacking toy, £34 Olive Loves Alfie

Play & Go playmat & storage, £29.99 Beyond the Stork

Play typewriter, £35 Dinki Human

Under £50

Sea scene, £15.95 Cotton Twist

Totem, £39.50 minifili

Weather station, £48 Ottie and the Bea

Bunny in a bag, £24 minifili

Booties, £10 Animal Ambition

Creativity tee, £20 The Faraway Gang

Mouse spa, £24.90 Ottie and the Bea

Edinburgh book, £10.99 Beyond the Stork 43

Hugg crib, €399 Bababou

Mammoth rocking toy, £119.95 Scandiborn

Silver bike, £139 For the Love of Mum 44

Miffy light, £65 Olive Loves Alfie

Large Panda toy, £62.90 Ottie and the Bea

Sleepover bundle, £59 Lala & Bea

Building blocks, £65.90 Beyond the Stork

Play cot, £102 minifili

Over £50

Locker, £129 Southwood Living

Bed canopy, £99.95 Scandiiborn

Alphabet blocks, £155 Ottie and the Bea

Sleeping bag, £199.99 Bundle Beds

Dolls house, £235 Ottie and the Bea

Noahs Ark, £57 minifili 45

Space boots, €90 Bobo Choses Spacesuit, £105 Olive Loves Alfie

Space socks, £15.53 Velveteen

Space top, £26.99 Olive Loves Alfie

Space pants, £13 Dapper Baby

Cosmic club sweater, €74.98 Noe & Zoe

Space dress, €82 Bobo Choses

Tights, £14.50 Dapper Baby

Cosmos colouring poster, £10 Ottie and the Bea

Space dress, £26 Dapper Baby

Rocket backpack, £34.95 Dapper Baby

Rocket print, £15 Sarah Lovell Art 47



Create Play Learn

Pursuit of Adventure Create, Play, Learn

Worlds Best Playhouse www.pursuitofadventure.co.uk 49

Love Frankie


Donna Tweedale chats to Johanna Franks from Love Frankie all about her amazing interiors store in Devon, how she ended up buying a pub and what she’s planning for Christmas this year. Since you launched Love Frankie 10 years ago there has been a surge in appreciation for interiors, With the machine that is social media and Pinterest so accessible to so readily offer inspiration it’s been an exciting time. Do you think , much like the fashion industry has seen a shift people are seeking out more original statements for their home and shopping with more of an awareness to where these come from? Due to the incredible surge of social media platforms people spend more time on their phone. Their minds, eyes and heads are constantly drip fed exciting visuals of what you can do with your home. Yep, I certainly do believe that interior design and homewares have taken on an element of the fashion industry, but unlike fashion, I don’t think interior styles are quite so throw away. I think people want their homes to be exciting and unique and with so many colour palettes and exciting brands to choose from it has become an awesome industry to be involved in. I will always design lampshades and lighting that inspire me, generally full of colour and the kookier the better. I also apply those principles when I am sourcing products for my store. I really do believe that people like to make conscious decisions about how they shop these days, thankfully there are lots of my lovely customers who choose independents over the big boys. 51

When it comes to our home , with the children we want to stay in more, slowing down at the weekends and enjoy the space around us. We want our home to reflect who we are as people and as a family but still have fun with it. Seeing pieces you’ve sourced go on to be enjoyed by your customers in their homes must give you a huge amount of satisfaction. Do you have a particular favourite that feels


bitter sweet to see go off to pastures new? There are none of my designs that I create, or pieces I buy in that I am sad to see go! Every piece that leaves the studio makes me do a happy dance! Any products or designs that i really love (which is obvs all of them!) I just take home! My house is a total reflection of my shop and my online branding and style.

And now you have a new project to get stuck into. A

pub no less. Honestly, I’m in awe of your bravery, in the past few years you’ve opened a store, moved from London to Devon and bought a pub, that you’re refurbishing. I’ve seen your Instagram posts @thegeorgedevon it looks incredible. Huge congratulations. I bet you just could not wait to get your mitts on those light fittings! Tell us about it, was a pub always a part of the plan?

So our original idea was to sell up in London and buy a property with lots of land so we could start a boutique glamping business. Sadly our timing was off and we were ready to sell just when the BRexit bullshit kicked off! We still haven’t sold in London and just didn’t have the funds for such a big project. We have been renting and waiting for something to come up that we could afford. My other half has always run pubs so The George was a no brainier for us, the pub has great bones and the locals are amazing. We are taking it one room at a time and working on a really tight budget but loving the process.

What an adventure for you as a family. How are the kids loving life at the coast? I have never seen the kids happier, they spend their weekend covered in mud and searching for bugs/ slow worms/toads outside. The joy of being able to let them run free in the fields that surround us is awesome. Also, being able to pick them up from school and be on the beach by 5pm for a surf, swim and a BBQ is really living the dream...don’t hate me!!!

And as the pre Christmas pace picks up , which I’m sure for the shop ,and the pub is a busy time to put it mildly, what are guys planning for the festive period?

The run up to Christmas is head down and get it sorted. This year will be the busiest one yet so I literally make no social plans at all, just get shit done! Once all our orders are sent out I can relax, we will be spending Christmas at the pub with my brother, sister in law and kids and then New Year’s Day the four of us are hitting the slopes for a well earned break and some much needed family time.

• Have a look at Love Frankie’s gorgeous lighting and interiors over on Instagram @lovefrankiedotcom or online at lovefrankie.com




Candle, £14 Beyond the Stork Bath oil, £32 Olive Loves Alfie

Breastfeeding tee, £59 Milk Tops

Gift set, £125 no+mi

Changing bag, £69 Beyond the Stork 56

Jumper knitting kit, €99 Bobo Choses

Selfheating eye mask, £15 Space Masks

Changing bag, £140 Tiba & Marl

Mama Flea

Strong Girls Club sweat, £33 Mutha.hood

Slipper boots, £80 Olive Loves Alfie Weekend bag, £49 Beyond the Stork

Laundry hoodie, £56 Koopsen

Bandwagon tee, £28 Koopsen

Sweatshirt, £50 Scamp & Dude

Tee, £45 For the Love of Mum

Pyjama set, £48 The Bright Company 57


Pineapple vest £50 and shorts, £50 Dempsey & Dempsey


Struggling to know what to wear Christmas morning through to night? Then we’ve got you covered. From silk pyjamas to quilted robes and sheepskin slippers that will keep you cosy while opening your stocking. To comfy dresses and sparkly skirts for eating your Christmas pud and playing silly games. To sequin dresses and sumptuous velvet to get the party started. Make sure all your Christmas dreams come true with our selection of morning, noon and night outfits!


Yolke There’s nothing better than a new pair of PJ’s to make you feel extra special on Christmas morning. For a touch of luxury, these silk sun print pyjamas with matching eye mask from Yolke are all you need to make all your wishes come true! Silk Pj’s, £365 and eye mask, £30 Yolke

Buffalo plaid jacket, £86 Warehouse

Toothbrush set, £6,. Foot cream, £13 & hand cream, £13 Southwood Living Body lotion, £17 Southwood living

Southwood Living

Vegan leather skinnies, £35 Manifesto Woman


If you have family staying for Christmas, then create a haven for them with a cute set of toothbrushes, regenerating body lotion, nourishing hand cream and delicious foot cream by Meraki from Southwood Living. With all that over indulging, there’s nothing better than a bit of pampering before bed.

Dempsey & Dempsey

Eye mask, £15 Dempsey & Dempsey

If you love prints then you’ll love Dempsey & Dempsey. Selling adults and kids pj’s, robes, slippers and everything else to make your Christmas morning as cosy as can be! We love this quilted robe, jaguar print pj set and tiger eye mask.

£36 The White Company.

Robe (above) £310 & Pj’s (right), £85 Dempsey & Dempsey

The White Co. The best feeling after a hard day at work is sinking your feet into a beautiful pair of cashmere socks. These ones are so soft. Ask Santa for some in your stocking! Pj’s (left & below) both £85 Yawn

Yawn These pj’s are so special as each print is hand drawn with hidden details to find in your own time. The pj’s have extra deep pockets so you can hide those Christmas chocolates all to yourself!

£48 Olive Loves Alfie

Olive Loves Alfie For ultimate in Christmas morning comfort, these artisan made sheepskin mules are just what you need. The suede soles are moulded by hand and hand-stitched to the soft sheepskin uppers. A great Christmas gift 61

Loungewear There’s something quite indulgent about wearing cashmere or beautifully soft and cosy wool. A big soft cardigan wrapped around you, like this limited edition one by Zara, can feel like a giant squishy hug. Equally a matching lounge suit can be the comfiest attire and doesn’t happy to look scruffy. This cashmere one by The White Company is as luxurious as they come and is perfect for playing all the games on Xmas day.

Left, cardigan £159 Zara. Right, cashmere jumper, £169 & joggers £169 both The White Company

left, £39. Below, £45 both Charles & Keith

£75 & Other Stories

£120 Boden


Flats Who wears heels on Christmas day, especially if you’re busy cooking a full on roast! Comfort is key and these beauties will still have you looking super stylish!

Christmas day outfits

Black and gold dress, £95 & Other Stories

There are so many great dresses and skirts to get you in the festive mood if you do want to dress up a bit. Opt for a loose fitting buffet dress or a wrap dress that gives you comfort so you can enjoy your food. This one from & Other Stories (left) is beautiful and the black wrap dress from H&M (below) is a great option if you don’t like colour. Add a sparkly hairband for a touch of sparkle. You also can’t go wrong with animal print and this one from All Saints (right) is perfect. Alternatively try a sparkly sequin skirt and wear with a tee or jumper to turn the outfit into more of a day outfit. Silver sequin skirt is from Whistles teamed with a Zara cardigan. Stripe sequin skirt from M&S teamed with a H&M sequin leopard tee

Leopard dress, £198 All Saints

Black wrap dress, £34.99 H&M. Headband, £17.99 Zara.

Cream cardi, £25.99 Zara. Sequin skirt, £139 Whistles

Black tee, 9.99 H&M. Stripe sequin skirt, £55 M&S


Dress, £375 Rixo

Sequins Come nighttime you want to get that party started. Go all out with this incredible sequin dress by Rixo (left) or go dark and sexy with a sequin suit, two piece or a mini dress. If you just want to add a touch of sparkle why not include a sequin party shoe to jeans.

Shirt, £99 and trousers, £99 Arket

Sequin dress, £135 & Other Stories

Sequin bodycon dress, £55 M&S

Shoes, £85 & Other Stories Boots, £79 TopShop


Sequin blazer, £228 & trousers, £148 All Saints


Black dress, £85 & Other Stories

Velvet screams Christmas and this Vampires Wife purple dress of dreams (left) is utter perfction. Another option is a shorter loose fit dress like this one by & Other Stories (far left). For a simple velvet statement, these constellation flats by Zara are a great buy!

Shoes, £25.99 Zara

Purple dress, £1195 The Vampires Wife

Suit Suit jkt, £59.99 and trousers, £29.99 both Zara

If sparkles and dresses aren’t your thing, then a suit can be a dramatic look for an evening out. If you’re brave wear nothing underneath and wear killer heels to give a feminine edge. We love this cropped blazer and trousers Blazer, £135 and by Arket (right and above) trousers, £79 both Arket 65


Our children are individuals, not stats or labels! Says Deputy Headteacher, Becky Hayes


s a Deputy Head teacher and Art educator I find myself continually frustrated and disheartened with our education system. As an Art student first and foremost, some of the biggest frustrations I have are the notion of gauging intelligence on a linear scale, the hierarchy of subjects, and the terminology used to categorise individuals who do not conform and fit in the ‘box’. Earlier in the year, I was fortunate enough to attend the @TES Educational Awards at


Grosvenor House in Mayfair. A fabulous event attended by so many people from all walks of life, all there with the same purpose, to enhance and enrich the lives of our young people. One by one the awards were presented. Then it came, the award for ‘Special Needs Initiative of the Year’, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks! It strikes me as bizarre that still in this day and age we continue to label people, and in this case, not only are we labelling a group of

people as ‘special’ we are actually making them stand out as being different, and by the very nature of this label in our society - inferior. I’ve been feeling really uncomfortable with this terminology for a long time, but being your ‘A’ typical creative, I lacked the confidence in my articulation to be able to convey my thoughts. So with much encouragement from the gorgeous Anna Cascarina, Tabitha Wilson and my group of girlfriends, here goes...

I have been teaching for over twenty one years, and for many years I have been saddened by how many children judge themselves by their so called ‘academic’ ability, an academic ability that’s been decided for them through standardised tests in predominantly two or three subjects. A few months ago I sat in a meeting with a child and her parents listening to the child describe herself with a calm acceptance as the ‘dumbest girl in the year!’ I was horrified. This young lady is one of our most successful actors, with bags of humanity, kindness, warmth and creativity, yet she was labelling herself as a failure because of her ability in what she identifies as the credible subjects. This young lady is on our individual needs register, receiving extra support and guidance for her Maths. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been teaching for so long (or that I’m comfortably into my forties!) but with a strong desire for parity and fairness, I find myself becoming increasingly vocal about my frustrations and feelings within such areas of our education system. I can’t quite fathom how as a society with a growing rise in Teenage Mental Health cases, we would continue to knowingly put a huge percentage of our young population down before they’ve even started! As a child protection and safeguarding lead I have to question the morality of such labels. On one end of the scale we have thegifted and talented/moreable pupils and the other end the ‘special’ educational needs pupils. What about the lost middle? What about the gifted artist who can’t spell? The world class athlete who can’t do Maths? What about the child who works their socks off every day but neither hits the top

“As an educational leader I believe that our job is to ensure that we enrich our young members of this global society with an opulent education, one that is brimming with opportunities and experiences” or the bottom box? What label should they have? Surely as unique individuals we all have needs of varying degrees. Why do we need to make some of our most gifted children feel inferior by labelling them as ‘special’? If anything the term special needs to be highlighted as a gift, but unfortu-

nately in our society I don’t think we view it from this angle. Why do we need to label any child, should we not just be doing our absolute best for each and every one that comes through our communities? All children are individuals who have needs; we’re labelling to differentiate, as large class sizes often

Becky Hayes, Deputy Head Teacher


dictate this. As an Art teacher I am proud to say that I differentiate by outcome, there are no limits or labels attached to my pupils. I don’t buy in to a system that is designed to limit a child because of a pre-existing expectation. As individuals we capture information and process it differently and at different rates. What makes a person think they have the right to determine a child’s potential and best possible outcome at such a tender age? In the words of Greta Thunberg ‘How Dare You!’

The ethos in my classroom has always been ‘There are no wrong answers, if you do your best, and give everything a go, that’s all I ask’. I believe in nurturing self-efficacy and equipping my pupils with the confidence and resilience to take chances, to fail, to try again, to fail again, to succeed and win at the level that’s right for them. If you teach to high expectations then children will, and do rise to the challenge. I follow a fabulous group on Twit-

“Why do we need to make some of our most gifted children feel inferior by labelling them as ‘special’? If anything the term special needs to be highlighted as a gift” 68

ter @MadebyDyslexia, I absolutely love their Tweets. Groups like this and advocates like Jamie Oliver and Richard Branson are pivotal in promoting and ensuring that the wider population understand the unique skillsets many individuals have; skills that so richly contribute to, and enhance society and social mobility. Some of our most inspirational, innovative and creative pillars of fame are dyslexic, dyspraxic, autistic, on the spectrum… (I’d argue that we’re all on the spectrum to some degree). The sad thing is that listening to the hundreds of stories shared, all of these human beings were put down at school as being a failure in some way. In the standardised test system of our schools, these uniquely talented individuals would not, and do not score well, and in too many cases are been labelled, condescendingly patted on the head, and made to feel

inadequate or substandard. As an educational leader I fundamentally believe that our job is to ensure that we enrich our young members of this global society with an opulent education, one that is brimming with opportunities and experiences; that we ensure each child has a champion, someone who believes in them fully, knows them, understands them and supports them. Our education system is outdated; it was designed for the Industrial Revolution. The notion of ‘academic’ ability is academic! It’s in the past, redundant, outdated! With confidence we should refuse to submit our examination results to be judged in a league table alongside other schools. No two schools should ever be compared; no two children should ever be compared. There are so many variables that make up the individual it is a complete nonsense. We, the schools and children, are not our exam results!

Day after day, week after week, I read articles from educational specialists claiming to have found the next big marvel that will fix our education system, the next box for our children to squeeze in to. The next test to judge our schools, judge our children. They’re ten a penny and mostly crafted by the quill of an academic. Sure, they’ll work for some, but I take the concept for most of them with a pinch of salt. I am however, a massive supporter of the educational theories of Professor Carol Dweck, her book ‘Mindset – Changing the way you think to fulfil your potential’ can be found on Amazon (and in most good bookshops!) if you fancy a read. The work of Professor Dweck has come under much scrutiny. Her thoughts follow the idea that someone who has a Growth Mindset (open to the notion that you can develop your intelligence through hard work and effort) will eventually overtake someone who has a Fixed Mindset (one who believes that you either

have it or you don’t, giving up at the earliest hurdles along the way). However much criticism Dwecks work has come under, I can’t help but think if a child has the perception that they can succeed, that they are credible and worthy, and most importantly that they are ‘good enough’, then they just might. By acknowledging, celebrating and giving parity to all types of intelligence, we can support children to realise their potential and find their inner genius. We need to stop labelling our children, and giving them ceiling limits. We need to stop making them fit into neat boxes, and allow them to be the best person they can be. We need to give them aspirations to aim for, giving them a purpose and hope – It’s time to set them free - Free range chickens not battery hens! Individual, and unique. Becky Hayes Deputy Head Teacher

Find Becky on: Twitter - @rhayes_rebecca Instagram - @educatingbb


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