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for parents, teachers and children


In The Mid lands & Black C ountry

By Kenneth Grahame

Adapted for stage by Alan Bennett, additional lyrics and music by Jeremy Sams Poop Poop! Watch out, watch out, Toad’s about!

28 November to 19 January Tickets from £9 each The REP @ The Crescent Theatre Group rates and family tickets available Box Office 0121 236 4455


Image: Nelson Takahiro Kishi

Lyngo Theatre, mac birmingham & The Lowry present:

‘Lyngo Theatre knows the score when it comes to producing theatre for the very young’ The Stage

Tue 13 Nov – Sun 2 Dec

Various Times (11am, 2pm & 5.30pm)

Sales & Information 0121 446 3232 Cannon Hill Park, Birmimgham, B12 9QH

mac at fifty

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! We have od summer? Good Have you had a go of our jame us od go t you made too! We hope tha u got lots of fresh issue and that yo packed summer air and sunshine. a brand new for the first time as If you are joining us E! We are really pil, then WELCOM Primary School pu gress through your pro u seeing how yo looking forward to hool. time at your new sc , here’s how it r with Primary Times If you’re not familia exciting things pages and pages of works … we write e not at school, so that when you’r to do, see and watch and do, see ion o your beautiful reg you can get out int have heaps we , ue iss s things! In thi and watch exciting in Roundabout, on in the Midlands of amazing events ds of great the Theatre and loa fun shows to see at ve a special ha o u to enter! We als Competitions for yo all about it on ad Re s! nd ke new frie feature on how to ma
















page 4.

up late are ying up and getting So, the weeks of sta to work. it’s time to get back behind us, and now ead. We’ll see for the new term ah Good luck to you all as on where er for some great ide you again in Octob ggestions for su d some spooky to go for half term an Halloween!












Beckman Unicorn


Don’t forget to check the website for more Primary Times news, lists and reviews at

Primary Times in the West Midlands and the Black Country Publisher: Publishing Ink, Fifth Floor, White House, 111 New Street, Birmingham B2 4EU T: 0121 631 6101 F: 0121 336 1936 Managing Director: Andrew Riley Editorial: Jennifer Walker E: T: 0121 631 5580 Advertising Dept: 0121 631 6101 Sales: E: Design: Damian Bennett, Mark Sargent You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook! @PrimaryTimesMid Primary Times Midlands and The Black Country

Primary Times West Midlands and The Black Country is independently published and distributed free through primary schools in The West Midlands and The Black Country. It is also available by subscription at £10 per year. It aims to inform families and children about current educational issues, forthcoming events, courses and attractions and to give teachers, pupils and parents the opportunity to participate in the magazine by adding to its contents or joining in the competitions. It is NOT our intention to publish any racist, sexist or politically-based material whatsoever. We also undertake not to carry any advertising which we would consider to be offensive to young families or harmful to the best interests of young children. The copyright on all written material, logos and advertising artwork produced by our studio remains with Primary Times or the relevant contributor. We would also like to thank all the advertisers who have supported this publication and therefore made it possible. Primary Times is currently publishing over 2 million copies per issue under franchise licences throughout Britain. Primary Times in The West Midlands and The Black Country is operated under franchise licence. Disclaimer: All reasonable efforts have been taken to give accurate information and any facts given are true to the best of our knowledge. However, you should rely wholly on your own enquiries and take advice where appropriate. Information is correct at time of going to press.


Charles DiCkens Adaptation

Jo ClifforD

NEw AlExANDrA ThEATrE TuE 9 - SAT 13 OcT Ticket Prices: £10.00 - £32.00

0844 871 3011 (fees apply)

Don’t Bin It, Recycle It!

Times Team and the Primary




Everyone needs a friend. Someone to talk to, someone to run to when things go wrong, someone to share toys and sweets with. We all need friends, but when you start a new school it can be difficult. Here’s our helpful guide to how you can help your child make friends in a new school Essentially, all children need and want friends - it helps them feel accepted and can help define who they are. However, sometimes a simple act of companionship can be an uphill challenge in many different ways. A child may make friends easily but lose them just as quickly. Another child may feel painfully shy and awkward around his or her peers whilst others may fall out with existing playmates and feel isolated. The age of a child also comes into play, as between the ages of four and eight, most youngsters aren’t too choosy about whom they play with and generally find it easy to make friends. However, from the age of eight they start to become more selective of their acquaintances. Friendships require time, devotion and compromise whatever the age! Children who have a wide circle of friends tend to benefit from healthy self esteem and are less likely to have social problems as adults, so it’s really worth investing some time and effort to guide your child in this area and not leave it to chance. So how can you help your child make and keep friends? To start, you may wish to discreetly monitor how your child interacts with other kids. You can assess their behaviour in a subtle non-intervening way. This could be by meeting a group of mums with their children in the local park or by staying behind at parties. You could help out at the school fete or perhaps help with reading in the school.Observe how your child behaves around others. Does your child shy away? Do they take turns easily? Are they bossing the other children around? 4

attention away from them and will make him or her feel less self-conscious. Encourage your child to ‘act’ in a friendly manner towards other children by the things they do. They can demonstrate friendliness by helping others, being respectful towards other people’s ideas or opinions, being happy to take turns and share, and by talking favourably to friends about their shared friends and acquaintances.Other desirable traits worth nurturing include thoughtfulness, a sense of fun, reliability, kindness and a consistent personality.Help them understand that negative, bossy, self-centred behaviour may turn potential friends away. Help your child understand that his or her popularity is closely linked with the way he or she behaves towards other people. Appealing characteristics that attract favourable attention are often non-verbal and are more to do with body language than who can shout the loudest! Encourage your child to adopt a ‘friendly face’ - to smile at other children, to maintain eye contact and to do their best to relax when they are in the company of others. It will help to practice this with your child. Teach your child how to behave in different social environments such as at a birthday party or when joining a new club. Role play a specific situation to see how your child would handle the occasion and offer them tips on what to say and how to approach other children. Encourage friendships by getting your child to invite selected friends over to your house to play and to have a meal. Keep vigilant by actively listening to your child’s description of his or her day at school. This way you can assess the relationship they have with their playmates. If you think certain friendships are becoming toxic, steer his or her attention to focus on the other more positive children in the class.

Expose your child to a wide variety of different activities and events that will give plenty of social exposure and help them get used to meeting other children. Steer your child towards an activity, interest or skill that will allow a personal strength or To help a bashful child with their communication skills it passion to blossom. If they enjoy an activity or club they will be pays to intervene sooner rather than later. So if you notice surrounded by like minded children.It will be easier for them that your child is shying away from others and needs a little to strike up conversations with someone else who shares assistance, question them on what characteristics they look for in a friend. Ask your child to choose some children they like the same interest. Allow your child to experience a variety of activities with a number of different friends. the look of at school and then quiz your child on how would they start a conversation with these children - you may wish Making good friendships is very important in life. The ultimate to adopt role play to practice this. Shy children may also find it goal is to help your child surround him or herself with positive easier to interact with others by playing next to them at a table minded companions and that your child, too, becomes a good or in a play den, so show them how to do this. Explain the friend to others without sacrificing his or her individuality. importance of showing an interest in what other people are saying or doing. This will also help your child by diverting the Kirsty Woodgate



The process of choosing the school that’s right for you and your child can be stressful. There are so many different types of school out there, from private to free, boarding to grammar. Here’s our quick and easy guide to choosing the right school. Decide what type of school you want for your child. The choices … Mainstream State Schools allow every child between the age of five and 16 a free place Community Schools are run by the Local Authority Foundation and Trust Schools are run by their own governing body Voluntary-aided Schools are mainly religious or faith schools, although anyone can apply for a place. They are run by a governing body Voluntary-controlled Schools are similar to Voluntary-aided Schools but are run by the Local Authority Academies are State Schools but are independently managed with sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups Grammar Schools select their pupils based on academic ability, usually by an entrance exam Boarding Schools offer free tuition but charge fees for board and lodging Independent Schools set their own curriculum and admissions policies. They are funded by fees paid by parents and income from investments • Contact your Local Authority to find out about schools in your area • Get information on all of the schools that fall outside your Local Authority if willing to go further afield • Decide what your child needs most out of the school experience. Is your child academic, sporty, musical? Does your child need special attention? • Visit open days, as many as you can. Only by walking round the school, talking to teachers, current pupils and parents can you form a valid opinion of a school • Visit to research the school in more detail. Look at Ofsted reports and performance data. • Listen to your child. It’s so easy for parents to fall in love with the ‘perfect’ school, but it is important that your child, the one who will be spending the most time there, likes it too. There is loads of information on choosing the right school at



Choosing the right school


d a r b o pin Get your hats on!

acytain – g e l pic rting year for GreOatlyBmripics and m y l O been a great spo fter hosting the ome Great

St Mungo’s charity for homeless peop le is asking school wear their woolly children around the hats to school on country to Friday October 26 about showing yo , Woolly Hat Day. ur support by puttin Woolly Hat Day is g on your hat for silly hats for the da all homeless people. y in return for a do Children can wear nation, a hat-theme hat-shaped cakes d event or school and biscuits or sim assembly, baking ply using the hat as homelessness. If a prompt for discu you want to find ou ssions about t more about Woolly school can get inv Hat Day and how olved, visit www. you and your or www.mungos .org.

A ec as waste! again b 2012 h years to t it go to s once a le acy for h t g o in n le ta g ri in B let’s rt , ilding o s u p ic the s lymp t on b the Para ing to carry on ave been spen tracks, and op sh nning and is h ions of pound ls and ru Get out Mill ing poo f them. y m o t im s come. o w s m , spired b e s in th m e iu e d y! to mak u can! B d u o new sta a y o e y lr g t a in n wa eryth oes on we really take part in ev ning sh our run t nd a o g re e e th We’v mpics. the Oly

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With the summer holidays over, parents up and down the country are breathing a sigh of relief as the little ones get back to school. With all the hassle of uniforms, shoes, bags and stationery, oral health can easily get overlooked. There’s evidence to suggest that children rush when brushing their teeth in the morning, often forgetting altogether. Teaching your children good habits early on will help them throughout their childhood and into their adult years. Get it right and you could save yourself a lot of time and money at the dentist. Check out for more information.

“Every child is an artist”

… that’s what Pablo Picasso said, and he was right. Children lear n while having fun, and a grea t way is through art. Art allows us to enhance and capture individu al creativity, whilst introducing new skills and increasing confiden ce at all levels. Combine your art activity with fundraising and it ticks all box es: teachers satisfy curriculum requirements and you help you r PTA reach their fundraising targets. ‘My Art Project’ offers a plat form to combine these elements, and the best news is no cost, no min imum order, and every child receives a card of their design, FREE! Visit for more info or telephone 0845 408 5194.

He knows whe n you are sleeping, he k nows when you’re awake

Have your little ones been good this year? This Christmas, give you r children the best pre sent they can dream of: a letter from Santa. Th e NSPCC’s annual fes tive campaign asks for a small donation of £5 and in return your ch ild will receive a fun, co lourful, personalised letter from the man himsel f. Visit www.nspcc .org. uk/santa from Octob er 1 for more inform ation or call 0845 839 93 04 to place your ord er.





SCALLYWAGS THE FORT SHOPPING PARK 0121 382 4405 SCALLYWAGS MERRY HILL CENTRE 01384 74654 SCALLYWAGS BRIERLEY HILL 01384 77004 Follow us on Twitter @scallywags

5 Stars for food hygiene and safety/8 years experience of hosting parties/ROSPA inspected and PPA members

C SHARP MUSIC SCHOOL ‘Beat’ the winter blues with the children. New courses starting now include... Little Mozarts for preschool children £35 for course. Childrens classes £8 per hour, evenings and Saturdays.

Beginners keyboard Half term £25 1/2 day. Beginners guitar £12 per 1/2 hour 1 to 1 lessons.

Adult classes also available during day time. Telephone: 07565 208171 See website for details.

Sharp Minds Tutoring Tutoring for Primary School Children by outstanding teachers who still teach!



Tel: 07817 033292

See website for more details

Free Assessments for Grammar School 11+ Examination July 2013

All children in Year 4 and Year 5 should apply

0121 709 1200 email:

Does your child need help in √ preparing for SATS √ Primary (KS1 & KS2 ) English, Maths or Science. √ Preparing for entrance exams √ any area of primary education But doesn’t like the thought of a ‘home’ tutor? Sharpen your child’s mind with us. Individual tuition and small classes available. See for details. Tel 07565 208171

TODDLER TIME! Only £3.50 to play and stay all day! Free, squash & hot drink (weekdays)

OPENING TIMES! Open 7 days a week from 9.30am to 6.20pm weekdays and 7.20pm Saturday and Sunday

Giant Indoor Party & Play Centre PARTIES! From only £5 per child and Micky Mouse, Peppa Pig or Winnie The Pooh can visit your party for only £10


114-116 Lindon Road Brownhills WS8 7BW 01543 377100


In the Midlands and Black Country

Thinktank Planetarium Box Office: 0121 202 2222 Curzon Street, Birmingham

The Crescent Theatre


Stars & Stories on Autumn Learn to spot satellites as they fly over your home in Stars & Stories of Autumn. Hear the story of Princess Andromeda and learn how she was saved from Cetus the sea monster by Perseus and his flying horse Pegasus, while the characters appear in the sky above you! Normal museum admission applies: adults £11, children and concessions £7.50, family (2+2) £8.75 each. Belgrade Theatre Box Office: 024 7684 6738 Belgrade Square, Coventry

Box Office: 0121 643 5858 Sheepcote Street, Birmingham

October 2-6

The Wizard of Oz As a tornado hits Kansas, Dorothy’s house is swept up and lands in the land of Oz: a place full of yellow roads, munchkins and three friends who are missing vital parts of their bodies. The scarecrow is missing his heart, the tinman does not have a brain and the lion yearns for some courage. Dorothy, her dog Toto and her three new friends follow the yellow brick road to find the Wizard of Oz who can grant their wishes and send Dorothy home. Tickets are from £12 to £15: see website for details.

September 29 - December 8

Slapstick and Pantomime Classes 8

After the success of the Summer School, Belgrade Theatre has announced that they will be offering a programme of workshops in the autumn term focusing on the skills needed to be a pantomime star. Class 1 is for 8-11 year olds and runs on Saturdays from 10-11.15am. £80 per young person per ten week term if booked online.

LG Arena Box Office: 0844 338 8000 NEC, Birmingham

Birmingham Town Hall

Wolverhampton Grand

Box Office: 0121 345 0600 Victoria Square, Birmingham

Box Office: 01902 429212 Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton

October 5

October 9-13

The Vienna Boys’ Choir

The Sound of Music

If what you’re after is an evening of culture, then The Vienna Boys’ Choir is what you’re looking for. With a tradition stretching back five hundred years, The Vienna Boys’ Choir has a repertoire of Haydn, Brahms, Bruckner and Billy Joel. The whole family will love this concert. Tickets are between £9.50 and £30.

Set in 1930s Austria, The Sound of Music follows the story of Sister Maria, a nun who is trying to embrace life inside the walls of a convent. Navy Captain Georg Von Trapp requires a governess to take care of his children, and he hires Maria. Through her kindness, understanding and sense of fun – which all seems rather alien to the children – Maria earns her way into the hearts of the family. Tickets are from £6.50 to £18. Check website for details and performance times. November 22-24

Birmingham Library Theatre Box Office: 0121 236 4455 Chamberlain Square, Birmingham

October 3-7

Horse of the Year Show The equestrian extravaganza of the Horse of the Year Show is returning to the LG Arena, welcoming hundreds of horses and horse fans for five days of competition and entertainment. The show will also see the finals of the most highly regarded national showing and showjumping championships. Tickets are from £27 to £59.50 for adults, £22.50 to £49 for children.


October 5-6

Cowboy Baby It’s time for bed in the wild west, but Cowboy Baby isn’t tired. No, sirree! There’s still loads of time to play with Texas Ted, Denver Dog and Hank the Horse … if only he can find them before Sheriff Pa finds him first. This is a beautiful tale for all the family featuring rattlesnakes, coyotes and prickly cacti with plenty of fun, adventure and songs. Tickets are £7.50 for adults, £4.50 for children and £1.50 for babes in arms.

Angelina Ballerina: The Mousical Everyone’s favourite dancing mouse, Angelina Ballerina is back on stage. Angelina is pirouetting her way onto the stage in a magical show packed full of singing, dancing, entertainment and mouse-tastic tunes. Tickets are £15.50 for adults and £12.50 for children. Check website for performance times.


Artrix Theatre

NIA Birmingham

Box Office: 01527 577330 School Drive, Bromsgrove

Box Office: 0844 338 8000 King Edwards Road, Birmingham

October 13

Chris and Pui Roadshow 2012 Everyone’s favourite CBeebies double act Chris and Pui are coming to Bromsgrove with their 2012 roadshow. See Incy Wincy, Humpty Dumpty, the Grand Old Duke of York and Little Bo Peep all live on stage. Laugh, sing and join in with the Show Me Show Me duo as they perform sketches, rhymes and songs for all the family. Shows at 11am and 2pm. Tickets are £12 for adults, £10 for children. Symphony Hall Box Office: 0121 345 0600 Broad Street, Birmingham

October 24 - November 4

Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure


Pack your bags and get ready for an adventure with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure will see the duo embark on a magical journey, giving you the chance to see your favourite Disney characters live on ice. From Ariel and Sebastian’s enchanting undersea kingdom and the Pride Lands on The Lion King, to the starry skies of Peter Pan, this show is guaranteed to capture your imagination. Tickets are from £14.

October 21

RAF in concert 2012 The hugely popular Royal Air Force concert is back for another year with a special Diamond Jubilee salute. Join the RAF’s finest musicians as they thrill and entertain crowds with first class musical highlights of the Queen’s 60-year reign. Including songs made famous by The Beatles and Matt Monro, the programme of music reflects Britain at its best. The climax of the show will be a selection of patriotic classics including Jerusalem, Rule Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory. Tickets are from £16 to £22.

SAT 22 DEC – WED 16JAN 0121 345 0603



DCT Halloween 10 A3 Poster_Spread 8pp 29/05/2012 12:39 Page 1

ily to our Bring the wholewfeeamn Boat trips into Childrens Hallo d caverns in Dudley the undergroun vy UV Entertainment to meet the Groo r Halloween Company and thei ters puppetry charac


Open days



Saturday 29th September 2012 09.45 – 12 noon

Edgbaston Park Road Birmingham B15 2UB Telephone 0121 472 1834

Cost: £7.15 per person

Admin fee of £2 per booking for credit/debit card bookings

31st October from 4.30 until 8.00pm every 30 minutes


Tickets are available from our booking office hotlineor via our website Booking Hotline

01384 236275 Email: For further info visit our website

Memories waiting to be made

OPEN DAY Saturday 6th October 10am - 2pm 01902 422939

t o n o b d ru a u September 22-23


July - October 14

Pharaoh: King of Egypt

A trip to Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden is a trip that the whole family will love. The children will love exploring the vast site, mum and dad will enjoy soaking up the history, grandma and grandpa can sit in the tearoom enjoying a slice of cake and a cup of tea, while aunt and uncle pick up gardening tips in the stunning Elizabethan Garden. Open daily from 10am to 5pm. Adults £8.20, concessions £7.40, children £4.90, family (2+3) £21.30. Visit for details of events.

June - October 14

Pedals to Medals Coventry Transport Museum presents a new exhibition that celebrates the history and heroes of all kinds of competitive cycling. Get up close and personal with bicycles and memorabilia from Olympic champions Tommy Godwin, Chris Boardman and Tom Sabin, and come face to face with bikes that were ridden to glory. Plus, you can make your own piece of cycling history by getting hands-on with family activities and a chance to win a Raleigh Neon Chopper or a Raleigh Airlift 100 Road Racer bike in a special competition. Open from 10am to 5pm. Free admission. Visit for more events. July - November 4

Dig for Shakespeare Watch archaeologists unearth exciting relics and try your hand at helping sieve the spoil in special Dig for Shakespeare events at Nash’s House and New Place in Stratford upon Avon. Plus, they have introduced two new outdoor excavation pits where you can unearth finds in a replica Tudor archaeology site and identify a buried skeleton using real archaeological tools and techniques. Open from 10am to 5m. Usual admission applies: adults £14, concessions £13, children £9, family £36.50 (includes admission to Nash’s House and New Place, Hall’s Croft and Shakespeare’s Birthplace). Visit for more ticket and event information.

September 12 & 30

Autumn colour at Clent Hills Discover the Clent Hills like you’ve never seen them before with the friendly and knowledgeable guides as they take you on an entertaining guided walk. Walks are approximately five miles in length and start at Nimmings Wood car park at 10am, ending in the same place at 1pm. Booking is essential: call 01562 712822. All tickets are £2. Wear suitable clothing and footwear. Visit for more walk information. September 17-23

National Cupcake Week What a great excuse to eat cake! Celebrate National Cupcake Week by enjoying one of the scrummy cakes cooked up at Twycross Zoo. On Sunday September 23, you can join the local baker to decorate your own cupcakes and gingerbread men. Open all day in Café Tibet. From £1.95, plus 50p to decorate a cake. Usual admission applies. Visit for more information September 22-23

Fruits of the Harvest at Shugborough Enjoy the harvest at Shugborough Hall where they will be cooking up some autumn delights, making preserves, pickles and seasonal cheese. The Walsall Spinners will also be on hand to demonstrate unique crafts on the Sunday. Open from 11am to 5pm. Usual admission applies: adults £15, concessions £12, children £9, family (2+3) £37.50. Online discounts available. Visit for more information.

September 23

Doll and Teddy Fair At The National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, the Doll and Teddy Fair will have around 90 stands full of antique, new, artist and collectable dolls and teddies plus restorers, supplies and accessories. If you love dolls and teddies, you will love this fair. Adults £4, children free. Visit www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum for more information. September 23

Harvest Festival at Ironbridge The townsfolk of Blists Hill Victorian Town will be celebrating the annual harvest in traditional fashion with an open-air festival service. Taking place in the Pleasure Gardens, with a shorter service in the Mission Church, this annual event looks set to be bigger and better than ever before. Visit website for entry price s: September 30

Falconry Day at Weoley Castle See hawks, falcons and owls take to the skies over Weoley Castle with this impressive Falconry display supplied by Hagley Falconry Centre. Open from 1-4pm. Free admission. Weoley Castle have requested that visitors refra in from bringing their dogs to this event. Visit for full informati on. October weekends

Spooky arts and crafts With Halloween creeping in, join the Monkey Bunch art and craft sessions at Twycross Zoo to make some spoo ky stuff. From 2-3pm in Guest Services. Free, usual admission applies. Visit for details.


Kenilworth Castle

This national touring exhibition explores the lives of the ancient kings of Egypt. With more than 130 objects from the British Museum in London, from monumental sculptures to intimate items of gold jewellery, Pharaoh: Kind of Egypt displays an incredibly diverse collection spanning more than 3,000 years of history. Located within Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, there is a £5 entry charge for adults £4 for concessions and children, and £15 for a family ticket. Book online at or call 0121 303 1966.

The International Dolls’ House Mod elling Show is back at the NEC in Birmingha m to showcase some of the tiniest piece s of furniture you will ever see. Whether you are six or 60, creating your own minia ture world is both enthralling and satisfying . The Miniatura show has loads of things to buy to put in your own dolls’ house from a £2 silk cushion to an inlaid marquetry piece of furniture worth more than £4,000! Coun t your pocket money before you set your heart on that one! Open from 10am to 5.30pm on Saturday and until 4.30 pm on Sunday. For ticket information, visit or call 0121 767 4100.


roundabout October 7

Harvest Festival at BCLM Join the Friends of the Black Country Living Museum as they bring the 1837 Darby Hand Chapel to life by re-enacting a traditional Harvest Festival service. The historic chapel is decorated with garden produce and harvest offerings as the Friends share the importance of the festival with visitors. Service starts at 2.30pm. Usual admission applies: adults £14.95, concessions £11.95, children £7.95, family (2+3) £39.95. Visit www.bclm. for more information and events. October 7

Big Brum open top museum bus

October 13

Tolkien guided tour at Sarehole Mill Discover the childhood playground of the author of Lord of the Rings, J.R.R.Tolkien and learn about the places and people who influenced his writing. Tour starts at 2pm. £5 per person. Visit sarehole-mill for more information. October 21

Trafalgar Day at Soho House Celebrate Trafalgar Day at Soho House where you can discover the story of Nelson’s visit to the house in 1802 and learn all about the significance of Trafalgar Day. Open from 2.30-3.30pm. £2 entry, pre-booking essential. Visit or call 0121 554 9122 to book.

Take a trip around the city of Birmingham in an open top bus. The tour starts at Victoria Square and stops at Aston Hall, Soho October 22-26 House and the Pen Room. Buses and 1.15pm , leave at 11.30am 2.30pm. £3 per adult, children free. Visit for Join Steve and his feathery, more information. hairy, slithery, scary and furry friends for a week of up close and October 7 personal animal fun at Thinktank Birmingham. Sessions at 12pm, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Free to Thinktank ticket holders. Celebrate the 200 anniversary Visit for of Charles Dickens’ birth with a information and ticket prices. special day at Haden Hill House Museum. From 2-4.30pm. Free October 27 admission. Visit for details.

Animal handling with Tropical Inc

Maths & English






flying start



Get off to a


October 12-14

in the new term

Fantastic academic progress Confidence boosting Entrance Exam courses 12

Book your free trial session today! Harborne 0121 647 4394 0121 661 7409 Kings Heath Leamington 01926 422 800 Oldbury 0121 647 6369 Shirley 0121 647 4395 Wylde Green 0121 647 5159 BACK TO SCHOOL 2012 ISSUE

Primary Times Back to School West Midlands.indd 1

A Dickens of an afternoon

06/08/2012 11:21

Structures of splendour

Join Coventry Cathedral and The Herbert Art Gallery as they celebrate the national Big Draw event. Start your day at the Grand Designs Live is the UK’s cathedral (which will be open for leading contemporary home free) and use the architecture show and it is opening its doors to create beautiful drawings. to Birmingham for the seventh Then take your drawings across year this October. Showcasing to The Herbert and use them a wide range of innovative ideas to inspire your decoration of for homeowners and selflarge structures on display. Free builders, Grand Designs Live has event. Cathedral open from everything you could possibly 10am to 2pm, The Herbert need to know about interiors, open from 11am to 3pm. Visit gardens, home improvement, for more self-build, renovation, technology information. and shopping. If that wasn’t enough, Kevin McCloud, George Clarke and Charlie Luxton will all be there to lend a helping hand. Weoley Castle Tickets are available to buy door the on £19 or £15 now for for adults. Children get in for free. Visit www.granddesignslive. com for all the details.

Grand Designs Live

roundabout October 27 - November 4

Wightwick Manor Walking Festival See how fast you can walk or take a gentle stroll around the grounds of Wightwick Manor. There are a few inclines, but fantastic views at the end. Visit or call 01902 760100 for more information. Open from 11am to 4pm. Free event, usual admission applies.

places to visit The MAD Museum

The brand new MAD Museum in Stratford upon Avon is now open and looking forward to welcoming you! Enter a world full of fascinating sights and sounds at The Mechanical Art and Design (MAD) Museum where Kinetic Art, Automota and Steampunk mechanisms come to life before your very eyes. The only museum of its kind in England, The MAD Museum holds more than 100 mesmerising exhibits by respected and pioneering artists from all over the world. The machines range from dancing laser lights and clever robots to stunningly quirky clocks and roaring dinosaurs. Pascal Bettex’s two exhibiting pieces are loved by visitors as unlikely household objects take on new purposes while spinning, whirling and flashing to amaze you. Visit for all the information.

Pharoah: King of Egypt

Crash! Bang! Wallop! Crash! Bang! Wallop! has everything you and the little ones needs for a good, fun day out. The indoor adventure wonderland where children can spend hours firing cannons, sliding down a double helix tunnel slide, hiding in ball pits and even getting exercise in the sports area. Check out for all the details.

The Follies at Hawkstone Park The Follies is a fantasyland of ancient cliffs, crags, caves, woods and monuments. Built more than 200 years ago, the magical landscape fell into neglect and was lovingly restored in 1993. Try your hand at archery, clay pigeon shooting and much more. Visit hawkstonepark for details of events. School trips can also be arranged: call 01948 841700 for more information.

Oak House Museum The historical Oak House Museum in West Bromwich dates back to between 1590 and 1630 (it’s so old that nobody really knows how old it is!) and it’s free to visit. Open Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 2-5pm until the end of September. October to November open Tuesday and Wednesday from 1-4pm. Visit for more information.

Walsall Arboretum Take a stroll around one of the region’s best loved parks, Walsall Arboretum. Visit for details about what you cansee.

Delta Force Paintball The largest paintball centre in the Midlands offers ten actionpacked game zones in 64 acres of woodland. Located in Beechwood, near Solihull, Delta Force has planes, trains, giant stone pyramids and even tanks for you to explore. Mini paintball for ages 8-10 years is £29.99 for a full afternoon from 12-4pm. Visit for more information.






* Every child that participates in the project receives their very own professionally produced card of their artwork to keep FREE of charge

Last year our top performing school raised more than £590! And don’t forget that’s commission on a project that costs the school absolutely nothing to run!

Be a part of this great fundraiser... To book or request your FREE sample pack please visit:

Tel: 0845 408 5194


Kumon’s maths and English study programmes work to unlock your child’s potential, building their confidence and independent study skills. Contact your local Instructor for a Free Assessment: Bearwood 0121 558 9338 Blakenhall 01902 682 451 Bournville 0121 441 3767 Coventry East 02476 413 374

Great Barr 0121 378 2130 Handsworth Wood 0121 240 1596 King’s Heath 0121 624 1233 Shirley 0121 366 8206

Stourbridge 01384 443 629 Walsall Daisy Bank 0121 353 9539 Wolverhampton West 01384 443 629



Fees vary. Please refer to your local study centre.

r m k w o boo t-haves for

e latest mus Our pick of thelf your booksh

(8+) The Wolf Princess

Cathryn Constable, Chicken House, £6.99

The Wolf Princess is a classic fairytale in the making. Sophie and her friends get places on a school trip to Russia, which is a dream come true for Sophie as she dreams of fairytale forests, snow and wild wolves. She is hoping that, in Russia, all of her fairytale hopes and dreams will come true. However, not everything goes to plan. While on a train from St Petersburg, the friends become separated from the rest of the group. They are rescued by the super glamorous Princess Anna Volkonskaya. The Princess takes them to her winter palace where she tells them the story of her tragic past which includes lost diamonds. This book is a real treasure of our lifetime and we loved reading it!

Taking you from the Mesozoic Era and the age of the dinosaurs, right up to their extinction covering fossils, predators and what the dinosaurs would really have been like. Ever wondered what a Stegosaurus actually looked like, thought it would be fun to keep a Compsognathus in a box under your bed, or admired the long neck of the Brachiosaurus? Well, this book has all the information in a fun to read comic strip style. We hope you love it as much as we did!

The Gardening Pirates (4+) Ruth Morgan and Chris Glynn, Pont, £5.99

) n and It (8+ e r d il h C r u Fo

, Puffin, £12 Jacqueline Wilson

Inspired by the books of E Nesbit, Jacqueline Wilson has written more than 70 books for children. One of her favourites is E Nesbit’s Five Children and It, and on the 110th anniversary of the book first being published, Jacqueline has decided to write her own version, paying tribute to the wonderful story. Four Children and It is about four children: Rosalind, Robbie, Smash and Maudie. One summer day, the children go on a picnic to the woods where they discover a golden sandpit. What’s hiding in the sandpit will turn their boring holiday in to the best holiday they have ever had. We loved the original book, we loved the film and now we love this book too!

We wan your favou t to hear about ri at Primary te books! Write to us Times, Pub lishing Ink, Fifth Floor, Whit Street, Birm e House, 111 New ingham, or email us B2 4EU at jennifer@p ub tell us abou and t your and why yo favourite books u love th You might e ven see you em. r name here in the next issue!

My Reward Chart Book (4+)

Yo-ho-ho a pirate’s life for me! That’s what you’ll be singing after you’ve finished reading this book! On board the bad ship Ych-a-fi though, all is not swashbuckling fun as the crew are forced to eat horrible ship’s biscuits while the captain tucks into octopus pies and squid omelettes. One day, the pirates land on an island and go off in search of treasure. But, when they find the chest, there is no treasure inside. Instead, the chest is filled with seeds, bags of compost and gardening tools. What will the pirates be eating from now on, I wonder. This book is entertaining, educational and great to read out loud.

Michael Morpurgo, Priddy, £5.99

All children need to know how they are progressing, and with this fantastic book, they will always know where they are. With fun activities, certificates and more than 600 stickers, My Reward Chart Book is a great way to get children thinking about what they have learned and what it means. Learn how to put your toys away, make your bed and the importance of eating vegetables while having fun sticking the stickers in the right places. We had hours of fun with this book and we hope you do too!


The Comic Strip Book of Dinosaurs (6+)

Sally Kindberg and Tracey Turner, Bloomsbury, £6.99


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PG October 17. Sparky dies, When Victor’s dog ng him back Victor decides to bri knows he y wa ly to life the on to plan go t no es do All w. ho y comes back however, as Spark ked monster to life as a bolt-nec havoc around g atin cre and starts to try to s the town. Victor ha t Sparky is tha e on ery ev convince t that he’s pe still the friendly, loyal believe y the ll Wi . en always be an, Tah ie him? Starring Charl ort Sh rtin Ma e, Le r Christophe and Winona Ryder.

October 19. PG Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are back and they’re still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. This part of their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover to hide under: a travelling circus. However, they can’t just settle with an ordinary circus, so they set about reinventing it, Madagascan style. Starring Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer.

ber 28. PG Hotel Transylvania Septem Far away from the human world, hidden from sight, there is an upmarket hotel resort, the kind you would expect important people to stay at. There’s just one problem … it’s owned by Dracula. When a young boy discovers the hotel, Dracula begins to panic. But, that’s the least of his worries as the boy starts to fall for Dracula’s daughter. Starring Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Kevin James.

Finding Nemo 3D (PG) September 14

Disney is rereleasing many of their much-loved films in 3D, starting with Finding Nemo. First released back in 2003, Finding Nemo is a film for all the family that will be loved for many years to come. The fantastically funny underwater adventure sees Nemo lost in the vast ocean with his father, Marlin desperately trying to find him. With the help of Marlin’s forgetful companion Dory, the fish battle against the odds and nature to find each other again.


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Are you caring & responsible? We need caring families to host students aged 14-18, who attend local independent boarding schools, during their Half Terms and some weekends, as their families live far overseas, mostly in Asia. Wireless Internet / non-smoking preferred. If you have a nice spare room and are interested in other cultures, we will pay from £30 per night housekeeping allowance per student.

To find out more or apply: Telephone: 01202 882299 Email:


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Why not learn to ride? Lessons Everyday 9-4 • Camps • Own a pony for a day. Learn to look after a pony, groom, ride, feed, tack up. All you need to know!! Ring to book. Ask for Hannah or Toni. Tel: 0121 588 2103 Wigmore Lane, West Bromwich, B71 3SU



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For Schoo our Back t o l specia issue, we h come l Pets Corn ave a s from e your g r that Throu ar Faceb gh Twitter dens! asking ook we hav and eb yo photo u to send u een s s snapp of wildlife y your ed in y ou’ve ou These are so r garden. favour me of our ites…


Robert Stubbings from Herefordshire spotted this Red Legged Partridge wandering round the lane

Vanessa Allan from Kidderminster rescued these baby Collared Doves after the tree housing their nest was chopped down

Remember, we want to hear about your pets and the wildlife you get WE WANT in your garden! If you R A E H TO have any questions U about your pets, FROM YO advice on what you should be feeding them, how often you should be walking them or letting them outside, or if you just want to send in a picture of your pet for us to see, we want to hear from you. Furry, fluffy, scaly or big enough to ride, we love all pets! Send us a picture of your pets with a few sentences about them, what they like to do, what they eat and why you love them. Email us at or write to Pets Corner, Primary Times, Publishing Ink, Fifth Floor, White House, 111 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4EU.

Primary Times Editor Jennifer Walker spotted this hungry Badger in her garden in Stourbridge

Please note that we are unable to return photographs sent by post. If you require your photograph back, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.


Caroline Irwin from Birmingham is our star wildlife spotter this month! Congratulations Caroline! She sent us loads of fantastic pictures taken in her garden including these of a beautiful Robin perched on a pipe, a Greater Spotted Woodpecker eating his breakfast, a graceful Dragonfly and a stunning Peppered Moth having a rest.


competitio s WIN TICKETS TO SEE


‘The Gruffalo said that no Gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark wood…’ Well, we did and we’re pleased to say … well, we won’t spoil it for you. One wild and windy night, the Gruffalo’s Child ignores her father’s warning and tiptoes out into the snow. After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist, does he? Find out for yourselves just how brave the Gruffalo’s Child is when the play comes to Birmingham Town Hall in December. We have teamed up with Birmingham Town Hall to give you the chance to win a family ticket to see The Gruffalo’s Child on Friday December 28 at 1.30pm. For your chance to win, just answer this question: Where is the Gruffalo’s Child told not to go? Closing date: December 10.



Do you struggle to find somewhere to sit and do your homework? Well, we have the perfect solution for you … a FunStation Duo! The fun, funky and safe brand Little Helper has launched the new two-seater FunStation Duo desk and chair set so that children can sit and do their homework in comfort. Two siblings or friends can sit at the desk and both work comfortably with A4 paper. We have teamed up with Little Helper to give you the chance to win your very own FunStation Duo! For your chance to win, just answer this question: How many children can sit at the FunStation Duo desk? Closing date: October 12.



This month we are giving you the opportunity to win one of these fantastic craft kits from Seedling that are perfect for going back to school. Seedling is the super cool brand that has recently arrived in the UK and set out to inspire the minds and ignite the imagination of little ones everywhere. By providing only the tools and templates, children can design their own endless creations using their imagination. Your little ones will be more than excited to return o school after using the ‘design your own pencil case’ and ‘design your own tote bag’ sets. These beautiful craft kits will allow the little ones to go back to school with a pencil case and bag that no one else will have and will be the envy of all their friends! For your chance to win, just answer this question: What kind of case can you design with Seedling? Closing date: October 17.




Want a funky lunchbag that will make you the envy of the dining hall? Well, we have just the thing. We have teamed up with TUMTUM to give you the opportunity to win one of these three fantastic trainee lunch bags. This beautifully illustrated lunch bag is as practical as it is wonderful. With its insulated design and perfect size, you can slot in all the lunch time goodies your tot needs to ensure they can stay energised for a productive day at school. What makes this lunch bag extra special is your little one can personalise it… insert a picture of your child into the ice cream van on the back of the bag, allowing them (or their teachers) to pick out the bag themselves. For your chance to win your very own TUMTUM lunch bag, just answer this question: Where can you put your photo on the lunch bag? Closing date: October 1.




Every child loves reading Roald Dahl’s books; from tales of The Big Friendly Giant, to the adventures of James and the Giant Peach, story time just wouldn’t be the same without a Roald Dahl book. Every year in September we celebrate the anniversary of the great man’s birth with Roald Dahl Day, and this year would have been his 92nd birthday (he was born in 1916). We have teamed up with Puffin Books to give you the chance to win a complete set of Roald Dahl books AND a copy of the brand new children’s biography of the man called Fantastic Mr Dahl by Michael Rosen. To be in with a chance of winning this splendiferous prize, just tell us the answer to this question: What year was Roald Dahl born? Closing date: October 26.



Everyone’s favourite little mouse, Angelina Ballerina pirouettes onto the stage in her brand new musical - a magical show packed full of singing and dancing. Angelina and her friends think their dreams have come true when Camembert Academy wins the opportunity to appear in their favourite television programme Dancing With Mice! But when the girls and boys have very different ideas for the show and just can’t seem to agree on anything, it’s up to Angelina as Dance Captain to ensure that the show goes ahead. So put on your ballet shoes and join Angelina, Alice, Gracie, Viki, AJ and Marco for the most stupendous Mousical of the year. We have teamed up with the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre to give Primary Times readers the chance to win one of two family tickets to see the show on November 22. For your chance to win, just answer this question: What type of animal is Angelina Ballerina? Closing date: November 5. To enter all our competitions, go to or send your entry on a postcard with the name of the competition you wish to enter, your name, address and telephone number to Primary Times, Publishing Ink, Fifth Floor, White House, 111 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4EU by the closing date stated. You can go straight to our competitions page on our website by scanning this code with your smart phone. Good luck!


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(A SAVING OF £13.00) Our party package includes: • Ice skating including skate hire • Choice of party meal • Your “We are a lot own party host & party room closer than you think… • Party invitations • Gift for just 5 minutes away from the birthday child & free junction 5 or 6 of the M42 skating voucher • Voucher and CAR PARKING IS for every party guest FREE” Offer expires 31/11/2012 For further information & to book your birthday party, please call the box office on 0121 742 5561 Blue Ice Solihull Rink, Blue Ice Plaza, Hobs Moat Road, Solihull B92 8JN


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Feed Your Potential Want a party with a difference? Want to be a model?

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SCALLYWAGS THE FORT SHOPPING PARK 0121 382 4405 SCALLYWAGS MERRY HILL CENTRE 01384 74654 SCALLYWAGS BRIERLEY HILL 01384 77004 Follow us on Twitter @scallywags

5 Stars for food hygiene and safety/8 years experience of hosting parties/ROSPA inspected and PPA members

By Kenneth Grahame

Adapted for stage by Alan Bennett, additional lyrics and music by Jeremy Sams

Poop Poop! Watch out, watch out, Toad’s about!

28 November to 19 January Tickets from £9 each The REP @ The Crescent Theatre Group rates and family tickets available Box Office 0121 236 4455

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Nurturing Creativity

Outstanding educational success at 11+ Free places available Open Morning Saturday 13th October 2011, 10am-12noon


Primary Times West Midlands Back To School '12  

Primary Times West Midlands Back To School edition, 2012