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i r ma ry ptimes

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Issue 126 20 Dec 2013-14 Feb 2014

Fly me to the

Moomins

Also Healthy eating Discover a hobby What to do with unwanted presents

Discover the wonders of Moominland, live in the UK for the first time, at the egg theatre, Bath. Page 4

Theatre • Arty Barty • Roundabout • Save money! 13 Glos cover Xmas 2013.indd 3

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For all its commercialism, Christmas is a wonderful chance to refresh family ties and give children a chance to rediscover the extended clan . As the leftovers are munched and the wrapping is recycled, thoughts rapidly turn to the after-effects of the festivities. So we’ve focused on the New Year, looking at ways parents, schools and children can get back to healthy eating (P6), organisations who’ll welcome those unwanted presents (P18) and activities to keep the family away from the screen (P17). Have a merry Christmas secure in the knowledge that we have a few suggestions to deal with its less welcome consequences.

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the editor

ershire Feb 2014 in Gloucest 2013-14

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the Discover of wonders nd, live Moominla for in the UKtime, at the rst atre, the egg the Bath. Page 4

Theatre • Arty

IT’S CRUNCH TIME P6

With childhood obesity still on the rise, Tom Olver looks at healthy eating initiatives.

BUSY HANDS P17

Discover a new hobby in the new year and learn a skill to keep you active for life.

I NEVER ASKED FOR THAT! P18

yrs

20 Dec Issue 126

THEATRE P8 ROUNDABOUT P11 PINBOARD P16 CLASSIFIEDS P19 ADVERTISING FEATURES P20 PUPILS’ PAGE P22

Phin Adams finds a home for those unwanted Christmas presents.

VIEW THE MAGAZINE ONLINE AT www.venue.co.uk/early-times-primary-times www.primarytimes.net • www.facebook.com - Arty Barty

Save money! ndabout • Barty • Rou

Primary Times in Gloucestershire Venue Publishing at Bristol News and Media, Temple Way, Bristol BS99 7HD. More information at www.primarytimes.net and more places to visit at www.venue.co.uk

Editor Commercial director Advertising Distribution Design Proof reading Production Main office

Mike Gartside mike.gartside@venue.co.uk Paul Kimberley paul.kimberley@b-nm.co.uk 0117 934 3780 Caroline Stretton caroline.stretton@b-nm.co.uk 0117 934 3737 Ruth Morris ruth.morris@b-nm.co.uk 0117 934 3730 Simon Butler 0117 934 3741 simon.butler@b-nm.co.uk Cath Evans, Dan Srokosz, Mike Gartside Alex Saunders Emma Gorton/Ruth Wood 0117 942 8491

Primary Times is independently published and distributed free in Primary, Junior, Infant and Middle Schools throughout the former Avon area, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. It is also available by subscription at £10 per year. Its aims are to inform families and children of 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 which we run. It is NOT our intention to publish any racist, sexist or politically biased 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. While we make every effort to ensure information published is accurate, readers are encouraged to check details of all events in advance and neither Venue Publishing nor its contributors are liable for the consequences of any errors. Primary Times would like to thank all the schools in the county for their assistance in distributing the magazine and their contributions to its contents. We would also like to thank all the advertisers who have supported this publication and therefore made it possible. Please support their endeavours when and where you can. The copyright on all written material, logos and advertising artwork produced by our studio remains with Primary Times or the relevant contributor. Primary Times currently publishes more than two million copies per issue under franchise.

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Find these amazing offers this issue!

Glitter & Gloss – Child goes free with voucher. Puddle Ducks – Free taster session with advert. Bluestone Winter Play – 17 hours of free play for under 5s. Dick Whittington Farm Park – free entry for an adult with a paying child. Cotswold Farm Park – One child free with a paying adult. Swimwell – First lesson free. Taurus Crafts – 10% off café, gift shop and pottery with advert. Bluestone CHRISTMAS 2013

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Mo the e ominlan gg, dM Unti Theatre idwinter www. l Sun 12 Royal, B at J T: 01 theatr 225 eroyaanuary h 8234 l.org. uk 0 9 448 o r 0 844 1225

Fly me to the

Moomins The globally-adored Moomins series by Tove Jansson appears on stage in the UK for the first time this Christmas at the egg, Bath.

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veryone knows that Moomins hibernate during the winter months. Like their ancestors before them, they sleep from November to spring. But this year the youngster of the family, Moomintroll, has woken up early. While the rest of his household slumber, he decides to visit his favourite summer haunts only to find that winter has changed everything. Determined to discover the truth about this most mysterious of seasons, Moomintroll is forced to make some very grown-up decisions when he ventures where no Moomin has gone before. To celebrate the centenary year of their creator, Swedish-Finn illustrator and writer Tove Jansson, the Moomins appear on stage in the UK for the first time at Bath’s egg theatre in a new adaptation of Moominland Midwinter by dramatist Hattie Naylor. Jansson wrote and illustrated the classic stories starting with ‘The Moomins and the Great Flood’ as early as 1945. In 1966

in Characters ™

All images © Moom 4

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she received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her contribution as a children’s writer, arguably the highest recognition available to a creator of children’s books. And the reason is clear: the Moomin stories cross barriers of language, age and culture and are loved all over the world. They have been translated into 43 different languages and animated or adapted for film and television. The enor-

mous popularity of The Moomins has been attributed to Jansson’s ability to combine both children’s and adults’ world views, charming both audiences equally. And there are few more qualified people to adapt them for stage than Hattie Naylor, among whose 40 plays are the Olivier Awardnominated ‘Ivan and the Dogs’ (translated into seven languages since its debut at London’s Soho Theatre) and an adaptation of ‘Ben Hur’ for the epic Main House stage production at the Theatre Royal in 2010. Promising to be heart-warming, humorous and spellbinding, this Christmas fantasy is co-directed by Lee Lyford and Alison Duddle and will feature beautiful puppets created by Horse + Bamboo Theatre plus a specially written soundtrack by Laurence Kaye. The role of Moomintroll is played by Seamas H Carey, who returns to the egg after last year’s Christmas show, ‘Heidi - A Goat’s Tale’. Actor and multi-instrumentalist, Carey has also worked with Kneehigh Theatre Company and the Eden Project. Morag Cross whose credits include ‘Room on the Broom’, ‘The BFG’ and ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’, appears as the character Too-Ticky,

while Adam Fuller plays the role of Squirrel. As an actor and puppeteer, his many stage credits include performing with Pickled Image, A Load of Stuff and Nonsense, Full Beam, Idiot Child and Aardman Animations. Director Lee Lyford’s previous work includes ‘Heidi - A Goat’s Tale’, ’The French Detective and the Blue Dog’ and ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’, while he also directed Naylor’s ‘Ben Hur’ whose company of 180 featured on BBC1’s ‘Imagine’ documentary. He’s also joint artistic director of Gallivant, the company he recently founded with Naylor, whose first production, ‘Bluebeard’, premiered at Bristol Old Vic in June. Co-director Alison Duddle is joint artistic director of award-winning Horse + Bamboo Theatre, joining the company in 1997 direct from Minneapolis’s world-renowned In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. Music and storytelling are central to the visual theatre created by this company, with masks, movement, puppetry, lighting and film featuring strongly in their productions. Horse + Bamboo’s previous visits to the egg include ‘The Nightingale’, ‘Storm in a Teacup’ and ‘Red Riding Hood’. With a team of this calibre on board, Moominland Midwinter is sure to be a heartwarming experience appealing equally to children and adults. One thing you won’t want to do is hibernate. Moominland Midwinter Fri 6 Dec 2013 - Sun 12 Jan 2014. Matinees and evening performances (times vary). No performances on 9, 16, 19, 25 & 26 Dec, 1 & 6 Jan. £15 (adults) £10 (children & students). Ages 6+. Schools group discount available. Produced by special arrangement with Agency North Ltd. T: 01225 823 409 or 01225 448844 W: www.theatreroyal.org.uk PRIMARY TIMES

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It’s crunch time

With childhood obesity on the rise, Rose Bonsier and Tom Olver look at Gloucestershire initiatives encouraging healthy eating.

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t’s 8am. You haven’t finished the lunchbox and the kids have got to be at school in half an hour. The cheese and tomato sarnies are done but the carrots have gone rubbery and you’re out of fruit. Drat! Shove in that packet of crisps and the choccy biscuit you’d promised yourself for later . . . you can always start them back on the five-a-day tomorrow. While most parents are well aware of the importance of healthy eating, they may also be familiar with the morning routine described here, which could partly explain statistics showing that obesity in Year 6 children is increasing in both boys and girls. According to a study published by The National Child Measurement Programme, data on children’s weight shows a pattern of increasing obesity over the last six years. Statistics from the 2011-2012 report show that a third of all Year 6 children are overweight or obese, and it’s likely that Gloucestershire echoes this national trend.

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Perhaps hope is in sight with a new initiative launched by Gloucestershire County Council and NHS Gloucestershire last year. Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning aims to ensure the county’s children and young people maintain health and happiness throughout their education. One of its main goals is to give Gloucestershire’s children the best possible nutritional knowledge, enabling them to make informed choices about what they eat. By creating a school environment where healthy living is celebrated, the hope is that children will continue to live by this ethos outside school, too. The organisation has developed a Whole School Food plan which clearly sets out the key food skills to be built on during the primary education years. These range from trying a variety of different fruits and learning about the importance of farming in lower school to understanding portion sizes and issues surrounding GM and organic crops in the later years. One particular scheme with the potential to make a big dif-

ference across the county is the Jumpstart programme. Run in association with Gloucester Rugby Club, who initially approached what was then Gloucestershire Healthy Schools, Jumpstart was designed to get children thinking about the fundamental principles of good diet and exercise. A pilot of the programme was trialled about three years ago at Gloucestershire’s Harewood Primary School, reportedly with great success, but was unable to find the funding it needed to continue. According to Gloucester Rugby Club’s community manager Gary Little, the scheme educated pupils about nutrition and exercise while also focusing on the emotional aspect of eating. “We wanted the kids to realise that health isn’t necessarily just related to your body shape and size,” says Gary. He points out that, in an environment where children are becoming hyperaware of body image, debunking the myths of the perfect appearance also forms an important basis for the programme: in fact a whole session is dedicated to tackling the problem of body image

anxiety, encouraging children not to feel pressured by images of “perfection” often perpetrated by the media or their peers. “My hope is that we’ve done our job and that they’ll take these messages on into later life. The costs for running the scheme are nominal and it’s something we’d really love to get going again, so if any local schools are interested in the Jumpstart programme I’d encourage them to get in touch.” If children encounter the balanced and encouraging perspective provided by initiatives like the Jumpstart, perhaps this will result in improving their future relationship with food and activity . . . and make preparing that lunch box a little bit easier. Gloucestershire Healthy Living & Learning T: 01452 427354 W: www.ghll.org.uk Gloucester Rugby Club (Jumpstart) T: 0871 871 8781 W: www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk

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FAMILY & CHILDREN’S SHOWS ★ GLOUCESTER, CHELTENHAM, STROUD & BEYOND The Emperor’s New Clothes, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, until Tue 24 Dec

GLOUCESTERSHIRE THE BACON THEATRE Dean Close School, Shelbourne Road, Cheltenham GL51 6HE. 01242 258002, www.bacontheatre.co.uk Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings Wed 18 Dec, 5pm, £6.50 (ticket price includes a treat from Santa) • Get along early to meet Father Christmas and settle down to a glittering cinema experience at 5pm. Join Tinkerbell and friends as they discover a magical secret which could change her world forever. Johnny Copin: All on a Winter’s Night Thu 19 Dec. 7.30pm. £9 (child)/£16 (adult) • A mix of traditional carols, new songs, humorous readings and folklore presented by this singersongwriter. Robin Hood Wed 22 Jan–Sun 26 Jan. 7pm (Wed–Sat), 2.30pm (Sat–Sun), £8-£14 • A traditional family pantomime performed by Promenade Productions following the exploits of Robin Hood and his band of merry men as they steal from the rich and redistribute to the poor. Order tickets direct from Showcase on 01242 224144. BAYSHILL UNITARIAN CHURCH HALL Royal Well Lane, Cheltenham, GL50 3ET. 01242 263283. Puppet & Toy Theatre Festival Tue 18-Sat 22 Feb, 10.30am & 2pm (Sat 11am & 3pm), £3.50/£2.50 (Sat: £4/£3) • Join the award-winning Treasure Trove Puppet Company for exciting daily puppet shows as they tell ‘The Story of the Willow Pattern Plate’ as well as performing classics ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Pinocchio’. There’s also the opportunity to take part in a puppet making workshop on Thursday. EVERYMAN THEATRE Regent Street, Cheltenham GL50 1HQ. 01242 572573, www. everymantheatre.org.uk The Emperor’s New Clothes Until Tue 24 Dec. 10am & 11.30am. £7.50 • Perfect for children aged 3-7 years, this adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale will have the whole family laughing when the Emperor’s idiocy is truly undressed. Aladdin Until Sun 12 Jan, times include 10am, 2pm, 4pm & 7pm, £12-£68 • Tweedy the Clown, 8 CHRISTMAS 2013

13Michaela Glos Theatre listings Xmas 2013.indd Strachan’s Really Wild8Adventures,

from Giffords Circus takes centre stage in this comic adaptation of the lamp legend. Join the hero as he journeys from rags to riches, defeating the evil Abanazer and winning the heart of a beautiful princess. Beatle Mania Fri 17 Jan. 7.45pm. £22.50 • This nostalgic show recreates the legendary live performances of Britain’s greatest musical export from their ‘mop-top’ roots to the psychedelic times of Sgt. Pepper. Alice in Wonderland Sat 1 Feb. 2pm. £10.50 • Lewis Carroll’s breath-taking Wonderland bursts onto the stage in a whirlwind of unusual contraptions, handmade puppets and extraordinary characters. THE PLAYHOUSE THEATRE 47-53 Bath Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7HG. 01242 522852, www. playhousecheltenham.org The Snow Spider Tue 17 Dec– Sat 4 Jan, £7-£14 • On Gwyn Griffiths’s ninth birthday, everything changes when five strange gifts unlock the door to a series of discoveries. A timeless Christmas show based on Jenny Nimmo’s award-winning book. Ages 7+. ROSES THEATRE The Roses, Sun Street, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 5NX. 01684 295074, www. rosestheatre.org Jack and the Beanstalk Until Sat 4 Jan, 5pm, £10-£22 • The wicked Giant Blunderbore is terrorising the land and poor

Jack and his Mum have hit hard times. The only way to make ends meet is to sell their beloved cow Daisy, but by the time Jack gets home from market, the golden coins he received have turned to worthless beans. But this is where the magic starts. The Roses giant pantomime promises laughter and spectacle by the lorryload.

FURTHER AFIELD THE BRISTOL HIPPODROME St. Augustine’s Parade, BS1 4UZ. 0844 871 3012, www.atgtickets. com/bristol Cinderella Fri 6 Dec-Sun 5 Jan, 7pm. £10-£35 • Find out if Cinderella will ever get her fairytale ending in this pantomime that features real Shetland ponies as well as a sparkling set and live orchestra. This year’s big name is professional television twinkle-toes, Louie Spence, with support from Bristol’s ever-hilarious Andy Ford. Happy Days the Musical Mon 3-Sat 8 Mar, 7.30pm. Matinees on Wed and Sat 2.30pm. £15-£39.50 • Relive the 1950s American television series with this fun musical. With original Fonz Henry Winkler as creative consultant, and starring Sugababes’ member Heidi Range, this musical includes 21 songs as well as the much-loved Happy Days theme song from the TV series.

THE BRISTOL OLD VIC King Street, Bristol BS1 4ED. 0117 987 7877, www.bristololdvic.org. uk Antarctica Until Sat 4 Jan. Times vary. £13/£7 (under 2s free) • The BOV studio is transformed into a wintry wonderland that will set imaginations alight as the Little Bulb Theatre take young audiences on a chilly journey armed with songs, instruments, puppets and plenty of snowy surprises. The Little Mermaid Until Sat 18 Jan. 2pm & 7pm (& 4pm on Boxing Day & New Year’s Day). £5-£30 • The BOV’s in-house team turns its hand to Hans Christian Andersen’s much-loved tale. If it’s half as exciting as last year’s Peter Pan it will be highly impressive. The story follows a young mermaid who is willing to give up her marine life in return for a soul and the love of a young prince. Expect BOV to tease out some intriguing themes. THE EGG Theatre Royal, Sawclose, Bath BA1 1ET. 01225 448844, www.theatreroyal.org.uk Moominland Midwinter Until Sun 12 Jan, 2pm & 7pm (Mon-Sat), 1pm & 5pm (Sun), 11.30am & 3pm (New Year’s Eve). £10-£15 • The Moomins appear on stage for the first time in this family Christmas fantasy. Waking early from his winter hibernation, Moomintroll sets off to explore a snowy Moominland, but the places which he knows so well in summer have all changed. Hansel and Gretel Mon 17 Feb. 11.30am & 3pm. £7.50 (adult)/£6.50 (child) • A continuation of the famous fairy-tale, telling the story of what happened next to the fabled duo after they escaped from the terrible witch and her candy cane cottage. Ages 5+ Grandpa’s Railway Wed 19-Sat 22 Feb. 11.30am-3pm. £7.50 (adult)/£6.50 (child) • Featuring live music, a working model railway and a coachload of surprises, playful characters embark on an evocative train journey that delves into the past, illuminates the present and lays new tracks for the future. THEATRE ROYAL Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET. 01225 448844, www.theatreroyal.org.uk Peter Pan Until Sun 12 Jan. Various performances. £17-£105. Discounts apply on ‘purple’ performances only (Children under 14 - £3 off) • An unmissable Christmas treat with everything from flying and special effects to all the traditional ingredients that make this pantomime spectacular. PRIMARY TIMES

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Passionate about Learning Cotswold Education specialises in individual one-to-one tuition to support you and your child through their school years and beyond. Our next public event is:

Grammar School Information Morning Saturday February 8th, 2014 in Cheltenham Our very popular Grammar School Information Morning gives you the opportunity to learn more about how to apply for grammar school, the tests used for selection and a practice session for year 4 and 5 children to try out a test under supervised, timed conditions. The test is likely to change this year and we will be providing the most up to date and helpful information on the new format. Places are limited so please contact us for further information and to book a place.

Tel 01242 572392

www.CotswoldEducation.co.uk email: info@cotswoldeducation.co.uk We welcome enquiries from experienced tutors.

Does your Child lack Confidence & Self Esteem? Do they find it difficult to cope with the Pressure & Demands of School? Do they need a little extra help with Arithmetic, Writing & Reading (up to GCSE higher tier)? Specialised in helping children with learning difficulties and school ‘phobia’. Background in Rudolf Steiner Education and Speech Therapy.

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ROUNDABOUT Your ultimate family diary of what’s on, where & when

Catch the Santa Special, Dean Forest Railway, until Tue 24 Dec.

Deadlines: List your school’s events in Primary Times for free. We work a half-term in advance so we’re now collecting information for February, March and April 2014: deadline Mon 6 Jan. If your event is to raise funds for a school or charity, and is open to the public, please let us know. E: mike.gartside@venue.co.uk. PLEASE CHECK BEFORE YOU TRAVEL While we make every effort to ensure these listings are accurate and up to date, event information can sometimes change after we’ve gone to press. Please check with the venue or organiser before you set off to an event to make sure it’s going ahead as planned . . . and tell them you saw it in Primary Times!

DECEMBER ONGOING OTTER TALK Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT. 01453 891223, www.wwt.org.uk, 11.30am & 3pm, included in admission • Meet Slimbridge’s friendly family of Otters: Flo, Minnie and Ha Ha and hear a talk as they tuck into a tasty fish supper. ONGOING SEA HEAR STORYTELLING Brunel’s ss Great Britain, Great Western Dockyard, Bristol, BS1 6TY. 0117 926 0680, www.ssgreatbritain. org, daily, free with general admission • Taking place on the first Tuesday of every month, storyteller Sarah Mooney is an expert at captivating young minds with her immersive yarns. Her free sessions mix original tales with new twists on classic legends and children can join in with stories of whales and angel fish, pirate treasure and stormy seas. ONGOING OTTER TALK Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT. 01453 891223, www.wwt. org.uk, 11.30am & 3pm, included in admission • Meet Slimbridge’s friendly family of Otters: Flo, Minnie and Ha Ha and hear a talk as they tuck into a tasty fish supper. UNTIL SAT 21 DEC CHELTENHAM CHRISTMAS MARKET The Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1NB. 01242 522878, www. cheltenhamchristmasmarket. co.uk, 10am (Mon-Sat)/11am (Sun), free • Back for its 11th year, the 2013 Cheltenham Christmas MarPRIMARY TIMES

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ket hosts German-style wooden chalets offering a range of festive wares. For younger shoppers there are stalls selling traditional wooden toys, puppets and a wide selection of children’s books. Also, German beers and freshlymade crepes. UNTIL SUN 22 DEC SANTA’S GROTTO Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT. 01453 891223, www.wwt.org. uk, 12pm-4pm, £5 • Open every weekend throughout December, Gloucestershire children can tell Santa their Christmas wishes – and get an early present – when the main man opens up his cosy grotto in the wetland reserve. UNTIL SUN 22 DEC ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS AT WESTONBIRT Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Glos, GL8 8QS. 01666 880220, www.forestry.gogv.uk/westonbirt, 5pm-8.30pm (last entry 7.15pm), £10 (adult)/£8 (concs)/£5 (child) • Westonbirt takes on a different hue this Christmas as a thousand festive lights light up its towering trees on the one-mile illuminated trail. An explosion of colour will have all eyes transfixed, until they get the chance to meet a real reindeer and ‘Saint Nick’ himself. Refreshments, carol singing and traditional merry-go-round rides also on offer. UNTIL TUE 24 DEC SANTA CRUISES Llanthony Warehouse, Gloucester Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EH. 01452

318200, gloucesterwaterwaysmuseum.org.uk, 12pm, 1.30pm and 3pm daily, £8.50 including entry to Gloucester Waterways Museum • The ever-popular Santa Cruises return for another year to give families the chance to take a boat trip on the canal with Santa before following him to his workshop to be told a tale. All children get a present.

Rudolf, Prancer and Comet are more popular than ever during the Christmas period. Visitors can enjoy the valley views, where trees, lakes and even the birds are flooded with coloured lighting, creating spectacular effects to be enjoyed as you walk throughout the park. A host of festive activities include Santa in a hand crafted sleigh.

UNTIL TUE 24 DEC CATCH THE SANTA SPECIAL Dean Forest Railway, Forest Road, Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 4ET. 01594 845840, www. deanforestrailway.co.uk, 11.30am, 1pm & 2.30pm, £11 (adult)/£5 (child) • Experience the sound of a steam train pulling through the mysterious forest as Santa moves through the carriages to meet each child. Every child gets a gift, with mince pies for parents.

UNTIL SAT 4 JAN CHRISTMAS AT LONGLEAT Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW. 01985 844400, www. longleat.co.uk, 10am-8pm, online discount £13.50 (adult)/£9.90 (child) plus additional charges for Santa Train and Ice Skating • Alongside the much-loved park attractions, Longleat welcomes the Santa Special Train and a winter wonderland ice rink this

UNTIL TUE 24 DEC SANTA’S GROTTO Regent Arcade, High Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1JZ. 01242 521345, www.regentarcade.co.uk, 10am (Sat), 11am (Sun to Fri), £3.50 including gift • Bringing a full sack of Christmas cheer to Cheltenham, Santa returns to the shopping centre to check the names on his list. Each child can whisper their wishes in Santa’s grotto before getting a gift to take home.

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Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum until Sun 22 Dec. Pic: Paul Groom.

UNTIL TUE 24 DEC CHRISTMAS AT PRINKNASH The Bird and Deer Park, Prinknash, Cranham, Gloucester, GL4 8EX. 01452 812727, www.thebirdpark. com, 3.30pm-6pm, £9 • Prinknash has its own resident reindeer and CHRISTMAS 2013

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WINTER OPENING 10 TILL 5

PLAY BARN ONLY

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PLEASE CHECK BEFORE YOU TRAVEL . . . AND TELL THEM YOU SAW THE EVENT IN PRIMARY TIMES!

ROUNDABOUT apply • Collect a list of gifts and help Father Christmas deliver his stack of presents to the staff and animals at Lacock Abbey. Wear outdoor clothes and shoes. UNTIL SUN 12 JAN ROMAN EMPIRE: POWER AND PEOPLE Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RL. 0117 922 3571. 10am-6pm, £3-£5 • Explore the conquest of the Roman Empire, and see how its impact stretched from Britain to the Eastern world. The exhibition displays over 70 Roman objects collected from around the world.

Carols at Gloucester Cathedral, which hosts the Xmas Factor Trail until Sun 5 Jan.

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Christmas, set against the spectacular backdrop of the house and its snow-covered woods. UNTIL SUN 5 JAN COTSWOLD CRAFTSMEN Corinnium Museum, Park Street, Cirencester, GL7 2BX. 01285 655611. www.coriniummuseum. org • The Cotswold Craftsmen are a well-established group whose membership includes a rich cross section of craftsmen, designers and artists. This is an exhibition of traditional skills combined with contemporary techniques and ideas. UNTIL SUN 5 JAN THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE Clearwell Caves Ancient Iron Mines, Near Coleford, Royal Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL16 8JR. 01594 832535, www.clearwellcaves.com, 10am-5pm (30 Nov-23 Dec)/10am-4pm (24 Dec and 27 Dec-5 Jan), £8.50 per person, under 2s free • The Tuppence family have found their perfect Christmas tree in the forest, they struggle to bring it home until Tilly Tuppence has a brilliant idea... See Father Christmas and receive a present before following this magical tale as you walk through the glittering caves. UNTIL SUN 5 JAN THE XMAS FACTOR TRAIL Gloucester Cathedral, College Green, GL1 2LR. 01452 528095, www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk, 10.45am-3.15pm (Mon-Sat)/12pm2.30pm (Sun), free • Get along to the Xmas factor trail, through the cathedral’s stone corridors, to meet the stars of the first Christmas story and discover what gave them the original ‘X-Factor’. UNTIL SUN 5 JAN SKATE UNDER THE STARS At-Bristol, Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB. 0845 345 1235, www.at-bristol. org.uk, £7.50 (adult)/£5.50 (child)/group rates also apply • New this winter is the Harbourside’s first ice rink, as Millennium Square is transformed into a winter playground where you can skate with friends and family next to the giant bauble of the At-Bristol Planetarium.

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UNTIL SUN 5 JAN CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village, Lacock, near Chippenham, SN15 2LG. 01249 730459, www.nationaltrust.org/ lacock, 11am-3.30pm, free event but normal admission charges apply • Experience the magic of twinkly Christmas trees displayed in the beautiful medieval cloisters. Local community groups have been hard at work decorating the 25 trees that star in this glittering show. UNTIL SUN 5 JAN FESTIVE ICE SKATING The Royal Pavilion, Royal Avenue, Bath BA1 2NR. 07583 258688, www.bathonice.com, off-peak £8.50 (adult)/£7 (child), peak £9.50 (adult)/£8.50 (child) • Enjoy skating on a real ice rink in spectacular Royal Victoria Park beneath the famous Royal Crescent in the centre of Bath. This year sees a new Christmas avenue lit up at night with a larger cafe serving a delicious range of treats from mulled wine and mince pies to roasted chestnuts and sizzling hot dogs. UNTIL MON 6 JAN SANTA’S LACOCK HELPER Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village, Lacock, near Chippenham, SN15 2LG. 01249 730459, www.nationaltrust.org/ lacock, 11am-3pm, free event but normal admission charges

Christmas at Clearwell Caves, The Perfect Christmas Tree, until Sun 5 Jan.

UNTIL FRI 31 JAN STICK MAN TRAIL Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Glos GL8 8QS. 01666 880220, www.forestry.gogv.uk/westonbirt, 10am-4pm, general admission charges apply • Meeting by the Great Oak Hall, discover the best bits about sticks with this activity based on Julia Donaldson’s book, ‘Stick Man’. Suitable for Ages 3+. UNTIL SAT 22 FEB DECOY DEMONSTRATIONS Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT. 01453 891223, www.wwt. org.uk, 2pm, normal admission charges apply • How do you catch a duck with a dog? Find out as you watch Slimbridge Wetland Centre’s very own four-legged friend assist with conservation work catching birds to ring in decoy nets. SAT 14 DEC A VERY VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS Gloucester Folk Museum, 103 Westgate, St. Gloucester GL1 2PG. 01452 503050, www. gloucestermuseums.co.uk, 6-9PM, £8 (adult)/£5 (child) • Find out how the Victorian’s celebrated Christmas with themed quizzes, trails, activities and re-enactors. SAT 14 DEC CHRISTMAS PARTY The Chantry Centre, Lister Hall, 36 Long Street, Dursley, Gloucestershire, GL11 4BD. 07878

865297, www.worldjungle.org. uk, 8pm, £5 (advance)/£7 (on the door) • Celebrating its first anniversary, The Coco Club – based at the centre - throws a winter boogie that will have all ages rocking around the Christmas tree. Kicking off with the Just Jive team of Jimmy & Lisa, who teach the party some swinging dance moves, local DJs provide the soundtrack for the rest of the night. SAT 14-SUN 15 DEC CHRISTMAS MARKETS AT TAURUS CRAFTS Taurus Crafts, The Old Park, Lydney, Forest of Dean, GL15 6BU. 01594 844841, www.tauruscrafts. co.uk, 10am-5.30pm • Browse festive stalls for stocking fillers, freshly cut trees and winter-warming food and drink at Lydney’s largest Christmas market. TUE 17 DEC A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION WITH THE TANHOUSE SINGERS Nature in Art, A38, Twigworth, Gloucester, GL2 9PA. 01452 731422, www.nature-in-art. org.uk, times TBC, £8 • Back by popular demand this well-known Gloucestershire based choir performs carols, festive music and readings. Mince pies and mulled wine included in a finger buffet. THU 19 DEC CHRISTMASES PAST – COLIN CHAPMAN TALK Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, Gloucester Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2HE. 01452 522682, www.glosters.org.uk, time tbc, £6-£5 • Learn all about festive customs and traditions of the past, with historian Colin Chapman. THU 19 DEC STOCKING FILLER MARKET Gloucester City Centre, Gloucester, GL1 1PD. 5pm-8.30pm, free • Lots of stalls and pre-Christmas entertainment. An opportunity to buy those last minute gifts from this final Gate Street market of the year. FRI 20 DEC BRISTOL VOICES: CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT Bristol Cathedral, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TS, www.bristolvoices. co.uk, 7.30pm, Tickets are available from Opus 13 Music, 14 St Michael’s Hill. 0117 923 0164, £12 for reserved seats and £6 for unreserved seats • Bristol Voices Junior Choir sing in one of the traditional highlights of the city’s Christmas festivities - Carols by Candlelight at Bristol Cathedral. The evening also features Bristol Cathedral Choir, Dave Harvey (BBC Points West) and Chris Torpy. FRI 20 DEC FESTIVE FRIDAY AND ILLUMINATED CHRISTMAS TRAILS Batsford Arboretum, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9AB. 01386 701441, www.batsarb.co.uk, 5pm7pm, £5 per child • Follow the » CHRISTMAS 2013

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PLEASE CHECK BEFORE YOU TRAVEL . . . AND TELL THEM YOU SAW THE EVENT IN PRIMARY TIMES! great Christmas work, La Nativité du Seigneur, will be performed at Gloucester Cathedral by Jeremy Cole. MON 23 DEC LE ENSEMBLE CHRISTMAS CONCERT St Laurence Church, The Shambles, Stroud, GL5 1AP. 01453 760900, 7.30pm-9.30pm, £13 (adult)/free (under 18s) • A diverse evening of music from Le Page Ensemble, also featuring folk duo Jack McNeill and Charlie Heys, and local actor Trevor T Smith. Music by Bach, Mozart and Jeff Buckley, as well as folk carols and more.

Festive Friday and Illuminated Christmas Trails at Batsford Arboretum, Fri 20 Dec, plus Boxing Day at Batsford.

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illuminated Christmas trail in the arboretum to visit Santa in his unusual grotto. Enjoy festive food on the Garden Terrace Café before stocking up on mistletoe and a host of gift ideas in the Arboretum Gift shop. FRI 20 DEC FLOODLIT SWAN SUPPER Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT. 01453 891223, www.wwt.org. uk, 6.15pm for 6.30pm start, £26 excluding admission • Relax in the comfort of Slimbridge’s heated observatory, with a glass of mulled wine, as the centre’s beautiful Bewick’s swans are fed by an expert warden. Learn their incredible stories and watch them feed among thousands of other birds. A three course meal is included in the ticket price. FRI 20 DEC-SAT 4 JAN CRANEBERRY FEST Slimbridge Wetland Centre,

Wrap up warm for the Twighlight and Illuminations Tour, Bristol, Sat 21 Dec.

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Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT. 01453 891223, www.wwt. org.uk, 11.30am-3.30pm, included in admission • Find out what cranes, the elegant wetland bird, and cranberries have in common by following the craneberry trail and making cranberry Christmas decorations. SAT 21 DEC CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS CRAFTS Nature in Art, A38, Twigworth, Gloucester, GL2 9PA. 01452 731422, www.nature-in-art.org.uk, 9.30am-4pm, £6 advance booking • A chance to get the younger kids creative this Christmas with a day of fun-packed activities for all ages. SAT 21 DEC FANTASTIC FESTIVITIES Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AT. 01225 477233, www.victoriagal. org.uk, 2pm-3.30pm, £4 per child, for 5 to 11 years • Make wise men and Rudoph the red-nose reindeer in this arts and craft activity afternoon with the big day less than a week away. SAT 21 DEC TWILIGHT AND ILLUMINATIONS TOUR City Sight-Seeing Bristol, Stop 1 on Broad Quay, City Centre, BS1 4DA. 07425 788123, www. citysightseeingbristol.co.uk, 4.30pm, £12 (adult)/£2 (child) • See Bristol illuminated by the Christmas lights on one of these open-top bus rides. Wrapped up in one of the warm red blankets and the promise of a hot drink at the end, sit back and enjoy Bristol in its Christmas glory aboard the tour bus. Even lifelong residents of the city may find something new.

SAT 21 DEC SANTA’S CHARITY GROTTO The Brewery, Henrietta St, Cheltenham GL50 4FA. 01242 574378, www.thebrewerycheltenham.co.uk, 12pm-4pm, charity donations welcome to MacMillan Cancer Support • Meet Santa in his grotto, take him your Christmas lists and have your photo taken. Santa gives a small chocolate gift to every child he meets. The grotto interior is lavishly decorated by the Everyman Theatre and staffed by the Stonehouse Rotary club with Christmas star decorations from Cheltenham school children. SAT 21 DEC SAINT CECILIA SINGERS CHRISTMAS CONCERT Gloucester Cathedral, College Green, GL1 2LR. 01452 229813, www.gloucestercathedral.org. uk, 7.30pm, £14/£7 (under18s) • The Saint Cecilia Singers chamber choir has strong links to Gloucester Cathedral and performs a Christmas concert featuring traditional choral songs and audience participation.

THU 26 DEC BIBURY DUCK RACE River Coln, Bibury, Gloucestershire. www.biburycricketclub.co.uk, 11am, free for spectators • Quintessentially eccentric, the annual Bibury Duck Race is one of Gloucestershire’s most unusual and popular attractions - pulling in the crowds every year. Enjoy a family day out watching the yellow bobbing birds float through the pretty village. THU 26 DEC BOXING DAY AT BATSFORD Batsford Arboretum, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9AB. 01386 701441, www.batsarb.co.uk, 10am-3pm, £7 (adult)/£3 (child) • Take a magical Christmas stroll in Batsford’s arboretum. Includes a free mug of mulled wine for each customer. THU 26-TUE 31 DEC EXHIBITION AND WHISPERING GALLERY Gloucester Cathedral, College Green, GL1 2LR. 01452 528095, www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk, from 11.15am-3.45pm, closed Sun 29 Dec, £2 but free for accompanying children • A chance to learn about the cathedral’s Great East Window that houses a rich tapestry of stained glass; finding out how and why it was made, and also experience the mysterious Whispering Gallery.

SAT 21-SUN 22 DEC FESTIVE TRAIL AT HIDCOTE Hidcote, Hidcote Bartrim, near Chipping Campden, GL55 6LR. 01386 438333, www.nationaltrust. org.uk/hidcote, 11am-3pm, £5 (child: includes trail, gift and photo with Santa) • No booking needed, take part in the garden’s festive trail which winds through the picturesque site before leading into Santa’s friendly grotto.

SAT 28 DEC BIRDS OF PREY DAY John Moore Museum, 41 Church Street, Tewkesbury, GL20 5SN. 01684 297174, www.johnmooremuseum.org, drop in between 10am-1pm & 2pm-5pm, £3 (adult)/£2 (child)/free (under 5s) • J.R.C.S. Falconry are welcomed back to answer questions about birds of prey and the ancient discipline of falconry. Meet a Steppe Eagle, a Barn Owl, an Eagle Owl, an American Kestrel, a Peregrine Falcon and an American Red Tailed Buzzard.

SUN 22 DEC LA NATIVITE DU SEIGNEUR ORGAN RECITAL Gloucester Cathedral, College Green, GL1 2LR. 01452 528095, www.gloucestercathedral.org. uk, 6pm, free • Olivier Messiaen’s

SAT 28, SUN 29 DEC & WED 1 JAN NEW YEAR MINCE PIE SPECIALS Dean Forest Railway, Forest Road, Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 4ET. 01594 845840, www.

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PLEASE CHECK BEFORE YOU TRAVEL . . . AND TELL THEM YOU SAW THE EVENT IN PRIMARY TIMES!

ROUNDABOUT to experience the abbey orchard and grounds after dark. SAT 25 JAN-31 DEC 2014 GEORGIANS: 18TH CENTURY DRESS FOR POLITE SOCIETY Bath Fashion Museum, Bath Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath, BA1 2QH, 01225 477789, www.fashionmuseum.co.uk, £7.75/£5.75 • The museum’s special exhibition for 2014 includes over 30 original 18th century costumes from the museum’s world-class collection and special Georgian inspired outfits from top fashion designers.

Use Nature to Help Humans, BRLSI, Bath, Sat 11 Jan.

» deanforestrailway.co.uk, 10.30am, £11 (adult)/£5 (child)/£30 family (2 adults & 2 children) • Relax after Christmas with a steam trip through the winter forest and have a mince pie. .

JANUARY MON 6 JAN HOME EDUCATOR DAY: EXPLORING PHYSICS At-Bristol, Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB. 0845 345 3344, www.at-bristol.org.uk, 10.30am-2.30pm, £11 per child, prebooking required • A day filled with activities and experiments, exclusively for home educating families. Suitable for 5 to 15-year-olds. TUE 7 JAN-SUN 2 MAR SUPER STAR TRAIL Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village, Lacock, near Chippenham, SN15 2LG. 01249 730459, www.nationaltrust.org/ lacock, daily 11am-4pm, free event but normal admission charges apply • Become a space super star on this family trail around the illustrious Lacock grounds. Learn about the vastness of space and hunt for stars hidden around the Fox Talbot Museum. SAT 11 JAN USE NATURE TO HELP HUMANS Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN. 01225 312084, www.brlsi.org, 1pm-4pm, termly membership £12 (3 workshops) £6 per child, coolbookings@brlsi.org, pay on line at www.brlsi.org/shop/ youthactivities • An afternoon of science workshops for children aged 8+. Professor Julian Vincent explains how we can learn and copy the tricks used by plants to improve our own lives. The afternoon also includes a chance to find out more about molecules and their structure by making models. SAT 11 JAN GET INSPIRED Colston Hall, Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5AR. 0844 887 1500 or 0117 204 7126, www.colstonhall. PRIMARY TIMES

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org, 10.30am-11.30am for 4 to 6 year olds, 10.30am-12pm for 7 to 10 year olds, £7 per session, colstonhall@bristolplaysmusic.org. uk • Children can unlock their creativity through fusing music, storytelling, arts and crafts. Sessions include exploring characters, sound effects, singing, song writing and costume and prop making. There are opportunities for group and individual creative work and workshops culminate in a sharing or performance activity. SUN 12 JAN POLES ALOUD Colston Hall, Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5AR. 0844 887 1500, www.colstonhall.org, 3pm, free • Returning for the third annual Poles Aloud event, Polish bands and artists perform over two floors giving Bristol a real taste of Polish culture. Suitable for families. FRI 17 JAN WASSAIL AT LACOCK ABBEY Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village, Lacock, near Chippenham, SN15 2LG. 01249 730459, www.nationaltrust. org/lacock, 6.45pm-8.30pm, £8 (adult)/£4 (child) • Take a pot, pan or wooden spoon to help members of staff scare the evil spirits out of apple trees and hope for a fruitful year in the grounds of Lacock. Expect live music, warming soup and punch, plus a unique chance

FRI 31 JAN UNDER THE STARS – ASTRONOMY EVENING Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT. 01453 891223, www. wwt.org.uk, 7pm, £10 • Unlock the secrets of the night sky and have a go at star-gazing with this ‘Tour of the Universe’ event. Learn about the stars at a talk in the cinema before joining the experts from Astronomia outside. On a clear night you should get to see Jupiter around 9pm, the Andromeda Galaxy will be well placed as will the Pleiades star cluster. .

FEBRUARY SAT 1-SUN 2 FEB SLIMBRIDGE FESTIVAL OF BIRDS 2014 Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT. 01453 891223, www.wwt.org. uk, 9.30am-5pm, included in general admission • Celebrate bird watching at this special event which should see the reserve reach peak numbers of wildfowl and the friendly ‘guides in the hides’ ensure that visitors see the best wildlife on offer. SAT 8 FEB WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BEGINNERS Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2

Half term activities at Chedworth Roman Villa, Sat 15 - Sun 23 Feb.

7BT. 01453 891223, www.wwt.org. uk, 10am-4pm, £60 • Starting with an illustrated introductory session looking at composition, technique and equipment, students head outside for a practical session of nature photography. Small course numbers ensure that there’s time for one to one tuition. TUE 11 & WED 19 FEB EARLY SPRING WALK WITH LACOCK’S HEAD GARDENER Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village, Lacock, near Chippenham, SN15 2LG. 01249 730459, www.nationaltrust. org/lacock, 2.30pm-3.30pm, free event but normal admission charges apply • As spring slowly approaches, discover the beauty of early flowers on this walk among snowdrops, winter aconites and, possibly, a carpet of purple crocuses in the Victorian woodland grounds. FRI 14 FEB ADVANCED BIRDER Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT. 01453 891223, www.wwt.org. uk, 8am, £27 • For those looking to take their bird watching to the next level, this in depth lesson helps enthusiasts to assess fine details such as plumage, weather conditions and habitats. SAT 15-SUN 23 FEB HALF TERM ACTIVITIES Chedworth Roman Villa, Yanworth, near Cheltenham, GL54 3LJ. 01242 890256, www. nationaltrust.org.uk/chedworthroman-villa, 10.30am-4pm, free event but normal admission charges apply • Be the first to visit the villa in 2014, as the historic site opens for the 150th Anniversary Year of Victorian Discovery. Halfterm art and craft activities for children with a small charge for materials. SAT 22-SUN 23 FEB NEW TESTAMENT GREEK Gloucester Cathedral, College Green, GL1 2LR. paul@ancientgreekinbristol.com, www.ancientgreekinbristol.com • A weekend course for complete beginners interested in learning more about this ancient language with tutor Paul Pritchard MA, BA, PhD. FRI 28 FEB-SUN 9 MAR BATH LITERATURE FESTIVAL Various venues throughout Bath. 01225 462231, www.bathfestivals. org.uk, prices and events tbc • With early tickets already on sale, next year’s festival promises to expand upon the success of 2013’s event which saw the literary world descend upon the streets of Bath for 10 days. The 2014 event is under the watchful guidance of artistic director and writer, Viv Groskop.

LISTINGS BY ALEX SAUNDERS CHRISTMAS 2013

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

d r a o b n Pi Fun at the Aquarium There’s a fun-packed programme of festive themed events and activities taking place at Bristol Aquarium over the Christmas Holidays (Sat 21 Dec to Sun 5 Jan). The Harbourside wildlife attraction is staging 10 different daily talks, feeds and workshops throughout the festive period. Visitors can enjoy a huge variety of events ranging from behind-thescenes tours and craft workshops to fish feeding demonstrations. You can even see how a traditional ‘Fishmas Dinner’ is prepared. Be warned, though, squid is on the menu! For younger visitors there’s the chance to join the aquarium’s giant cuddly costume character Charlie the Clownfish for story time with a selection of fishy-theme tales. The aquarium showcases native and tropical marine and freshwater creatures from around the world in naturally themed habitats designed to inspire deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Ffi: Bristol Aquarium Anchor Road, Harbourside, BS1 5TT. T: 0117 929 8929 W: www.bristolaquarium.co.uk

The Perfect Christmas Tree Clearwell Caves – Christmas Fantasy Looking for a spectacular Christmas event for the family? Discover Santa in his real underground Christmas Grotto with fantastic colourful displays. Forget Lapland, this event is really popular with children and adults alike because of its wonderful seasonal scenes. This year the event tells the story of ‘The Perfect Christmas Tree’: the Tuppence family search for their perfect tree but things do not go to plan, until daughter Tilly has a bright idea… See Father Christmas, experience the amazing displays such as a huge pop-up book, an underground Christmas Market and an underground café. Ample free car and coach parking. The Christmas Fantasy runs until Tue 24 Dec 2013 and, after Christmas, displays re-open Wed 27 Dec to Thu 5 Jan. 10am to 4 pm daily. Entry is £8.50 for adults or children, including a quality gift for children between 2 and 14 years old plus magical tale every Friday until 8pm. Ffi: www.clearwellcaves.com

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Parents’ & teachers’

news, education & contacts

Splashtastic!

Swim Academy is a range of classes offered by Puddle Ducks for primary school-aged children who want to learn to swim in a fun and structured atmosphere. Its aim is for swimmers to foster a love for all things aquatic while gaining water confidence, developing smooth and efficient swimming strokes, and learning important life-saving skills. Beginners’ sessions are both fun and nurturing. The focus of these classes is to help your child with their water confidence and introduce basic skills to enable them to move independently and confidently through the water. With excellent child/teacher ratios, children also spend much more of their lesson time actually learning how to swim and developing their techniques. Puddle Ducks Swim Academy teachers constantly analyse strokes to teach an efficient and effective style. Sign up for one of its ‘splashtastic’ classes in Cheltenham and Gloucester today. Ffi: Puddle Ducks T: 01452 473073 W: www.puddleducks.com

Creative Christmas at Taurus Celebrate a creative Christmas by doing your seasonal shopping at Taurus Crafts, where you can choose from an inspirational selection of crafts and gifts and even make your own. At the working pottery find beautiful hand-made ceramics or throw and paint your own pot. The Gift Shop promises the region’s best selection of design-led gifts and crafts, plus fair trade products. Onsite Craft Units include picture framing, jewellery, textiles and knitting, while the Garden Retreat offers therapies and treatments. For gifts for “foodies” visit Cowshill farm shop, then take a break in the Whole-food Café. For stylish Christmas trimmings, look no further than the Taurus Christmas Shop while Christmas trees are supplied by foresters from nearby Lydney Park Estate. Ffi: Taurus Crafts The Old Park, outside Lydney on the A48, Gloucestershire. Open 10am to 5.30pm daily T: 01594 844841 W: www.tauruscrafts.co.uk

Finding the right direction Performing arts classes - helping every child, in performance and in life! If you thought drama classes were full of kids who wanted to be the next Harry Potter, think again. Many parents and young people have realised that the real benefit is the Pauline Quirke increased confidence and improved communication skills that such sessions offer. Performing arts education such as that offered by the Pauline Quirke Academy, has a wonderful effect on young people and the success stories are impressive. Children who were once incredibly shy have not only put their hands up in class for the first time, but have then gone on to achieve previously unthinkable feats, such as singing in front of an audience or presenting to a room of their peers. And, while young children learn essential life skills like listening and responding effectively, canny teenagers with an eye on their future know that the ability to engage any audience, especially at a university or job interview, can give you the edge in a very competitive world. To book a free taster session, visit the website Ffi: Pauline Quirke Academy W: www.pqacademy.com T: 0845 673 2022.

Rocket Robin At the Bacon Theatre, Wed 22 to Sun 26 Jan 2014, 7pm and Sat & Sun matinees, 2.30pm For 2014 Promenade Productions, Cheltenham’s most popular ‘panto provider’ have chosen a pantomime which comes with more than its fair share of mayhem and merriment. Follow the legendary Robin Hood, as he battles the evil Sheriff of Nottingham to free the land from tyranny. Robin is aided by his merry men including Little John, Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale, while the evil Sheriff is hindered by his idiotic henchmen. Both Robin and the Sheriff are distracted by the beauty of Maid Marian. So if you want to be thoroughly entertained, Robin Hood the Panto has lots of laughs, stunning sets, fabulous costumes and great dance routines. See you in Sherwood Forest! Ffi and to book: Robin Hood, the Panto £8-£14 (£30 family of four on Wed and Thur). T: Showcase on 01242 224144.

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12/4/2013 11:37:07 AM


Busy hands

New year, new hobby? Rose Bonsier and Tom Olver report on ways for the whole family to keep away from those consoles.

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he start of a new year can be an anti-climax after Christmas. For many it’s difficult to find a focus and even those who make New Year’s Resolutions find it hard to stick to them. Perhaps a positive approach is the key to success. Finding a new hobby or interest is the perfect way to fill the gap left behind by chocolate, wine, or whatever else you’ve given up. Here are a few ideas to help you bring the family together and spend time pursuing a new pastime in the New Year.

The great outdoors

home to some of the loveliest hills in the Cotswolds. The National Trust takes care of some pretty places for a quiet stroll, such as Woodchester Park and Crickley Hill. Or, if you’re after a wilder experience, the Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens is just across the Oxfordshire border and home to animals from all over the world. Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens T: 01993 823006 W: www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk The National Trust Gloucestershire T: 01985 843600 W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Kids love nothing more than getting out of the house and going out into the world to explore, and taking them on walks or visits means they’re bound to see something new along the way. Gloucestershire is lucky to have some beautiful landscapes with terrain gentle enough to explore with children. Plus, it’s

Pottering about

Whether you’re thinking of selling your creations or keeping them for yourself, pottery will test your skill and originality in a fun, experimental way. For skilled guidance, the Potthouse in Cheltenham offers a professional workshop environment and an eight-week pottery making course for beginners. It also hosts sessions for children and families so you can give it a go together. Gloucestershire has a selection of pottery studios where you can turn up and paint, including the Paint It Yourself Pottery Co. in Cheltenham, who even have a mobile studio. Paint It Yourself Pottery Co. T: 01242 575700 W: www.piyp.co.uk PRIMARY TIMES

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The Potthouse T: 07794 850448 W: www.thepotthouse.co.uk

gloucester.gov.uk/resident/ leisure-parks-and-events

Digging for victory

Flour power!

If you dread dragging the kids round the shops to get the ingredients for dinner then growing your own could be a good alternative. Investing time in a vegetable patch means you know exactly what you’re eating. Showing children how to plant, care for and cook fruit and veg will let them experience first-hand the journey food makes from seed, to soil, to spoon. If you don’t have a garden with a suitable space for a vegetable patch consider renting an allotment. Gloucestershire City Council provides information about allotment sites and vacancies on its websites and are more than happy to help find the best one for you. Gloucestershire City Council T: 01452 396396 W: www.

After the success of The Great British Bake Off people across the country have been inspired to turn their hand to baking. Are you one of them? Baking cakes, biscuits, puddings and other delights from scratch is always popular with kids and a really good way to start teaching them skills in the kitchen. Joining a course is a good option if you don’t know where to start and are looking for some professional guidance. Harts Barn cookery school near Mitcheldean has an extensive range of courses for adults and children covering all types of cookery. Classes include catering for specialist dietary requirements, round the world cuisine, and pasta making from scratch. Harts Barn Cookery School T: 01452 831719 W: www.hartsbarncookeryschool.co.uk

It’s all child’s play

Fitness and exercise are important no matter what age you are, and it’s easier to keep fit as a family than you might think. As well as popular family activities such as swimming and cycling there are a whole variety of other sports to try. Playing Frisbee is a good alternative to football. For older children, water-based activities such as kayaking or rafting provide the opportunity to get out into the fresh air. With the river Wye right on the doorstep there’s really no excuse not to. In North Gloucestershire ,Paddle Adventure host a range of introductory day courses and kayaking tours across the South West. Paddle Adventure T: 01242 224086 W: www.paddleadventure.co.uk CHRISTMAS 2013

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Pic: Alexander Caminada/Rex Features

That’s not what I asked for!

Get something you didn’t want for Christmas? Phin Adams says plenty of organisations will help you put those gifts to good use.

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here’s always one. Perhaps Great Uncle Fred hasn’t realised that Tiffany is now a precocious eight year old and the toddler’s onesie he gave her for Christmas is not fit for purpose. Or there’s Cousin Madge, who’s given you the same salmon pink sweater, four and a half sizes too big, for the third Christmas in a row. Most of us are too polite to point out the errors, but will we allow these unwanted visitors to hang around the house for another five years? Classifieds website gumtree.com calculates that, as a nation, we gave and received presents we didn’t want to the value of £2.4 billion last year, while over the festive period, Gloucestershire alone generated 29,000 tonnes of waste. But somehow it just doesn’t feel right to simply throw away the gift. There are a number of local initiatives that would be grateful for the chance to give your presents a new lease of life.

Children’s Scrapstore has seen great success and has grown beyond its Bristol origins, with organisations now operating in North Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The Gloucestershire Resource Centre (GRC), for example, operates the county’s main scrapstore and serves as a valuable link for local institutions (such as schools) that need materials for creative activities. Although they mainly receive donated resources from local businesses, the GRC works hard to promote the re-use of clean waste materials and is always in need of items that some of us might throw straight in the bin. Contact the centre directly to check the suitability of any unwanted materials you may have. Elsewhere, there are now 11 toy libraries across Gloucestershire loaning toys free of charge to registered child-minders, home child carers and foster carers across the county. These centres gladly accept donations and

provide a great opportunity for carers to borrow resources that support and encourage children’s play. Further information and the location of these libraries can be found on the Gloucestershire County Council website. For those looking further afield, Operation Christmas Child is an international programme that encourages participants to design a shoe box and fill it with gifts for children in countries as far away as Zambia, Uganda and Haiti. It’s run by the charity Samaritan’s Purse, which organises the distribution of the shoeboxes to the people who need them most. Anyone wishing to take part in the scheme, either as an individual or part of a group, can design and fill their shoebox and drop it off at one of a network of depots throughout the West Country: there are six in Wiltshire, six in Gloucestershire and six in the Bristol area, and collection has been running since November. You could even start work on next year’s shoe box right now.

It’s clear, then, that whether you want to support a health organisation, an environmental scheme or international relief work, there are a plethora of outlets for your unwanted presents, not forgetting the local charity shop on the high street. Whatever you do, don’t throw them away! Gloucestershire Resource Centre City Works, Alfred Street, Gloucester, GL1 4DF. T: 01452 504442 W: www.grclted.org Gloucestershire County Council Toy Libraries Contact Child-minding Support & Toy Library Administrator Carol Holt for more information T: 07917 601685 E: carol.holt@gloucestershire.gov.uk W: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk Operation Christmas Child Local depot: Centre Christian Bookshop, 5 London Road, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2AG T: 01453 764713 W: www.operationchristmaschild. org.uk

Children in Liberia receiving gifts through Operation Christmas Child.

Gloucestershire Resource Centre 18

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12/4/2013 11:35:28 AM


Classifieds Art & Crafts

TO ADVERTISE CALL CAROLINE ON: 0117 934 3737 OR EMAIL: CAROLINE.STRETTON@B-NM.CO.UK OR RUTH ON: 0117 934 3737 OR EMAIL: RUTH.MORRIS@B-NM.CO.UK

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Call Caroline 0117 934 3737 or email caroline.stretton@ b-nm.co.uk Or Ruth 0117 934 3737 or email ruth.morris@b-nm.co.uk CHRISTMAS 2013

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12/4/2013 2:20:17 PM


Adver tising Feature

Mathematics at Marling is thriving Marling School is a selective, non-fee paying 11 to 18 grammar school for boys located in Stroud. It has a long history of academic success and recently celebrated another year of outstanding results with 48% A*-A grades (95% A*-C) at GCSE and 32% A*-A (83% A*-C) at A-level. Students enjoy excellent facilities and the school has recently opened a new computing suite, new science laboratories and is currently underway with a £3.7m project to build new classrooms and a dining hall. The school offers a huge range of opportunities for students across all subjects. For instance, Year 7 students recently took part in The Enigma Project run by the Millennium Mathematics Project at the University of Cambridge.  Students were taught about the history of codes from the Spartans through to World War II and were truly inspired to see an original World War II Enigma Machine bringing the mathematics of code breaking to life. One Year 7 student said, “I really enjoyed how we all got to join in by solving our own codes… it’s made me think about a career in code breaking. There are so many fun opportunities to explore maths at Marling.” Preparations are also well underway for the prestigious national individual and team competitions run by the UK Mathematics Trust. Dr James Cranch from Sheffield University recently gave Marling School Sixth form students training to help them mentor younger students and the school has extended an invitation to some local primary school students to develop their own mathematical talents. Marling School was inspected by Ofsted in November 2013 and the full report can be seen on its website. • Ffi Marling School W: www.marling.gloucs.sch.uk.

Adver tising Feature

The ‘Triple A’ approach Stroud High School is a selective 11 to 18 girls’ school serving both the local area and welcoming students coming from much further afield. While it has a long history of excellent academic achievement, it celebrates the ‘personal best’ for each and every student, an approach that is central to its values statement: “Stroud High School: a learning community valuing respect, personal best … and a spirit of fun.” Stroud High School is a happy and successful school with a special atmosphere and sense of community which is often commented upon by visitors. Relationships between staff and students are warm and respectful and partnership and cooperation are central to its ethos. In 2013, an Ofsted English Inspection graded the English Department ‘Outstanding’, and commented, “Attainment in English by the end of Year 11 has been high for the past three years and students make outstanding progress across the school.” It added, “Attainment in A level courses is above average. Students make good and often outstanding progress.” The school’s last Section 5 Ofsted inspection graded the school as ‘Outstanding’ and noted that, “Girls thrive at this excellent school. Outstanding academic achievement is matched by exceptional personal development. Stroud High School students are confident, articulate and exceptionally well behaved.” The school’s unique ‘Triple A Award’ lays down a challenge for every student to make the most of their seven years in Stroud High school. ‘Triple A’ stands for aspiration, achievement and altruism, encapsulating the importance it places on a holistic approach to student development. • Ffi Stroud High School W: www.stroudhigh.gloucs.sch.uk

20 CHRISTMAS 2013

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12/4/2013 11:23:06 AM


Adver tising Feature

From Craneberry Fest to Father WWT Slimbridge has the festivities all wrapped Christmas up.

Sat 23rd - Sun 24th March, Wed 27th - March

It’s well known that birds and cranberries go hand in hand but The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) at Slimbridge is not talking turkey and its birds aren’t for Christmas dinner! Throughout December and January (until 26 Jan), WWT Slimbridge, with the farmer-owned Ocean Spray cranberry cooperative, hosts the first ever Craneberry Fest, a celebration of the cranberry and the iconic wetland bird, the crane. Visit in the run up to the festivities to make beautiful cranberry decorations for the tree and visit after Christmas, and into the New Year to make cranberry bird feeders. Look out, too, for the special Craneberry Fest Trail. Father Christmas also takes up residence at WWT Slimbridge on weekend afternoons in December as a building normally used for duck ringing makes a dramatic transformation into a beautiful rustic grotto, decorated with holly, ivy and twinkling lights. Sally Munro, WWT Slimbridge marketing manager says, “The festive season has to be the best time of year to visit a WWT Wetland Centre. Many are teeming with beautiful birds that have migrated here from colder countries. Thanks to Ocean Spray, our cranberrythemed activities offer even more excitement for our visitors, so grab your coats and spend the day outdoors with family, friends and loved ones. With both WWT and Ocean Spray committed to sustaining wetland communities, it’s a perfect partnership brought to life.’’ • Ffi The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Slimbridge W: www.wwt.org.uk/slimbridge

Adver tising Feature

Making your daughter feel special A party can do so much for a child’s self esteem and Glitter and Gloss offers a fun way for girls to explore their more glamorous side. As the company has discovered in its years of offering party packages to girls of all ages, here are five tips to make your daughter feel special: Give honest praise for hard work and accomplishments isn’t about offering empty flattery – she knows insincerity when she hears it. Teach her that effort reaps rewards, while diligence and hard work always pay off in time. Encourage her to do and give her best so there are no regrets and encourage her to accept compliments with grace. Validation is critical as we grow up to realise we have something to offer the world. Recognising she has a voice is vital. Ask her opinion on things and for advice: show her that her ideas matter and that what she has to say is important. Girls who engage regularly in sports or other fitness activities feel more self-confident and are more resilient to negative peer pressure.  Explore a wide variety of activities together to see what she likes best and where she can excel. In other words, give her an opportunity to find her gifts and talents. Take time to compliment her on her inner beauty. In a world where they are sometimes judged by appearance, they don’t always “fit in” at every stage of their lives. Talk about being a loyal friend, having a good sense of humour and being honest: things that will stand her in good stead for life. • Ffi Glitter & Gloss W: www.glitterandgloss.co.uk

PRIMARY TIMES

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21

12/4/2013 11:23:23 AM


Hello Kids!

Thank you so much for the wonderful pictures you send me . The standard is always high so please try again if your entry didn’t get published. For the new year I have teamed up with our friends at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, who have very kindly offered a family ticket to give away to each of the three lucky winners of our art competition. Let them know which creatures you like best by drawing my favourite zoo animal. Please send your pictures to: Arty Barty, Venue Publishing, BN&Media, Temple Way, Bristol, BS99 7HD, or email high resolution jpegs to my editor, mike.gartside@ venue.co.uk. Don’t forget to put your name, age, full home postal address and school on the back: deadline Monday 6 January.

Arty Barty Last issue, I asked you to send in your pictures of ‘Ice skating at At-Bristol’. Well done to the three winners who receive a family ticket to the fabulous interactive science centre. WINNER!

Have fun!

Arty

Verity Greenald,d 7, Deerhurst anE Apperley C of Primary School, Gloucestershiree The sheer volum s thi of ice skaters in es lively scene capturt at an exciting day outhe the ice rink. I like ing ep smiling faces pe in over the barrier d an nd rou the backg ’ the clear blue ‘icy n ose paper you’ve ch lly rea A to draw on. good effort, well done.

Imogen Granger, 5, Preshute Primary School, Wiltshire The multi-coloured attire of the pirouetting skater beneath golden stars and a kaleidoscopic sky is wonderfully eye catching.

Scott Granger, 7, Preshute Prim ary School, Great use of both Wiltshire pa int an d cra yon to create a colou also like the boldrful star-spotted sky. I depiction of At-Br iconic Planetarium istol’s stage and clearly which takes centre identifies the loc ation.

WINNER!

WINNER!

Maisie Dover, 5, Coalway Community Infant School, Gloucestershire I love the techniques used in this drawing Maisie! A clever use of stamps, pencil work and vibrant felt-tips.

Surprise in store Rose Bonsier and Mike Gartside review the new releases.

Wild in the country Jack Everett is a curious young boy at an urban primary school. Although intelligent, he is not doing well there: his instinct to explore is not encouraged and the rigid learning routines stifle him. But Jack discovers a new school, the St. Cuthbert’s Wild School for Boys, which allows pupils to explore their adventurous side, with activities like map making and den building. He loves it. But how will the school fare when the authorities inspect it? Bristol author Ingrid Skeels’s self-published book explores issues at the heart of modern education, raising issues about targets, creativity and the curriculum. It’s partly a Boys’ Own fantasy, appealing to 7- to 11-year-olds, and partly a critique of our school system. This is a difficult balancing act and ‘St. Cuthbert’s . . .’ runs the risk of disheartening younger readers at exactly that type of city school she describes, but it’s exciting to see a local author attempting such thought-provoking subject matter in an entertaining, brightly-written way. (Mike Gartside) St. Cuthbert’s Wild School for Boys Ingrid Skeels, £5.90, www.wildschoolstory.co.uk

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13 Glos Books & Arty Barty Xmas 2013.indd 34

A delightful poetry anthology for younger children, Wish, Wonder, Surprise makes a great bedtime read. Amanda Gazidis’s desire to bring a bit of magic to children and adults alike is apparent not only in her writing but also in the beautifully crafted drawings. Every poem is accompanied by a sketch and corner illustrations which are bright, fun and playful. Her poems deal with love, imagination and the natural world amongst other topics, handling them in an emphatic but delicate way. Gazidis’s characters are memorable thanks to their magical abilities and quirky appeal. (Rose Bonsier) Wish, Wonder, Surprise Amanda Gazidis, Love Tree Books, £6.99, www.amandagazidis.com

Swat’s up? This “fly’s guide to staying alive” outlines the many hazards facing a young fly. Author Mike Barfield, a longstanding contributor to satirical magazine Private Eye and creator of its popular cartoon strip ‘Apparently’ displays his signature style at its very best. Clearly there’s a dark streak running through this, as older primary-aged children are invited to see life through the eyes of our great biological adversary. But the book succeeds thanks to its glorious cartoons and upside down view of the world. (Rose Bonsier) Swat Mike Barfield, Brambleby Books, £6.99, www.bramblebybooks. co.uk PRIMARY TIMES

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