World Doodle Day: 20th October 2017

World Doodle Day is being held on Friday 20th October from 1-4pm at Enham Trust in Andover.

The aims are to use creativity as a way to join businesses, charities and individuals and act as a leveler and Enham Trust is the nominated charity of the year.

Doodling in particular has been proven to support positive mental health strategies and World Doodle Day focuses on running this event so it coincides with World Mental Health Day as well as embrace difference and encourage community cohesion.

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Good Infant Schools vs. Bad Infant Schools

Before I start this post, I need to make it VERY clear that this post is a bit tongue in cheek, is based on my experience of only 2 schools (and therefore cannot be taken too seriously) and is entirely from my (a parents) perspective…

Mr NHM and I moved Miss NHM to a new school 5 days into the start of the September 2017 academic year.

I won’t go into the details on NHM, for obvious reasons, but we now refer to Miss NHM’s old school as “The Prison” and I will continue to refer to it as such, regardless of feedback from anyone. The way they treated my daughter and my family was despicable.

Needless to say, I’ve learnt a LOT about what a “good” infants school is like and what a “bad” infants school is like.

Several points below aren’t based on my actual experience, they are based on what I have seen and heard from other parents and children.

Good Infant schools vs. Bad Infant schools

A good infants school will have large, naturally lit classrooms.

A bad infants school will have tiny classrooms, the same size as my kitchen, which will be expected to seat 32 children in and will be very, very dark with barely any natural light. (Top tip, if visiting a new school for your child, ALWAYS go during day light hours so you can see what the natural light will be like for your child when they are imprisoned in the classroom for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week.)

A good school will allow children to play on the field.

A bad school will have a field that is entirely for show and sports day. Children will NOT be allowed to play on it, for their own safety (!!!).

A good school will give a 5 year old in YR1 two pieces of homework a week and will realise that family time is more important than more work outside of school.

A bad school will give over 6 pieces of homework to a 5 year old in YR1 and when your child doesn’t do all of this homework they are punished.

A good school will give a child the chance to get off the “thundercloud” and the child will not be permanently punished.

A bad school will put the child on the “thundercloud” for the rest of the week and the child will miss the most exciting part of the school week, “golden time” if they don’t do ALL of their homework.

A good school will not have the “thundercloud”, “sun” or “rainbow”.

A bad school will use the “thundercloud” to inflict intimidation and fear into small children.

A good school will give children the opportunity to move around during their “free” time.

A bad school will play films during “golden time”.

A good school will send messages to parents about things like nits and harvest festival collections.

A bad school will send weekly emails about the attendance levels for each class, messages that if you park in the wrong place you will be arrested and about how several children are wearing the wrong coloured coat to school.

A good school will care more about the welfare of the children than children wearing EXACTLY the correct uniform, including the colour of socks and outdoor coat.

A bad school will NOT care about the welfare of the children and will only care that the children are wearing the CORRECT uniform and god forbid those who don’t have logo’d uniform.

A good school will have a variety of different classes including music and arts for all years.

A bad school will have only english, maths and science classes, with one class per term of “fun” stuff from YR2 onwards.

A good school will allow children to have their classes outside when the weather is over 28 degrees.

A bad school will force children to remain in a classroom that has no air conditioning when the weather is over 28 degrees, including no playtime or lunchtime play outside, because it is for their own safety as it’s too hot to be outside (!!!!!).

A good school will realise that children of infants school age require a rounded experience of life.

A bad school will only concentrate on attendance at school and will send you a “delightful” red letter each half term if your child’s attendance is below their requirements, regardless of whether your child has a serious medical condition which means they are more sick than “normal” children.

A good school will have extra classes after school like “forest school”,  which are run by teachers and are free to attend.

A bad school will only have classes after school that cost an absolute arm and a leg for your child to attend.

A good school will have guitar lessons, Spanish lessons and rock steady lessons which will all take place during the school day.

A bad school will have NOTHING other than lessons for children to attend during the school day.

A good school will bend over backwards to ensure that your child is treated the same as other children in their class, regardless of their situation.

A bad school will single out a child if they have any extra requirements or special needs that don’t fit in with the schools vision of a “normal” child.

A good school will care greatly about a child’s emotional wellbeing.

A bad school won’t give a rat’s fig about a child’s emotional well being and will actually do everything they can to ensure that the child conforms to their expectations of what small children should be like, regardless of that child’s situation.

A good school won’t focus on the costs associated with supporting children with extra needs.

A bad school will ONLY focus on the costs associated with supporting children with extra needs.

A good school will have lovely receptionists that are also Mum’s who TOTALLY get it.

A bad school will have very grumpy receptionists who raise their eyebrows and grumble at you, for example, when you forget to bring paperwork back in on time and then proceed to make you feel like it’s you that’s back in infants school when you return said paperwork late.

A good school will have lots of pictures of happy smiley children on their website.

A bad school will have only have a picture of the head teacher on their website.

A good school will allow children to bring in anything they like for “Show and Tell”.

A bad school will ONLY allow your child to bring in something for “Show and Tell” that is related to the subject they are studying at that exact moment and if they try to bring in something else to show their classmates it will be confiscated.

What would you add to this list?

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Applying for a reception place (Year R) for September 2018

If your child was born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014, they will be eligible to start school in the school year beginning September 2018.

Below are some useful links and information for those in the Basingstoke area that we hope will help make the whole process a little less daunting. 

For more help and advice we have a Facebook group where you can ask questions and chat to other parents who are applying this year  –  Basingstoke 2018 YR R (NorthHantsMum). If you would like to join please email me at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

Applications are submitted via the Hampshire County Council website.  They have all the information you need about the process here – How to apply for a school place

This post may also be useful for you if you have a summer born child: Summer born children (those born between 1 April and 31 August)

Dates for Open days for Schools Admission Sept 2018

Below is a list of schools in Basingstoke & Deane and the dates for the open days they have planned.  Some schools may not be listed.  If no dates are listed or the open days have already happened please contact the school.  Please assume you need to book open days by phone.

School Dates
Bishopswood Nov 24th 9.15
Bramley  1st November,  9.30-11.30
Burnham Copse Oct 6th 9.30
Castle Hill Greenbank (Winklebury) & Rooksdown Oct 17th 13.15

Nov 15th 9.30 & 13.15

Nov 28th 9.30 & 13.15

Dec 6th 17.00

Chalk Ridge Open Days already completed
Chiltern
Cliddesden By appointment
Fairfields
Four Lanes Open Days already completed
Great Binfields Oct 12th am

Nov 7th & 29th pm

Hatch Warren Tours at 9.30 & 13.45

Oct 10th , 12th , 17th , 20th , 31st

Nov 1st , 7th , 8th , 13th , 17th , 21st , 22nd

Hook Nov 9th – 9.15
Kempshott Oct 16th 9.30 & 14.00

Oct 31st 14.00

Nov 14th 9.30 & 14.00

Nov 27th 9.30

Jan 9th 9.30 & 14.00

Kings Furlong Oct 6th 10.00

Oct 11th 14.00

Nov 2nd 10.00

Nov 17th 14.00

Limington House
Manor Field Oct 19th 19.00

Nov 14th 14.00

Dec 5th 11.00

Maple Ridge
Marnel Private appointment
Merton
Oakley Nov 13th or by Private appointment
Oakridge Nov 7th 9:30

Nov 14th 14.00

Nov 24th 9:30

Nov 29th 14.00

Jan 16th 9:30

Jan 18th 14.00

Old Basing 9.15 – Oct 18th Nov 24th
Overton
Park View 9.30 & 13.45 on Oct 18th,19th

Nov 2nd 18.00

Rucstall Nov 7th 9.00 & 13.00

Nov 9th 17.00

Nov 10th 9.00 & 13.00

Saxon Wood
Sherborne St John By appointment
Silchester Nov 7th & 15th
South View
St Anne’s
St Bede’s 9.15 – Nov 7th, 15th, 24th
St John’s 10.00 & 14.00 – Nov 2nd & 7th
St Mark’s Oct 12th – 10.00

Oct 18th – 10.00

Nov – 1st – 19.00

Nov 8th – 10.00

Nov 13th – 19.00

Nov 14th – 14.00

Nov 16th – 10.00

Tadley
The Priory By appointment
Whitchurch
Whitewater 19.30 – Oct 18th

9.30 – Nov 22nd, 29th, Dec 6th

Winklebury Oct 12th 9.15 & 19.00

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NHM Readers Recommend how to find out about primary school open days 2018

An NHM Reader recently sent the following message “I was wondering if you could post on the NHM page asking fellow NHM’s how to find out about primary school open days for kids starting September 2018? I’ve no idea so we’d like to visit a few and don’t want to miss out!”

Many thanks to the NHM Community for your replies, which are below.

A Facebook Group was also set up, the link to which can be found here: Basingstoke 2018 YR R (NorthHantsMum). Thank you so much to Wendy for setting this up. 

NHM Readers Recommend how to find out about primary school open days 2018

Louise Nhm Smith said “ I’m fairly sure that you have to check the individual websites of each school you are interested in. I might be wrong though…”

Louise Nhm Smith said “This link will be useful too: School Catchments

Rachael said “Yeah each school is different, their websites should tell you or call the school reception. It might be a little while before it goes on the websites”

Rebekah said “Usually the open days are October- Nov so check the school websites or ring the school mid September(give the school the chance to get back in the swing of things after the hols)”

Heidi said “If there is no open day information posted, make sure you contact the school directly to ask – our school does private tours, no open days…”

Leah said “Some schools only have open evenings & some only have open days & some only have private tours. I’d look on the websites of the schools you’re most interested in & if not on there call them up. I have 2 choices I’m putting down & know one of them anyway so don’t particularly need to attend open day. I’ll be calling or attending the other school open day but as it’s my local one it’s more than likely my son will go to that one. So scary they’ll be 4 and starting school next year!”

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Tiny Oaks Pre-school

My name is Karen McCoy and I am manager of Tiny Oaks Pre-school in Oakridge, Basingstoke.

We are a charitable, community pre-school for children aged 2 -5 years. As of this September, we are extending our opening hours to 8am – 5pm to increase our capacity and create additional places for families claiming the new 30 hour funding.

We are looking at ways of getting the message out to local families that we are now open longer and have places for funded 2 year olds, funded 3 &4 year olds in addition to fee paying children.

www.tinyoakspreschool.co.uk

Facebook Page

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Maternity Services Survey 2017

The Local Maternity System is working to improve maternity services so women receive excellent care that is more personal and family friendly. Wessex Voices is carrying out a survey to understand experiences of using maternity services to help improve them and ensure women have an informed and empowered choice through their pregnancy and birth.

We want to hear from women and birthing partners who have had a baby in the last 12 months. Our website contains more information about the work and two short surveys (one for women and one for birthing partners) which should take between five and 15 minutes to complete.  It will be open until the 30th September 2017. www.healthwatchhampshire/maternity

Wessex Voices and Healthwatch Hampshire will be promoting this far and wide via our websites and social media, as well as targeting relevant facebook groups etc.  Our NHS colleagues are helping promote via their networks too.  We will also have a presence at a number of venues across the patch in August and September – details all available on our website.

Give us your views on local maternity services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (including Southampton and Portsmouth)

Launch of the Local Maternity Services Survey 2017 – Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth

The Local Maternity System for Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth are working to improve services in line with the national Better Births report recommendations (2016). Seven priorities from the report aim to drive improvement to ensure women across the UK receive excellent care that is more personal and family friendly.

Wessex Voices (a collaboration between local Healthwatch and NHS England) is carrying out a survey to understand experiences of using maternity services.  They are working with local maternity services to gather feedback that will help us better understand how services can be improved to ensure women have an informed and empowered choice through their pregnancy and birth.

“We really want to hear from as many women and birthing partners, who have had a baby in the last 12 months, about their experiences of our services.  In the first days after birth there can be lots to adjust to so we would also like to know about the support women and families receive then.  People’s views will feed into how we improve services in future.”  Sally Pastellas, Senior Commissioning Manager Children and Maternity Commissioning Collaborative.

“We have devised two short questionnaires – one for women and one for birthing partners – that won’t take long to complete.  We will also be out and about meeting women at Health Visitor sessions and other events across the area. I’m really looking forward to talking to parents about their experiences of maternity services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. I think this is a great opportunity for new parents to help shape future services by sharing their stories with us.” Rachel Bullock, Healthwatch Hampshire Engagement Officer. 

For more information about this work, including a list of Health Visitor and other events, please visit:  www.healthwatchhampshire.co.uk/maternity

Contact:  Rachel Bullock, Healthwatch Hampshire

Tel: 01962 440262

Direct Line: 07436102870

Email: rachel.bullock@healthwatchhampshire.co.uk

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Stickerscape Name Labels

Welcome to Stickerscape Name Labels

Stickerscape’s name labels are the perfect way to ensure that your kids’ stuff never gets lost! Of course name labels have to be practical, and withstand all that our little people can throw at them (as a British manufacturer of quality products we take this as a given), but at Stickerscape we pride ourselves on also making name labels that look fab! Having an image as well as a name is really handy for very young children as they don’t even need to be able to read their name to recognise their labels, and for older children it’s a fun chance to reflect a bit more personality.

The name label pack is ideal for labelling just about anything your children might carry into nursery, pre-school or school, plus their uniform too! In particular, we’d recommend them for use in shoes (e.g. plimsolls, ballet shoes, football boots), water bottles, lunchboxes, tupperware containers, rucksacks, book bags, pencil cases, individual pens / pencils, notebooks, folders – the list is pretty endless. This pack also includes two sheets of iron on labels, ideal for labelling your child’s clothing and uniforms.

About Stickerscape Name Labels

We keep things simple by offering 3 great value name label packs, so you can concentrate on the really fun bit of picking your favourite design! Simply choose from stick on labels, iron on labels, or a handy mixed pack combining both. Within each pack, a variety of different sticker shapes and sizes will make sure you’re ready to label just about anything. Plus our super tough stick on labels are fine to put in the dishwasher, microwave and freezer, whilst our iron on labels can happily withstand regular visits to the washing machine and tumble dryer. Full instructions are included in your pack.

Fundraise for your school with name labels

Join our school fundraising scheme to earn a fantastic 25% commission on all name labels ordered by parents – that’s up to £4.50 per pack sold! Quick, simple and totally free to get started – we provide flyers about the name labels for you to distribute to parents. Parents order online with your school ID code, and we dispatch orders directly to them. No need for you to collect order forms or money! For every £50 commission your school earns, you will also receive a bonus educational wall sticker (e.g. a number line or illustrated alphabet), perfect for using in the classroom or as a raffle prize! https://www.stickerscape.co.uk/fundraise-for-your-school-with-name-labels/

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR 10% OFF ALL ORDERS!

Happy shopping and Happy holidays!

fi@stickerscape.co.uk

W: www.stickerscape.co.uk

Follow us: @Stickerscape

Like us: facebook.com/stickerscape

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Westside Community Centre, South Ham: Summer Holiday Activities

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Review 2017: Relax Kids

Kath from Relax Kids recently invited me to review one of her classes with Miss NHM.

I was one of the first people that Kath “practised” on a few years ago when she started out. I thought she was brilliant then so was very keen to see how she had developed and for Miss NHM to attend a class.

I saw that Kath was doing classes on a Sunday morning as a taster session to come along and find out what it’s all about before committing to a 5 week course, which was perfect for us. It wasn’t too early in the morning too, which was great. I asked my friend S whether she wanted to bring her son K along, and she decided that she wanted to check out the class too.

Kath sent me an email the week before the class detailing what would be happening for the hours class. It included things about what to wear for the session and a child protection policy that needed completing which is brilliant as it shows what a professional Kath is!

Kath follows a 7 step process in helping the children to relax. She was brilliant at explaining to the children what she was doing and the steps that they were taking.

A couple of people turned up late to the class which I always think is a bit rude but then remembered that some children find coming to classes very intimidating. Kath handled their lateness really well and explained things very clearly to everyone.

All of the exercises that Kath used were sooo clever! I love the “Smile to reach your stretch” moment. That was awesome to see Miss NHM stretch and expand.  I loved the “hedgehog” and seeing Miss NHM in this position made me quite emotional! The Angry thoughts exercise was fantastic and just such a lovely concept.

I also REALLY loved the books that Kath used and have purchased two for home already as they have such wonderful concepts in them.

All through the class children are doing breathing exercises but they don’t even know it!! I particularly loved the “breathing in happy thoughts, breathing out sad thoughts”. I also loved the relaxing music that Kath uses and really want to ask her where she got it from as I think we could do with a copy of this for home! lol .

Miss NHM is quite a confident little girl at the best of times and I was very interested to see how she responded to the class.  My favourite bit of the class was when the children were asked to write out what makes them happy. Miss NHM had written about 9 things within 2 minutes and I was uber proud that she knows what makes her happy and could express this.

I also felt quite privileged seeing all the children relax throughout the class, which was fascinating to watch. There was one little boy who really didn’t want to participate, but by the end of the class he was lying on the floor with the other children and you could see that he had got a lot out of the class even if he hadn’t been actively participating for most of it.

Tips

Book quickly because Kath’s classes sell out REALLY fast. They are very popular and she often has a waiting list!

Parents are allowed in the room. This must have been initially intimidating to Kath, having the parents watching, but she wasn’t bothered.

Rating out of 5

All of the little details were excellent, it’s very obvious that Kath is passionate about what she’s doing as such thought had been put into the whole class.

As you can see, I’m a HUGE fan of Kath’s work. Miss NHM got so much out of just that one class and talked about it for weeks later. I’m very keen to enrol her in a class when she starts Y2 next year!

Definitely 5 out of 5!!

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Spotlight Summer Holiday 2017 Clubs

Please note our Early Bird discount on clubs if booked and paid for by 3rd July.  Clubs will be on a first come first served basis.  Places get booked very quickly and spaces are limited.

  1. Out of School Holiday Club for Years R – Years 6.  £22 per day/£105 per week if paid before 3rd July after which will be £25 per day/£110 per week. – 8-6pm daily – ALL WEEKS OF HOLIDAYS

Arts and Craft, Toys, Games, computer games and wiis, outdoor fun and sports, bouncy castles, trips out to park, days out and more

  1. Youth Zone Holiday Club for Years 3 – Years 7.  £13 per day/£60 per week if paid before 3rd July after which will be £15 per day/£75 per week. – 9-3.30pm daily – ALL WEEKS OF HOLIDAYS – Run by our new Youth Workers.

Arts and Craft,  gardening, t-shirt printing, cake decorating, army drills, camp den making, computer games and wiis, table tennis, pool, outdoor fun and sports, bouncy castles, trips out to park, days out and more

  1. Multi Sports Holiday Club for Years 1 – Years 6 – £12 per day if paid for before 3rd July after which will be £15 per day – 9-3.30 pm daily – ALL weeks of holidays

Football, Cricket, Tennis, Rounders, Dodgeball and more

  1. Performing Arts Holiday Clubs for Years 1- Years 11 – £50 per week if paid for before 3rd July after which will be £60 per week – 9-3.15pm daily

Week of 31st July – 4th Aug – Charlie and Chocolate Factory

Week of 14th – 18th  Aug – Matilda’s Magical Adventures

Week of 21st-25th  Aug – Beauty and The Beast

If you would like to book please either email gaenor@spotlightuk.org or call 01256 325420

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