NHM Readers Recommend: Friendly Swimming Teachers for Pre-Schoolers

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “Can anyone recommend a decent and friendly swimming teacher for pre-schooler age. Looking for something a bit more than rhymes and toys, but not constant telling off! Many thanks!”

Thank you for all of your replies, listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Friendly Swimming Teachers for Pre-Schoolers

The Little Swim Club

Debbie said “Try the little swim club in hook”

Lindsay said “The little swim club are excellent.”

Nadira said “Little swim club”

Sally said “Daniel Hawthorne at Little swim school in Hook. Took A from non swimmer to competent in all strokes in under 1 year. L also now 4 can do some front crawl and back crawl”

Basingstoke Sports Centre

Natasha said “Sports centre in town are fab. Excellent price too!”

Joanna said “I second the sports centre”

Lisa said “Agreed Sports Centre”

Kelly T said “My 3 year old has had two months of lessons at the sports centre during the day which have been really good and only two children in his class. Although he is leaving at christmas as he has joined his big brother at bluefins.”


Kelly T said “(Bluefins) is equally as good. Bluefins only normally take preschoolers at their weekend classes”

Sarah G said “ Bluefins at cranbourne school”

Swim Fish

Helena said “Tanya at swimfish is brilliant. She gave my two a really good start to swimming.”

Wendy W said “Tanya at Swimfish is brilliant – she adapts the lessons and works with the children to make sure they get the best out of the session. Sessions are a great size and she has a love of children and swimming which comes through in her lessons and the confidence the children develop. I definitely recommend her”

Sarah P said “Tanya and Kirsty at Swimfish are amazing. She teaches in a small pool at the Basingstoke Country Hotel, Hook. She has helped my little one hugely with confidence and ability in the water.”

Turtle Tots Surrey & North Hampshire

Emma said “Turtle Tots are fab at Hook swimming pool, there’s definitely no telling off there!

Kate M said “Thank You Emma. Hi louise at Turtle Tots we offer child led lessons which means your child learns at their own pace and comfort level. We have lessons around Surrey and North Hampshire and would be delighted to offer you a trial class to see first hand what we are about. Please email us on swim@turtletots.com for further information or to book a trial class.”

Cali Kids

Wendy D said “Alicia Reilly is returning from maternity leave in Jan and has space for pre-schoolers”

Christine said “Alicia Reilly is brilliant. Lots of fun but the kids make amazing progress”

Kate said  “Cali Kids. Alicia has taught my two boys and they’ve done so well with her. Thoroughly recommend”

Michelle said “ Cali Kids with Alicia Reilly”

Alicia said “Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I offer semi private swim lessons on a Sunday morning and during the day on a Monday for preschoolers and babies at Tadley Swimming Pool. I worked for years with Water Babies and owned my own swim school Cali Kids for years too. We have lots of fun in my lessons and learn through play but have a good success rate. Most my kids start swimming independently at 3 or 4 years old. Feel free to DM me if you’d like more info.”

Aqua Kids

Susan said “Mel Bristow is amazing my two girls go to her”

Mel said “Aqua Kids teach a Fri pm and Sat am just outside Hook. Please pm me for info!”

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Readers Recommend after school football sessions for 5+ years

An NHM Reader recently asked “I’m looking for a football after school session if possible for 5 years +… starting in September. Would you be able to put a shout out for me? I know there was one done on pre-schoolers….”

Thank you to all those who replied. The responses are below and in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend after school football sessions for 5+ years

Sarah said “Hatch Warren Phoenix are after children in Year R and 1. Runs on Saturday mornings though very professional group and coaches are fabulous”

Evi said “Brighton Hill school power league, https://www.facebook.com/GolElite/ Thu 5-6”

Wendy said “There’s one at Everest on a Wed but the FA website doesn’t have the details. Give the community centre a call for info.”

For a Sat session, Lods Tods is training for 4 to year 1. 10 – 12 on Sherfield village green. £2 pay as you go.”

Candice said “These guys run during term time at Sherfield Park Community Centre on Mondays 5-6pm. They also run coaching workshops over the summer holidays (all 5 weeks here M-F 9am – 3pm or half days) so a great opportunity to maybe have a few trial sessions in advance of September Challenger Sports

Jo said “Tuesdays 6-7 at Richard Aldworth school with these guys…Pro-Skills Coaching Basingstoke

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Readers: Football/dance classes for 2 year old

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could help this NHM reader: “I am thinking of sending my two year old boy to football and/or dance classes. Does anyone have any recommendations?”

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order. Thanks very much to Juliet for putting this post together!!! 

NHM Readers recommend football/dance classes for 2 year olds

Leighann said: Basingstoke Academy of Dance is fantastic.

Fiona said: Lisa Beaumont offers ballet classes

Anita said: Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet is amazing!!! Also, my son goes to Pro-Skills Coaching Basingstoke

Vicki said: Tiny Tykes is great for football.

Christine said: My 2.5 year old really enjoys the football classes at Basingstoke Sports Centre. It’s for 2-4 year olds and run by Achieve Sports on a Monday 10-10.45 x

Heidi said: My son has been going to little kickers football since 18 months. He loves it and it helps teach them so many skills including colours, counting, animals etc.

Jessica said: Little Kickers is great for football.

Claire said: Little Kickers definitely. My son went to one at Carnival Hall when he was 2, gained loads of confidence and discipline and he is still playing grass root Sunday football at the age of 13 for a team with two friends from there.

Wendy said: RugbyTots is also worth considering. Great for hand eye coordination

Katie said: Kids Kan Dance specialise in dance for toddlers and preschoolers.

Claire said: JLD school of dancing.

Zoe said: I can recommend Katie at Kids Kan Dance, my girls love her!

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Readers Recommend Dance Classes for 4 and 8 year olds

An NHM Reader recently asked “Are there any children’s dance classes that take mixed age children? I am looking for a class for a 4 year old and an 8 year old. It seems many places only start from age 5 also, my 4 year old will be in school from September.”

Many thanks to the NHM community for the below responses, which are in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend Dance Classes for 4 and 8 year olds

Paul said “not sure about dance, but I know Basingstoke Wolverines Cheer Squad are looking for people if that’s any good?”

Wendy said “They should be able to attend together for Irish Dancing. Contact below for times (I believe Basingstoke is a Tues evening) http://www.boyleodowda.com/contact.html

Helena said “Petite school of dance (ballet, tap, Acro) are from preschool to senior school! Very friendly and relaxed but excellent dancing achieved!”

Paula said “JLD school of dancing are amazing – http://www.jldschoolofdancing.co.uk/ Main studio in Kingsclere, other classes are at Cranbourne school in Basingstoke Cranbourne Primary School

Carlie said “North Hampshire Academy of Dance is an excellent dance school, my son and daughter have been there for 10 years and have thrived there. Free trial classes and qualified teachers. Highly recommend.”

Charlene said “JG Dance Basingstoke. My daughter is 6 and has been attending for 2 years now and does several styles of dancing on Saturday mornings. Lovely teachers and all the parents are friendly”

Sarah said “Happy Feet Dance Academy

Julie said “The problem of them being together in most dance schools is that the exam structure is usually based at the beginning around ages – so your 8 year old could be waiting a long time for the 4 year old to be old enough/capable of doing the exams. If you wanted something informal and fun I think that Chandelle Stage School do a mixed modern/tap/ballet class in Winklebury that covers a broader age as they do IDTA dance awards rather than the formal RAD and ISTD ballet and tap etc.”

Julie said “For actual RAD and ISTD there is also Basingstoke Academy of Dancing at Houndmills”

Debbie said “www.lyndendance.co.uk

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Pamber Physio

Pamber Physio would like to take this opportunity to thank Louise of NHM for giving me the chance to promote my Private Physio clinic based in Pamber Heath.

Louise is one of my good NCT friends :-D.

About me

My name is Laura Chaffé and I run Pamber Physio throughout the week in the evenings and at weekends. I am a registered member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health and Care Profession Council.

I graduated with a BSc Hons in Physiotherapy at Southampton University in 2005. The last 10 years have been spent treating patients in the NHS; I have a great passion to helping patients to improve/cure their symptoms.

Pamber Physio specialises in musculoskeletal physiotherapy treating patients who have problems with muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, discs, nerves and bones.

My aim is to provide a thorough assessment and management programme tailored to each individuals needs.

Pamber Physio can help patients understand their condition, prevent re-occurrences and learn how to manage it.

The purpose of physiotherapy is to help people who are affected by injury, illness or disability through education and advice, movement and exercise, and manual therapy.

Physiotherapists maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain, improve range of movement, increase strength and decrease swelling.

The profession aims to facilitate recovery and helping people to stay in work or recreational hobbies.

For NHM readers

Some of you may be suffering with SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction), low back pain, weak pelvic floor or weak core stability pre or post natal.

At Pamber Physio I can certainly help you to relieve your symptoms, provide good advice and to strengthen weak muscles.

Conditions treated

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Whiplash injury
  • Sciatica
  • Sports injuries
  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle, ligaments and tendon sprains and strains
  • Rheumatoid and osteoarthritic conditions
  • Joint problems which may include stiffness, swelling and pain affecting – shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, hip, knee, foot and ankle
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Tennis/golfers elbow
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Post fractures
  • Rehabilitation pre and post orthopaedic surgery
  • Ante and post natal care
  • Repetitive strain injuries (RSI)
  • Bursitis

Please note this list is not exhaustive and many other aches and pains can be treated with Physiotherapy.


Pamber Physio will provide a range of treatments, specific to your needs.  Using both traditional and modern techniques with a suitable mix of technology, your condition will receive the specialist physiotherapy care.

  • Joint mobilisation
  • Soft tissue/scar tissue massage
  • Electrotherapy e.g. ultrasound
  • Exercise prescription for increasing range of movement, stretching and strengthening, proprioception and balance exercises
  • Trigger point release
  • Muscle energy techniques
  • Gait re-education
  • Core exercises
  • Gym ball exercises
  • Postural education
  • Taping
  • Theraband exercises
  • Hot and cold therapy

Based in Pamber Heath, Tadley, Pamber Physio is ideally located to treat patients in many surrounding areas within the Basingstoke, Newbury and Reading triangle.

Offering a private appointment at your home or preferred location provides flexibility when you need it most. I work out of my treatment room in Pamber Heath evenings and weekends.

To book an appointment or discuss any aspect of physiotherapy please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Email: laura@pamberphysio.co.uk

Telephone: 07909994433

Website: www.pamberphysio.co.uk this has an enquiry form if you wish to complete and I will get back to you within 24 hours.


How long should I expect the treatment to last?
Initial consultation is 45 minutes to 1 hour and a follow up session is 30 minutes.

What should I wear?
Comfortable clothing – be aware you may be asked to undress.  Women may feel more comfortable to wear a vest top for shoulder and neck assessments.  Shorts can be worn for assessment and treatment for knee and ankle joints.

How much will it cost?
Initial assessment is £45 and follow up sessions are £30.  Home visits for immobile patients incur an additional charge, please enquire for further information.

How would I get referred to Pamber Physio?
Patients may self-refer to Pamber Physio. GP and consultant referrals are also welcome.

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Baby & Toddler Dance classes in North Hampshire

I’ve been meaning to put this post together for a LONG time…

I’ve finally got around to it. Yay! 😀

Active Life Centre – Houndmills

Basingstoke Academy of Dance – Houndmills

FitMama Mummy and Baby Dance –  Stroudley Road, Basingstoke

Jeannine Greville Dance Academy – The Vyne Community School and Aldworth Science College

Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet – Cliddesden

Marina School of Dance – Whitchurch

Mini Movers Dance Class Spotlight – Popley

The Lynden School of Dance – Basingstoke Sports Centre, Kingsclere & Overton

Related Posts

Dance schools in North Hampshire

Ballet/Dance classes for 2 year olds

A Summer of sport – final

The last Guest post this summer from the lovely Peta at minvra

All good things must come to an end…

…and the end of summer is in sight. My ‘summer of sport’ blogs are also coming to an end, sooner than you think, actually, as I have no sport for you this week. This family is camping!

So in the greater range of camping experiences, what we are doing right now is ‘glamping’. Nearby we have a ‘washing up station’ – complete with sink and hot water (in the afternoon on a sunny day and before it runs out), showers – hot water and better than the ‘London-standard’ water pressure, and a toilet. The toilet, however, is firmly in the ‘camping’ category.

Running off energy and increased appetites are the two most common virtues that come to mind when I think of the great outdoors; camping, by extension, provides much, much more of the same. Opportunities for exciting, hands-on learning activities are in abundant supply out here so I have taken advantage by building on the recent Nature Detectives weekly challenges with Miss and Master. We have been checking out all the new leaves, flowers and berries (shapes, textures, colours) and the how’s and why’s of attracting birds, bees or butterflies (pollen, nectar, food). Sleeping in a tent provides an endless supply of ‘what noise is that?’ subjects, and living out of doors has expanded our bi-daily comparison of ‘morning’ and ‘bedtime’ to include most other parts of the day.

Messy play is practically a foregone conclusion; even the cleanest of parents must accept that no child will go un-muddied while camping. With my significant lean to the ‘neat freak’ side, I am endeavouring to strike a sensible balance between allowing Miss and Master to play uninhibited by my tendencies and ensuring a sufficient stash of spare clothes in the event of a summer downpour at a later point in the camping trip.

So far, so good. It is bank holiday Sunday night at 10 o’clock as I write this blog and I am tired. Very tired. Miss is all rugged up and sleeping soundly – Miss is shattered from days of playing chase with her brother, jumping in muddy puddles (God bless the British summer), naming & feeding farm animals, collecting stones on the beach and all the childish excitement that is Misses first camping trip. Master is, true to form, still fighting sleep (despite an equally active first camp).

Even with the messy clothes, the muddy shoes, the grubby faces (I confess, Mama was too tired for bucket baths tonight), I have a weary, contented smile on my face. I say to you, Summer, “Thanks for coming; it has been grand!”

A big thank you to those of you who have been following my summer of sport guest blogs and I do hope you have enjoyed them; although I am afraid that this is another case of a good thing coming to an end. The good news is that if you are interested in reading more you can visit and follow my regular blog: minrva

Thanks so much for your “Summer of sport” posts this summer Peta. I’ve learnt about a lot about what sporting facilities and events are on in the area.  Thank you!

A Summer of sport VII: “Born to be wild…”

Another fab guest post from Peta at http://minrva.blogspot.co.uk/:

“Born to be wild…”

Last week’s summer of sport subject (ballet) was perhaps a little feminine, although, ballet is not just for Misses. All the same, it is for the sake of fairness that this week is a (stereotypically) masculine sport. But then motor sport is not just for Masters either.

As a young Miss I always wanted to drive, I was forever asking questions about road signs, (what they mean, why they are where they are etc), and every time we went to the farm I recalling whining (a lot) that I wanted to take the ‘Suzie’ out for a ‘spin’ (read: drive the Suzuki utility vehicle). It never mattered to me that my length-challenged legs were far from pedal-reaching proportions, nor that my driving skills were not fully manual-car capable, (Dad would let me sit on his lap and ‘drive’ our automatic car along the untarred lane-way between home and Grandma and Grandpop’s house). I simply just wanted to drive.

My sister, on the other hand, took jazz ballet classes.

The precursor to this driving fascination was probably the dodgem cars I loved to drive at a local theme park of my childhood. But they never went fast enough and it was a stretch to wear the seatbelt and still be able to reach the steering wheel and pedals. The, as I grew older, the track was predictably boring and I was increasingly frustrated with folks always getting in my way. On the farm, however, I only needed to worry about Kangaroos; not for fear of hurting them, it was a fear of them hurting me – which would promptly put an end to taking the Suzie out for a spin (those kangaroos really are brutal).

By the age of 12 or 13 I was adept at reversing the cars off the front garden grass onto the driveway, down the slope, onto the road, along the gutter and around the corner to the garages at the back of our odd-shaped corner block. Next, I would either reverse parallel park on the forecourt or park in the garage. All of this was done, of course, after washing Mum’s, Dad’s and then Nan’s cars. This is also precisely the same way that my father learnt to drive.

Alas, we have no family farm nearby, so it will be dodgem cars and go-karts for my Miss and Master. And I doubt they will sit still long enough to watch the Belgian F1 Grand Prix with Papa this Sunday (25 August). Mind, Master is named after a late legend of the Formula 1 (F1) scene, so perhaps go-karts might be a winner? He would certainly not be the first Briton to get into F1 this way…

Back to my old form, here are some local(-ish) go-kart providers, if you like to “Getcha motor runnin’…”

  • Chineham: The nearest and newest, having opened 27 July 2013, is Absolutely Karting Basingstoke, Wade Road, RG24 8LJ (near Great Binfields Road intersection)
  • Reading: Premier Karting (RG5 4SZ) and Teamworks Reading (RG30 1JT).
  • Andover: Thruxton (SP11 8PW)

A Summer of Sport VI: Ballet

Another lovely guest post from Peta at http://minrva.blogspot.co.uk/:

I have never studied, practiced or performed ballet, but I do so enjoy watching it!

In fact, I am writing this while on my way home from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where I relished the exquisite elegance of the famous Bolshoi, performing Jewels. Tonight, however, was not my first Russian-ballet experience; that was some years ago in Russia at one of those ‘tourist shows’ – The Nutcracker, in April… As my mum would say, they were “not much chop” (utterly rubbish).

After being completely enthralled in a truly breath-taking performance (Diamonds, in part, was a succession of solo performances showing off the most amazing, and I imagine, incredibly difficult sequences), one can be left feeling awe inspired, and then perhaps a little dismayed (I am more a terre than chassé). But fear not, ever the silver lining sort of Mama, I am thinking about what it takes to be a Bolshoi ballerina, what lessons can I learn from this, and what lessons can ballet teach my Miss and Master? Here are just a couple of things I have learnt…

Discipline. Ballet, to me, is as much about strict discipline as it is about splendorous dancing. But before exercises at the barre and breaking out the tutu, one must learn the (many) ballet terms and positions. Being instilled with the discipline to master the theory before moving on to the practice is an admirable character trait that would do anyone well in life.

Fortitude. Great physical strength will only get you so far – there are many good ballet dancers. It takes more than this to rise to the ranks of principal ballet dancers. Anyone following the news will know that the Bolshoi have been, in recent times, plagued by scandal. But after reading a number of articles, both as scandals broke and more recently, I get a feeling of the underlying, immense confidence and inner strength of these Bolshoi dancers. It is more than the stereotypical patriotism for mother Russia – these dancers exhibit fortitude in their every move.

Determination. I think of this as having the determination to reach the end goal, (or perhaps a stubbornness to accept anything less). Even the highest ranked dancers are required at morning practice with the ballet troupe. Determination to keep attending, keep dancing, keep practicing is a must. Dance, fall down, stand up. Dance, err, correct. Dance, fall down, stand up. Dance, err, correct. Need I say more?

Coordination. Whether or not you appreciate (or even like) ballet, I challenge anyone to view a professional performance and fail to be in awe of the poise with which ballerinas carry themselves about the stage, exhibiting nonchalant awareness of their fellow performers and seemingly conducting the orchestra with every move. Imagine the resulting harmony if every person in every household and business regularly performed with such effortless coordination?

Ballet schools?

Unlike previous summer of sport blogs, I haven’t a clue about what might make a good ballet school and so there are no links today, (although please feel free to pass on any personal recommendations via comments.)

If you have never been to the ballet before, I urge you to go and watch a performance of The Nutcracker this Christmas. With all the bright colours and fun music children will love it (age guide is 5 years or older).

I hope ballet teaches my Miss and Master that some achievements are not ‘quick wins’ that are so amply available these days, but with discipline, fortitude, determination and coordination, anything is possible.

A summer of sport V: Horse Racing

Another fab guest post from Peta at http://minrva.blogspot.co.uk/:

Horsing about

Glorious Goodwood is done and dusted for another year, and, although I was unaware of much press, I have had horses on my mind this week.

Many of us who are local to north Hampshire probably have, or have had horses in our lives; there are plenty of horses here. As a young Miss, however, my first one-to one encounter was during a school camp, and it was a Shetland pony. I did not actually ride a horse until I was in my 20s. My Miss, on the other hand, loves horses. Every morning I hear of horse dreams and Miss always wants to see our local farm shop horses (who seem to have been replaced by cows in the last few weeks; lucky Miss also likes cows).

Horses and horse racing have always been in the peripheral of my life; the childhood trotting track visits, my first horse riding experience as an adult (that horse was a “dud”, I rode goats in Egypt that were stronger, faster and far more responsive), and I have attended the odd major event race day (the “glam-up” sort). Even so, I had thought that horses and horse racing were mostly for ‘horse people’, but this is simply untrue. The entire family can enjoy this sport, together or separately, it is really just a matter of getting organised in advance and checking out what’s on…

The British Horse Society is the United Kingdom’s largest equestrian charity and has a huge range of horse and horse riding information, such as what to consider when you are learning to ride and a search tool to find your local training centres.

Love the Races is less about your riding and more about your enjoyment of the multitude of spectating opportunities; you will find plenty of great ideas and helpful information here. Try “8 things to do at the races” and “Young Hooves” club for Miss/Master, and “new to racing” if you are, ahem, new to racing. Otherwise, if you fancy a fun day out at the races use the What’s on tool to filter your event search by race course, event type and time of day.

These are just a couple of future meets that stood out to me:

•   17 August @ Newbury (RG14 7NZ):  Ladies Day, followed by Party in the Paddock starring Meatloaf!

•   26 October @ Newbury (RG14 7NZ): Armed Forces Day

•   26 November @ Wincanton (BA9 8BJ): Christmas Fair in aid of Help for Heroes & Children’s Charities

What have I missed?? Please share any local horse related events and activities via comments!

Related Posts

A summer of sport I

A summer of sport II

A summer of sport III

A summer of Sport IV