Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield March/April 2013

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Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield magazine for March April 2013

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FREERMARCH-APRIL 2013 ISSUE 14www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukB A L L E T S C H O O L Sin Moseley & Bournville Royal Academy of Dancing syllabus Ages: 3-18 Tuition PlusHelping students achieve their true potentialTel: 07592 556 452Email: info@tuition-plus.co.ukwww.tuition-plus.co.ukProfessional TutoringLiteracy & Numeracyfor ages 5 to 11First lesson freeHarvest Fields CentreSutton Coldfield B75 5TJFREE DELIVERY!Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdfieldIs Gove getting it right? Wear A Hat Day Easter Egg Hunts Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdfieldIs Gove getting it right? Wear A Hat Day Easter Egg Hunts Is Gove getting it right? Wear A Hat Day Easter Egg Hunts Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfieldwww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukTicketsfrom13*presentsJustin Fletcher, Katy Ashworth,Andy Day and Nina from Nina and the NeuronsAlong with friends from Justins House,Something Special and Gigglebiz!OUT NOWwww.bbcliveshows.comFor terms and conditions go to bbcliveshows.com Booking fees may apply. BBC Logo TM & BBC 1996. *Subject to availability. Available on selected seats only.Thursday 11 April 1.30pm & 4.30pm BIRMINGHAM - LG ARENA0844 3388000ExperienceShopEnjoyLearnTo book by phone call 0871 231 0844. Calls cost 10p per minute from a BT landline, other networks may vary. Standard ticket price is 20. Booking fee applies. Advance Booking Offi ce closes 15/5/2013.Book now at thebabyshow.co.ukTickets from 10.95, when quoting FME5Find us on/thebabyshowFor all our news and viewswww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukIssue 14 3 ContentsNewsClubs and classesHow childcare is changingThe hidden danger of slugsEducation Is Gove getting it right?Whats OnEaster46810 1112141646128141116Next Issue: Advertisers:Book now for our May/June issueCall 0758 352 6056or e-mail editor@familiesbirmingham.co.ukbefore Wednesday, April 3rd.Welcome to the Easter issue of Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield magazine.We bring you news of not-to-be-missed theatre shows that children will love; point you in the direction of Easter holiday workshops like Mad Sciences Eggs-plosions, or Lolihulls Comedy Academy 4 kids; and tell you about the new Play Trail at Baddesley Clinton which promises outdoor fun and adventure for children.Once again we are inviting children across Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield to apply to take part in a mini photo-shoot and have the chance to be our front cover star. Birminghams Botanical gardens in Edgbaston will provide a colourful backdrop for our shoot as well as being a fun day out. Read all about it on page 4.Turn to page 8 for a provocative article by emeritus Professor Michael Bassey who urges parents to wake up to the downsides of the Governments education reforms. Do you agree with his assessment?If you are the proud owner of a pet dog, read Deborah Hopes warning about the dangers of lungworm and how to prevent it.Finally, we end on a seasonal note with some fascinating facts about Easter and some clues to where to find the best Easter Egg Hunts. For more Egg Hunts and Easter fun log on to www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukFamilies Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield, EditorWendy FlynnFront page picture by photo artist Abby Wilkes. Abby won the West Midlands Master Photographer Award for her work with children three years in a row.She specialises in photographing children and families, creating art from lifes special moments. Contact Abby for more information:07966 867306. www.abbywilkes.comDesign: www.MattWaltonDesign.co.uk Print: Warners Midlands PLC, Manor Lane, Bourne, Lincs. PE10 9PH Copyright Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield,March 2013-02-08We take care preparing this magazine but the publisher and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers, nor for the accuracy of the contents nor its consequence.In this Issue...www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk4 Issue 14Another chance to be our front cover star!Last year we invited you to put forward your children to take part in a mini photo-shoot with award-winning photographer Abby Wilkes for a chance to feature as our front cover model. If you missed out last time round, you can enter again for 2013. Up to 12 children will be randomly selected from those who apply to take part and one photograph will be chosen to feature as a front cover picture. Your child can be entered as an individual or you can enter a group of siblings to be photographed together.Birminghams Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston will provide the stunning backdrop for this years Spring photo-shoot, and families invited to take part can enjoy a free day out. Wander around the landscaped gardens, visit the aviaries, take a look at the Rock Pool with its Diamond Jubilee Cascade, explore the Japanese Garden, head off into the tropical glasshouses - and dont forget to see the koi carp! There is the childrens discovery garden and play area too. There will be plenty to do and explore - with Childrens Trails and Family Explorer Backpacks available for hire.The photo-shoot will take place on Saturday, April 27, and parents must accompany their children. To enter, simply log on to www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk; click on Front Cover Star and e-mail us the name and age of your child/children and your contact telephone number. All children under 12 living in Birmingham, Solihull or Sutton Coldfield are eligible to apply. The closing date for entry is March 31.Watch a younger childs face light up as they join Justin Fletcher and his CBeebies chums, Robert the Robot and Little Monster, for an Easter 2013 eggs-travaganza on April 11, (LG Arena, Birmingham). Justin prepares to put on a spectacular rock and roly-poly show for a very special visitor. Nina from Nina and the Neurons, Andy Day and Katy Ashworth will be on hand to help. But will everything go according to plan? Justin might need a little help from your little one to keep everything on track.CBeebies Live4 Issue 1411 plus timetable changeDos and donts of childrens parties Edwardian feteFREERMAY-JUNE 2012 ISSUE 9www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukHARBORNE-MS-BOOKKEEPINGEmail: msbookkeeping@talktalk.netAccounts Preparations,VAT Returns,Bookkeeping& Payroll ServicesTel: 0121 4282684 Mob: 07823550041Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdeldFREERJANUARY-FEBRUARY 2013 ISSUE 13www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukB A L L E T S C H O O L Sin Moseley & Bournville Royal Academy of Dancing syllabus Ages: 3-18 Tuition PlusHelping students achieve their true potentialTel: 07592 556 452Email: info@tuition-plus.co.ukwww.tuition-plus.co.ukProfessional TutoringLiteracy & Numeracyfor ages 5 to 11First lesson freeHarvest Fields CentreSutton Coldfield B75 5TJThe great outdoorsWhy pay for school?Coeliac diseaseThe great outdoorsWhy pay for school?Coeliac diseaseFREE DELIVERY!Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdeldParty like the IrishThis year Birminghams annual Saint Patricks Day parade will be the grand finale of a week-long celebration of all things Irish. The festival kicks off on March 9 to celebrate Irish dance, music, food and families. From literary events to race nights, the Irish certainly know how to party.The parade on Sunday, March 17, starts at 12 noon with the annual balloon release and will feature Pipe and Drum Bands, along with vintage motorbikes, classic cars and Willie Fergus Finnegans massed tractors plus many decorated floats. Everyone is invited to join in the fun and celebrate as the Irish in Birmingham say Cad Mile Filte (a hundred thousand welcomes).Head along to Babbs Mill on April 3 for a Dizzy Duck race. Pick your duck and wish it luck as it races against your friends ducks along the river. There will be a craft activity available and prizes for the top three in the race. Families taking part should meet by the play area at 11am. Go Quackers this Easter Another chance to be our front cover star!Newswww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukNewswww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukIssue 14 5 Children love exploring outdoors - crossing stepping stones, negotiating mazes and finding hidey holes. Now they can do just that at Baddesley Clintons new Playful Journeys trail which offers fresh air, exercise and more fun than any computer screen or games console. The National Trust team worked with local Brownie groups to design this natural trail in the parkland of the picturesque medieval moated manor at Baddesley. The trail has been artfully devised to allow children to discover a series of playful experiences nestling in hideaway spaces such as a hill with a Crows Lookout, hop-a-long logs, a woven Restawhile shelter and a turf maze in the nearby open grazing land. Try out Playful Journeys on your next visit, challenging the children to find the horseshoes and follow the trail with the aid of a map drawn by local illustrator Shelly Perkins. Sarah Kinnersley, National Trust Visitor Experience Officer, explains that there are plans to develop the trail further: We are now applying for funding to develop a second phase of Playful Journeys, making use of our woodlands. There are lots of possibilities in the woods for play and firing a childs imagination from building a den to playing woodland musical instruments and peering at wildlife. This is a happy, professional and caring group in which the individual child matters most.Please call to ask for full details and to book your childs free taster session.High quality dance, drama and singing classes for children 5-14 in Sutton Coldfield. Regular shows in which all members take part(Bugsy Malone coming up watch out for those splurge guns!)www.bigarenadrama.com0121 427 3770 077389 52062mike@bigarenadrama.comBirmingham MusicSchoolGuitar, Drums, Keyboards, Vocals, BassFree Trial Lesson Call: 0121-439-5488Fully Trained Yamaha TeachersCRB CheckedYamaha Teaching SystemAccredited Exams Grade 1-8Instruments ProvidedPlay & Read Music & Have FunYAMAHAPlay trail creating outdoor adventureBowler hat, beret, top hat, straw hat, bonnet, bobble hat, large hat, small hat, funny hat, boater, whatever Just be sure to wear a hat on March 28 and have fun to help a deadly serious cause - Brain Tumour Research. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 each year in the UK than any other cancer, but it receives less than one per cent (0.7 per cent) of national cancer research spending.The five-year survival rate for brain tumours has not changed in the last 40 years but five-year survival in most other cancers has risen to 50 per cent and in some cases 80 per cent thanks to investment in research. Just 14 per cent of children or adults diagnosed with brain tumours survive more than 5 years. It costs 1 million per year to fund research at a dedicated brain tumour research centre thats 1,740 per day. Register your school or workplace now by calling 01296 733011 and help them find ways to beat cancer.Hats the way to do it .Goodnight Mr TomDavid Woods stage adaptation of Michelle Magorians novel Goodnight Mister Tom will be on stage at the Alexandra Theatre during the Easter school holidays (April 9-13).The story set in the war years tells the tale of young William Beech, evacuated to the safety of the country and billeted with reclusive widower Mister Tom. The story has its darker moments (be prepared to shed a tear!) but ultimately its a heart-warming story of the healing power of love. Must book the tickets!Birmingham MusicSchoolGuitar, Drums, Keyboards, Vocals, BassFree Trial Lesson Call: 0121-439-5488Fully Trained Yamaha TeachersCRB CheckedYamaha Teaching SystemAccredited Exams Grade 1-8Instruments ProvidedPlay & Read Music & Have FunYAMAHAPhoto byLucy Reid, National TrustPhoto by Catherine AshmoreNewswww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukNewswww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk6 Issue 14Clubs & Classes DIRECTORY To advertise here please call 0758 352 6056MUSICMUSICMUSICTIM TANDLER DRUM SCHOOL1-to-1 drum tuition, City Centre locationRock School grades 1-8. Ages 4 upwards. Tel: 0121 503 5849www.timtandlerdrumschool.co.ukB I R M I N G H A MTel: 0121 503 5849www.birminghamdrumschool.co.uk1-to-1 drum tuition,City Centre locationRock School grades 1-8.Ages 4 upwards. Ballet, Tap and Jazz age 2 +Branches in Yardley and Shirley Telephone: 0121 744 1422 www.dubarrieschoolofdance.co.uk DUBARRIE SCHOOL OF DANCE DANCE & DRAMAwww.solihullyoungdancers.co.ukSolihull Young DancersBallet and Tap DancingClasses from age 2 +Tel: Kate on 07722 732678Youth Theatre Group, Age 6+ Garretts Green Lane, Sheldon, B26 2SA Telephone: 0121 722 3761 MASQUERADE MUSICAL THEATRE www.masquerademusicaltheatre.co.ukDance/Drama/Singing/GymnasticsExams, Shows & CompetitionsNorth Solihull. 0121-242-3904SPOTLIGHT STAGE SCHOOLwww.spotlightstageschool.co.ukMARTIAL ARTSVISIT www.combatsportscentre.co.uk to book a FREE trial lessonCOMBAT SPORTS FULL TIME MARTIAL ARTS CENTREBoxing, Karate, Kickboxing, Self Defence classes for all ages and abilitiesSculpture SundaysChildren and teens can learn how to model, construct, assemble and cast a sculpture at the Barber Institutes Sculpture Sundays.The new workshops, for children aged 5-10 and 11 and over, follow on from their regular Drawing Sundays which help children learn to draw like a pro.On Sculpture Sundays children make 3D art forms from unusual materials; model gods and goddesses from around the world, and work on experimental abstract sculptures.All sessions cost 5 and must be booked in advance. To find out more about Drawing and Sculpture Sundays call 0121 414 2261or e-mail education@barber.orgSee your work performed live in the West End and win tickets for your whole class to see Matilda the Musical in London.Thats the challenge for pupils aged 8-13 as part of the Royal Shakespeare Companys Matilda Write Now project.The RSC has launched an interactive website based on the musical to help inspire young people to become creative writers, imaginative playwrights and avid readers.The Write Now challenge asks pupils working as individuals or in pairs to introduce a new character to the Matilda story on her first day at Crunchem Hall. The script should take no longer than 5 minutes to perform and should include no more than 4 characters. A script with song can take no more than 8 minutes. For full details log on to www.matildawritenow.orgMatildaWrite NowSuttonStage SchoolTap - Modern Jazz- Classical Ballet- Gymnastics- Theatre Craft - Dramaand Classical Ballet and Gymnastic Dance BoldmereBallet SchoolExaminations - Shows- FestivalsFor children and young adultsEnquiries 07932 065 949or 0121 354 2932or visit uswww.theatredance.co.ukSuttonStage SchoolTap - Modern Jazz- Classical Ballet- Gymnastics- Theatre Craft - Dramaand Classical Ballet and Gymnastic Dance BoldmereBallet SchoolExaminations - Shows- FestivalsFor children and young adultsEnquiries 07932 065 949or 0121 354 2932or visit uswww.theatredance.co.ukClubs and Classes www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukClubs and ClassesStagecoachTheatre ArtsStagecoach Edgbaston Saturday classes at Edgbaston High School for Girls for children and young people aged 4 to 18Call: 01926 651159email: edgbaston@stagecoach.co.ukwww.stagecoach.co.uk/edgbastonStretch Your Childs Imagination In Three Directions At Once The original, largest and still the best part-time performing arts schools in the world.Nurturing and developing young peoples potential through dance, drama and singing.SING! DANCE! ACT NOW!www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukIssue 14 7 rhiggs@littlekickers.co.ukwww.littlekickers.co.ukApproved football training for kids aged 2 to 7 yearsWhere learnings a ballClasses in Solihull, Knowle, Hockley Heath & WythallFor a free trial class or information about our football parties please call0121 744 9730Take part in a family fun run for Comic Relief in Solihull on Sunday, March 17. Parents and children aged from 5 can register to run 1, 3 or 6 miles, starting from Tudor Grange Leisure Centre. It costs 5 per person to register and all money raised goes to Comic Relief. Run in costume and the best fancy-dressed runner will win a free months leisure pass. To find out more or register call Solihull Active on 0121 7048 207 or e-mail solihullactive@solihull.gov.ukCalling all little ninjasDoes your child have lots of energy? Sign them up for martial arts and help them to channel it constructively.Combat Sports at Acocks Green is offering free trial lessons in a fun introduction to martial arts for 5-7 year olds. The studio also offers Beginners Kickboxing for 8-13 year olds which not only gets them fit but helps develop confidence and concentration levels.Family fun runJoin our family of Puddle Ducks and enjoy baby and pre-school swimming with the most caring and highly-trained teachers around.Come on in, the waters lovely!puddleducks.com)5((WDVWHUVHVVLRQ(VXWWRQFROGILHOG#SXGGOHGXFNVFRPJoin our family of Puddle Ducks and enjoy baby and pre-school swimming with the most caring and highly-trained teachers around.Come on in, the waters lovely!puddleducks.com)5((WDVWHUVHVVLRQ(VXWWRQFROGILHOG#SXGGOHGXFNVFRPClubs and Classes www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukClubs and ClassesIs you child a laugh a minute? If so, the Comedy Academy for Kids will be right up their street.This workshop, aimed at 7-13 year olds, is part of Lolihull Solihulls comedy festival which runs from April 6-13. The workshop will involve lots of creative writing, sketch-based comedy and comedy games similar to those you would see on Mock the Week and Have I got News for You. Kids are asked to detail the most embarrassing thing thats ever happened to them, their family, teachers, etc. They can elaborate on the truth if they wish, or simply make it up drawing on comical experiences from their own lives.They will also be asked to write captions for funny pictures, devise sketches in groups, make up rubbish superhero names like Kettle Boy and invent a backstory for a character. Kids can be as silly and creative as they want to be, without getting in trouble.At the end of the workshop there will be a mini performance so kids can show their parents what they have been working on. In the afternoon children and their parents will also have the chance to attend the Comedy Club 4 Kids performance in the Solihull Arts Complex Theatre, with professional comedians doing stand up comedy but without the rude bits! To book the Comedy Academy 4 Kids or the matinee performance, call 0121 704 6962.Comedy Academy for Kidswww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukParenting?8 Issue 14Childcare in Britain costs more than childcare almost anywhere else in the world. According to recent figures, 27% of the income of families with young children is spent on the costs of a nanny, a childminder or a nursery. Everyone agrees it would be better if childcare was more affordable especially for parents with two or more children, many of whom say it doesnt make financial sense for them both to be at work.But how can childcare be made cheaper without compromising on quality? Thats the question everyone, from government ministers to childcare providers, is grappling with at the moment.What the Government is sayingIn late January the Government announced a new plan to change child:staff ratios for childminders and nurseries in a move it says will cut costs for parents and raise pre-school standards.Early years minister Elizabeth Truss is proposing that: Childminders, who are currently restricted to looking after three children aged one to five, should in future be able to look after four They would also be allowed to look after two children aged under one, instead of being restricted to one child under one Nurseries will be allowed to increase their staff-to-child ratio from the current 1:4 to 1:6How childcare is changingAN AWARD-WINNING POTTY TRAINING PACKWINDry Like Me are giving away five Smarter Way to Potty Train Packs worth 15. Each pack contains four boxes of Dry Like Me pads and a lovely reward chart and stickers all the tools you need to help your little one achieve potty training success!These potty training pads are a real break-through in the challenge to get children out of nappies and into their own pants. They have won lots of awards and are endorsed by child toilet training charity, ERIC.The handy little potty training pads turn all pants into potty training pants by adding an absorbent layer. Dry Like Me pads help your child to recognise their bodys cues for the loo, a key part of potty training. While they are learning, they capture small accidents and so reduce the mess and stress. They are soft, comfortable and suitable for children of all ages with one size fitting all. In research they reduced accidents after only one week.For your chance to win: just log on to www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk ; click on Dry Like Me and answer this question:What is the Dry Like Me website address?For more information, practical advice and special offers go to www.drylikeme.comAnd share your experiences atfacebook.com/DryLikeMeUKDry Like Me are available from Tesco Extra, Asda, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Superdrug, Wilkinsons, Ocado and Amazon and cost around 3.49 for a pack of 18.Parentingwww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukParentingHow childcare is changingIssue 14 9 Parenting www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk2008|2009RUSSELL NURSERY SCHOOLChildren aged from 3 months to 5 years.Ofsted Outstanding Qualied friendly staff. Daily home cooking. Interactive Whiteboard/Table. CCTV cameras in every room. Free Grant places available for 3+Tel: 0121 777 4902130 Russell Rd, Hall Green, Bham B28 8SQ621 Fox Hollies Road,Hall Green,Birmingham.B28 9DWTel: 0121 777 3778Other sitesSmall World Nursery,975 Stratford Road,Hall Green,BirminghamB28 8BGTel: 0121 693 30712008|20092008|2009By Joanna Moorhead For under-ones, the ratio will rise from 1:3 to 1:4 Qualifications would be raised for new nursery staff theyll be required to have a GCSE grade C or above in English and MathsOther changes include the introduction of a new graduate-level early years teaching qualification.Ms Truss says the proposals wont lead to children being neglected. She points out that the changes she is suggesting will still leave England with higher staff:child ratios than those for childcarers in France, Denmark and Germany, three countries that are often cited as providing high-quality care for pre-school children. Her basic argument is that the current relatively tight ratios have two main effects: they mean higher costs for parents, and lower pay for staff. The changes shed like to see would, she believes, lead to lower fees for parents and higher pay for staff, and this in turn would improve the quality of childcare workers over time.But Labours shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg says he believes the plans would undermine the quality of the UKs childcare. I think this is one area where weve got something to teach other countries, he says. If you look at France, theres quite a big public debate about whether theyve got this right.What about tax breaks?Childcare vouchers are one form of tax break for parents paying for childcare. However, before the recent Truss announcement it had been hoped that the scheme would be reformed and extended, allowing more parents to benefit from the scheme, and those already using it to save more.Unfortunately these hopes havent come to fruition. Ms Truss has said changes are in the pipeline, but that theyre going to be slightly longer in the gestation than would be ideal.So the details of the scheme are still being worked out, and its been widely reported in the press that there are ideological differences within the Coalition. Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister, has suggested that changes should be for those on lower incomes, while the Conservatives are believed to want the breaks to be universal.While we wait for another announcement, its being reported that the scheme under consideration could be worth thousands of pounds. Sources close to the Government have said working women with children aged under five could become entitled to claim a flat rate tax allowance of 2,000 a year to pay someone to look after their children. But if thats the good news, the bad news sadly is that with all the political wrangling going on behind the scenes, the plan could take some time...though some experts still believe it could be introduced before the next General Election.For more onchildcare go to www.familiesonline.co.ukor go to www.sallysnannies.co.ukSimply call us on 08000 194518We can provide a complete and professional service that meets all your nannying and childcare needs: - Day nannies - Live-in nannies - Night nannies - Maternity nurses - Breast-feeding support - Babysitters - Before and after school care - Corporate and event nanny services Ages 3 months to 5 years Small group sizes Open 8.00am to 6.00pm Mature quali ed staff Home cooked meals Ofsted approved CCTV and Door-entry security Grant Funding processed Teachers specializing in Music, Dance & French (subject to availability)Day NurserySchoolsQualityPre-SchoolEducationand Care106 Wake Green RoadMoseley, B13 9PZ.Tel: 0121-449-367319 Woodland Road,North eld, B31 2HU.Tel: 0121-475-8416106 Wake Green RoadMoseley, B13 9PZ.Tel: 0121-449-367319 Woodland Road,North eld, B31 2HU.Tel: 0121-475-8416 Ages 3 months to 5 years Small group sizes Open 8.00am to 6.00pm Mature quali ed staff Home cooked meals Ofsted approved CCTV and Door-entry security Grant Funding processed Teachers specializing in Music, Dance & French (subject to availability)Day Nursery SchoolsQuality Pre-School Education and CareOfsted Outstanding 2012 NorthfieldParentingwww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukParenting10 Issue 14www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukLifestyle Forget about the puppy dog tails, but slugs and snails can now hold a real hidden danger to our dogs.Lungworm has moved in to the Midlands. It is spread by infected slugs and snails and their trails. Once ingested, the worms can pass around a dogs body in its various forms and cause damage. It sounds gruesome, but its a reality. Is my dog at risk? Yesits Russian roulette!Licking or chewing grass, playing with a toy that has been left out in the garden, generally investigating the outside world, all of which is normal for a dog, puts them at risk.What are the symptoms?You may hear a cough, you may notice your dog not exercising quite so well, BUT there may not be any warning sign before an animal is in great danger. Some lucky dogs are left with scarring of their lungs, BUT we have had fatalities in the youngsters. The condition can advance so rapidly that we cannot save them; or animals coming in for a routine operation, e.g. neutering, can appear perfectly healthy, but have a hidden, life-threatening inability to clot their blood.What can you do to minimise your own dogs risk?There is no vaccination against it, but your vet can provide a product that gives on-going action against the parasite. Responsible dog owners are aware of the importance of vaccination to minimise the risk of serious or fatal diseases such as Parvo virus and Distemper, and now we should be adding Lungworm protection into our year round care!Operating facilitiesX rays, Ultrasound In-house lab PETS Passport SchemeDental workMicrochippingVaccinationsPharmacy and Shop Out of hours Emergency TeamThe 608 Pet Health ClubFor all your pet animals a dedicated team for help and adviceSURGERIESSolihull: Tel. 0121 705 3044Bentley Heath: Tel. 01564 774246Acocks Green: Tel. 0121 706 1870Sheldon: Tel. 0121 743 2890www.608vetpractice.co.ukThe Hidden Dangers of Slugs, Snails and Puppy Dog TailsBy Deborah Hope of 608 Vet practice If a rewarding job with true security that provides you with the work/life balance, flexibility and control over your own destiny sounds appealing contact Carolyn Rose today.You can work part time, around your existing work or family commitments and there is no financial investment.Find out how Carolyns children can always be her priority working part-time hours to suit her family commitments you too could change your life.Contact Carolyn for a FREE information pack on07789 916278 or email: carolynrose121@gmail.com1,500Urban VegKeen gardeners should head to Winterbourne House on April 20 for a Bugs, Bees, Plants and Trees event to mark the start of the gardening season. The Urban Veg team will also be on hand to give advice and plant the seeds for some creative ideas for your garden. www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukNot got your first choice school?By the time you read this the results of the annual scramble for secondary school places will have been announced. Last year in Birmingham almost one third of pupils failed to get into their top choice school, while national statistics show 1 in 20 were rejected from their top three choices. If you want to appeal, register your appeal quickly as there is a time limit. If you are looking to the independent sector, contact schools immediately if you want your child to be considered for September entry to year 7. Independent schools have already held their assessment days and made offers of places, but sometimes not all offers are taken up, so it is worth contacting them now. St Georges School, Edgbaston, understands the importance of an excellent education in the life and development of children. Our students are treated as individuals, allowing each to maximise their own potential.Fully co-educational independent day school - a caring and friendly community forchildren from 4 months to 18 years. Small classes with a creative andconstructive learning ethos Outstanding support for children with dyslexia Speech therapy available within the school 11+ tuition and excellent exam results Extra-curricular and enrichment activitiesTel: 0121 625 039831, Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 1RX Email: admissions@sgse.co.uk www.sgse.co.ukAn individual approach to educationSt Georges SchoolEdgbastonNEW SCHOOL NURSERY NOW OPENREGISTER NOW FOR YEAR 7 2013 ENTRYMarch 9th10am until 1pmOPEN DAY !" #$%&" '% ()*%&+ %& ,!!& #'%(& (& !(+ % #-!*)& + (!#&. ' '#& % %# % ((-(#'%!" %!!/(&% )%,()( ( /& *&(%!.'!!0 1#'%(&%! (*& #%0 ! 1 % %(& %+(!0 ))'&(0 + (!#& +) 2 )& 3 0%. )%!! !% /( % %(- % &'(-!%&(& '%(& '** + (!#& /( #0!,(% 4 '((& % ,!!& ,%) '! ,%1'('!% % &( )& %(-((The January snow played havoc for school open days and interviews, with St Georges School, Edgbaston, having to reschedule their planned Open Day and Edgbaston High School for girls rescheduling their interviews with prospective pupils.St Georges has now confirmed an alternative Open Day on March 9 from 10am-1pm for prospective pupils of all age groups including year 7 entry this September. Edgbaston High School is also taking registrations for September entry for prep and senior school.March Open DayThe tutor group KSOL will be holding a mock 11 plus exam for year 5 pupils on March 16. To book a place for your child call 0121 733 6558.Thinking of grammar?www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk EducationIssue 14 11 12 Issue 14www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukEducation 12 Issue 14Education Secretary Michael Gove is making waves in schools. Many applaud his emphasis on raising standards and rigour in education, but others argue that a return to a traditional curriculum is a retrograde step. Here Michael Bassey, emeritus professor of education of Nottingham Trent University and former president of the British Educational Research Association, warns that parents need to wake up to the danger.Schools are very different from thirty years ago, teachers and children work much harder and the expectations on them are high. Government has put more money into education and schools are better equipped. But the price is that politicians, not teachers, control schools.Michael Gove came into office in 2010 and as well as cutting budgets his aim was to raise standards. To this end he is taking schools away from the local authorities, calling them academies and giving them monies that the councils would have used for support of schools. How renaming schools will improve education is not clear.Mr Gove has also introduced another national curriculum for primary schools in order to restore rigour. Three of four academic advisers resigned when it was published, one saying it is too narrowly prescriptive for the real world of classrooms.Now he is reforming GCSEs and introducing a National Curriculum for pupils at 16. I want to alert parents to some of the dangers that lie ahead for their children. I believe passionately that school education should be funded by the state and that decisions about how it is conducted should be in the hands of teachers. Teachers are the professionals who by experience, commitment and training understand best the educational needs of children.The goalposts have been movedWithout warning, in July 2012 the boundary between C and D in English GCSE was raised. As a result thousands of candidates had their hopes for higher education dashed. The move was a reaction to fears that standards were slipping as too many people were gaining good grades.Joan McVittie, president of the Association of School and College Leaders said: The whole thing is so unfair on pupils whose lives will be affected by these results.GCSE is to be reformed On 17 September 2012 Mr Gove told Parliament that GCSEs would be replaced in 2017 by examinations leading to English Baccalaureate Certificates in English, mathematics and science and, in 2019, geography, history and a language. (An announcement was made on February 7 that plans to scrap GCSE were abandoned, but pass marks are being raised and pupils will have to take extension papers to get the best grades particularly in Maths and Science. Fewer re-sits will be allowed and there will be a restriction on texts in exams. Schools will now be judged on the percentage of pupils passing English and Maths and a points system for pupils best eight results which must include at least 3 core subjects such as science, history geography and languages.* ) Nearly everything will depend upon long exam papers. There was no consultation before this move which gives subjects such as art, music, drama, design and technology, IT, PE and religious education less importance.Unemployment loomsThe school leaving age was raised from 16 to 18, but what future awaits youngsters at 18 in a country that does not seem to value apprenticeship schemes?Our Governments vocational education schemes are short and feeble compared to those elsewhere. In Germany there are 342 trades where an apprenticeship can be completed and two-thirds of young people start on this route.Children are over-tested, year after yearSome children take exams in their stride but others find them very stressful. Examinations start at six with a test on phonics. At seven and 11 there are key stage tests in literacy and numeracy, at 15 GCSEs.Because of published league tables there is great pressure on schools to achieve resulting in teaching to the test.The Independent newspaper in January 2012 reported former director for the national curriculum Mick Waters saying: One of my main worries is that many youngsters arent experiencing the richness, depth and joy of learning because schools feel they need to achieve some imposed and questionable targets.Is Gove getting it right?Issue 14 13Education www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk$IBSJU Z OP .FBOTUFTUFECVSTBSJFTBWBJMBCMFBOE4DIPMBSTIJQT5FM XXXFEHCBTUPOIJHI DPVL"OJOEFQFOEFOUTDIPPMGPSHJSMTBHFEZFBST5BLJOH3FHJTUSBUJPOTGPS4FQUFNCFSFOUSZUPUIF1SFQBSBUPSZBOE4FOJPS4DIPPMTKey Dates Year 7 entranceSchool sports fields are being soldLast summer, 30 playing fields were approved for sale. This seems incredible at a time when Olympic successes inspired many young athletes.In the Daily Mail, novelist JoJo Moyes said: There is no policy that more defies common sense than the sale of school playing fields. Because with each playing field sold, its not just potential sporting prowess we lose, but childrens mental and physical health itself.Too many children are weak readersMr Goves insisting on young children learning to decode writing by synthetic phonics is utterly misguided, say many teachers. Experts say it should be one of several methods used in a balanced approach to reading.In July the Guardians arts correspondent Mark Brown said: More than 90 of Britains best-known childrens authors and illustrators have called on the Government to abandon its plans to introduce early-year reading tests, warning that they pose a threat to reading for pleasure in primary schools.Raising standards weakens all-round educationThe major political parties claim they want to raise standards, but only in terms of examination results. Yes, good results are important, but they are not everything. All-round education is about learning cognitive skills, developing worthwhile values, learning how to relate emotionally, learning how to communicate effectively, creative talents, experiencing our heritage, and ultimately, learning how to make a living.All-round education embraces every aspect of learning how to lead worthwhile lives. Most of this cannot be tested in examinations.What can be done?If you find yourself worried about these issues then exercise your democratic right to contact your MP. Go to www.writetothem.com and send a message. *This article was written before the Feb 7 announcement and the words in brackets are not part of the original article.Kingswood SchoolIndependent School for 3 to 11 year olds0121 744 7883www.kingswoodschool.co.ukinfo@kingswoodschool.co.ukSt James Place, Shirley, Solihull, B90 2BAWhere Individuals MatterVisit us to experience our unique atmosphere11+ TuitionFinalist 2012Call us today on 0121 733 6558 www.ksol.co.uk11+ Mock ExamInterested in tuition?Enrolling now for September201311+ Mock ExamBook now for our 2013March, May and July ExamsPersonalised Tuition CourseVery small groupsPay As You GoTuition Centres in Sutton, Solihull & HandsworthEducation www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukwww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk14 Issue 14www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukParenting www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukWhats On www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukOut & AboutNature TotsFun sessions encouraging an early interest in wildlife with outdoor play and indoor games and craft activities. Sessions include Very Slimy Friends; Woodland Explorers; Xylophones and more Venue: Parkridge CentreBrueton Park, SolihullDates: Wed and Fri during term-timeTime: 10.30am-12pmTickets: 3 per child. Booking essential.Tel: 0121 704 0768Yonex All England Open Badminton Championship Venue: NIA, King Edward Street, BirminghamDate: March 5-10Tickets: 0844 338 8000Crufts Dog ShowA Tail-waggging, fact-finding, unfurgettable day out Venue: NECDate: March 7-10Tickets: From 10 (Best in Show from 17.50 LG Arena, March 10 4pm)Mothers Day Lunch The Terrace Tea room is serving a special Mothers Day menu. Visit the house and have a leisurely lunch.Venue: Winterbourne House & Gardens, 58 Edgbaston Park Road, B15 2 RTDate: Sunday March 10Tickets: Admission to house 14 per familyMusical Picnic Metropolitan Brass QuintetJoin the Brass Quintet for this family friendly interactive show. Learn how music can be fast, slow, descriptive or emotional. Have a go at conducting.Venue: Sympony Hall Caf BarDate: March 16Time: 10.30amAge: recommended 0-7FREE EVENT Easter Victorian HouseholdA fun living history experience. See the Victorian housekeeper set her servants to task and witness her strict inspections. Listen to the servants gossip and watch them as they wait on table for their superiors.Venue: Tamworth Castle, The Holloway, Ladybank, Tamworth, B79 7NADate: March 31 and April 1Time: 11.30am-4.45pmTickets: 7 adult: child 4.50; aged 2-4 1.50 and under 2 go freeTel: 01827 709581Survival DensMake a den and see if you could survive. Age 4Plus. Children 7 and under must be accompanied. Other Easter Workshops include Easter Insects, Pond Pirates, Kite Drop in, Easter Bunnies for Tots, Spring has Sprung, Get Creative and Nature Detectives. For full details log on towww.warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.ukVenue: Brueton Park, Solihull, B91 3ENDates: Easter School HolidaysTickets: 4. Booking essential. To book: 0121 704 0768Dizzy Duck Race You would have to be quackers to miss this one! Pick your duck and wish it luck as it races against your friends ducks along the river. There will be a craft activity available and prizes for the top three in the race.Venue: Babbs Mill LNR,B37 6LN Meet by the play area.Date: April 3Time: 11:00am 12:30pm Tickets: 1 per entrant per duck. Art Animal TracksLearn how to make plaster cast of animal footprints and take them home Venue: Palmers Rough, B90 3LH. Meet by play areaDate: April 4Time: 10am-12pm and 1-3pmTickets: 1.50 per child. Booking essential. Call 0121 704 8000Easter GeocachingVenue: Clent Hills Date: April 9Time: 10am-3pmTickets: Group 10Scarecrow Making Day Design your own scarecrow at this popular family event. Prizes for the best scarecrows. Venue: Knowle Park, Longdon Road, B93 9HTDate: April 11Time: 10.30am-12.30pmFREE but booking essential. To reserve a place and for equipment list call 0121 704 8000Musical Picnic Anansi the Spider Yaaba Funk presents Anansi the Spider in association with Mubu Music. A magical musical journey bringing to life the traditional tales of Anansi the Spider.Venue: Symphony Hall Caf BarDate: April 13Time: 10.30amAge: recommended 0-7FREE EVENTBugs, bees, plants and treesGather ideas for your garden at a visit to Winterbourne House and Gardens. Plant stalls and ideas from the Urban Veg team.Venue: Winterbourne House & Gardens, 58 Edgbaston Park Road, Bham, B15 2 RTDate: April 20Time: 11am-5.30pmTickets: 14 familySt Georges Day at Tamworth CastleMedieval joust; have-a-go archers; pottery-making and hands-on activities for children at living history re-enactment day. Venue: Tamworth Castle, The Holloway, Ladybank, B79 7NADate: April 20Time: 11.30am-4.45pmTickets special admission Adults: 3 and children 2; child aged 2-4 50p and under 5 free.Theatres & shows The Sound of Music Knowle Operatic Society production of this popular family musicalVenue: Solihull Arts ComplexHomer Road, Solihull Date: March 4-9Time: Eve 7.30pm and Sat matinee 2.30pmTickets: 14-16To Book: 0121 704 6962Pengy Shout festivalThe story of 2 boy penguins who, against the odds, become parents. Draws inspiration from the true life story at New York Zoo where penguins Roy and Soli were given an abandoned egg which hatched into a chick called Tango.Venue: MAC Arts Date: March 9Time: 11. am and 2.30pmAge: 3 plusTickets: 6Olly MursIn concert at LG Arena on March 12 - and at NIA on March 20Tickets: 32.50To Book: 0844 338 8000The Merchant of Venice Presented by Crescent TheatreVenue: Crescent TheatreSheepcote Street, BirminghamDate: March 16-23Time: 7.30pm evenings and Sun 17 March, and Sat 23 March matinee at 2.30pmTickets: 14Tel: 0121 643 5858 AnnieA Peterbrook players production for all the family Venue: Solihull Arts Complex,Homer Road, Solihull Date: March 19-23Time: Eve 7.30pm and Sat matinee 2.30p.m.Tickets 11-15To Book: 0121 704 6962Hidden Histories Rep 100Interactive performance event: hear the secret stories and untold tales from behind the scenes of Birmingham Rep in this community event. Activities for all ages try on costumes; write your own press report, and help get the theatre ready for its first ever performance.Venue: Birmingham Rep, The Old Rep, Station Street, BirminghamDates: March 20, 25, 27 and 30FREE EVENT Places limited and must be booked in advanceTo Book: 0121 236 4455Rolf Harris LiveAn evening with painter, singer, song-writer and TV personality Rolf Harris Venue: Symphony Hall,Broad Street, B1 2EADate: March 23Time: 7.30pmTickets: 25-40To Book: 0121 345 0600Michael Jackson The Immortal World TourShow by Cirque du Soleil visuals, dance, music and fantasy celebrating the Michael Jackson legacy which transcends generationsVenue: NIAKing Edward Street, BirminghamDate: March 26Tickets: 40-100To Book: 0844 338 8000Chicken LickenA baby chick is born and thinks the sky is falling down; a little red hen asks her friends to help her make bread but no-one wants to play; and foxy is about this show for ages 3 plus weaves together 3 Ladybird book stories.Venue: MAC, Cannon Hill Park,Date: April 5 and 6Time: 11.30am and 2.30pmTickets: 6To book: 0121 446 3232Bollywood ShowstoppersA musical dance extravaganza Bollywood like you have never seen before, including Bollywood icon Bipasha Basu; dancing queen Malaika Arora Khan and popular dance group Bolly Flex.Venue: LG ArenaDate: April 5Time: 6.30pmTickets: 20- 85To Book: 0844 338 8000Comedy Club 4 KidsAn authentic comedy club experience (without the rude bits or swearing) for children aged 6-11 and their families Venue: Solihull Arts ComplexHomer Road, SolihullDate: April 9Time: 2.30pmTickets: 6To Book 0121 704 6962One Direction Boy band (Harry, Zayn, Niall, Liam and Louis) Venue: LG ArenaDate: March 22 and 23 and April 17Tickets: 25-32.50To Book: 0844 338 8000Alice in Wonderland Ballet Theatre UK Venue: Solihull Arts ComplexHomer Road, SolihulllDate: April 3Time: 2.30pm and 7.30pmTickets: 17.50 and 12To Book: 0121 704 6962www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukIssue 14 15 Parentingwww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukwww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk Whats Onwww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukWalking with Dinosaures the Arena experience Watching 16 life-sized dinosaurs in the arena. Watch them walk, hear them roar and see them as they come face to face as they fight for survival. Based on the award-winning BBC show and re-created as a theatrical experience a combination of story-telling, technology, entertainment and education to fascinate children and adults alike.Venue: NIAKing Edward Street, BirminghamDate: April 10-14Time: performance times vary. See website for details.Tickets: 25-45To Book: 0844 338 8000FamiliesFIRSTSPRING/SUMMER 2013Learn to draw! Make sculpture!Paint portraits!Fantastic & fun workshops for kids!For more information, pick up our latest Families First brochure, or visit: www.barber.org.uk/category/learning or call: 0121 414 2261Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FamiliesFirstBarberInstituteBarber-FF-Advert-Feb2013-01.indd 1 12/02/2013 10:22FamiliesFIRSTSPRING/SUMMER 2013Learn to draw! Make sculpture!Paint portraits!Fantastic & fun workshops for kids!For more information, pick up our latest Families First brochure, or visit: www.barber.org.uk/category/learning or call: 0121 414 2261Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FamiliesFirstBarberInstituteBarber-FF-Advert-Feb2013-01.indd 1 12/02/2013 10:22Goodnight Mister TomA stage production of Michelle Margorians novel which won the Guardian childrens fiction award, and was commended for the Carnegie medal and is now a worldwide literary success. Set in wartime England, a little boy is evacuated to the country and his life is changed for ever.Venue: New Alexandra TheatreStation Street, B5 4DSDate: April 9-13Time: Evenings: 7pm; matinee Wed and Thurs at 1pm, and Sat matinee at 2.30pmTickets: 10-28.50To Book: 0844 871 7627CBeebies Live Justin and FriendsJustin Fletcher is on stage and joined by your favourite characters Robert the Robot and Little Monster from Justins House; Nina from Nina and the Neurons; Andy Day and Katy Ashworth. But as he prepares to stage a spectacular show for a special visitor, can he keep his plans on track he might need your helpVenue: LG Arena Date: April 11Time: 1.30pm and 4.30pmTickets: Adults from 16; children from 13 and family from 52To Book: 0844 338 8000Beyonce The Mrs Carter show world tourBeyonce opens her world tour in BirminghamVenue: LG ArenaDate: April 26Tickets: 55-85To Book: 0844 338 8000Were going on a Bear HuntA stage adaptation of the childrens story by Michael Rose illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Join the intrepid explorers on their quest to find a bear, wading through gigantic swishy grass, splashy, splashy rivers and thick, oozy, squelchy mud. Catchy songs and interactive scenes for ages 3 plus.Venue: Town Hall, Victoria Square, B3 3DQDate: April 11- 17Time: times vary. Check website.Tickets: 11.50To Book: 0121 780 4949Phantom of the OperaCameron Mackintoshs new production comes to Birmingham as part of its UK tourVenue: Birmingham Hippodrome Date: March 13-May 4Time: Evenings at 7.30pm; Thurs matinee at 2pmand Sat matinee 2.30pmTickets: 22-60To Book: 0844 338 5000www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukEaster Easter B I R M I N G H A M GARDENS BOTANICAL THE TURN OVER A NEW LEAF www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk Open daily 0121 454 1860 10% off day visit entry with ad FAM113 Fun Sunday 31 March 2013 11am Beautiful Gardens Exotic Glasshouses Birds Bonsai Shop Tea Room Gallery New Family Back Pack Trails Kids go free! As Easter approaches we point you in the direction of some Easter Egg Hunts and fun activities. And here are some fascinating facts about the holiday:The Easter bunny and Easter eggsFor more Egg Hunts and Easter activities, log on to www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukEaster Egg Huntand fun-dayChildren under 16 go free to this Easter egg hunt and funday at Birminghams Botanical Gardens. An action packed day with farmyard chicks, rabbits, guinea pigs and duckling at the gardens for children to see and pet; childrens trails, crafts and face-painting.Venue: Botannical Gardens, Westbourne Road, EdgbastonDate: Easter Sunday, March 31 Time: 11am-3pmCHILDREN UNDER 16 FREE.Adult admission: 7 for 1 adult12 for 2 adultsEaster Egg HuntThe Easter bunny has hidden clues around the park - crack the password and win a chocolate egg! You may even spot the Easter bunny as he hops around the park. Puppet shows, childrens rides, craft activities and other entertainment also available.Venue: Elmdon Park, Tanhouse Farm Road, Solihull B92 9EYDate: March 29Time: 11am-3pmTickets: 2 per child, plus a charge for some of the other attractions. Easter Egg Trail at National TrustFor the sixth year running Cadburys are sponsoring Easter Egg trails and activities at National Trust properties. Usual admission charges to property and a charge of between 1 and 2.50 per trail. Birmingham Back to Backs, Hurst Street/Inge Street, B5 4 TE March 29 April 1; 10.15am-3.45pm; Clent Hills, Nimmings Wood, near Romsley, B62 0NL March 29 and 30; 11am-4pm; Baddesley Clinton, B93 0DQ March 29 April 1; 11am-5pmA real Egg Hunt at Ash End House Childrens FarmChat to chicks and go on a real egg hunt this Easter and choose your own fresh egg to take home. Along with meeting bunny rabbits and other farm animals and having fun in the playbarn.Venue: Ash End House, Middleton Lane, Tamworth, B78 2BLDate: DailyTickets: Children 9.95 (includes access to the Big Playbarn); adults 7.50 or 6.50 term-time.EASTER EGG HUNTS Easter was originally a pagan festival the ancient Saxons celebrated spring with a party in honour of its goddess, Eastre. The Easter bunny also originated with the pagan festival as the rabbit was seen by the Anglo Saxons as a symbol of fertility and spring. Medieval records note that eggs were often given as Easter gifts to servants by their masters. The first documented use of the bunny as a symbol of Easter appears in Germany in the 1500s, and it was the Germans who made the first edible Easter bunnies in the 1800s. The first Cadburys Easter egg was made in 1875, in dark chocolate. Milk chocolate didnt arrive until 1905 with the launch of Dairy Milk. A new Guinness World Record for the most entrants in an egg hunt was set in London last Easter after 12,773 people took part in The Faberg Big Egg Hunt.About 10% of Britains annual spending on chocolate is on Easter eggs. The average time for children to start tucking into their first chocolate Easter egg is 11am on Easter Sunday, with 30% of children eating their chocolate egg instead of breakfast!Easter eggs-plosions with Mad ScienceMake edible wallpaper, chocolate waterfalls, even build a giant golden egg or learn how to make eggs explode at Mad Sciences Easter holidays workshops for children. Or children who like a bit of gore could try the Slime Dunking workshops which kicks off with making your own slime mixture, including slimey worms and fake snot! The workshops will run at Birmingham FC on April 8, and at the Wacky Warehouse in Harborne for three days between April 8 and 9. For further information or to book a place call 0121 647 7450.