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Winter Tales, 2019

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W I N T E R THE EDUCATION ISSUE SCHOOL OF ROCK FOOD FOR THOUGHT OLD SCHOOL WEEKENDS COLLEGE DROPOUTS 4 95 FREE TO MEMBERS

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PARTIES AT PURPLE DRAGON From an intimate tea party to an extraordinary extravaganza choose from one of our amazing birthday themes or create a bespoke event Take the stress out of organising a party so you can focus on enjoying the special day For further information please contact our concierge team on Chelsea 020 3906 8601 reception purpledragonchelsea com

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welcome DEFINED AS BOTH the process of teaching training and learning especially in schools or colleges and an interesting experience that teaches you something by the Oxford English Dictionary it s Plato who challenges us to think The main function of education is not to put knowledge into the soul but to bring out the latent talents in the soul by directing it towards the right objects Perhaps for most of us as parents a better definition is source of intense anxiety or stress If you re a parent of a 3 8 11 or 13 year old there are few things as hotly discussed as which school your offspring is applying to Normally sane charming and happy parents can change into red eyed foam at the mouth terrifying individuals best avoided in case George or Mia haven t secured that coveted place to Thomas s Garden House Westminster Eton Wycombe Abbey or St Mary s Ascot thus fated to a life of unthinkable failure It s true that British public schools are still viewed as the gold standard and a weak pound is luring many more international families into the UK system so competition for places at the top tier schools is tough However a warning shot is being fired across the bows of all parents from mental health experts Stress and anxiety among children is rising sharply as a result of mounting pressure to do well in exams coming from intensive parents and teachers In an effort to make them stand out even small children have schedules so packed with extracurricular activities they re doing the equivalent of a 60 hour work week Researchers at New York s Cornell University have suggested that the growing phenomenon of intensive parenting has eclipsed that of the so called helicopter and snowplough parents When I was a child my parents were pretty blas about whether I studied or not Summer holidays were full of days scooping tadpoles from ponds chasing badly behaved ponies around the fields and making up dances to whatever song we most loved that week Daydreaming making up fantastic adventures and imagining what we d be like when we were ancient like 22 or 24 gasp Looking back now I could definitely have achieved better grades if I d studied I was that girl cramming Keats at lunchtime before the English Lit exam but if I had who would I be now What would have been the cost Now my boys are 11 and 13 this is something I think on more and more Education should be about the PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM individual Our current system as good as it is can be guilty of a cookie cutter approach and it s easy to fall into the trap of believing that your child must attend a certain school regardless of whether it s right for them Michelle Obama sums up education brilliantly for me One of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child What do you want to be when you grow up As if growing up is finite As if at some point you become something and that s the end And she s right there with Plato education is for life not just for school I ve learnt more since I ve had my children than I ever did between 5 and 18 They ve taught me to question everything and see things with a new perspective I ve learned about the terrors of social media the possibility that an 11 year old might need five different types of sports shoes for school that I can survive on way less sleep than I thought that time well spent is the most precious commodity Giving our kids opportunities to learn not just the classics but also about resilience co operation compromise different paths in life and that it s okay to fail because everyone does sometime surely this has to be as important in equipping our children to cope with what their future will hold Learning through experience giving things a shot dipping in discovering untapped talents and learning unexpected lessons is core to what we try to offer our members Our club offers a safe space to go on adventures and be creative with people who are there for the journey and all that s on offer along the way And finally if you are about to enter the merry go round of exams and interviews please do know that it ll be okay My boys came through Chelsea pre prep and preps despite the fact that between them they a cried when the teacher took a cow out of the mystery objects bag who knew that could be a phobia at 3 Sod s Law b argued with the headmaster about whether the book had a tractor or a digger on the cover super c stood on the head of school s mascot bear yes really and d told the interviewee they liked the school from that morning better ho hum Sharai Meyers Founder CEO JoJo Fox Rucksack 16 jojomamanbebe co uk WHAT IS EDUCATION

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FROM THE ORGANISERS OF THE BABY SHOW F CAMPBRELEL E WORTH BOOK 5 99 SHOPPING EXTRAVAGANZA BABY S FIRST CHRISTMAS 100 S OF LEADING BOUTIQUE BRANDS TOYS GIFTS BLACK FRIDAY DEALS BABY KIDS FASHION THE CATWALK EXPERIENTIAL FESTIVE FUN SOFT PLAY FREE EXPERT ADVICE TICKET PACKAGES NOW ON SALE Babytotoddlerevents co uk Media Partner App Sponsor Sponsors and Partners Advance Box Office closes midnight 22 11 2019 for ExCeL and 29 11 2019 for NEC Only available to advanced bookers at ExCeL while stocks last To book by phone call 0844 995 9674 Calls cost 7p per minute plus standard network access charge Transaction fee per booking applies Correct at time of print

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CON TRIBU TORS HAZEL DAVIS Interviews Allyson Dias p36 Freelance journalist media trainer and copywriter Hazel writes for a number of publications including The Guardian Financial Times The Telegraph The Times Psychologies New Psychotherapist writing about a wide range of things from education and training to travel What does education mean to you I ve been part of tertiary education at the highest level and along with my partner I now home school my two daughters Education to me is about creativity This isn t about just drawing pretty pictures it s about putting your imagination to work on finding new solutions and developing new ideas ALEXA TOY ELLIE FAZAN Reviews Ballyfin in Ireland p52 Formerly the editor Christie s International Real Estate s Luxury Defined blog and contributor to The Telegraph and Cond Nast Traveller she s the queen of the stylish getaway Yet this month she s ditching her glad rags to trek to Everest Base Camp in aid of a hospice How do you learn new things Travel teaches you about the world It s not just about seeing new landscapes but meeting new people trying their food and learning about their culture and customs Because it s not always possible to hop on a plane when I m not travelling you ll find me with my head in a newspaper or book Muses on education p58 A Cambridge graduate and former teacher at Clifton College Prep School Alexa retrained as a specialist tutor and now works 1 1 with children reigniting their curiosity and creativity for all things learning We re delighted she s also our new columnist What learnings do you live by I was diagnosed with dyslexia at school Now I teach that dyslexia and dyspraxia indeed any learning difficulty is not a struggle rather a gift We simply have to learn how to harness it then use it as a positive MEET THE TEAM ACTING EDITOR ELLIE FAZAN CREATIVE DIRECTOR DARREN HOLDWAY ADVERTISING SALES TAMSIN IRVING FOUNDER CEO SHARAI MEYERS For editorial contact ellie fazan purpledragonplay com advertising enquiries contact tamsin irving purpledragonplay com Purple Dragon Play Ltd Thomas House 84 Ecclestone Square SW1V 1PX purpledragonplay com PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM purpledragonplay

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Strapline CONTENTS THE EDUCATION ISSUE Issue 5 November 2019 January 2020 Play is the highest form of research ALBERT EINSTEIN PD Einstein inspired to play p42 08 autumn tales PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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in this issue 52 36 22 46 17 11 THE KNOWLEDGE From dates for your diary to ideas for living better suggestions for your next big holiday and Christmas gifts with purpose here are some lessons in life the universe and beyond 22 MUSIC RULES Sounds meanings and self expression Purple Dragon Play Leader Francisco Loran on why music is so important for children Getty 42 IT S PLAY TIME Our new Group Head of Play on why toys are key to aiding a child s understanding of the world PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM 52 OLD SCHOOL We visit a former run down school in Ireland s County Laois now a luxury country house retreat to meet the schoolboys turned butlers 58 HOLD THAT THOUGHT Musings from specialist tutor and our new columnist Alexa Toy THE EDUCATION ISSUE SCHOOL OF ROCK FOOD FOR THOUGHT OLD SCHOOL WEEKENDS COLLEGE DROPOUTS THE EDUCATION ISSUE By encouraging young people not to go to university the Thiel Fellowship offers an alternative to traditional education W I N T E R Issue 5 36 TUNE IN DROP OUT Gemma Ogston chef and author of The Self Care Cookbook on how food can bring joy to family life TA L E S We talk to three superstar mums who are changing the way we think about education 46 EAT SMARTER W I N T E R 30 RELATIVE VALUES The world s best family club The world s best family club Cover_Winter Tales_select indd 1 4 95 FREE TO MEMBERS 30 09 2019 17 41 On the cover Photography Nato Welton Hair and Make up Rebecca Hadfield

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PREPARED FOR EVERYTHING PRINCE S GARDENS PREPARATORY SCHOOL is a new independent school for boys and girls aged 3 11 in the heart of Kensington opening in September 2020 Prince s Gardens Preparatory School aims to give each pupil an education which enables them to realise their potential and grow as individuals Through a determined focus on academic excellence character development and the nurturing of a global perspective we wish to prepare our children for all the exciting challenges that life can offer Above all we want to foster a love for learning within each child and for them to be curious and ambitious We want our pupils to relish all that school life has to offer so that they leave us confident and excited about their future Quite simply we wish our pupils to be Prepared For everything In all that we do at Prince s Gardens Prep we aim to foster belief in oneself a commitment to doing our best and to collaborating with others Through emphasising the importance of personal integrity working hard and showing kindness and respect we believe that our pupils are inspired to make a difference throughout their lives and work for the benefit of their communities Mrs Alison Melrose Head Elect invites you to join us to find out more at one of our regular information events for more details see www princesgardensprep co uk

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clued up THE KNOWLEDGE Ideas and inspiration to help you and your family grow beyond the classroom SKI SCHOOL Welcome to the most luxurious ski hotel in the world where children live in a fairy tale kingdom A team of concierges curate your stay from planning personalised gifts on arrival to booking perfectly paired ski instructors And there s an ice rink dog sledding and a magical tree house for those days you don t fancy the slopes Find out more at courchevel airelles com

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clued up DIARY CLUB EVENTS Night school Discover more under the cover of darkness during a magical night at London s Natural History Museum Not only do children aged 7 11 get to sleepover under the watchful eye of the dinosaur affectionately known as Dippy they ll explore the museum on a torch lit trail enjoy a dinosaur T shirt making workshop and be amazed by an educational science show presented by a real life scientist There will be some extra special surprises at the Christmas edition of Dino Snores which takes place on 7th December Dates for next year include 11th January and 7th and 29th February Help spread the joy of Christmas with our extra special Giving Tree which will be at concierge of Purple Dragon Chelsea once again this year Simply take a tag from the tree with the name of a disadvantaged or refugee child and buy a present that you think will match their age and gender Last year in total Giving Tree saw an incredible 43 000 toys donated from around the world nhm ac uk HUNGRY TO LEARN Food is all about family says chef Raymond Blanc At his cookery school in his Oxfordshire restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons private classes can be tailored to specific interests while adult and child courses bring food loving families together For an exciting taste of what it takes to be a world class chef classes take place in the bustling two Michelin starred kitchen From lessons for budding chefs aged 10 16 to canap and dinner party masterclasses for adults there are more than 40 courses to choose from As always we ll be celebrating the festive season with a host of wonderful club events From our Tots Christmas Emporium where little ones can choose buy and wrap their own surprise gift for mummy and daddy to our weekend with Santa It ll be a fantastically festive extravaganza See our listings for more upcoming events raymondblanc com 12 winter tales PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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IDEAS Back to school You re never too old to learn The brainchild of author and philosopher Alain de Botton The School of Life hosts mindand life expanding courses and workshops in London Antwerp Amsterdam Berlin Istanbul Melbourne Paris S o Paulo Sydney Seoul and Taipei supplying good ideas for everyday life work love and relationships For a full day course why not try Know Yourself in a Day open to anyone who wishes to explore what truly interests motivates and excites them as well as what lies behind some of their biggest fears anxieties and sorrows theschooloflife com LIGHT BULB MOMENT From the humble toothbrush invented by William Addis in the 1770s while in prison to the World Wide Web invented by Tim Berners Lee over two centuries later Britain has a great reputation for producing some of the world s best brainiacs The British Inventors Society honours our clever thinking community each year at an awards ceremony thebis org PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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T R AV E L GO YOUR OWN WAY Travel is about time together pushing boundaries and learning new things says Purple Dragon Tales Acting Editor ellie fazan Here s what she discovered on a walk through Spain with her father 14 winter tales PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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clued up T R AV E L WHEN MY 74 YEAR OLD FATHER asked me to walk a stretch of the famous Camino de Santiago with him to celebrate his 75th birthday I said yes I ll tell you now though we re not the kind of walkers who carry snacks he warned We were to walk a 150km section of the Via de la Plata one of the Camino s lesser known routes carrying our own bags and staying in albergues ranging from basic state run hostels to family owned lodges serving home cooked dinner We agreed on an occasional night in a hotel for a hot shower and fresh sheets As an editor and travel writer my job has spoiled me and the fancy hotels and exotic destinations I m now accustomed to are a long way from the sticky camping holidays in France I grew up with I wanted to test myself But more than that I wanted to spend time with my dad I m one of four and the last time we had quality one on one time together was when I was 21 and moved to San Diego He flew with me halfway and we had a run ashore in New York Since then he s beaten cancer and had key hole surgery on his knee I ve had one or two close scrapes as well notably a car accident in Iceland which left me hanging on a cliff edge Life is precious My dad joined the Royal Navy at 16 In his first term he learnt to navigate by memorising the pattern of the stars and taking astronomical sights But you don t need charts or maps to navigate the Camino The way is marked by blue and yellow symbols that represent scallop shells A knight chased into the sea by heathens during the Moorish conquest of Spain rose up from the waters covered in them or so the Christian version of the story goes My dad an incurable scholar believes pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela predates Christianity The route takes walkers to Fisterra once considered the end of the world It s one of the most westerly points in Europe and the last place to watch the sun go down over the sea and that s exactly what the waymarkers look like During our trip I often find myself thinking of the people from all over Europe who walked this way in ancient times to see the setting sun They would have wondered where it was going if it would come back Burial sites that predate Roman times can be found on the cliffs there The route winds through the hills of Galicia going through villages and cities where keeping track of the way can be more difficult Day one navigating out of Ourense I reach for my phone While I m still trying to work out which way the little blue compass is pointing and fend off the last of my work emails my dad goes over to some complete strangers cue me cringing like a teenager and asks them With huge smiles they clapped him on the back wished him well and pointed us on our way taking the time to compliment him on his travel companion What an honour to do this with your daughter they said You will remember this for a lifetime There are many differences between us I m artistic chaotic and carefree My dad is scientific ordered and pensive But I ve never seen these differences on a plate before At a truck stop where we PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM fill up on flame grilled steak fries and a carafe of local wine he neatly lines up the stems of his Padr n peppers like spooning sailors round the curve of his plate I toss mine in a pile on the paper tablecloth At a seaside cafe in Fisterra I spot the same difference as we feast on mussels When I point this out he takes his fork and messes up the mussel shells There is that better I felt sad to have hurt him I meant it affectionately One night after dinner when we are both so exhausted all we can do is sleep and eat eat and sleep we muse on how different our lives have been as we lie in our twin beds It s strange and beautiful having these intimate moments with my father He feels life would be different if he d gone to Oxford or Cambridge His teachers wanted him to but he felt it would alienate him too much from his family and they couldn t have afforded it anyway The long way round The Camino de Santiago is a network of routes leading to the shrine of Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain We didn t walk for any godly reasons rather for the simple pleasure of spending time alone together His dad was a bus conductor I had the opportunity to go yet chose not to Jacket potatoes flew around the kitchen But it wasn t until that moment I realised the extent my decision had hurt him I like to think he learnt a few things from me and about me too One day after a tortilla and coffee for breakfast we walked for hours in the rain and failed to find a stop for lunch By 4pm I was ready to throw myself face down into a grass verge crying My dad learnt that we are the kind of walkers who carry snacks and from that day on miraculously produced an orange from his bag whenever it looked like my blood sugar levels were getting low And I took my dad to see his first sunset Of course he s seen countless sunsets mainly from ships bridges charting the exact position it set at to track their progress But he d never really seen one So we walked the extra 3km to Fisterra and sat on the cliffs at the end of the world and cemented our friendship forever To see the world is to know the world Turn over for our roundup of the best learning holidays for the year ahead

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T R AV E L 1 City breaks Nature holidays New this season JW Marriott Venice is running a family programme Activities include a guided visit to the vibrant Rialto Market and a carnival mask making workshop jwvenice com Fun in the sun Learn to swim dive or sail at Turkey s Hillside Beach Club where pristine beaches and crystal clear waters are a heavenly backdrop for the ultimate family holiday 3 hillsidebeachclub com Around the world Phileas Fogg travelled around the world in 80 days now you and your family can do it in just 25 From the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu to the enigmatic stone heads of Easter Island this private jet tour begins in South America before moving towards the Pacific Islands then diving into the Great Barrier Reef and includes after hours tours invitation only events and access to exclusive privileges 5 2 A luxurious retreat seamlessly integrated into the 10 million year old rainforest around it the renovated Datai Langkawi is Malaysia s most desirable resort A new Nature Centre led by famed naturalist and author Irshad Mobarak encourages families to immerse themselves in the natural world and learn about the ancient rainforest This is the perfect place for children to disconnect from the noisy busy world and reconnect with the things we as parents enjoyed as kids says Irshad thedatai com 4 Festive breaks The Peninsula in New York offers the ultimate Christmas holiday where bedrooms are decorated with festive flowers and a tree Weekend breaks include VIP access to Saks Fifth Avenue for shopping and gingerbread house making for children peninsula com carrier co uk 16 winter tales PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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clued up CHARITY LET THERE BE LIGHT Named after the light giving spell in the Harry Potter books Lumos is an international non governmental non profit organisation founded by J K Rowling to help the eight million disadvantaged children in orphanages around the world A staggering 80 of children in orphanages aren t actually orphans Lumos aims to help families stay together when poverty war or discrimination drives them apart and to reunite children with their parents and communities if they have been separated so they can receive the love education and futures they deserve A child s life is so much more than the sum of its parts and the love a family brings holds everything together says the author Within a safe secure and stimulating environment a child gets the most out of life in play education and friendships wearelumos org

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clued up SHOPPING Help your little ones learn the animals and dream up some wild adventures with this gorgeous Safari Friends Set Each print is beautifully crafted in the UK using the finest museum quality papers and inks An absolute centrepiece for every nursery From 149 for a set of six beautifulnurserywallart com This doll s house bedside table is a wonderful way for children to explore their creativity Each comes with a full set of furniture and characters allowing children to be expressive and really immerse themselves in imaginative play 1 595 dragonsofwaltonstreet com It s about time somebody made it their mission to remind everyone how great the great outdoors really is These snowsuits encourage kids to get outside and stay active 185 dinoskiwear com Suitable for children aged 4 8 this award winning go kart has a wide moulded seat to support a child s spine while the air tyres absorb impact and the steel tube frame ensures a high performance racing experience 189 kettler co uk A magic monthly art box for children of all ages with high quality art materials and fun creative projects inspired by artists From 27 a month lotsoflovelyart org

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A riotous guide to all things extinct and long gone this beautifully illustrated book takes readers on a fascinating journey of discovery from ancient Egyptian mummies to exploding stars It s laugh out loud funny and will enthral inquisitive minds of all ages 12 99 waterstones com Babies see in black and white rather than colour for the first few months of life so this stylish wall hanging is ideal to help stimulate sensory development It s ethically and sustainably made in India 50 kidly co uk How about a room make over inspired by the constellations to inspire your little star gazer With this durable and easy to install vinyl flooring you can look to the floor instead of to the heavens to spot the planets 59 00 m2 atrafloor com floors constellations Anyone for a rainy day lesson in the physics of gravitational pull If there s anything cooler than an indoor swing we don t know what it is You can choose the rope length and colour of this one designed and manufactured in Finland 142 sorenshouse co uk The perfect vehicle to boost a child s gross motor skills as they transition from crawling to walking balancing and riding this vintage inspired ride on is easy to convert from a tricycle to a bike and comes with sticker sheets so you can customise it 129 99 hippychick com

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BOOKS IN 2019 WE WERE reminded that no one is too small to make a difference and that adults can learn from children too That lesson came from activist Greta Thunberg whose actions have inspired an international movement At the age of 15 she sat down outside the Swedish parliament to protest about climate change Since then children and adults around the world have joined her protest demanding that governments provide a safe pathway to stay within 1 5 degrees of global warming In April 2019 the teenage Nobel Peace Prize nominee told British MPs We children are not sacrificing our education and our childhood for you to tell us what you consider is politically possible in the society that you have created We children are doing this to wake the adults up We children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis We children are doing this because we want our hopes and dreams back Read it in full in her book No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg is published by Penguin priced at 2 99 20 winter tales Getty WORDS OF THE WISE QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE This book is about the transformative impact of education our inner human desire to learn and what happens when we are denied it Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho author Tara Westover was 17 when she first stepped foot in a classroom Her soaring storytelling places you among the rippling wheat fields of her mountain home where she prepared for the end of the world by canning peaches stewing herbs and salvaging scrap But she craved knowledge While her brother memorised encyclopedias behind the sofa she taught herself maths from borrowed books eventually getting into college against her family s wishes Her book has the pace of a thriller and the depth of the best literary fiction out there at times so raw you can t help but recoil from the pages Tara s quest for knowledge transformed her taking her over oceans and across continents eventually to Harvard and Cambridge Educated by Tara Westover is published by Windmill Books priced at 8 99 PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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clued up THE CLUB THE POWER OF MUSIC I don t have children just yet but my job is to play with them and make sure we build great memories at the same time as learning new things I m constantly exposed to their world of colours craziness and curiosity I ve learnt that every single thing can be fun if I want it to be that to make new friends I just have to ask them for it that after a massive cry I can flip the page and change my mood to be happy again I learnt that after a mistake I have to apologise and how one hug can change everything I ve learnt a lot of things from the children but probably the most important one is that every day is a good day to learn something new and grow a little bit more in all the levels Ben Tome Senior Play Buddy Since having Alfie I ve learnt to appreciate every moment of the day Kids have very little understanding of past and future all that matters to them is the present In today s world where we all rush and think of the next thing Alfie taught me to stop and share his little present life that means sometimes thinking about nothing but beaches and ice creams Magdalena and Alfie members Singer songwriter Newton Faulkner might be better known for his percussive style of guitar playing but since becoming a parent of his own he s focusing on family Sick of children listening to what he considers inappropriate pop songs by certain stars his My Moozik project is all about child friendly pop music In September we were delighted to welcome him to Purple Dragon for our first ever live gig There was lots of singing along dancing and the band even let us try their instruments Their debut album My Day is out now we can t wait to welcome them back Turn to p22 to find out how music helps children learn

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SCHofOOL ROCK This page Jackets from Stella McCartney Kids sparkle bar hair clips from kidpix uk

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music rules Sounds meanings and self expression Purple Dragon Play Leader francisco loran explains why music is so important in early development for children photography nato welton

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EVERY SUNDAY Francisco Loran Play Leader 24 winter tales my dad would wake me and my sister up with music and keep it on all morning From Queen and Bon Jovi to Madonna and Elton John I ve been rocking out from a very early age You can catch me in DJs Divas our music room still doing the same thing 20 years later I have countless favourite songs and bands It s difficult to pick just one I ve been listening to music all my life The best thing about music for me is discovering a new favourite track I love to sing dance and play the drums I mix them all during my classes and I do it when I m alone in the room too As soon as people hear music they start coming in to join me Just as play gives you the freedom to explore and lets imagination lead the way enabling you to discover create laugh and learn even with the simplest of games music and dancing is in our blood We start moving our bodies to the beat at a very early stage of our lives It s part of improving motor skills and coordination Time in DJs Divas is a sensory overload Children react to musical physical and visual stimuli Dancing to the rhythm and listening to music also provides a basis for playing an instrument in the future A day in DJs Divas is divided between about 90 free play and about 10 signature classes During free play anyone can come into the room and pick up our instruments request a song sing karaoke and participate in daily activities Our signature classes are announced by our Play Buddies and it s great to see how much even our littlest members progress week after week PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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music rules Music develops our hearing emotions and curiosity Opposite page Dot Bomber Jacket 55 kidpix uk rainbow ears hairband 8 rockahulakids com boys jacket XX stellamccartney com kids top left sweater XX Stella McCartney Kids cheetah sunglasses 10 rockahulakids com top right This page xxxxxxxxxxx top row Lewis navy car print shirt from 41 50 kidpix uk middle row Bertie dog print shirt 44 kidpix uk bottom row

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music rules BUBBLES DRUMS 3 years plus Make as much noise as possible as we bang out rhythms and learn new beats surrounded by clouds of poptastic bubbles Mondays at 3 30pm Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm Most of our classes are focused on traditional rhymes and songs our Baby Beats and Mini Maestros classes are led by one of our Play Buddies and the children try lots of different instruments helping their motor skills development as well as their memory and musicality Classes in DJs Divas are a great opportunity for little ones to familiarise themselves with different aspects of music from a very young age We also teach them other musical skills in classes such as Bubbles Drums when they learn about rhythm following patterns and memorising beats During Karaoke Jam they have the opportunity to grow in confidence and practise their favourite songs and during 26 winter tales our Disco Party they can unleash their inner boogie master Sometimes when the club is quiet and there are one or two little ones in the room I love to sit down with them and teach them the basics of some of the instruments we have in the club Since working in DJs Divas I ve learnt that it s not about how well you can sing or dance but about how you feel the music personally I don t teach the kids about music I help them express themselves musically See our listings to find out what s happening in DJs Divas this season PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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Music is a universal language and it allows all of our members from different nationalities and cultures to take part Opposite page top left Dot Bomber Jacket 55 kidpix uk Rainbow ears hairband 8 rockahulakids com boys jacket XX Stella McCartney Kids top right sweater XX Stella

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TU ITI O N M E N TO R I N G C O N S U LTAN CY Wherever you are in the world the best advice and support Bonas MacFarlane really is unique amongst education providers Having spent twenty five years as pioneers of our services we are now the leading company of our kind in the UK We manage all aspects of a child s education Our team of full time consultants and support staff based in Chelsea is the largest and broadest reaching of any education support provider in the UK bonasmacfarlane co uk 44 0 207 223 2794 Registered Centre

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PLAN YOUR CHILD S FUTURE Advance tickets are free at schoolsshow co uk The Independent Schools Show helps thousands of families each year to plan the next steps for their children The show brings together the leading schools the brightest thinkers and the most respected heads to help you make the right decisions for your child PA R T N E R S angels urchins 9 9 10 NOVEMBER BATTERSEA EVOLUTION SW8 4NW FOR TICKETS VISIT SCHOOLSSHOW CO UK

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lessons for life RELATIVE VALUES NO WASTE Nelly Ali SARA WARD and her family have transformed their West London terraced house into Hen Corner an urban smallholding complete with 20 hens two colonies of honey bees a fruitful kitchen garden and a micro bakery Each week Sara welcomes guests through her schools programmes and courses for both adults and families sharing the lessons she s learnt on the path to self sufficiency In a world wrapped in plastic what can we really do to make a difference 30 winter tales PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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This started out as just a hobby I had no idea my hobbies would inspire so many The only thing that I wish I d learnt sooner was to read food labels and not just choose our meals based on pretty pictures or persuasive advertising When I had children I began to ask questions Where does our food come from What are the implications and issues around intensive farming animal welfare fair trade and air freight Why did most of the food on my plate travel around the world to get there Self sufficiency isn t easy We started trying to produce as much food as possible in our own back garden After varying degrees of success with tomatoes courgettes and potatoes I adjusted our mission to produce just one family meal where no chemicals were used in production absolutely no packaging was involved plastic or otherwise no one had been paid an unfair wage and the food miles were zero We wanted to do more than grow fruit and veg But steaks and sausages were out of the question I thought chickens could work Laying an egg a day means that the animal doesn t have to die for your dinner and they would be quirky pets that showed our children where their food came from We never planned to start a business Instead we had hobbies that we invited people to share though over the years we ve discovered a clear seasonal rhythm with regular tasks and opportunities throughout the year We love to welcome people if they are interested in what we are doing then inviting them to come and explore new skills is only natural Our weakness was our biggest strength When I decided to expand Hen Corner to become my full time business I felt that inviting people to my home rather than a shiny professional kitchen or a full size city farm was a weakness but I ve since discovered that it s our strength If I can do it you can too We want to encourage people to explore new skills keeping bees making bread and preserving fruit It s really rewarding to see others start to develop in areas that we ve supported them We want to empower and equip people to pursue a similar journey towards sustainable living Hens are for everyone During term time we run courses for adults and invite schools to book sessions with us and we make the most of school holidays and weekends by running family courses where children can learn alongside the grown ups We ve consistently found that adults and children alike engage well with a strong sense of curiosity and a desire to learn and understand Timeless skills feed our soul and make us smile It s wonderful when a parent books in because their child is interested and then the parent discovers a whole new world as they experience holding a frame of honey bees cuddling a chicken or baking their own loaf of bread for the first time It happens on most of our family courses Engaging with nature is an opportunity to reflect Being able to pick up skills that are thousands of years old can bring a sense of peace especially in this age of technology where so much is automated Engaging with nature looking back at how these skills have contributed over generations is an opportunity to reflect mindfully on our past present and future Learn more about Sara her family and Hen Corner at hencorner com

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lessons for life RELATIVE VALUES NO STOPPING DR SUE BLACK left school at 16 and at 26 was in a women s refuge with three kids Yet three years ago she was given an OBE for her services to technology and is widely recognised as one of the most influential women in IT She famously led the Saving Bletchley Park campaign and founded techmums a social enterprise that offers mothers free courses to build up their technology skills A year on from her appointment as Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist at Durham University how does the mother of four think we can serve our young people better 32 winter tales

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there are things they are not going to think about so we need to remedy that if we want to live in a world that fits our needs We need products that are fit for everyone Airbags are tested on crash test dummies based on the size of an average male It s now known that the resultant airbags can kill women and have done so What about the self check out areas at supermarkets It s obvious they were never tested by someone with children and lots of shopping You ve got to see it to be it When I first went up to Bletchley Park I discovered that 80 of the people who had worked there were women mainly aged 18 23 The work of one 19 year old Mavis Batey saved hundreds of lives during the Battle of Cape Matapan Only one woman features in The Imitation Game film in reality there were 8 000 I m delighted that my life wasn t straightforward Maths is everywhere I left home at 16 after my mother died and my father remarried I was at the grammar school and planned to go to university but working in a cafe in the evenings and at weekends meant I couldn t do homework I started falling asleep in the sixth form common room and realised I had to leave school My youngest daughter wants to do textiles at college as well as a maths A level And why not I think those two things go very well together but in our traditional education system they don t But how could you be a textile designer without knowing how to oscillate a pattern Technology shouldn t even really be a subject It should be in every lesson where it s appropriate My biggest driver was to earn money Our current education system is not fit for purpose I wanted to improve the lives of my children Getting back to work with five O levels and no recent experience in the workplace wasn t an option so I decided to study For academic kids it s probably fine but for everyone else it s not Three of my four children are dyslexic which means they re not given the opportunities to do as well as they could It s not very different from 60 years ago but look how the world has changed Being a mature student changed the course of my life Maths had been my favourite subject so I found a course that was six hours in the classroom and 20 hours at home a week and would gain me university access in a year At school I was interested in psychology but back then I would never have ended up studying computer science where maths and human behaviour meet as I d never been exposed to it The world is full of dinosaurs Universities need to do more to support and encourage female academics In the UK about 15 of our computer science undergraduates are female my first step to improve that is to research how universities around the world are encouraging women and create an action plan so we can do the same The clich s are true Most male students will already have spent years programming in their bedrooms That s seen as normal behaviour for boys growing up but not for girls When I started my university course I d maybe done a few hours of coding but the guys had been doing it since they were kids The race to catch up was hard We need to degender education and expectation from childhood Technology is all pervasive Computers are making decisions for us in the background all the time If the teams developing these systems are all white males Kids can teach us about technology But don t underestimate what you know Our age and experience means we know things about interacting with the world that help make children safe That s part of the work I do with techmums We need to guide children to keep them safe and grounded Find out more about Sue s work at sueblack co uk

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lessons for life RELATIVE VALUES NO LIMITS SUZY ASHWORTH is a mindset and business coach and mother of three whose mission is to tell women that they can do anything that they want to do Bored of British winters and keen to show her children a life beyond limitations in January she took her family on an adventure to Mexico We asked her how we too can live limitless lives and teach our children to do the same 34 winter tales PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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Live a life beyond limitations My job is to help women achieve economic freedom through their businesses In order to do that you have to work on your mindset and you have to have business growth strategies and tactics You can do anything you set your mind to Getting pregnant with Cesar now 8 was a wake up call that I was now responsible for a new human being and I wanted to be authentic in my words to him you can live the life you want to live and do anything you want to do But you can t have that conversation without looking at your own life I asked myself is my job really what I would do if I could choose anything And the answer was no I wasn t sure what I wanted But I was sure I didn t want to spend the next 10 years away from my kids doing a job that didn t light me up from the inside out The next step was to retrain So I retrained as a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist And I just put one foot in front of the other again and again and again I had no idea where I d end up My school education was so limited I did GCSEs but dropped out after my mum passed away during my A levels Then I went travelling for four years and that s where I really got my education That s not to say I m anti learning I m learning all the time Keep exploring and keep being curious I ll be in a different place in five years time It s an evolution We are built for expansion and growth It s a clich but enjoy the journey I honestly feel I have a deeper understanding of that than ever because as soon as you get to where you want to go you then need to grow again so if you re not enjoying it there s no point That s how we ended up here in Mexico Our new home is rough around the edges but there s a pool in the backyard so who s complaining We are living in a real sleepy beach town in Mexico It wasn t a hard decision to take the kids out of school They are so young and I felt it would open their eyes to another culture The only thing that s important to me is that Cesar who is the eldest has at least a year back in mainstream education before he moves to secondary school so he can go up with some pals They are learning things that will set them up for life They are navigating a whole new world and their confidence has grown dramatically Aluna who is 3 was swimming on her own It s challenging for them to be away in a country where they speak another language and to eat different food They are becoming more rounded human beings Education sets kids up to follow the rules But with creativity you have to break rules It doesn t set people up to be curious or teach you how to live beyond your confines At school you have to have blinkers on and you have to pass tests But success isn t how high you come in class We have to learn how to thrive in a non cubical world I believe faith plus action equals miracles Self belief is the foundation of all success and the foundation of everything you do But you cannot just believe in yourself without taking any action Choose to believe in yourself and take action on that belief Do that again and again and again and again and magical things will happen Get to know yourself better on one of Suzy s retreats next in Barcelona in May 2020 Find out more at suzyashworth com

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COLLEGE D Being a young entrepreneur can be a lonely path so once a year Thiel Fellows are flown to an off the beaten track location where they share ideas hike and hang

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DROPOUTS school s out By encouraging young people not to go to university the Thiel Fellowship offers an alternative to traditional education hazel davis meets director Allyson Dias and finds out how they ve created a class of their own

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I don t tell anyone to drop out We do tell them to take calculated risks 38 winter tales PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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school s out W HAT WOULD you do if your son or daughter came home one day and said they were planning to drop out of college And what if they told you they were being offered a substantial amount of money to do so Back in 2011 when entrepreneur and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel established a new fellowship offering 100 000 to young people who want to build new things instead of sitting in a classroom it ruffled a few feathers There s been an incredible escalation in the price of education without corresponding improvements in the product he told Newsweek and yet people still believe that college is just something that you have to do The two year programme is aimed at people who skip or drop out of college to develop an idea or business The Thiel Fellowship takes no equity in the company and instead of a full on training programme it s a chance for fellows to focus and work on a start up or idea with regular feedback from peers and mentors workshops and connections to useful resources The Fellowship believes in a different path for everyone as its website states College can be good for learning about what s been done before but it can also discourage you from doing something new Each of our fellows charts a unique course together they have proven that young people can succeed by thinking for themselves instead of following a traditional track and competing on old career tracks TUNE IN DROP OUT The Fellowship which takes on between 20 and 30 fellows each year and accepts applications year round doesn t look for specific credentials Instead says programme director Allyson Dias they look at the person We say If this person wasn t working on this idea would they be equally excited with a different idea Applicants can be from any industry but must be aged 22 or younger and without a college degree There will be fellows in all different industries and stages we could have someone who s 20 with a company turning profit or someone with just a great idea Allyson herself is evidence that dropping out isn t as negative as it sounds Named one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Education honorees in 2018 she gained an undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh before quitting her master s This was not a decision she took lightly It was 2010 and the economy wasn t that good staying in school would have been the best option at that time but I was having a hard time Unlike some parents Allyson s who had emigrated from Kenya were supportive I had cancer as a teenager so they just wanted me to be healthy They did a really good job of not pressuring me it can be harder for immigrant parents who value education and didn t have the choice their children have Education is so important to them These days she says most parents of children signing up for the Thiel Fellowship are incredibly supportive This could be to do with some of the impressive results In the past few years we have seen incredible companies being built and I m so excited to see what will come she says To date Fellowship companies in aggregate are valued at 13 7bn not including cryptocurrency and decentralized computing platform Ethereum whose founder was a Thiel fellow in 2014 All this is not to say that formal higher education is not fit for purpose Some schools are doing a good job and thinking really innovatively and there are many trying to integrate more project based and real world learning into their curriculum says Allyson This is really amazing but it s rare Many are still very traditional and expensive and students are accumulating a lot of debt which is really disappointing Student debt at least in the US is a huge problem and unsustainable in the current system And while she might believe that education needs to change I actually don t tell everyone to drop out We subscribe to the notion that one size doesn t fit all If someone wants to be a doctor they shouldn t drop out But we do tell them to take calculated risks The grant 100 000 over two years seems like a lot but It s enough to pay for rent and ramen in expensive cities like San Francisco and it s a freedom for people to get to work on what they want to work on without extra pressure But the biggest benefit most fellows say is the community and access to Thiel s wealth of contacts For being a young entrepreneur can be a lonely road Young people are yet to have built up a network of support That s where the Fellowship comes in helping to connect fellows with investors partners Opposite Allyson Dias is director at the Thiel Fellowship She left the University of Edinburgh before finishing her master s

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school s out In the past few years we have seen incredible companies being built and I m so excited to see what will come says Allyson To date Fellowship companies are valued at 13 7bn not including Ethereum whose founder was a Thiel fellow in 2014 and prospective customers in Silicon Valley and beyond As fewer and fewer fellows are based in San Francisco the Fellowship s home city events are spread out with dinners there once a month and every few months in Boston Los Angeles and London Once a year the fellows fly out to a retreat in a location off the beaten path Last year it was Tucson Arizona Some presented a specific problem in their company that we all worked on others talked about hobbies There are campfires and games and sometimes the fellows just end up talking and hanging out says Allyson And events like this give rise to amazing collaborations We do see fellows working together or cofounding companies Luminar which makes laser sensors for self driving cars has a fellow or two on its executive team JOIN THE CLUB Current Thiel fellows include start ups in fintech cybersecurity medical software and robotics as well as a biomedical researcher and smart electronics inventor In 2013 New York based Madison Maxey was the first fashion designer to bag a Thiel Fellowship Having dropped out of Parsons School of Design after one semester she started working on patterns for clothing using 3D modelling Her company Loomia makes electronic textiles flexible circuits for textile applications She first heard about the Fellowship from her sister and put my heart into applying Her father was dying of cancer at the time so she says my family was a bit relieved to refocus funds to medical bills For Madison the Fellowship has allowed her to get her company properly off the ground It s lent me a lot of credibility and helped quite a bit with fundraising 40 winter tales However she says I think people get the idea that the fellows are getting a huge sum of money I think people don t realise how much financial management is required for the Fellowship if you don t come in with an already functioning business In fact A lot of people who apply are excited mostly by the money says Christian Owens CEO and founder of London based Paddle which builds infrastructure for software companies essentially taking the hassle out of dealing with payments subscriptions licences and selling However he says If you speak to any past or present fellow it s the least valuable part The most is the people you meet being around 15 or 20 other people roughly in my age group who were also trying to solve difficult challenges and or build companies Being a founder can be a lonely place the Fellowship meant it was less so Christian had actually dropped out of school when he was 16 after starting his first business at 14 His parents were against the idea but the first business he started had become so successful they were persuaded his decision was necessary Yet he warns Be wary The grass is always greener so be certain that the thing you re dropping out for is the thing you want to do with your life Opting out of education might sound terrifying but formal education simply isn t for everyone Some people really don t like the idea of the Thiel Fellowship says Allyson But before us there were plenty of people didn t go to university or dropped out across all industries Maya Angelou Dr Dre Emily Dickinson and Bill Gates to name a few Find out more about the work of the Thiel Fellowship at thielfellowship org PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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EMILY WANG Class of 2019 CanAIry tracking and monitoring chronic respiratory diseases CHRISTIAN OWENS Class of 2016 Paddle building infrastructure for software companies MADISON MAXEY Class of 2013 Loomia making flexible circuits for textile applications JOSH BROWDER Class of 2011 DoNotPay the world s first robot lawyer which aims to make the law free KIMBERLIE LE Class of 2018 Prime Roots delicious high protein products that are good for you and our shared planet ROHIT KALYANPUR Class of 2019 Optivolt Labs developing solar panels that integrate to drones scooters and robotics MEL DU Class of 2019 Ramp USA a kit that turns a wheelchair into an off road electronic vehicle ILAYDA BUYUKDOGAN Class of 2019 Compocket pocket sized measuring devices including an oscilloscope ANDREI SERBAN Class of 2019 Fuzzbuzz an automated software testing platform to find bugs in their code

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Y A PL TION A T S hem t d roun y a d la rl e wo ead of P h t ing oup H r e v o r disc new G lightly f o n ur ay s w lard o be take d l i h l o s a c ndy we s not t i y Pla ays ca And it s 42 winter tales PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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games lesson FROM BIRTH our experiences help shape cognitive development We are born with 100 billion brain cells but these are generally unconnected and not networked Play experiences support the development of the child s brain as they explore repeat and practise mapping new connections within the brain Between two months of gestation and two years of age synapses are produced at a rate of 1 8 million per second At no other stage in life is the brain so receptive and responsive so exposure to new experiences during this time is imperative for cognitive development and play plays a huge part in this That s why I m so passionate about engaging little ones in multisensory play Play is a child s way of exploring and understanding the world around them developing knowledge and practising skills It s an incredibly useful tool to support children s learning as this is how they discover the world around them Our brain is sculpted by experience From a very young age babies start to take part in exploratory play The sense of touch is one of the first to develop Babies start looking at the world in 2D and take things to their mouth to discover them in 3D Older children engage in role play to help their understanding of social rules and conventions Play offers a sense of adventure and helps in problem solving sharing and working with others It is integral to children s learning As Einstein said Play is the highest form of research At Purple Dragon the new giant kaleidoscope is a wonderful multisensory opportunity offering new experiences and transforming the world It was inspired by founder Sharai s own childhood She got one every Christmas in her stocking and was fascinated with how it could change the world around her As our world is constantly evolving the way we play is changing too My continued professional development reflects this through additional courses and research most recently in play therapy how play is developing alongside technology and toy trends This all helps to ensure that Purple Dragon remains at the forefront of play delivery and holds its status as the best family club in the world As Group Head of Play I m a memory maker responsible for the elevation of the play experiences that we offer within the business We take a holistic approach looking at the design of the clubs the toys that are in them the activities we offer and how these are delivered But because of my playful personality sometimes I wonder if people think I just sit in the office colouring and testing out toys This is an important part of my role but there is a lot of theory that goes on behind the fun play is a serious business after all I originally wanted to be a child psychologist so my undergraduate degree is in psychology specialising in child psychology To be an educational psychologist in the UK you have to also complete a teaching degree so I then went on to complete this and teach primary school children I then discovered there were careers dedicated to the world of children s play As philosopher Emerson said It s a happy talent to know how to play but in addition to having the talent of knowing how to play I have the expertise to identify how to maximise play experiences for children and which toys to recommend At Purple Dragon children have the freedom to explore create and discover The clubs are informal play spaces where children are offered the opportunity to make their own choices Our ethos follows a Montessori approach with the aim of facilitating play rather than directing it viewing and respecting children as much as our adult members and allowing them to grow Although Purple Dragon is not a formal educational setting learning is an inevitable by product through the extensive opportunities provided at the clubs Turn over to see Candy s recommendations for super learning toys

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1 games lesson MULTISENSORY PLAY Baby Einstein has joined forces with Hape to create elevated interactive wooden musical instruments The Magic Touch Drums offer a different realistic drum sound with each tap The additional melody mode provides musicality and rhythm 3 Baby Einstein Magic Touch Drums 19 99 johnlewis com 44 winter tales 2 STREAM PLAY Science technology robotics engineering arts and maths focused play is captured under the umbrella of STREAM with toys in this category designed to help inspire the next generation of innovators in these fields It s rare to find toys to teach coding that are not plastic or linked to an app but Cubetto is one such find and offers a screen free introduction to coding Children place the function blocks on the board to create a programme that directs the robot through an adventure on a playmat Cubetto Coding Robot 195 littlewhispers co uk IMAGINATIVE PLAY Made from reclaimed wood these blocks allow for endless play opportunities Fabulous for physical development in particular eye and hand coordination they re also perfect for inspiring imaginations The rustic texture offers a tactile play experience which is often lost with plastic construction toys Children can enjoy exploring sorting the pieces by shape length or texture before going on to use them as a construction toy and discovering what can be created from the tallest towers to magical kingdoms that provide an ideal backdrop for small world play Magic Wood Eco Tree Blocks 44 99 myriadonline co uk PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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4 ROLE PLAY This often incorporates activities that children observe in adults such as work roles and domestic routines Role play toys are a wonderful resource to support development of language and social skills through play interaction with others It is interesting to see how role play toys have developed to reflect societal trends Some now include canvas bags for life and wonky fruit and vegetables like these that educate children in greener ways to shop Grooves in the toys offer a realistic tactile experience and the Velcro allows little ones to practise chopping to whip up something yummy for supper before sticking them back together ready for their next dish Fabulous for developing hand and eye coordination and imagination as well as delivering a beautiful message about sustainability 5 Plan Toys Wonky Fruit and Veg 32 95 scandiborn co uk PUZZLE PLAY Although children may work on puzzles independently there is something wonderful about the shared moment of a family completing a jigsaw together especially on a cosy evening What makes Janod s puzzles really special is the engaging detail of the illustrations and the opportunities these offer to develop children s communication skills through shared discussion I Spy games and extension projects once the puzzle is complete Great Britain and Ireland Puzzle 23 99 johnlewis com

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EAT WELL BE HAPPY Welcome to Gemma s kitchen a place where food is fun and wonderful and bright and colourful jasmine phillips finds out why that s just as it should be 46 winter tales

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smart food f ood not only impacts your physical health but also your mental health and general mood says Gemma Ogston chef and author of The Self Care Cookbook The minute I don t eat well my mood plummets and the same applies to kids If we want them to be in the best frame of mind for school they have to be well fed For Gemma it s simple when we make an effort to eat more healthily and also take proper time to rest recharge and do more of the things we enjoy we feel better and happier This means we re stronger and more able to deal with whatever life sends our way But of course life is all about balance Sometimes that means cutting that extra slice of cake Her own journey into a happier and more wholesome place began when she was trying to start a family She suffered many miscarriages and started looking at how her diet could be impacting not only her physical health but also her mental health and general mood Someone told me to try doing a detox cutting out sugar caffeine and alcohol and eating more plant based foods I tried it and felt great When she fell pregnant with her daughter Carmen doctors discovered she had a rare blood disorder and she began to look at other aspects of self care too I was so anxious thinking that I was going to lose Carmen I looked at a list of positive affirmations on my phone every time I went to hospital PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM ENERGY BALLS above A wonderful afternoon snack made from natural ingredients Soak 200g pitted dates in hot water for 5 mins Pulse 100g walnuts in a food processor for 30 secs Drain the dates reserving the soaking water then add them to the walnuts and pulse for 30 secs Add 1tbsp each of coconut oil oats and maple syrup and blend for 2 mins You may need to add a little of the reserved date water if the mixture is very thick Now add your choice of flavours such as cacao powder desiccated coconut dried pineapple or chia seeds or leave plain Blend for 1 min and roll into even sized balls about 2 5cm in diameter Decorate by rolling in desiccated coconut or seeds Makes approximately 15

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For chef author and mum of two Gemma Ogston life is always about getting the balance right Sometimes she says that means cutting yourself an extra slice of cake She s has come a long way since then Carmen is now 8 and big sister to Hendrix 7 and Gemma runs Gem s Wholesome Kitchen making healthy meals for those who sign up to her Nourish Package She also shares what she s learnt in classes for adults and workshops for children in schools in her local area of Brighton Her book is a combination of wholesome plant based recipes for self care moments of quiet reflection and practical steps you can take to show yourself and your family the love and attention you deserve RISE AND SHINE Research suggests that children who eat a good breakfast have a better attention span for their morning classes are twice as likely to perform well in tests and have a reduced risk of certain health problems But breakfast also sets the tone for the day ahead Whatever mood is set around the breakfast table they will take to school with them so we make it a celebration My son can get a bit down about going to school so to boost his mood we go around the table saying one thing that we re excited about Gemma s go to breakfast is easy Overnight Oats see recipe right Soaked oats are easier for anxious tummies to digest provide slow release energy and contain the mood boosting mineral selenium We make them together the night before You just mix them with milk or a plant based alternative and then stir through honey or maple syrup Then I let the kids add their flavours cacao adds a real chocolatey flavour and is also full of essential minerals and vitamins that can all help with boosting the mood and helping with focus But there s also cinnamon vanilla chia seeds or nut butter Then you simply leave them in the fridge overnight and top with whatever you want in the morning Bananas are great for boosting serotonin our happy hormone and walnuts are packed with selenium which helps relieve anxiety and a low mood 48 winter tales OVERNIGHT OATS above left Rich in fibre magnesium and B vitamins as well as being a source of slow release energy oats are a one hit wonder for calming an anxious mind Combine 50g oats with 120ml plant based milk in a small jar and stir in honey or maple syrup Optional extras are tsp cinnamon or vanilla or 1tbsp chia seeds or nut butter stir these through now Cover and leave in the fridge overnight The next morning add bananas and walnuts for a mood boost bananas boost serotonin and walnuts are packed with selenium which helps relieve anxiety spirulina and pear for a green energy boost spirulina is full of nutrients but just use a bit as it has a strong flavour or cacao powder and frozen berries for focus cacao is full of essential minerals and vitamins that can help with mood boosting and focus Serves two kids PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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Find the recipe for the Veggie Tacos pictured here in The Self Care Cookbook by Gemma Ogston published by Vermilion on 12th December 2019 14 99

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smart food EAT YOURSELF HAPPY Blueberries Purple fruits and veg contain flavonoids a type of antioxidant that can help improve memory Blueberries can be added to smoothies or put on top of porridge Broccoli and greens These contain folate iron and vitamin K which are vital for healthy brains as well as helping to reduce tiredness Most kids will eat broccoli but I disguise leafy greens by putting them in a smoothie or whizzing into pesto Wholegrains Switching to brown rice wholemeal bread and wholewheat pasta means kids will get a better dose of vitamins E and B potassium and zinc Wholegrains also release energy slowly so will help them stay alert longer Nuts and seeds Selenium is thought to reduce anxiety brazil and walnuts are particularly high in it but you can find it in seeds and oats too Dip whole brazil nuts in melted dark chocolate for a sweet snack Sweet potatoes One of the best unprocessed sources of carbohydrate which helps promote the production of serotonin our feel good brain chemical Make sweet potato mash soup or roasted wedges COLOUR THERAPY Cooking according to the seasons is a priority in Gemma s house as is buying locally grown produce Another thing that s important is visual appeal and not only for the varied nutrients that a rainbow of differentcoloured veggies provide I had an eating disorder when I was younger so I understand the impact that food can have on mood and energy levels Colourful food makes you happy in such a simple way Having lived with an eating disorder it s extra important for Gemma that her kids have a happy relationship with food I only use positive language around body image never words like fat or skinny and show the kids that I love my body As a family we exercise regularly it s important to demonstrate how exercise is a major part in making you feel good But it s not all about being good We love the occasional treat like pizzas or chocolate cake Life is about balance and joy Dinner in Gemma s house is quick filling and nourishing with protein and carbs to replenish some of the energy the kids lose in the day And when her kids go through fussy phases she doesn t make a big deal over it instead encouraging them to cook with her and come up with ideas for what they would like to eat I normally find if they don t have much of an appetite it means something is going on emotionally On these occasions we chat we hug and I might make them some peanut butter on toast or homemade tomato soup Mum s comfort food normally sorts them out As a family they stopped eating meat five years ago We make wholegrain pasta with homemade pesto made with broccoli for a vivid green colour ratatouille or simple stews with loads of veggies and butterbeans I make sure that we all sit down together it s an opportunity for togetherness which is essential for our wellbeing A good after dinner routine lays the foundation for bedtime Children aged 2 to 12 need between nine and 13 hours sleep for their bodies to rest restore and grow I have a rule that we stop working and put screens away after dinner They potter around and play we read books and share what we were grateful for that day Gemma says It makes them stronger and more able to deal with whatever life sends their way Find out more about Gemma at gemswholesomekitchen com 50 winter tales PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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We are an award winning familyowned paediatric dental practice with two convenient locations in Central London Call 020 7078 0822 and quote Purple Dragon 30 OFF Any Children s Dental Treatments We Provide Friendly personalised treatments from the team of world class paediatric dentists Painless and stress free dentistry Our state ofthe art surgeries are equipped with the latest dental technology Immersive and fun underwater themed waiting zones filled with toys iPads and consoles will have your children wanting to come back All treatments are conveniently offered under one roof from routine care and orthodontics to dental sedation and smile correction This offer is valid until 31st December 2019 Discount cannot be combined with any other offer One coupon per customer per service request The discount offer must be mentioned prior to service The offer is subject to the terms and conditions which can be found on happykidsdental co uk Marylebone Clinic 74 78 Seymour Place London W1H 2EH info happykidsdental co uk Chelsea Clinic 18 Cadogan Gardens London SW3 2RP chelsea happykidsdental co uk 020 7078 0822 happykidsdental co uk instagram happykidsdental

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LONG WEEKEND WHAT THE BUTLER SAW A former school and one time home of the esteemed Coote family Ballyfin in Ireland s County Laois is now a luxury country house retreat ellie fazan meets the schoolboys turned butlers to find out how life has changed here 52 autumn tales

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old school THE ONLY WAY I CAN DESCRIBE it is seeing something burst from black and white into colour says butler Declan Cuddy who first came to the Ballyfin estate as a schoolboy in 1985 On my first day back here as a butler all these memories came flooding back as I came up the driveway The school had been damp cold and dilapidated In truth I thought Who would want to stay there But then I walked through the door Viewed from the sweeping driveway the Regency mansion is an awesome sight It s easy to see how it might have instilled a sense of trepidation into small boys The current house was built in the 1820s and it was built for a family the Cootes who occupied it for 100 years In the 1920s it was turned into a Patrician Brothers boarding school for up to 500 boys says Glenn Brophy another old pupil turned butler Can you image what that would do to a place There was no money to restore it and what furniture and art the original family didn t take with them the Brothers gradually sold Where you see chandeliers now they were single light bulbs in the time of the school Declan joined the hotel two months prior to its opening nine years ago The morning of the opening it was all hands on deck we were grouting the tiles in the bathrooms We opened for a family of 10 who took the whole place Lovingly restored by American businessman Fred Krehbiel and his Irish wife Kay alongside landscape designer Jim Reynolds Ballyfin s interiors are now opulent captivating and inviting On entering the grand hallway the first thing you see is a glittering mosaic floor brought PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM back from Pompeii on one of the Coote family s Grand Tours of Europe The door to the main house was always open says Declan casting his mind back to his school days But if you were in here it meant you were in trouble HOUSE AND HERITAGE It took 100 expert craftsmen nine painstaking years to bring the house back to life There were highs discovering that the Brothers housekeeper Mrs Barry had taken up the original inlaid floor one of only two made in the style with the other in Buckingham Palace piece by piece numbered it and hidden it in the cellar fearing the Brothers might sell it And lows the recession hit and there were concerns the project might never be finished Fred and Jim collected furniture art and artefacts to fill the house in much the same way the Cootes would have done eclectically with style and panache The chandelier in the glorious gold drawing Rise fall Ballyfin was once one of the most glittering houses in Ireland The ancestral home of the Wellesley Poles the family of the Duke of Wellington it was bought by Sir Charles Coote in 1812 who enlisted the leading architects of the day to redesign it The land mass of the estate was extended to a square mile and meandering driveways made it seem even more impressive Like many great estates it fell into decline and was sold to the Patrician Brothers for 10 000

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old school Objets d art The chandelier in the gold drawing room is from the palace of Napoleon s sister top left although the Elk s antlers next left are the oldest thing in the house Bedrooms and bathrooms are luxuriously appointed bottom left and the fantastic food is local natural and seasonal room once belonged to Napoleon s sister 4 000 antique books were selected to fill the great library and original artwork was acquired from the Coote family A 10 000 year old elk head found in a bog in County Tipperary and bought at auction accompanies the mosaic floor in the entrance hall but this was a room where the Brothers had more exotic tastes They had an order in India and the hall was hung with exotic skins and tiger heads Imagine being an Irish kid growing up in Ballyfin in the 1960s and 70s and seeing that says Declan It was such a mysterious place and we wondered what went on in here Indeed while the house feels safe and warm there s an element of intrigue There is a whispering room where you can quietly share a secret from one corner to the other a hidden doorway in the library a bedroom where the walls are hung with 17th century Flemish tapestries and a Roman sarcophagus bath a trophy from 9th Baronet Sir Charles Coote s Grand Tour collection The luxury here is time which seems to stretch into infinity Lunch is when you want it says Glenn as he shows us into the orangery Built in the 1850s by Richard Turner the most important glasshouse designer in Ireland its ultimate purpose was to try and grow pineapples a symbol of wealth and hospitality PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM At school food was basic and meagre The boarders would always be stealing the day boys food remembers Declan Today much of the food is grown in the walled kitchen garden that s filled with a rich variety of fresh fruit vegetables and herbs and the 600 plus acres of grounds provide a diverse collection of ingredients too from wild garlic in spring to hedgehog mushrooms in autumn Ballyfin s hens provide fresh eggs each morning for breakfast and the honey is produced on site too Highlights of the eight course tasting menu might include lightly cured John Dory locally fished of course with tomatoes from the garden trout roe and anchovies and a delightful desert of garden blackberries frozen milk and almond cake A game of chess by the fire after dinner might be in order or a soak in a vast marble bathtub All rooms in the house are beautifully appointed yet individually designed to mirror the unique style of the original house One room formerly Lady Caroline Coote s boudoir has a gracefully elegant rococo stucco work ceiling and soft cornflower blue wallpaper that transforms the room into a lavish tent like enclosure The colour complements the early Georgian portrait over the chimneypiece showing Henry Meredyth of Newtown County Meath by the Irish artist Charles Jervas but more importantly it s the perfect match for the lake glittering invitingly beyond the windows FOLLIES AND FABLES Alongside Ireland s largest man made lake Ballyfin s grounds include some extraordinary 18th and 19th century ornamental features with wonderful woodlands and water features on each

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The Coote family would have said that they owned all the land you could see from the tower but of course they didn t When the boys were here the floors had fallen away and only beams remained It was a great game to climb to the top the Brothers would shout but they were too old to climb up and get them down side of the house bringing the landscape to life But it s by taking to a pony and trap that the full folly of the Georgians is revealed This is the grotto laughs head butler Lionel Chadwick from the driver s seat where the boys would have scared the bejesus out of each other with ghost stories Today it s a place for guests to picnic or indeed wed We can do anything for our guests For one couple we filled it with candles for a secret wedding party And we ve filled the top of the watchtower with flowers and served a Champagne brunch for a special proposal The tower is the ultimate folly It was made to look 1 000 years old like the remnants of an old castle There are 97 steps within Gardens estate Set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in 614 acres of parkland woodland and delightful gardens Ballyfin is the ultimate escape Highlights include the lake a medieval tower the walled garden with its formal borders the fernery a restored Edwardian rock garden and a grotto Tour the grounds by pony and trap to discover the history of the landscape The abundant wildlife including herds of wild deer can be seen as well

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old school and from the top of the tower on a clear day you can see a quarter of Ireland The Coote family would have said that they owned all the land you could see but of course they didn t When the boys were here the floors had fallen away and only beams remained It was a great game to climb to the top the Brothers would shout but they were too old to climb up and get them down Another delightful feature is the 19th century fernery accessed through a tunnel You forget that they had no televisions or radio when this was built Their entertainment was storytelling they told tales of tunnels and secrets and to give the stories substance they built mock tunnel entrances There s a rock garden too that was only discovered halfway through the renovation as it was completely overgrown with bamboo brought back from Asia to show the family s wealth and travels Although normally Ballyfin only accepts children over 9 when the whole house is rented they can come from any age Kids absolutely love it Fred used to think what would a child want to do here But they have the freedom to roam and their imaginations run wild just like ours did says Declan Plus there s horse riding archery and boating as well as magical wildlife At 7pm a herd of deer come down from the mountains and you can watch them from the lawn It s heaven for children The Irish patter and easy way the butlers share their stories and their passion for the house and its inhabitants reflects the informal and friendly way of life at Ballyfin This is a place you feel instantly at home while having everything you could ever want to hand We build up great rapport with guests says Declan When PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM the general manager came he couldn t believe we were on firstname terms with them We had to teach him the Irish way A night in the Lady Caroline Coote suite on a full board basis including a gourmet dinner with wine pairing and Irish breakfast starts at 1 250 Find out more at ballyfin com

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hold that thought CURIOUS CURIOUSER Gary Newman Meiklejohn Twenty two years ago a now infamous speech was made declaring the future of Britain to be dependent on its capacity to deliver on Education Education Education Whilst no one can argue against the importance of education one can question and many increasingly are the effectiveness of our present schooling system Education encompasses every aspect of learning about ourselves and the world around us both human and physical About how we interact and impact it and it us Education continues throughout our lives through each and every interaction and experience with each of these impacting the next through the lessons we take Schooling however is limited to our early years and compartmentalised into subjects It is led by examinations and one s capacity to retain and recall information Schooling increasingly downplays the importance of curiosity and creativity and very rarely encourages reflection of what why or how things are learnt As parents of whatever age looking 58 winter tales back at our own childhoods we see that much of the world we live in today and the tools we are dependent on and use daily are unrecognisable to the world we grew up in and were schooled for With the world evolving at such a rate we are in a position where we can only imagine the world our children will come to face by the time they leave school let alone become parents themselves With this being the case we need to educate them for an unknown ever changing future and not so they simply survive but rather thrive We need to nurture their innate curiosity creativity and ability to innovate To foster their capacity to focus persist and reflect on experiences thoughts and feelings To cultivate their self worth and individuality Surely these should be the tenets guiding how we educate children and what we teach our children in schools and beyond Having been diagnosed with dyslexia at school she went on to the University of Cambridge before teaching at Clifton College Prep Now a specialist tutor and our new columnist meet the unstoppable alexa toy Here she muses on the difference between schooling and education Find out more about how Alexa reignites curiosity and creativity in learning at alexatoy com PURPLEDRAGONPLAY COM

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