Latest from CK

Win Spirit of Christmas Tickets

We’re giving you the chance to win Spirit of Christmas tickets



To celebrate its 20 year anniversary and its return following a year of shopping online, we are offering you the chance to win Spirit of Christmas tickets! And no ordinary tickets – unlimited passes mean you can go on any day and return as many times as you like within the seven days of the show.

This year you’ll find 650 independent boutiques offering items not found on the high street, shining a spotlight on British, sustainable and ethically produced products. Enabling customers to find something for even the trickiest of individuals to buy for, discerning shoppers will find endless never-before-seen items. From gifts and treats to entertaining ideas, the expertly curated fashion, decorations, jewellery, homeware, baby and children, toys and games, food and drinks brands have all been hand-picked for their quality and originality.

Every serious shopper needs refreshments, and you’ll find the Louis Roederer Champagne Bars or Mosimann’s.


1-7 November 2021
Olympia, London


Click here to enter


Terms & Conditions
This competition will run from 22-29 October 2021.
The tickets are offered are two unlimited passes.
The winner will be notified by email.
Tickets are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged.
Travel is not included.
Only one entry per person, per day will be counted.
The decision of City Kids Magazine is final.


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Chris Packham at ACS Egham

Climate Change and sustainability will lead event when Chris Packham speaks at ACS International School, Egham



ACS International School Egham will next month welcome naturalist, TV presenter and campaigner, Chris Packham, to headline its new sustainability event, ‘The world needs…Climate change challengers’. Taking place in-person and live-streamed globally on Tuesday 9 November, 7.00-8.20pm (GMT), ‘The world needs…Climate change challengers’ will highlight how people can contribute to climate change solutions and, ultimately, help build a more sustainable future.

Chris Packham will be addressing the audience at ACS Egham via live-stream about his experience in conservation and campaigning, providing inspiration to all people who are passionate about conversation issues and injustices.

Chris will be followed by Sophie Locke, Research and Projects Manager, Blue Marine Foundation, whose day-to-day work is to develop solutions to an area of climate change. They will discuss their pathway to their career today, and will highlight the steps young people can take now to become a climate change challenger in their future.

Jeremy Lewis, Head of School, ACS Egham, comments: “Every single day climate change poses a new threat to our planet. If we do nothing, it is going to catch up with us much sooner than we think. Today’s students are preparing for their lives and careers in this unpredictable future, but what tools do they need to, firstly, be happy and successful and, secondly, contribute to a sustainable future world?

“During ‘The world needs… Climate change challengers’ students, parents and members of the community interested in climate action will hear how science gives us a greater insight into the impact of climate change and also presents opportunities for solutions, while discovering how students can apply what they are learning in school today to making a positive impact in their futures.”



ACS Egham has received the Eco-Schools silver award due to its curriculum links to environmental issues, as well as the wide range of sustainability initiatives in place across the campus – from enhanced systems to reduce water consumption, to organised waste management.  Home to 600 students, aged 4 to 18, the school also runs a ‘Jaguars in Action’ initiative which sees students aged 11-18 coming together to discuss key environmental issues and arrange activities like nature walks, litter collections and wild bee hive making.

‘The world needs… Climate change challengers’ is the first in ACS International Schools’ new series of ‘What the World Needs’ events, which this year focuses on building a sustainable future. Throughout the series of four compelling hybrid events – each hosted by one of ACS’s schools in Egham, Cobham, Hillingdon and Doha, Qatar – attendees will discover the skills and attributes young people need to successfully contribute to SDGs: Climate Action; Responsible Consumption; and Good Health and Wellbeing.

The new ‘What the World Needs’ series follows a successful launch series in 2020, with speakers including Sian Sutherland, Co-Founder, A Plastic Planet, and Michael Sheldrick of Global Citizen.

‘The world needs… Climate change challengers’ will be hosted at ACS Egham’s campus and will be live streamed globally. Limited places are available for the in-person event, where attendees will have the opportunity to experience the historic ACS Egham campus.

In person tickets to see Chris Packham

Secure your free tickets to the event now via the following link:


Annabel Karmel and Rachel Riley

Two legendary family brands, Annabel Karmel and Rachel Riley team up


There aren’t many names bigger than Annabel Karmel and Rachel Riley when it comes to feeding and clothing children. And now they’ve joined forces to launch a capsule baby and toddler clothing collection. The collaboration sees exclusive prints from Rachel Riley inspired by the illustrations in Annabel Karmel’s bestselling book, Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner, brought to life on a range of baby and toddler clothing and accessories.



The colourful range includes an adorable red jelly print, oranges & lemons and a patriotic Beefeater & Big Ben print. Products include babygros £28 (0-3m, 3-6m, 6- 12m) – which can be personalised for an extra £10, pyjamas £35 (3-6m to 2-3yr), blankets £25, muslins £12 two bibs £9 each. The collection also includes matching ‘mini me’ aprons for children and adults which come in a choice of two prints: soldier print (£19 for kids, £29 for adults) and jelly print (£24 for kids, £34 for adults).



The range is available individually or can be bought in gift sets, which includes a copy of one of Annabel’s books, to suit all budgets, making them the ideal gift for a new baby, birthday or even Christmas! Gift sets range from £35 – £99 and come in a luxurious co-branded box.

The Rachel Riley x Annabel Karmel Collection can be found online at:

Pre-Loved Toys Pop Up At Selfridges

Selfridges celebrates Christmas with pre-loved toys pop-up



This Christmas, Selfridges will become the first department store to offer a pre-loved toys pop-up in collaboration with London-based charity The TOY Project as part of its Project Earth RESELLFRIDGES resale platform.

Opening from 18th October until 23rd December, the pop-up will take residence in the Selfridges Toy Department on four, Selfridges London, and will feature a curation of pre-loved and unique toys, from collectable figures, to antique teddies, to classic family-favourite games.



As part of Selfridges’ Project Earth commitment to exploring circular retail models, The TOY Project pop-up will be the latest initiative to join its permanent resale platform RESELLFRIDGES. Customers will be able to shop pre-loved Christmas gifts for the family, as well as help the charity to provide toys to the children and families that need them most.

Customers will be invited to donate toys at the pop-up in the run up to Christmas, to prevent waste over the festive period. Donations can be made every weekend from 23rd October to 18th December. These toys will either be sold back through the Selfridges pop up or the TOY Project’s north London store or given a second life and donated to children through the charity. Profits raised from The TOY Project are used to fund workshops and projects such as toy and book libraries and community events.


The TOY Project is the latest RESELLFRIDGES offer for children; customers can already shop pre-loved designer fashion for newborns up to 14-year-olds through Selfridges partnership with Kidswear Collective.

Curated in partnership with Selfridges, the edit of toys includes recycled puzzles, games, toy figures and mixed bags of smaller pre-loved toys which can be used for children’s parties alongside a collection of vintage toys and collectables.

For further information about Selfridges Project Earth, please visit:

Half term Forest School In Putney

Join Wild About Play, a forest school in Putney, for half-term camps




Wild about Play, a forest school in Putney, is open for outdoor play this half-term. With birds-eye views of Putney Common and woods from their rooftop base camp at Oasis Academy, staff run their Ofsted-approved outdoor nursery all year round, after-school sessions during the school term, outdoor learning camps during school holiday breaks, and wild families’ sessions on select weekends. The mission is to spark, inspire and extend children’s imagination and learning at nursery and primary school age.



Highly-qualified practitioners curate sessions that incorporate the natural world and the EYFS curriculum into children’s education ensuring they unleash their full potential. Children are also encouraged to explore their surroundings and spearhead their learning through a mix of fun physical, musical, artistic and also construction challenges. The calming and rich effects of nature coupled with skilled adult support provides the framework to support meaningful play, enriching learning and developing key skills such as enquiry, expression, experimentation and also team work.

There are lots of reasons to follow a forest school pathway

Aside from physical fitness:

    • Social skills and empathy: ‘Learning by doing’ in the outdoors stimulates our brain activity and helps contribute to collaborative learning skills (2017 Loughborough study ).
    • Enhanced creativity, concentration and motivation for leaning (Feb 2018 Psychology today).
    • Connection to each other and nature: gives an important sense of belonging to each other and their natural environment (April 2018 Woodland Trust).
    • Stress management: Repeated interaction and connection with nature reduces cortisol levels especially in young people ( 09 Feb 2018 Psychology today ).
    • Confidence and independence: Time, space and freedom to think and develop with the help of specialised practitioners working with tools and learning to negotiate risk ( June 2018 – Salmon talk to leaders of the Forest School Movement ).

What’s on offer at the camps:

Children will have fun enjoying the brand-new facilities on the rooftop of @oasisacademyputney with views of the Common, as well as heading out on adventures nearby. Activities include pumpkin carving, autumnal foraging, tribal fun, bird feeders, clay spider making and broomstick adventures.


Testimonials from Wild about Play families:

“Guilia like most of the children loves being outdoors so when I heard about Wild about Play I signed her up immediately. She has really enjoyed the sessions and even though she can be a bit shy, at Wild about Play she takes part in all the activities, has made new friends and always comes out happy, full of stories of her new adventures and ready for a good night’s sleep. The WaP team has been great”.

“Arthur loved his Wild about Play sessions. He particularly loved the camp fire and obstacle course and seemed to relish making bird feeders and learning about all the different trees on the Common and in the Church grounds. He is so full of enthusiasm for life when he comes back home”.

“Zac has thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and comes back tired and happy. Forest school is teaching him to understand and appreciate the world around him as well as working on his social skills”.

“Archie loves his after school sessions at WAP! The nurturing environment led by inspiring staff really engages him in a wide range of outdoor projects and activities. His favourite activity is making craft with natural materials – he’s been creating really imaginative models which have pride of place at home! He has also loved getting mucky with mud and roasting marshmallows on an open fire – every child’s dream!”

To book October half-term camps:

Oasis Academy Roof Top Garden
184 Lower Richmond Road
SW15 1LY

0207 101 3255



Halloween Dress Up


It’s that time to take a deep breath and go all-in with the Halloween dress up!


Gearing up for a Halloween party or trick or treating? The excitement is real this year after the non-event of 2020. There are some very sweet, and rather spooky halloween costumes around this year. We’ve selected some of our favourites whether your little ones want to go the whole hog, or just wear some accessories in their halloween dress up this year. Gather your buckets, find the face paint and line up your tricks…

We all know that even the most well-planned parties and events can go wrong, so Rospa, the charity striving to prevent accidents, gives this advice for Hallween.

  • Check that all Halloween and fancy dress costumes you buy carry a CE mark on the label.
  • As with all clothing, Halloween and fancy dress outfits should always be kept away from fire, lit candles and all other naked flames.
  • If lit candles are part of your celebrations always follow their safety guidelines, and remember:
    • Always supervise children and pets if using lit candles.
    • Do not allow children to carry, play, reach over, light or be near lit candles.
    • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
    • Remember always to extinguish a candle completely after use.
    • Take care when using candles at Halloween. Do not carry pumpkins with lit candles inside, consider using battery-operated candles instead.
  • Children should always be supervised by a suitable adult.
  • If fireworks are part of your celebrations, follow the Firework Code (see our fireworks safety page for more information).
  • Be aware that homemade fancy dress costumes or those not tested to the same flammability standards may ignite easily and burn quicker.
  • Ensure children can be seen in the dark; ideally they should wear something reflective such as a reflective strip, and carry a torch.


Time to dress up!

Halloween Hoodie


Hair Clips



Black Skeleton Sleep Suit


Baby Pumpkin Bodysuit, hat and tights set

Children’s 3D Claw Boot Slippers


Zombie Costume




Fabelab Dress Up Wings




Blue Superhero Costume



Cobweb Tutu & Headband




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Chocolate Orange Balls

Halloween treats ahoy with this recipe for chocolate orange balls



Little Cooks Co is on a mission to get children cooking and what better excuse than Halloween!  Keep this recipe card safe…you will want to make it again and again!

Prep: 15 minutes

Tasty Tip: These heavenly truffles are perfect for both kids and grown-ups. Perfect for trick or treaters – or save them for yourself!


1 cup of dates (100g)

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

Rind of one medium orange (finely grated)

Coconut oil (or some other kind of oil) for your hands



Food processor

Cooking instructions

1. Soften the dates in boiling water for a few mins if they are a little hard.

2. Pop the dates, cacao powder and orange zest in a food processor and blitz for 1-2 mins.

3. If the mixture is too stiff add a few drops of juice from the orange and blitz again

4. Now for little cooks to have some fun! sprinkle some cacao powder on a plate, rub coconut oil into your little cook’s hands and start rolling!

5. Take about a heaped teaspoon amount and roll into a ball – then roll in the cacao powder on the plate and repeat until all of the mixture has been used up

6. Store in a fridge for up to 5 days, though we can guarantee they will not last that long!

Little Cooks Co a delicious, healthy and fun recipe kit, for kids, delivered straight to your door from £8.33 a month.



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Friday Five 15-17 October

Friday Five 15-17 October 2021

Need some entertainment inspiration this weekend? Fear not, as our fabulous Friday Five shortlist has landed for 15-17 October. Lots to see and do around London this weekend!


Pack your wellies and join Percy the Park Keeper for the outdoor theatrical Autumn Treasure Hunt at Chiswick House.


As part of the Bloomsbury festival and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Independence of Bangladesh, the British Library hosts a party with Bengali music, dance, food and outdoor film screenings.

Walk through autumnal landscapes in your search for the Big Bad Mouse at the Gruffalo’s Child trail at Kew Gardens.

Challenge your family to a drawing contest and find out who knows Tower Bridge the best, all from 42 metres above the river in the bridge’s walkway.

Top children’s entertainer Action Amanda is celebrating 30 years in business with a special party full of singing, dancing, games and even a few treats for the grown ups.

For even more things to do this weekend and beyond, check out our What’s On guide>>>

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Halloween Treats

City Kids guide to the most disgustingly tasty halloween treats


Double double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble….Ok, so we’re more about the treats than the tricks most Halloweens, so our top ten includes some witches brew, snot and a magic wand. And for those that don’t have a sweet tooth (who even are they?) we have a burger from Byron in our round-up of the best Halloween treats. And if you’re looking for some fun decorations and bits and bobs to get you in the mood for a spooktacular party, then follow the link at the bottom of this page which will take you to a wizardly fantastic decorations and tableware edit.



Witches Brew White Hot Chocolate




Simsante Halloween Box

From £9.95



Natalie Marshmallow Skull Lolly




Craft & Crumb Creepy Coffins Bake and Craft Kit



Want to a fun recipe to wow the kids on Halloween night, but you’re short on time. We hear you. We have a fab recipe for Mummy Sausage and Pumpkin Pies which will set the tone for a spooktacular Halloween party.


Harry Potter Chocolate Wand




Byron The Hat Trick Burger




Chococco Gold Chocolate Shimmer Pumpkin with Spiders




Thickest Human Snot




Haunted House




Mixed Set of Cake Pops




Throwing a Halloween party? Head here>>>

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Guide to State Schools


School sign


There are some fantastic state schools in the capital, and there can be fine margins between the schools near your home. Melanie Sanderson, Managing Editor at The Good Schools Guide, offers some pointers to consider before sending in your application in her guide to state schools.


State schools exist not only in a variety of forms, but with nuances between those.  Some areas continue to have a selective system at 11; others do not. Most secondary schools – and quite a few primary schools – are now academies. Plenty of these are part of large academy chains such as Harris Federation, E-Act or ARK. Other schools are free schools, set up by local groups, often with a faith designation. These are all state schools, funded by the government, but academies and free schools are not overseen by local authorities. Controversially, they are permitted to employ unqualified teachers, set their own admission criteria and ignore the national curriculum.

However, worry less about the type of school – there are good and bad within all – but look instead at the individual school and how well it will suit your child.

Over the last 100 years, successive governments have struggled to improve education by reforming its structure, over and over again. What hasn’t changed is that in the UK all state schools are entirely free to parents as they are funded through taxation – though many are now asking parents for voluntary contributions to help fill in shortfalls.

On this site you will find a wealth of information to help you choose the right school for your child. We have an extensive search facility – simply enter your criteria to locate potential schools.

School admissions and catchment areas can be tricky. We explain the former and have produced catchment maps showing where children who attend (or have attended) a school come from. See how far they travel and, importantly, find out which schools you may be in catchment for, via our Interactive Catchment Area Search and easy to use catchment area maps. Be aware, though, that catchments vary each year.

Choosing a state school – points to consider

The environment
Is there an air of care? Are floors polished, bins emptied, displays fresh, thoughtful, inspiring? A school may not have the best of everything, but it should feel welcoming and looked after.

What is the head like?
What strengths do they have? What do other parents, staff and students think of the school? A head can singularly make or destroy a school. Look for good, strong leadership with clear guidelines and boundaries. Do the children have a healthy respect for the head? Do they know much about the head? This can be quite telling.

Additional needs
What is the school’s attitude to those who need extra help and support, whether social, emotional or academic? Are there programmes to stretch the gifted, talented and able? What and when? What about those with special educational needs and disabilities? Are they helped, supported and included? How? How supportive is the school? Does the praise/discipline system flex to meet individual needs? Does it fit with your expectations?

Results and value added
How well do children do? Don’t just look at the headline figures, delve beyond the headlines (see below). If a school has been under-performing, ask what measures have been put in place to improve results – and for whom. Use the data analysis provided on this website to get under the skin of schools.

Inspection reports

Read the latest inspection report. What are the headline grades, Outstanding, Inadequate or somewhere in between? What actions does the report suggest the school should take? Ask what they have done. Some schools share their school improvement plan with parents – you may even find it on their website. This is a good indication of where the focus will be in the coming year(s) and an indication of what they need to do better. Subscribers can use our quick Ofsted facility. But don’t judge a school entirely by its Ofsted report: it may have got its Outstanding rating by ticking the right boxes, or a Requires Improvement rating because it didn’t tick a few boxes you don’t care about anyway. We review some 300 state schools, giving our personal, independent views, written after visiting the school, talking to the head, staff, pupils and parents. The reviews are available to online subscribers and included in The Good Schools Guide print book.

PE, games and sport 
How much of the curriculum is devoted to keeping children fit, active, healthy? Do they run teams for all or just the lucky few? Is there sport for all – including those who find traditional team games tricky? Do they play against other schools? When? Which sports and teams?

What really happens after school and at break times? 
Browse the school website and school noticeboards – what are the children doing? Are there plenty of extracurricular activities? What about trips and tours – for all or just the lucky few? Is the library well-stocked and well-used? Is there a refuge for children requiring a space for quiet reflection?

Lines of communication 
How does the school report to parents? What, when? Is there an active PTA? Are parents invited to be involved with the school? How? What about newsletters? Are these friendly, welcoming and informative or dull and instructional?

What happens when things go wrong? 
Ask about their anti-bullying policy and for anecdotes of how incidents have been managed. What happens when children err?  Who would be the key liaison person for your child? What is their role?

How much, how often, how are you expected to help? Are their clinics available for children who are struggling? Do they have any parent forums or meetings to help parents understand what children are doing?

Starting school

In England, children born between 1 September and 31 August will generally be in the same year group. Those with September birthdays are the oldest in the year. Most children start school in the September after they are four, although it is often possible for younger children to defer starting for a term or two.

Scotland and Northern Ireland do things a little differently.

Applying to a state school

  • If you are applying in England at the normal time for joining a state school – 4+ or 11+ – then apply through your local authority. You apply during the autumn term of the previous year, with the deadline for senior school admissions of 31 October and for junior school of 15 January. Selective schools must organise their entrance exams in order to give parents initial results before the application deadline – so for most of these you must register during June or July, with exams taking place in September.
  • You can list up to six schools on your application form, depending on your local authority. If you qualify for a place at more than one, then you will only be offered a place at the one highest on your list – so do list the schools in order of preference. The schools don’t know which others you have applied to, nor where they come on your list – only the local authority knows that. Some schools set banding tests, offering places to an equal number of children from each ability band. Faith schools generally require you to fill in an additional form relating to your church-going record. If possible, include on your list a school where you have a very good chance of a place, otherwise you risk being offered only Unpopular Academy three bus rides away in the next county.
  • If you want to join a school outside the normal admissions time – perhaps because you are moving house – then in most cases you apply direct to the school, though local authorities can have helpful information of which local schools have spaces. Bear in mind that if you are arriving from abroad, you cannot apply for a school until you have a local address, and if a place is offered, you have to take it up within a short time. These rules don’t apply to those in the Forces and diplomatic

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Halloween Party Essentials

The City Kids guide to Halloween party essentials


It’s that time of year, autumn leaves on the ground, nights getting cooler and lots of Halloween decorations and edibles in the shops. In our autumn issue, we found some fantastic bits for the most spine tingling of parties. Below is an edit of our Halloween party essentials, kicking off with treats from Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, whose website we absolutely love (automatically translated for humans) for the most imaginative items.



Toasted Bone Chunks


Pumpkin Decorations 2 pack


Halloween Plates

£6.25 for 8


£1.75 for 20

Halloween Bat Table Runner


Postbox Party Skeleton Ribcage Paper Cups

£7.20 for 8

Halloween Cookie Cutters




Jar of Bug Biscuits




Gooey Chocolate Eyeballs


Dracula teeth

£5.49 for 500g bag


Pin the Smile on the Skeleton




Personalised Halloween Goodie Bag




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How to achieve a calm bedtime routine

The authors of a new bedtime story book share tips on how to achieve a calm bedtime routine



Christy Kirkpatrick, co-author of The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories: Calming Tales to Read at Bedtime, talks to sleep expert Professor Alice Gregory about the importance of sleep and a calm bedtime routine.

I have always loved my sleep, but until I had children, I didn’t realise quite how much. With uninterrupted nights a distant memory, I began to long for early nights and long stretches of blissful, deep sleep.

I know that I’m not alone in this; the amount of sleep we get is discussed by parents and carers across the city. Alice Gregory Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, explains why. She tells me, ‘we spend around a third of our lives asleep, so evolutionarily this only makes sense if it’s incredibly important. Scientific research over the years has confirmed that this is the case. Sleep plays a big role in so many aspects of our lives, supporting our learning, memory, immune system and emotional regulation, to name just a few. It is also the case that pretty much every psychiatric disorder has been linked to the way we sleep.’ This might help to explain why parents and carers can find it hard when they don’t get enough sleep.

What I hadn’t realised, until Professor Gregory explained it to me, was how important sleep was, not only for adults, but for children, too. ‘If you look at recommendations for the amount of sleep that we should get at different stages of life, you will see a trend for this decreasing across the life course. Recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine state that children aged 1-2 years of old should get 11-14 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, which decreases to 8-10 hours during the teenage years (aged 13-18 years). ( Children need a lot of sleep because it is so important for their growth and development.’

So sleep appears to be important for children’s daytime functioning, but getting our children to sleep at a decent time in the evening can be easier said than done. Often, even though children are tired in the evening, they can find it hard to nod off. Some children find it hard to sleep because as soon as they close their eyes, they start to worry about school or other things that are on their minds. Other children find it hard to wind down after a playdate or activity they have been to. They may be excited by a movie they have watched, or game they have played. Their minds are racing, and it’s hard for them to become sleepy.



I ask Professor Gregory if there is anything that we can do to help children relax and unwind at bedtime. She tells me that there are a number of things ways we can help. According to Professor Gregory, one key thing we can do is to keep our children’s bedtime – and wake time – consistent. Our physiological processes are controlled by ‘clocks’ inside our bodies, so the timing of bedtime is important. However, she adds, we should only go to bed when we are tired, so it’s important not to make our children’s bedtime too early – in case they lie in bed awake for a long time (which should be avoided). We should adjust bedtime as our children grow older.

In addition, Professor Gregory advises keeping bedrooms cool and dark. She encourages us to ensure that our children’s bedrooms are calm, tranquil places to be – and electronics in the bedroom should be avoided. Professor Gregory explains that electronic devices can emit ‘blue light’ which is particularly disruptive to our bodies’ ability to secrete the hormone melatonin. Even when that is not the case, devices can emit noise or lead to excitement which can disrupt sleep.

Professor Gregory tells me that it is a good idea to think about our children’s diet too – and to avoid caffeine. Children are unlikely to be drinking coffee, but caffeine can be found in other food and drink such as cola and chocolate.

A bedtime routine is also important and bedtime stories can also play a part in helping children to relax at bedtime. It was for this reason that Professor Gregory, who is the author of Nodding Off: The Science of Sleep from Cradle to Grave (Bloomsbury, 2018), approached me with the idea of co-writing a book to help children relax at bedtime. I signed up straight away. I’m a children’s book writer with a background in publishing and loved the idea of co-writing a book that would make bedtime a little smoother for many families, including my own.

Professor Gregory explained that there had been emerging research to suggest that children could benefit from the same relaxation techniques as adults. Her idea was to embed some of those scientifically grounded techniques into a calming, beautifully illustrated book. She and I wrote a story called ‘The Sleepy Pebble’ and embedded three scientifically grounded sleep techniques in the story – imagery, muscle relaxation and mindfulness.

We then trialled the story with one hundred families with children aged between three and eleven years old. The results and feedback from the families were encouraging, and we wrote four more stories, all featuring characters from the natural world and all embedding those same relaxation techniques. We then published the book as The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories: Calming Tales to Read at Bedtime (Flying Eye Books, 2019). The stories in the book all feature characters from the natural world along with calming illustrations, advice about how to use the book, tips about how to make bedtime more relaxing, and a question-and-answer section. We’ve been bowled over by the positive feedback since we published the book.

Now I know how important sleep is for children, I do my best to get my children to get a good night’s sleep. It’s not always straightforward, though, and The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories has become my go-to book when I feel that our family needs a bit of a helping hand at bedtime.

The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories: Calming Tales to Read at Bedtime (Flying Eye Books, 2019) can be bought from the publisher’s website and other retailers. To find out more, visit


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Halloween Things to Do

Halloween fun is back on in 2021! Away from the trick or treating, here’s our guide to some horrific Halloween things to do for all your little monsters.


As well as our round up of things to wear, how to decorate and what to eat, there are loads of Halloween things to do in and around London for kids of all ages.


Halloween in the City



Dress up and run 5k in aid of Maggie’s. Places are £26.50 and everyone who signs up gets a Halloween outfit, running number and limited-edition medal. Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by Maggie Keswick Jencks. 28th October, Paternoster Square.


Petrifying Paulton’s



There’s fangtastic fun for all ages at Paulton’s this October. The bravest can try new rides such as Stormchaser and The Cyclonator at Tornado Springs, which will also have a spooky makeover. Peppa Pig World will be transformed and you’ll see Grandpa Pig’s ‘World’s Biggest Pumpkin’ on display. And don’t forget Mr Skinny Legs, the spider!


Pick Your Own Pumpkin



Instead of a trip to the supermarket, head to Surrey to pick your own pumpkin. Every autumn, Crockford Bridge Farm opens its Pumpkin Market. Covid saw bookable tickets, which may help with the crowds that can gather.


Spooktacular Steam Trains



All aboard the Halloween express at Audley End Railway in Saffron Waldon. Chug deep into the woodland to meet the witches and their monsters. They’ll entertain, cast spells and even perform some dances. On your return, visit Belinda, the Fortune Telling Witch, and then onto the Wizards. The trip is suitable for even the tiniest of monsters.


Hair-raising Hike



Choose your distance, gather your bravest guys and ghouls to make up a team or go it alone if you dare to walk along London’s spooky streets. Dress to distress and the creepy dungeon keepers at The Oval start and finish will meet, greet, and shock. Once you escape there’s ghostly looped routes with zombie rest stops, and if you manage to get back in one piece there’s a macabre medal, a glass of the Devil’s fizz, some horrific hot food and drink –and a souvenir bobble hat to ward off the spirits as you head off. Choose from 10k, half marathon or full marathon distances all in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. Entrance fees apply with discounts for 12 to 16-year-olds.




Mental Health Resources

Mental health resources for children, teens and parents



This year’s World Mental Health Day falls on 10th October and it’s theme is Mental Health in an Unequal World. Amongst the groups who statistically suffer more greatly with mental health issues are Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, refugees, asylum seekers, and as LGBT people. Add to this a global pandemic which has brought about new challenges, stresses and knock on effects and you’ll see many people affected by mental health problems. We may not know for a long time, the true impact of various lockdowns, changes to routines, general uncertainty and loss of education. Children have had to deal with huge change, lack of face-to-face socialisation and stimulation and some children are feeling lost, sad, low. It’s not always easy to spot so we’ve pulled together some mental health resources for children, teens and parents to access. 

The list below is for anyone that’s concerned about their child’s wellbeing, or indeed, those seeking to be proactive and learn about good mental health and creating good habits for life. We hope that this small variety of resources, available in a number of formats, are a good starting point. 



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Mummy Sausage & Pumpkin Pies Recipe

Mummy Sausage & Pumpkin Pies



How about a really easy recipe which has a bit of a wow factor when you put it on the table. Halloween calls for Mummy Sausage & Pumpkin Pies!

Makes 9 portions


  • 350g plain flour
  • 175g salted butter, cubed
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 350g sausage meat
  • 150g pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 18 edible eyes


  • Mixing bowl
  • Lined baking tray
  • Rolling pin
  • Spoon
  • Fork
  • Knife


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan).
  2. In the large mixing bowl, combine the flour and butter by rubbing it together between your fingertips, until a crumb consistency is achieved. Add the water and bring together with your hands to form a pastry dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and pop in the freezer to rest while you make the filling.
  3. Wash up the mixing bowl then use it to combine the sausage meat, pumpkin purée, sage and salt. Set to one side.
  4. Take the dough out of the freezer and, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a large rectangle (2-3mm thickness) then portion into 12 smaller rectangles.
  5. Place 9 of the pastry rectangles onto the tray and spoon the sausage filling into the centre of each one leaving an index finger width border around every edge.
  6. Beat the egg, then use your finger to egg wash the edges of each pie.
  7. Cut the remaining 3 rectangles into 1 cm strips and lay them over the filling of each pie, using the egg washed edges to stick them. Trim if necessary.
  8. Use your finger to egg wash the strips then bake the pies for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly before placing two edible eyes on each one and serving. They can also be enjoyed cold.

Recipe from the Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by UK Flour Millers, making baking simple. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the Fab Flour website: or on social: @fab_flour on Instagram or @fabflour on Facebook and Twitter.


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Back to School with Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill 

Back to school 2021: serene and joyful at Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill 



Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill is an independent school located on a leafy two-hectare campus in North London. It welcomes 850 students aged 3 to 18 where bilingual immersion begins from pre-reception until Y13. 

Bilingual immersion from 3 years old

Bilingual immersion begins at age 3 when young students are guided by two early childhood specialised teachers, permanently present in the classroom, each giving lessons in their mother tongue, French or English. This organic approach to bilingualism allows children to learn in small groups, through play and discovery, and experience in a stimulating while reassuring environment.

“We are convinced that each child constructs their learning in a unique way from their own environment and the interactions that result from it. It is through play scenarios that our children’s curiosity and engagement develops,” explains Laure Berr, Head of the Primary school.

Large open green spaces



Our beautiful campus offers various outdoor spaces for children to explore. Outdoor activities in all seasons nurture creativity and respect for nature. We have designed gardening activities where the children are able to plant their vegetables, harvest them and eat them in the canteen. Children are learning about the importance of protecting bees by sowing honey flowers and adding water points in our gardens. Nursery students also take advantage of the leafy areas of the campus and surrounding nature, climbing, jumping, exploring, discovering and learning whilst having fun!  

16 children per class maximum



With a maximum of 16 children per class in pre-reception and reception, every child is a valued contributor, both to their own learning and their surroundings. Each child’s inquisitive mind is developed through play scenarios (Brain Architecture, Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, 2008), and differentiated learning opportunities, pursuant to the British Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. Students grow up in a caring international community where they are taught the fundamental values ​​of respect and a genuine desire to be open to the world and other cultures.

“Children have the opportunity to talk about their country of origin with photos, music, visits from parents who may come to share a traditional dish,” comments Laure enthusiastically. “Beyond the cultures present in the classroom, it is inclusion that we learn and verbalise in the classroom so that each child feels valued, appreciated and fully integrated.”

Student-centered approach



In primary, instruction is in English 50% of the time from Year 1 to Year 6. Each class year meets daily with one French-speaking and one English-speaking teacher, with speciality teachers in subjects such as PE, language, and music.

The Lycée Churchill offers a perfect balance between academic rigour and innovation, and places the needs of each student at the heart of its philosophy. Each teacher uses proven but also innovative teaching methods designed to develop their critical thinking, collaboration, and risk-taking.


100% success in exams and 100% of students admitted to the most competitive universities in the world



In Secondary, families can choose a French curriculum certified by France’s education ministry, which leads to the baccalauréat diploma, or an English-language track feeding into the globally recognised International Baccalaureate (IB diploma). 

The only constant is that education remains bilingual until the age of 18, in the benevolent atmosphere that is unique to Lycée Churchill.

The school’s highly successful graduates are welcomed at leading universities in the UK, Canada, US, France, and elsewhere in Europe. Our experience with online education also lets us offer a range of short- and long-term remote learning opportunities.

For more information, visit our website:

Or join us for our next virtual open day. Please register here.


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Moroccan Veggie Stew by Jo Pratt

This Moroccan Veggie Stew recipe is perfect for vegetarians, vegans, kids who are back at school and more than perfect for parents who are not enjoying being back in a routine post the summer holidays. Arghhh!


A Moroccan Veggie Stew for family food


This Moroccan veggie stew is easy to prepare, oozes with flavour and goodness, and goes really well with couscous a dollop of hummus, and some veggie sticks on the side.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 500g peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g chickpeas, drained
  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon

To serve:

  • Couscous
  • Hummus (why not make your own…see the easy recipe below…)
  • Raw veggie sticks

Heat the oil in a large casserole pan or saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the garlic and all the dried spices (cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, paprika, ginger and cayenne pepper), then cook for a further 1 minute.

Stir in the carrots and squash then add the tinned tomatoes. Half fill the tin with water and swirl it around to pick up all of the tomato juices. Add this to the pan along with the chickpeas and apricots.

Bring to a simmer, cover the pan with a lid and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring a couple of times throughout. Finish off by squeezing in the lemon juice and season with a pinch of salt.

Serve straight way or set to one side and reheat gently when needed.

Simple Hummus

  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 100g tahini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt

Drain the chickpeas and keep all the water from the tin.

Put the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, 125ml of the chickpea water and a good pinch of salt into a food processor. Blend for a few minutes until lovely and smooth. Check the seasoning and add a pinch of salt to taste. If it looks too thick, add more of the chickpea water.

To serve, swirl the hummus onto a serving dish. Drizzle over the olive oil and garnish with the paprika.


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RBC Race for the Kids

Get involved with RBC Race for the Kids to support Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity



Keep fit, have fun, RBC Race for the Kids is for everyone! Sign up for free and join Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity’s virtual fun run to raise vital funds for seriously ill children cared for at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Taking place over a weekend of celebration on 16 and 17 October, the virtual event will see people of all ages and abilities take to their local park or pavement by foot, wheelchair or scooter to complete their own ‘race’.



For the 12th year, GOSH Charity will host the UK’s race as part of RBC Global Race for the Kids, a global series of 17 running events in support of 35 children and youth charities in 19 countries.

And for the first time, racers can track their progress via a brand-new app, which will connect participants from all over the world. The app will feature a news feed, leaderboards and team pages, alongside fun photo filters, audio cues to help cheer on racers and good luck messages from famous faces.

The money raised will go towards funding the hospital’s most urgent needs, including research into pioneering new treatments, cutting-edge medical equipment, support services for children and their families, such as parent accommodation and the hospital’s Play team, and the essential rebuilding and refurbishment of the hospital.

Joe’s story
Age 9, Epsom, Surrey



When he was around two years old, Joe was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after he didn’t meet any of his development milestones. After regular check-ups at his local hospital, Joe was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital when he was six to have pioneering Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery. Joe had an intense recovery period, having to learn how to walk again. He is now doing really well – he can walk and run and only needs to use his wheelchair when he’s tired.

Joe’s mum, Gina, remembers, “At one of our appointments at our local hospital, the doctor told us about this new pioneering surgery that they were doing at GOSH. We had heard a little bit about it already (at the time, the procedure was mainly being done in the States) but luckily Joe got approved to have the surgery so we got transferred to GOSH.

“When we first arrived at GOSH, it was like arriving in another world. Everyone genuinely cared about us, people really wanted to get to know Joe.”

Around six months after first getting transferred to GOSH, Joe had the pioneering SDR surgery. SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy) surgery is the only procedure to permanently remove spasticity in the legs of children with cerebral palsy.

Gina reflects on the care received from the charity-funded Play team at GOSH, “When Joe woke up from his surgery, he had to lie flat for four days – imagine that for a six-year-old! But the door to his room was just opening every ten minutes with someone coming in, whether it was the Play team or a volunteer to distract him and make the time pass quicker. They made us feel like their sole job was to make Joe happy. He was made to feel like a little superhero the whole way through.

“There really is something magical about that place. We just really want to give something back to GOSH now, as Joe has come so far.”

Joe will be running 1k at this year’s RBC Race for the Kids with his classmates to raise money for GOSH Charity.


Olympian, Beth Shriever and Paralympian Ollie Hynd MBE surprise GOSH patient Joe ahead of GOSH Charity’s RBC Race for the Kids.

To find out how to get involved this year head to



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School Open Days List

New term, new schools, new prospective schools. Time to do your research? Here’s our school open days list to help you on your way.



Whether you’re starting out on the schools hunt, or long in the tooth, the best way to find out about a school is to go and see it in action. Autumn is usually the busiest time for school open days but spring and summer following entrance examinations is also likely to see a flurry of dates set. Read our Autumn issue to gather tips on things to ask and look out for when you visit, put together by our education partner, The Good Schools Guide. Otherwise, scroll on through our open day list and add the dates to your diary!







Recordings of Q&A and other resources via the link above.





Prep School:

Saturday 2 October



In person open days planned


Saturday 16 October

Nursery, Pre-Prep & Prep School:

Saturday 9 October



Online appointments with Headmaster Jeremy Banks booked via



Make an enquiry via the website above.



Saturday 9 October, Saturday 5 February 2022, Saturday 7 May 2022



Bilingual International school from Nursery to Year 10

Enquiries to or via our website link above

Virtual tour here





Saturday 2 October



Thursday 14 October, 4 & 18 November, 2 December





Virtual tour



Thursday 4 & Friday 5 November, pupil-led tour, Saturday 6 November Open Day where parents can meet the Headmaster and staff from all parts of the school.



Thursday 14 October

Read more about Eaton Square Schools here. 



Tour – Contact Admissions Registrar, Mrs Christine Davis, at or call us on 01252 792495



Private in-person tours on weekdays.



Wednesday 29 September





Mini tours to be held in autumn term.

Pre-recorded tour available in the link above.



Complete a booking form via the form in the link above.



Wednesday 6 October





Book an appointment via the website above.



Saturday 16th October

To book:



Saturday 25 September

Friday 19 November



To book a private virtual tour contact Registrar, Laura Chell, on 01628 624918.



Follow the link above for recordings.



Open days in June and September.



Junior School:

Wednesday 29 September

Senior School:

Saturday 9 October

Full details of events and how to register can be found under the Admissions section of the website.



Co-ed Independent Bilingual International School from nursery to Y13.



Private tours via the web address above plus:

Wednesday 20 October, Tuesday 2 November



Book above for virtual open days.





Saturday 2 October



Nursery & Pre-Prep West Hampstead

Saturday 2 October



Junior School:

Wednesday 29 September & Tuesday 12 October

Senior School:

Thursday 30 September, Tuesday 5 October, Wednesday 13 October (evening), Tuesday 9 November

Sixth Form:

Thursday 7 October



Saturday 9 October



Saturday 25 September



Virtual tours available year round.





Whole School Open Day:

Saturday 2 October 2021, 13 November 2021 & 14 May 2022



Book a tour via the address above.



Saturday 25 September



Whole School Open Morning:

Saturday 9 October



Senior School:

Tuesday 28 September, Thursday 21 October, Tuesday 23 November, Wednesday 26 January, Friday 11 March, Thursday 5 May and Wednesday 15 June.

Prep School:

Wednesday 13 October, Friday 12 November, Friday 4 February, Thursday 10 March, Wednesday 4 May 2022 and Friday 10 June ( geared to Reception entry 4+)

To Register contact Registrar Sally Manhire on 01483 899757 or click to book here.



Termly Open Mornings



7 October at 8.45am – school in action aimed at families looking to join in Reception 2022.

Tuesday 23 November – whole school open morning.



Book a tour via the website above.



Recorded Virtual Tour



Recording available by emailing


TASIS (The American School in England)

Whole School Open Morning:

Friday 1 October

Follow link above to book a place, a private appointment or to see tour recordings.



Recorded Tour





Arrange tours by contacting via the website above.



Wednesday 12 October





School tour available at here.


If you would like your school to be added to the list, please email

Feature image: St Benedict’s Junior School

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City Kids Autumn Book Review

As the effects of the pandemic continue, books can provide solace during an unsettling and challenging time. Here’s the City Kids autumn book review to keep children interested in the world at large, whether they are home or in school.

By @sharonfjones

Pre school



Book Hospital by Leigh Hodgkinson (Simon & Schuster) £6.99
In this cute story about loving books, we hear all about the adventures that books can take you on. But what happens when books are scribbled on, spilt on, chewed up and accidently ripped? They go to the Book Hospital, silly! There they are lovingly restored and returned to their owner ready to be enjoyed again. Leigh Hodginkison humorous illustrations guides us through the perils of being a book especially when the last page is missing…



When I See Red by Britta Teckentrup £10.99
Britta Teckentrup beautifully depicts anger, in this tale of a girl whose rage sweeps her away like a storm in a forest. Understanding this emotion can be difficult for children and this book shows the different sides to anger which can seem frightening or overwhelming, but also powerful if used in a positive way. Teckentrup’s bold illustrative style captures our heroine’s emotional journey in a way that is accessible to young readers who may recognise themselves when anger takes hold.





The Book of Labyrinths and Mazes by Silke Vry and Finn Dean – (Prestel) £14.99
An absolutely stunning book, packed full of stories and puzzles all about labyrinths and mazes from the past to the present. Full of historical facts, philosophy and stories from across the globe – it explains how labyrinths have been embedded in culture for centuries and why humans have been obsessed with creating them. Fascinating and visually engaging, this book will have you hot-footing it to Hampton Court to test out why we are scared yet excited by the idea of getting lost.



Interview with a Shark & Other Ocean Giants Too by Andy See and Nick East (Welbeck Children’s) £9.99
This funny and informative book goes on the premise of a scuba diver who invents a machine which allows him to talk to animals, even ones that live underwater. He interviews the great and the good of the sea world, finding out fascinating facts about their lives, including a manta ray (who is six metres wide), blue whale (who is as heavy as 25 elephants), octopus (favourite book – Diary of a Wimpy Squid) but also enlightens readers that all his guests are endangered and with some simple steps they too can help look after the planet. Perfect for young animal lovers who love humour.




Wildlord by Philip Womack (Little Island Books) £7.99

If you’re looking for a gripping adventure with a supernatural edge, this is just the ticket. When orphan Tom Swinton receives a mysterious letter from an uncle he didn’t know he had asking him to visit his Suffolk farm because ‘It is time for you to see, time for you to understand’ he cannot help but be intrigued. When he arrives Tom soon senses a feeling of foreboding and quickly realises he is far from alone – dangerous beings occupy the surrounding woods and the farm has secrets which hold the key to his parents death. A page turner from start to finish.



Allies by Shakirah Bourne & Dana Alison Levy (DK) £12.99
Everyone needs an ally and this is a fitting book for the times we currently live in. 17 bestselling YA authors talk about what allyship means and how to show up for underrepresented groups, be that friends or strangers. These powerful accounts of racism and disability may make for an uncomfortable read, but they also give the opportunity for self-reflection, as well as ideas for action. Some of the proceeds of this book will go to The Black Curriculum.


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Read our new Autumn issue!

The wait is over. Our new Autumn issue with Schools Supplement in association with The Good Schools Guide is out now!




And what an issue it is. Click the image to read cover to cover for the ultimate guide for the Autumn. As ever, our What’s On guide is packed with family events to add to your diary. Jo Pratt has written a warming Autumn recipe to see us through the cooler days plus we’ve Halloween decor for the tricksiest parties at the end of October. Didn’t get away this year? We’ve got some trips of a lifetime outlined in our travel pages, plus the podcasts to listen to while you’re on the flight. And Contrary to popular belief, Sophie Clowes uncovers the revelation that children and parents are happier when they spend time together outdoors…it’s a must read. We’ve autumn fashion and woodland themed interiors, plus Beverley Turner’s take on parental judgement. The best news is saved until last though as we celebrate our new partnership with The Good Schools Guide inside our Schools Supplement. Experts share their wisdom on state schools, getting back to routine and the all-through school model, as well providing key information on primary, secondary, boarding and day schools within our directory. What are you waiting for? Click the cover to read our new autumn issue now!


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Back to School Essentials

Back to School Essentials

You must remember the lead up to school and the absolutely essential need to have a new pencil case and pens each September. It’s time to pack up that peg bag, refresh all pencil cases and slide crisp exercise books into rucksacks, ready to fill with notes of genius or weird cartoons and old sweet wrappers. Here are our favourite back to school essentials and a few non-essentials too…


For globetrotters everywhere this school year…



Globetrotter satchel, £40



The cutest pencil case we’ve seen…

Emile et Ida Puppy Pencil Case Ochre, £23


Give them a back pack that you can spot from fifty paces.

Sticky Lemon Sprinkles Backpack, £44

Notebooks to be proud of whatever your score in spelling.

Sticky Lemon Hardback notebook, £8.90

The rainbow at their fingertips.

PrintWorks Box of 24 Colour Pencils, £17


Something to keep PE kit safe and spare pants on hand…

Rockets Kids Drawstring Bag, £16.00


Lunch will be roarsome no matter what you’ve packed.

Dinosaurs Kids Lunch Bag, £23

This is definitely the king of the rulers.


Wooden Ruler, £3.95

Give that writing grip a head start with an ergonomic pen (available for left and right handed writers)

Stabilo Handwriting Pen, £3.99



Safe sturdy and very cute, this water bottle comes in small and large sizes.


Mustard Water bottle 300ml by Blafre, £14.00


Geometry but make it pink!

Helix Oxford Limited Edition Pink Tin Maths Set, £5.49


A greengrocer store for all those healthy lunch treats.

Bee Happy Lunch Bag, £14.00



Classic Mary Janes for the smartest kids in town.

Delphine Black leather girls riptape traditional school shoes, £58.99


PE will always be sunny in these…

Veja V-10 Vegan Leather Trainers Yellow, £77


Never underestimate the frequency and the power of the showers in this country!

Fisherman Yellow Waterproof Raincoat, £79


It will be cold before you know it!

Rib Beanie Hat (1-16yrs) £4-£8


Early mittens = smug and snug.

Monsoon Blue Danny 3D Dinosaur Mittens, £10


Some sturdy boots for stylish playground kicks



Sidney Brogue Boot, £82

The cat’s meow of highlighters.

Cat Shaped Highlighters £4




Sponsored post

Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill: the first choice school for international families in London



With 100% success on all exams and graduates admitted to the most prestigious and sought after universities in the world, Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill offers a perfect balance between academic rigour and innovation. Its guiding philosophy places the needs of each child at the heart of the educational experience, welcoming every student into a dynamic and caring international community. It’s no wonder it’s the first choice school of international families.

A remarkable 100% of our graduating class in 2021 passed with excellent marks. Our IB Diploma school’s average grade is 35.8/45 which is well above the world average of 33.02/45, and 88% of our French Baccalaureat students passed with honours including 43% with highest honours.

Below are a few messages the school received:

“We were thrilled by our daughter’s excellent results at the IB!! She has met her conditions for her first choice and we are so happy for her.Thank you again for all your support!” (LIL parent)

Thank you so much for your help throughout those two years for both my education and well-being!” (LIL student)

“Excellent results for our first cohort! They have set the bar high!” Our students can be proud of what they have accomplished!  (LIL teacher)

Unlike local schools taught in a single language that can tie students to a national curriculum and restrict their future options elsewhere, Lycée Churchill offers programs that open educational avenues. The school has also been classified as “outstanding” by Ofsted, Britain’s educational standards office, for secondary education and student wellbeing.

Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill is a co-ed independent non-selective bilingual school located on a leafy two-hectare campus in North London.  The school accommodates 850 students aged 3 to 18 and offers two bilingual programs, both aiming to develop every child into a forward-thinking, principled, and joyful world citizen.

Language immersion begins at 3 years old. Classes are taught jointly by native speakers of French and English, both present at all times — like two parents in a multilingual household. This more natural and organic approach to bilingualism is carried out by highly trained early learning specialists in a nurturing and family-like environment.

In the Primary section, instruction is half in English, half in French from Year 1/GSM to Year 6/CM2. Each class meets every day with French-speaking and English-speaking teachers, who coordinate as well with specialty teachers in subjects such as PE, language, and music.

In Secondary, families choose between the French bilingual program accredited by the Ministry of National Education, leading to the Baccalauréat, or an English-oriented track leading to the IB Diploma. The only constant is that education remains bilingual until the age of 18, steeped in the supportive atmosphere for which the Lycée is known.

With students from 45 countries and teachers of 29 different nationalities, the Lycée offers an international environment where the diversity of families from cultures around the world encourages dialogue. Its modern teaching ethos combines traditional disciplines with initiative, exploration, critical thinking, teamwork, and personal development.

Lycee Churchill takes full advantage of the latest educational technologies, which are thoughtfully and securely integrated into education and everyday school life. This solid digital foundation proved to be a major asset during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the Lycée pivoted seamlessly to online learning. The school now offers distance education programs and virtual classes for students joining our French programme leading to the Baccalauréat, a boon for families who are moving between assignments or looking for quality education from a remote setting.

To book a private visit, write to or alternatively, visit the school’s website at and register to attend  one of our next virtual  open day.


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Sophie Clowes steps into the wild to give us a taste of swimming outdoors, whatever the weather, wherever you are



Everybody seems to be doing it. Finding spots outside in rivers, lakes, lidos and the sea to take part in a bit of wild swimming. Sophie Clowes tells us how she got the bug, and shares some incredibly useful advice on kit, books and Instagram accounts to follow before you dip your toe in the water.


It is a rainy lunchtime on a school day. It is also May 2020, and the country is in tight lockdown. Our children are trying their best with school at home, as are we. We are all tired and fractious and it’s difficult to know quite how to arrange our thoughts, how to focus, how to be. So, we say to hell with it and go for a family swim in a downpour. In the Thames. We laugh and splash and shiver with unalloyed delight, retuning our senses and resetting our focus so we are ready for another afternoon of lonely grind.

A year later, no more than a week has gone by without one or more of us easing ourselves into the swirling water of a high tide and being taken downstream by the swooshing current, braving the cold in just our swimmers. A punctuation mark in the sentence of lockdown, we’ve swum against the flow, we’ve squealed at the cold, had a quick dip, gone miles, swum at dawn and dusk and all the daylight hours between, double dipped, made friends both human and feathered, watched the seasons change and felt the water temperature dip to 2.2*C from the 20+*C of the hot summer months. We have delighted in this pulsing watery artery that helps keep the heart of our wondrous capital beating fast.

Swimming is many things to many people but more than anything else it is redemptive. There is a time and a place for every type of swim, from a squad session in a chlorinated indoor pool to a floaty holiday dip in a warm, salty ocean. I have tried them all, indeed searched for swims wherever I have been in the world. And yet, all this time one of the best pools has been right on my doorstep and I didn’t know I could go in, outside an official swim.

Getting in the river is a simple pleasure that is different every single time. The tide and current generously swoosh us along, faster than I could go at full-stroke crawl. It’s a clearing of the mind, it’s physiological experimenting, it’s discovering my body can adapt to withstand an ice swim (any water below 5*C, apparently), it’s soul food, it’s literally immersing ourselves in nature. It’s family time – we usually swim breaststroke and have had wonderful chats and laughs as we float along. It’s the slow familiarity of the tide times and the lunar cycle. It’s the unexpected and welcome increase in constant core warmth out of the water. It’s the temporary stinging cold, the visceral feel of the after-drop when it is as if icy water is slipping down your body’s core – a not unpleasant feeling and one that is as surprising as it is fascinating, in a geeky way. Swimming in the river is also contradictory: cleansing yet dirty-ish, cold-making yet glow-giving, exhausting yet energising. It reflects all the whirling variants of life. It is joy.

Is it allowed? Isn’t it too dangerous? Isn’t it too dirty? I have thought long and hard about all of this and tend to keep quiet about our swimming unless specifically asked. However, in this wonky year, when our health, emotions and finances have been buffeted like never before, I have come to the conclusion that the wonders and restorative powers of this beautiful stretch of water should be shared, leaving people to draw their own conclusions.

Who owns the Thames? The Crown Estate owns the river bed and leases most of it to the Port of London Authority (PLA) which is responsible for the foreshore right up to the high water mark. And yes, just as rowing boats, kayaks and SUPs can use it, so can swimmers, provided you do so at your own risk, taking every precaution to keep safe.



Of course swimming in the river is dangerous but, with a bit of knowledge, many of those dangers can be mitigated. We have come up with our own set of family swim rules, alongside those of the RNLI… We always walk into the water from a set of steps or slipway and we never go in without a swimming hat on and wearing a tow float. These both have personal practical benefits but, above all, they show you are in the water deliberately and are visible to other river users. We have discovered that the best time to swim is either side of high tide, in the direction of the tide. You must know your exact exit point before you get in, plus a second one in case you miss the first (we haven’t yet). Keep close to the bank, never attempt to swim across the river and remember it is your responsibility to ensure other river users know you are there. You should also know the significance of the red and green buoys, and, therefore, which side of the river boats will be on. Rowers go backwards and, however silly you think you sound shouting, “Look ahead, eight, swimmer!”, it’s going to be less awkward than being hit by an oar. I do swim alone but I always have someone on the bank for reassurance.

Tide times shift by about an hour each day and I find elemental comfort in following the waxing and waning of the moon and a slow accrual of tidal knowledge. Swimming in the river is a choice and with it you must choose to politely sidestep the naysayers and, in my case, the mansplainers. For that’s another joy of river swimming – it is there for everyone and is wonderfully equalizing. Which fits very neatly with a quote I found about equality itself, most notably used by JFK, “Equality is a rising tide that lifts all boats.” Oh, how I like that.

‘Ugh, it’s filthy!’ This is the one element that I waver on. Only once have I got in and thought that it wasn’t as clean as it should be. In reality, the water mostly feels cold and velvety and there is very little rubbish – it is fallen leaves or fishy tickles that make me jump.

What’s the worst that has happened? Well, I got out one day and felt a wriggling in my cleavage. I pulled my cossie away from my chest and found that I had actually caught a teeny tiny fish! Did I squeal? Of course I did! Did my children exit the river faster than ever? Yup! I flipped it out and it swam away…

We try not to put our heads under but on a hot sunny day we do. At a time of fear and uncertainty the ebb and flow of the river is a comforting salve, for nature continues on her merry way, changing her clothing with the seasons and the certainty that the blossom and green shoots will come again and that the ducklings and goslings will hatch is of great comfort.

Every swim is a little adventure that is full of beauty. Some days it’s choppy and feels like a sea swim, other days it’s like glass and you swim into the reflection. Often it feels like we slough off the day’s woes and come out of the river reborn in some way. There is something spiritual about being held by the water and there is thinking time on a swim. It is a physical and meditative practice with therapeutic qualities; less so with our children, of course, with whom it is a noisier, funnier affair. No two swims are ever the same, which in times of drudgery and monotony is an opportunistic pleasure that turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. You never regret a swim, especially a lunchtime one in the pouring rain.

London swim spots

Please respect and protect your swim environment and know that you enter at your own risk. Please also be aware that lidos, lakes and pools might have number and time restrictions due to Covid.

The Thames. We have never swum further east than Dove Pier or further west than Strand-on-the-Green. Please be aware that there are sewage dumps in the Thames. Information is available online and rivers users are advised to wait at least three tides for the pollution to clear.

The Serpentine – membership to swim year round in the early morning, including the famous Christmas Day swim; pay as you go in the summer months. This is the oldest outdoor swimming club in Britain (

Hampstead Ponds (

Docklands (

Hillingdon Lido (

Brockwell Lido (

Park Road Lido, Crouch End (

Shepperton –specific days only (

Hampton outdoor pool (


Tow float – a 20lt one is perfect for your own kit, 28lt if you’ve got to take your children’s stuff, too, or if your mission involves snacks! Swim Secure is a great brand.

Phone cover – Swim Secure again. I’ve never tested it outside of my tow float.

Shoes – for river swimming I can’t recommend Hot Tuna shoes from Sports Direct highly enough. You can’t feel you’re wearing them but you can put your feet down without suffering a case of the scaries and you can walk quite far in them too. All for a tenner. They won’t keep your feet warm – for that you need neoprene booties.

Gloves – 3ml neoprene gloves will save you from frostnip in the colder months and help you stay in longer.

Swim hat – for visibility above all else. Silicone ones will keep you warmer and are less hairpullingly sticky. Zogs, Arena or Speedo are the regular makes. Or, for some floral frippery, try a retro one such as FineSaratoga on Etsy.

Hammam towel – lightweight, pretty, and wearable, too, they also make an excellent rug or changing mat and dry superfast in the sun. Try Dar Leone ( or Bohemia (

Body glide – excellent for preventing wetsuit chafing.

Wetsuit – Fit is everything with a wetsuit. Go to a real-life specialist shop: try Sigma Sports in Hampton Wick or Ocean Leisure at the bottom of Northumberland Avenue. Good brands are Zone 3, Huub or Orca. (They are not cheap. They are cheap next to the price of a road bike.) It will feel like it is sucking the life out of you but once in the water your fears of having bought a too-small one will evaporate. Wetsuit technology is hugely advanced but these are for crawl only – you will damage your knees if you try to swim breaststroke in a hi-tech tri wetsuit.

For growing kids, ask friends for hand-me-downs. Otherwise, C-skins is an excellent make and will keep little bodies warm and buoyant.

Costumes – My 14-year-old utilitarian Speedo costume is still going strong! It goes in the river, the sea, a chlorinated pool and in the washing machine, it dries in the sun or on the radiator, hasn’t bagged, shrunk or thinned. It doesn’t give me a hungry bottom, is long enough in the torso, high enough on the legs and fits under a wetsuit with ease. But, frankly, I’d love something a little more whimsy without forfeiting the performance element. The hunt is on. You can spend anything from £20 to £220, neither guaranteeing a suit that will last more than a summer but here’s where to look…

Louise Mischa on (bet you get distracted…)


Sports Direct

Books and films

Leap in by Alexandra Heminsley. Her description of learning to breathe correctly in the water by watching her young nephew blowing raspberries with his food is technically spot on!

I am an island by Tamsin Calidas. This is extremely raw but beautiful writing.

My Octopus Teacher – this Oscar-winning documentary touches yet again on the redemptive power of cold water. And has an underwater chase scene to rival Bond.













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The City Kids Mini Guide to Education in Surrey


Image: Frensham Heights School

In our second look at life outside London, we head to Surrey. For the purposes of our mini guide to education in Surrey, we’ll be looking beyond London outskirts, into the heart of the county, so you won’t find Richmond, Kingston or nearby within this guide. But with some pretty market towns, great transport connections and wonderful schools you’ll be hard pressed to make a decision on where to visit first.

Where to Live

Surrey is an easy move out of town if you already live in South and South West London. The Sunday Times named Surrey Hills as the best place to live in the SE in early 2021 with property editor Helen Davies commenting,”With miles of ancient woodlands, panoramic views and timeless, picture-perfect villages such as Tilford, Shere and Abinger Hammer, life in the Surrey Hills is a gloriously romantic rural idyll – and it’s all within commuting distance of London.” Commuting is easy with trains from Surrey almost all under one hour to Waterloo, London Victoria and London Bridge.  There’s also the Thames Link to Blackfriars, Farringdon and St Pancras from Redhill. Some lines (Dorking) aren’t as quick as the others, and be mindful of Heathrow and Gatwick flight paths. Schools, both state private are plentiful.


With its own cathedral, this city has history in abundance including a castle whose Great Tower offers great views across the county. The train takes 40 minutes to Waterloo and Victoria and you’ll happily get to London in half an hour by car. The historic High Street boasts a mix of independent and national stores, plus a regular farmers’ market on Tuesdays. On the outskirts of town you’ll find Surrey Sports Park with facilities for netball, football, swimming, squash and a climbing wall. Schools of note include the Royal Grammar School for boys, Tormead and St Catherine’s for girls. The state school offering is also good, with Pewley Down  and Stoughton being of note (OFSTED outstanding).


A range of property type and price, good schools and pretty countryside make Dorking ever popular. Denbies wine estate is round the corner for tasting, buying and soaking up the views. There’s also the South Street Caves, a series of tunnels under the town, dug in the 17th century. If you’re after a good pub, try The Running Horses in nearby Mickleham. Train times to London are slightly longer (one hour). One of town’s most famous residents is the Dorking Cock.


There are schools-a-plenty in Leatherhead, many of which are outstanding. It’s well connected by road and rail to Victoria and Waterloo in under an hour. Chessington World of Adventures is down the road but if you’re more of the arty type you’re in luck with several galleries and arts festivals in the town. And don’t miss Beaverbrook. Former home to Lord Beaverbrook is now a boutique hotel with a Japanese restaurant to die for.


Home to world-famous Charterhouse, Godalming is also a very pretty, historic town with records going back to Roman times. It’s surrounded by beautiful countryside and boasts some great pubs like The Inn on the Lake. The Yard Market is a great shopping spot for unique finds and for supporting small local businesses. Fastest trains to Waterloo in 39 minutes.


With fast trains to London, this is a commuter’s dream. But there’s more to Woking than you think. Local markets, a bustling town centre, a relaxing canal and Horsell Common ensure there’s enough for busy bees and those who want a slower pace. One of the greenest buildings in the UK houses WWF Living Planet Centre sharing knowledge on  forests, fresh water, wildlife and oceans.


This town mixes river life with cafe culture, pubs and history. The birthplace of British motorsport in Brooklands, National Trust walks, humungous houses on St George’s Hill, and quality restaurants and cafes mean this is a popular spot for London leavers. For family days out try Crockford Bridge Farm.


Dating back to the Middle Ages, Farnham also has remains of Stone Age, Roman and Saxon dwellings. There is a range of indie boutiques as well as recognisable high street names alongside pubs, cafes and restaurant chains. Trains take under an hour to Waterloo.


Things to do in Surrey

Cycling – Box Hill was firmly put on the map after London 2021 –  and golf are very popular with plenty of routes and courses across the county. And there are beautiful parks to spend some time outdoors including Polesden Lacey, Loseley Park, RHS Wisley, Clandon Park, Virginia Water.

Frensham Ponds is also a popular destination, particularly on hot days for a dip. Check the water quality before you go.

Horse racing at Sandown, Kempton Park and Epsom through the summer months is fun, and keep an eye out for family race days which provide lots of entertainment for the little ones.

Chessington and Thorpe Park both fall within Surrey’s boundaries

Bockett’s Farm has been a firm CK favourite for years, and you can happily spend the day there, rain or shine.


Education in Surrey



South Farnham School, South Farnham
New Haw Community Junior School, Addlestone
St Dunstan’s Catholic Primary School, Woking
St Alban’s Catholic Primary School, East Molesey
The Raleigh School, West Horsley
Wonersh and Shamley Green CofE Aided Primary School, Guildford
Wallace Fields Junior School, Ewell
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Dorking
Town Farm Primary School & Nursery, Stanwell
St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School, Frimley


St John the Baptist Catholic Comprehensive School, Kingfield
St Peter’s Catholic School, Guildford
Salesian School, Chertsey
Rosebery School, Epsom
All Hallows Catholic School, Farnham
Gordon’s School, West End
Weydon School, Farnham
St Andrew’s Catholic School, Leatherhead
Heathside School, Weybridge
St Bede’s School, Redhill

Independent Schools

Surrey is blessed with some outstanding private schools. We’ve picked some for our mini guide that have caught our eye recently. For in-depth reviews and information The Good Schools Guide has the inside track.

Pre-prep & Prep

Frensham Heights – 3-18 yrs, day and boarding

Frensham Heights Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4EA

+44 (0) 1252 792 561

Find out more about the ethos and facilities at Frensham Heights School here.


Aldro School – Boys 7-13yrs day & boarding (girls will be admitted from September 2021)
Shackleford, Godalming, GU8 6AS
01483 810266

Claremont Fan Court School – co-ed 2-18yrs, day
Esher, KT10 9LY
01372 473780

Cranleigh Preparatory School – co-ed 7-13yrs day & boarding
Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh, GU6 8QH
01483 542 058

Danes Hill School – co-ed 3-13yrs, day
Leatherhead Road, Oxshott, KT22 0JG
01372 842509

Downsend School – co-ed, 3-13yrs, day
1 Leatherhead Road, Leatherhead KT22 8TJ
01372 372197

Edgeborough – co-ed 2-13yrs, day & boarding
Frensham, Farnham, GU10 3AH
01252 792495

Feltonfleet School – co-ed 7-13 yrs (plus nursery and pre-prep) day & boarding
Byfleet Road, Cobham, KT11 1DR
01932 862264

Parkside School – boys 7-13yrs, day
The Manor, Stoke d’Abernon, KT11 3PX
01932 862749

Notre Dame Prep School – girls 4-11yrs, day
Burwood House , Convent Lane, KT11 1HA
01932 869990

St Catherine’s, Bramley – girls 4-11yrs, day & boarding
Station Road, Bramley, GU5 0DF
01483 893363

St George’s Junior School – co-ed 4-11yrs, day
Thames Street , Weybridge, KT13 8NL
01932 839400

Woodcote House School – boys 7-13yrs, day & boarding
Windlesham, GU20 6PF
01276 472 115


ACS International, Cobham – co-ed day 2-18yrs, day & boarding
Portsmouth Road, KT11 1BL
01923 867 251

Charterhouse – co-ed 13-18yrs, boarding
Hurtmore Road, Godalming, GU7 2DX
01483 291500

Cranleigh School – co-ed 13-18yrs day & boarding
Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh, GU6 8QH
01483 542 058

Notre Dame Senior School – girls 11-18yrs, day
Burwood House , Convent Lane, KT11 1HA
01932 869990

Reed’s School – boys 11-18yrs, co-ed 6th form, day & boarding
Sandy Lane, Cobham, KT11 2ES
01932 869044

Royal Grammar School – boys 11-18yrs, day
High Street, GU1 3BB
01483 880600

St Catherine’s, Bramley – girls 11-18yrs, day & boarding
Station Road, Bramley, GU5 0DF
01483 893363

St John’s School – co-ed 11-18yrs, day & boarding
Epsom Road, Leatherhead, KT22 8SP
01372 373000

Sutton High School GDST – girls 11-18yrs, day
55 Cheam Road, SM1 2AX
020 8642 0594

TASIS, The American School in England – co-ed 3-18yrs
Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, TW20 8TE
01932 565 252

Tormead School – girls 11-18yrs, day
Cranley Road, Guildford, GU1 2JD
01483 575101

Useful resources:


*Top 10 rated state schools by The Real Schools Guide in 2020.

Click here for our Mini Guide to Berkshire


This article contains some sponsored content

Football Clubs & Classes


Image: Jakayla Toney

The City Kids guide to Football Clubs and Classes in London


Football fever will hit new heights in England as even those usually not interested will be glued to the box on Sunday night. As with all feel-good sporting occasions, there’s usually an upsurge in interest from parents and kids after the event, so we’ve put together a guide to football clubs and classes for kids in London. Some start for little ones as young as 18 months, while others offer those who already have silky skills the knowledge and expertise to take their game to the next level.




Twickenham, Teddington, Richmond, Brentford, Kensington, Kilburn, Stratford, Hackney, Stoke Newington, Leyton



From 18m

Enfield, Winchmore Hill, Southgate, Cockfosters, Barnet and Whetstone



From 18m




From 18m





Lammas Park, Ealing



Regular training, girls only, fitness, goalkeeping skills and holiday camps


Dulwich & Bromley




Battersea, Chelsea, Fulham, Haggerston, Kings Cross, Hammersmith, London Bridge, Marylebone, Roehampton, Southfields, Wandsworth, Waterloo, Peckham, Shepherds Bush, Acton.



1 to 1 training for beginners or those wanting to improve their game.

Various locations



Weekly classes and holiday clubs.

18m to 6yrs

Clissold Park



Girls football from 4-8yrs, boys football 5-11yrs.

Colliers Wood, Tooting



Boys and girls 3-14yrs, holiday camps and 1 to 1 training.

Primrose Hill



Pathway to professional football. Ex-Premier League players part of the set up. Trial required.



Holiday clubs/soccer schools and weekly clinics for all abilities, plus player pathway to academy level.



Holiday soccer schools for 3-14yrs, weekly schools for girls and boys aged 5-11yrs, girls only 7-11yrs and mini superstars 3-4yrs.

Shepherds Bush, Hayes



Holiday camps 3-14yrs, weekly clubs for boys and girls.

Bishops Park, Kingston, Epsom



4-12yrs mixed ability

Twickenham, Richmond, Chiswick, Isleworth, Heston, Hounslow, Kingston, Sunbury, Hayes, Southall, Osterley




A slice of citrus to brighten your day!



When life gives you lemons


When life gives you lemons, so the saying goes….but there’s also nothing quite as summery as this sunshine yellow fruit. Trending this summer we’ve have lemon lights, lemon inspired wallpaper and some cute plush toys for the kids.


Lemon Umbrella, £16, by Bobby Rabbit,

Mini Rodini Leggings cherry lemonade, €35, by Villa Smalland,

RiceLemon Soft Toy, £14.5, by Bobby Rabbit,


Trinkflasche Gerry Lemon, by Wayfair,

Lemon and Leaf LED String Light, 3m, £18.00, £18, by The Contemporary Home,

Jellycat Large Amuseable Lemon, $39.99, by Yellow Octopus,


Summer Meadow wallpaper in Lemon, £69, by Fiona Howard Ltd,

When Life Gives You Lemons Limited Edition Print – Charlotte Posner, £65, by Lime Lace,



Feeling summery? Click here for more sunshine>>>>


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The ‘Educational equivalent to Michelin’ launches latest edition of The Good Schools Guides for London



The Good Schools Guide, long favoured by parents to help them see the wood for the trees when choosing schools, launches its latest publications today. The Good Schools Guide: London North and London South cover the best state and independent schools north and south of the river. The Good Schools Guides: London offer in-depth and straight-talking reviews to give parents an invaluable insight into the competitive world of London schooling. The new editions include the latest exam results and articles on many aspects of the London education scene. The aim is to help parents choose the best school for their child.

At this point it’s worth noting that The Good Schools Guide is the only impartial guide to London schools. Each school included in a guide has been visited by a writer who has interviewed the head, spoken to pupils and parents and analysed results and marketing hype. Schools can’t buy their way in, there are no mates rates, advertisers don’t get a free pass. A school is only included in the pages if the writers think it worthy. It’s why schools are desperate to be included, and why The Good Schools Guide has been established and respected by parents for over 30 years. Apart from asking around, posting in Facebook groups, where else can parents get unbiased information about a school, its values, ethos and contribution to a community?

London North is a hefty tome of 220 schools, with London South feeling slimmer but still offering hundreds of reviews. Expect to see comment on junior and senior, independent and state settings as well as information and advice on fees, entry requirements, school atmosphere, academics, SEN and more.

In addition to the London guides, The Good Schools Guide also offers a consultation service, and The Good Schools Guide 22nd edition is available with a free month’s subscription to the website. The guide includes 1200 in-depth reviews of leading state and private schools for children aged 3 to 18 in the UK.

Find out more about The Good Schools Guide here


You may be interested in our Mini Guide to Berkshire



Let’s take it outside

Our outdoor edit is for all little kids on big adventures. We’ve picked out eight exciting outdoor play toys and things from Scandiborn that’ll take the fun outside (whatever the weather). 


1. Liewood Dante Beach set – Sea Creature Sea Blue Multi Mix, £35.95


2. Bigjigs Crazy Golf Set, £39.95



3. Nobodinoz Nevada Play Tent in Sienna Brown, £159.95



4. Banwood Bikes Pedal – White, £294.95

5. Birdie Kids Scooter Rose (Non Electric), £99.95


6. Plum Play Discovery Create & Paint Easel, £219.99


7. Liewood Baloo Swim Ring in Rose Mix, £18.95

8. Sunny Life Underwater Camera – Jungle, £17.95


Please note that this edit consists of eight super products and brands that we’ve selected from Scandiborn. Contains affiliates links. Prices correct as of the date of purchase and may be subject to change.


For more outdoor inspo, head here>>>>


Mental health resources for children, teens and parents in a pandemic



The tragic death of Richard Okorogheye has sent shockwaves here at HQ. We cannot begin to imagine the immense pain and suffering that Richard’s mother, family and friends must be experiencing. The pandemic has brought about its challenges and had a knock on effect on all aspects of our lives. Whilst no one knows the details surrounding Richard’s death, one thing is for sure, the uncertainty, lack of face-to-face socialisation and stimulation during this pandemic has left many kids feeling lost, sad, low…We’ve pulled together some mental health resources for children, teens and parents to access. While our freedoms may be returning, this pandemic isn’t going anywhere and we’ll be reliant on support for many months ahead.

Here we have a list of resources for anyone that’s concerned about their child’s wellbeing. We hope that this small variety of resources, available in a number of formats, can give you the starting point you and your child may need:  


Please remember… there is no need to suffer in silence. If you notice any signs that a child may be struggling as a result of the pandemic, or in general, please do take the courage to get help in a way that is best suited to their needs and requirements. As always, we are here and available to talk, also, if you’ve come across any resources that you’d like to share with fellow parents, do get in touch via our Instagram: @citykidsmagazine


You may also be moved to contribute to the gofundme page for Richard. You can do that by clicking here.

Image: Jerome on Unsplash

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Our newsletters are sent every two weeks and include exclusive content, early access to competitions and mood-boosting articles. You’ll also find the latest ideas for things to do (whatever tier you’re in) plus events and parenting tips.  In recent months, we’ve included shopping edits, competitions with Start-Rite, Piccolo Foods, Anorak Magazine, Micro Skates and even Father Christmas so there really is no excuse to not sign up to our newsletter!

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