East Surrey

Category Archives: General

Wacky Kingdom is opening on SATURDAY 17 AUGUST 2019!!

And they are giving away free entrance to the first 100 kids to come and play!

Head down to our soft play centre for the launch. There will be face painting, arts & crafts, and free give aways. Let us know if you have any other ideas for activities you would like to get involved with at Wacky Kingdom this weekend!

For more information, click here.

Priory Park’s exciting nautical-themed playground has reopened on Friday 19 July in time for the start of the summer holidays. It follows a six-week refurbishment project to replace the 12 year old deteriorating equipment.

The popular Reigate play space is packed full of fun and challenging equipment, with something for children of all ages and abilities.

The centrepiece is the impressive new ‘The Grey Lady’ ship, complete with sails and a ship’s wheel. The vessel features a tube slide, balance bars, ladders, a climbing net, hammocks and sensory play panels, all set over two decks.

‘Priory Castle’, a four-tower climbing frame, features two types of slide, a bridge, climbing net and a spiral ‘curly climber’ designed for children aged 4 to 12. The smaller two-tier ‘Priory Gatehouse’, aimed at 2 to 6 year olds, includes a slide, climbing net, firemans’ pole and sensory play panels.

An exhilarating 25-metre double zip wire offers twice the fun as before, along with nine swings for a variety of ages, two types of climbing nets, a multi-seesaw with back supports, a wheelchair accessible roundabout, horse springers and spinners. The popular climbing wall and summer splash play remain and the overall layout and planting has not changed.

The design is multifunctional, with bold colours and a 360 degree design (accessible from all angles), which offers diverse play opportunities. It also has a greater sense of openness to make it easier for parents and carers to keep an eye on children of different ages using different parts of the playground, something users said they wanted.

The Priory Park playground refurbishment is part of the Council’s rolling programme of investment in its parks and greenspaces around the borough. It saw play areas in Chipstead and Kingswood upgraded last year, with plans being developed to upgrade Merstham Recreation Ground in future.

6th Form Centre

A-level pupils from Dunottar School in Reigate have moved into their newly built Sixth Form Centre.

The £2.2 million building provides a modern working space that aims to look and feel like being at university and the world of work. Students also enjoy the benefits of silent study areas, collaborative study areas and social spaces, such as a patio, a cafeteria and a ‘rec room’.

The energy efficient building, designed to integrate perfectly with the school’s beautiful Grade II listed buildings, has lots of natural light, an LED lighting system and an environmentally considered heating system.

New plants and trees, sympathetic to the historical gardens, maintain the ecology of the existing landscaping.

The Sixth Form Centre is the first of two building projects that aim to improve the educational experiences of the increasing number of pupils attending the Reigate-based school—since Dunottar became co-educational and joined the United Learning group in March 2014, pupil numbers have risen rapidly. Work has begun on a second project, a £4.5 initiative to build an assembly hall and classrooms.

Headmaster, Mark Tottman, said: “The new Sixth Form Centre has been a big hit with our pupils. They love the feeling of independence that the new facilities allow, and it has also brought them even closer together as a group. On seeing the building for the first time, many parents and staff have commented that they would like to be sixth-formers again!”

For information about studying A levels at Dunottar, contact [email protected].








Year 7 students from Dunottar School in Reigate have spent a half term studying news articles on The Day, a news app that aims to bring the world into the classroom. The youngsters were offered a wide range of articles, encompassing national and international politics, economics, science, technology, arts and media, health, sport, and the environment.

Head of English, Kerry Lewis, said: “The pupils already have access to online fiction via our eplatform library lending system. We wanted to encourage them to read more nonfiction. Nowadays, if tech-savvy students need information, they have immediate access to it from their devices. We modernised our nonfiction unit by ditching our PowerPoints and replacing them with a curriculum that is fresh and flexible, that is always current and that constantly changes. Most importantly, all the nonfiction reading material is accessed through the students’ iPads. The pupils also independently read articles of their choice, keeping the reading material relevant to their interests.

The lessons inspired a range of analytical, writing and speaking activities, including philosophical debate. For students who wanted to learn more about a particular subject, there were opportunities for wider research through links to other articles and YouTube videos.”

Pippa Smithson, Deputy Head, said: “Pupils want to know that their learning is relevant and current. They really engaged with these lessons, enjoyed lively debates and proved that they have an empathy and understanding beyond the Reigate bubble.”

Gangs, grooming and growing up – supporting vulnerable young carers in Surrey

Young carers are recognised as a vulnerable group. On top of coping with modern life as a typical young person, they face huge amounts of responsibilities and pressures because of their caring role. That’s why we ran a special event for 100 of them: Your Life, Your Choice.

Held on 30 March, at Surrey Police HQ, the workshop aimed to give our young carers the confidence and knowledge of how to deal with online safety, how to build resilience and wellbeing, and the potential dangers of street gangs and criminal exploitation in relation to their caring role. All are serious risks for young carers and their families.

Talking to our Juniors in the morning (up to 11) and Seniors (11+) in the afternoon, our speakers included Dean Coady OBE, MD of Urban Pure Solutions, Liz Stanton MBE, and Mental Health Therapist Rebecca Kinnear, from Eden Therapy. The speakers were excellent. In particular, Dean Coady had his audience rapt with tales of his background (the army, police and time in Africa and South America), his gritty portrayal of the potential scenarios young people might find themselves in, and his practical and realistic guidance to them on how to handle such situations.

The children also enjoyed sessions from representatives from Chelsea Football Club over the lunch break – buoyed up by an excellent lunch (sourced from generous local corporate donors). Huge thanks to Chelsea FC, to Surrey Police for the venue and to Family Building Society for a generous gift towards the day.

For more information about Action for Carers Surrey, please click here.

The eagerly awaited opening of YMCA East Surrey’s Merstham Hub Pre-School took place on Thursday 28 March.

Reigate and Banstead Borough Councillor, Mark Brunt, who has been instrumental in the development of the project, cut the ribbon.

The YMCA Merstham Hub Pre-School, based at Portland Drive, will offer high quality and affordable childcare for up to 40 children aged 2-5 years. It is YMCA East Surrey’s second Pre-School in Surrey, with the first one opening in 2016 at the Sovereign Centre in Reigate. Ten children have been enrolled so far and will start at the Pre-School on Monday 1 April.

Pre-School Manager, Teri Morris, said: “There has previously been a lack of Pre-School provision in the Merstham area. We will have the highest expectation of care and aspiration for each child who joins us. Our staff will be supportive of parents, as well as the children in our care, working holistically with both adults and children. We will aim to develop the children’s emotional and physical wellbeing in order to foster a lifelong love of learning.”

Anyone wishing to enquire about a Pre-School place can email Teri at [email protected] or telephone 07732 602999.

This June Barnardo’s Big Toddle returns to raise money for vulnerable children.

Children, families and nurseries are being called on to put their best foot forward for Barnardo’s, as the charity announces 2018’s Big Toddle raised an incredible £231,512.

Last year’s Barnardo’s annual Big Toddle fundraiser saw thousands of under-fives take part in short, sponsored “toddles” to raise money for the UK’s largest children’s charity, which supports more than 301,000 children, young people, parents and carers across the UK.

The charity is now once again calling for children, families and nurseries to join in the fun this summer as Big Toddle Week returns with an animal theme from 24-30 June.

With lots of opportunities for creative dressing up and exclusive animal-themed early years learning resources available to those who register, this year’s Big Toddles are sure to be roar-some!
Parents, carers and nurseries are encouraged to hold their very own Big Toddles to help raise money for Barnardo’s; this could involve a community Big Toddle, one for families and friends or one organised by nurseries or primary schools.

Those who register by May 20 will receive a Big Toddle pack containing information and fundraising ideas. To register to hold your own Big Toddle or for further information, click here or call 0800 008 7005.

Stacey Cann, owner of Daisy First Aid Redhill & Croydon, has won Franchisee of the Year at The Family Network Awards 2019. Her winning combination of passion and business experience drive the business whilst juggling 3 children aged 5 and under, managing health issues and helping provide support for the other Daisy First Aid franchisees.

Stacey started her business in 2015 to work around her young family (which expanded in 2016 when her twins were born). As Daisy First Aid Redhill & Croydon, she has trained over 5000 parents, grandparents and childcare professionals, offering family friendly paediatric first aid classes. The classes aim to give confidence as well as life saving skills to the people that need them most.

The Family Network is a national, award winning company. Founded by Laura Morris, they believed there was a gap in the Market which enabled mums in business to meet with like minded mums for support, confidence and help. They now have branches nationwide, including East Surrey, that provide local business support and friendship. The 2019 awards were held on Sat 23rd March at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in London Docklands. The awards were judged by an expert panel, including Steven Smith, founder of Poundland.

Harry Potter, the Tiger who came to tea, Alice in Wonderland, Wally, Princess Elsa, Spiderman and many, many more characters dropped in at Warlingham Park School today!

Children aged 7-16 who live or go to school in the borough of Reigate & Banstead can sign up to learn a new sport for free, and train to compete in the Surrey-wide competition this summer.
The Specsavers Surrey Youth Games are the perfect opportunity to get active, learn a new skill and make some friends along the way. Children will be offered up to eight weeks free training in a sport of their choice. Sports on offer include judo, hockey, badminton and much more. They’ll then compete against other borough squads in June.

Councillor Rod Ashford, Executive Member for Leisure & Wellbeing, said: “We’re really looking forward to this year’s Specsavers Surrey Youth Games. I’d especially like to encourage those children who don’t currently take part in sports to take a good look at the wide range of activities that are on offer. I’m sure there’s lots of new sporting talent out there in our borough just waiting to be discovered!”

Whether your child already takes part in sports or is looking for a new hobby, we’d love to hear from them. Training is tailored to complete beginners so the sport is new to all. Parents can take a look at the full list of sports by searching for ‘Surrey Youth Games’ on our website. Training starts from 23 April with the competition taking place 15 – 16 June. All the training takes place outside of school hours and at various locations across the borough.

Those wanting to know more can email Emma Eaton from our Leisure and Wellbeing team: [email protected] or click here.