Category Archives: Uncategorized

Congratulations to 11 year-old Cumnor House pupil, Jasper Carminger, who won a silver medal when competing at the National Men’s Artistic National Development Grade Finals held in Birmingham recently.   These National Finals bring together the top gymnasts from every region of the UK who compete for both the individual championships and for their regional teams.  It is one of the biggest competitions of the year for any young gymnast. 


Jasper competed in the Club Grade Level 3 category and put in an impressive all-round performance scoring 63.4/70.0 across all seven disciplines.  All competitors complete the same routines comprising Floor, Pommel, Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, High Bar, PPP (Physical Preparation Programme) for their age and level – club or elite – and, with a total of 46 gymnastics competing for the medal places, the standard in Jasper’s class was extremely high.  His impressive performances secured his silver medal place and he has also been offered the wonderful opportunity to train at Lilleshall National sports and conferencing centre.


Both Jasper and his older brother Linus, who is 13, compete at a very high level in gymnastics – Linus recently won a silver medal at the South East Regional Qualifiers which took place in Sittingbourne, Kent and was a qualifying competition for the National Finals.


“Jasper and Linus continually impress us with their dedication to gymnastics and their outstanding performances in competitions”, commented Craig Burgess, Director of Sport at Cumnor House Sussex. “Their training regime is very intensive involving some form of training most evenings and at weekends.  Yet they continue to participate and make a significant contribution to sport at School.  With their gymnastics reaching national level, they are a great inspiration to other pupils here – demonstrating that hard work, dedication and commitment to your passion will enable you to reach your goals”.

As opening night approaches for this year’s pantomime at The Capitol, the cast and creative team for Sleeping Beauty can’t wait to bring the Christmas magic to the stage.
Natasha Hoeberigs who plays Princess Aurora is incredibly excited! Originally from Sydney, Australia and having grown up in New Zealand, Natasha admits she never saw any pantomimes as a child. “Coming here, it’s like wow! You’ve got this amazing show that happens annually… it’s such a nice ritual to have! I just feel really lucky that I can be involved in it now, as an adult!”
Suiting up to make everyone laugh, James Fletcher is back to play Lester The Jester. When asked to explain how he feels about panto, he laughs “Oh it’s fantastic! It’s just a lot of fun and a lot of silliness; you are essentially sprinkling Christmas magic over everyone who sees you. It feels like it’s Christmas every single day and it’s just very nice to be part of that, the buzz that you get from it is high.”
More than a traditional tale of good triumphing over evil, this story of a cursed young girl, brought up by the family nursemaid, who sleeps for 100 years before being woken by true love’s kiss, is a roller-coaster ride through time, emotion, laughter and song! Containing many a reference to good morals and behaviour, the story of Sleeping Beauty will appeal to all ages.
Joining James and Natasha on stage this year are Heart FM’s Nicola Hume, Bad Girls’ Nicole Faraday, Phats and Small’s Ben Ofoedu, diamond dame Hywel Dowsell, West End performer James Dinsmore and X Factor singing sensation Sean Smith.
Expect a heady mix of musical theatre and pop songs, clever and corny jokes and plenty of audience participation!
Christmas at The Capitol will once again be a fantastic festive feast of family entertainment!
Tickets for Sleeping Beauty are now on sale online or via the Box Office 01403 750220

Photo: Previous winner Martin Wellstead with his winning design

Are you – or do you know – a talented young artist? The Big Issue’s annual competition to design one of our festive magazine covers is now open.


Since our first kids’ cover in 2013 we’ve seen thousands of bright, bold and cheery entries from our young readers pack postbags in The Big Issue office. The winning images have lifted spirits and boosted sales for our vendors at the most important time of year for them.


This year, as issues around homelessness and child migration – particularly into Britain – grip, we are asking for entries around the theme of WELCOME.


Designs can take any form, from drawings to paintings to digital art. So have pens, pencils, crayons, tablets – and glitter – at the ready.


Apart from the winning design being on the front of a magazine sold across Britain in its tens of thousands, we will also be offering a special prize for the best group entry – from a school or nursery class, or any other creative group of youngsters who send in a bundle of entries. So tell parents, teachers and youth workers.


“This is the best time of the year,” said Big Issue editor Paul McNamee. “The Kids Cover Competition has become a Big Issue tradition. Christmas is such a vital time for The Big Issue vendors, and a hard time on the street, that when we see the wonderful ideas everybody across the organisation feels spirits lift.”


“All those who enter take so much time, all to help The Big Issue vendors, it’s humbling and hugely encouraging. I salute all those sending in their ideas. Settling on a winner is a very tough task. Don’t delay. Get the entry in today!”


Our deadline is November 28th.


We’re delighted this year that our friends at The Week Junior are supporting the competition. The Week Junior editor Anna Bassi will join the judging panel.


Anyone aged 13 or under is eligible to enter. We print as many entries as we can squeeze into the magazine’s pages, and all entries will feature in our spectacular online gallery. Unfortunately, we can’t return artwork.


Post your entries to: Christmas Kids Cover Competition, The Big Issue, 43 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 1HW

Email high-resolution pictures to: [email protected]


Instagram: tag us @bigissueuk with the hashtag #bigissuekidscover

Make sure you include a name, age, address and telephone or email contact on all entries.

West Sussex Music Launches Key2Music beginner classes at Saturday Music Centres

Giving children across the county a new opportunity to experience the transformative power of music

Parents in West Sussex who are looking for affordable, innovative and high quality music tuition should know that West Sussex Music has announced a brand new initiative which will offer children the opportunity to learn a new instrument alongside friends and peers in a fun, group environment. To be held on Saturday mornings at Music Centres across the district, the Key2Music beginner classes add another string to West Sussex Music’s bow, reaffirming its position as the largest provider of music lessons in the county.

The Key2Music beginner classes, which will run at West Sussex Music’s five Music Centres in Chichester, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horsham and Worthing, will give children the chance to learn instruments such as bassoon, brass, cello, clarinet, double bass, flute, oboe, saxophone, viola, and violin, for as little as £60 per term which includes Music Centre membership; low cost instrument hire can be added for just £20 per term.  “At West Sussex Music, we know that learning to play an instrument boosts attainment, promotes wellbeing and enhances self-esteem.” Says Adam Barker, West Sussex Music’s Assistant Head. “And we know from our ensembles that children improve faster and achieve far more if they regularly practise as a group. These Key2Music beginner classes will provide a safe, social and creative outlet for musical self-expression, and all in a very affordable way.”

“Although we work hard to promote all genres of music, it is central to our mission to safeguard the tradition of orchestral music learning and this is why we feel it is particularly important to launch Key2Music beginner classes, which make learning a classical instrument in a music centre, accessible to all children.” Adds James Underwood, Chief Executive, West Sussex Music.

The Key2Music beginner classes will be an exciting addition to a programme that already has much to offer children in West Sussex. Every week during term time, at Music Centres throughout the county, children can enjoy a whole range of musical activities including bands, choirs, orchestras as well as lessons and aural and theory classes.  Key to West Sussex Music’s unique offer, its ensembles not only bring children together through a shared love of music but also offer a clear progression route through the Music Centres, on to the West Sussex Youth Orchestras and Choirs and beyond that to Junior Conservatoires and national ensembles. So, whatever the choice of instrument, level of competence or age, there is a suitable ensemble or band to be found; whether it’s a percussion ensemble, string orchestra, wind band, choir or guitar group. There are also classes in theory and musicianship, as well as groups for pre-school children. To register your interest in the Key2Music beginner classes email [email protected]

About West Sussex Music: West Sussex Music is the largest provider of high-quality music education to children and young people in West Sussex, offering vocal projects, whole-class ensemble tuition, small group and individual instrumental and vocal tuition, and advice and support for schools, as well as a comprehensive range of musical activities at its five Music Centres. Through its curriculum support, professional development opportunities and facilitating role, West Sussex Music builds music into the very fabric of school life; supporting schools and teachers to achieve the best possible outcomes for pupils, their families and the community. For over 50 years, West Sussex Music has supported projects that enable access to cultural opportunities for disadvantaged and disaffected young people through its strategic partnerships with other arts and cultural organisations and it plays a valued role as the Music Education Hub for West Sussex. A Not-for Profit Independent Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Status, West Sussex Music’s musical opportunities for children and young people are funded by income from parents, schools and the National Music Grant, administered by Arts Council England. For more information, please visit


From l-r : Sally-Anne Murray, Development Director at Chailey Heritage Foundation; Jo Bushrod, parent at Cumnor House Sussex; Emma P, head girl; Seb B, head boy; Christian Heinrich, Headmaster & Belinda Heinrich from Cumnor House Sussex.

The presentation of a £26,500 cheque to Chailey Heritage Foundation marked the culmination of a phenomenal year’s fundraising by pupils and staff at Cumnor House Sussex in Danehill.

The money raised by Cumnor House Sussex will be added to Chailey Heritage Foundation’s £3.1m Appeal, launched in Autumn 2016, to replace an ageing 1950’s Assembly Hall with a modern, purpose-built indoor Sports and Activity Centre.  The new D.R.E.A.M. Centre will allow young people, all of whom are in wheelchairs, to play indoor sport, take part in drama and musical performances, develop their balance through rebound therapy, learn to drive a powered wheelchair, and broaden their horizons through a state of the art 4D immersive experience zone.

“Every year we select a Charity that is close to the hearts of the Cumnor community and embark on a concerted fundraising campaign to raise as much money as we can for the School’s chosen charity,” commented Belinda, wife of headmaster, Christian Heinrich.  “Our major fundraising event is the annual Christmas Fayre that I organise with a committee of Cumnor parents.  It is an eagerly anticipated community and school event that is always well attended and attracts a wide array of stallholders selling Christmas presents and festive produce.”

Sally-Anne Murray, Development Director at Chailey Heritage Foundation said, “We are enormously grateful to Cumnor House Sussex for their tremendous support and we thank the whole community involved in raising such a significant sum of money for our charity.  With the support of another generous donor, the money raised by Cumnor House Sussex has been matched pound for pound, bringing the total raised for our Appeal to date to £3,040,000 – so we are incredibly close to our final £3.1m target.”

To find out more about Cumnor House Sussex visit : and about Chailey Heritage Foundation visit :

Top school reaches out to parents as TUC analysis shows that childcare costs have rocketed by 52% a week since 2008

[See infographic here:]

As soaring nursery fees take their toll on working families, a top independent school has produced a ground-breaking infographic to show that a place in a top independent school for a four-year-old can cost as little as £37 a week.

A recent TUC analysis showed that working parents with children under five have seen nursery fees rise three times faster than their wages over the past decade, with childcare costs rocketing by 52% per week since 2008.

With this in mind, Burgess Hill Girls is reaching out to parents to publicise the underestimated financial benefits of private education. The school’s infographic, which details potential costs and savings, demonstrates how a premier education is actually within reach for thousands of families.

It shows that the extended school day can reduce childcare cost by £2,800 per year, while free after-school activities at independent schools represent a saving of £350 a year (based on two after-school clubs per week at £5 per club). And with a free breakfast and dinner factored in, on top of a hot lunch, many families may also find themselves £437 (per year) better off.

And now, thanks to the Government’s free childcare scheme for three- to four-year-olds, the £81-per-week actual cost to parents of a Reception place at Burgess Hill Girls can be reduced even further by a maximum of £44 to only £37 a week, or £1,924 a year, as the infographic shows.  

Burgess Hill Girls Head Liz Laybourn said: “So many families assume that the cost of an independent school education is beyond their means, but we’re showing in one handy infographic that there are a number of significant savings that should be factored in before they make a decision.”

Mrs Laybourn added: “Of course, the decision to educate your child in the independent sector is about far more than money. For example, the pupil-teacher ratio in independent schools is, typically, almost half that of state schools, meaning more one-to-one time with your four-year-old and more effective teaching from day one.”

She added: “We really hope the infographic gives parents all the information they need to make an informed decision about choosing the right school for their four-year-old. It’s one of the most important decisions they will ever make.”


Bountiful Botanics is the perfect autumnal experience – a weekend packed with entertainment – walks, talks and delicious food that is guaranteed to get everyone, or any age, rocking the autumn vibe.

Children will love rolling up their sleeves and getting hands on with apple pressing, seed sowing and planting out cuttings with our horticultural team. A wild cookery workshop will get their creative juices flowing and tractor rides and tree climbing will be a must for the adventurous.

Gold Leaf Storm is bound to be a huge hit – a game that will have children tearing around after swirling autumn leaves frantically searching for gold! Apple bobbin –  an old favourite – is the stuff of which memories are made.

Our adult visitors will be spoilt for choice with things to do – learn how to keep a beehive, join a foraging walk and discover how to use plants and herbs for well-being.

Capoeira (a mixture of martial arts and dance) taster sessions will get the blood pumping and will be sure to produce a giggle or two.

Then, relax with a spot of Forest Bathing and Forest Chi in the woodlands – you will emerge relaxed, refreshed and ready for anything!

There will be tours of the Millennium Seed Bank and the outside nursery that produces plants both for our scientists and for the gardens.

Tours, talks and workshops can be booked in our Booking Tent on the day. Tree-climbing needs to be booked online to guarantee a spot. Some activities do incur an extra charge.

In between all this activity – relax on hay bales, listen to live music and enjoy a great selection of hearty autumnal hot dishes.

For more information contact Sandra Howard, Communications and Content Manager on 01444 894336 / 07753 938682

Wakehurst is one of the most beautiful and significant botanic gardens in the country. It is home to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, which houses and protects seed from all over the world. To find out more






Our innovative, cutting edge mental health service is launching a multi-purpose studio this month. With events focusing on trauma & attachment, parenting, mental health, nutrition & resilience across the life-span – we are creating a learning forum where mind, body and environment can be understood as one. Our studio offers high quality, accessible education to all; from young people, children and parents & carers on the front line, through to a diverse range of professionals.

We believe it is important that our delegates are given a warm and welcoming space both physically and also emotionally, therefore the combination of our warm, bright and welcoming multi-purpose space and our calming, nurturing training team will make them feel relaxed and comfortable to learn, reflect and truly integrate their learning experience.

Our specialist trainers are a multi-disciplinary, highly experienced therapeutic team. A creative mix of Clinical Psychologists, Psychotherapists and Occupational Therapists working closely with Drama therapists, a Nutritional Therapist & Naturopath and our in-house Trauma Artist, boldly interwoven with inspirational experts by experience who are essential to the educational experience.

We are also excited to be joined by some of the world’s most inspiring speakers who are leading the way in trauma informed treatment and education; Éadaoin Bhreathnach, Robin Shapiro, Lisa Schwarz and Janina Fisher amongst many others.

Beacon House Therapeutic Services & Trauma Team is an integrated mental health and occupational therapy service offering a range of assessments and therapies for children, families, and adults.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me on 01444 413 939 or email me on [email protected]

Halloween Half Term is the time for all apprentice witches and wizards to put their skills to the test to become a fully-fledged expert in magic. Put on your cloak, grab your broomstick, wave your wand and fly across to the ‘Borde Hill Academy of Witches of Wizards’.

From 20th – 31st October 2018, young visitors will receive a treat from the Head Witch in her lair if they complete all the magical challenges in their spell book on the daily garden trail. £2 per trail plus admission, to include a spellbinding prize (FREE to Friends).

There’s also a bewitching concoction of activities to keep young witches and wizards entertained throughout Half Term, including the chance to don a glove and get up close and personal with some majestic owls, or hold a scary, hairy, creepy crawly. Creative hands can also make their own magic wand or carve a pumpkin masterpiece to add to a line of lit pumpkins threading through the garden during the ‘Pumpkin Glow’ event.  The hocus pocus also includes spooky storytelling for families, face painting and on selected days, Halloween crafts to make and take home.

After all the excitement tired souls can revive their spirits at the Gardeners’ Retreat Café serving tasty snacks and warming drinks.

Join us on Sunday 28th for the second year of our ‘Pumpkin Glow’ event, when the best pumpkin designs will be judged, with the winning witch or wizard receiving a 2019 Family Membership.  To be part of our amazing trail of carved pumpkins and to be in with a chance of winning the prize, please bring pumpkins by 4pm on 29th October. Judging will take place at 4.30pm.

Visitors are also welcome to wander and enjoy the stunning hues of autumn with cornus, acers, liquidambar trees and deciduous azaleas, as well as wonderful views across the parkland featuring native and exotic trees.

Please see website for full details or call 01444 450326.

These tots at Burgess Hill Girls Nursery certainly understand where their food comes from – their school garden, where they grow a wide variety of vegetables and fruit.

With a recent survey reporting that fewer than half of young UK adults know butter comes from a dairy cow and a third do not know eggs come from hens, it has never been more important to ensure that young children are taught about food production from the start of their schooling.


At Burgess Hill Girls Nursery, children are involved in selecting and chopping fruit and vegetables for their snacks and prepare their own tea, usually sandwiches or wraps.

The school catering team support the children’s understanding by visiting the nursery and talking about their roles, the foods they cook and how they prepare foods.

Nursery manager Suzanne Roberts says: “We strongly advocate developing children’s natural curiosity of the outdoors and an understanding of the world about them. Learning to care for, and be responsible for, their outdoor environment and understanding where their food comes from and the process of growth, is so important. It’s a lesson that stays with them for life. And they absolutely love growing their own produce.”