West Notts, Newark and Southwell

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The run up to Christmas is an exciting time where little ones across Nottinghamshire are reminding Father Christmas about how good they have been all year. This year as well as telling the man in the red suit, Veolia (Nottinghamshire County Council’s waste contractors) would like to hear about all the recycling good deeds they have been doing in their festive letter competition. 


The recycling good deeds letter to Father Christmas competition is asking to hear from the County’s young recyclers as to how they have helped to reduce, reuse, repurpose or recycle, paper, cardboard, cans, tins, and plastic bottles. A lucky winner will get a family ticket to see Nottingham Playhouse’s family friendly pantomime Sleeping Beauty and be presented with their prize by the stars of the show after the performance and the Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council.

The letters don’t have to be long but they must be original and can feature any or all of the recyclable items in Nottinghamshire – cans, paper, cardboard, or plastic bottles and have as much festive magic as wished.

Make sure you leave out all the recycling bin ‘baddies’ such as nappies, glass, food waste and textiles.  The letter template and competition terms and conditions can be picked up from schools, libraries, downloaded from: www.veolia.co.uk/nottinghamshire/FatherChristmasLetter or a printed version requested by calling 0203 567 4391. Entries are welcome from children aged 5 to 11. Don’t delay, post or email your entry before midday on Tuesday 10th December 2019.

Lea Hawkes, General Manager for Veolia said: ‘We have met thousands of Nottinghamshire children this year through our education sessions and facility tours, and heard about the fantastic recycling that is taking place at home and at school. We hope that all the mini recycling residents will share these good deeds with Father Christmas in our festive competition.’

Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council Councillor Kevin Rostance added: “The search is on to find Nottinghamshire’s best young recycler and this competition is an excellent way to capture the attention of youngsters and educate them from a young age about what can and can’t be recycled, especially as Christmas draws closer when we produce around a third more waste than normal.”

Over the festive period we all produce roughly 30% more waste than during the rest of the year, that’s a lot of pop bottles, chocolate boxes and squirty cream cans! Nottinghamshire residents currently recycle around 43% of their waste, but with the help of our mini recyclers the challenge is to encourage everyone to recycle even more this Christmas and ‘put the right thing in the right bin’.

The latest guide to recycling at home can be downloaded from: www.veolia.co.uk/nottinghamshire/RecycleForNottinghamshire

Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive at Nottingham Playhouse said: ‘We are proud to support the recycling good deed Christmas letters competition and encourage all of Nottinghamshire’s littlest recyclers to think about how they can reduce, reuse and recycle, at home, at school, and not be tempted by Maleficent to recycle the wrong things this Christmas’ 

This version of Sleeping Beauty is written and directed by Kenneth Alan Taylor and runs at Nottingham Playhouse from Friday 22nd November 2019 to Saturday 11th January 2020. www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/whats-on/family/sleeping-beauty-2019/

To find out more about Veolia call 0203 567 4370 or visit www.veolia.co.uk/nottinghamshire.

Highfields School underwent a full inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in June 2019. The educational quality inspection finds the following:
 The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent
 The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent

This is the highest descriptor the ISI can use. The ISI terminology reflects judgements equivalent to those used by Ofsted. ISI reports give clear judgements about key outcomes for pupils and information on the quality of a school’s work.

The report into educational quality at Highfields School finds –
 The progress that pupils make from Early Years through to Year 6 is excellent and reflects carefully
structured and rigorous curriculum;
 The attitude of the pupils to their learning is exceptional; and
 Across the curriculum, pupils demonstrate excellent subject knowledge.
The report goes on to find –
 The moral understanding and the behaviour of the pupils are both outstanding;
 Pupils’ abilities to collaborate with each other are excellent and provide them with invaluable skills
for life; and
 Pupils show very strong self-awareness and self-esteem. Their self-discipline is very high from an
early age and older pupils show a considerable sense of responsibility for themselves and their
Headmaster Richard Thomson says: “This report is a clear recognition of all
the hard work put in to making Highfields such a special place to learn. It is
truly an exceptional place to develop as an individual and it allows each and
every child to reach their potential academically and outside of the
classroom. We pride ourselves on finding the strengths in everyone and the
breadth of opportunities given to our pupils has been recognised by the
Inspectors. This inspection sums up our school motto: Aim High, Be Valiant,
Achieve More. ”

Highfields School is an independent school and day nursery providing exceptional education for boys and girls aged 2 to 11 years. www.highfieldsschool.co.uk

After a successful event in 2018 we are once again holding our Charity Tractor Run on 6th October.

The Details –

When – 6th October 2019

Where – Brills Farm, Norton Disney,

Price – £15 Per Tractor, with Breakfast, Tea & Coffee and Cakes included,

Times – 9am Registration for 10am Start,

E-mail – [email protected]

Join eco-activist Lizzie Carr, Founder of the nationwide community movement, Plastic Patrol, to tackle plastic pollution hotspots this Sunday. With demand from the community for action, this is a chance to get involved with environmental initiatives.


Plastic Patrol will provide FREE paddle boarding clean-ups, on 30th June in Nottingham as the environmental non-profit embarks on its biggest goal yet – to log and remove one million pieces of plastic to represent the one million marine animals killed each year due to plastic pollution.

Paddle boarding, yoga, parkour and canoeing clubs and instructors, are offering FREE activities this year around the UK as part of a summer series of wellbeing clean ups, organised by eco-activist and Plastic Patrol Founder, Lizzie Carr, in her ongoing efforts to eradicate single use plastic from nature.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a total pro – everyone is welcome to come along to try out paddle boarding and no experience is necessary, making this Plastic Patrol clean up accessible to all. In return, Plastic Patrol asks participants to pay a ‘nature tax’ by picking up plastic waste and logging it in the FREE PLASTIC PATROL APP. Every piece collected contributes towards Lizzie’s mission to remove and log one million pieces of plastic in 2019, representing the one million marine animals.

“By joining up with clubs and instructors across the UK and incorporating more activities, I’ve opened Plastic Patrol up to a wider network so more people can get involved,” comments Lizzie. “This will help gather even more data from other parts of the country, giving us invaluable insight into plastic waste issues. Not only found in waterways, but also on land – parks, mountains, streets – logging a huge cross section of data to analyse.”

Lizzie took up paddle boarding following cancer treatment in 2014 as a means of rehabilitation and felt the positive physical and mental benefits immediately. Her time on the water also exposed her to the devastating impact of plastic pollution in nature and she has since dedicated herself to exploring the globe on paddle boarding adventures, using her journeys to capture important data to highlight and educate on environmental issues affecting our planet.

Whilst initial efforts began on and around UK waterways, intercepting plastic waste inland before it reaches the oceans, Lizzie’s ambition is much bigger. This year, qualified instructors and clubs around the UK across five disciplines will run activity based clean ups, helping mobilise more communities and connect them with environmental issues through physical activities.

The Plastic Patrol app was launched in 2016 and leads the way in citizen science to address plastic pollution. The app currently holding the largest bank of plastic data for the UK inland waterways on record. It is focused on building a tangible and valuable evidence base through its army of passionate volunteers.

The data collected will be analysed by scientists at University of Nottingham to provide current and detailed insight into trends and patterns. This insight will create vital evidence to inform public policy around smarter and more circular packaging solutions, and responsible manufacturing behaviour.

Lizzie comments: “Paddle boarding changed my life. It helped me to see the sheer volume of plastic waste clogging our waterways but also gave me a way to reconnect with nature. Before my illness I was in an environmental sleep walk and being out on the water opened my eyes to the problem. My hope is that running these clean ups, others will experience the same positive benefits as I did. By inviting people to join us on activity-led litter picks across the UK this summer – we’re providing a great opportunity to get out in nature, try new activities and understand the extent of the problem we face with plastic pollution.”

To book a space on this FREE wellbeing clean up with Plastic Patrol visit the Plastic Patrol website for more information.

Face Paintoos, FabLab and Fuzzikins join the festival line-up

We’ve been bursting at the seams to announce that Interplay are coming to the Gloworm Festival this year! With a whole area dedicated to creative play, this is one pitstop you’re just going to have to make! The Creative Play Zone will feature some of Interplays most loved brands and toys for your little (or not so little ones) to enjoy!

Why not swing by and have your children’s face decorated with the brilliant Face Paintoos! Face Paintoos transform the magic of Face Painting into a fun and easy activity that everyone can enjoy. Don’t worry mum and dad, zero painting skills are required, and it’s really quick and easy to apply.

Love the glamorous, glittery, colourful, and super trendy festival look?  Then the FabLab area in the Interplay zone is the perfect stop off for a funky makeover. With colourful hair chalks and easy to apply glitter tattoos, this activity is ideal for festival goers aged 8 and upwards to get on fleek for the weekend!

And as if that isn’t enough, your little ones will also be able to play with Fuzzikins, the multi-award winning Fuzzikins sets for creative kids that you can colour again and again. Pop along and personalise the cutest of animals in your own creative world. Perfect for inspiring creativity and imagination, Fuzzikins also helps develop hand-to-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.

Meriç Pekcan-Butcher, Marketing Manager, Interplay UK comments: “We are delighted to sponsor Gloworm Festival. It is an amazing event for children and families, and we are very excited to meet them in Interplay’s creative play zones. We can’t wait to get everyone festival ready with cute Face Paintoos for the younger ones and cool FabLab festival looks for the older ones, plus there will be lots of creative fun for all with the much-loved Fuzzikins too.“

Richard Walpole, Gloworm Festival Director: “We can’t wait to see families enjoying the magic in the Interplay Creative Play Zone. The Gloworm ehthos is one of fun and creativity, and Interplay are bringing all of the above and more.  They really are the perfect fit for the festival, and we know how much our Glowormers are going to enjoy this area”



Wheee!, Lakeside Arts’ International Children’s Theatre and Dance Festival is a well-established and much loved fixture in the city’s cultural calendar for children and families of all ages. Now returning for the fifteenth time Wheee! 2019 promises to be one of the most ambitious yet, with a fantastic line up of workshops, theatre and dance shows, drop in crafts activities, sports fun and much more.
One of Nottingham’s most talented young creatives Billy Partridge – winner of the 2016 Young Cartoonist of the Year – will be creating a Woodland landscape directly on to the walls of the Wallner Gallery, and visitors are invited to help complete it throughout the festival.
Lakeside will again host Nottingham’s international touring company Architects of Air, who for many years have premiered their newest creations at Highfields Park. This year is no exception and their brand new luminarium Daedalum will open to visitors on Bank Holiday Monday 27 May.
New this year, Wheee! on Tour will see performances of MishMash Production’s latest creation tour to 10 Nottingham and Nottinghamshire libraries from 28 May to 8 June. Co-commissioned by Lakeside and the Nottingham Library Service, Strange Creatures (for ages 4-7) is inspired by Alexis Deacon’s popular children’s book ‘Beegu’ and will have its world premiere at Bulwell Library on Tuesday May 28.
Little Angel Theatre returns to Lakeside to open Wheee! with their charming and adventurous stage
adaptation of best-selling author Julia Donaldson’s The Flying Bath (for ages 2-5) on Sunday 26 May.
This wonderful story about a magical bath and some adventurous bath toys will be brought to life using music, rhyme and puppetry.
Thanks to the generous support of the Woodland Trust for the second successive year, Lakeside Arts will present one of the most exciting Free Family Weekend programmes in Wheee’s history. Featuring regional, national and international touring artists, there is truly something for everyone: dance, theatre and circus performances by companies such as Motionhouse, Joss Arnott Dance Company, The Chipolatas, Fredi & Co and The Fabularium; drop in workshops and craft activities; drumming circle for little ones and their families. Lakeside also brings the amazing VR Playground to Nottingham for the first time: wearing a VR headset, visitors can soar through a virtual landscape, propelled by motion from an actual swing.
Clare Allen, Head of Supporter Development at the Woodland Trust says: ‘We are very excited to be the weekend partner for the Wheee! Festival for the second year and look forward to chatting all things trees and woods with people attending the festival. We’re especially looking forward to getting involved with activities like wood whittling and badge making and introducing Wheee! folk to our Chief Nature Detective Richard. Coming to a fabulous park with amazing trees is the perfect location for us to meet budding Nature Detectives!’
When a little calm time is required, families can head to the new Chill Out Zone, next to the Boat House, and enjoy board games or sit under the withy sculptures and find a bit of temporary peace and quiet away from the lively activities.
Shona Powell, Director at Lakeside Arts says: ‘Thanks to our partnership with The Woodland Trust, this is set to be our most ambitious outdoor programme for family audiences since Wheee! began. It’s the first time we’ve been able to programme a brand new six-dancer performance by Motionhouse, and I’m thrilled that we’re finally welcoming VR Playground – which was originally developed at the University’s Mixed Reality Lab – to Nottingham following its success at other national platforms and festivals. It’s equally important to support emerging local artists, and platforming amazing young talent through the fabulous Xzibit dancers and Billy Partridge’s Woodland in the Waller Gallery, which are also must see highlights in our programme.’
For the full programme and online booking for ticketed events visit lakesidearts.org.uk/wheee, or call the box office on 0115 846 7777.

An inspiring day packed with lots of free fun activities, excitement and knowledge to help your child to feel empowered about their future!

About this Event

Do you want to help your children feel inspired about their future and empowered to be happy being their true self?

Then, bring them along to the Positively Empowered Kids Festival: – a fun and exciting day filled with inspiring activities which will help them know that they are extraordinary and that they can achieve anything they want.

At this jam-packed festival, they will discover through exciting activities and interactive demonstrations, how they can live their best lives and be the best they can be.

Whether you are worried about your child’s current anxiety levels, their lack of self -confidence or just want to help them develop further, our aim is for you and them to leave the festival bursting with ideas and equipped with tools and techniques that will help them to create true success on their own terms.

Free activities that children will be able to take part in at the event include yoga, circus skills, wellbeing crafts, sound bath, tai chi, making healthy food, family massage and holistic therapies to name a few!


By Helen Lami director of Academic Summer

Over the next few weeks, hundreds of thousands of teenagers across the UK will be feeling the pressure as they sit their final GCSE and A-Level exams. It can be an extremely tense period. A recent poll carried out by the National Education Union found more than two thirds of teachers say their school or college is having to provide significantly more support to students due to mental health issue than five years ago, with 81 percent blaming this increase on the pressure of tests and exams.

So, for parents worried about the impact this stress will be having on their own child, what can they do to help relieve the tension? Here are my five tips for bringing harmony to the exam period.

Is your child getting enough sleep?

The temptation for young people fretting over upcoming exams is to stay up late every night revising. This is entirely counter-productive and could be harming your child’s mental health. Simple steps to help your child get enough sleep are cutting out caffeinated drinks in the evening, eating a healthy dinner before 7pm and stopping all revising two hours before going to bed. If possible, studying should also be avoided in your child’s bedroom – a place that should be exclusively for relaxation and sleep.

Don’t forget the fun

As the old saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy so make sure your child gets regular opportunities to switch off and relax. You could even splash out on a spa day mid-way through exams and pay for your child to have a massage as a reward. If that’s out of your price range, then why not just go swimming together for a couple of hours each weekend, one of the best exercises there is for controlling anxiety.

Are you being too pushy?

Most parents want their child to do the very best they can but it’s important that you don’t push them too hard and pile on more pressure at this late stage. Be available and be helpful but, ultimately, revising for exams and getting a good grade is your child’s responsibility. GCSEs and A-Levels are a perfect opportunity for young people to learn the value of self-reliance and hard work. Getting through exams on their own merits will also do wonders for your child’s self-esteem.

Consider mindfulness

Stress is a fact of life but that doesn’t mean we can’t offer our children ways to better control it. Mindfulness meditation is a brilliant way to relieve anxiety and has been proven to be particularly effective during exam times. There are countless resources online to show you the basics of this type of meditation, something which can be picked up almost immediately and takes as little as 15 minutes per day. Best of all, it can be done together so both you and your child share in the relaxation. It will also give your child a valuable tool for self-calming in other stressful situations.

Don’t make exams the be all and end all

Encourage your child to talk openly about the stress their feeling and remind them that, whilst it’s important they do the best they can, exams aren’t the be all and end all. They help us to understand what we’re good at and what we aren’t. If you get a disappointing grade for maths, well, you might not be destined to be a mathematician, and that’s not the end of the world. It’s a process of self-discovery and it helps us to understand both our strengths and our weaknesses.

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 June 24th – 30th.

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.

The charity’s public Big Toddle at Dudley Zoo also returns on June 11th, where families can really embrace the animal-theme and enjoy a toddle around the zoo.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

“The Big Toddle is a great opportunity for the under-5s to have fun with their friends and families and raise money to help vulnerable children.

“Whether you organise your own Big Toddle, take part in your nurseries’ event or join in the fun at Dudley Zoo, it is sure to be a really fun day.

“We are really grateful for everyone taking part as the money raised helps our vital services continue to support hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children, young people, parents and carers.”

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, find out more about the Dudley Zoo Big Toddle or for further information, visit www.bigtoddle.org.uk or call 0800 008 7005.

Children across Nottingham can experience a half-term adventure at Nottinghamshire YMCA Camp Williams. The camp will run through the holiday from Monday 18th to Friday 22nd February 2019. 


 At Camp Williams, all children aged 4-15 get to take part in a variety of exciting groups activities over the course of a week, including sports, swimming, arts and crafts, and camp rallies. Plus, campers aged 8-15 take part in special sessions called skills clinics, designed to enhance their confidence and capability in a range of exciting skills. The full range of skills clinics on offer includes: football, crafts, archery, drama and theatre, climbing, skateboarding, basketball, and mountain biking.

Skills clinics are just one of the ways in which Camp Williams promotes positive, experience-led development for young people. Children from the age of four take part in swimming, camp rallies, group games, and Camp Fire Fridays, making friends and lasting memories along the way. Camp Williams helps to build self-esteem, giving young people the confidence that they need to seek exciting, fulfilling experiences in adult life.

YMCA day camps provide children and young people with opportunities to form positive values, and to learn through positive, engaging, and interactive experiences. Campers will receive awards and certificates for demonstrating the four core values of the charity – caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

Gavin Barker, Children and Families Services Manager with Nottinghamshire YMCA, said: “Our belief is that young people with access to Camp Williams and our role model team will make healthier choices as they grow into adults. The clubs are action packed, adventure driven and experience focused, and really engage with young people in a way they might not experience anywhere else.”

To book Camp Williams call01157117006 or email [email protected] You can visit the website to find out more: www.nottsymca.com/williams

Extra information

nottsymca.com– all about Nottinghamshire YMCA
– information about Camp Williams