Et Patati patata French summer day camps for kids in South Kensington

If you’re looking for something exciting and a little different for your little ones to do during the long summer holidays, take a look at these fun French summer day camps taking place in July and August.

French summer day camps - Et Patati patata

With 30 hours of immersion tuition per week led by an experienced, native French speaking primary school teacher, your kids can learn French without leaving London! Each week is much more than just a basic learning of the language – there’s also a wide range of fun and creative activities in French that are tailored to the program of French schools. These include stories, songs, visits and workshops that will encourage your kids to talk, write and relate the fun days they’ve had…in French!

Classes are held in two age groups – 4-6 year olds and 7-10 year olds – and take place Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm. Every week involves a different grade – foundation, intermediate, advanced and confirmed – and at the end of each week, children receive a “French immersion program certificate”.

Weeks include:

  • J’aime la nature/Wild and green week! (7th – 11th July) with a farm outing, a cooking workshop, arts and crafts and French theatre
  • Les petits explorateurs/Explorers Kids! (14th – 18th July) with a trip to the summer program of the Natural History Museum;
  • Les petits génies/IT genius junior! (21st – 25th July) with a science theme – including a visit to the Science Museum
  • Les petits archéologues/Archaeology for Kids! (28th July – 1st August)
  • Tintin reporter in London! (4th – 8th August)
  • Asterix Week (11th – 15th August)
  • Wild and green week (29th – 25th August).

There’s also sports activities during the afternoons of each week.

For full details of the French summer day camps and to register, please see or email

Oh and, by the way – “Et Patati et patata” means “Blablabla…blablabla…”!

Kensington and Chelsea College Open Days, 4th & 6th February 2014

Come down to the Kensington and Chelsea College Open Days this February when you can take advantage of their free 1-2-1 courses and careers advice from specialist tutors and careers advisors.

Taking place from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday 4th and Thursday 6th February,  you’ll have the opportunity to try out a number of free taster sessions and activities, as well as learning more about a wide range of courses that are perfect for those looking to try something new for 2014. Some of the activities taking place on the Open Days include free manicures, French lessons, Anthropology debate and discussion, jewellery making master classes and studio tours, amongst many others.

Kensington and Chelsea College Open Days

The Open Days are a great chance to find out more about Kensington and Chelsea College’s short and part-time courses, as well as full-time courses that are starting in September 2014. As mentioned, there will also be plenty of careers advice available at the Open Days, so you can find out more about the opportunities these courses could lead to.

Kensington and Chelsea College leads the local learning agenda for adults and young adults in Art and Design, Health and Social Sciences and Management and Professional Development, and is also an associate member for The National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural. Operating at two sites in the Borough – one near Kings Road, the other near Portobello Road – their courses offer a credible alternative route to university and recognised qualifications leading to employment. Their Apprenticeships and professional, bespoke training to businesses across London has led to strong partnerships with leading creative and cultural venues, including the V&A and Historic Royal Palaces.

KCC’s two venues will be hosting different subjects on the two different Open Days, so please see to find out which subjects will be hosted where.

For other courses and training opportunities, please see or call 020 7573 5333 to receive a copy of the latest prospectus.

Kensington and Chelsea Open Days
4pm – 7pm, Tuesday 4th February 2014
Kensington Centre
Wornington Road
W10 5QQ


4pm – 7pm, Thursday 6th February 2014
Chelsea Centre
Hortensia Road
SW10 0QS

Kensal Voices presents the Kensal Voices Magazine at North Kensington Library, Saturday 8th June

A few months ago on The Guide to Kensington & Chelsea, we wrote about an interesting local community project taking place in Kensal Rise called Kensal Voices. Started by the S.P.I.D. Theatre Company – an award winning youth organisation – this multi-strand, multimedia project aims to rediscover and share the history of Kensal House, the historic, Grade II* listed council estate designed by Modernist architect Maxwell Fry in 1936.

This Saturday, 8th June, one of the first elements of Kensal Voices will be officially presented to the public. Kensal Voices Magazine will be launched at North Kensington Library in front of the local community, and friends and family – a magazine that’s the result of two months of hard work by the young researchers involved in Kensal Voices.

Since the Kensal Voices project was launched in April, the scheme’s young participants have undertaken research and practical workshops to discover more about Kensal House’s fascinating history. They have attended sessions on modernist architecture at the V&A; met with local historians and residents to learn more on life in and around the building throughout the decades; built models of their dream houses; created a soundtrack inspired by the building; and conducted in-depth research at Central Library.

Workshops leaders that have taken part in Kensal Voices so far include architect Gurmeet Sian of Office Sian; composer, producer and DJ Theo Krish; designer Ekaterina Solomeina; Filipa Alvesde Sousa (V&A); and Eva Branscome, expert on modern architecture (Twentieth Century Society).

Kensal Voices Magazine


Anuli Changa (14), Kensal Voices participant and elected Kensal Voices Ambassador, said about the project:

“I am proud to be an Ambassador for Kensal Voices, run by SPID Theatre Company … I am a voracious reader and I love to learn, so when I heard that SPID were working with the V&A (one of my favourite museums) I was really excited and curious to see what was happening … Saturdays aren’t right without Kensal Voices!”

SPID (Specially Produced Innovatively Directed) Theatre Company is itself based the Community Rooms on the Kensal House estate. The company won the First Light Award for Best Animation 2013 for short film High Above the Sky and received a four-star review for its most recent production iAM.

Kensal Voices Magazine Presentation
3.30pm, 8th June 2013
North Kensington Library
108 Ladbroke Grove
W11 1PZ

Science Museum Live presents The Energy Show this summer – win tickets!

Please note: The competition is now closed! Many thanks to all those that entered. The lucky winner has been contacted – if you weren’t chosen, you can still buy tickets to the show which runs from 22nd July until 31st August! Details below.

We’re sure all the parents amongst you have been very busy trying to think up suitable things to keep the youngsters occupied this half term week…and perhaps already wondering what to do during the long summer holiday! Here’s something that will surely fit the bill for summer, that’s both highly entertaining and educational – a live science show at the Science Museum!

The Energy Show, a new show for summer 2013 presented by Science Museum Live, will be hosted at the IMAX Theatre at the Science Museum from 22nd July to 31st August 2013. Suitable for both adults and children aged 7+, this is a fast and furious live show that follows on the back of a critically acclaimed, nationwide tour of Science Museum Live.

Science Museum Live Presents - The Energy Show
Credit: Science Museum London

In the show, two scientists do unpredictable experiments against the clock to prove their knowledge of energy. Find out whether they have the time to complete their challenge – assisted by their digital assistant ‘Einstein’ and equipped with a workshop full of volatile chemicals – and whether they will still be in one piece at the end?

Critics have said about Science Museum Live 2012:

A show that lights up the world…Go and see it.’ ★★★★★ –

Superb’ – Mail on Sunday

A great way to encourage a love of science’ – Western Mail

Performances of The Energy Show last 75 minutes and take place Tuesdays to Sundays at 11.30 and 13.30.

Early bird tickets are currently on sale (available until 30th June) and cost £13.50 for adults (normal price £14.50) and £8.50 for concessions (normal price £9.50).

Various family tickets are also available, priced at £26 for 1 Adult, 2 Children; £38 for 2 Adults, 2 Children; £34 for 1 adult, 3 children; and £31 for 2 adults, 1 child.

For more details about The Energy Show and to book tickets, please go to

Win tickets for The Energy Show at The Science Museum!

Please note: The competition is now closed, and many thanks to all those that entered.

We’re also very pleased to announce that we have a family ticket to give away! (A family ticket comprises four tickets, which must be made up by at least one adult and one child.) To enter, all you have to do is email your name and address to, and you’ll automatically be entered into the draw.

The winner will win a family ticket for one of the following performances only: 11.30am on Wednesday, 24th July; 11.30am on Thursday 25th July; 11.30am on Friday, 26th July.

The competition will close on Sunday, 30th June 2013 and the winner will be notified by email soon after this date. They will then be able to pick which one of the performances listed above they would like to attend.

Good luck!

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

Join the SPID Theatre Company and take part in Kensal Voices!

Young local residents may be very interested to hear about an exciting local community project that’s calling for participants to take part in taster sessions next week! Kensal Voices will see 20 young participants based in and around Kensal House take part in an exciting multimedia project that will focus on the heritage of this historic, Grade II* listed council estate, designed by Modernist architect Maxwell Fry in 1937.

Whilst working on Kensal Voices, participants will take part in a number of interesting stages, each of which will help them learn and develop particular techniques and skills, as well as working in conjunction with a number of organisations. These include analysing source materials and learning about researching and archiving whilst they attend workshops on modernist architecture and design run by the Victoria & Albert Museum, then creating a booklet about the estate’s history; being trained to create oral history testimonies and learning about interview techniques with the Oral History Society before conducting their own interviews with the older residents of the estate; and developing and conducting architectural tours of Kensal House, after undertaking their own tour with The 20th Century Society.

The final stage of Kensal Voices will allow participants to decide which material they would like to explore further – which they will then develop into an estate-based performance, that will be free for the public to attend. This final stage will see the participants forming their own company  and working alongside professionals to create the performance – offering them a sense of ownership of both the project and the heritage of their estate.

Kensal Voices

Kensal Voices has been started by the S.P.I.D. (Specially Produced Innovatively Direct) Theatre Group who are themselves based in the community rooms of Kensal House. They create adventurous and immersive theatrical work in non-traditional spaces, and their promenade performances in neglected community spaces have won prizes nationally. Helena Thompson founded S.P.I.D. in 1999 and has been working with director Rachel Grunwald since 2003, aiming to attract audiences, especially young ones, that are otherwise alienated by traditionally-staged theatre. In 2005, they based their Edinburgh Fringe show ‘Open House’ in the neglected community rooms of Kensal House, and it was then that children and young people from the estate asked to get involved – prompting the start of their youth theatre group. Only recently SPID members aged 5-25 won an award for ‘Best Animation’ for their short film ‘High Above The Sky’ at the First Light Awards at the Odeon in Leicester Square.

In the last seven years, the S.P.I.D. Theatre Company has done much to renovate its home in Kensal House, cleaning and renovating the community rooms that now house a fully equipped lighting and tech rig with state-of-the-art operating equipment. The company now curates the space as a ‘Community Hub’ for residents.

Taster sessions for Kensal Voices will be taking place on Wednesday 3rd April (4.30pm – 6.30pm) and on Saturday 6th April (1pm – 3pm) – you can also sign-up at either session. Free workshops will also be held every Saturday (11am – 5pm) from the 13th April to 5th June – limited spaces are available.

For more details (and also to sign up!) check out, or call Ann on 020 8968 2961/07903 861 674 or email

“Apped to the Max” exhibition at Kensington & Chelsea College, 5th – 11th November

From 5th to 11th November, Kensington & Chelsea College are due to host an exhibition of images from the UK’s first iPhoneography course at the College’s Chelsea Centre Gallery.

iPhoneography - Apped to the Max Exhibition

The recent ‘iPhoneography: An Introduction to Photography with the iPhone’ course taught students skills and techniques for capturing and creating beautiful yet edgy images with only their iPhone camera and certain apps. The course also helped introduce students to vibrant mobile photography communities where their work could be shared with like minded enthusiasts.

Since its launch the course has received an overwhelming amount of interest, with course tutor Richard Gray now working with leading businesses to deliver iPhoneography masterclasses and workshops.

Mr Gray, who is also the exhibition’s curator, said:
“iPhoneography has moved on from being simple point-and-shoot photography to both a sophisticated art form and an engaging hobby for millions. The iPhone camera has unleashed amazing creativity in the students and we are very proud to present their work in a traditional photography format.
“Many people are unaware of the creative potential of iPhoneography and we hope this exhibition goes some way to changing that perception. We would like to thank our exclusive sponsors, The Print Space, for their generous support for the exhibition.”

iPhoneography student Shirley Hunter said:
“I always had an interest in photography but I didn’t realise how much more room I had to grow. I look at my pictures now and I’m amazed at what I’ve achieved in five weeks. There is so much more to this course than it being fun. It really is a great introduction into photography that teaches just as much about editing as it does about photography. I’d love to take my new found skills further with a more advanced course.”

The hundred best images from the course will make their debut in the “Apped to the Max” exhibition, with a selection of images also available to view online at Exhibition guests will also be able to purchase some of the images.

Kensington & Chelsea College run hundreds of flexible, full-time and part-time courses at their three main centres throughout West London and are holding an Open Day at its Wornington Centre on Thursday 8th November (4pm to 7pm), where you can find out more about their courses, including those that lead to professional qualifications and a career in photography. More details about the Open Day can be found here. The College is committed to providing affordable education, and to this end has set up a number of fee discounts and money saving schemes to help support enrolling students – see for more details.

Entry to the exhibition is free.

Apped to the Max Exhibition
5th – 11th November 2012 (open 9am to 7pm Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4pm on Friday)
Chelsea Centre Gallery
Hortensia Road
SW10 0QS

New playgroup opens in South Kensington

Here’s something that will definitely be of interest to all parents out there! The new South Kensington Children Working Playgroup is an inclusive one that allows children to discover, create and work with everyday and natural materials – as based on the observations of Maria Montessori.

The playgroup is run by Wen Yong, a trained Montessori Directress and SEN teacher with seven years of experience. Wen started the Children Working Playgroup in the hope of encouraging family members to become more familiar and confident in working with their children, as well as giving them the opportunity to understand and appreciate the experiences of the classroom.

Childrenworking Playgroup

The parent-child playgroup takes part in Montessorian activities with Wen showing children how to use them, as she would in a Montessori Children’s House. In addition, there’s also plenty of stories, songs and book corners.

The playgroup  is run every Monday between 10am and 11am, and is suitable for children aged between 2 and a half and 5 years with free trial sessions for all new parents. A new parent-toddler group is also expected to start soon.

More details about the playgroup – as well as some very interesting Montessorian advice and information – can be found at