Things to Do In Hertfordshire on Summer Holiday 2014








Hertfordshire has some amazing activities to keep your family occupied this holiday.  Here are a few of our personal favourites.  Keep in mind that 2014 is going to be unseasonably warm, and perhaps pack some extra water.  For longer trips, you may want to bring along  a couple of books from our summer reading suggestions.

Herfordshire Sports Village includes a climbing wall, 25m pool and facilities that are both indoor and outdoor for children and families.  There’s a Café Sport, for drinks and snacks.  Features holiday courses like swim lesson crash courses, Multi Activity Day Camps, and Mini-Boots Football.

Go Wild at the Galleria is located on Comet Way in Hatfield.  It features a safe environment for children to navigate slides, tunnels, rope walks, climbing frames, and more.  There’s an area for toddlers as well.

Hatfield House and Park has been around for over 400 years.  Find out more in Hatfield’s Horrible History, feed the animals at Hatfield Park Farm (ages 3-15,) or explore Stable Yard’s Toy Shop and Gift Shop.  There’s a family restaurant, adventure playground (Bloody Hollow,) and a free tractor ride.

Hatfield Swim Centre is a great spot for swimming with outdoor areas for Football, Cricket, Windsurfing, Kayaking, Rugby and more. In terms of swimming, there’s a learner pool with a bubble machine, and a 33m main pool that allows for a full length to be swum in shallow and deep water.

Butterfly World hosts over 600 tropical butterflies.  There’s a natural play area and a chance to experience life as an insect in the Through the Flower Pot Garden.  Hands on handling takes place in the Insect Study Centre, workshops are available, and there’s a Nectar House Café and Gift Shop.

Warner Bros Studio Tour in London showcases behind the scenes magic of the Harry Potter Films.  Open seven days a week and has a Studio Café.

Shepreth Wildlife Park  has everything from tigers to bats.  There’s also a café, a large soft indoor and impressive outdoor play area complete with pirate ship and zip wire.  Outdoor picnic areas are there as well as a shop for souvenirs.

Paradise Wildlife Park has five adventure playgrounds and is known as Britain’s most interactive wildlife park.  There are three locations to eat, and a gift shop. There are over 400 animals in the park, and some can be touched and fed.

Whatever holiday adventure you choose, stay safe, have fun, and make a positive contribution!  

Best Summer Holiday Reading for 2014










At Lyonsdown School, we place literacy at the heart of our teaching and learning.  A great book can help children make sense of the world and their place in it, while strengthening critical thinking skills through a variety of genres.  Here’s a small list of new reads and recent favourites.


Lately Lily are travel centred books written by Micah Player.  We’re fond of their ability to encourage adventure, travel, and storytelling.  (Ages 4-8)


If You Were Me and Lived in Portugal: An Introduction to Learning and Other Cultures, is the newest of a series of inspiring books by Carole P. Roman.  We like that this series highlights diversity and shares cultural experiences.  (Ages 4-8)


Gaston is a story about family, appearances, and love. It stars a poodle and a bulldog.  Written by Kelly DiPucchio. (Ages 4-8)


Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell is a fantastic story and the overall winner for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2014. (Ages 5-12)


How Tom Beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen, by Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake.  A brilliant story that pays tribute to children who persist. (Ages 6+)


My Dad’s a Birdman, by David Almond, explores the boundaries between reality and fantasy while highlighting a family’s love.  (Ages 6-8)


Soccer on Sunday, is #53 of the best-selling Magic Tree House Series, by Mary Pope Osborne.  Just in time for this year’s world cup, this book is a great read.   (Ages 7-10)


Gangsta Granny, by David Walliams.  A refreshing book about a seemingly boring grandmother with an interesting secret.   (Ages 9 +)


The Worst Thing About My Sister, by Jacqueline Wilson.  A great book about being human, and being a sister. (Ages 9+)


Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Hard Luck: Book 8, by Jeff Kinney. (Ages 8-10) There’s a reason this series was picked above The Harry Potter series for Children’s Book of the decade.  A humorous, well told story with a masterful formula.


Lyonsdown School wishes you an enriching, safe and happy summer holiday.


Lyonsdown School Celebrates History Day

Lyonsdown School celebrates History Day to take a look at life in Britain between 1914 and 2014 – there’s a lot to cover! To get in the mood, the children and staff dressed up in costumes from different decades between 1914 and 2014 to celebrate 100 years since the First World War.

And WOW, what a day it was!

All the children, (with a helping hand from their parents), together with the staff, looked absolutely A-MAZ-ING in their colourful array of outfits, representing fashion from all the decades of the 20th century, and into the 21st. It was great to see the mixture of Suffragettes, housewives, mods, rockers, hippies, and dandies in the playground, and some of the outfits look just as fashionable now as they did back then.

Take a look at the fantastic outfits the children wore!

History Day at Lyonsdown New Barnet

Dressing Up for History Day at Lyonsdown

teacher and pupil for History Day at Lyonsdown School

nurse and campaigner History Day at Lyonsdown

dress up at new barnet school

History Day at Lyonsdown dress up in class

History Day at Lyonsdown Hippies

 History Day at Lyonsdown Boys

Girls at History Day at Lyonsdown

1914-2014 History Day at Lyonsdown

Break on History Day at Lyonsdown

History Day at Lyonsdown Group of Pupils

New Barnet School History Day group

indoors at New Barnet School History Day

New Barnet School History Day Staff

New Barnet School History Day Teachers

New Barnet School History Day staff dress up

New Barnet School History Day staff hippies

As you can see, lots of fun was had by all!

Year 6 Girls Read to Pre-Reception Classes

During this term, some of Mrs Brighton’s Year 6 girls have been spending time with the Pre-Reception classes to read stories and help with their literacy.

Some of the girls can remember being in Pre-Reception themselves (or have siblings of the same age) and they were really thrilled to come back to see the teachers and their old classrooms.

The Pre-Reception children enjoyed spending time with the girls, and got through a variety of books including The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Aliens Love Underpants, The Long Way Home, and How Dinosaurs Come to School. 

We would like to thank Mrs Brighton for organising this sharing time between the year groups and also to the girls who came and read so beautifully.

Pre reception class new barnet

Reading time at Pre Reception

Year 6 Experience a WW2 Evacuation

At the end of last year, Year 6 spent the day at Lincolnsfield Children’s Centre as WW2 evacuees. Our English prefects, Rosa and Melina, tell us about their experience and what they learned from the day. 

New Barnet School Trip

The group at Lincolnsfield Children’s Centre in Bushey

When we arrived, we were taken to the village hall which had been set up to look like a classroom from the 1940s. We were then each given identity cards to fill in. Our teacher was Miss Smith; she was very strict and seemed very scary – but she was only acting!

We were then divided into 3 groups and taken around the site to the various activities.

One of our favourite experiences of the day was when we had a ride in an American jeep. (During the war the site in Bushey was an American army base). The jeep took us to a re-creation of a Blitzed (bombed) building. Once inside, the air raid went off and we got a real sense of what it must have been like during an air raid.

Lyonsdown School WW2 Trip

Winding the air raid siren

We were also taken to a mock-up of a 1940’s house. Inside there was a kitchen, bedroom (complete with a Morrison shelter), a lounge, and a play room where we were able to try on period costumes and play with children’s toys and games from the war.

WW2 Garden in School Trip


Outside there was a garden which had been set up as a Dig for Victory garden complete with vegetable patch, chicken coop and rabbit hutch. We learnt that rabbits and chickens were kept in the war to provide food – not as pets! Whilst we were outside we had to use a hand held stirrup pump to extinguish a pretend incendiary bomb which was lodged in the roof.

We had such a fantastic interactive “hands-on” day, which really helped us to understand what life was like on The Home Front during the Second World War.

Lyonsdown Girls Reach Semi-Finals in ISA Netball Championships

On the 7th March, Ella, Ria, Honor, Imogen, Mia, Henrietta, Ellen, Melina, Naina, and Mrs Maggs-Wellings attended the ISA netball championships. As well as competing, Ella and Ria have written about their experiences from the day:

The Lyonsdown girls were up against 14 other teams. The schools were split up into 2 different pools, we were in pool 1. As Mrs Hazell couldn’t come with us on the trip we needed another coach, so very kindly Fran, the National Spots Assistant for the Independent Schools Association, ISA, offered to be our coach.

Everyone was feeling very nervous but excited at the same time. The foghorn suddenly blew and all the matches had begun! First Lyonsdown played against Park, sadly we lost 3,2 to them. Next we played a match against Oakwood, we drew with them (we were getting better). In the third match, whilst Natalie was trying to shoot, a girl pushed the ball out of her hands! This meant that Natalie was unable to play anymore because she had pulled two ligaments in her middle finger. Luckily heroine Ria managed to step in for her. We now only had three more matches left to play, Lyonsdown were very lucky and WON the rest of the matches in their pool! Hooray!

The lunch break had now come and everyone was starving after all that playing. It was also the time where we found out that we got through to the semi-finals. Everyone was overjoyed! Overall Lyonsdown came second in the first round. When we had all finished lunch it was time to play in the semi-finals.

Our first match in the semi-finals was against Howe Green House (one of the best netball teams there). In this match we were playing for first and second place in the nationals, but unfortunately we lost. We had the chance to play one more match against Park, this time we had high hopes but we lost on a sudden death goal shoot out. Although we didn’t have a place in the nationals we did come fourth out of fourteen teams and it was the first time that we had entered this competition.

Everyone felt really happy and Mrs Hazell was really proud of us.

Lyonsdown at ISA Netball Comp

Our First Published Illustrator

Ruby from Year 5 was commissioned to illustrate a new book, Strange Things Happen on Madison Meade. We are delighted with her work, and if any students or parents would like to see the book it is now available in our school library!

Ruby’s ambition now is to be an illustrator, and she’s very excited to have her first set of professional book illustrations published (especially at such an early age). We wish Ruby the best of luck and look forward to supporting her in future artistic projects.

published illustrator

Our new illustrator, holding her first publication



Lyonsdown Debates Child Actors and Internet Education

Melina was one of 3 pupils to represent Lyonsdown School in its first ever debating competition. Lyonsdown is incredibly proud to have attended, and is pleased with the judge’s feedback which stated that our team was one of the better ones in the competition overall, and presented very logical and clear points. Melina has written of her experience and impressions of the day:

New Barnet School debate team

Melina, Ella, and Honor – our first debate team

On Tuesday the 25th February,  Ella, Honor and I had the opportunity to debate competitively at Haileybury School. It was the first time Lyonsdown had ever taken part in a debating competition. We went up against two schools: Ashfold and Holmwood House (although there were many schools there.) Our motions were that: “Child actors should be banned”, (for which we were on the proposition side), and: “Because of the internet, children are now better educated than their parents” – for which we argued against.

We had had three weeks to prepare these debates. We did it during our lunch times and also had time to practise over the half term.

When the day of the competition arrived, we left school with Mrs Windsor and travelled to Haileybury in Mrs Maggs-Wellings’ car!

When we arrived at the school, a mock debate was performed by some of the older students. We were then told later that they had only been given the topic that morning! When they had finished their mock debate, it was our turn to debate! As we were walking to our seats, we were all very nervous. It was a lot of pressure for Ella, who was the first person to speak – not just for our team, but in the first debate of the whole competition.

After our debate, another team presented and then there was a break. We came back to our room and then a few more teams presented their arguments. When they had finished, it was time for lunch; we all agreed that it was a delicious meal.

In the afternoon, all of the schools went back to our room where the winners were announced. Unfortunately we didn’t win, but Mrs Windsor said we had made her proud. Surprisingly, it was time to leave. We arrived back to school in time for tennis and netball.

I think we did very well, and it was an amazing experience. I am so glad we were able to go; I shall remember that day for the rest of my life!

2013 Summer News Letter – Year 5 Tennis At Queenswood School


It was just before lunch when, dressed in our Lyonsdown PE kits, we lined up at the front door in pairs with our lunches, ready for our afternoon of tennis at Queenswood School. I felt excited because I didn’t really know what Queenswood was like and I was looking forward to finding out!
When we first got there we sat on some large steps with lots of other schools and we ate our yummy lunch.
We were all put in colour-coded groups and started with a warm-up. After tha, we practiced our throwing skills.
We played a game where we all had tennis rackets and bounced up our balls and the person who didn’t drop theirs was the winner.
Our leader was a Year 9 girls who had got into the school with a sport scholarship. She was an amazing leader and a brilliant tennis player.
We next were put into pairs, one person on either side of the net, one person from each pair had to put down their racket and throw to the person with a racket, they then had to hit it back, after a short time we swapped over.
We also played matches with another team.
After lunch we all went off into our different groups and played some fun tennis games. We were supervised by some of the older Queenswood girls, they were friendly, fun and welcoming.

2013 Summer News Letter – Year 5 Athletics At Queenswood School

Year 5SP Enjoyed a Day of Athletics at Queenswood School

On Tuesday, 18th June, Yr5SP spent the day, along with pupils from other primary schools, taking part in a range of athletics events at Queenswood School. They thoroughly enjoyed this experience where they competed as teams against other pupils (boys and girls). Here are a few of the highlights of the day:

What I liked best about the day at Queenswood was hurdling because I have never done it before.
My highlight was being on the balance beam because I was equal first and I managed to stand on one leg for a minute.
I really enjoyed the high jump as it felt as if I was flying and then landing on a big, soft mat.

Yr5SP would like to thank Mrs Hazell and the staff and pupils at Queenswood for looking after them so well. It was tiring but great fun!

Lyonsdown is an independent prep school in Barnet, North London. They are proud to be one of the leading private primary schools in London and they appeared in the Times' top 50 list of preparatory schools in the UK and Wales, offering a proud history of delivering quality education.

As a Private primary school in London, Lyonsdown has a duty of providing their young students with the best opportunity to learn.


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