News in Dorset

New Library Opening for Kingsleigh Primary School

World Book Day was celebrated in style this year at Kingsleigh Primary School in Bournemouth, as it coincided with the opening of their revamped school library. New furniture, including tables, chairs and comfy seats, have created a fantastic new library for the children to enjoy, along with all the new books. The school is very proud of its approach to reading and literacy and sees the new library as an important space for children to develop.

Richard Gower, Head Teacher at Kingsleigh said: “So much hard work has gone into this project and to see it come to fruition, and the brilliant resource we now have, really does make all the effort worthwhile.Kingsleigh is also looking at the possibility of being able to open the Library during school holidays to the local community, so that children can borrow books outside of term time.


Improved SEN and disability information for Dorset Families

Local families are now able to access a wealth of information about SEN and disabilities at, along with the Family Information Services at Within this section of the website, parents can retrieve information covering health services, travel, financial support, activities, support offered in childcare, schools and colleges, changes to statements in Education, Health and Care plans, and more.    


Sign your child up for early music tuition from Dorset Music Service

Dorset Music Service is led by a team of experienced and enthusiastic instructors who offer musical instrument lessons to schools in the county.  An interesting statistic shows that 20% of children learn to play music; whilst 70% of adults wish they had. Research suggests that early music tuition improves a child's maths skills significantly. Even Einstein himself said that his great love of music was extraordinarily helpful to him in his work. If you would like your child to receive lessons from a member of the Dorset Music Service teaching team, contact your child's school directly to gain further information. Tuition is available on strings, woodwind, brass, guitar, keyboard and percussion. To find out about hire costs and lessons see


Centre Stage students raise money for local music charity

Centre Stage School of Dance and Performing Arts has so far raised £486 for its chosen charity, Coda Music Trust, after holding three fundraising events. Zoe Mather, Principal and Artistic Director of Centre Stage, commented “All of us at Centre Stage are able to appreciate and enjoy music – either through dance, singing or performing arts. Not everyone is able to engage in music in the same way. Coda Music Trust, through Music Therapy and their Health and Wellbeing programmes, ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefits of music”. Find out more about Coda Music Trust and their work at Find out more about Centre Stage by visiting


Dorset primary schools get pedalling

Schools across Dorset have been invited to join The Big Pedal until Friday 31 March. This is a national challenge designed to get more young people cycling and scooting to school, and runs from Monday 20 to Friday 31 March. During the 10 days, participating schools will be competing with one another and could pick up some great prizes for their efforts. This year’s theme, ‘Around the World in 10 Days’, enables pupils to track their progress on a map of the world. They can learn about the countries and cities they pass through on their way.

Has your school taken part in the Big Pedal? If so, please send in your pictures and we’ll include them on this page in our next issue of the magazine.


The latest on Volkswagen’s Award Winning family cars

Tower Park-based Breeze Volkswagen is celebrating the popular Touran people carrier taking top position as Best MPV in the What Car? Awards for the second consecutive year.

The 7-seat Volkswagen Touran, winner of the ‘Best Buy £20,000-£26,000’ section (1.6 TDI 115 SE) and overall victor in the highly competitive MPV category, was praised for class leading space and practicality as well as being great to drive.

Also, recognised at the awards was the New Tiguan 2.0 TDI 150 SE Navigation, winning ‘Best Buy, more than £25,000’ in the SUV class and named a finalist in the What Car? Safety Award.

Nick Rees, General Sales Manager at Breeze, said: “The Touran is the family MPV that ticks every box. It’s safe, flexible, stylish and efficient. It’s a worthy winner of its second successive What Car? Award.” He continued: “Meanwhile, the new Tiguan continues to impress. Families that choose this as their next car will be buying one of the safest new SUVs on the road today.” To arrange a test drive, call Breeze Volkswagen on 01202 713000 or visit the Tower Park showroom. Visit


100% Ballet Success for Centre Stage

Centre Stage School of Dance and Performing Arts is celebrating after its students achieved a 100% pass rate in the recent Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) ballet exams. Not only did all the students pass, but they all passed with ‘flying colours,’ achieving merits and distinctions. Ninety-two students from the school were entered for the exams across all ages and grades, from age five to senior students of seventeen. Centre Stage offers the opportunity to try Ballet from the age of just 2 ½ years. Visit the Centre Stage website or contact the school on 01202 951362.


Get active with Datto Ping

Datto Ping, the free street table tennis project, exploded onto the streets of Bournemouth last summer. Active Dorset and Bournemouth Borough Council placed 23 outdoor table tennis tables in popular locations, such as Pier Approach and also in Bournemouth's parks and gardens. If you are interested in finding your closest table visit for more information.


Dorset parents get 30 hours free childcare early

Dorset will be one of four new council areas to take up the government’s 30 hours’ free childcare offer early, before it rolls out nationally in September. The county council will work with nurseries, pre-schools and childminders in Dorset (not including Bournemouth and Poole) to start offering the 30 hours of free childcare places per week, to all eligible three- and four-year-olds from April. This doubles the existing 15 hours’ entitlement currently available for parents. To enquire about this new entitlement, visit


Improvements to Bournemouth seaside play park begin

The Alum Chine play park in Bournemouth will be getting a fresh facelift this spring. A ‘treasure island’ themed playground is to be installed, creating an inviting natural landscape and extending the park to incorporate the wooded bank. A sand pit with a ‘sunken’ pirate ship, a buried treasure chest and a low maintenance water feature are included in the new design. The current park closed on 13 March and will reopen in early summer. See


Girls’ golf is rocking again in Dorset!

Girls’ golf will be rocking again in Dorset when the successful campaign, that has been inspiring new young players, returns next month. Girls Golf Rocks is all about attracting beginners to have fun, learn a new sport, get active and play alongside friends. Sessions will be on offer at six centres across Dorset, followed by group coaching courses with PGA professionals, all supported by young ambassadors from the county squads.

Five week courses, costing only £14, will take place at:

  • Broadstone Golf Course: From 15 April to 20 May
  • Wessex Golf Centre from 1 April to 29 April
  • Sturminster Marshall Golf Club from 31 March to 5 May
  • Came Down Golf Club from 1 April to 29 April
  • Bulbury Woods Golf Club from 1 April to 29 April
  • Parkstone Golf Club from 8 April to 6 May

To make a booking go to To know more about the Golf Foundation visit


Autism Wessex urges local schools to join Autism Awareness Campaign 

In support of World Autism Awareness Day, Autism Wessex is encouraging local schools to take part in World Autism Awareness Week at School from 27 March to 2 April 2017.

Fiona Hawkins, Fundraiser at Autism Wessex comments; “Indifference, intolerance and hostility towards people with autism and their families leads to extreme social isolation, mental illness and profoundly unhappy lives. Helping young people – as well as teachers – to understand autism as they grow up will equip a new generation with the knowledge to accept and empathise with people affected by autism.”

Katie Barnes works as a teacher at Stanley Green Infant Academy in Poole. Kate has been integral in getting her school involved in the awareness week this year and Autism Wessex is calling on other local schools to follow suit; “I am fully behind this campaign and believe we have a really important job in our schools to help raise awareness amongst our pupils. Enabling our children to have a better understanding of autism can only help the whole community. As well as the special schools in our area, every mainstream school will undoubtedly have pupils with autism. It is imperative we put the spotlight on this often invisible condition until everyone understands and until indifference, intolerance and hostility towards people with autism are things of the past.”

At least 1 in 100 people in the UK have autism, so chances are there are people with autism at many mainstream schools.

World Autism Awareness Week at School invites teachers and pupils to:

  • learn about autism and in fun, imaginative lessons, activities and assemblies that are level-specific
  • plan and take part in amazing fundraising activities such as Autism Wessex’ Big Brekkie campaign and Wear a Blue for Autism day
  • help spread the word about why it's so important to understand and accept autism.

For further details and to download packs for each year group from Year 1 to Year 12, please visit

Autism Wessex also has a comprehensive training programme for parents, professionals and the local community. These are available as hourly, half day or full day packages and can be tailored to organisational or individual needs. For further information please contact Laura Harman, Practice and Clinical Support Manager on 01202 703590 or visit



Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park is on the hunt for a Captain of its brand new Caribbean Cove 

Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park is on the lookout for a Captain and crew to preview its exciting new zone, Caribbean Cove. After a £500,000 investment, the world’s biggest aquarium chain has announced it is seeking applicants to spend the day enjoying Dorset’s largest outdoor adventure playground with their friends ahead of the public launch on Saturday April 8.

As Caribbean Cove’s official Playground Manager, the lucky winner will receive an annual pass and a GoPro Session, while their friends will have exclusive access to the exciting Galleon, Calypso Heights with three challenging towers and five fun slides, shark encounter, Canyon Bridge and the Oceanic Octopus Crawl Tunnel. The captain will also be tasked with return visits during the year to provide management decisions, ideas and feedback for upcoming events at Caribbean Cove. 

 According to Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park, potential captains should “have a taste for adventure, a love for our underwater friends, and a passion for conservation.”

Interested children, aged between seven and 11, will have to impress Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park’s own Junior Executive Board by answering four questions about why they deserve the position.  

•             Why would you like to be the Caribbean Cove Playground Manager?

•             What are you really good at?

•             How would your friends describe you?

•             Tell us why you would be the perfect candidate for the Caribbean Cove Playground Manager.

Competition entries should be sent to:

Deadline for applications is Sunday March 12. 

There will be photos and video taken for publicity purposes and the winner will need to be accompaied by an adult or guardian. 















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