The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Northamptonshire Edition

Category: Education

Muddy Best Schools Guide #3: Quinton House School,

9 Oct 2016

What, Where? Quinton House School is an independent day school for happy children aged 2 -18. I say happy, because it was play time when I arrived, and the level of laughter bouncing off the walls and woodland had me wishing myself back to school in a jiffy (and I very rarely do that). The school is pretty and set in 31 acres of land (which is a hidden gem behind a residential area.

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5 smart ways to improve your child’s self-esteem

26 Sep 2016

If you’re a regular Muddy reader you’ll know that I love to scoot along having fun and looking for the best things in life (happily they’re free – just ask Janet). But even I can’t sugar coat some subjects.

I have two mudlets myself, all school age, so the current reading in the newspapers is pretty depressing. The average onset age for depression was 45 in the 1960s; today it’s 14.

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What’s on – Thurs 4 & beyond

4 Aug 2016

So far this summer holiday I have survived a few play-dates (although I am under instruction never to call them that for 11-year-old girls), a week in a yurt in rainy Tenby, plus a mammoth clothes washing session that nearly resulted in Mr Muddy’s breakdown (he overseas laundry in our household – I know, I don’t know how lucky I am! Anyhoo, with the help of my lovely intern number one, Daisy Ward, we’ve managed to put together a few more exciting things for your diary.

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Muddy Best Schools Guide #2: Beachborough School, Nr Brackley

17 Jun 2016

My second school review, and it’s a beaut (if I say so myself!). If you have kids between two and thirteen, read on.


What? Where? Beachborough is a bucolic prep school at Westbury Manor, tickling the Northants, Bucks and Oxon borders, and perfectly positioned for those around Bicester, Buckingham, Banbury (or further if you don’t mind the drive). Co-educational with a 50/50 boy/girl split with 363 pupils this year (just about capacity), it’s set in 35 acres of frankly gorgeous grounds.

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Muddy Best Schools Guide: Winchester House, Brackley

5 May 2016

Soooooo…I’ve been muddying my stilettos for a few months now..eateries, drinkeries, walkeries, you name it; your intrepid explorer has been up, down and across this lovely Shire looking for things that will make us smile and make our lives more colourful. On my travels I noticed how many damn fine schools we have, so here we are with the kick off of the Best Muddy School Guide Northants, hoorah! I visited Winchester House School last month (April 2016) and drank tea, chatted to pupils and was generally a very well-behaved guest (much more so than when I was actually at school, ahem)!

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Top 10 picture books for kids

2 Apr 2016

It’s International Children’s Book Day and we’re continuing with the best books for kids; and in part 2, Emily Adsett-Raggett gives us her choice of the top 10 picture books. My teen and 11 year old, are too old for these books, but I remember a few of these gems like it was yesterday.

Over to Emily…

What the Ladybird Heard Julia Donaldson (author) and Lydia Monks (illustrator)

A storytime favourite.

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Muddy Northants, Easter hols survival guide, part 1

22 Mar 2016

It’s Easter, there’s chocolate and Bank Holidays, what’s not to like? *swifty hides Easter egg wrappers under the sofa! Anyway, here’s your Muddy low-down for what’s on in the first half of the break (while you’re still full of energy and facing the morning with freshly brushed teeth and a spring in your step)!

The Last Tango, 21 Mar- 26 Mar, Royal and Derngate

Strictly’s Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace have created their most moving production yet, as they prepare to dance in their final ever show (Grand Muddy is desparate to don her sequins and go and see this).

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How to help your kids’ self esteem

1 Mar 2016

The Manor School, Abingdon

It’s National Offers Day today, and more than half a million 11-year-olds across the country will learn what secondary school they will be attending from September. Experts have predicted that tens of thousands of youngsters are likely to miss out on a place at their first choice of school, but whatever choice of school they get, how can we help them to be as happy as they possibly can?

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Northamptonshire Edition