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October-November News

Welcome back to school from WCU


Welcome to the October-November Update. We hope you had a super break, we certainly did at WCU with 28 of you from across our network joining us for fun with Tanzii TV, Really Big Pants Theatre and Topsy Turvy. This season we have lots to look forward to so check below for Novembers Upcoming Fun .

Winter Wishes Festival at Hyde Park

It’s finally back! One of London’s festive favourites, Winter Wonderland, returns to Hyde Park for a triumphant fifteenth anniversary lasting six yule-tide filled weeks. Bigger and better than ever, this Christmas you can expect gift-filled huts, fairground rides, and the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink to central London and WCU schools will be there for free thanks to Winter Wishes on the 17th.


Don’t worry if your school doesn’t get to join in as you can go with your parents throughout the festive/winter period. The main date is November 18th, the day that the gates open to this fantastical festive experience. Tickets went on sale on July 28th and are expected to sell out quick, so purchasing Winter Wonderland Hyde Park tickets for the event early is highly recommended.


With over 200 rides, attractions, games and food & drink offerings; Winter Wonderland really is the one-stop shop for all things Christmas. There will be timed entry tickets during the festival to help manage visitor numbers and to give all attendees the best experience possible. Once inside Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2022, you will be able to stay for as long as you wish – but be aware that you will have to be there for your set entry time, ticket prices range from free (off-peak tickets) to £7.50 (peak entry). However, if you spend £25 on attractions, food, drinks, rides, or games in advance, your entry ticket will be free, regardless of timing.

Returning in all its glory this year is Winter Wonderland’s enchanting ice rink, which also happens to be the largest outdoor rink in the UK and is situated around the infamous Victorian bandstand which will have a singer to serenade you as you whizz round to all the classic Christmas songs.

The Magical Ice Kingdom is back with a new theme, where you’ll be able to find five hundred tonnes of ice sculptures filling an awe-inspiring Ice Palace. For the adrenaline junkies out there, the impressive ice slide returns and it’s been made even bigger for 2022’s instalment. Elsewhere, guests will be able to embark on the festival’s 70-metre Giant Wheel which offers outstanding views of the park and the city beyond.


This year’s instalment of Winter Wonderland Hyde Park 2022 is bigger and better than ever. Spectators can expect to find activities like ice sculpting workshops, family-friendly workshops delivered by Zippo’s Christmas Circus and for the more daring guests there is a wilder fare at Cirque Berserk. New to this year’s festival is the Edelweiss Funhouse, where you can expect thrills and chills beyond your wildest dreams.


In terms of entertainment, there will be live music at The Fire Pit which will provide your more upbeat tempo dance tunes and Explorer’s Rest with a more chilled offering for those who want a more relaxed vibe. It’s also the perfect place to make a start on your festive shopping with a lovely stroll around the stalls to get you into the Christmas spirit.


Overall, it’s looking to be a spectacular celebration, which after the last few years, is something that we all need. Suzy Griffiths, the Winter Wonderland Event Director for IMG says “This year we want to bring people together to celebrate the amazing memories we have made over the last 15 years, and make new magical memories to last a lifetime. That’s what the festive season is all about and Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a fun-filled family tradition that guests love to mark down in their calendars as far ahead as July!”


Mayor’s Christmas Card Competition

This year, pupils are invited to design a card on the theme, 'Together at Christmas’. We want your pupils to show scenes that highlight the sense of belonging, support and shared joy that define a welcoming community.

By entering our competition, your pupil stands the chance to have their artwork featured on the Mayor’s 2023 Christmas card which will be sent to dignitaries across the world, including our sovereign, His Majesty King Charles III.

The winning design will feature on the Mayor’s official Christmas card. It will also feature the winner’s first name, age, and school on the back of the card.

The competition is supported by Cass Art, the UK’s leading independent art supplies retailer. The winner will be invited to the Mayor’s Christmas carol service event, receive a certificate, copies of the card to send to their friends and family, have their Christmas card personally signed by the Mayor, and a £100 Cass Art gift voucher. Also, the two highest praised entries will each receive a certificate and a £30 Cass Art gift voucher.

Find out how Cass Art could support creativity in your school or send an email to

The application deadline is Friday 3 November at 23:59 pm.

November’s Into-Film Festival

The 2023 Into Film Festival is taking place between 7-24 November, and will help educators bring learning to life for 5-19 year olds across the UK by inspiring young people to watch, understand and make film in new and creative ways. WCU students will be taking part throughout the season enjoying Lyle Lyle Crocodile, Trolls, Sproods, TMNT and Ruby Kraken.

The Festival programme features thousands of free film screenings, special events and previews, and interactive Q&A sessions with screen industry professionals, making it the perfect opportunity to support young people in enjoying the big screen experience. There is also a review competition to take part in after the festival with a £200 class prize so we can’t wait to read about what you all thought!

Fire Works Night

As the adage goes: remember, remember the fifth of November. Bonfire Night is officially on November 5 every year, and luckily that falls on a Sunday in 2023. This year, a lot of the displays are happening over the weekend of November 3-5. As has become the norm, lots of displays get going in the afternoon with funfairs, food stalls and more, making it a proper fun family day out including our Local, Free display in Queen’s Park Gardens at 6:00pm curtesy of QPCC.


Top tips for Bonfire Night in London

  • Book in advance: Nearly all of London’s free bonfire celebrations aren’t taking place this year, which means tickets are essential if you want to get a close-up view of the bangs and sparks. So get organised!
  • Wrap up: The unpredictable great British weather rarely ever plays ball. This year it looks like wet weather and cold temperatures are on the cards. So, make sure you bring plenty of layers, including one that’s preferably waterproof, to avoid a soggy, miserable evening.
  • Cash up: Yes, most places take card now, but you never know and you definitely don’t want to be stranded in a cold field with no way of buying a hot jacket potato. So, visit a cash machine before you go.
  • Leave the sparklers at home: As much as we love those hot, fiery sticks, lots of organised bonfires won’t allow them or will only let you buy them on-site. So, save them for the garden at home.

There are lots of larger London-wide displays to consider visiting with your parents

1. Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival

Alexandra Palace 3 Nov- 4 Nov 2023

The Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival is easily one of the biggest, biggest displays in town. As ever, the display will be set to music, which is usually curated by a big-name DJ, making the always impressive fireworks exploding with a glittering panoramic view of London as its backdrop even more special. There’ll also be warming street food, a light show from Lords of Lightning, and a huge German Bier Fest with sets from tribute acts Joel Coombes: Elton John and Rogue Minogue: Kylie, DJ sets from Fat Tony and DJ Spoony and a drag party with iconic drag queens Jonny Woo and John Sizzle.

2. Dulwich Fireworks Display

Herne Hill 4 Nov 2023

This family-oriented fest (which is £1 for kids under 16) kicks off at 5pm. In addition to the explosions, they’re promising mulled wine, real ale, a barbecue, pizza and more. Prepare to ooh and ahh when the fireworks go off at 7pm. No tickets will be available on the night, so get organised!

3. Battersea Park Fireworks

Battersea 4 Nov -5 Nov 2023

Wandsworth Council’s annual display is back for 2023, doubling in size to become a two-nighter. Saturday November 4 is the regular fireworks and bonfire. While Sunday November 5 is more family-friendly, with activities for kids and fewer nerve-jangling explosions. There’ll also be mulled winter warmers and autumnal comfort food. It always sells out, so book early.

4. Coram’s Fields Fireworks Display


Bloomsbury 3 Nov 2023

This small, family-focused fireworks event in Camden’s Coram Fields proves its kid-friendly credentials by taking place a lot earlier than your average display, starting at 3.30pm and with the bangs and sparks lifting off at 6pm. It’s all free, but tickets are available for prime viewing spots. As well as the bangs, there will be food and drink stalls and performances from local schools and young people. 

5. Morden Park Fireworks

Morden 12 Nov 2023

The Morden Park fireworks involve two displays, the first of which is a child-friendly one, at 5.15pm with a magic theme. That's followed by a more elaborate (read: way louder) ‘One Hit Wonders’ adult display at 7.15pm. Fairground rides and food stalls also make an appearance.#

6. Barnes Fireworks

Barnes 4 Nov 2023

This traditional bonfire night celebration features a ‘best guy’ competition – the winner of which gets to light the party’s big bonfire. Fireworks usually go off at 7.45pm. Food, mulled wine and a licensed bar will all be on hand to tempt you, too. There’ll be a DJ sound tracking the entire evening and you can also buy sparklers onsite – good news if you’ve ever braved the huge queues for the spark sticks. Tickets need to be bought in advance.

7. Wimbledon Park Fireworks

Wimbledon 4 Nov 2023

See some ‘musical fireworks’ at this two-part show in Wimbledon Park. The first display, at 5.15pmpm, is set to ‘magical’ tunes, the other, at 8.30pm, has a one-hit wonders theme. You can also expect food, drink and funfair rides.