Editors note from Beach Media Publications

Editor’s note

What a year 2020 has been. I’m sure all of us are glad to see the back of it as it wasn’t the auspicious start to a new decade that was hoped for. But throughout the adversity and overwhelmingly awful moments I like to think we have changed for the better. We’ve become more community minded; whether that’s been groups coming together to distribute food, cook meals or provide mental health support or neighbours helping each other out. Changes in working habits have provided people with a better work/life balance. Instead of being a slave to technology we’ve harnessed its power to help us to communicate with family and friends and allow work and schooling to continue. We’ve also rediscovered the power of our local traders. From the corner shop that had toilet roll and pasta when everywhere else had sold out, to small businesses quickly adapting to provide online and delivery services so they could continue to look after their local customers.

With a second vaccine now available we may see some form of normality start to return; but if it’s not as quick as we’d like it to be, we know that we have the fortitude to muddle it through.

Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2021!


Editors note

Good grief – I can’t believe it’s December already!

Another way of phrasing that is “I can’t quite believe we’ve reached the end of a year that’s had one hundred and eleven billionty weeks in it.”

I thought the end was in sight, but before I was able to get too excited, I had a reality check. Archie and the whole of his Y11 cohort (final GCSE year) were sent home to self-isolate as so many of them have been in contact with someone who has tested Covid+. Currently I am having to finish off deadline next to Archie completing online Zoom classes. 2020 seems determined to keep me on my toes until midnight sounds on New Year’s Eve!

At the end of a difficult year, I hope you find time for yourself and also have chance to look out for people around you who may be finding things difficult. There are many people still suffering the resounding shocks of Covid, having lost family, friends or jobs; but we have also rediscovered our sense of community and as a community we need to chip in and support where we can. As Desmond Tutu, a man who knows what it’s like to struggle against seemingly impossible odds said:

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”

Wishing you all the love, health and happiness throughout 2021!


Is extra tutoring right for your child?


Is extra tutoring right for your child?

When lockdown started and students had to undertake online learning, I thought the slowdown in pace would be a good thing as it would allow kids would be able to learn at their own speed. However, my perception that the school had a good grasp of technology and able to deliver teaching online turned out to be somewhat optimistic of me.

As soon as online learning started systems crashed due to the overload of students trying to login. Reading through the text of lessons they appeared to have been hurriedly put together with little thought given as to how the written word could differ in translation to the spoken word. The red tape that surrounded safeguarding meant online meeting rooms couldn’t be used for “live” teaching; instead students were referred to external sources that were robotic in presentation and uninspiring.

These issues made learning an uphill struggle, and in some subjects nigh on impossible. For Archie, one of those subjects was maths. The computer systems used only allowed for completely right answers and you couldn’t move to the next one without either getting it right or simply not answering it.

The pandemic was worrying enough for students but the Y10 cohort had another fear: not being able to get to grips with the Y10 GCSE syllabus. I watched with growing concern as Archie struggled to get through some aspects of maths. I asked the school for support but couldn’t get anything in place. Then one day Archie imploded and with tears of frustration coursing down his face, he shouted in no uncertain terms that he couldn’t do maths this way any longer.

That’s when I approached Mathnasium about their online coaching programme. I knew that the best way for Archie to learn was to be able to ask questions of someone in the same room as him. He also needed someone to rebuild his confidence by showing him where he was getting things right and help him gain greater understanding in topics that bamboozled him.

The process involved an initial assessment to identify where Archie was with his learning. Then a programme was put into place to work on areas of need. Whilst initially resistant, Archie has found Mathnasium a huge benefit. He worked one-to-one with tutors who set the work, gave him time to complete it and then returned to talk through the answers. The process has given him back his confidence and progressed his understanding.

Since starting with Mathnasium, I have seen a huge change in Archie’s attitude to maths. It is no longer a subject to be feared; the programme has allowed him to learn at his own pace, enhanced his understanding and celebrated his successes. I had thought that once he was back to school Archie would want to stop but he has decided to continue.

I have been hugely impressed with the Crouch End team and highly recommend you speak to them if you have a child who needs to catch-up.

Written by Becky Beach, mum of Y11 student, Archie

The joy of a UK vacation

As returning to school is going to present its own set of challenges, I wanted the boys to end the summer on a high. The fact that they go back a week later than most has worked out well as we’ve been able to avoid battling the crowds of people who chose to vacation in the UK rather than risk quarantine on return from abroad.

But the weather wasn’t in our favour and booking a cottage by the sea might have ended up as a BBC2 repeat of lockdown just in a different place. So, my tentative suggestion of heading off to Alton Towers for a couple of days was leapt on with glee. I love the fact that the boys are quite happy to jump onto rides that subject them to 3G force and 0-100kph in 2.5 secs as I’ve never been one for such recklessness. I’ve quietly tagged along behind them as they’ve scuttled from one ride with 14 turns to another with a 180-degree vertical drop, all the time quietly admiring their bravado. And the fun doesn’t stop at Alton Towers as afterwards we’re heading out to ZipWorld where the boys and their dad will take a mile-long zip wire, face first, across the Penrhyn Quarry. I am assured it will be great fun and I’ll have to take their word for it because I’m too scared to look!

I hope you’ve had a great summer and look forward to catching up with you in the next issue.

Until next time, much sweetness

A tribute to George Georgiou of Toff’s Fish & Chips

George was an integral part of Muswell Hill for many years both as a shop owner and playing his part in supporting the local community. Following his untimely death from coronavirus there was an outpouring of tributes which described George as being “a pillar of the community” and having “a great sense of humour” as well as “a dear friend”, “a real gentleman” and “thoroughly decent man”.

George’s recent funeral saw the streets of Muswell Hill lined with people wanting to pay their last respects. It was fitting that such a popular man brought the area to a standstill. Whilst George will be missed, his family are determined to carry on and the restaurant is open once again for table service alongside its usual the takeaway service. To make a reservation please call 020 8883 8656.