I first learnt about Forest School on a university trip to Denmark where I was inspired by not only the skills and self-confidence of the young learners there, but by their self-regulation and ability to work collaboratively.
23 years later, after a wide range of teaching experience in the primary sector, I had the opportunity to deliver outdoor learning. Seeing the children’s confidence grow as they embraced the outdoors sparked the idea that I could use the woodland on our family farm to create my very own Forest School.
I did my Forest School Leadership training during 2018 which fueled my idea and gave me the skills and confidence to establish Woodland Nurture in September 2019.
My vision is to create a safe, friendly space where children and adults feel welcome, valued and can learn new skills whilst having an enormous amount of fun. Somewhere for everyone to reconnect with nature.
I have a strong belief in active, child initiated learning and a keen interest in nature. My personal ethos of take care of yourself, others and the world around you is reflected strongly in the ethos of Forest School.
My qualifications include a B’Ed (hons) from Liverpool Hope University; Reading Recovery; Forest School Leader Level 3 ; FAA Level 3 Award in Principles of Safeguarding and Protecting Children, Young People or Vulnerable Adults; Paediatric and Outdoor First Aid and Level 2 in food safety and hygiene for catering. CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health; TQUK Level 2 Award in the Prevention and Control of Infection (RQF) qualification and TQUK Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties.
We have just entered the 5th year of Woodland Nurture! It has been a wonderful 4 years of learning; developing our practice; meeting many wonderful people; supporting our participants as they grow. We started with just one tiny EHE group and one Stay and Play session and have gone from strength to strength. I am very excited about what the future holds and very lucky to be surrounded by a supportive team who are helping to realise my dreams.
When I’m not in the woods, I am generally found with my head in a book; with a spade in the garden; out walking the dog; chilling with friends or reliving my youth at a music concert!
With a back ground in costume design and experience with performance, leading children’s creative workshops and later working in pre-school education, I have been lucky enough to work with children and adults in all manner of settings and outdoor spaces. I have always enjoyed and valued time spent in nature and as a young adult spend several years travelling, working on and living off the land. With a love of the natural world and an understanding of the vital role that nature based, child led, self-initiated learning has in nurturing and facilitating children’s holistic development, becoming a Forest Schools Practitioner was the most natural next step!
For the last four years I have had the pleasure of working with Claire and a steadily growing team of incredibly knowledgeable and passionate people. Our woodland community has grown from a handful of children to many families in just four short years. Together we have embraced the changing seasons, braved the chilly winters, basked in the beauty of the woodland on the warmer sunny days and happily squelched our way through the more wet and muddy months. It has been incredible to watch children grow, their well-being flourish and their innate natural abilities to investigate, question, discover and learn, develop and thrive.
I have been a parent for the last 20 years and together as a family we dabble in archery, climbing and bushcraft and can often be found hanging out with friends in our local woodland or just enjoying family time at home in our little picturesque village.
Training and qualifications include;
L2 &L3 Forest Schools Practitioner
Paediatric First Aid
I’ve always worked in education since finishing my degree in philosophy. I’ve been a youth worker, a learning mentor, a teaching assistant, an outdoor activities leader, a special educational needs advisor, an English language teacher and a primary school teacher. After 7 years as a primary school teacher, I retrained as a forest school leader. Swapping the classroom for the forest is the best thing I ever did as I can now really focus on supporting children in learning at their own pace and in their own way. I’ve always had a strong connection to nature and the environment and love the fact that no two days in the forest are the same. There is always an adventure to be had and something new and exciting to learn. Outside of forest school, I love walking with my dog and 2 children, running, and I coach and play football.