The Woodventurers Team
I’m Toni and I’m one of the Woodland Learning Co-ordinators at Woodventurers. After working as an Early Years teacher for many years and raising a family, I trained as a Forest School Leader. I have led Forest School and Woodland Learning programmes for the last 7 years. I am also a Level 4 qualified Forest School and Outdoor Learning Trainer. In this role, I fulfil my ambition of making learning outdoors an integral part of children's education. Having worked with students with SEND, I have first-hand experience of the profoundly positive effects being in nature can have on mental health. As such, I am committed to enabling people of all ages and abilities to use the outdoors as a platform for learning and growing. Some of my other favourite things are ducks, crochet, reading, my family, woolly socks and campfire crumble.
I’m Alice, a Woodland Tutor. I'm also a mum and a parent carer because my eldest son has additional needs of ADHD and Autism. I have had the privilege of being involved in outdoor learning experiences whilst camping since childhood. My first ever teacher was fun and inspirational and so I always wanted to teach and became a Primary School teacher specialising in Early Years. I have always been passionate about enabling independent learning, inclusivity and the importance of connecting with nature in the modern world. Examining the increasing pressures in schools I realised a need for access to something more exciting, supportive and reflective with time for exploration, fun and creativity, so have now retrained and qualified as a Level 3 Forest School Practitioner. In my spare time I enjoy my camps and the great outdoors. I have volunteered at inclusive events and support accessibility for all. My love of history means I enjoy exploring historical sites and participating in living history events. I also love singing, the folk tradition and story telling.
Hi , I'm Louise, a Woodland Tutor. I am an experienced Forest School leader and a trained primary school teacher. I'm also an experienced inclusion specialist and love working with the diverse range of learners I encounter in my work. I have a passion for nature and believe working outside in the fresh air with children, animals and adults alike is good for the soul. I firmly believe in the saying, if children are not learning in the way I teach, then I must teach in the way they learn. Consequently, my sessions are full of exciting activities to explore the awe and wonder of the natural world. From singing under trees to swinging on climbing ropes, I aim to help others see and feel the joy in getting muddy, smelling smoky from a campfire or even getting wet and enjoying it!
Hi, I'm Alicia. I'm one of the team of Woodland Tutors/ Forest School Leaders here at Cambridge Forest Schools. I have worked with children in various outdoor settings since 2016. I enjoy the outdoors in all seasons, but particularly enjoy Spring and Autumn. My current favourite forest school activities are pond dipping and fire lighting. In my spare time, I enjoy running and other physical pursuits and I have recently taken up boxing!
Hi, I'm Nicki and I'm one of the Woodland Learning Co-ordinators. Having worked within the Primary Education System for over 18 years as a teacher, Deputy Head and Inclusion Manager. I have gained a wealth of experience working with pupils with SEND, SEMH concerns and those who just don’t quite fit inside the ‘expected’ shaped hole. I am an experienced SENCO and hold the National Award for SENCO's. With my interest in well-being, I hold a certificate in child and adolescent counselling, have completed CAMHS training for supporting mental health of children and adolescents. I love spending time outdoors with my children, especially mucking around in our woods, drinking a hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows on the fire. When I get the chance, I also like building sandcastles.
Hi, I’m Jane and I’m a Woodland Learning Tutor. I have worked in Primary Education for many years, both as a classroom teacher and more recently as a tutor with Cambridgeshire Outdoors. During my time working in Primary Schools I began to realise that the sort of outdoor childhood that I had experienced was becoming a thing of the past and this made me feel sad. I believe that spending time in Nature is vital for young people’s physical health and well-being. I am a level 3 Forest School Leader and am passionate about reconnecting children and young people with nature, providing opportunities to build self-belief and resilience. I’m hoping that together we can create a generation of nature lovers and have lots of fun along the way! I love spending time outdoors in all weather, walking my dog with family and friends or chilling out around the firepit. I also enjoy growing fruit and vegetables in the garden and am never happier than when I’m in the woods, up a mountain or by the sea. I’m also a bit crazy about hedgehogs and very partial to a toasted marshmallow!
Hi I'm Sarah and I'm a Woodland Learning Tutor. My background is in Science - molecular biology to be exact! and I'm a secondary school science teacher/home tutor. I love spending time outdoors especially in the woods so after leaving teaching to raise my family, I trained as a Forest School Leader. I am also a trained FRIENDS facilitator, a resilience programme for 4-16-year olds, designed to reduce anxiety and depression in young people. I love learning new things and skills and finding new things in nature during my Forest School sessions. I am creative and especially love to make things with natural materials. My hobbies include, photography, silver jewellery making and cat fostering! I'm also a shepherd, I look after and a flock of sheep in the nearby nature reserve with my two children.
Hi! I'm Jessica, one of the Woodland tutors here. I am a qualified teacher and have an MA in English which I have used to work as a teacher and tutor for the past four years. Before that, I worked in a hospital for young people with mental health challenges. I am also a trainee psychotherapist and a qualified 'Safe and Sound Protocol' practitioner. I'm guessing you can tell by now that I like helping people to feel better? That's one of the reasons I wanted to join the Woodventurers tutor team. The other reason is... I love the outdoors! Whether I'm sitting under a tree observing the rustling leaves, building dens or telling stories around a blazing campfire, I always appreciate the nourishment that nature has to offer.
My career began as a therapeutic arts facilitator working with special needs young adults, in a women’s centre and with young children, until I discovered Forest School. I started working as a Forest School leader in Early Years and Primary schools when my children were small, 12 years ago. Working outdoors made so much sense! The experience of being in nature, the smells, sounds and space was therapeutic in itself. I chose train as an Early Years teacher and bring all my previous learning into a classroom when I realised that the most important ‘ingredients’ were missing… the ground and the sky. So, I left the classroom to get back outdoors and now I am a tutor for Woodventures and I also work on an organic farm with SEN adults I am energetic and creative. I love trying out new ideas that in turn inspire more ideas. I practice yoga every day and I am enjoying the benefits to physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. You will find me in the garden or up a mountain, walking, climbing and camping. If not there, I’ll probably be by a fire reading and drawing.
Hi, my name is Harry and I'm a woodland tutor. I have a keen interest in being outdoors and being able to make full use of the environment around us. I found my interest in outdoor education in SEND in 2011 when I left for upstate New York to work at a SEN Summer Camp. I ended up staying for 5 summers at my camp and eventually this led to me earning my Bachelors and Masters in SEND & Inclusion. In this time, I have also lived in Australia and Sweden and have experienced exciting moments allowing me to gain a well rounded perspective on how we all interact differently with the world. In my work I look to specifically focus on confidence building towards our social skills, self esteem and independence. I believe the woodland is a great natural resource for us all to learn these skills. Also, I love a good fire and den making session! Hope to see you at the woodland site soon
Hi, I'm Dorka, one of the Woodland Tutors. I'm a primary school teacher and I'm passionate about progressive education. I strive to ignite a love of learning in children and over the years, I have found that taking the learning outside is so much fun! After my Forest School Level 3 Leader training I realised I wanted to work more in a natural environment, basing my practise on the holistic principles of Forest School which I find a lot more liberating than working in a classroom. I have worked with various pupils with SEN and seen the transformation they can go through when they are given more freedom and time to explore their interests in an outdoor setting. I'm an energetic, upbeat and creative practitioner and I love to have a good laugh. When I'm not teaching, you can find me on the dance floor as I am an avid swing dancer and I run the Cambridge Swing Dance club. I also love languages (I speak 4), story telling and History.
Hi, I am Sonia and love being part of the Wood Ventures team. On a professional level, I am currently in the process of completing my ‘level 3 forest school practitioner qualification’, which has been a natural destination for me throughout the last 25 years of my working life. Supporting my focus in working with children and young adults with a diagnosis of autism has become my passion. With the aim to meet the very individual needs of those I work with, in the hope of making a positive difference to all aspects of their lives and those they share them with. Through the years it has been a privilege to have been drawn deeper into many areas of education meeting these very individual needs, across a wide range of educational processes and programmes, from home Educational Specialist programmes to supporting SEN students in Primary schools along with a host of other areas that present themselves when working1:1 and in Specialist Autistic School. As a natural progression, just over 4 years ago I explored the ethos of forest school, subsequently qualifying as a level 2 forest school assistant. Which allowed me to become immersed in its ethos and a broad cross section of approaches and therapies. Being part of the very beginning of the forest school within a specialist provision, was an amazing learning experience and personal achievement. Opening my eyes and heart to the importance and power of just ‘being‘ in the natural world, and the profound affect this plays on and within all of us all, especially SEND individuals. So although always my passions, autism and SEND within a natural environment is where I love to be and experience the greatest results, seeing and experiencing the importance and value of the natural world in support of the many challenges our individuals face along the way in education and life in general. I hope to you in the woods soon
Hi I'm Dave and I'm one of the Woodland Tutors here at Woodventurers. I'm a qualified primary school teacher and currently work across primary year groups with a range of abilities and personalities. I have a lifetimes experience of practical work and problem solving which I love to apply to my Woodland Learning work. My particular skill is building and constructing. I approach sessions ready to follow the learner's interests and always have ideas up my sleeve as to what to do next. I'm also a bush-craft teacher and work with learners of all ages doing activities such as fire-lighting, campfire cooking, shelter building, whittling and nature walks. Woodland Learning is the perfect way for me to apply my skills and share my love of trying new things. In my spare time, I like making things out of wood, painting my boat and feeding the ducks.