NATURE ITSELF IS THE BEST PHYSICIAN. HIPPOCRATES

The team

 All of our Therapeutic Wilderness Practitioners are experienced teachers and teaching assistants who combine this with outdoor skills to bring the curriculum to life in the wilderness.

Rachael Muir, LLB (Hons), LPC (exempting), PGCE, MA Ed.

Rachael Muir, LLB (Hons), LPC (exempting), PGCE, MA Ed.

Project Leader

Rachael completed a degree in law and a year in industry before realising that she couldn’t work at a desk. She completed her PGCE in Primary education with High Force Education in Barnard Castle in 2007 and MA in Education in 2012. Coming from a background working in outdoor education, holding many NGB qualifications notably Level 4 Kayak instructor, she was always keen to take her classroom outdoors, therefore gaining her Forest School leadership award in 2019.

Rachael loves watching pupils thrive in the outdoor environment, facilitating their learning in different ways and helping them achieve their potential. Let’s face it, nothing beats toasting a marshmallow on a fire.

Anita Foster, BSc (Hons), QTS

Anita Foster, BSc (Hons), QTS

Wilderness Schooling Practitioner

Anita Foster gained a BSc(Hons) in Biology with Education from the University of Bath in 1992. This teaching qualification coupled with a passion for the outdoors led her to focus on learning outside the classroom – developing programmes, managing education centres and working with thousands of children and teachers in a wide range of settings. Since 2001 she has specialised in school grounds, helping schools and early years settings realise the potential of these spaces as educational resources, through consultancy, training and project management.

Anita’s favourite aspect of Wilderness Schooling?

The light bulb moments. When a child really ‘gets’ something. I see this in teachers too, when they see the positive impact of learning outdoors on their pupils, and understand themselves what Wilderness School is all about.

Kieran Ferguson, BA (Hons), PGCert

Kieran Ferguson, BA (Hons), PGCert

Wilderness Schooling Practitioner

Kieran began his journey in education working as a Behaviour Mentor with children who had disengaged from learning due to social, emotional, and mental health issues. After completing a SCITT in Primary Teaching, Kieran then taught for six years in Gateshead and now works as an Interventions Teacher for children who are not accessing education due to their physical and mental health needs. The students Kieran has worked with have helped him realise learning outdoors can often provide a safer, more supportive and stimulating environment for children who are struggling to cope in the classroom.

Jenny Dockett, BSc (Hons) MA

Jenny Dockett, BSc (Hons) MA

Wilderness Schooling Practitioner

Jenny Dockett has a degree in Environmental Microbiology and a Masters in Heritage Studies. Her dissertation ‘Doing heritage in Northumberland: the effect of long term relationships with heritage sites on wellbeing, identity and ontological security’ is about the benefits people gain from visiting a heritage site regularly over a period of years. She has worked as a Special Needs Teaching Assistant, Education Officer at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh and Public Engagement Manager at the Centre for Life. She now works freelance for science festivals and heritage projects when she is not doing Wilderness Schools.

Jenny loves to see children getting hands on with practical learning. She loves it when children show her something they have found or observed for the first time. She loves to see their confidence grow each week.

“The most magical part of Wilderness Schools is when a teacher takes you to one side and tells you ‘they wouldn’t normally engage in the classroom’.”

Therapeutic Wilderness provides children with the opportunity to build meaningful relationships, self esteem and resilience whilst connecting with nature.

Get in touch
Sign up for our newsletter
zone west logo 900
Curious Beasts logo
NEW Research logo