NOT ALL CLASSROOMS HAVE FOUR WALLS

The team

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

Rachel Dawber, BA (Hons), PGCE

Rachel Dawber, BA (Hons), PGCE

Project Leader

Rachel is an experienced primary school teacher with special skills in nurture, outdoor learning, creative curriculum, skills-based learning and bush craft skills. She also has expertise in working with schools to establish and make improvements to nurture and BESD/alternative provisions. She is a strong advocate of curriculum-based outdoor learning where she has witnessed children flourish when they are no longer constrained by the four walls of the classroom – where learning can be active and hands-on; allow for exploration and risk taking; develop enterprise, practical skills and knowledge; give children the opportunity to develop and display life skills including resilience, collaborative working, perseverance and independent and lateral thinking.

Rachel’s favourite aspect of her role?

Providing the building blocks so that young adults and children develop confidence and self-esteem which they then take into other aspects of their life; allowing them to think for themselves and be independent; watching them smile, laugh and enjoy.”

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

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

Wilderness Schooling Practitioner

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.

Jenny Dockett, BSc (Hons)

Jenny Dockett, BSc (Hons)

Wilderness Schooling Practitioner

Jenny Dockett has a degree in Environmental Microbiology and is currently working on a Masters. 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’.”

Nicola Bishop, BA (Hons), PGCE

Nicola Bishop, BA (Hons), PGCE

Wilderness Schooling Practitioner

Nicola Bishop completed a PGCE in Art and Design in 2010. While teaching Art in a secondary school, she then went on to establish a school garden and alternative outdoor curriculum for students excluded from mainstream schooling; combining a passion for experiential learning with a love of creative projects and an interest in sustainable food growing. Nicola currently teaches both the Wilderness Schooling and Curious Beasts programmes, as well as working as a gardener for a charity supporting adults with learning disabilities.

Nicola’s favourite aspect of Wilderness Schooling….

“Seeing how much fun the children have exploring their new environment with curiosity. And then feeling their sense of achievement as they are so proud to be able to demonstrate all of the skills they have learnt”.

Nick Jones, BA (Hons), PGCE

Nick Jones, BA (Hons), PGCE

Wilderness Schooling Practitioner

Hi, my name’s Nick Jones and I’m a Wilderness Schooling teacher. About a decade ago I qualified as a secondary teacher and after a year inside a classroom I realised it was much better teaching outside and I’ve been there ever since! I’ve been lucky enough to have worked across the UK and many other wonderful places in the world, delivering adventure courses, outdoor activities, environmental education, forest schools, curriculum-based learning and behaviour interventions.

Nick’s favourite aspect of Wilderness Schooling…

I became a Wilderness Schooling teacher 5 years ago and I love how much the kids love learning outside – stuff they’ve claimed to dislike in a classroom but in the woods have really enjoyed. Looking forward to many more years to come!

Clara Warden, BA (Hons), PGCE

Clara Warden, BA (Hons), PGCE

Wilderness Schooling Practitioner

After 10 years as a high school English teacher, Clara is following her passion for outdoor education full time. She has been part of the WS team for several years.

Clara is a warm, enthusiastic practitioner who believes that children bloom in the outdoors. She loves the process of Wilderness Schooling and the magic of children developing their self belief, self esteem & understanding of curricular concept. She loves an outdoor fire and the simplicity of being outdoors together. She has recently joined our Curious Beasts & is excited to develop her mental health skills. She lives in the Derwent Valley with her family & cat.

Wilderness Schooling makes a proven difference to SATS results and mental health
and is recognised as good practice in child-centred curriculums.

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