Qualified, experienced and lovers of the great outdoors
Forest School Leader
Hi, I am Julie, Farnborough Forest School Leader and director. I started my Forest School journey in May 2021 following my passion for children's education, nature, the environment, conservation, and sustainability.
My background is in primary school education – I am a teacher at heart and my life is devoted to nurturing and developing the children of the future.
I have always enjoyed being outside in nature, but my interest in nature was sparked and spurred on with the birth of my own son Lucas. At the age of 2, Lucas watched Blue Planet and become avidly interested in the natural world. Following his interest, I have fostered this with him - gardening, playing in and exploring the great outdoors, watching numerous documentaries and leading a more sustainable life as a family. Therefore, I have grown in my own nature connectedness and knowledge.
Having graduated, with a BED degree from Homerton College, Cambridge University, in 2002, I have taught across the whole primary age range in my 20 years of teaching. My specialism within schools has been English and I have been a Lead English Teacher of Hampshire as well as subject manager and part of Senior Leadership teams. My teaching years have predominantly been in teaching in Rushmoor schools (returning to my hometown after graduating)– which is part of my reasoning behind bringing the Forest School experience to Farnborough. Within my working life, I have also experienced work in nursery schools, volunteering to become professionally familiar with Early Years education.
I have always enjoyed connecting my classes to nature – especially in my more recent years of classroom practise. Taking learning outside where possible and educating my classes in flora, fauna and environmental issues.
In Summer 2021, I took on the exciting challenge of the Level 3 Forest School training to become a qualified Forest School Leader. I am currently busy completing all my assignments and business planning, alongside part time teaching, and will be launching Forest School programmes in Spring 2022.
I am enjoying every moment of my training (follow the tab to see my training highlights) and am excited with the prospect of bringing Forest School to Farnborough - and really making a difference to my local community.
Provide a wide range of opportunities and activities based on the group’s interests and developmental needs.
Takes time after and between sessions to reflect on observations and opportunities provided. Uses this reflection to plan following sessions and undertake own CPD to maximise opportunities for all participants.
Carefully observes learners and identifies what they learn and how they learn.
Constantly learn about the participants. Continue to develop own knowledge of woodland, the environment, skills and activities. Keep up to date with latest research. Connect with other local FSL’s and attend training for continual professional development.
Completing all admin and paperwork requirements as per FSA criteria, legal criteria and for the setting (e.g school). Ensure all paperwork is up to date and relevant.
Tries new things myself and encourage participants to take safe and supported risks.
Impart own expert knowledge to participants. For example, information about flora and fauna, tools and environment.
Also, to support FS development of any other staff members.
Adaptable & Flexible
Takes advantage of in the moment occurrences and naturally occurring events and uses them to develop learning.
Is happy to follow the children’s interest and learning by going off on a tangent from session plans and original activities. Adapting activities and the environment/setting in the moment.
Look at activities and the environment and decide if they are safe. Ensure benefits out way risk. Look after all participants and ensure everyone is safe.
A personal interest in nature and caring for the environment, therefore can inspire and model this.