About Us

What is the Ethos of the school?

Does your child look at a stick and see a flag pole? A helicopter? A knife?  Does your child walk past a tree and wonder what type it is? Does your child look through your window and wish they were outside connecting with nature? If so come and join the Foresteers and explore the magical woodland. We will guide our little Foresteers to let their mind and senses free, try new experiences and let their imagination and creativity loose. We will nurture each individual’s holistic development through building a meaningful and positive relationship with nature.

This journey of discovery and exploration will take place in the woodland amid the relaxing sounds of the birds and the wind through the trees. We will learn to take pride in our achievements, reflect on our skills with new peers and prepare ourselves for our next challenge. We learn from our mistakes and gain confidence from taking risks. Experienced Level 3 Forest School practitioners will facilitate and extend your child’s learning through discovery and engagement with nature, offering a continuum of learning. Your child will be introduced to new skills and be given the freedom to use and develop them in a way that interests them.  We progress towards experiences involving tool use and fire at a rate suitable to the individual group. It’s their learning, let them lead it. All of the experiences we engage in during a Forest School session are designed to challenge children – but also to be achievable. This way children are able to stretch their skills whilst also building their confidence.

Who is the team behind Foresteers?

“Learning does not have to stay confined to the classroom”


Name: Rohan Wilson (Director)

Experience: I have 10 years experience working as a Senior Learning Mentor in a Sheffield Primary SchooI where I undertook my Forest School Training. I used it as an intervention but quickly came to see the importance of it for all. I was also the Child Protection lead Officer and was involved with reviewing and implementing policies and procedures to keep children safe and healthy.  

Qualifications: BSc Outdoor Education and Science, Forest School Level 3, Forest School First Aid, Paediatric First Aid, Food Safety (Level 2), Advanced Safeguarding, Awareness of Child Abuse, Safeguarding and Neglect, Sustained Shared Thinking, Characteristics of Effective Learning, Prevent Duty, Forest School Trainer

Favourite animal: dog

Favourite colour: blue


Name: Hayley Smith (Managing Director and SENCo)

Experience: I am a qualified teacher and have a number of years experience been an Early Years Foundation Stage Leader.

I have worked with children from the ages of 2 to 6 from a range of backgrounds and firmly believe that children develop best when they feel happy and safe and the teaching is personalised to their interest.

Qualifications: BA Geography, PGCE Early Years, SENCo level 4, Forest School Level 3, Forest School First Aid, Paediatric First Aid, Food Safety (Level 2), Basic Safeguarding, Advanced Safeguarding, Awareness of Child Abuse, Safeguarding and Neglect, ACERs,  Sustained Shared Thinking, Characteristics of Effective Learning, Prevent Duty, Forest School Trainer

Favourite animal: hedgehog

Favourite colour: red


Name: Lucie O’Grady (Deputy Manager)

Experience: I have been working internationally in education for over a decade and feel very lucky to be spending every day with young learners, especially in the forest!
Outdoor learning is my passion. I spend a lot of my free time identifying (and sometimes eating!) wild mushrooms, foraging, and hiking, with the occasional freezing cold wild swim included! I grew up learning Spanish from a young age and have a great interest in speaking and learning language as a result, which is something I like to share as a teacher too.
Qualifications: BA Hispanic Studies, Teaching English as a Second Language, Paediatric and Outdoor First Aid, Safeguarding Level 3, Food Safety Level 2. Forest School Level 3, Early Years Educator Apprecntice 
Favourite animal: Tiger
Favourite colour: Turquoise


Name: Eliza Barlow (Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead)


For the last 14 years I have worked at an Infant school working across the age range of 3-7 and I have a wealth of experience in both Early Years and Key Stage 1. 

I have been an EYFS Leader for the last three years and have knowledge of the statutory guidance for the Foundation Stage, Development Matters, assessment and reporting procedures and safeguarding. 

Qualifications: BA(Hons) Primary Teaching, Safeguarding Level 3 and Leadership, ACEs, safer sleep, food safety and hygiene level 2, allergen awareness, paediatric and forest school first aid, Forest School Level 3 Trainee

Favourite animal: cat

Favourite colour: purple 


Name: Richard (Jack) Smith (Early Years Trainee)

After having 3 of my own little Foresteers I’m excited to join the team! I’ve alway had a passion for the outdoors and often found fly fishing in Bealey woods or mountain biking in Wharncliffe woods. Foresteers is the perfect place to blend early years education and my love for the woods. Outside of my little ones and hobbies I’m a mentor for families going through adoption and fostering.

Paediatric and Forest School First Aid, Food heath and hygiene level 2, allergen awareness level 2, safeguarding level 3

Favourite animal – hammer head shark


Name: Petra Ducho (Early Years Educator and Deputy SENCo)

Experience: I’m a qualified kindergarten teacher and have 20 years experience in education in Austria. I have worked with children from the age 3 to 6 in kindergarten and also supported children in Primary and Secondary School as a teaching assistant.

In 2020 I moved to England. I always wanted to work in a Forest School because I think teaching and supporting children in a natural environment gives a broader range of amazing opportunities for them to learn. 

Qualifications: RFQ Level 5/ SCQF, Paediatric First Aid, Safeguarding ( Level3),Food Safety (Level2), Safer Sleeping for Babies, SENCo Level 3, Forest School Level 3 Trainee

Favourite animal: polar bear

Favourite colour: blue


Name: Laura John (Early Years Educator)

Experience: I qualified as a primary school teacher 10 years ago and have a wealth of
experience teaching children aged 4-11. I have also been a L3 qualified forest school leader for 9 years and have come to Foresteers as I wanted to spend more time teaching children in the outdoors.

I have also been part of scouting for most of my life so have spent a lot of time encouraging children to embrace the outdoors and make the most of their time outside. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and climbing in the Peak District with my husband, 5 year old daughter, 2 year old son and our dog Alfie. We also love camping and go most weekends in the summer.

Qualifications:  BA Hons Primary education with QTS, Forest School L3 trained, Paediatric and Forest School First Aid,
Safeguarding level 3, Autism in the Classroom training

Favourite animal: dog

Favourite colour: blue


Name: Emma Taylor (Early Years Educator)

Experience : I’m a qualified teacher with over 10 years experience working with primary school children aged 3-11. My passion is teaching in the EYFS and watching children blossom and grow in confidence both socially and academically.  I have been born and raised in Sheffield and feel so lucky to have the wonderful Peak District and surrounding countryside right on our doorstep. As a mum of 2 young girls we love to spend our weekends going on muddy adventures, running, biking and gardening. Being outdoors is where we’re always happiest!
I can’t wait to make lots of fabulous memories with the children at Foresteers. 
Qualifications: Ba Hons Primary education with QTS, Basic first aid, Safeguarding level 3, Tales Toolkit, Forest School Leader Level 3 Level 2 food health and safety, food allergy awareness, paediatric and first school first aid.
Favourite animal: Red Panda
Favourite colour: Red

Name: Sophie Whorton (Early Years Educator)

Experience: I live in Grenoside with my two young children,  

I love being outdoors come rain or shine and am passionate about what a forest school education can offer our children.

Some of my favourite things to do are exploring in nature, wild swimming, growing my own food, foraging, making things (always making!) and campfires. 

Qualifications: NCFE Level 3 in Early Years Educator Diploma, BA(Hons) Fine Art, Prevent Duty, Forest School Level 3, Safeguarding level 3, ACEs, Level 2 food health and safety, food allergy awareness,

Favourite animal: dog

Favourite colour: orange

Name: Sarah Watson (Deputy Manager and Safeguarding Deputy)

Name: Sarah Watson (Deputy Manager and Safeguarding Deputy)

Throughout my career I have worked with young children aged 0-10 year old, both in traditional school settings as a qualified teacher, as well as a baby, preschool, and children’s swimming instructor. I have two young children and two crazy dogs. As a family we love exploring the outdoors and getting muddy boots/paws. I encourage my children to take logical risks and challenges to help develop their self – esteem, and confidence. I’m eager to start work at foresteers and support children with their learning and development.

Qualifications: QTS, Level 3 safeguarding, Level 2 food health and hygiene, food allergy awareness, Paediatric and Forest School First Aid, Forest School Level 3 Trainee. 

Name: Kate Waddington (Early Years Educator)

Name: Kate Waddington (Early Years Educator)

I am a qualified teacher and Level 3 Foerst School Leader. I have taught English in a secondary school for 6 years. I Love being outdoors, particularly by the sea, as well as in the woods! I’m at my happiest in St Ives where I love spending time with my 3 adventurous children.

Qualifications: QTS, Level 3 Foerst school Leader, Safegurding Advanced,  ACEs, level 2 food health and safety, food allergy awarness, Speak up for Sheffield, Paediatric and Forest School First Aid

Name:Dan Sutcliffe (Early Years Educator trainee)

Name:Dan Sutcliffe (Early Years Educator trainee)

Hi I’m Dan. I love to explore woodland with my family and our dog Chilli. I have worked with young adults and children with disabilities and autism for all of my career and I am excited to run around and play with all the Foresteers!

Qualifications: Early Years Educator Apprentice, Safeguarding level 3, Level 2 food health and hygiene, food allergy awareness, Paediatric and Forest School First Aid . 


Name: Siobhan Binnion (Early Years Educator)

Experience: I’m Siobhan, mummy of 3 young children. As a family we love to go out on adventures in the woods, often ending up with the 5 of us covered in mud!

I am also a qualified teacher and taught children aged 4-8 years before leaving teaching to have my daughter. I loved working with children and the creativity it allows. I look forward to many adventures with the children at Foresteers.

Qualifications: Primary Education with QTS, Awareness of Child Abuse, Safeguarding and Neglect, Sustained Shared Thinking, Characteristics of Effective Learning, Prevent Duty, Level 2 food health and safety, food allergy awareness, Paediatric and Forest School first aid

Favourite animal: bear

Favourite colour: red


Name: Name: Sally Wilson (Administrator)

Experience: I support Foresteers with administrative duties and help out occasionally at preschool. I have a background in finance and compliance. I have a little girl and am learning a lot about how children develop.

 Qualifications: L3 NVQ Beauty Therapy, HSBC in house training, Prevent Duty, Level 3 Safeguarding, Level 2 food health and hygiene, food allergy awareness, ACEs

 Favourite animal: cat

Favourite colour: blue

Name: Sarah Hudson (Early Years Educator)

Name: Sarah Hudson (Early Years Educator)

I have worked in education, in different settings for 16 years. Since having children I’ve always wanted them to attend an outdoor setting which the Foresteers provide. I have a firm belief that children should be children for as Long as possible. As a family we try to be outdoors as much as possible. 

Qualifications: QTS, Level 3 Safeguarding, ACEs,Level 2 food health and hygiene, food allergy awareness, Paediatric and Forest School First Aid. 

Name:Bethany Mellor (Early Years Educator Trainee)

Name:Bethany Mellor (Early Years Educator Trainee)

I have been a Teaching Assistant at a Primary School for 8 years and been in all classes from Reception to Year 6. I love working with children and looking forward to doing this in a forest setting. I believe that being in the outdoors is both special and important.
For over 12 years I have been an Assistant Scout Leader and would definitely say Scouting is a passion of mine, the opportunities I have experienced have been amazing and it is so great to ensure the young people get them too. I have recently also become an Assistant Squirrel Leader, this section is for 4 – 6 years old and it has been fantastic to work with that age range.
I look forward to getting to know everyone at Foresteers.

Qualifications: BSc Psychology, Early Years Educator Apprentice, Safeguarding Level 3, Food health and Safety level 2, food allergy awareness, Paediatric and Forest School First Aid 

What Are The Forest Schools Aims?

  • Increase self esteem and self confidence
  • Improve co-operation, communication skills and awareness of others
  • Increase motivation, concentration and positive attitude towards learning
  • Encourage ownership and pride in the local environment
  • Encourage a better understanding of the outdoors
  • Improve social skills
  • Improve physical motor skills
  • Encourage individuals to become more active and healthy

What To Expect

Foresteers Outdoor Preschool Daily Routines

7.30-8.00 Arrival – children arrive at the setting and gather at the hut for registration and to put on the appropriate clothes.
8.00-9.30 Free-flow Activities – the children may choose to direct their own learning, following their own interests or they may opt to take part in an adult led activity.

9.30-9.45 Mid-morning snack – we gather at the log circle, wash our hands and enjoy a healthy snack while we reflect on the morning so far. Snack will be provided and fresh drinking water is available throughout the day.

9.45-12.00 Free-flow Activities – these continue as before.

12.00-12.30 Lunch – we eat together at the log circle.

12.30-2.30 Free-flow Activities – some children prefer a bit of quiet time after lunch, perhaps listening to a story or two in the tent or having a nap on an airbed or in a hammock.

2.30-2.45 Mid-afternoon snack – we gather at the log circle, wash our hands and enjoy a healthy snack while we reflect on the afternoon so far. Snack will be provided and fresh drinking water is available throughout the day.

5.00 Reflection Time – children are encouraged to help clear away the site at the end of the day, we leave the woodland as we found it and remove all trace we were ever there. We gather at the log circle to reflect on the day – what we have enjoyed, what we have learnt and what we would like to do next time. This is the perfect time for children to talk about their day and show off any treasures they’ve found.

Forest School Experiences & Lessons

At Foresteers we believe that any forest school activity can relate to most, if not all, areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Let us  give you an example: One of our favourite things to do with little ones is to read. Reading helps spark imagination, improve language, speech, communication, understanding and so much more.  We will read the Gruffalo for example.

Then, we extend the story and we  will ask the children if they would like to help build the homes for all the characters in the book (snake, fox and owl) using natural resources. Once the children are engaged in the activity (and it is OK if some don’t want to participate, spontaneous play is hugely beneficial) then it is a great opportunity to ‘act out’ the whole story from start to finish as a group, moving around, using different voices and having fun!

A simple yet effective activity like the Gruffalo supports all of the EYFS areas, including the specific, here’s how:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: The children can explore the feelings of the animals and learn to be as a group as we go through the book.

Communication and Language: understanding the words in the story and sharing their thoughts and experiences as we go through it

Physical Development: Moving through the woodland in different ways and developing fine motor skills as we build different homes for the animals

Mathematics: The children are building, making shapes, counting how many logs snake needs for his home.

Understanding of the world: The children are in the natural world to begin with, so they are taking in their surroundings, finding insects as they move logs, noticing the changes of the seasons and the plants growing or decaying.

Literacy: Reading the story from start to finish and immersing themselves in it by acting it out, living the story through movement and voice.

Expressive Arts & Design: Being imaginative, this activity ignites that for the children for they are imagining the story and will incidentally evolve the story and continue in play after the main activity has ended.

Obviously, this is just one activity example. Scavenger hunts, pond dipping, natural art pictures, bushcraft, mud sculptures, fairies and dinosaur adventures are just a few more.

Children have the opportunity to learn their own way and our practitioners will plan for this.

Facilities and Pricing Information

Foresteers Outdoor Preschool provides portable toilets, each set up within a pallet toilet block. Each toilet will have easy access to toilet paper. Hand wash, hand sanitiser gel, paper towels and waste disposal bags will be situated  by the hand wash station. Staff will instruct children about hand hygiene after toileting and before eating, and be vigilant about its practice by children. 

We are happy to work with parents with toilet training and have potties to accommodate this. There are changing mat facilities for any children in nappies.

For more information please view our toileting and nappy changing policy and procedure.

Our Kota Grill House, which can house 30 children comfortably, is where we can shelter from the elements, have a warm drink and story before going on another adventure

Pricing Information

We are open 50 weeks of the year,  7.30am-5.30pm and offer full time and term time contracts. We take children from their 2nd birthday. We accept funded hours 9am-4pm, term time only, in a block of 7 hours. You can then add on wrap round care, breakfast club 7.30am-9am or tea club 4pm-5.30pm for £9.35 per session. We have a sustainability fee of £9.10 for a funded session.

A full day for a 2 or 3 year old old, 7.30am-5.30pm is currently £64

We have an admin fee of £65 which includes your outdoor suit and online learning journal.

We provide breakfast for children that arrive before 8.30am, morning and afternoon campfire snacks and tea time nibbles at 4.45pm. This is included in our fees.

Children must bring their own packed lunch with a drink or pay £3.50 per day for lunch, Families must also provide nappies, nappy bags and wipes.

If you would like to put your child on our interest list please email foresteers@gmail.com

☎ 07835 284996


Registered Numbers:

Foresteers: 558984

Foresteers Outdoor Preschool: 2507786

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