Badger Forest School

Badger Forest School

and outdoor learning.

Connecting people with nature and each other

Meet our fantastic Badger team

Claire Whalley

Claire is the Director and founder of Badger Forest School & Outdoor learning, established in 2013. She is passionate about the outdoors and trained as a Forest School Leader at Bridgwater College in 2008. She left her career of a primary school teacher but now has her ‘classroom’ outside. She is a TIS (Trauma Informed Schools) Practitioner.  She loves spending time in nature with her husband and their daughter.

Ysella Wood

Izzey is proud to be part of the Badger Team. She has years of experience educating and inspiring others in the great outdoors and sharing her passion.  

She has recently qualified as a TIS (Trauma Informed Schools) Practitioner. Izzey  is the lead facilitator of our popular ‘Holiday Club’ and often hosts various events. Ysella is currently working in a local school and studying to be a counsellor. She is our social media squirrel! 

Anna McClarron

Anna is a Cornish, nature-loving, creative being who likes to interweave natural arts and crafts into her sessions. A qualified Forest School Leader who has many years of experience working with children and young adults in a range of settings with variety of social, emotional, mental health and educational needs. She enjoys playing nature games and looks forward to welcoming you into the woods, whatever the weather!

Kym McGrath

Kym has been working with children in various care-giving and educational roles for over twenty years, and she currently specialises in delivering our Nurture programme. She has worked for Badger Forest School since the beginning. When she’s not having fun in the various woodlands of beautiful Cornwall, she loves nothing better than travelling the world with her family.

Steph Attwood

Steph is a big fan of being outside, exploring in nature and learning cool stuff with children and adults – she can usually be found getting very excited over some cool nature treasure, plant or animal!

Steph started with Badger first as a parent participant, then volunteer and now leads our Home Ed family and independent groups. She loves a sea swim and ramble on the moors!

Kate Jeffery

Kate has a passion for outdoor adventure and travel, enjoys working with people of all ages and loves making new discoveries every day. As an experienced primary school teacher, Kate has a wealth of knowledge and skills to bring to our children. Often found exploring beaches, woodlands and the mountains with her daughter and family, Kate loves nothing more than being outside surrounded by nature.

Liane Dixon

Lele joined Badger Forest School as a volunteer many years ago. She is now a qualified Forest School Leader supporting pupils through our Nurture Programme and at Holiday club

Lele is a keen forager and loves to cook on the campfire. She knows first hand the benefits of being with nature and this love continues with her explorations in the woods and by the sea. 

David Whalley

David (AKA ‘Daddy/Granddaddy David’) is a very important person at Badger Forest School and is Claire’s dad, accountant and brilliant fire assistant. He is now retired and loves coming along to help in the woods. He supports Badger Forest school with many of the jobs, including splashing in the mud kitchen with his granddaughter, helping out with the fire and still does the accounts!



But what is Forest School?

Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.

Forest School has a developmental ethos shared by thousands of trained practitioners around the world, who are constantly developing their learning styles and skills to support new and imaginative learners. Its roots reach back to the open-air culture, friluftsliv, or free air life, seen as a way of life in Scandinavia where Forest School began. It arrived in the UK in 1993 and has grown from strength to strength since then.

The process helps and facilitates more than knowledge-gathering, it helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually. It creates a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to try stuff out and take risks. Forest School inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it. Our approach to risk means that learners constantly expand on their abilities by solving real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience. We believe that risk is more than just potential for physical harm, but a more holistic thing, there are risks in everything we do, and we grow by overcoming them. Forest School therefore, helps participants to become, healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners.

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Whether you’re curious about our sessions, or just want to find out a little more, we’re here to answer any questions.

Just click below and we look forward to hearing from you.