Meet Jess Walton, founder and lead teacher at Fresh Air Learning. Jess qualified as a primary school teacher in 2008 and has worked with children of all ages from Nursery through to Year 9. With a particular interest in supporting holistic learning with close links to the outdoors, Jess undertook her Level 3 Forest School training in September 2016 and became a qualified Forest School practitioner a year later.
Undertaking her Beach Leader training in 2018, she has also gained certificates in Pediatric and Outdoor First Aid as well as safeguarding.
Jess has a passion and natural flair for working with children. She is knowledgeable and keen to engage all ages with the world around us with a particular focus on the coastal and forest environments.
Jess led the coastal curriculum at a local independent school, has delivered Forest School in China and worked with fellow leaders in Malta. Since establishing Fresh Air Learning in 2019, she has developed the offer to include alternative provision as well as Forest School and after school clubs. She loves working outside the four walls of a traditional classroom and sharing her enthusiasm for life long learning with individuals and groups.
This is Helen. She is a Level 3 Forest School Leader. Helen has been involved in education for many years and discovered Forest School through a love of the outdoors. She used to lead the gardening club at a local school and is passionate about growing things, especially food to eat!
Helen joined Fresh Air Learning as a trainee Forest School Leader with a view to developing her skills as she completed the training course. Now fully qualified, she leads her own sessions at a local Primary School as well as running after school clubs. She has an amazing knowledge of the plants in the woodland so don't forget to ask her about how to spot the difference between an oak and sycamore tree.
Holly joined Fresh Air Learning in Autumn 2022. She is a qualified Level 3 Forest School leader. Holly joins us with a wealth of early years knowledge having set up and led her own independent school in India. Upon returning to the UK due to Covid, Holly has turned her focus to Forest School and is also a private children's nanny. She runs 3 of our Forest Scool sessions in local schools and is developing her knowledge of children with ASD and the benefits of their involvement in Forest School.
Holly works in a comforting and "listening first" role with the children and then supports them to achieve their goal.
Hannah joined Fresh Air Learning in 2022 having volunteered alongside Jess as part of her college work experience. Currently undertaking her Level 3 Forest School leader training, Hannah has a real passion for opening up the natural world to individuals with additional needs including ASD. Hannah works in a calm and supportive manner to enable children and teens to become familiar with the world around them and build on new physical and social skills.
Abbi first discovered Fresh Air Learning when she attended Tiddlers in the Trees sessions with her first born aged 2. Since 2020, Abbi has remained interested in outdoor education and the concept of earth school where children learn directly from their observations of the seasons, weather, and direct nature observation.
Abbi enquired about training as a Level 3 Forest School Leader alongside Fresh Air Learning. She is currently undertaking the training and gaining experience working alongside our current leaders at our after school provisions.
Abbi is looking forward to qualifying and offering Forest School sessions to children who are home educated.
Katie is our qualified play leader and Early Years specialist (EYFS). Katie delivers high quality outdoor play experiences with our younger children. Often working alongside a qualified Forest School leader, she supports children to develop their play interests and get the maximum benefit for the sessions they attend.
Katie brings a life time of EYFS experience to the team and also has a wonderful knowledge of British wild birds and is a keen gardener.
Izzy has a keen interest in learning outdoors. She has raised her child with an outdoor focus and loves her home animals, spending time at the beach and working on a small farm holding. She holds a CEVAS qualification, sharing knowledge of farming with children. She works alongside children on a 1:1 basis supporting their needs with our alternative provision along with an after school club at a local school and leads our Tiddlers in the Trees sessions in Gosport.
Izzy spends her spare time having fun with her family outdoors!
Adele works to support our Forest School leaders and guide children who find engagement in our sessions tricky. She has spent 6 years as a school based LSA and observed first hand the benefits of children spending time outside of the classroom to gain control of their emotions and regulate their thoughts so they are then ready to formally learn back in the classroom.
Adele worked as an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) in a local school and therefore has a deepened knowledge of the support children need in order to overcome the big feelings they face when challenged. She is also able to support children who has longer term emotional needs .
She works on a 1:1 basis as well as in a supporting role.
Jo is our 1:1 primary teacher specialist (QTS). Her gentle approach supports individuals who need that style of work. Jo uses the outdoors to provide a curriculum that is engaging and exciting as well as developing life skills and encouraging application of them in the real world.
Jo is also runs a course called "Hello Healthy Mind". Delivered in the forest environment, it allows individuals to reflect on their lifestyle and make considered changes to improve time for themselves. This course is especially designed for women and mothers.
"One small step starts the change one may need"
Heidi is a teacher specialist in dance (QTS). She works alongside the Forest School Leaders to help engage the children in their interests and guide them to make links with their curriculum learning outdoors. Her caring approach supports children that require additional curriculum input to succeed in the academic expectations of key stage learning.
Heidi is starting a new outdoor course at some of the local primary schools to encourage movement to music in the outdoors, sort of dance mixed with drama, mixed with performance art skills!
Jess's son is our resident champion firelighter and expert tree climber. He loves being outside and managing his own fire safety. An expert at burning marshmallows, he also enjoys a hot chocolate in the woods, usually from the hefty heights of a nearby tree.
If you want to improve your fire-lighting skills with a flint and steel, he is the best person to ask!