I have always been interested in science and the environment and have a love of being active and outdoors. As an undergraduate at Plymouth University, I studied Environmental Education & Education Studies, covering Peace Education, Equality and Justice in Education, Global Education, Alternatives in Education, Wellbeing in Education and Outdoor Education. I gained a solid grounding in the psychological, social and political principles which underpin our education system. Prior to this, I studied at the London Montessori Centre where I gained an International Diploma in Early Childhood Studies. I subsequently went on to study Montessori Primary Education in Leicester.
In traditional learning environments, the literacy and numeracy strategies prescribe what is taught lesson by lesson and there is little time left in the curriculum for individuality, other subjects, physical activity or creativity. I knew that I wanted to find a new way to teach. Early on in my teaching career, I was lucky enough to teach at a Montessori Primary School in Tottenham, London, where I gained valuable experience working in a school that put diversity and inclusion at the heart of its curriculum. Alongside my classroom teaching, I have worked as a personal tutor, supporting children with dyslexia.
I found my love and interest in working with primary -aged children who chose to have an active role in their own education. This led me to working with children who were home educated or attended school on a part-time basis.
The greatest gift for me as a teacher is to be part of the child's journey of exploring and understanding the world into which they have been born.
I have studied and worked at the Schumacher College, Dartington, which was a springboard for my decision to create a new model of education for the next generation, so that children could thrive, be valued, feel empowered and communicate effectively with knowledge and experience of equal value.
Cedarwood Montessori Primary Education is now an established setting which is growing from strength to strength, offering children and families the opportunity to take back the right to choose where and what their children learn.
My main influences have been Maria Montessori, Satish Kumar, John Muir and Joseph Cornell.
I like to keep fit and enjoy yoga, hand-balancing and mountain walking. I love my garden and all that it offers me over the changing seasons. I live in Bittaford with my husband and youngest son Hamish, aged 16.
I had a very multi-cultural childhood: my mum is Australian, my dad is French and I moved across seven different countries throughout my life.
I came to England in 2011 to study Anthropology at Sussex University, where I focused on alternative and enlivened learning centres; this took me to India to do research and work in various land-based projects. I became impassioned by questions of access to food and land and so I completed a horticultural apprenticeship on an organic farm. I started offering programmes for children to learn about planting and growing in the gardens.
I knew I needed to develop my own practice in facilitating learning environments, so I moved to Bergamo, Italy, to study Montessori for primary-aged children. My first introduction to Montessori had, in fact, been through my own schooling as a young child in Argentina.
Throughout my Montessori training, I knew I was on the right track as I deepened my understanding of what interconnected, reality-based, and curiosity-driven education can really be.
I returned to England to work at a wonderful AMI Montessori school in Sussex. During my two years there, I worked with 6 – 16 year olds, particularly supporting their language studies, making crafts and in the gardens and woods.
Since moving to Devon in 2019, I am living my dream, working with children and living on a piece of land with a community of friends, building an eco-home, growing vegetables, flowers and herbs and increasing biodiversity.
I love making things: everything from sewing costumes to painting, making sculptures and cakes.
I aspire to cultivate the abundant curiosity and creativity within each child, supporting their learning journey and the development of their unique gifts within the community of the Montessori environment, and the wider, natural world – revealing a marvelling gratitude for our mysterious and exciting world.
I am a qualified Primary Teacher (St Lukes, Exeter) specialising in Early Years, with an Honours Degree in Biology from Aberdeen University. I was brought up on the Dartington Hall Estate and attended its school (now Park School), where my parents also taught. I have worked in Education since having children, when I became a registered childminder.
Studying Montessori methods during my PGCE, I found much of it resonated with my own happy early years in Dartington and, although not Montessori trained, I am an enthusiastic supporter of the practice. I love to work in a child-led, creative environment, where children’s voices are heard and their educational, emotional, physical and other learning needs are met through providing an appropriate learning environment.
I have a great love of the outdoors and like to encourage outdoor learning, allowing children to meet the targets of the National Curriculum through fun and purposeful activities outside whenever possible.
Having had a musical upbringing (I have Music A Level and play the ‘cello in the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra) I like to encourage music and movement in my teaching. Singing together enhances listening skills, team work and well-being and can be used across the curriculum to aid learning.
When not teaching, I volunteer for the RNIB and visit hospitals with my retired guide dog, Biscuit*, as a Pets As Therapy team. My hobbies include playing my ‘cello and walking with my family. We have recently bought a share in a meadow and I am enjoying learning about its ecology.
Retired Guide Dog
Registered Pets As Therapy (PAT) Dog: PAT - 2229049
Having lost her owner 2 years ago, this patient and gentle Labrador/Retriever was retired early from Guide Dog work and has now re-trained as a PAT pet. She visits schools (including Cedarwood sometimes), hospitals and residential homes.
Outside of work, Biscuit enjoys walks, sleeping with her soft toys and cuddles.
I have been working in education for nearly 10 years, with two gaps for maternity with my daughter who is 5 years old and my son who is 2 years old. I obtained my PGCE Primary from the Institute of Education in London back in 2012 after completing a degree in English Language and Linguistics.
My interest in child development actually began when I carried out a research project for my undergraduate dissertation, looking at the development of English literacy for bilingual children. This research lead me to a local primary school where I worked with 5 and 6 year olds, examining how they acquired language, developed early literacy skills and how they engaged with language in different contexts. I found this research fascinating, not only from a linguistic perspective but I also in experiencing how incredible it was to watch very young children grow, change, develop and learn so much in such a short space of time. I was inspired and from there I knew that I wanted to learn more about how children acquire knowledge and grow in their understanding of the world, and become a part of this incredible process.
Over the course of my career so far I have taught across the key stages, from Year 5 right down to Reception, most recently. I love working with each age group for their own merits, but am particularly passionate about working in the early years. In working with Reception aged children (4-5 year olds), I have realised the profound importance of these early stages of development, and how essential it is to provide children with strong foundations as curious, creative, adventurous and resilient human beings. My path as a teacher has lead me away from mainstream teaching and into Montessori because I believe that the only way to support children in becoming confident and independent learners is to allow them to have the opportunity to experience learning first hand in a way that is truly child led, whilst also being sensitively and consciously supported by the adults around them. Children themselves are wonderful teachers when they are given the space and freedom to discover, to experiment and to make their own choices. Our role to hold this process and guide it gently in the right direction!
I am thrilled to be joining the Cedarwood team this year, and ready to continue on my own journey in providing education and care which meets needs of the individual. My previous experience brings with it a deep understanding of elements of the national curriculum, age-related standards, effective planning and pedagogy, inclusion, special educational needs and safeguarding.
At home I am a mother, and love nothing more than family days out at our local beaches, moorland spots and beautiful woodlands. I am a singer and worked professionally as so for many years. I still perform frequently with various acts and bands including the Devon Afrobeat Collective and the Sunday Singalong Pianoke. During quieter times I love crafting, weaving, macrame, sewing, up-cycling preloved items and tending to my beloved house plants.
More info on the way, check back soon :)
More info on the way, check back soon :)
My journey in Montessori education is rooted in 6 years teaching in Germany at the Montessori-inspired Aktive Naturschule Prenzlau (active nature school). I realised how different and wholesome an experience going to school (or being a teacher) may be, and how pupils can feel utterly ‘at home’. Lessons I led often took place outdoors and incorporated cooperative or competitive games, sports – including swimming in the nearby lake, creative activities, research in nature, woodwork, cookery, music etc. I experienced teaching as facilitating and knew there was a trust relationship between pupils and teachers. On returning to the UK in 2016, I trained and qualified as a state primary school teacher through a direct training program while working in Devon schools. My 3 years’ experience in the ‘normal’ classroom, while in many ways positive, re-affirmed my commitment to working within alternative provision (that I passionately believe should be what is offered to all). I believe in an approach to education where children have a larger degree of freedom of movement and can be supported by teachers in following and developing their own interests and curiosity in a safe, nurturing, cooperative environment.
I love performance arts, including drama, dance, and music. I have a B.A. in Drama, Dance and Theatre Arts from the University of Birmingham. Into my 30s I worked - and in various ways still do – as an actor, director, theatre creative, dancer and dance teacher.
I have a passion for an improvised dance and movement form called Contact Improvisation, which I also teach, as well as practicing other dance forms and acrobatics. My performer side has in recent years found expression in devising and performing theatrical story-telling pieces.
I love swimming - in the wonderful local seas and rivers. I am devoted to cycling my (admittedly electric) bike – on which I intend to commute the 10 miles from my home in Dartington (getting it down in writing may make it more likely to happen). I enjoy walking the local hills and coastal paths.
I take great pleasure in cookery and during the last year have been baking my own organic sourdough bread, which has been so successful that I now bake batches and supply friends.
I have been living in Devon for the past 12 years and love the outdoors and open life that these parts allow
Initially I trained and worked as an actor before moving into education 12 years ago - training as a secondary Drama teacher.
My class environment aims to be seriously fun, I love playing games and mucking in with pupils. I'm still learning, I hope it never stops, and this thirst and quest for knowledge is something I bring to those I teach.
I believe relationships and creativity to be key aspects in a fulfilling, rounded education. Listening and communicating our needs and working to guide pupils towards their best outcomes, engendering pride, hunger and most importantly for their learning.
I have two children of late primary age and being with them and watching them grow is an absolute blessing.
I am very excited to be working with Cedarwood, a new chapter in my educationalists journey.
I have a BA Hons degree in Fine Art and Social Context from Dartington College of Arts. Facilitating workshops in schools for a theatre in education company was the beginning of my work with children and young people, and I have loved it ever since! I have worked in many primary and secondary schools as a visiting artist and also with children with additional learning needs. I developed creative learning courses to support Numeracy and Literacy for early years children through Devon County Council Family Learning Services.
I trained with ENGAGE to deliver Gallery Education programmes, and have worked in galleries in the UK and Australia. This was an enriching experience, connecting children and young people’s creativity to contemporary and historic artists’ work.
I strongly believe in the power of creativity in the curriculum to catalyse and inspire learning of other subjects, and to observe and explore the world we live in. This includes opportunities to be experimental, allowance for making mistakes and often enhancing and exceeding children’s own expectations. I think the act of being creative supports articulacy and emotional literacy. I try to educate all young people about being resourceful and reusing /repurposing where possible, nurturing children’s curiosity and exploring the natural world.
I enjoy working at Cedarwood as it provides a caring supportive environment with a flexible approach that guides the children, while allowing them to follow their instincts.
Since 2013 I have been a co-director of Participate Arts, designing and delivering creative projects for and with people of all ages, in education and the general community. Its purpose is to connect people through creative participation - nurturing art skills and the imagination, providing inspiring experiences, while promoting health and wellbeing. In 2019 I was lucky enough to travel with teachers from 3 Exeter schools to Malawi on a partnership project with 3 schools there, working with children on UN sustainable development goals.
I used to run a natural skincare business, blending my design skills with alchemy, making plant-based products and running workshops.
I live in Ashburton with my partner and 12 year old son. I love walking on Dartmoor, creating and making, and being in my garden with our chickens!
I have worked with a wide range of people in our society for over 13 years now, caring for the elderly, working in a Care in the Community project in one of the most impoverished areas in Scotland, working for the NHS to support adults with social difficulties to live in their own homes, working with people with learning difficulties and physical difficulties. At present, I’m working for Inspire Interventions which supports young people that have been expelled from school, and have just finished working for Dartington Steiner School where I was an outdoor Kindergarten Assistant.
I grew up in the Midlands and in 1994 moved to Farnborough and studied at the College of Technology, where I graduated with an HND in Film and Animation. From Hampshire, I was drawn to live near the coast so moved down to Cornwall and lived for 11 years just a stone throw away from the sea. In 2003, I set off travelling and for the next 4 years, explored South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, South East Asia, New Zealand and drove round most of Western Europe, including time in Turkey.
At the end of 2017, I graduated with a Certificate Of Fellowship from the School For Social Entrepreneurs in Dartington, where I was 1 of 20 people who won a place on that year's program. I received a small grant and the year-long course to support me in setting up Wild Embers, which became a registered CIC in November of 2017. With some of the grant I put myself through Forest School Training at Bridgwater College and I now have a BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award as a Forest School Leader. I also put myself through a 16-hour iTC First course that was specifically delivered to cover outdoor and Forest Schooling activities plus a iTC Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid.
WILD EMBERS’ vision is to give everyone the opportunity to connect to nature, to their authentic self and to their community, equipping them with practical skills and an inner strength to aid them in having a fulfilling life.
I have lived in Devon for over 10 years and in 2013 my wife gave birth to our son. He is of constant amazement to me as I watch him grow and develop. His emotional, physical and spiritual growth is paramount to me and I want to help create a healthy and sustainable community where he can thrive.
Hello all, I am excited to be part of Wild Embers outdoor education in conjunction with Cedarwood!
I am a mother, a trained Doula, former Steiner Kindergarten Assistant, artist and am currently studying Horticulture. I am married to Richard (founder of Wild Embers) and we have a beautiful son together, Hopi. I have been part of the vision of Wild Embers from its birth, am a director of the CIC and support in various ways: I am creative director and manage the website and design for Wild Embers and have a BA (hons) in Visual Communication (photography).
I will bring my natural abilities with creativity, my experience with children and my passion for supporting early years learning through Forest School, working with the seasons and learning in a stress-free environment.
I will be working alongside Richard as his assistant. We have been working this way together for the past three years, holding successful Summer Forest Schools in Dartington.
I am a natural mama, passionate about organic gardening/food, foraging, painting, crafts & design and healthy natural living. I am grateful to be working with your children, to continue expanding and learning myself, with Montessori principles, and most of all supporting the next generations to have positive learning experiences.
If you would like to see some of my nature inspired art and to learn a bit more about me please visit www.deerdawnart.co.uk
More info on the way, check back soon :)