In addition to having an early years qualification or having qualified teacher status, all our staff will be paediatric first aid trained, enhanced DBS checked, have done Basic food hygiene, Safeguarding, Schemas, Peer on Peer Observation and Characteristics of Effective Learning and behavioural management courses as part of their basic induction into the Pre-school.

Nest in the Woods Manager Sally Cliffe

Sally Cliffe (FdA)

1469936_10152032569847034_1091504279_n[1]After working with children of different ages throughout my career I feel the early years are the most important. They are the foundations for life long learning, health and behaviour. The child’s brain develops more than any other time in its life. The early years experience of things the child’s sees, hears, touches, smells and tastes, stimulates the brain creating millions of connections and shaping the adult the child will become.  I believe the forest school ethos provides a rich, stimulating and natural learning environment through a child led approach supported by experienced and caring adults therefore I have followed my dream of opening an outdoor forest school preschool.

I have completed training as a forest School level 3 leader. I am Paediatric first aid trained and have my outdoor first aid. I have a Foundation Degree in Early Years, an HNC, an HND and an NVQ Level 3 all in within childcare and early Years. With 18 years of experience working with children in different settings, including mainstream schools, Special Schools, Pupil Referral Unit, Special needs, after school clubs, accredited childminding and PreSchool.

I have recently completed a Level 3 award in Supporting Children and Young People’s speech language and Communication.

I have attended courses on Raising Early Achievement in Literacy (REAL), Raising Early Mathematical skills, Communicating friendly spaces, Portage training, working with vulnerable 2 year olds, Understanding and Supporting Children’s Pro-Social Behaviour, Phonics, Listening as a Way of Life, Working with Vulnerable families, Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator, (SENCO), Makaton, Montessori, Domestic violence and Visual impairments (to name just a few). I have taken part in research with the National Children’s Bureau in Raising Early Mathematical Skills which is a follow on study from Raising Early literacy skills (REAL).

After an initial idea in 2012 of a Forest School Pre-school, then taking up management of a local preschool and introducing forest school sessions then completing my forest school training it has taken me on a journey where we are now. I am very excited and passionate about this next chapter and this new venture.

I am a member of the Forest School Association and have subscribed to the DBS update service, please ask if you need my reference number.

Nest in the Woods Deputy Manager Gemma Shaw (BA, PGCE)

GemmaShawI am a qualified teacher with a degree in Linguistics and a PGCE in Primary Teaching. I have 10 years’ experience working with children in schools and Preschool as both a Teaching Assistant, Teacher. and more recently a deputy Manager at a local Preschool. As a teacher I have taught children across the primary age range from Nursery to Key stage 2.
Having had the opportunity to work alongside Learning in the Woods, in a Pre-School setting, I have been able to experience first-hand the benefits of Forest School. I have watched children become more independent and self-confident whilst engaged in child-led learning. Their natural curiosity and motivation to discover and challenge themselves is clearly visible. The opportunity for learning to manage their own risk taking builds confidence and their pride in their accomplishments is evident.
The experience I have gained from being part of Forest School sessions has challenged my understanding of what high quality early years provision should look like. I have found it refreshing to work in a truly child led way with minimal additional resources needed. I started my forest school Level 3 qualification in September 2015.
I am Paediatric first aid qualified and have attended courses on food safety, speech and language, tremendous two year olds, Role of SENCO, Portage training, Early language development, phonics letters and sounds, behaviour management and safeguarding.

I am a member of the Forest School Association and have subscribed to the DBS update service, please ask if you need my reference number.

Forest School Leader Mark Redford (BEd(HONS), EYP)

I graduated from the University of Greenwich in 1997 as a teacher of secondary physical education and science and spent a few years teaching in inner London in a mainstream girl’s comprehensive school, in a school for junior pupils with profound disabilities and in a pupil referral unit.  I found working with pupils who have problems with their behaviour to be both challenging and rewarding and after moving up North to Warrington I specialised in that area.

20130202_122020I spent seven years teaching in schools for pupils with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties, most notably at Chaigeley School in Thelwall.  During that time I learned a lot about how children’s behaviour manifests itself because some needs are not being met and the importance of earlier life in shaping them.In 2009 I became a childminder and changed my direction to working with children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  I can now see how important it is to give children a good start in life as I have seen the other end of the spectrum from working with troubled teenagers.

Early in 2012 I discovered Forest School when I invited a forest school practitioner from Delamere Forest to give a talk about it to local childminders and nannies.  It struck me as a fantastic way to work with children.  I was hooked, and attended a teacher training day at Delamere Forest and was inspired.  I took loads of ideas back to my practice and really enjoyed seeing how the children responded to it.  I signed up to do the practitioners level 3 award and completed the initial training week in August 2012.  I did the 2-day ITC outdoor first aid course in October 2012 and completed the assessment in August 2013.  I am a member of the Forest School Association.  I am currently delivering Forest School at 9 Primary schools across Warrington.  This will surely ease the transition phase as children graduate to primary school from our Nest in the Woods.

I was accredited with Early Years Professional Status in July 2013.

I am subscribed to the DBS update service, please ask if you need my reference number.

Nest in the Woods Pre-School Assistant Faye Hill

20150831_124315 (1)Having three children has allowed me to experience several different Preschools and what they offer so I was intrigued to learn about Nest in the Woods.

My youngest child attended Forest School sessions provided by Learning in the Woods at his Preschool and they were always the highlight of his week – I saw him come home with rosy cheeks, always happy and energised.
With all my children now in Primary school I have decided to persue a career in childcare.
My children are my world and I can think of nothing more fulfilling than looking after children and helping them to grow and learn.
In addition to my Forest School Leader qualification, I have A levels in Art, English and Geography and I am currently doing my Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years practitioner.

For children to have the chance to learn outside is something new and exciting and I am looking forward to being a part of it.

I have subscribed to the DBS update service please ask if you need my reference number.

Nest in the Woods Pre-School Assistant Lesley Chriscoli

My best achievement to date is a being a Mum to my two fantastic children! Becoming a Mum and experiencing everything that goes with it, inspired me to become involved within the Childcare Profession. I began volunteering at my previous setting and progressed to becoming employed and undertaking a Diploma in the Children and Young Peoples Workforce.
The time I have spent working with children has helped me to understand how fantastic they are at learning through play and how a variety of experiences enhances this learning. Being involved with Forest School sessions has reinforced my belief that outdoor learning and its process can help children to learn in a new, natural way, helping to develop skills across all areas.
I am passionate about children’s learning and development and sharing their learning journey in the early years. I enjoy working with children and parents in helping them to develop speech and language through the ECAT (Every Child a Talker) programme.
I am excited be a part of Nest in the Woods, something I know is going to be a huge success and really rewarding to enrich the lives of many lucky children.

I have subscribed to the DBS update service please ask if you need my reference number.

Nest in the Woods Pre-School Volunteer Katya Todorova (MA(Phys))

I am a scientist, with masters degree in Physics and Astrophysics. I have always loved the outdoors, and spent considerable time hiking in the Bulgarian mountains. After I graduated I worked as Mountain Guide for a Danish travel agency for 4 years and qualified as a Mountain Leader in 1999 (Sofia). I have a very diverse range of interests, hobbies and work experiences.
After the birth of my son, I became more and more interested in education, and especially early years. I spend some time as a volunteer with my son’s nursery. They were very good at providing the children with the resources to organise their play outdoors and be creative. I was impressed by the enthusiasm and the ease the children were responding to all activities outdoors. As a child, I was lucky to spend the summer months exploring the fields and mountains with minimal supervision. Looking back, this part of my childhood has enabled me to develop an inquisitive mind, and grow in confidence both physically and socially, and to become the person I am.
So it is a great opportunity and a privilege to be able to work and learn from Sally and Mark. I am booked on my Level 3 Forest school leaders award in May 2016 and I hope to start a course to qualify as Early Years practitioner and be able to help more children to experience the freedom to play with and learn from each other; to be confident in their abilities while discovering the amazing world that surround us.