Rachel Monteath (Walker) – Forest School Practitioner & Director of BEING Outdoors CIC
Rachel set up BEING Outdoors as a Freelancer at the beginning of 2019 to provide Forest school, curriculum enrichment and WELLBEING Outdoors programmes for schools, families and the local community and is very proud to be working alongside our fabulous team of Forest School practitioners with BEING Outdoors CIC.
Rachel is a Level 3 Forest School Practitioner and Qualified Teacher, with over 10 years experience teaching in secondary and primary schools. During her teaching career she recognised that her teaching was becoming more and more driven by how to engage learners in their subject so they could have fun and have a positive experience during their learning and this led to retraining as a Forest School Practitioner after having her 2 children.
Rachel is passionate about engaging all learners in the outdoors and supporting them to achieve their goals to build confidence and self-esteem. She wholeheartedly believes that enabling children to lead their own learning and play within nature is key to supporting personal development and social and emotional health and wellbeing. When she is not supporting children with hands on learning experiences outdoors where they can connect with nature and their friends, Rachel will often be found getting muddy or trying out new woodland crafts with her tools to inspire!
To support her practice, Rachel holds a Certificate in Therapeutic Skills for Outdoor Leaders which enhances BEING Outdoors CICs’ provision for both typical developing children and those who need more support. She currently leads long-term Forest School programmes in 6 local schools.
Graham Fletcher-Shaw – Forest School Practitioner & Director of BEING Outdoors CIC
Graham is a Level 3 Forest School Practitioner and holds an NVQ Level 4 in childcare. He has many years’ experience of working in the care sector with children and adults with physical, mental and learning difficulties. He also has 6 years’ experience as an intervention teaching assistant in a primary school, where he established and ran a forest school programme for the children at the school which he is incredibly passionate about. He is also experienced in Lego therapy and motor skills therapy with primary school children.
Graham is also passionate about all things musical and theatrical, he spent 4 years working at a theatre school as a chaperone and drama tutor, especially enjoying working with children who have additional needs. Graham loves the outdoors and believes strongly in the therapeutic powers of hands on forest experiences for people of all ages and abilities.
Marcella Lee-Gallon – Teacher & Director of BEING Outdoors CIC
Marcella’s passionate about providing opportunities for children and adults to connect with nature, learning and improving their therapeutic well-being whilst having fun.
With 15 years’ experience as a secondary wood/metalwork teacher, she worked hard to engage SEND and disadvantaged children within the school system but saw first-hand how the school system does not adequately support all our youngsters.
Changing careers to ecology she re-developed her childhood love of the natural world, which led to discovering the forest school ethos, a magically opportunity to bridge the physical and emotional needs of all our children and young adults.
Having experience working in forest school settings for 3 years, Marcella runs a primary gardening club, leads sessions in local primary schools and local farms. She is thrilled to be working with Being Outdoors to engage all, with and in, nature. It may also get muddy!
Marcella believes in life-long learning for all and continues to build a range of professional skills from wild camp survival skills through to therapeutic forest training with an infectious enthusiasm and energy.
Kerrie Handford – Forest School Assistant
Kerrie is an outdoors enthusiast, is Forest School level 2 trained and assists with our Schools Forest School and Viking / Anglo-Saxon Day sessions. She has been working outdoors on her farm for 10 years and has gained experience and knowledge in working with the land.
Her studies of Viking history has given her a passion for giving children a hands-on and exciting experience to make history come alive.
Kerrie is an experienced artist and brings a creative flair to the woods. Art and creativity will play a large part in our woods and Kerrie hopes that creating art within the therapeutic woodland environment, will improve people’s mental health.
Our Professional Standards
- All our sessions are run by a qualified Forest School practitioner and Forest School trained assistants, Wellbeing or Outdoor Learning / Education specialists.
- The wood and all learning experiences are fully risk accessed.
- We have Public Liabilities insurance (up to 5M).
- All staff hold current DBS checks.
- Staff are Forest School paediatric first aid trained.
- Staff have Food Health & Hygiene certificates Level 2.