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Our Staff & Jobs at Hideaway Forest School

Hideaway Forest School Founder
Vicki Patton The Hideaway Forest School Bristol
Camp building at forest school
Vicki Paton

I am the founder of The Hideaway. I am originally from Fife in Scotland and moved to beautiful Bristol in 2002. I was a teacher in South Bristol for 15 years. Within this time I taught Year 2 children before becoming deputy head and specialising in early years education. I trained and achieved my level 3 Forest School leader qualification and began to see the benefits it brought to the children who regularly participated. Having been a teacher and having two children of my own I am all too aware of the pressure we put our young children under within the education system. I want my children and others to enjoy getting muddy, learn first hand about the seasons and above all learn about themselves and their capabilities in the beautiful outdoors.

I decided to form The original Henleaze Hideaway in 2017 whilst still looking after my youngest daughter, and it has been the best decision I have made for my well being and that of my family. Being outdoors everyday has many magical qualities.


I hope my children and the little explorers who visit The Hideaway create happy memories about being outdoors and with nature and in years to come will remember the time they talked with new friends around the fire.

I love my job because...
Me in hammock 2.jpg


I have been passionate about nature and the outdoors from an early age exploring the rock pools in Pembrokeshire where I grew up, and going on camping trips in all weathers with my family. I’m always looking to improve my knowledge and understanding of the natural world and have undertaken monitoring surveys of butterflies and reptiles for the Wildlife Trust.


I have a background in art and design, so I love making with tools and thinking up creative ways to combine my interests through nature based crafts.        


The best parts of Forest School for me are when the children are completely engrossed in an experience, fascinated by a bug, or having a chat with each other while eating a snack cooked on the campfire!

I am level 2 forest school trained 

Rhian at The Hideaway


Hi my name is Rhian. I work in Henleaze and Westbury on Trym with children of all ages, from preschool to teenagers! I've worked in a forest school in North Wales with primary aged children, and more recently supporting preschools in Henleaze. 

I've been interested in exploring and learning in the outdoors since going camping as a teenager and I now love seeing the benefits of outdoor learning with the children I work with. My favourite parts of forest school are making and cooking on fires, and using the tools to make things!



I have always loved the great outdoors since camping at a very young age with my family. I would say the happiest moments in my life have been out in the natural elements; the ocean and the forest. 


I studied sports and recreation management and become a sports development officer and helped children who felt mainstream education wasnt for them and helped redirect their energy into sport. 

I liked my job but I love nature more and decided to pack my rucksack and travel the world which I did over 5 years and went to every continent. This best place I went to in the world? The Australian rainforest and the outer hebrodian islands off of Scotland. Travelling confirmed that my number passion is working with people in nature. 


When back in the UK I trained as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist whereby I would meet clients and we could walk and talk in the great outdoors. What I observed was nature being the therapist as much as I was. I have watched many people improve their health and wellbeing as the result of being in nature. 


I am also an artist and I am working my way through a masters degree in art psychotherapy. A lot of my art work is based on the beauty of nature. I love working with babies, children, young adults and older people too. I find people very inspiring. The combination of working with children in nature and doing art work is my favourite thing in the world. 

Staff at The Hideaway Bristol


My love and interest of nature and the outdoors comes from a childhood growing up in Kenya, where I would spend hours in my garden den making, foraging and climbing trees.

I want to use my love and passion for nature to help encourage the younger generation to reconnect with nature; through play and exploring their natural surroundings, because to me there is nothing more magical then playing under trees in dappled sunlight and exploring the undergrowth for bugs!

I have just completed my level 3 forest school leader qualification and look forward to sharing all I have learned with the children.



Emma is well known at Henleaze Infant school for supporting the children as a teaching assistant within the classroom. Emma also enjoys working For The Hideaway After school Club and holiday clubs. She says being outside is as good for the staffs well-being as well as the children's. 

Emma loves to go for walks in nature with friends and loves developing her knowledge of flora and fauna alongside the children. 

Forest School Job Vacancies 

We are always actively looking for qualified level 3 Forest School practitioners to help extend the services we offer. If you already hold a level 3 Forest School qualification and have experience of working with young children, we would love to hear from you. We enjoy sharing our practise and learning from others so if you are in training or have an interest in Forest School and would like to volunteer at one of our settings then please do use our contact form to tell us a bit about you. We would love to welcome you into The Hideaway.


Current vacancies

Role: Holiday club forest school assistant

Required: Monday 30th May - Wednesday 1st June, 8am - 4pm/ First 4 weeks of summer holiday from 25th July

Details: Salary dependant on experience and age £9.00 - £10.50ph

Job description: To enable children to engage in a range of play opportunities outdoors in a natural environment and to participate in the day to day running of the scheme.

Desirable: Love of working outdoors and experience working with children aged 4 - 11years, can drive,

hold an enhanced DBS certification

Role: Holiday club forest school leader

Required: Monday 30th May - Wednesday 1st June, 8am - 4pm/ First 4 weeks of summer holiday from 25th July

Details: Salary dependant on experience and age £10.50 - £12.00ph

Job description: To be responsible for the day to day organisation of holiday club childcare setting.  To develop and maintain a safe and stimulating play setting and to encourage child centred play. 

Essential: Forest school leader Level 3 or childcare level 3 qualification, hold current paediatric first aid certificate, hold an enhanced DBS certification, experience working with children aged 4 - 11years.

Desirable: Owns a vehicle and can drive to sites

Play worker job description
and person specification
Play leader job description
and person specification

"I love being outdoors facilitating families to connect with nature, our sessions are filled with wonder, discovery and adventure." Vicki P.

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