Our Staff & Jobs at Hideaway 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...


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!


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 love being outside in a green space or paddle boarding regularly. I enjoy exploring all the great nature that Bristol has on offer. I like insects, animals and children and have a passion for photography, yoga & meditation. I love spending time with my family, going on walks, bike rides and we can often be found in a green space playing Kubb.


As well as my studies, I am also currently learning to play the guitar whilst also teaching my son to play. I enjoy learning new things about different countries & cultures. I can also be found regularly training outside in the martial art of Taekwondo.


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!

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.

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

T: Bookings & Enquiries 07761 043 072

T: Henleaze holiday club 07708 688 864

T: Hortham holiday club 07895 407 542

E: hideawayfs@gmail.com

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