Play Wild |  Love Learning | Be Free

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The crew!.jpg

The Willows home education group is a unique, family run, self-directed, outdoor learning community specifically for children who are home educated. Drop off sessions are offered for children aged 5 (the term after the child’s 5th birthday) and up. Immersed in an acre of woodland and open pasture, we offer a safe, secure outdoor environment for children to play, learn and be free! 

If you would like more information about our home education community, please                     




Self-directed learning through play

Children are amazing at directing their own
learning and unleashing their own curiosity, if
only given the chance! Todays children
(tomorrows adults!) are leading very busy lives,
whether they are in school all day, then after
school clubs, homework, extracurricular
activities and sports or home education groups
and meet ups, all of these activities are led by
adults. Children are rarely given the opportunity to be allowed to just be themselves and follow their own intrinsic motivation. Self directed learning is exactly what is says- self directed. Led by ones self. Not following rules or instructions from another and testing their own boundaries. We allow children the time, space, resources, assistance (if they need it!) and encouragement to achieve their own personal goals. Given the time and space, children follow their curiosity, they use their imagination and become totally immersed in their play (learning!)

We like to leave random bits and pieces for the children to find and make use of however they wish, for example, pallets, tyres, hay bales, tarpaulin, pieces of wood, rope, string etc.

The picture below shows a great example of what children are capable of when left to follow their own interests. We simply left a few tyres for the children to find, they played with them for a while, rolling them to one another, stacking them on top of each other and climbing in and out of them. One of the children suggested they make a den with the tyres. The children worked together and after a few failed attempts at stacking the tyres in a particular way, they had a discussion and decided to make and follow a plan to achieve their goal. The children asked for more tyres (80 more tyres!) We of course supplied the tyres, nuts and bolts and a very willing adult to help execute the plan alongside the children. Over the next 4 weeks the children worked together to build this incredible structure, working as a team and over coming many obstacles along the way. Isn’t it incredible?!

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Tyre dome.jpg

'I couldn't recommend The Willows enough.

My daughter started here at the beginning of the month and always comes home with so much to talk about! 

She enjoys her day there each week, has made new friends, has so much fun, is allowed to be herself and always looks forward to the following week.

The premises is secure and has an wide range of activities set out in there teepee hut and allows the opportunity for children to explore the outdoor environment, providing a chance to extend their learning freely.

It is run by an amazing team who are friendly, approachable and very informative when giving feedback at the end of the session when I collect my daughter'

'Love everything! Fabulous location... Fabulous leaders... loads of things for children to do, make, explore. really lovely. shame it's not every day :-) xx'