Kim Swain: Education, Milton Keynes

Hi, I’m Kim,

I’m a teacher and the founder of forest schools in Milton Keynes, where I am a forest school leader. I’m really inspired by children’s happiness and well-being and being able to give them the best opportunities I can as a teacher and my role beyond that, to ensure they can access tools to assist their well-being as well as life skills for the future.

I originally got into teaching 15 years ago when I volunteered at my daughter’s school and discovered forest schools. I loved the holistic nature of it; developing children through their own interests, giving them time and freedom to explore and be themselves as we support them in nature. From there I trained as a teacher and a forest school leader and developed my own forest school.

I’m really proud to have a number of forest schools with all manner of nature within them, having raised money to create an ideal venue for children to grow and learn. We have planted over 100 trees from the Woodland Trust, which children helped us to plant, we raised money to have a treehouse built, have created a willow arch, made a base camp where we can build fires and get to grips with activities, and the dads in the community helped make us a pond. We’ve also created a reflection area for children to reflect on whatever they need to, made digging areas and habitats for local nature and are making a wildflower garden.

When COVID-19 hit we obviously locked down and I was doing all I could to help families – running daily interventions on Zoom and I could see children withdrawing and suffering. They really struggled to engage and wanted social interaction. To help I would go to the forest school and film the changes to what we were doing and ask them to get out and report back on the changes to their own gardens. Because I could see that children’s social development was being stunted during COVID-19, my friend and I decided to start a club that would provide outdoor opportunities for children when we could, which has evolved into a social club.


Kim’s Forest School

Kim’s Forest School

Kim’s Scroll. Photo: Kristian Buus & Kinetika

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