October 19, 2016

Forest School

“We are so privileged to have Nicky running Forest School at Queen Emma’s. Nicky plans incredible activities that cultivate teamwork, independence and develop a love and understanding of the natural world. Equipment such as rope swings and hammocks are carefully crafted to develop gross motor skills, self-belief, and resilience. The children learn to be imaginative through exploratory play in the mud kitchen where Nicky enhances resources thematically and seasonally eg blackberries, porridge oats and pinecones. Sessions are responsive and capitalise on current learning in class – children loved learning about hedgehogs and nocturnal animals as part of the Winter Wonderland topic and this was threaded throughout their learning in the woodland with Nicky.

Nicky’s greatest skill is her empathy and intuition regarding the young people in her group. She is quick to spot those who lack confidence and tailors activities to support self-belief in achievable steps. Rather than simply removing large branches and sticks that the children discovered and began to play with, Nicky patiently taught them how to use them with safety and control. 

Nicky is reflective and shows compassion for children who may find some aspects of life challenging – she is positive, measured, and respectful in her approach and the children respond positively to her manner.  Our children love their sessions, and it is genuinely the highlight of their week. To see them drinking their hot chocolate and eating biscuits, excitedly talking about the artwork they are going to produce or the recipe they are going to concoct in the mud kitchen, is truly magical.”

– Victoria Musson, Headteacher, Queen Emma’s Primary School, Witney

” Martyn was engaged by us to deliver Forest Schools to a number of students from ages 11 to 17. These students had complex SEMH and ASD. Martyn occupied the students with engaging and varied activities for up to a full day. The students were able to gain accreditation for their work. Martyn was able to lee their interest and develop their skills in a positive way. I would not hesitate to recommend him and his company for the rewarding activity that is ‘ Forest Schools’.”

-Sean Cannon, Principal at Parklands Campus, Action for Children, Appleton

1:1 Intervention

“As a school we have used IOE over the last academic year to work with some of our most difficult to reach young people. The instructors are amazing at creating stimulating engaging activities that are tailored to each student’s individual needs.  They are extremely reliable and adaptable and have worked tirelessly to support our students during the difficult Covid period.” 

– Keely Ewart-Brookes, School Leader Inclusion, The Henry Box School, Witney.

“We used In Our Element to support a student who was unable to attend mainstream lessons with an alternative provision allowing him to access learning in a different setting. Rhiannon and Martyn worked really collaboratively with us in the initial set up of the placement and since it began Rhiannon has worked with the student and his family to create a bespoke and tailored provision suitable for his needs. We have been really impressed and grateful to the team in enabling our student to access learning in a different way. The provision has been expertly tailored to him and has been hugely beneficial. I would highly recommend using In Our Element and will definitely seek their help in the future with other students.”

– Jessie Shakespeare, Assistant Headteacher (Inclusion), The Swan School, Oxford

“Rhiannon’s sessions are the highlight of our week. She has such a natural, authentic connection with my children, and is completely responsive to their needs. Her flexibility, patience and sense of fun are much appreciated by us all, and have enabled the children to access learning and experience success again after a very long time out of formal education. It is sometimes said that the antidote to anxiety is trust, and Rhiannon’s intuitive approach has certainly provided that at a time when it was desperately needed. The positive impact on the kids’ mental health (and my own) is not to be underestimated. Thank you.”

– Parent

Early Intervention

“We have been working with In Our Element since 2017 and have seen the benefits that it brings to some of our more challenging pupils. Martyn works hard to develop excellent relationships with the young people he works with and is able to keep them engaged and focussed on the task at hand, something that some of our students can struggle with during the school day.  He is clearly very knowledgeable in what he does and always provides the plans for sessions in advance and a report for each session evaluating the engagement and behaviour of the young people he has been working with. Students are encouraged to work outside of their comfort zone to help build their confidence and take risks as well as work collaboratively with others.”

 – Jo Bekhradnia, Assistant SENDCO KS3, Lord Williams’s School, Thame.

“I have to say I have been hugely impressed by the structure, planning and execution of the program in KS4.  All the students speak highly of it and the students who struggle with their attendance always attend the Friday sessions, which is exactly the outcome we want.  The area they are working in has been transformed and the students have taken pride in their work as well as working hard towards their AQA modules.  This is not a short term partnership and this will continue into the future.  I can’t speak highly enough about it.”

– Christan Lloyd, Head of year 11 and Alternative Provision Lead, The Cooper School, Bicester.


Nurture Group,

“We are truly delighted with our children’s response to our outdoor Nurture Group. It’s supporting our school improvement work on developing emotional resilience and we’ve seen a positive impact after just a few weeks. The current group are a wide ranging bunch with a variety of fragilities. The pupil evaluations are really affirming and the children gained a lot in a short space of time. I am convinced by this way of working and we look forward to the next group’s development”.

-Liz Burton, Headteacher, Saint Mary and Saint John Primary School.

“For the past six years In Our Element have delivered high quality Nurture Group programmes for our children. Their bespoke sessions have been tailored to the unique needs of our children and we are very pleased with the lasting impact they have had. In a number of cases, In Our Element’s support has had a profound impact in improving children’s attitudes to school.”

– Chris Williams, Deputy Head, Saint Mary and Saint John Primary School.


A huge thank you to Martyn and his team at In Our Element for providing a top-quality and highly engaging two-day residential for our Year 6 students – so many happy memories were made. The children loved all of the activities especially archery and playing Task Master! Martyn did a fantastic job of communicating with myself to build and create a very personal and tailored experience for our school. We are already looking forward to having In Our Element host our next residential!”

– Sam Conway, Year 6 Teacher and Upper School Lead, Charlton Primary School, Wantage#

Curriculum Enrichment,

“My year 4 class absolutely loved their Curriculum Enrichment sessions with In Our Element and it became a real highlight of the week. The sessions were engaging, well organised and took into consideration the needs of all the children in the class. There were a really interesting range of activities throughout the term in which children gained lots of valuable skills and knowledge.  I particularly liked the fact that lesson plans were sent ahead of time as it gave me a good insight into what the sessions would entail. I would highly recommend In Our Element to any school.”                                    

– Samuel Coleman, Year 4 Teacher, St Mary & St John CE Primary School, Oxford.


“I would like to take the opportunity to thank In Our Element for their hard work and professionalism; and for sharing their wide knowledge of the outdoors, with both staff and children, at our annual Year 5 Hill End Trip. The children really enjoyed the sessions, all of which were appropriately challenging, engaging and fun. The children particularly enjoyed lighting fires and making nettle soup! They were encouraged to take risks and develop their self-confidence and became very motivated as they worked co-operatively and purposefully to make dens; successful outcomes about which they were rightfully proud. All the children enjoyed a huge sense of achievement and pride in a very safe environment.”                                                                                          

– Sarah Blackwell, Year 5 teacher and Upper School Lead, St Mary & St John CE Primary School, Oxford.

“All teachers agreed the Stone Age Day was a great success. The carousel activities were engaging and accessible to all. There was a high participation level and behaviour management of children was good. I felt the timings went well – pacey not rushed. The object replica display had an impressive, original and fascinating collection. Great that the children could handle objects and there were lots of information.”

– Jacquie Pinches, Year 3 Teacher, St Mary & St John CE Primary School, Oxford.


“The young carers group had such a wonderful time – thank you so much!! They all thought the day and leaders were great! We’re definitely keen to do more days – they absolutely loved it all. One of the things I was most surprised by was how much the older group loved the chase games at the end. I guess they don’t have the chance to do that sort of thing now they are teenagers.”

– Carly Buckingham, Young Carers Support Worker, Be Free Young Carers, Didcot

Wild Ways Birthday Party

“I liked the archery because I liked popping balloons”.

“This day is really fun and exciting. I really loved the party and hope lots of people will enjoy this day”.

“It was great. 10/10. So much fun. I loved making fire”.

“I really enjoyed this afternoon because I learnt how to make a fire and cook on it with Ben”.

“I really enjoyed everything about today. I was never bored and was always having fun. All activities were great”.

“I really loved Blake’s bushcraft party, especially the cooking. It was really fun having this experience in the wild. I think this would be a great school for surviving in the wild”.

“I liked making burgers. We could have played ‘it’. I like the games”.

“I think that everything was planned out amazingly and the activities were really fun and you have endless possibilities”.

Parents of children on Wild Ways activity days

‘The boys came back filthy, happy and full of stories of their day.   Excellent stuff and highly recommended.’  Sara (mum of two, 12 & 9)

“Wild ways is fantastic; every evening my children came home grubby, smelling of wood smoke and could not wait to go back again the next day. They absolutely loved it.” (mum of two, 9 and 7)

“Taking part in Wild Ways both as an after school activity and on a week long course in the summer holidays has been the most positive experience for my son. The benefits of spending time in nature and the learning from the engaging, practical  activities have been so apparent, not least in relation to confidence and self esteem.  Thank you Wild Ways for running such thoughtfully designed activities in such a lovely manner  – you are making a real difference”. (Mum of 9 year old)


Wild Ways After School Club

Saint Mary and Saint John Primary School, Oxford.

“I liked wild ways. I’d think it would be good for any child. Martyn is great”.

“Wild Ways is brilliant, epic, awesome and I recommend it to anyone.”

“Wild Ways is a great club. I recommend it to everyone. I like making dens, fires and cooking marshmallows. It is good  for survival.”

“Wild ways is a great club for people who want to learn about survival”.

“Wild Ways is an amazing club and I recommend it to any kid in the world.”

“At wild ways we make our own theme park”.

“I like wild ways because it has lots of adventure”.

“I loved it.  Wild ways, everyone should do it!”

“I believe wild ways is great also brilliant”.

Wild Ways Bushcraft and Survival Week

“I enjoyed Wild Ways because we learnt survival stuff.”

“I like fire lighting”.

“I really enjoyed it and my favourite thing was axing and fire lighting”.

“I came all 5 days (on the bushcraft week). Every day was awesome…” and Linus was crazy!

“I really enjoyed EVERYTHING! It was epic!”

‘It was really, really good and fun’

‘My best bit was the axes, because I like cutting wood’

“Wild ways is very very good and lots of fun”