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This is the stuff of dreams for outdoorsy types and those itching to learn in nature’s classroom, with grinding down bark, making coins out of mud and using acorns for maths puzzles all in a day’s work. No wonder these kids are so rosy cheeked. We saw pupils encouraged to think about how they learn, not just what they learn, as well as to go off piste (‘But why did the Romans dress like that?’ ‘What did they eat?’ etc). Head visibly winces at mere mention of tutoring, but around a quarter do it anyway. The trophy cabinet sparkles brightly enough to please sporty families, and we were impressed with the 101 per cent engagement from littluns learning the basics of hockey on the Astro during our visit. Football, rugby, netball, athletics, cricket and hockey all feature, though one girl

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Head

Since 2018, Alyson Lobo, previously deputy head and at the school since 2005. BEd from Leicester – an easy degree decision, having had her eye firmly on teaching since she was 14. Partly in the blood (her father was a lecturer), she also recalls being ‘completely shy when I was younger, yet I seemed to come alive in front of the class’. Still teaches, currently debating to year 6s.

‘From the moment I met her, I knew this was the school I wanted,’ said a parent – and she wasn’t the only one. Three main things seem to seal the deal. First, her easy, open manner: ‘She’s a mum herself and so relatable, not just someone you feel you can’t touch or who won’t listen to you.’ Second, while all...

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