One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is a vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child – Carl Jung


The New Forest Small School is run by Nicholas and Alison Alp who are both the Proprietors and Head Teachers. We are very fortunate to have an outstanding team of both full time and specialist teachers at our school….


The Head Teachers, Proprietors & Founders

Nicholas Alp (Head of Secondary – History, English & Psychology)

Head of the Upper School, Nicholas, teaches in Primary (Science) and Secondary (English Literature, History and Psychology to GCSE level). He is a 1st Class Honours Degree graduate in European Cultural History. He also holds a Diploma in the Montessori Method of Education with the St. Nicholas Montessori College. He has taught at alternative schools in the U.S. and in Scotland. His passions are music, football, astronomy, science, art, photography, film, history, philosophy and of course, education.

Alison Alp (Head of Primary – Maths & Personal, Social, Health Education PSHE)

Head of the Lower School, Alison teaches in Kindergarten; Maths and ‘Herstory’ in Lower Primary; Maths and PSHE in Middle Primary; PSHE/Human Biology in Upper Primary and PSHE in Lower and Upper Secondary, including sexual diversity and sexual health. She is writing and delivering the school’s PSHE/SMSC curriculum. Alison is the school’s Designated Lead Safeguarding Officer (DLS) and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). She is a qualified Montessori Directress trained with the St Nicholas Montessori College. She has taught at schools in Scotland and London since 1990. Her passions are education, vegan ethics and nutrition, the natural world, alternative medicine, arts, crafts and dancing.

Alison and Nicholas are married, with 3 children, Greta (who recently graduated from Greenwich University with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Creative Writing! Congratulations Greta!!) and twins Jude and Natasha who still attend the school.

The Kindergarten Team

Clair James – Lead Practitioner

Clair is our new Kindergarten teacher, having taken over from Becky McCoy who retired at the end of the summer term 2016. She is the school’s deputy DSL and SENCO. Clair has worked at the NFSS since the early days back in 2001. Clair has four children, and all of them have attended NFSS! Her eldest son George has recently graduated from Essex University and is currently fostering his hotel career in Mayfair, London. Emily is studying Art at Bournemouth University and her two younger children, Mala and Ilya, both attend the school. She is married to Alex and they live in Emery Down.

Clair is passionate about libertarian education and the social/emotional well being of children alongside her commitment to literacy up to and including GCSE. Should she ever have any free time, Clair loves cycling to school, reading and dancing.

Karolina Hudson – Deputy Lead Practitioner

Karolina is Deputy in Kindergarten and is our yoga and meditation teacher. She is a qualified teacher with a Masters Degree in English & Literature.

She is a busy mum of 3 children, 2 of which have attended NFSS. Her hobbies include healthy eating, travelling, diving and yoga.

Greta Alp – Kindergarten Assistant

Greta’s role at the New Forest Small School is as a Kindergarten Assistant, supporting both Clair and Karolina. She also teaches Drama in other classes.

Greta is a 1st Class Honours Degree Graduate and has a hereditary passion for Alternative Education, passed on to her from her parents Nicholas and Alison!

Greta loves to write, walk in the woods and bake yummy vegan treats.

Main School Teachers

Alex James – Lower Primary

Alex James teaches Lower Primary. He has a Level 3 qualification in childcare and education. He is passionate about working with children and helping each child to reach their full potential. He also loves connecting children with nature through activities such as gardening and forest play. Alex planted and maintains the permaculture vegetable garden we have at school, (believed to be the first of it’s kind in the UK!!) with the help of the children of course!

He lives in Emery Down with his wife Clair, and has two children (Mala, 5 and Ilya, 3) and two step-children (George, 21 and Emily, 19) all of whom attend or have attended the school! He relaxes by reading, working on his allotment, cooking gorgeous health-full food for his family and generally just being in nature.

Anouchka Langford – Geography

Teaches Geography in Upper Primary and Secondary classes. She has a PGCE from the Institute of Education, University of London, and a BSC Honours in Geography from the University of Liverpool. She has over 15 years of experience in teaching Geography and has travelled extensively throughout the world. Her passions include yoga, travelling, reading, music, camping, and spending time with family and friends. Her children Caspar and Giselle both attend the school.

Lorraine Brown – English, History & Religious Studies

Lorraine teaches English Language to all pupils from Lower Primary to Lower Secondary. She also teaches English Literature and History in the Primary classes and Religious Studies to Lower Secondary. Lorraine started teaching in The London Borough of Redbridge, with a degree in Education from Birmingham University, in the 1980s. She became Head of Lower School English in a secondary school but then transferred to primary teaching to widen her experience of different age groups and approaches to learning.  She is particularly dedicated to the ideas around metacognition and her teaching reflects her commitment to the importance of an individual’s awareness of self and how one’s attitudes towards self can affect motivation in learning. She is also a fully trained counsellor accredited through BACAP with The National Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling.

She believes that ‘Life’ can be a journey of continued excitement and joy if one is prepared to look outwards with interest and enquiry about the world we live in.

Nick Potter – Science

Nick teaches Science in the Secondary classes. He likes to facilitate hands on, interactive, inquiry based Science lessons that pupils can relate to their real life experience. He qualified as a teacher at the Institute of Education through the Teach First program in Tower Hamlets and has a BSc (Hons) in Educational Studies from the University of Cambridge. He enjoys meditation and being in nature.

Helen Gunter – Maths

Teaches Maths in the Secondary classes. She has a BSc (Hons) in Maths & Statistics and a PGCE in teaching Secondary Maths. She has been teaching in local schools for over 20 years. Her passions are tennis and swimming, reading and cooking and she loves being outside, particularly with views of the coast.

Sarah Collins – Music

Sarah set up the music department and GCSE Music course in 2010 – when she arrived with her daughter Ella, who took her GCSEs at the school in 2015. She studied at The City University, London (with instrumental lessons at The Guildhall School) and at Sussex University, for her MA in Composition. An accomplished pianist, she also loves singing, and as well as teaching across the whole school. She has recently started the New Forest Small School Choir – for all pupils from Upper Primary upwards as well as parents and staff. She writes music for the summer performances and organises the Christmas celebration concert. She also has another identity as DJ Random and DJs at Glastonbury and many other places.

Maggie Smith – Primary Teacher

Maggie works on design and technology projects with the children throughout the primary classes as well covering other lessons when required. She has a BA hons degree in Textiles For Fashion from Portsmouth University. She has been working both voluntarily and employed in schools since the age of 16 and has a NVQ level 3 in ‘Early Years Care and Education’.

Passionate about empowering children to become independent learners and creative thinkers, Maggie enjoys helping the children to create finished products they can take home, or use at school. They create everything from pallet mud kitchens to lamps and anything in between! She encourages them to use a wide range of tools and techniques to explore their ideas effectively.

She lives in Lyndhurst and is married to Mark with two daughters, Zoe and Erika, who both attend the school, plus their extended animal family. Her interests include alternative education for children, art and textiles, nature, gardening, growing things at the allotment, learning new and interesting things and of course – making stuff!!

Specialist Teachers & Tutors

Kate Burgin – Art

Kate teaches Art & Design in the Upper Primary and Secondary classes to GCSE. She has a Certificate of Education and a 1st Class Degree in Three Dimensional Ceramic Design. Kate has almost 20 years experience teaching Art and has taught in several local colleges.

She enjoys spending time with her girls, cooking, swimming, walking and visiting galleries.


Silvia Moreno Garcia-Campero – Spanish

Silvia Moreno is a Spanish Montessori MFL Teacher. In Spain, she taught children English Language. She loves her work at the NFSS, valuing it’s sense of community and respectful exchange with nature. She works through the process of exploration of Spanish cultures, awakening curiosity, involvement and independent research. She also leads Spanish Clubs in other schools in Dorset and has been a Spanish Language instructor for adults.

Her life experiences include professional and vocational performing arts, meditation and yoga. Silvia feels it important that children enjoy their learning process, and likes them to experience their sensorial as well as thinking qualities. She rejoices when children gain confidence, empathy and are positive within group work.

Silvia’s son Amar will be joining Kindergarten in September 2017!

Graham Moores – P.E.

Graham is Head of PE at our school. He has a passion for sport especially football, have represented the County in football and played to a semi-professional level. He has completed UEFA B Coaching Licence, Youth Coaching Modules and is a qualified First Aider for sports injuries. He has managed and coached numerous football teams, but particularly within women’s and girl’s football.  His 2 claims to fame are coaching Fay White (previous Arsenal and England’s Ladies Captain) and putting his signature to the inauguration document of the Women’s National Football League. He has coached football and PE in various schools throughout the region and county, and is currently Chairman & Treasurer and founding member of the New Forest Girls Football League.

He is also a Chartered Management Accountant and holds a degree in Accounting and Finance, managing his own Accountancy business.

Emma Chesters – Music

Emma is trained as a classical violinist and pianist, having studied at Chethams School of Music, Manchester and the Royal College of Music, London. In addition to many years of private instrumental teaching, Emma’s career has included devising, setting up & running the London Symphony Orchestra’s innovative Education programme for many years. Since moving to Hampshire in 2014, Emma has also organised an innovate creative music project involving two Norwegian musicians, and is currently managing ArtSway’s summer exhibition programme as well as volunteering for local art therapy charity, hArt. As well as Music & the Arts, Emma’s other big passion is eating chocolate! Emma’s daughter Ellie attends the school.

Ollie Blacklock – Chess Club

Ollie runs the school chess club, following the Russian method which is slow and focused, different from the approach used in many UK schools. He has a Masters in Information Engineering and a PhD in Speech and Signal Processing, as well as an interest in the psychological aspects of teaching and learning. He strongly feels that psychology and sociology are the most important tools for addressing the challenges faced by society. He loves the opportunity to teach and share an interest and philosophy with the future generation, and at the same time be grounded by learning how to resolve the practical challenges faced by all teachers!



Caroline Bright – School Administrator

Caroline runs the school reception office and is the School Administrator. She enjoys her very busy and demanding role. Caroline deals with all aspects of administration for the school and Head Teachers Nicholas & Alison. She also supports teachers, children, parents & any visitors to the school.

Caroline’s daughter Amelia started at the school when she was just 3 yrs old and left in the Summer of 2015 aged 15 after sitting 9 GCSE exams, having achieved excellent results. Amelia is now set to begin studying Modern History at Exeter University in Autumn 2017.

Learning Support Assistants

Jan Wright

Jan works as a 1:1 Learning Support Assistant (LSA) in Upper Primary. She has a NVQ3 Teaching Assistant qualification and has great experience in supporting children and young people with special educational needs.

In her spare time, Jan is passionate about dogs and shares her home with 6 of them! As well as 4 cats!  Many of Jan’s pets have been rescued from Romania, France and the UK.

Rob Butler

Rob works as an LSA in Upper Primary. He is also the unofficial class Daddy! He has worked as a 1:1 Teaching Assistant (TA) in many schools in Hampshire, Dorset and Lancashire.

He is passionate about life and football and supports both Watford and Eastleigh.

Tina Ward

Tina is an experienced LSA and supports a pupil in Middle Primary on a 1:1 basis. She enjoys being able to help and assist others wherever she can.

For 19 years Tina was involved with and then proceeded to run a Youth Boys & Girls Football Club for 5-16 year olds.

She enjoys walking, reading, watching football, music, travelling & spending time with her family.