The New Forest Small School is run by Nicholas and Alison Alp who are 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 & Founders
Nicholas Alp (Head of Secondary – History, English & Psychology)
Head of the Upper School, Nicholas teaches in the Primary (Science) and the 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 & PSE)
Head of the Lower School, Alison teaches kindergarten, maths and Herstory in the Lower Primary, Maths and PSHE in the Middle Primary, PSHE/Human Biology in the Upper Primary and PSHE in Lower/upper Secondary, including sexual diversity and sexual health. She is writing and delivering the school’s PSHE/SMSC curriculum. Alison is the schools DSL (child protection lead) and 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 (now at Greenwich University studying Creative Writing), and Jude and Natasha who still attend the school.
The Kindergarten Team
Clair James – Directress
Clair is our new Kindergarten teacher, having taken over from Becky McCoy who retired at the end of the summer term. She is the schools deputy DSL. Clair has worked at the NFSS since the early days back in The Scout Hall! Both of her older children attended for many years and now her two younger children both attend the school. She is married to Alex and they live in Lyndhurst with their children. Clair and Alex job share in order to balance home and school life.
Clair is passionate about libertarian education and the social/emotional wellbeing of children alongside her commitment to literacy and learning up to and including GCSE. Should she ever have any free time, Clair loves reading, forest walks, fires and dancing.
Karolina Hudson – Assistant Directress
Karolina is Assistant Directress in the Kindergarten and yoga teacher. She is a qualified teacher with a Masters in English & Literature. Her hobbies include travelling, diving and yoga. Karolina’s daughter Lola attends Kindergarten.
Jolanda Wearn-Hutter – Kindergarten Assistant
Jolanda’s role at the New Forest Small School is as a Kindergarten assistant, supporting Clair and Karolina. She also teaches arts and crafts in the Middle Primary class.
She was brought up in Germany and attended a Steiner school, which has greatly influenced her interest in arts and alternative education, with which the philosophy of the New Forest Small School blends well. She is working towards a career in childcare/teaching.
Her two children attend the school and together they share many passions, especially a love of art and creating, nature and the great outdoors.
Main School Teachers
Alex James – Lower Primary
Alex James teaches Lower Primary. He has a Level 3 qualification in childcare and development. 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. He lives in Lyndhurst with his wife Clair, and has two children (Mala,5 and Ilya,3) and two step-children (George, 20 and Emily,18) all of whom attend or have attended the school! He relaxes by reading, cooking and being in nature.
Anouchka Langford – Geography
Teaches Geography in the 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.
Gillian Duncan – Science
Gillian teaches Science in the Upper Primary and Secondary classes. Gillian loves introducing Upper Primary to practical Science and has consistently inspired our GCSE pupils to their optimum possible grades. She has a BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology, an MPhil in Immunology and a PGCE in Secondary Science teaching. She has a broad experience teaching in schools. Her passions include Microchemistry, teaching in the environment, gardening, including growing produce, all types of sailing, especially with the Little Brig Sailing Trust.
Helen Gunther – 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 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 DJRandom and DJs at Glastonbury and many other places.
Maggie Lane – Primary Teacher
Maggie works on DT projects with the children throughout the primary classes as well covering other lessons and visiting kindergarten 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 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. She has a Certificate of Education and a first class degree in three dimensional ceramic design. Kate has over 18 years experience teaching Art and has taught in several local colleges.
Se enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, swimming, walking and visiting galleries.
Hayley Young – Drama
Hayley teaches drama to upper primary and secondary classes. She has lived in the local area for most of her life and has been teaching for the past seven years. She is married to Sam and they have a young son, Fred. She has a BA (Hons) degree in Primary Education and specialised in drama at the University of Winchester. She has a particular interest in music and theatre and when she has free time, she enjoys doing creative projects, practising yoga and attends weekly Zumba classes.
Silvia Moreno Garcia-Campero – Spanish
Silvia Moreno is a Spanish native Montessori MFL Teacher. In Spain, she taught Spanish children English Language. She loves her work in the NF small school, it’s sense of community and respectful exchange with Nature. She works through processes of exploration of the Spanish cultures, awakening curiosity, involvement and independent research. She also leads Spanish Clubs in other schools in Dorset. She has also been a Spanish Language instructor for adults.
Her life experiences also includes professional and vocational performing Arts, meditation and yoga. Silvia Finds 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 positive group work.
Graham Moores – P.E.
Graham is Head of P.E. 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 completed his UEFA B Coaching Licence and Youth Coaching Modules and qualified First Aider and sports injuries. He has managed and coached numerous football teams, but particularly within women’s and girls’ 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 feel 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 a 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 is the School Administrator and very much enjoys her busy role. Caroline deals with all aspects of administration for the school and Head Teachers Nick & Alison and office support to teachers, parents & any sub-contractors 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.
Learning Support Assistants
Jan works as a 1:1 Learning Support Assistant. She has a NVQ3 Teaching Assistant qualification and her experience is in supporting children and young people with special educational needs. She is passionate about the welfare of dogs and shares her home with 6 dogs and 4 cats, many of them have been rescued from Romania, France and UK.
Rob works as an LSA in Middle Primary. He has worked as a one to one teaching assistant in many schools in Hampshire, Dorset and Lancashire. He is passionate about football and supports Watford and Eastleigh.
Tina is an experienced LSA support to pupils on a 1:1 basis. She enjoys being able to help/assist others wherever she can. For 19 years she was involved, 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.