Meet the Staff

'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 very fortunate to have an outstanding team of both full time and specialist teachers at our school.

Senior Leaders

Maz Wilberforce - Headteacher/SENDCo/Lower Secondary Maths teacher

Pronouns: She/her

Maz has been headteacher since September 2019.  She had just enough settling in time before embracing the challenge of overseeing the planning and implementation of the online school in the run up to the March 2020 lockdown.  Prior to Autumn 2019 Maz was the Deputy Head and School Manager at NFSS.   Maz came to us from the state sector where she had many years of experience as a teacher and an Assistant Head, where she gained a wealth of experience in effective school management.  Her Masters in Teaching and Learning was focused on strategic leadership, with plenty of opportunities to implement her former school's vision and identify key priorities.  Maz also has a passion for making learning meaningful and great experience in monitoring and evaluating the impact of curriculum development.  She is also a fully qualified Special Educational Needs Coordinator.

Maz is a member of the Governors Advisory Board.  Both her children attend NFSS and her eldest was lucky enough to have had Alex and Clair as his childminders before starting school!

In her spare time, Maz enjoys sailing her Wayfarer dinghy and the occasional weekend of Live Action Roleplay - running around the countryside with swords!

Nicholas and Alison Alp - Founders and Directors

Pronouns: He/him and She/her

Nicholas and Alison founded and developed the New Forest Small School in 1994,  building on a basis of respect and a truly child centred education, Nick and Ali have dedicated the last 25 years to providing the best possible education to our children, where they can learn and grow as whole individuals.


Nick has a 1st Class Honours Degree 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.


Ali was a qualified Montessori Directress trained with the St Nicholas Montessori College. She taught at schools in Scotland and London since 1990. Her passions were education, vegan ethics and nutrition, the natural world, alternative medicine, arts, crafts and dancing.

The Kindergarten Team

Karolina Hudson – Lead Practitioner and Kindergarten teacher

Pronouns: She/her

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. Karolina also travels widely with her family, 2019 heralds a jungle expedition and diving in Malaysia!

Julie Sloane

Pronouns: She/her

Candice Newman

Pronouns: She/her

School Teachers

Lorraine Brown - Pastoral, Head of English and Teacher

Pronouns: She/her

Lorraine supports children in school with their pastoral needs. She teaches English Language to all pupils from Middle Primary to Middle Secondary. She also teaches English Literature and History in the 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.

Alex James – Primary Teacher, Deputy Safeguarding 

Pronouns: He/him

Alex James is the form tutor for Middle 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, 7 and Ilya, 5) and two step-children (George, 22 and Emily, 20) all of whom attend or have attended the school! He is studying hard with the Open University and when he can relaxes by reading, walking his beautiful dogs, cooking gorgeous health-full food for his family and generally just being in nature.

Jean – Geography and English

Pronouns: She/her

Teaches Geography in Upper Primary and Secondary classes.  Jean has many years of experience in teaching Geography and has travelled extensively throughout the world. She is also a knowledgeable History, Psychology and English Literature teacher.

Emma Venner – Maths and Science

Pronouns: She/Her

Emma is the form tutor for Upper Secondary.  She is also the Science & Mathematics specialist for Secondary classes.  

Maggie Smith – Primary Teacher

Pronouns: She/her

Maggie is the form tutor for Lower Primary and works on design and technology projects with the children throughout the primary classes. 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 in developing their learning to learn and understanding across the lower primary curriculum.  She also 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!!

Pip Goswell-Milne - Flexiclass teacher

Pronouns: They/them

Pip has been instrumental in setting up the flexiclass as a project based, personalised learning environment.  They have supported a range of children and neurodiverse individuals in residential and school settings. They have an interest in inclusive schooling for children with SEN especially those with behavioural challenges. Pip has a keen interest in practical, interest led learning and enjoys facilitating the children's own exploration.

Most of their spare time is taken up parenting their free-range two year old Floki Wilding but they also like to collect comics and run vegan supper clubs with their wife.

Sarah Collins – Music

Pronouns: She/her

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.

Kate Burgin – Art

Pronouns: She/her

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.

Greta Alp - History, Psychology and PSHE/RSE

Pronouns: She/her

Greta teaches History and Psychology in Secondary and PSHE across the school.  

Graham Moores – P.E.

Pronouns: He/him

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.

Other Staff

Caroline Bright – School Administrator, Exams and Finance Officer

Pronouns: She/her

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

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 has completed her undergraduate degree in Modern History at Kent University.


Sarah Lumber

Pronouns: She/her

Sarah is the handiwork teacher and also works as a 1:1 Learning Support Assistant in the Upper School

Jules Lightbourn

Pronouns: She/her

Jules is an experienced educational practitioner, who has extensive experience working in classrooms both as the teacher and as support for children with a range of Special Educational Needs. 

Tina Ward

Pronouns: She/her

Tina is an experienced LSA and supports a pupil on a 1:1 basis. She enjoys being able to help and assist others wherever she can. For 19 years Tina was involved and ran a Youth Boys & Girls Football Club for 5-16 year olds. She enjoys walking, reading, watching football, music, travelling & spending time with her family.

Athena Wride

Pronouns: She/her

Athena came to the school from a life at sea (formerly working on the Hythe ferry and the pier train) with a can-do attitude and a wish for a workplace where the floor doesn't move.  As the caretaker Athena now enjoys her two main school based roles of fixing things and cleaning things. 

 Athena's most recent project is creating a flexible learning space in the yurt, complete with new raised flooring and customised furniture!

Athena also holds an FdSc in police studies and a Bsc in public services. both of which she's never used but do occasionally come in handy.

When she is not working, Athena enjoys watching sci-fi and participating in live action roleplay.


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