Ironwood Forest School Leader, Emma Purcell (BA Hons, PGCE, Forest School Leader L3).
I have been involved with education since graduating from art school; winning charity funding to create an organic food garden at a primary school in East Sussex, volunteering for charitable organisations in Latin America, I discovered Forest School in 2008 and began the journey towards leadership qualification. I have also been a classroom teacher in Hackney, East London, although I sneaked my class out to the park at every opportunity to get them excited about the outdoors!
In my spare time you will most often find me outdoors: cooking on a fire; foraging for food/basketry material/kindling and tinder; cycling, running, walking and ‘wild’ swimming; gardening; weaving and making cordage.
I have Outdoor First Aid Training, Public Liability Insurance and a current DBS certificate.
Please contact me if you need any further information about my qualifications, experience or references.
Ironwood is one of the folk names for one of my favourite trees, the Hornbeam. Hornbeam trees are those gnarled and twisted ones with tiger-striped bark: a source of inspiration for fairy tale illustrations. Also they produce very hard timber, and were much planted in the South East to be used in the iron industry. The name conjures the literal strength of trees, but also the inner strength that is often gained from spending time in a wood.