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Holly Staniford

Holly Staniford

An inspirational speaker who will impassion and empower you to take learning outdoors and reap the benefits!

Holly is passionate about the outdoors and the impact of the natural world on imagination, learning and well- being. She believes that children's learning flourishes when it is experiential, meaningful, multi-sensory and fun!

In an increasingly crowded timetable, Holly opens up possibilities for how outdoor experiences can be integrated into everyday literacy practice, regardless of setting, and offers practical ideas and suggestions of how this can be achieved. She illustrates the knock on effect that outdoor experiences have on imagination, language, confidence, positivity and so much more besides.

For as long as she can remember, Holly has loved being amongst nature, exploring and discovering new places. In 1998 she packed her bags and went off backpacking around the world, returning just in time for the millennium. This experience solidified her views of the value of outdoor experiences being an integral part of the learning process, and of the many benefits of the great outdoors.

On her return, she trained to be a teacher, and soon after played a key role in powering the transformation of a failing school; she was one of the driving forces behind the development of a brand new, innovative curriculum. The results of the school doubled, and it was recognised for its innovation, attracting visitors from all over the world. It was championed by the DfES Innovations Unit and the QCA Futures Unit.

During this time, Holly became an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) in creative thinking and learning skills, supporting fellow professionals and delivering workshops and training throughout Derbyshire, with outdoor learning always being a key factor in her practice. She gained a reputation for her ability to inspire and motivate disengaged children.

Holly now runs a successful business called 'Fish in a Tree' where she delivers training and works outdoors with all ages, promoting creative, experiential learning, whatever the weather. Holly has written blogs for a range of organisations dedicated to outdoor learning, including The Wild Network.

Testimonials from Teachers

"Holly is genuinely one of the most brilliant educators I have ever worked with and a very experienced and inspirational speaker/trainer"

– Richard Gerver, Bestselling Author, Speaker and Broadcaster

"Thank you Holly for giving me a new perspective and offering so many usable and transferable ideas. Holly was a breath of fresh air; warm, engaging and motivating. I can’t wait to get back to school and share her ideas with my colleagues."

– Delegate, Derbyshire Forest Schools Day

"Holly’s ideas for using our school environment to its potential inspired, motivated and revitalised how I thought about the learning experiences that I provide my children with. Thank you for bringing my teaching back to life Holly!"

– Laura Spargo, Literacy Co-ordinator, Grange Primary School

"Holly’s workshop provided me with lots of practical ideas for using the outdoor environment to develop and enhance children’s learning. Designed to capture children’s interest, her imaginative ideas can easily be embedded into the curriculum. Having started the workshop as an exhausted Year 6 teacher with SATS targets on the brain, I finished it inspired to try new, creative ideas that I know will help to move the children’s learning on whilst having fun!"

– Sarah Crooks, Year 6 Teacher, Grange Primary School​

Speaker File




  • Primary
  • Creative
  • Well-being
  • Teacher CPD
  • Literacy

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