Square300-11RISE Learning Zone

Founded in September 2015, RISE is a not-for-profit education organisation for Nottingham based in a hectare of woodland on the outskirts of the city. RISE was established to accommodate a small number of vulnerable learners on their education journey away from mainstream schools and is growing toward providing educational opportunities for all our constituencies. Recognising that the best learning happens within a responsive and nurturing community, the organisation has a bold mission to provide learners with a unique experience in education, centred on our naturally therapeutic environment, and on food – from ground to table: growing together, cooking together, and eating together.

From a small eight-learner alternative education programme to whole-community education in which young people, staff, volunteers, families and other agencies can consider themselves co-learners and educators, we aim to build a unique and empowering environment for learning.

We recognise that all individuals, of any age, should have the opportunity both to learn and to teach.

Find out more about RISE here. Our aims and objectives can be found here.

NEWS: New academic year, new site, new opportunity

Our first full year in our new home begins after a busy summer of preparation and recruitment. From installing windows and a new fire alarm system into our building, to recruiting a new Forest Schools leader to develop our environmental, horticulture and conservation curriculum, and making an ambitious bid to create a Woodland Kitchen on the site, we have hit the ground running for the autumn term and don’t expect to get much of a rest this academic year. For this third academic year as RISE we introduce a key stage 3 curriculum for younger learners aged 11-14 and we go live this year with our independent schools admission too, which means OFSTED will be out to visit at some point and we’ll be working hard to impress with our vision. We start the new academic year already fully booked on available part time and full time places, so we know from our referring partners that we are on the right track and offering a provision that is valued by schools, parents and learners. 

Forest School

We welcome a new staff member in Forest Schools tutor Kat Gillen, who will be leading our efforts to connect with the environment and develop core programmes to fulfil our ‘Grow Together, Cook Together, Eat Together’ mission for social and vocational development. In this first year we plan to offer Forest School sessions for all learners, allowing them to connect with the outdoors in ways led by them as active participants; additionally Kat will be introducing our horticultural qualifications as part of our new Vocational Studies package for key stage 3 and 4 learners, and will help to build new growing areas on the site.

Woodland Kitchen Bid

During the summer we had an unexpected opportunity to bid into a major trust fund for the construction of a Woodland Kitchen. Using sustainable materials including straw bales, green wood harvested from Balloon Wood itself and turf roofing, we plan to construct a new kitchen and classroom for our cooking programmes, including a fully equipped catering kitchen, with a class that can double as a cafeteria with an additional outdoor cooking facility cob oven. The Woodland Kitchen would create a perfect hub for vocational development as well as provide a potential community facility for extended programmes. Initially the plan had been to bid for such a facility after a year on the site but an opportunity came along that we couldn’t ignore – including some very interesting potential partners who kindly drew up some architectural designs for us: watch this space, it could be a very exciting project indeed.

Updates page can be found here