'There's been a change in Keaton's behaviour. I think that's come from him being in nature'
John and Keaton, Fingle Woods
Experiencing anxiety Keaton struggled at school. His move to an independent school, run by John, has transformed his life. John encourages his pupils to get outside and be amongst nature. Exploring the local wood has brought Keaton a sense of calm and has had a transformative impact on his behaviour.
Trouble at school
'I used to get very anxious when I was around people. It was hard for me when I was around big crowds.
If my mates were around I would try and show off in stupid ways like jump on tables. I always used to get in trouble in school.
I used to have anger issues.
I never experienced going out cycling in the woods. I didn't know how calm it could be. If you're with the right people it can be really calm, and you can have a fun time.
It was really nice when I first went there.'
Nature can be transformative
John, Keaton’s teacher: 'There's been a revelation in the change of his behaviour, and I think that everything's come from him coming out into a natural environment like this with me and all the other children.'
" It's incredibly calming. Whether it's the sound of a river burbling next to us, or the wind in the trees."
John: 'The more a child is struggling in school, the more that they're fighting against the system, I'm usually able to make a very close connection with that child by bringing them out in a natural environment.
I hated school myself. It was a really unpleasant experience.
There's probably something at the back of your mind where you want to make it better for the children that are going through schooling now.'