Our approach to learning sets us apart from all the others. Taught to you by our team of inspiring, highly qualified and experienced teachers, our unique methodology helps students maximise their potential in school and their personal lives too.
By the way… we also offer the best outdoor experiences in the world.
Matthew Barnsley BSc (Hons), PGCE Geog QTS IML
Director and Co-Founder
Mat is a qualified teacher with a background of working with young people with special needs in the juvenile criminal system and social services sector for 6 years and in mainstream education for 8 years. This has equipped him with a wide range of teaching approaches that helps students of all needs and backgrounds not to just survive but to be able to excel and thrive, whatever the circumstances.
He has served as a departmental head in a number of schools across several different subject areas. Mat has also successfully designed and implemented multiple initiatives to improve departmental structures and facilities in schools around the UK.
He is a Qualified International Mountain Leader and has led expeditions to the highest peaks on 4 continents in summer and winter conditions. He has participated in expeditions to the Himalayas where he successfully completed a first ascent on the prominent 6185m Telthop Peak in Ladakh.
He trained as a mountain rescue leader in the U.S Rockies and is qualified in bush craft and survival techniques. He has led teams of scientists on geological expeditions to remote areas. His practical knowledge of human survival and well being in remote places is extensive.
Today, Mat leads expeditions to arctic, jungle, mountain and desert environments. He links lessons learned from the Wild to the academic learning and the personal development objectives of each participant. As a result, students have performed better in school and in their personal lives too – demonstrating far greater confidence and drive. Many of Mat’s students have pursued careers in the outdoor sector.
Steven Shove, MBA, DIPM
Director and Co-Founder
Steven, Director and Co-Founder of Really Wild Education, first set out a vision for Really Wild in 2009 to create a unique and highly powerful approach to personal and organisational development that would change lives for the better. He blended his experience in commerce and education with the principles of survival and original human success to create the Really Wild Method®.
Previously, Steven led and developed several international teams and businesses as a management consultant, regional vice-president and managing director. He has extensive experience and knowledge of the business and education sectors and is passionate about helping young people lead amazing lives, to believe in themselves and to realise their potential. His ambition is for every pupil and teacher to realise their own unique personal competitive advantage and state of incredible wellbeing.
Steven is one of the UK’s most inspiring and highly qualified survival instructors and a #1 Amazon best selling author on the topics of wellbeing, performance improvement and leadership. He specialises in the provision of coaching, mentoring and advisory services to executives, senior leadership teams, staff and pupils. Outdoors, Steven leads groups in forest, Arctic and jungle environments, and works with pupils of all ages as well as executives from some of the world’s most well known companies.
Steve has a natural ability to connect and engage with his audience whatever their age or background. He is experienced at teaching primary, secondary and further education. He also continues to provide management consultancy, training and development initiatives to a range of businesses and organisations.
Nigel Painter. MBE, IML
Nige is a senior officer within the RAF with nearly two decades of experience leading and developing young people and adults at home and abroad. He is a flight engineer on Hercules aircraft and leads a team of RAF survival instructors. He teaches pilots how to survive and thrive in all environments – Arctic, jungle, desert and mountain.
When he is not on operations with the RAF, Nige works with Really Wild Education to deliver the very best in wilderness and personal development education for our students. He has led groups in Nepal, Slovenia, Norway, the USA, the Arctic and the lesser travelled Antarctic.
As a keen outdoorsman Nige is also a qualified International Mountain Leader. He was awarded an MBE by the Queen in the 2016 Honours List for his services to leadership and survival training. He utilises his vast experience to add real value to the content and delivery of our courses and our unique methodology for success. Nige is also a qualified bush craft instructor who was trained by Ray Mears and John Rhyder.
Ian has been in the outdoor industry for over 20 years. He started off as an Expedition Leader for a Naval Unit based in his hometown of Portsmouth. He has led expeditions all over the world: honing his skills in the harshest of environments.
Ian is an ISKGA (International Sea Kayak Guide Association) guide, British Canoe Union Level 2 coach, British Stand Up Paddleboard Association Level 2 instructor, British Cycling Mountain Bike Leader and trained Mountain Leader. His passion for teaching and progression in an outdoor environment is second to none.
The past 10 years have seen him working with scientists and engineers within the British Antarctic Survey building, repairing research establishments and setting up temporary field camps. All whilst studying the amazing wildlife you can find throughout this remarkable continent.
Ian’s polar experience culminated in being asked to join Sir Ranulph Fiennes on the 1st ever attempt to cross the Antarctic Continent in winter. Ian is one of only 5 people ever to have attempted this feat!
Abbi Naylor. QTS IML (T)
Abbi is a teacher with a serious outdoor edge; her teaching skills and experience in outdoor environments is diverse. She specialises in working with young people with specific educational, behavioural and mental difficulties. Her other skills include: being in the British armed forces, sailing and yacht racing, sky diving, mountain walking and bushcraft. She is a qualified ski instructor and is currently working towards her International Mountain Leader award.
Abbi not only runs expeditions all over the world for students and adult groups, she also plans and manages them. She is an advanced first aid instructor which allows her to create the safest environments possible for working outdoors. The key to success is in the preparation and Abbi is certainly prepared with her skills set.
Abbi has been to more places than most people will go to in a lifetime. Her knowledge, experience and expertise puts her up there as one of the best.
Naz is one of the most outstanding outdoor practitioners in the business and as a result he has worked with the best of the best. Naz specialises in everything remote and has great expertise in the tropical places of the world. He leads people into the deepest jungle environments and teaches advanced fauna, flora and survival skills.
His rope work, climbing and safety skills off the ground are exceptional. He has set up some of the longest and highest rope ways, zip lines and industrial roping projects on the planet!
His safety record and his immense skills and are proven by the fact that he has worked with Bear Grylls, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Gordon Ramsey, Sir David Attenborough, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and Really Wild Education.
Hannah Chivrall BSc (Hons), QTS
Senior Instructor & Office Administrator
Hannah is a fully qualified teacher and bushcraft instructor, with experience of teaching all ages. She is dedicated to helping others discover and learn to love our natural world, and provides opportunities for curiosity in her sessions. She trained with John Rhyder and was invited back to work with him at Woodcraft School, a great honour which gave her a solid understanding of a diverse range of wood lore.
“From an early age I enjoyed the freedoms to run wild and play naturally. Rivers and lakes, mountains and hills, woodlands and countryside, all play a big part in my life.”
She loves archery, wild foods, taking thinking walks, watching the dancing flames and glowing embers, crafting beautiful things from natural materials and growing things in her allotment.
Hannah is also behind the scenes keeping things organised and you can ask her for assistance with all stages of your experiences with Really Wild – there are no silly questions!
Charlie has been working with Really Wild since leaving school. He’s been a participant on both our Arctic Winter and the Borneo Survival Expeditions. His quiet confidence and calm manner really set him up well in challenging situations and make him a dependable team member.
He lived in South Africa for a year where he worked at the Outward Bound international School of South Africa as an instructor. This involved taking groups out to the bush and teaching them rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking, canoeing, navigation, general camp craft and team building exercises.
He is a product designer with a keen interest in blacksmithing, wood work and carving; especially in making knives and woodland tools. Charlie is not afraid to test by trial and error and is dedicated to improving his skills through hard work.
Charlie is a natural people person and very relaxing to be around. He is an exceptional practitioner and a fantastic teacher who has a knack of describing and explaining things in just the right way to a diverse range of audiences. The progression shown by those in his care is impressive and his sessions always feel calm, friendly and fun.
Shane has always enjoyed the outdoors and fostered this interest by joined the Scouts when he was at Primary School. At Secondary School he completed DofE Bronze award and attended the Outdoors Club run by Mat. He joined every trip including Survival School Academy, Borneo and the Arctic Winter Expeditions.
Shane accompanied the 2016 Borneo Expedition as a helper where he learned a lot of important skills including: how to interact with clients, continually assessing safety, and dealing with difficult situations.
He is one of the youngest people to pass the NCFE Level 4 Bushcraft Instructors Course with John Rhyder. He has a comprehensive knowledge of bush craft skills, natural history, conservation and delivering to a wide range of audiences. He is passionate about the outdoors and with his training on the international expeditions programmes is now well on his way to being able to lead programmes around the world.
David Markland is a strong and able practitioner in all aspects of outdoor education and pursuits, from UK based winter walking and campcraft to international expeditions, travel and jungle survival. He has travelled much and experienced many of the harder places of societies and human habitations. With this experience he can teach students how to look for dangers whilst outdoors, then mitigate them to stay safe and secure: increasing individual confidence and competence in activities being undertaken.
David is not only a strong outdoor practitioner; he is passionate about the educational development and mental, emotional and physical well being of the people he teaches. With qualifications in hypnotherapy and mental health, David adds a hugely unique and crucial role to the Really Wild Ethos of making our students ‘World Ready’. David spends much of his efforts helping his students challenge their ‘norms’ and way of thinking to help them become more perceptive, discerning and open to empathising with people and situations in an ever-changing world. His insight into human behaviours has drastically changed people’s perceptions and stereotypes; he has helped to heal deep emotional wounds in others and shown young people how to cope with, and adapt to, or modify many differing family and social challenges.
David uses the Really Wild Method to get the best out of the people he teaches, not just in the classroom or in the field, but also inside themselves.
Imi is a PhD student at the University of Southampton investigating natural and sustainable methods of flood damage reduction in groundwater river systems. Her research is fuelled by a fascination with the natural world and a passion for the outdoors.
When not up to her armpits in a river, Imi can be found rock climbing, hiking and running all over the UK and abroad. She has a deep-held belief that connecting people with nature and the outdoors can have significant mental health and well-being benefits and is excited for to be a part of the Really Wild team to help people experience this through our Really Wild Camps, Survival Academy and Expeditions.
Harry has been through the Survival Academy, culminating in honing these skills on the Arctic Winter Expedition and the Sea Kayak Trip in Cornwall. He has also successfully completed the full DofE programme. Due to his exceptional leadership skills and team ethics he was recruited by the Scouts to lead groups in South London.
His dedication to helping others is truly inspiring. Harry pays particular attention to safety and is 100% reliable and trustworthy. He is an advanced off shore first aider and is looking forward to a great future training and leading young people and adults in the outdoors.
Harry now works with special educational and mental health needs with the Princes Trust where he is a climbing, kayaking and canoe instructor and bushcraft leader.
Kat is currently a student at the University of Birmingham. She is most often found on adventures with her sister in the Lake District and Snowdonia. She’s got the travel bug and has had some amazing opportunities to visit exciting places to work on archaeological excavations. “Learning about the people of the past and how they survived and thrived is fascinating”. Kat has taken part in our instructor training and is honing her special interest in all things historical.