Our approach to learning sets us apart from all the others. Taught to you by 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.
Director and Co-Founder
Steve, 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.
Prior to Really Wild, Steve led several international departments and businesses as a management consultant, vice-president and general manager. He has extensive experience and knowledge across multiple industries and functions and is passionate about helping young people grow in skills and confidence to achieve the very best they can.
As a consultant, Steve developed several performance improvement programmes that were implemented by some of the largest corporations in the world.
Today, Steve is one of the UK’s most inspiring bush craft and survival instructors and is experienced at leading groups in forest, arctic and jungle environments. The combination of his business and survival skills expertise formed the inspiration and basis for our methodology for success.
Steve has a natural ability to connect and engage with his audience whatever their age or background and is experienced at teaching primary, secondary and further education. He continues to provide management consultancy, training and development initiatives to a range of businesses and organisations too.
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 who teach 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 and was trained by Ray Mears and John Rhyder.
Ian has been in the outdoor industry for over 20 years, starting 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 extremely wide, and 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 and mountain walking and bush craft. 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, but 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.
Nev is an outdoor enthusiast with many years of experience with a variety of groups: from being a mentor to young people with learning disabilities, specific educational and social needs; through working in a busy outdoor centre; to being a core member of the Really Wild Team. Nev aims is to give young people a new lease of life, to inspire them and create opportunities that will make a real difference to their future development.
His extensive travels around the world have given him a passion for other cultures and a love of adventure that he seeks to pass on and help others to have their own adventures.
He is an accomplished bushcrafter and woodsman who is totally at home in the forest.
Nev is a keen amateur archaeologist and primitive technologies enthusiast which gives him a unique edge when teaching his students.
“The great outdoors is the best place to learn about yourself… discovering what you are capable of and experiencing what can be achieved with hard work and dedication”
Naz is one of the best 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 where 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 amongst the best in the world. 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.