Children love playing and learning outdoors. At Ottery Secret Garden we do just that, and we understand Home Education families, having been one ourselves not so long ago. If you are one of the fantastic and supportive families who choose to educate their children in a setting other than a traditional school, then we might be just for you. Our setting is like a beautiful vast home from home. We definitely 'educate' - Jules being a very experienced teacher who has delivered Environmental Education, since the beginning of her teaching career almost 20 years ago. Jules runs the Secret Garden with the support and advice of Roger who has worked in Countryside Management and alongside schools and with volunteers for over 20 years. But whatever activities we choose to offer here, we never forget the 'home' in 'home education'.
The experience your child will get here will be outdoors within our walled gardens of around an acre, or sometimes within our historical high ceiling'd home where we can fit a whole hoard of children in our kitchen to cook, paint, make or feast. Having said that, we maintain our ethos of small numbers, and your child will be running, learning and playing with around 9 -11 others. Our child to adult ratios are unbelievably good - around 1:5 or sometimes even better! We deliver countless different activities within the grounds, utilizing the natural environment wherever possible, focusing on nature, animals, science, art, history, poetry and story and gardening with a flavour of bushcraft thrown in. We build huge art sculptures, learn about science and nature, make and bake our own bread in the Dutch oven and grow vegetables in our kitchen gardens. We will be offering these experiences to home educated children every Monday during school term times (and possibly other days if requested) and details can be found below.
Mornings are from 9.15 - 12.30 - 3 1/4 hours £17 (£15 if you book a complete half term in advance) Afternoons from 1.30 - 4.45 - 3 1/4 hours £17 (£15 if you book a complete half term in advance) Complete days 9.15 - 4.45 - 7 1/2 hours £35 (£30 if you book a complete half term in advance) Lunch £2 (packed lunches free!!) All drinks and snacks are FREE!
SPECIAL OFFER! IF YOU ARE ABLE TO GET TOGETHER WITH OTHER HOME EDUCATION FAMILIES, AND BOOK A GROUP OF 10 CHILDREN IN FOR HALF A TERM OF FULL DAYS TOGETHER, WE WILL DISCOUNT THE COST TO £25 PER DAY! THAT IS A MASSIVE £10 DISCOUNT PER DAY PER CHILD! (WE ADVISE DOING THIS WELL IN ADVANCE, AS WE ONLY TAKE 12 MAX PER DAY - BOOKINGS WILL CURRENTLY BE TAKEN IN ADVANCE UP TO OCT 1/2 TERM 2013)
We will consider taking your child for longer hours, if, for example, you wanted to have a day out and needed to get away early or return later. This care is offered where and when possible, can usually be booked at the last minute, and costs £ 3.50 per half hour - £7 per hour (considerably less than the hourly rate of one of our staff).
Complete days include yummy home cooked lunches (or you can bring a packed lunch) and we strongly recommend this option. There's nothing like eating what you just baked, created or cooked on an outdoor fire. And even when it rains we have such fun all sitting around our massive table on the ancient church pews, laughing, sharing and tasting new foods and old favourites.
Our next half term dates will be: Monday June 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, July 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd !!! BOOKING SUSPENDED UNTIL SEPTEMBER!!!
If you book a complete half a term in advance you will qualify for a substantial discount detailed above.
Ottery Secret Garden is a residential property, with a huge ancient garden. As with any garden, we expect children to come across sharp or other objects which they must not touch. We ask you to look at the 'rules' page on this site for further guidance. Once arranged, all bookings are binding, and payment will be due on receipt of invoice. If you have to cancel, we try to fill your place, and if we are able to, your fee is refunded. Menus will be posted on this website the weekend before the event. Packed lunches are welcomed, but please consider that the preparation and eating of food is a lovely part of the day, and your child might want to be part of that. Forms will be provided along with invoice. Please return before your child's first day, because we are unable to go through admin when there are other children on the premises.