Project information

The Treehouse Eco School

Help us build a new eco-friendly school in order to expand. Children who are unhappy at school do not thrive intellectually or emotionally and our alternative approach to education, based on well-being and involvement, has proved so successful we cannot currently accommodate the demand for places.

September 2017 - September 2018

Charity information: The Tree House Trust

The Tree House Trust logo
  • Need


    In the UK 25,000 children each year will drop out of the education system by the age of 14 because they are failing and hate school.

    Unhappy children do not thrive emotionally or intellectually, find it difficult to relate to others or to make a useful contribution to society and can suffer long term mental health issues.

    1 in 4 children in this country is obese.

    The RSPB warns that children’s lack of contact with nature could be one of the biggest threats to the environment.


    Committed to the development of the whole child, we have tailored the curriculum and timetable to provide a well balanced educational experience. Our children spend 50% of their time learning outdoors, and all children walk or cycle to school. In addition they help grow, harvest and cook the organic nutritious school dinners all children have daily.

    We need larger premises to enable us expand and offer our unique style of education, free of charge, to more children.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To build an eco-friendly school to enable us to offer more children our unique style of education.


    » Our fundraising activities include: a 10k race, social media campaign and auction. We are also approaching trusts, local businesses and individuals.

    What success will look like

    By completing the new build we will be able to double our current intake of pupils and continue the successful work we have started.

  • Impact


    We currently have 10 pupils who have gone on to various different secondary schools for further education. They are our legacy - they are all not only succeeding at secondary school but thriving and living proof that our ethos and philosophy works.

    Long term we would like to influence the national education policy, which we envisage being able to do once we can show our policies work on a larger scale.


    A potential risk is the increasing building costs involved in the project. We have arranged a payment plan with the contractor which we believe is achievable and realistic. As a contingency plan the project could be completed in stages.

    Another potential risk is that our planning permission may run out before we have raised all the funding. We have now raised nearly one third of funding needed and so groundworks could commence at short notice to ensure planning permission is not lost.


    Donors will be kept informed by termly newsletters, direct emails and invitations to the opening and further events at the new eco school.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £9,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,500 Rainwater Harvesting Guttering, pipework and water tanks for rainwater collection and reuse
      £5,500 Geothermal heating Geothermal air heating system

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Individual donors £69,000 Guaranteed
    Trust for Oxfordshire Environment £30,000 Guaranteed
    Groundwork UK (carriers for causes) £5,000 Guaranteed
    Greggs Environmental Trust £5,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The new eco school will be based on an old orchard site which has been donated to the Trust in the village of Cholsey, South Oxfordshire. The village has approximately 3,500 residents with a broad demographic. We accept children from all backgrounds regardless of race, religion or financial circumstances.


    Larger premises will be of direct benefit to 30 children and their families, from all backgrounds, of which at least a quarter will have children with academic, social, emotional and/or health-related problems. Larger facilities will also enable us to increase our work with other vulnerable groups such as the elderly, unemployed/long-term sick and educationally disaffected. We also aim to offer community use of the facilities and grounds and have a pre-school forest school group interested.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are a unique school, the first of its kind in the country as we are not government funded, not a free school and we do not charge fees.

    We have an open access policy enabling all local children to access the type of education we are offering. No other charity or school is delivering the same type of education in this country.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lee Ryman

    Headteacher and Co-Founder

    Sharon Julian

    Teacher and Co-Founder

    Jo Heydon

    Volunteer, fundraising events

    Andrea Turner

    Fundraiser and project co-ordinator

The Treehouse School

The Treehouse represents all that research and experience tells us motivates and inspires children to learn. Every child should have the right to the inspirational, learner-centred educational experience offered and children, their teachers, their parents and society would all benefit.

Julie Fisher, Independent Early Years Advisor