Sarah Stollery, Co-Director and Co-Founder (Jan 2018-present)
Sarah was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. She has an Honours Degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Victoria, and was a research assistant at Cambridge University’s Department of Developmental Psychiatry. In 2007 she completed a PGCE at Homerton College, Cambridge, and in her teaching career went on to specialise in early years and children with special educational needs. In 2011 her interest in the wellbeing of children led her to train withRelax Kids. In 2014 she qualified as a Kudalini yoga and meditation teacher, and has since developed her practice in India, training in pregnancy yoga in the USA in 2017. Sarah is a permanent member of staff at The Cabin, and loves to share her passions and interests including philosophy, story telling and creative writing, research skills and basic statistics, dance and drama, as well as supporting and learning about the interests of the rest of the group.
Sophie Christophy, Co-Director and Co-Founder (Jan 2018-present)
Sophie has an MA in Modern History from the University of St. Andrews, with a focus on social history. Since 2013 she has been conducting independent interdisciplinary research on the themes of parenthood, childhood, education and consent, and in 2016 began experimenting with an unschooled/self-directed approach to a structured masters programme in the form of a UMA (Unschooled Master of Arts). She has been an active movement maker in her local community regarding grassroots innovation outside of the mainstream system of education, and with children’s rights awareness raising. In 2015 she co-created World Explorers, a weekly drop-in for home ed families, and in 2017 she co-founded The Orchard Democratic Families Project, a one year project exploring democratic and children’s rights ways of being together in community. Since 2017 she has run courses and workshops on understanding and integrating consent culture into everyday life, for parents and people/organisations living and working with children. In 2018 she started Change Maker sessions for children who want to be active in creating positive change. She has spoken on the themes of parenthood, education, consent, children's rights and self-directed education at the Attachment Parenting UK Conference (2017), the Freedom to Learn Forum (2018 and 2019), FACE (2018), BERA (2019), and as a guest speaker at the Radical Education Group at Kings College London (2019). In 2018 she was appointed as a Trustee for the Phoenix Education Trust. Sophie loves to share her passions for understanding humans and the world we live in, and creative problem solving. with the community at the Cabin, as well as supporting and collaborating with the children on their own passions and interests.
Haifa Khawaja, Facilitator (Sept 2018-present)
Haifa is an artist and teacher with a background in architecture. She has been teaching Traditional Geometry and Pattern since she completed her MA in 2002. Her work has been displayed in various exhibitions, and she is the author of Altair Design Islamic Patterns. Haifa is particularly interested in the study of geometry in nature, and in using geometry as a cross-curriculum teaching tool. Haifa is passionate about Steiner Philosophy and Waldorf education, and when she was unable to find local schools with these approaches, she decided to home educate with her three children who are now 14, 12 and 9 years old. She has loved the home ed journey! Haifa decided to volunteer at the Cabin out of a curiosity to learn about how a democratic learning environment looks and works, and with the hope of extending her son Oak's circle of friends - Oak is now an active member of the Cabin community too.
Hannah Payne, Facilitator, (April 2018-present)
Hannah has a Masters in Mathematics from UEA. She has worked in mainstream education settings, enjoying the relationship and facilitation aspects of working with young people, but struggling with the nature of the system itself. She is excited to be part of the Cabin, where she can collaborate with the children in their play and endeavours! She is a home educating parent, with many of her own interests and passions. They include crafts such as knitting, crochet, cross stitch, sewing, origami, card marking, needle felting, as well as drawing, painting and mandala designing/sacred geometry. She is also into games, puzzles and astrology! Hannah was a participant on Sophie’s Consent Based Education course in 2017, and regularly practices Kundalini yoga with Sarah.
Stephanie Hawkins, Volunteer Facilitator (Sept 2019-present)
Stephanie was born in Hong Kong to a Portuguese mother and British father, and spent twelve years of her childhood in West Africa with her five younger siblings. Her family then moved to the UK, where she continued her education and helped raise her younger siblings after her mother tragically died. She later returned to Hong Kong, staying for fifteen years, followed by five years in Malaysia. She has five children, who were all born during her time in Asia. Looking after her two youngest siblings and then her own children sparked Stephanie's interest in discovering what motivates children to learn. When her last child was at secondary school, she decided to study the Montessori Method, which is very much about “following the child” and providing a “favourable environment", and she sees great synergy with this and the Cabin’s principles and practice of self-direction, children’s rights, democratic and consent-based education. In 2018 Stephanie graduated with a BA First Class Honours degree in Early Childhood Studies. As well as being at the Cabin, she runs a weekly pre-school music group, works part-time in a Montessori pre-school and teaches English as an additional language. Her leisure interests include Ceroc (modern jive) dancing which she is now extending to Blues, to develop more musicality and smoothness to her dance. Stephanie hopes her passion and enthusiasm for supporting children’s well-being and confidence will be an asset to The Cabin.
Gail Gardner, Volunteer Facilitator (Sept 2019-present)
Gail is a home educating parent. She has a BA in European Studies from Plymouth University and a PGCE specialising in Early Years teaching from London Metropolitan University. She taught primary and early years for six years in Chelmsford before deciding a career change might be fun. She then spent two years as an education advisor for a working animal charity, travelling across Africa and the Middle East, meeting the most amazing animals and people. In her spare time, Gail really enjoys running, though the distances have definitely become shorter over the years! Gail also enjoys reading, particularly children’s books, and trying to learn to garden successfully. She really enjoys being outdoors and hopes to share this interest with the members of the Cabin. She wants to give back to the home educating community that has been so welcoming to her and her daughter.
Emma Kerslake, Volunteer Facilitator (Sept 2019-present)
Emma has an honours degree in French from Leeds University, and she taught English and Geography in France. She is a qualified primary school teacher and an assistant swimming coach. Emma is a home educating parent who began to seek out educational alternatives after her eldest daughter started (and then degregistered) from school. Emma is very excited to be part of the Cabin, and to learn more about the democratic learning process. She co-founded Nature Rangers, a regular themed drop-in session for home educating families, with a team of home-educating mums, to support and nuture the local community. Emma and her family were part of The Orchard Democratic Families Project. Her passions and interests include drawing, craft, spending time in nature and baking.