The Centre for Childhood at Muddifords – an exciting new venture from Kingwood Children and Greg Bottrill

It’s not every day that someone can say they’ve found Narnia, but Claire and Trevor Dancer and their team at Kingwood Children definitely have done. Having fallen in love with and acquired the former Muddifords Court Country House, just outside Willand, they are about to launch a brand new venture, something that they are referring to as a home for childhood.

When it comes to a child’s educational experience, both Claire and Trevor are passionate about giving them something exceptional and, having shaped their fantastic setting at Kingwood in Uffculme over the years, they now want to spread their love for offering something special to the 14 acres of Muddifords.

Their plans include a Family Centre that will enable parents to meet and nurture their emerging parenting skills, a Kindergarten that will offer days full of adventure, creativity and collaboration both indoors and out, training facilities and event spaces for local hire and there are even ambitions to establish a School in future that can offer something almost completely unique: a magical childhood. Their whole vision is centred around how they see childhood as a precious time of choice, exploration and joy, all supported by adults who believe in the value of children’s ideas and imaginations and who are able to introduce skills both life and academic through play and curiosity.

Claire and Trevor are also proud to announce that they will be collaborating very closely with Devon-based but internationally known childhood thinker and bestselling author, Greg Bottrill whose two education books ‘Can I Go And Play Now?’ and ‘School and the Magic of Children’ have influenced their practice in recent years.

“After a chance conversation in later 2020, both ourselves and Greg recognised that together we could bring something very special to our corner of Devon” said Claire “Very quickly we saw that, working in partnership, we could not only create magic for the children and families here, but with Greg’s huge number of connections and his expertise we had a golden opportunity to bring an international spotlight to it as well. Moving forward, Greg will be establishing The Centre for Childhood here at Muddifords enabling research, training and our pedagogy to reach outwards and begin to spread the good work we are aiming to achieve here.”

The partnership has already created an educational approach that Claire and Trevor hope can be shared across the world. As Trevor says:

“If we believe so passionately about play and childhood for the children at Kingwood then we also in a way believe that all children around the world deserve the same. We can’t wait to see how it can reach out and start to make a difference in other parts of the country and abroad.”

The new premises will be open at Easter 2021, you can register your interest by emailing:

inside the premises. A large open space with wooden beams    a large house by a lake