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What is Empowering Little Minds All About? 

  • Empowering Little Minds is a unique, Independent Education Consultancy, owned by Judith Riddell, an experienced teacher & Special Educational Needs (SEN) Specialist, Early years & Education consultant and trainer for charities, parents & professionals.

  • ​Empowering Little Minds delivers specialist SEN teaching & training, both at HQ in Ballynahinch Co.Down & also throughout N. Ireland. The purpose is not only to empower children, but also to empower their parents/carers through providing interactive training and REFRESH sessions for adults, 'Body-mind & Soul' sessions for older people (60yrs+) and training workshops on SEN strategies for charities, carers, parents or education professionals.

  • Combining many different approaches & specifically Early Intervention & Neuroscience, the majority of all my teaching is based on enhancing outdoor learning experiences and not simply Forest School principles. All teaching follows the individual needs of each child, empowering communication, play, sensory regulation, emotional regulation, life skills and academic learning all taught though the magical power of music, play in nature & woodland learning through weekly sensory woodland experiences.

Where Are We Based?

  • HQ is based in Riddell Wood, outside Ballynahinch Northern Ireland UK, but training and sensory sessions are available throughout N.Ireland to provide personalised education services.

  • Riddell Wood is idyllically positioned in a private woodland outside Ballynahinch, only a 15 minute drive from Downpatrick and 35 minutes from Belfast or Lisburn.

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Our unique Facilities

HQ is based in a private woodland & spread out over 1.5 acres through different indoor & outdoor woodland spaces. Each of the 5 teaching areas are carefully designed to provide a multi-faceted multi-sensory learning environment for all ages. 

The Indoor Classroom

  • Mainly only used for 1-1s or training groups during extreme weather. 

  • Specifically designed to create a homely & relaxing, stimulating teaching ethos to inspire & empower minds of all ages.

Tree House Area

  • Surrounded by fencing, willow trees, fruit tree orchard & hedging, this inclusive play-area is specifically designed to create an interactive multi-sensory play area especially empowering relaxation & sensory regulation through vestibular & proprioceptive play equipment. 


  • Surrounded by fencing, blackberry, raspberry & mixed hedging, this woodland area is planted with Oak, Holly, Willow, Elderberry, Beech, Silve Birch, Sweet Chestnut, Hazelnut, Larch & Sitka trees.

  • It was specifically designed to create a relaxing multi-faceted space for all ages with vestibular swings & hammocks, proprioceptive slack lines & rope-bridge. 

Willow Sensory Garden

  • Surrounded by fencing, hedging, an orchard of fruit trees & willow structures, this area was specifically designed to be a sensory garden with all planting being edible to empower those children that seek out smelly, tactile & oral motor textures.    


  • Surrounded by fencing, Holly, Willow, Elderberry, Ash, Larch, Blue Spruce & Sitka trees this woodland classroom has been carved out of a dense part of our woodland which is also home to a community of rare Tree Creeper birds, this classroom is a magical learning environment for all ages

  • It was specifically designed to create a relaxing multi-faceted space with multiple sheltered areas & fairy lights. The space provides all the luxuries you would find in my indoor classroom plus a cooking area. 

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