Connect with us
Croi na Coille Croi na Coille


Croi na Coille a School with a Difference 

Croi na Coille school students Ruth and Matthew Cregan pictured above 

Croi na Coille a School with a Difference 

Croi na Coille is based both indoors and outdoors and approaches the primary school curriculum in a very unique way of using Steiner and forest school principles. With great guidance from their teachers, the school programme kindles enthusiasm, energy, creativity and a love of learning.  

The school is moving to its permanent location over the summer and will have more rooms and a beautiful green space to explore and cultivate. They are delighted to be able to expand their enrolment and welcome more students.  

Croi na Coille

Liam Rivas Stack and Issy Stack head back to school

Croi na Coille is the only school of its kind in Limerick. It opened in 2018 and now has 15 students and 2 teachers. Enrolment has already come from far and wide with children travelling from Cratloe, Broadford, MurroeKildimo as well as Limerick city and surrounding areas.  

Croí na Coille originally grew from the need felt by Jo Flinn, School Director and Owner of Free Range Kids, that parents and guardians should have more choice when deciding on a school for their child. Aiming to build on the existing outdoor learning principles at Free Range Kids, Jo said “I used to dream that someday we could have a primary school for children to move on to where they could continue the learning and fun they had experienced in preschool using the outdoors, nature, experiential and thematic learning. It was like a tiny seed and by believing in this dream, joined by people like Martina Naughton and Jennifer Cregan, we got Croí na Coille up and running.”  

The school has two full outdoor days and then merges that learning into the classroom. The children develop great friendships, empathy, kindness, and caring towards others. They see a whole community growing which is vitally important for the holistic, all-around development of the children in a world that is so often dominated by competition, achievement, and ticking boxes.  

Bríd Madigan, Headteacher at Croí na Coille, “I am so excited to grow and develop our Croí na Coille community by expanding to our new permanent location at Buttercup farm this coming September. Having taught abroad for a number of years, coming home and being able to teach in this inspiring, alternative school is a dream come true.”  

Enrolment at Croí na Coille is inclusive for all ages as this parent explains, Joanne O’Donnell, “My 9-year-old daughter was relatively happy in our local run of the mill national school but we always felt it wasn’t enough. When We found Croí na Coille, I knew it was for us. She adores school. The nurturing, relaxed way of teaching, loads of outdoor playing and learning, encouraging creativity is amazing. Her lust for learning and knowledge about life and the world she lives in has blossomed even more. I feel that it is the healthiest schooling option for body, mind and soul possible. Hopefully, our son will be going there when he is old enough too.”  

Visit the school website HERE 

For more stories on the school go HERE 

For more information on Free Range Kids go HERE


Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.