Level 3 Leadership Training

Why do I need to train to become a Forest School Leader?

The Level 3 qualification you need to complete to become fully qualified provides you with a broad-range of topics that come together to create top-quality Forest School Leaders. Becoming qualified means that you have obtained a professional standard.

Topics such as health and safety, risk assessment, tools use and campfire cooking sit comfortably alongside holistic learning and development, learning theories, play and woodland species identification to give you as a leader, a broad knowledge base.

What will I need to consider before I go on a training course?

You will need enthusiasm. Bags of this will go a long way!

You will need the backing of your school/setting/organisation who will need to help you with organising and running your first project (which will happen during your training).

You will need to identify a site you can use.

You will need a group to work with (children of any age, young adults, adults).

You will need a Level 2 Qualification in Education, Youth Work, Child care etc.

OR Level 2 Qualification in Forest School, Countryside, Woodland Management etc. AND at least two years experience with client groups.

You will need to be 21 or over.

The qualification takes at least 9 months to complete (most people need a year) so you will need to have some time you can dedicate to getting your work completed.

You should hold a current First Aid Qualification which should ideally include some elements of dealing with outdoor situations and pediatrics. This is not a course requirement, but is strongly recommended. Please check with your managers and insurance company as to what they recommend.

You will need a current DBS check which is satisfactory with your employer/organization. You will need to evidence confirmation of this in your portfolio when you hand it in for marking.

What does the training involve?

The Level 3 Certificate of Leading Forest School qualification requires you to spend 8.5 days training with us – this is usually broken down into blocks over a few weeks.

The last two days of your course are usually a practical assessment, where your practical skills with tools and fire will be assessed.

You then have 9 months to complete a portfolio of work, including setting-up and running your first Forest School programme (minimum of 6 sessions, ideally more). During one of your sessions, we will visit you in your work place and run an observation assessment.

The Level 3 Certificate of Leading Forest School qualification consists of five units of study:

  1. Supporting Learning, Play and Development in the Outdoors; Covering the understanding of learning, play and development in the outdoors. Holistic learning, play, self esteem and emotional intelligence.
  2. Forest School Leader; Looking at the details involved with leadership of Forest School programmes linked to child development, including health and safety, risk assessment, programme planning and session delivery.
  3. Observation and Evaluation of Outdoor Learning; Enabling the group leader to use assessment and evaluation techniques linked to child development.
  4. Sustainable use of Natural Resources; Looking at understanding ecology and use of sustainable use of natural resources for learning. Identification of local species, simple site management, sustainability of natural resources and spaces.
  5. Teaching Outdoor Practical Skills; To enable the group leader to teach safe practical skills and campfire management. Teaching the safe use of small hand tools, using a campfire to cook on, using knots.
  6. Our Forest School accredited courses are currently accredited through Agored Cymru. We are delighted that these courses are approved by the Institute for Outdoor Learning as quality training.

How does the assessment work?

We will assess you during your course training days and during the last two full days of your course, we will be specifically looking at assessing your abilities to teach outdoor practical skills (tools, knots and fire).

When you run your Forest School sessions back in your work place, an assessor will visit one session to observe and assess you whilst you are leading.

We will mark your portfolio when it is handed in. NOCN (National Open College Network) operate a pass/fail system so we cannot grade you. However, if there is work in your portfolio which needs re-doing to pass, you have the opportunity to re-do your work and for it to be re-marked, until it is completed. We then have a system of Internal and External Verification to ensure our marking is of a consistent standard and quality.

How much does it cost?

Forest School Leader Level 3 Training costs between £800 and £850 per person, (dependant on geography) which covers all training days, observation assessment, portfolio marking and certification. This also covers basic phone and e-mail support. If you feel that you may need more support, please have a look at our support packages.

If you live a long way from our training base in South Northamptonshire, please let us know when you book onto a course as there may be a small additional charge to cover travel costs.

If you are in a position to book a whole course, for example if you work in Local Authority, or have a whole staff team to train, we are happy to talk to you about a discount on course fees. Please contact us to discuss the details.