Forest School Leader Practitioner Award (Level 3)
Forest School Leader Training, which is recommended, is accredited by Agored Cymru at level 3 and consists of around 70 taught and 120 independent hours work with units on Establishment and Delivery of a Forest School Programme, Learning & Development and Practical Skills and Woodland Management. These units have been developed by the Forest School Training Network Wales specifically to meet the needs of Forest School leaders in Wales and for the Welsh Curriculum.
The format of the training varies with the provider, from a 5-day intensive, or two days a week over several weeks with two or three Practical days. The trainee will need to complete a portfolio of work including a handbook of policies and procedures. They will plan, lead, and evaluate 6 Forest school sessions and will have a work-based observation assessment of one of the sessions. The work can be completed in about 9 months, although qualification is not awarded until the certificate is received which will take longer. The trainee should receive certification and be a practising FSL within 18 months of starting.
When selecting your trainee FSL, you are seeking someone who can deliver and co-ordinate your FS provision in future. There are eligibility criteria to consider, which the trainers will provide you with. You need someone who really likes being outdoors, doesn’t mind getting wet and muddy! Your trainee will require time and support outside the training days. They need commitment as this training involves a lot of new knowledge, understanding and perseverance. We want to ensure that trainees do complete, so time and money are not wasted. The basic Training costs around £850-£900 plus an up-to-date first aid certificate, and any cover / planning time required.
In order to deliver Forest School you will need at least one Level 3 FS Leader. Some Forest Schools use two Leaders, and some use one Leader with one or more Level 2 Assistants. Other staff involved with the programme should at least participate in an introductory training session, and may choose to get a Level 1 qualification. Some use trained volunteers or students to assist as the high adult: child ratio is essential. For best quality delivery, an introductory session for other staff involved with the client group will spread the benefits across the curriculum.
Forest School Practitioner’s Award level 2 Assistant
This is generally a 4 day course for people wanting to qualify as a Forest School Assistant, who would be supporting a Forest School Leader. The course requires coursework to be completed in your own study time and participation in 3 Forest school sessions.
It is suitable for anyone with a Forest School OCN Level 1 and/or interest and experience of working with children and/or adults in the natural environment and who has an OCN 3 level Leader to assist.
This course covers practical skills, woodland management and learning and development in woodlands.
PLEASE NOTE: Trainees on this course must have a qualified Forest School Leader to assist in order to fulfill training requirements of assisting in 3 sessions.
Forest School Practitioner’s Award level 1 Introduction to Forest School
This is generally 3 day course for people who want to learn more about Forest School, to find out whether they want to become a Forest School leader or not, or may be volunteering at Forest School sessions, supporting a Qualified Forest School Leader.
Suitable for anyone including teachers, parents, support assistants, nursery nurses, youth workers, artists, community workers, carers, workers from environmental organisations. No previous experience or knowledge needed. This course covers Practical Woodland Skills and Learning and Development.
PLEASE NOTE: This does not qualify you to be a Forest School leader.
Training Providers listed below are members of the Wales Forest School Training Network, (WFSTN) which works to ensure consistency, standardization and quality of training, and to facilitate networking between Trainers. There are several models of Forest School leader training. The WFSTN recommends the model of training, which includes a work-based observation assessment in a real life situation and offers support throughout.
Trainers will also sometimes create courses in other areas to meet the local need including Welsh language courses.
The Outdoor Learning Wales network (previously known as the Forest Education Initiative or FEI) also has some information on their website about training in the rest of the UK.
Some members of Forest School Wales are qualified providers of Forest School Leader training. Please find the nearest one to you by looking at our online map. The trainers will have yellow balloons.
Alternatively, our members in Wales, who offer Forest School Leader training or CPD training are listed alphabetically by surname/organisation below. (Scroll down to see our English trainers and other trainers who are not members of FSW):
Trainers who are members of FSW and Forest School Training Network Wales
Forest School Swansea Neath Port Talbot (South Wales)
Bishop’s Wood Countryside Centre, Caswell, Swansea , SA3 3BS
Cardiff MET University
Cyfleon Ltd. (South Wales)
Forest School Training (Level 1, 2,3)
INSET and CPD training
Dyfi Woodlands (Mid-Wales)
We deliver Forest School Level 3 training in collaboration with Plas Derw Trust and Natural Resources Wales. We also offer CPD training for Forest School Leaders in:
Tool use, care and maintenance
Camp Fire Cooking
Woodland Management Techniques
Plas Derw Trust (Flintshire)
Plas Derw Trust Ltd offers a full programme of quality Forest School Training. Our training is delivered by our experienced staff at Glyndwr Campus Northop or off campus at schools and other local woodland.
Level 1 Introduction to Forest School
Level 2 Forest School Assistant
Level 3 Forest School Practitioner
Outdoor Learning Practitioner
CPD – wide range of courses are offered
Tailor made training inset or team building sessions
Outdoor Learning Coordinator Plas Derw Trust Ltd.
c/o Glyndwr University, Northop Campus, Holywell Road, Northop, CH7 6AA
01352 840955 / 07881700952
Other training providers who are part of the Forest School Training Network Wales
Cambium Sustainable Landscapes and Training
Anney Thornton Wood
01981 580132 / 580471
Pump Row, Broadoak, Hereford, Herefordshire , HR2 8QU
Some of our members in England also offer training. Please find the nearest one to you by looking at our online map. The trainers will have yellow balloons.
Alternatively, our members in England who offer Forest School Leader training or CPD training are listed alphabetically by surname/organisation below:
Earthcraft UK (Kent)
Member of FSTN GB
Other Outdoor Education Training
Er mwyn gallu cynnig Ysgol Goedwig bydd arnoch angen o leiaf un Arweinydd Ysgol Goedwig Lefel 3. Mae rhai Ysgolion Coedwig yn defnyddio dau Arweinydd, ac eraill yn defnyddio un Arweinydd ac un neu ragor o Gynorthwywyr Lefel 2. Dylai staff eraill sy’n ymwneud â’r rhaglen fynychu sesiwn hyfforddi rhagarweiniol o leiaf, a gallu dewis cael eu hyfforddi hyd at lefel 1. Er mwyn gallu cynnig y gwasanaeth gorau, gan ledaenu ei fudd ar draws y cwricwlwm gyfan, gallai aelodau eraill o’r staff sy’n ymwneud â’r grwp cleient gael sesiwn rhagarweiniol.
Tystysgrif Arweinydd/Ymarferydd Ysgol Goedwig (Lefel 3)
Efallai y bydd disgwyl bod hyfforddeion wedi cael rhywfaint o brofiad o raglen Ysgol Goedwig cyn dechrau cael eu hyfforddi; ac at hynny bod ganddynt ddatganiad ategol. Mae llawer o grwpiau yn prynu hyfforddiant oddi wrth darparwyr allanol i ddechrau, ac yna’n raddol maent yn trosglwyddo’r gwaith hyfforddi i’w Harweinwyr eu hunain wrth iddynt dderbyn hyfforddiant eu hunain.