Forest School Training for Leaders and Assistants

We're the only Forest School training provider to incorporate the Floorbook Approach created by Dr Claire Warden, in our training. This child led approach to planning and documentation supports key learning associated with Forest School themes and many aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence. It allows the transfer of information and methodology back to the school, linking learning across the areas of inside, outside and beyond. The Floorbook Approach is currently promoted by Education Scotland, Care Inspectorate and other governing bodies as good practice.

Find our upcoming courses below

Face to Face Course

We offer the following face to face training courses:

ITC Level 3 Award for Forest School Leaders 5 days training, 96 guided learning hours, portfolio of evidence to be submitted within a year. Minimum age 19 years and experience in Forest School, youth work or education advised.

ITC Level 2 Award for Forest School Assistants 3 days training, 54 guided learning hours, portfolio of evidence to be submitted within a year. Minimum age 16 years. You should have some experience of working outside with children prior to attending the course.

These qualifications are intended to provide the skills and knowledge required to set up and deliver safe and effective Forest School Programmes, for those who wish to become Forest School Leaders and Assistants.

Forest School Leader trainees will learn about these topics:

  • Woodland habitats - its structure, species identification and sustainable management.
  • Programme delivery - it’s planning, management and safe facilitation.
  • Monitoring, tracking and evaluating children’s progress over their time at Forest School.
  • The theory behind Forest School - understanding how the whole child develops during their Forest School sessions.
  • Reflection of practice to move forward in your personal development.
  • Support in creation of a Forest School handbook.
  • Development of practical bush craft skills in shelter construction, knots, tool use, fire management and cooking outdoors.

Please be aware this training involves submission of a portfolio to an academic level equivalent to the first year of a degree. We can accept a range of evidence for people with specific learning requirements. 

Forest School Assistant trainees will achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Understand how a Forest School can support an individual’s learning and development.
  • Know how experiences can support learning and development at a Forest School.
  • Be able to perform the role of Assistant at a Forest School.
  • Understand sustainable woodland management at a Forest School.
  • Understand the role of risk assessment at Forest School.
  • Be able to carry out practical tasks at Forest School.

Assessment tasks will result in each candidate producing a portfolio of evidence meeting each assessment criteria in each unit. You are required to write essays and reports to evidence theory. Practically, you will be required to support 3 forest school sessions and track 1 child’s development during this time period.

What’s included:

  • Face to face training in the outdoors.
  • Your supportive learning materials.
  • Remote support throughout the course.

Find our upcoming courses below or contact us to discuss your training requirements, phone 01764 650030 or email.

NEW! Hybrid Course (mix of online & face to face training)

Find our upcoming courses below or contact us to discuss your training requirements, phone 01764 650030 or email.

Our Forest School hybrid course has been developed for staff who may struggle to take 5 days out of their busy lives to receive the traditional format of theory and practice in face to face training. The course consists of 10 online modules exploring the theoretical aspects of Forest School. Within these you will be asked to reflect upon their own practice and document your learning.

Having completed a minimum of 3 compulsory webinars, you will have 3 days face to face training in the practical aspects of Forest School. During this time our trainer will assess your skill levels.

The course culminates in your creation of a Forest School portfolio to evidence the five Forest School level 3 units of Delivery, Learning and Development, Planning and preparation, Practical skills and the Woodland Environment. Supportive learning materials, remote trainer and online support are provided.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria:

  • Understand the structures of woodlands.
  • Know how to identify a range of flora and fauna.
  • Understand the importance of flora and fauna identification for the Forest School Programme Leader.
  • Understand the management of woodlands as a sustainable learning environment.
  • Be able to deliver a Forest School programme.
  • Understand relevant theories of learning and development and their application to a Forest School programme.
  • Understand how a Forest School programme can support holistic development and learning.
  • Understand the impact of behaviour on learning and development at a Forest School programme.
  • Be able to reflect on your own Forest School training.
  • Understand the development of the Forest School ethos.
  • Understand the ecological impact of a Forest School programme.
  • Know the relevant policies and procedures requires for a Forest School programme.
  • Be able to plan a Forest School programme.
  • Be able to facilitate a range of woodland skills appropriate to a Forest School programme.
  • Be able to facilitate campfire management appropriate to a Forest School programme.

 Course Involvement Level:

  • 3 days face to face training in the outdoors.
  • 10 online modules (estimated duration for completion 60 hours – including assignments and reflection time).
  • Delivery of 6 sessions over 6 weeks whilst tracking the progress of three children.
  • Portfolio evidence to be submitted within 1 year covering the five Forest School level 3 units.

Mindstretchers will take responsibility for the delivery of the entire programme and this will include the registration of candidates with ITC, support with course bookings, the administration of course delivery, evaluation of course outputs and initial report, on-going and final reports regarding the contract. Methodology follows ITC guidelines. We believe in equal opportunities allowing candidates to present evidence through a range of techniques: video, written portfolio, artistic representation and Floorbooks. 

Find our upcoming courses below or contact us to discuss your training requirements, phone 01764 650030 or email.