Forest School Leader Level 3

Who is this course for?

This training course is the nationally recognised standard of training for individuals wishing to develop, lead and manage Forest School programmes.

Entry Criteria

  • Participants should be over 21 and should hold a qualification at Level 2 or above in teaching, pre-school education, youth work or have significant experience of working with young people in the outdoors.
  • All participants must hold a First Aid certificate by the end of the course. This can be the 16-hour outdoor first aid certificate or the 3-day First Aid at Work certificate.
  • As part of your training and in order to complete your portfolio you will need to have a suitable site and a client group to deliver your ‘Introduction to Forest School’ programme. This will consist of a minimum 6 two-hour sessions with the same client group.
    It is not vital to have this in place before the course, however it will help provide a context for your training if you are able to picture your site and have some knowledge of your client group(s). 

Course Cost:  £950 

Course Layout

Module 1 - Five consecutive days of training in theory and practice which will cover;

  • Learning and development at forest school
  • Forest school practical skills
  • Setting up, delivering and evaluating of a forest school programme

Module 2 - Three consecutive days to further develop and assess practical skills and to discuss progress. 

  • Forest School practical skills
  • Woodland management at Forest School

Training days run from 9.30am – 4.30pm. As much time as possible will be spent outdoors

A supportive observation at one of six Forest School sessions to be planned and delivered by you at your setting.

A coursework portfolio which should be completed within 12 months of the start of the course

Additional benefits

Five optional mentoring days to assist you with the completion of your portfolio and to help with the development of your forest school.

Course Content

The Level 3 course will prepare you to plan, deliver and monitor all aspects of a Forest School programme. 

We will discuss up to date theories on the Forest school approach to learning, the holistic development of Forest School learners and a positive attitude to risk taking. The practical outdoor learning will include tool use and the safe lighting, management and use of a camp fire in a Forest School setting, safe use of a range of hand tools and a variety of outdoor games and activities. Also covered will be the identification of woodland flora and fauna, and the sustainable use of a woodland within the context of Forest schools. The course will be run on Forest School principles, so you will see the Forest School ethos in action.

Will this course lead to a nationally recognised qualification?

Yes, on successful completion of the course you will gain the nationally recognised qualification Level 3 Certificate in Forest School Programme Leadership (QCF), which was developed in collaboration with the Forest School Association (FSA) accredited by the Open College Network West Midlands.

What will I need for the course?

Once your application is confirmed you will be sent a full kit list but this is what you will need for the 5 day course.
Please make sure you bring the following with you each day:

  • Packed lunch, cup and snacks
  • Suitable outdoor clothing for the weather conditions (trousers, not shorts)
  • Stout shoes or boots, please do not wear sandals
  • A camera can be useful for recording some of the activities

We will provide:

  • Tea coffee and biscuits
  • All required portfolio paperwork
  • All tools and equipment for the outdoor tasks

(N.B. For a variety of reasons we would ask you not to bring your own tools)

Course Dates 2021 - £950

Times:  9.30am to 4.30pm  


Module 1 - Monday 23rd to Friday 27th August 2021:  Tilgate Park, Crawley, West Sussex - FULL 

Module 2 - Wednesday 24th, Thursday 25th & Friday 26th November 2021:  Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex - FULL


Module 1 - Monday 4th to Friday 8th October 2021:  Tilgate Park, Crawley, West Sussex - FULL

Module 2 - Wednesday 19th, Thursday 20th & Friday 21st January 2022:  Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex - FULL

To book or to go on the waiting list please click here