Who runs the training?

Our Forest School training is led by Sarah Lawfull, an experienced Forest School Leader and trainer. Prior to working for the Oxfordshire Forest School Service at Hill End Centre, in which capacity she was able to develop her professional expertise with teenagers and adults, Sarah was a Primary School and Early Years specialist teacher for nineteen years.

As one of the first Forest School Association (FSA) Endorsed Forest School Trainers in the country (http://www.forestschoolassociation.org) Sarah’s training reflects and promotes the ethos and principles agreed by the wider Forest School community. Her recent work with the FSA and OCNWM to review and write their suite of Forest School qualifications for the Registered Qualifications Framework has given her an even deeper understanding of the role of the Forest School leader, the challenges faced by head teachers, and managers, alongside those faced by freelance Forest School providers.

Where the Fruit Is draws on the expertise of knowledgeable experts in the fields of education, Health and Safety training and forestry with whom we have built effective working partnerships.

Our co-trainers and volunteers are all practising Forest School Leaders or participants themselves, keen to share their experiences.


How long does it take to qualify?

Level1 usually three training days, workbook filled in during training with a small amount of self study. Workbook submitted within 2 months of beginning training.
Qualification awarded within 4 months.

Level 2- usually three x 2 day Modules, over three months. Portfolio submitted within 5 months of beginning training.
Qualification awarded within 7 months of beginning training.

Level 3 – usually 12 training days over 6 modules, takes 6 months. Portfolio submitted within 10 months of beginning training.Qualification within 13 months of beginning training. Different training models may take more/less time to reach qualification.

What does the training look and feel like?

Our Forest School training uses a holistic approach to learning, development and assessment. The courses are based on long term engagement with the natural world facilitated by skilled, nurturing educators. Whilst many of our courses are modular we have developed a range of training models to suit the needs of the wide range of clients we are working with.

Course participants will access practical learning experiences in natural woodland environments at sites around the county through which they will be supported to reflect on their own effectiveness as learners and then educators.

As the modules progress the work becomes progressively more practical. Assignments are spread throughout the course. We even provide you with real children or young people to run a Forest School session for!

What will the training equip me to do?

L1 – volunteer in FS sessions supporting the L3 Leader or perhaps feel more confident using the natural world for outdoor learning.

L2 – support a L3 Forest School Leader in the safe delivery of a Forest School programme, taking care of the site.

L3 – safely deliver a long term Forest School programme, manage a Forest School site, measure and communicate the outcomes.

The L3 Leader training covers key aspects of Health and Safety (e.g. Risk Benefit approach) along with relevant legislation, the pedagogy of learning and development – the hows and whys of educational approaches- practical woodland skills, woodland management and site development.

Participants become agents of their own physical and mental well-being whilst developing their knowledge and understanding of safety and group management in wild places. They rediscover the joys of play and rich rewards of autonomy with plenty of opportunities to work collaboratively, sharing good practice with other practitioners whilst building a Forest School handbook.

Will I get to see Forest School in action?

During training the learners will work together to lead and evaluate a Forest School session with ‘real children’. There will also be an opportunity to visit a Forest School session led by an experienced Forest School Leader whose practice reflects the Forest School ethos and principles.

How will I know if I am doing it ‘right’?

Learners are supported to plan, deliver and evaluate the first six sessions of a Forest School programme. The planning, delivery and evaluation of which will be assessed through a portfolio of evidence and a Delivery Assessment, where a tutor observes and gives constructive feedback. Additional mentoring will be available at this point if a learner requires.

The portfolio, handbook and delivery assessment demonstrate how the trainee leader meets their learners’ needs, reflecting the Forest School ethos and principles.

Assessment is ongoing throughout the training, feedback and support given by tutors at all stages of the learner’s Forest School journey.

Why do I need the Outdoor First Aid qualification?

This is required by the awarding body and the Forest School Association; in most cases it  is a requirement for insurance purposes.

Our Level 3 training includes a two day Outdoor Learning First Aid qualification which covers the requirements for Emergency Paediatric First Aid and exceeds the recommendations for an ‘Emergency First Aid at Work’ first aider within a workplace.

How is the training course designed?

Our favoured approach is modular, with regular course deadlines, ensuring ongoing support and constructive feedback on assignments. We use a wide range of assessment methods to meet the learner’s needs.

In response to significant reductions in school budgets and the demands of the Early Years sector, childminders and home educators, new models of courses are being devised, including training at weekends, during school holidays as well as term time.

How much does the training cost?
  • Level 1: £420.00 incl VAT
  • Level 2: £780.00 incl VAT
  • Level 2/3 top up:  £780.00 (price includes 16 hr Outdoor First Aid qualification)
  • Level 3: £1,200.00 (price includes 16 hr Outdoor First Aid qualification and Delivery Assessment)
  • Premium Level 3: £1,350.00 (price includes 16 hr Outdoor First Aid qualification, Outdoor Food Hygiene certificate and Delivery Assessment)
  • Relight My Fire!:
    New training offer: Full Course Refresher for L3 Qualified Forest School Leaders
    Enjoy the training with no portfolio!
    NB This non accredited course counts as ongoing CPD for the FSA Registered Provider
    Full course refresher – £680.00 including VAT (price including 16 hr First Aid  £800.00 incl VAT)

Please contact us directly to see if there is space on a current course.