Forest School is a long term developmental programme that takes place on a regular basis, typically once a week, for a minimum of 6 sessions, but usually longer. To lead a Forest School programme it is necessary to be a Level 3 certificated and qualified Forest School practitioner, and hold a current and appropriate Outdoor First Aid qualification. Information on Forest School training is available here.
Forest School practice takes place across the UK, and in Scotland and Wales is supported by the Forest Education Initiative (FEI).
The FEI Forest School Scotland flyer describes the special features of Forest School within the Scottish context.
Is Forest School the right choice for me?
Forest School is an ideal method of delivering many aspects of the curriculum including Health outcomes, and can make a real difference to all involved.
“I knew Forest Schools was a good concept before I trained, however I did not realise just how exceptional the benefits to the individual children would be. “ (comment by trainee L3 Forest School leader, Scotland).
However, embarking on training for a Forest School qualification, particularly Level 3 Forest School Leader, is a big commitment.
Remember, there are other outdoor woodland learning models, many of which require no qualification – just enthusiasm! These may also be appropriate for you and your setting. To help you chose the right path, there is a guidance document which explores the range of woodland learning options outdoors, and summarises which approaches require training, if at all. There is also a short introduction to accompany this document.
Why FEI Forest School?
Across Scotland and Wales, the Forest Education Initiative (FEI) plays a major role in supporting the growth and development of Forest School, within FEI’s wider aims to support woodland learning and the understanding and appreciation of trees, woods and forests.
FEI helps the development of local Forest School practice (FEI Forest School), by offering support advice from national co-ordinator posts in Scotland and Wales, FEI national partners, and local cluster groups. Membership of your local FEI constituted cluster group will help you to access funding, as well as local networks and expertise.
It is proposed that all FEI Forest Schools will have:
All of the above should be covered by the recognised Forest School training course.