Level 1 Forest School Training is the first step that any hopeful leader can take.
Level 1 is an introduction to the world of Forest Schools, covering the basic principles and ideals behind Forest Schools and just what makes them so unique.
What does Level 1 Forest School Training involve?
As we mentioned above, level 1 training is an introductory course. The award will assist you in understanding the Forest School ethos and the main principles that all Forest Schools incorporate into their programmes.
Level 1 is the most basic Forest School training qualification you can achieve.
Duration and cost
Level 1 is approximately 30 hours of work, and worth 3 credits once completed.
The course is usually £250.
Learners can be as young as 14 years old, but many courses prefer their applicants to be a minimum of 16 years old.
As this is a Forest School level 1 course, there are no requirements for entry. The course providers only want to see a level of maturity from applicants that shows they are ready to take on the work involved in the course.
A level 1 award will provide the learner will the skills they need to become a part of a Forest School team. They are not qualified to lead a programme or to be an assistant, but they can help with the setup and running of activities.
Learners will gain insight into risk management, the Forest School approach to learning, and the impacts that a Forest School has on woodland environments. You will be taught to be safe and conscientious when helping in a Forest School, while also being given the knowledge of practical skills to make you a vital member of a Forest School team.
The main areas of a Level 1 course are the principles of Forest Schools and the ethos that all Forest Schools follow.
Finding A Trainer
Finding a trainer may feel more difficult, especially for younger applicants. When in doubt, always email ahead to the trainer or organisation with any questions that you have.
There are several official Forest School associations that have information on their websites about finding a reputable trainer in your area. Some, like the Forest School Association, themselves, have a fully interactive map and list of individual trainers.
We’ve listed a number of Level 1 trainers below to help you get started on your Forest School journey. All of these trainers also offer a range of Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications, and you may feel that you are better suited to starting at a higher level, rather than beginning at Level 1. Whatever you decide, have fun!
Sussex Wildlife Trust (running courses in Sussex and Brighton)
Cambium Sustainable (running courses in locations across England, including Cambridge and Walsall)
Green Bow (running courses in the London area)
ForestSchools.com (offering courses throughout the UK)
Field Studies Council (running courses at Bishops Wood Centre, Stourport-on-Severn)
Huathe (courses run by Elizabeth Swift in Essex)
Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust (courses run by Dawn Preston in Southampton)