- Thursday, 07 March 2013 14:17
- William Mortada
We offer forest school sessions for schools groups at the garden or at your setting, and are the only provider of accredited Forest School training in Newcastle, for those wanting to deliver their own forest school
Forest School Training
We have two courses starting soon:
Level 3 Certificate in Forest School Programme Leadership provided by SNCG and Kindling Play and Training
The level 3 course represents the industry standard for those that wish to lead their own forest school sessions. We co-deliver this course with Kindling Training http://kindlingplayandtraining.co.uk/training/forest-school-training/#FSlevel3
New dates for Spring 2017 to be announced soon!!!
Cost £760 per person.
Lily of Kindling and Harriet of SNCG have used their many years of experience in delivering Forest School and Forest School training programmes to develop a new format for the NOCN Level 3 (QCF) course that excites and inspires participants, whilst providing all the theory, skills and knowledge necessary to set up and lead a Forest School programme. The course guides learners through an enjoyable, supportive learning process with clear, easy to understand teaching materials. The course is taught inside and outside, through a mixture of games, practical activities, reflection and creative presentations.
Learners are assessed in their learning through the submission of 20 bite sized assessment tasks, completed throughout the course. Some tasks will be completed during the training and some will be written up in between the taught sessions. Participants on the course will need to plan and deliver 6 Forest School sessions with the same group of children.
This Forest School Level 3 course is aimed at individuals who have a minimum Level 2 qualification in Youth Work, Child Care, Teaching, or relevant experience in working with children.
“An absolutely amazing journey that has opened my eyes, mind and soul to the benefits of Forest School”
“The trainers had a fantastic ability to put people at ease and support them on this incredible journey”
“The approach was very in keeping with the course and the content”
“Lily and Harriet were both inspiring!”
“Taught in a clear, supportive manner. Harriet and Lily always offering to aid and support each individual”
“Have absolutely 100% loved every second. So excited to get going with Forest School!
The course will support you to understand everything you need to know to design and run a Forest School programme safely and effectively including:
- Understanding how children learn and develop
- Learning about woodland plants and animals and how to care for woodlands
- Practical skills including fire lighting, cooking, using tools, tying knots and building shelters, and how to safely teach these to a group
- How to maintain safety and wellbeing, and understand the relationship between risk and developmental benefit
- How to effectively communicate the ethos and benefits of Forest School
- 10 taught days (5 x 2 day blocks) of teaching spread over 9 months
- Written work: learners complete and submit 20 written tasks throughout the course. The last of these tasks are submitted 3 months after the last day of training.
- Support and advice available by telephone or email throughout the course.
- Before the last day of training, learners need to complete a separate 2 day ITC first aid course (not included in price).
- During the last 4 days of training, learners will demonstrate their practical skills and work together to deliver a session that demonstrates the ethos of forest school.
To book a place on the course please go to http://kindlingplayandtraining.co.uk/event/level-3-forest-school-practitioner-training-modular-4/?instance_id=140
Forest School Level 1 Award: Introduction to Forest School Principles
16th, 17th and 24th March. 9.30am - 5.00pm. Learners will need to attend all 3 days.
Cost £260. (Early bird discounted price £230; book before 31st December )The level 1 is suitable for people at the start of their forest school journey, giving an overview of the principles, introducing many of the skills, and providing a range of ideas for activities and games that learners can introduce in their own settings. It covers the forests school ethos and the theory that underpins it, practical skills such as fire lighting, using tools and putting up shelters, flora and fauna identification, risk assessment and management and managing the environmental impact. It is also suitable for teachers, teaching assistants and group leaders who want to understand the ethos of forest schools and incorporate it into their sessions, get new ideas and inspiration for activities, or decide whether Forest School is for them before embarking on level 2 or 3. A recent course participant said "this is the best course I have been on in 21 years of teaching".
Forest School Programmes
We offer Forest Schools Programmes for primary and secondary ages, either in our beautiful garden, or if you have the space, we can help you set up a Forest School area in your own school. Our education manager has 7 years experience running forest school session for children and young people from a variety of settings including EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS4, Pupil Referral Units and Schools for Children with Additional Needs.
During a forest schools programme, children spend regular time learning outdoors, in child led, child intiatied activities. They do woodland crafts and activities such as fire-lighting, using tools to create wooden objects, den making, creative activities and lots of games. Creating a fun, supportive environment and giving children exciting, achievable tasks, enables them to succeed and build confidence and self-esteem, and develop new skills which support their learning back in the classroom.
More information on the ethos, principles and background of Forest School is available at http://www.forestschoolassociation.org/
There is a growing body of research documenting the impact of forest schools on children's development and well-being. Here is some more evidence from some of the teachers we have worked with:
"St Bede’s Reception Class loved our regular visits to Scotswood Gardens. Whether they were hunting for minibeasts, climbing trees or simply playing hide-and-seek, the positive impact of outdoor learning on the children’s learning and achievements shone through every week. During our six sessions of Forest School, the children were taught how to use the Forest School area safely and independently and they learned to manage their own risks. In turn the children grew increasingly confident and motivated through their play and explorations. Scotswood Gardens provides an urban school like ours opportunities to interact in a natural environment and offers exciting, hands-on experiences outside of the classroom"
"Coming to the garden has had a significant impact on the children at Rainbird primary who have had the opportunity. The children have developed their speaking and listening, problem solving, knowledge and understanding of nature and resilience. The biggest impact has been the improvements in writing as a result of the practical, real life experiences the children have gained at the gardens."
"We began Forest School in the autumn term of 2015 and the impact it has had upon our children have been phenomenal. When our reception cohort entered school their baseline assessments were low, in particular physical skills, communication and language and personal, social and emotional. Using our on-going assessments during our Forest School sessions we noticed that the children were making accelerated progress- especially their physical skills. The Children who were often very quiet in school, EAL children and lower ability children were all making good progress in the areas of learning highlighted above. At Forest School the children were not afraid of just having a go, which was wonderful to observe. I had children who were reluctant to talk suddenly approaching me and talking about all of the exciting things they had found in the garden. Lower ability children were beginning to make mathematical connections during Forest School sessions, for example, length, counting 1:1. A wonderful example of this is when a little boy (who struggled with maths) collected snails in the garden. He lined them all up and counted them- counting past 13, which was a first for him! Forest School also encourages children to work together and to problem solve. These skills are so important as they are life long skills that children need. We also observed these skills being used within our classroom environment. How the children interacted with each other changed considerably too. During Forest School children were helping friends up trees, pulling them up muddy banks, making up wild and wonderful games together and once again these skills were brought back to the classroom. The children were able to work together and solve conflicts more without adult intervention.Forest School mirrors the ethos and principles behind the EYFS and gives children skills which they can apply to their school work, home life and beyond! Forest School encompasses all that we want to instil in our children- confidence, social skills, thinking skills, knowledge and most importantly, independent skills. It has been a wonderful experience and I can not wait to start Forest School with my new class."
For a more formal evaluation of the impact see for example O’Brien, L and Murray, R. (2006). A marvellous opportunity for children to learn: a participatory evaluation of Forest School in England and Wales. Forest Research. Downloadable from http://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/fr/INFD-5Z3JVZ )
How it works
The group of up to 15 children will come to the garden or an external site for several sessions (usually 9.30 - 2.30) which will be run by SNCG staff. Price of the whole programme will be agreed depending on the schools needs but a programme of 10 sessions costs £2,300, and can be delivered over one or two terms. SNCG staff will plan and deliver all sessions; provide all the tools and resources needed for the sessions; carry out risk assessments for all sessions and share these with school staff prior to the visit; and ensure a trained first aider is present at every session with a fully stocked first aid kit.
We were recently visited by forest school lecturer from Cumbria University who observed one of our sessions and said "There was a really impressive range of activities on offer for the pupils, which they thoroughly enjoyed. There was freedom and lots of experiential learning, but with just the right amount of structure"
He went on to say "The staff were unfailingly enthusiastic and organised, and knew just how much time to give to the introductory briefings to maximise pupil activity time; these briefings were clear and precise. The staff were also friendly and approachable and valued all contributions and ideas from the youngsters"
Links to EYFS and National Curriculum
Forest Schools provides opportunities for development in all of the 5 key areas of the EYFS curriculum. Whilst Forest School activities will reinforce learning in many areas of the National Curriculum, here at SNCG we prefer not to theme our Forest School sessions around a certain topic as we have found this detracts from the child-led nature of Forest Schools which is one of the factors that leads to it having such a big impact.