Thank you so much for such an awesome 2 weeks, I truly cannot wait to get going with the next stage of my Forest School journey. The course was everything I wanted, and more. It's one thing delivering a course to people attending because they need new skills and knowledge, it's another delivering to those attending because they have a desire for it to be the start of something big and new, to change their path in life - and I know I speak for everyone when I say your approach, style and just general loveliness meant we are all on a solid track to doing just that!!! Much joy and thought-provoking discussions. It really was an 'awesome' 2 weeks - and it's just the beginning.
Thank you for a really inspirational course. Your careful guidance and patience throughout the course has made me reflect on my relationship with the natural world and given me ways of deepening that appreciation and connection. I am really grateful to you for awakening this in me. I have been reflecting on my own experiences and something I would like to do is foster this curiosity and make an intention to interact more with the natural world around me.
I feel like this course has reinvigorated my passion for working with children. It has echoed all of the educational philosophies and ethos that I fell in love with at university and that were slowly chipped away at while being in ‘the system’. I am so grateful for taking the big scary step of leaving my secure but damaging job, there were many reasons not to take this leap, but as one of my fellow Forest School trainees said to me: Nic, but what if it’s amazing?
And so far, it is.
For me, gaining my Forest School leadership qualification has been a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening experience. Finally, I have found a role where I am able to talk into my own childhood experiences while still making use of the skills I learnt through teaching in mainstream education. The course has taught me to understand what a holistic approach could look like in an educational setting.
The delivery of the sessions worked well for me as I am mainly a kinaesthetic learner. I was happy to take part in all of the activities Jackie showed us. I felt she went though the theory side with lots of support visually which I appreciated. I also feel very fortunate as I got to train with an amazingly lovely group of people. I feel very satisfied coming to the end of my training and feel privileged to have learnt all I have learnt, feeling even happier to pass it on to my students and explore all the sessions lined up in the future!
Only three years ago I left a career in the City. The time since then has been a constant learning journey for me. Training as a teacher helped me develop many new skills. The chance to train as a Forest School leader was the perfect opportunity for me to develop and extend my skills, to learn about the holistic development of children, and to combine this with my love of the outdoors. I have learnt a lot!
From studying for this qualification, re-familiarising myself with the ethos and observing children in my school react to it, I have a renewed passion for child led, outdoor experiences and everything that the Forest School ethos promotes. Instead of familiar thoughts of, ‘Why am I making children do this? What worth does it have for them?’, when I am leading Forest School I am constantly thinking, ‘This is what learning is about!’. Interestingly, this has not only changed my practise in Forest School but has also changed my everyday classroom teaching.
I really appreciate and value everything that doing the forest school training has taught me. It has been an interesting journey that has given me the confidence that I can provide a professional programme. Doing this course has greatly improved my skillset and understanding. Through doing the course I have made key contacts that continue to support me in my work, making me feel less isolated, and giving me opportunity to discuss issues that arise. It has also given me access to further training and skill sharing events which makes me confident that my practice will only ever improve.
I have very fond memories of the training which was excellent and really made the impact I wanted - to deepen my connection with nature, open new paths to working/ teaching outdoors and understanding the forest school way toward teaching and learning.