Forest School FAQs

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Forest School Level 3 Training FAQs

Click on the questions below to see the answers!

What is Forest School?

Forest school is, quite simply, AMAZING! It's a learner-led ethos using the woodland environment to inspire and encourage great things. And we love it! The clever people at the Forest School Association came up with a good definition: ‘an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.’

There are so many trainers out there, why should I train with Go Wild?

If you want a personal approach to training then we think we're your best bet. We have been teaching forest school sessions for almost a decade and have a wealth of experience with all ages and abilities. We're a small company and we pride ourselves on our personal approach.

Whether it's a simple question you ask to our closed Facebook Group of trainees, an email to us asking for advice, or access to secret Go Wild events to develop your skills, we are there for you every step of the way.

Jackie is a Forest School Association Registered Trainer, which means that her training has been scrutinised by the forest school professional body and it has been deemed to pass the very high standards set by the Association.

If you want to know what our trainees think of us, have a look at the testimonials at the bottom of the training page. And then of course, there's our 2017 Woodlands Best Course award.

I haven't done a Level 1 or Level 2 forest school qualification, do I have to?

The good news is no you don't! You can go straight to level 3 so long as you meet the general entry requirements (see below).

Are there any entry requirements?

Whichever level 3 course you sign up to, whether it's with us or someone else, you will need to:

  • Be 21 years old or over.
  • Have access to a group (not necessarily a school) that you can plan and run 6 Forest School sessions with.
  • Be committed to furthering your own learning with up to 120 hours of study.

You don't have to have a DBS check or first aid qualification to start the course but you will need to have both of these in place by the time you qualify in order to get your certificate.

When does training take place and how much does it cost?

We run at least three courses a year during school holidays: one at Easter, one in the first week of the summer holidays and one during October half term. Have a look at the start of this page for exact dates.

Training costs £900.

Aren't your courses in the middle of nowhere?

No! Our base for training is the Wye Valley Sculpture Garden in Tintern. This is just 40 minutes from Bristol, Gloucester and Cardiff with good access to the M4, M5 and M50. And now there is no bridge toll on the Severn Bridge.

Many of our trainees share lifts to the course and others choose to camp or find a place to stay in the area. We think there's a bit of magic in the trees around here, it's a beautiful part of the British Isles and our trainees find it an inspiring place to train. So much so that they come back time and again (and we often meet them for a catch-up in the pub!).

Who will be training me?

Jackie

Jackie is a lively and enthusiastic individual, who uses her obvious passion for learning in the outdoors to engage and inspire both children, adults and the occasional dog. On paper, she is a qualified teacher, forest school leader and trainer, an outdoor first-aider, a skilled environmental educator and has a PGDip in Education. Jackie has worked for many of Bristol's green institutions including the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project, Bristol Zoo and the Wild Place Project.

When she isn't forest schooling, Jackie can be found in the Wye Valley, generally getting muddy and enjoying the countryside.

How long does the training take?

You will have a total of 9 days of hands-on tuition in the woods, the rest is up to you!

Will the course be just focused on teaching school children?

No! As well as running our forest school sessions in mainstream schools we specialise in teaching other groups including teenagers at risk of exclusion, children with Special Educational Needs such as speach and language delay, hearing impaired, ADHD, Autism, adults recovering from alcohol misuse and many more. We pass on as much of our knowledge and experience to you as we can and we're always on-hand to offer advice about your own groups.

Is assessment based on a written work, practical skills or observation?

You will have to proivde a portfolio of evidence to show that you understand what you have learned on the course and that you're putting it into practice. Usually this is in the form of essay-style writing but we encourage our trainees to use as many innovative methods, such as videos, if that makes it more interesting for you (and us!).

We also come along to a forest school session that you run so that we can see you in action. That's how we know you've really got it and we can always offer advice and guidance once we've seen you in the field (or woods!).

How do I submit my portfolio?

We use Dropbox for submission of work. This is an efficient and environnmentally-friendly way of submitting you work and you can see feedback immediately. It also stops Inka, the forest school dog, from getting her grubby paws (and teeth) on all your hard work. If you're not familiar with Dropbox, don't worry! We cover everything you need to know during your training.

Tell Me More About the Course

Your level 3 forest school training:

Tintern is just 40 minutes' drive from Bristol and we will have access to the beautiful gardens, fields and woodlands of the Wye Valley Sculpture Garden, NP16 7NX. There is no longer a bridge toll on the Severn Bridge so accessing the Wye Valley is even easier.

On this course you will learn everything from woodland management, site maintenance and risk assessments, to the safe use of tools, species identification and how to put the forest school ethos into practice. I'll even teach you practical skills such as firelighting, campfire cooking and knifework.

The course includes a total of 9 days of tuition and assessment, plus an onsite observation, ongoing tutorial support and will help you to develop a written portfolio of your forest school work.

The cost of the course is £900. If you would like to talk to me about payment plans then please get in touch.

I am fully committed to making my courses accesible to as many people as possible. If you like reading policies you can read more here, otherwise just drop me an email with any queries you have and I will do my absolute best to accommodate you.

 

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Course Content

Each year I run my award-winning Level 3 Forest School training courses during school holidays, divided into two parts. The first part consists of 5 days and covers all the theory and paperwork skills you will need, plus you begin to master your practical skills as well as playing lots of games and taking part in creative activities. The second part is your 'development days' where you will take part in as many practical activities and learn new skills such as birdsong, woodwork, outdoor cooking, woodland crafts as well as learning how to set up a forest school area and working on your portfolio.

I have to tell you that the full name of the qualification is 'AIM Awards Level 3 Certificate in Forest School Programme Leadership' but that's a bit of a mouthful so I tend to shorten it!

Level 3 Forest school Course content includes:

  • Learning the ethos of forest school and what this looks like in practice

  • An introduction to the woodland environment and how to care for it

  • Flora and fauna identification skills

  • All you need to know about the health and safety element of running forest school, including risk assessments and safe use of tools and fire

  • An overview of learning theories relevant to forest school and how to put these into practice

  • Ideas of activities and crafts that you can use in your sessions

  • Plenty of opportunity to practice skills and ask questions

  • Access to my Go Wild Level 3 support group on Facebook

  • Ongoing individual support whilst writing your portfolio plus lots more

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Meet Your Trainer

Jackie Roby Go Wild Forest School

Hi! I’m Jackie and Go Wild is my company. Go Wild is an accredited centre in its own right which means that everything is kept in-house from the development of the course curriculum, to assessments and quality control, meaning that you won't find another course or company like Go Wild.

I teach every aspect of the course, and I keep any hand in by running my own weekly forest school sessions in a variety of settings.

I am a lively and enthusiastic individual, and I use my obvious passion for learning in the outdoors to engage and inspire both children, adults and the occasional dog.

On paper, I am a qualified teacher, forest school leader and trainer, an outdoor first-aider, a skilled environmental educator and I have a PGDip in Education. I am one of the few Forest School Association Endorsed Trainers in the UK and the only one in Wales.

I have worked for many of Bristol's green institutions including the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project, Bristol Zoo and the Wild Place Project and so I am uniquely placed to guide you on your forest school journey.

If you'd like to know how I ended up creating Go Wild, find out what motivates me by having a look at my blog.

When I’m not forest schooling, I can be found in the Wye Valley, generally getting muddy and enjoying the countryside.

Throughout your course you will be in contact with me and the rest of the team, as well as your fellow trainees and will benefit from online support material as well as a flexible approach to assessment styles and a personal approach to training.

 
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Accommodation in the Area

Accommodation in the area:

Accommodation is not included in the price of the course. Although Tintern is just 40 minutes' drive from Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Gloucester, it's a great opportunity to stay in the beautiful Wye Valley. There are opportunities for camping at nearby Beeches FarmIf you’d like to stay with some of my firends, there’s glamping in Belle tents or cabins, most of which are on the same site as the Sculpture Garden and Kingstone Brewery. There is also dormitory accommodation available at Camp Hillcrest, and various places on AirBnB, I recommend Copper Beech Cabin (at the Sculpture Garden), Birch Cottage and Hill Farm.

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Other things you should know

You will need to obtain an outdoor first aid qualification before you can obtain your qualification. This is NOT included in the cost of the course. I am happy to advise about the first aid qualification so please email me to find out more.

Please note: Part of the training includes an observation of you teaching a session. For visits to groups within a 20 miles of Bristol or the Forest of Dean, there is no charge for mileage. If greater than 20 miles, there is a charge of 70p per mile. Other arrangements can be made if you live a long way away. This is a very, VERY small part of the course and shouldn't discourage you from signing up.

Get in touch to find out more, or if you have any questions.

Courses are delivered by Go Wild Education Ltd. and I do not charge VAT.

 

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Bespoke Training and Level 1 Training

Bespoke Level 1 and Level 3 forest school Training, INSET and twilight sessions

If you have five people or more who want either level 1 or 3 Forest School training, INSET or twilight session, then I can create a bespoke course for you at a time that suits you. Please email hello@gowildeducation.co.uk with your requirements.

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