Forest School FAQs
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 I 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 this is the course for you! I have been teaching forest school sessions for over a decade and have a wealth of experience with all ages and abilities. I run a small company and I pride myself on my personal approach.
Whether it's a simple question you ask to the closed Facebook Group of trainees, an email to me asking for advice, or access to secret Go Wild events to develop your skills, I am there for you every step of the way.
I am a Forest School Association Endorsed Trainer, which means that my 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 my trainees think of me, have a look at the testimonials at the bottom of the training page. And then of course, there's my 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 me 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?
I 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 training page for exact dates.
The course begins at 9:00 each morning and we will finish by 5:30pm.
Training costs £900.
Aren't your courses in the middle of nowhere?
Your 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 so it’s cheaper to get here!
The nearest train station is Chepstow and there are hourly bus links to Tintern (although they don’t always coincide!). The bus stops right outside the Wye Valley Sculpture Garden. There is also a bus from Bristol to Chepstow.
Many of my trainees share lifts to the course and others choose to camp or find a place to stay in the area. I think there's a bit of magic in the trees around here, it's a beautiful part of the British Isles and my trainees find it an inspiring place to train. So much so that they come back time and again (and I often meet them for a catch-up!).
Who will be training me?
I'm Jackie and I am lively and enthusiastic about forest school! 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 has a PGDip in Education. 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. I am training to become a Montessori practitioner and in the autumn of 2019, I will begin a Masters in Outdoor Education.
When I'm not forest schooling, I 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 I 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. I pass on as much of my knowledge and experience to you as I can and I'm 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 I encourage my trainees to use as many innovative methods, such as videos, if that makes it more interesting for you (and me!).
I also come along to a forest school session that you run so that I can see you in action. That's how I know you've really got it and I can always offer advice and guidance once we've seen you in the field (or woods!). I usually do this at the end of your training, once you've submitted all your work.
How do I submit my portfolio?
I 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! I cover everything you need to know during your training.