Forest School training

What is Forest School?

Forest School is an inspiring approach to learning outside the classroom which many schools and early years settings have embraced. Rather than being activity based, sessions are instead led by the interests of the learners themselves.

It’s a technique that stimulates independent thinking and ensures that no two Forest School sessions are ever the same. Children, young people and families may enjoy such experiences such as, building dens, exploring the environment, cooking over small fires and hunting for minibeasts.

Building on the natural instinct to learn, Forest School offers opportunities to make choices, initiate learning, understand and manage risks, and encourages positive attitudes and behaviour.

The concept was developed in Scandinavia, and operates on the principle that children of all ages benefit from the learning opportunities present in a woodland or natural environment.

Forest School sessions are practical and primarily child led. The emphasis is on the development of self-esteem, communication and social skills, personal responsibility and citizenship. These skills feedback positively into other areas of work in schools and settings. When embedded in the setting’s curriculum Forest School enriches and links to all areas of development and learning.

Hill End Forest School Training Schedule 2020-2021

Hill End Outdoor Education Centre has been at the forefront of Forest School in Oxfordshire for many years. We continue to provide quality Forest School training in the beautiful, wooded surroundings of Hill End. Our experienced and friendly trainers run rigorous, nationally recognised courses equipping practitioners to motivate and inspire their learners in challenging outdoor play environments.

Our modular training courses are nationally recognised and accredited by Open College Network West Midlands (OCNWM)

  • OCNWM Level 1 Forest School Introduction

  • OCNWM Level 2 Award for Forest School Assistants

  • OCNWM Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders

These qualifications have been developed by experienced Forest School practitioners and trainers through the National Forest School Training Network in partnership with OCNWM.

Our trainers are qualified Forest School Leaders themselves with over 20 years experience of working with a range of groups. 


Download our leaflet here

We are now taking bookings for the next Level 2 and 3 courses, both starting September and December 2020.

The Level 3 course comprises 8 days training, additional on-site assessment and optional portfolio building day – £950.

The Level 2 course comprises 4 days of training plus optional workbook-building day – £650. Direct progression to Level 3 is possible following the course.

We are now taking bookings for September and December 2020

View the 2020/2021 dates here.

You can download the Level 3 application form here, and the Level 2 application form here.

Please send completed application forms, or get in contact to ask any questions – to the Hill End Centre.

What Else Can We Offer?
Forest School Taster Day

What is Forest School? How could it work in your setting? And just what is involved with the training? Find out the answers to all this and more when you join us on our Taster Day. We will explore the Forest School ethos, get you outside and into nature and make sure you have all the information you need. 1 day 9.30am – 2.30pm £70

Next taster day: To be announced

Forest School First Aid

We also run regular Outdoor First Aid courses that meet the requirements for Forest School Practitioners. 2 days 9:00am – 6pm (16 hours teaching time) £175

Next first aid training:  September (last few places remaining) and October 2020. To apply see our first aid pages here.

Outdoor CPD Courses – including Forest School tasters and refreshers

Are you looking for inspiration and training for outdoor learning? Our CPD courses cover numeracy, literacy, map skills, using fire safely, planning a residential and much more.

Next training dates: To be announced

How to book

Contact us at for an application form or with any questions.

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