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 2022-23

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.

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

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


Download our Forest school training summary

Please get in touch with us to express your interest in our next course (dates to be confirmed).

The Level 1 course comprises 2 days training on site – £306.

We are now taking bookings for our next Level 2 and 3 courses (running together) commencing in December 2022.

The Level 3 course comprises 8 days training, additional on-site assessment and optional portfolio building day – £969.

The Level 2 course comprises 4 days of training plus optional workbook-building day – £663. Direct progression to Level 3 is possible following the course.

View the detailed 2022/2023 training 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 £75.

Next taster day: to be confirmed (see also the twilight taster below)

Forest School Twilight Taster

A shorter twilight version of our full Taster Day – come along to find out more and have your questions answered. What is Forest School? How can you introduce it to your setting, and how does the training work? Evenings 4-6pm, £35.00.

Thursday 17 November 2022, 4-6pm
Monday 9 January 2023, 12.30-2.30pm

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) £189

We are now booking for January 2023. For dates, full details and to apply please 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.

See our CPD page here.

How to book

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

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