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 2024-2025

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

* Prices are exclusive of VAT where applicable


Level 1 Award – comprises 2 days training on site – £315
2024/5 dates tbc

Level 2 Award – comprises 4 days of training plus optional workbook-building day. Direct progression to Level 3 is possible following the course – £683
March/April 2024,  September/October 2024

Level 3 Certificate – comprises 8 days training, additional on-site assessment and optional portfolio building day – £998
March – June 2024, September – December 2024,  December 2024 – March 2025,  March – June 2025

Forest School training schedule 2024-25

Please download the relevant application form here:

Level 2 Award – application form

Level 3 Certificate – application form

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 Twilight Taster

What is Forest School? How can you introduce it to your setting, how does the training work? Discover the benefits of Forest School
Monday 19 February & Thurs day 29 August 2024,  4-6pm
£35.00 per session. Please email us to book your place.


Forest School Refresher Days

Aimed at Forest School Leaders who qualified some time ago or who just want a chance to practice their skills and feel inspired.
Wednesday 24 April 2024, 9.30am – 2.30pm
Please email us to book. The cost for this day is £75.00


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) £195
We are now booking for June and October 2024. 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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