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 2019-20

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 2019 leaflet here

We are now taking bookings for the next Level 3 courses starting December 2019 and March 2020. 8 days training, additional on-site assessment and optional portfolio building day £950.


**Autumn/winter 2019 special discount**

Book onto the December 2019 or March 2020 Forest School Level 3 Course and receive £25 off any Outdoor First Aid Training in 2020!

· Forest School Level 3 course: starting Dec 2019 or Mar 2020

· Outdoor First Aid course: 2 days 20-21 Jan, 27-28 April and other dates later in 2020.

Valid for bookings made before March 2020, quote AW19 discount when booking

View the 2019/20 dates here.

You can download the Level 3 application form here.

Please send completed application forms, or get in contact to ask any questions, directly 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: 4 February 2020

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: 20-21 January 2020 

Outdoor CPD Courses – including Forest School tasters and refreshers

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

How to book

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

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