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Questions & Answers

FOREST SCHOOL TRAINING

Who is the training for?

The Forest Schools Practitioner Training Course (sometimes known as Level 3) is for: Anyone in a facilitating teaching or mentoring role with babies, early years, young children, adolescents , young people or NEETS. Anyone in social care: those responsible for mentoring young mothers, and young fathers, – families Those in special needs forums: ASD learning disability, mental health, social care , adopters, adoptees. Educators – teachers, TA’s caretakers and dinner/break staff. Forestry and countryside workers: social forestry and educational groups.

Do I need to have completed Level 1 and 2 to do my Level 3 training?

You don’t need to have done Level 1 or 2 to join our Level 3 course. We only require that you have had past experience in working with children in any work capacity.
You can also take our Level 1 online training for free before you start your Level 3.
Click here to see the details.

What is the set up of the Level 3 Forest School Practitioner Course?

1. Come on an initial training week. This is 5 days Monday – Friday. You then go away and begin work on your portfolio, part of which is running 6 sessions, over 6 consecutive weeks, doing a two hour session each week with a group of children.
2. Book on a 2 day First Aid Course. They run for 2 days during the week but not at weekends.
3. Book on your Assessment. This runs for 4 days Monday – Thursday. You then have 3 months after your assessment to hand in your portfolio.

What do the different levels allow me to do?

The Level 1 course is a 3 day taster course for those interested in the ethos of Forest Schools or someone wanting to help out on an occasional basis. It does NOT qualify you to run Forest Schools Programmes. The Level 2 qualification is the Assistant Practitioner Award so that you can ASSIST a Level 3 Practitioner, it does NOT allow you to run a Forest Schools Programme. The Level 3 training means that you are a qualified Forest School Practitioner and can run a Forest Schools programme and lead Forest School sessions yourself, and have responsibility for other members of staff.

How long do I have to complete the course?

You have twelve months after completing the initial training week of the Level 3 to complete the First Aid course and your assessment. You can come back for assessment at any point after your initial training week, once you meet the requirements. There will be an assessment at the venue of your initial training week or you are welcome to attend at another venue. You must come back for assessment within 12 months as this is a stipulation of the awarding body.

Is the course residential?

Some of the locations do provide basic bunk accommodation available at the venue, but not all of them. You do not have to stay overnight although people find it is an excellent way to socialise and network with their fellow course members. Accommodation is usually in the form of self-catering, hostel style shared dormitories at a price of £17-£25 per night.

How much work does the Level 3 involve?

The level of work is similar to that of an A-Level. There is a portfolio to complete where you look at everything you need to become a Forest School Practitioner. This includes programme and session planning, looking at local flora and fauna and doing environmental impact assessment and management planning along with risk assessments. You will also need to run 6 sessions, over 6 consecutive weeks, doing a minimum of 2 hours each per session each week to create your baseline assessment. You would not be using fires or tools at this stage – instead using the Forest Schools ethos to observe the children and create a summative assessment on how to develop the long term programme. It is important to consider how you will do this depending on your circumstances.

I have a full-time job, will I be able to complete the work required alongside this?

Yes. Most of the people that train with us are working full time and manage to get the work completed. You have 12 months after your initial training week to come on assessment. Once you have come on assessment you have a further 3 months to complete and hand in your portfolio. There is always support available from our training team to help you through your journey.

When will I be able to use tools and fires with groups of children?

You are only qualified to use tools and fires once you have handed in your portfolio, it has been marked and moderated, and you have had confirmation that you have passed. You would not be qualified to use fires or tools before this point as your insurance cover will not sanction unqualified practitioners.

Can I do my First Aid after my Assessment Week?

As long as you have somebody assisting your sessions who is qualified to do First Aid at your chosen site the answer is yes. Evidence must be recorded within your portfolio of their assistance, your First Aid certificate must be within your portfolio when you submit your work to us for marking.

What space do I need for Forest Schools?

Forest Schools is an ethos that engages learners in a natural learning space.  This could be a forest, woodland or in the initial stages, a natural space that begins the journey while perhaps the Practitioner is training. It might be on the grounds of the organisation, or may indeed be a shared space with another land owner.  If using public sites, then permission needs to be obtained from the land manager for the running of programmes. Forest Schools is enabled through loose natural parts (sticks, mud, leaves, stones etc) and so you are seeking to gain access to, or to create the provision of, a space that is natural and abundant in these resources to stimulate and facilitate exploration.

What do I need to do before Assessment?

Candidates need to take their portfolio with them on their second (assessment) week having completed the Are You Ready For Assessment portions. Trainers do review their work with them during the week, giving either general guidance to the groups or specific advice to a learner on a particular learning outcome and there are elements that are not only very important for assessment preparation that they need to complete, but important for the assessment process during that week.

I’ve already got a First Aid Certificate – do I have to do your course?

The Forest Schools Training Network (of which Archimedes is a part) requires every practitioner to have an up to date relevant First Aid certificate. Without this it is unlikely that your insurance will cover you. Archimedes includes the ITC Outdoors Forest School First Aid as a matter of course in the training package. This is the most relevant and applicable qualification designed with a number of experienced professionals in the industry to meet your needs. It is offered as a free element in the training package due to the importance we put on it and we do not give refunds for this section of the course.

How was Beach Schools developed?

Seeing a desire for teachers and practitioners to apply their understanding of how to use woodland/forest as a space for holistic development and increasing wellbeing, Beach Schools was developed to provide training and guidance in the specifics of the coast. Since it`s development is have be used to create a closer connection with our coastline through youth and community groups, educational settings and environmental organisations all around the British coastline.

Will the training be suitable for me, given the client group I work with?

The training is about creating an supportive community, using inspiring surroundings, for the purposes of holistic development and increased wellbeing.  The process you will go through after your initial training will be to apply the ethos and approaches we explore together, as appropriate, to your particular needs.  The course trains practitioners to a level whereby they can use all of the experiences possible on a programme to a consistently high level, however there are instances where perhaps some experiences might not be as relevant as in others. The ability to recognise the appropriateness of certain experiences is an important element in the role of a Forest Schools Practitioner.

What space do I need for Forest Schools?

Forest Schools is an ethos that engages learners in a natural learning space.  This could be a forest, woodland or in the initial stages, a natural space that begins the journey while perhaps the Practitioner is training. It might be on the grounds of the organisation, or may indeed be a shared space with another land owner.  If using public sites, then permission needs to be obtained from the land manager for the running of programmes. Forest Schools is enabled through loose natural parts (sticks, mud, leaves, stones etc) and so you are seeking to gain access to, or to create the provision of, a space that is natural and abundant in these resources to stimulate and facilitate exploration.

PAYMENTS

Do you offer a payment plan?

Yes. We now offer the option to pay in 6 weekly installments with a credit limit of up to £720, free of charge. Anything over this can be paid upfront with the remaining £720 being paid over a 6-week period.
This is subject to a credit check.
Please use the Laybuy option at the checkout.

Do you accept Paypal?

Yes. We now accept Paypal. You can select this option at the checkout.

Can I create a purchase order?

Yes. You can use the purchase order option at the checkout. Please include your purchase order reference number in the Special Instructions area in the cart area.

Do you accept my currency?

We accept payments from all over the world but we charge in GBP. Just use you payment card as you usually would and the bank will make the conversion at today's rate.
You can check the estimated conversion using the currency converter in the top-left corner of the page.

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