FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Forest School Training - Who is it for and what do you learn?

Who is it for?

To attend the training you must have a passion for working alongside learners, be able to communicate with them and have an interest in the natural world and its conservation. There are 3 levels of training. The level of training you wish to pursue depends on what role you wish to take at Forest School and the experience/qualifications you have. The specific criteria for accessing the different levels of training can be seen by clicking here.

Levels of Training:

Level 3 - For those who wish to lead and take responsibility for the Forest School programme.

Level 2 - If you wish to take an active role in assisting the Forest School leader but not take overall responsibility for the programme.

Level 1 – If you want to ‘help’ out at Forest School or gain knowledge about the Forest school.

If you meet the criteria, you do not need to complete each level to get to level 3. If you have a level 2 qualification you are able to top up to a level 3 qualification. We are always happy to discuss your training needs and aspirations before you commit to training – please contact us.

If you have a Forest School qualification and wish to take your professional development further you may be interested in our CPD short courses.


What will you learn?

Participants will experience all the practical aspects of Forest School – from bushcraft and woodcraft through to tool work and playful ways of interacting with the woodland. Our woodland management experience and working with schools/settings grounds means learners get a comprehensive introduction to developing and managing their own sites. Also our extensive experience of working in education means trainees get a good grounding in supporting learning and development at Forest School.

Students following the courses will gain:

the practical skills required of a practitioner including;  

  • Basic plant and animal identification skills.
  • An understanding of woodland ecology.
  • Knowledge on how to establish and sustainably manage a Forest School site.
  • The ability to safely facilitate certain skills such as firelighting, tool work, craft and creative woodland based activities.

a deep understanding of the ways Forest School supports;

  • Emotional and physical well being.
  • All areas of the curriculum and learning and development.
  • The importance of a play and learner based ‘emergent’ learning process’.
  • ‘Safe’ risk taking.

how to deliver a Forest school programme including;

  • Planning and leading sessions.
  • Working with other staff.
  • Ways of communicating and working Forest School into your setting.

Most importantly Forest School training has proved to be a powerful course for educators own personal growth and connection to the natural world, on which we all survive.
















 Why us?

18 years of experience
Bishops Wood have been practising Forest School for 18 years and continue to do so, both at the centre and in other settings. This means we are up to date with current challenges education settings face and how to weave Forest School into a busy curriculum. The team’s experience across different age groups and learning needs means we can tailor the course to various requirements.  

We follow the Forest School ethos
Our Forest School training is well known in that the delivery is done in a Forest School way, this approach ensures participants really ‘get’ the Forest School experience by following the course over an appropriate time scale, in an achievable format and with support.

Nationally recognised training
Our training has gained an outstanding reputation with people working in formal education – early years to colleges; and those working in more informal education settings – youthwork, playwork, environmental and conservation settings.  More recently Julie Grainger has become nationally recogised as an endorsed Forest School trainer with the Forest School Association.

Continuous support
We believe in providing quality support with online resources and advice on aspects of your coursework. On level 3, the course includes face to face support both at the centre/training site and a work based assessment/support visit.


“I loved how much this training has made me think.  It really felt like we were tearing apart the structures in education that we take for granted to be the ‘right’ ways, analysing them and critiquing them and then putting them back together again to create a better way.  Doing so is an incredible process – probably the best thing I have learned to date,.  The trainers were so knowledgeable and yet helped us feel like we were doing all the learning and independent thinking and doing - real Forest school in action” - Caylin Gans, course attendee.

“I was sent on the training by my school, with some initial reluctance on my part as I know how much responsibility a good forest school leader has to carry. I feel much more confident and well equipped to meet the challenges and definitely feel I have far more confidence in sharing and delivering on “what it’s all about.” - Ingrid Whitmore, Teacher.

“Jon Cree’s knowledge is vast and his enthusiasm is very infectious. It also helped enormously to write about the historical and present management techniques of the local woodland – I never there was so much to know!”  - Luke Blackham, Youth worker.