Outdoor Classroom Day

Outdoor Classroom Day Logo

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play. On the day, thousands of schools around the world take lessons outdoors and prioritise playtime. In 2017, over 2.3 million children worldwide took part, more than 580,000 of those were in the UK and Ireland. 

Outdoor learning improves children’s healthengages them with learning and leads to a greater connection with nature. Play not only teaches critical life skills such as resilienceteamwork and creativity, but is central to children’s enjoyment of childhood. 

It’s easy to get involved and there is something everyone can do! 

If you’re a teacher and new to outdoor learning, why not use Outdoor Classroom Day to try it out? If you already get outdoors regularly, use the day to celebrate what you’re doing and inspire other teachers around the world to join in. 

If you’re a parent, talk to your child’s school about the importance of outdoor learning and play and encourage them to get involved. Think about how you can spend more time outdoors as a family too and inspire other parents to do the same. 

If you work for an organisation that cares about children, nature, education or the environment, speak to us about how you can get involved. We’re always looking for partners to help spread the message far and wide. 

So that schools can participate on a day that fits with their term times, the UK and Ireland campaign has two dates in 2018 — Thursday 17 May and Thursday 1 November. Sign up below for one or both and help build a movement that gets children outdoors to play and learn every day! 

Lots of resources for teachers, practitioners & parents here.

#OutdoorClassroomDay

Forest School Practitioner Training Level 3

NOCN Forest School Level 3 Training (RQF)

This Forest School training course also includes a further week of training from March 18th – 22nd 2019.
Cost £760 includes both weeks of training, course materials, ongoing support and membership of the Forest School Association.

This course is an opportunity to explore to a higher level different approaches to using the outdoor environment in a Forest School setting and is for those who and wish to coordinate, manage and lead Forest School Sessions with children, young people or adults.

You will investigate how best to design and run a Forest School programme and look at how to approach and apply it safely and effectively.

This Forest School Level 3 course is aimed at individuals who have a minimum Level 2 qualification in Youth Work, Child Care, Teaching, or relevant experience in working with children.

The course content of this qualification is based on up-to-date research surrounding aspects of

  • Child development
  • Personal development
  • Neuro-science
  • Nature Connection
  • Creativity and crafts
  • Woodland conservation and management
  • Innovative and therapeutic theory in the outdoors
  • Risk assessments to enable safe outdoor play and education

Course Duration Initial training – consisting of 5 days of training
Portfolio work – candidates take away their portfolio to work on (For about 7 months)
First Aid – Candidates complete a 2 day ITC first aid course
Development Training – Consisting of 5 days of including benchmarking and feedback

Participants on this course will need to complete a paediatric outdoor First Aid 2 day course before completing the second part of their Forest School training. (First Aid not included in price)

To book or for more information email mail@kindlingplayandtraining.co.uk or call 07789 723 061

Creating Young Leaders in Sustainable Development conference

Sustainable development conference flyer

This fantastic conference will enable practitioners to support learners to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development (Global Goal 4.7). The conference will be a combination of workshops and activities to inspire and engage. There will be many opportunities to network, link research to practice and share your own knowledge and expertise.

Who would benefit from this conference: EYFS practitioners, primary school practitioners secondary school practitioners and post 16 practitioners in higher education and university who have an interest in environmental education or sustainable development.

– Collaborate with colleagues across and within educational settings
– Address the role of research and development in education
– Contribute to transformative education to support ambitions regarding sustainable living and livelihood
– Understand the Global Goals for Sustainable Development in more detail
– Network with colleagues, receive resources and freebies
– Hear from regional and national partners including Eco-Schools, Practical Action, Earthwatch, Buglife and Sustrans

This event is £25 for practitioners & professionals and a reduced rate of £10 for university students.

L2 Award in Outdoor Learning Practice

Make learning memorable by delivering the curriculum outdoors. This short accredited course will inspire and give you the confidence to teach outdoors. Great for you, great for pupils and great for Ofsted. By completing this two and a half day course (and a short portfolio) you will be able to:

  • map outdoor learning activities to the curriculum including EYFS, KS1., KS2
  • identify areas for outdoor learning
  • complete safety checks
  • plan a programme of outdoor learning
  • understand the impacts on the outdoor learning environment.

Course delivered at Howe Park Education Centre Milton Keynes, 12/13th March and 17th April 2018.

Forest School L3

An exciting opportunity to learn about the Forest School ethos and learn how to become a Forest School Leader

This is a nationally recognised qualification, the course is aimed at people wishing to establish and run a Forest School.
Dates of course: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th October, Practical skill assessment days 5/6th Nov 2018.

The course is 7 days including 2 practical skill assessment days. To gain the certificate you will need to attend all 7 training days and complete a portfolio of evidence. This certificate usually takes 9 months to complete so you will need time to complete this portfolio and you will be required to lead 6 Forest School sessions to the same group. Entry requirements for this award apply.

This certificate is worth 14 credits and to gain the certificate you will need to complete the following units:

  • Supporting learning, play and development in the outdoors
  • Observation and evaluation of outdoor learning
  • Sustainable use of natural resources
  • Teach outdoor practical skills
  • Forest School Leader.

Cost £800 per person, contact us to book.

L2 Award in Outdoor Learning Practice

Make learning memorable by delivering the curriculum outdoors. This short accredited course will inspire and give you the confidence to teach outdoors. Great for you, great for pupils and great for Ofsted.

By completing this two and a half day course (and a short portfolio) you will be able to:

  • map outdoor learning activities to the curriculum including EYFS, KS1., KS2
  • identify areas for outdoor learning
  • complete safety checks
  • plan a programme of outdoor learning
  • understand the impacts on the outdoor learning environment.

Course delivered at Howe Park Education centre, Milton Keynes, 15th / 16th October and 12th November (half day) 2018
Cost £250.00 pp.
Contact to book.

Forest School Leader Level 3

2 women cutting a branch with a bow saw, with a third woman supervising

Course Dates: 9-12th May and 7-9th June 2018.
0930 – 1630 each day.

This course is the nationally accredited QCF Level 3 Forest School Leaders Qualification – upon completion participants will be able to lead Forest School sessions and will receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge they can display on their school or personal website.

The Level 3 course is designed for those who would like to set up and lead Forest School Programmes.

There are 5 units of study at Level 3:
– Supporting learning, play and development in the outdoors.
– Observation and evaluation of outdoor learning.
– Sustainable use of natural materials.
– Teaching outdoor practical skills (including activity ideas, tool use and fires).
– Forest School Leader.

On the Level 3 course you will:
– Attend 7 training days which will consist of both theory and practical tasks.
– Attend a 1 day portfolio workshop in person or via video / telephone conference which will help you complete your portfolio.
– Be able to access training and resource materials online.
– Receive 1:1 support from your tutor via email or telephone while completing your portfolio.
– Run a Forest School Programme of at least 6 sessions in your chosen setting (if you are freelance you can run your sessions in our setting or we can advise on how to set up your own).
– Have a work based assessment and free consultancy visit from your tutor .
– Complete a portfolio for assessment.
– Receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge for your website.
– Receive guidance for requirements such as insurance, DBS and finding a location.
– Receive a discount when purchasing forest school tools.

The course takes place in the National Trust woodland estate of Ashdown House, near Swindon / Newbury / Oxford on the ancient ridgeway. We train in the woodland classroom and are immersed in the Forest School environment giving you a unique opportunity to experience life in the forest.

The site is accessible by bike, bus (bus stop by car park), train (train then bus) and car.
There are camping, b&b and hotel options nearby if accommodation is required.

Email vickibrightwood@gmail.com for further information or to secure your place.

Forest School Leader Level 3

Course Dates:
25-28 Sep & 11-13 Oct 2018. 09.30 – 16.30 each day.

This course is the nationally accredited QCF Level 3 Forest School Leaders Qualification – upon completion participants will be able to lead Forest School sessions and will receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge they can display on their school or personal website.

The Level 3 course is designed for those who would like to set up and lead Forest School Programmes.

There are 5 units of study at Level 3:
– Supporting learning, play and development in the outdoors.
– Observation and evaluation of outdoor learning.
– Sustainable use of natural materials.
– Teaching outdoor practical skills (including activity ideas, tool use and fires).
– Forest School Leader.

On the Level 3 course you will:
– Attend 7 training days which will consist of both theory and practical tasks.
– Attend a 1 day portfolio workshop in person or via video / telephone conference which will help you complete your portfolio.
– Be able to access training and resource materials online.
– Receive 1:1 support from your tutor via email or telephone while completing your portfolio.
– Run a Forest School Programme of at least 6 sessions in your chosen setting (if you are freelance you can run your sessions in our setting or we can advise on how to set up your own).
– Have a work based assessment and free consultancy visit from your tutor .
– Complete a portfolio for assessment.
– Receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge for your website.
– Receive guidance for requirements such as insurance, DBS and finding a location.
– Receive a discount when purchasing forest school tools.

The course takes place in the National Trust woodland estate of Ashdown House, near Swindon / Newbury / Oxford on the ancient ridgeway. We train in the woodland classroom and are immersed in the Forest School environment giving you a unique opportunity to experience life in the forest.
The site is accessible by bike, bus (bus stop by car park), train (train then bus) and car. There are camping, b&b and hotel options nearby if accommodation is required.

Email vickibrightwood@gmail.com for further information or to secure your place.

Forest School Assistant Level 2

a man and a woman cooking on a griddle suspended over a campfire

9-12 May 2018. 0930 – 1630 each day.

This course is the nationally accredited QCF Level 2 Forest School Assistant Qualification – upon completion participants will be able to assist at Forest School sessions and will receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge they can display on their school or personal website.

The Level 2 course is designed for those who would like to assist at Forest School Programmes.

This course covers four units of Study at Level 2 and looks in depth at practical skills, using the woodland as a sustainable resource and the theoretical side of planning for learning and play at Forest School.

These Units are:

  • Supporting Learning, Play and Development in the Outdoors
  • Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
  • Outdoor Practical Skills
  • Assist at Forest School.

This qualification is ideal for those who would like a more in depth introductory course or who need more practical and academic experience in order to progress to the Level 3 – Certificate in Leading Forest School course. This course offers plenty of opportunities to develop your own skills at Forest School in preparation for passing those on to others at a later date. Completion of the Level 2 booklet takes place during the course and whilst assisting a Forest School Practitioner (Level 3 Trained) with planning and delivery of Forest School programmes.

On the Level 2 course you will:
– Attend 4 training days which will consist of both theory and practical tasks.
– Be able to access training and resource materials online.
– Receive 1:1 support from your tutor via email or telephone while completing your portfolio.
– Assist at a Forest School Programme in your chosen setting (if you are freelance you can assist at our sessions in our setting).
– Complete a portfolio for assessment.
– Receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge for your website.
– Receive guidance for requirements such as insurance, DBS and finding a location.
– Receive a discount when purchasing forest school tools.

The course takes place in the National Trust woodland estate of Ashdown House, near Swindon / Newbury / Oxford on the ancient ridgeway. We train in the woodland classroom and are immersed in the Forest School environment giving you a unique opportunity to experience life in the forest.
The site is accessible by bike, bus (bus stop by car park), train (train then bus) and car.
There are camping, b&b and hotel options nearby if accommodation is required.

Email vickibrightwood@gmail.com for further information or to secure your place.

Forest School Assistant Level 2

Course Dates:
25 – 28 Sep 2018 0930 – 1630 each day.

This course is the nationally accredited QCF Level 2 Forest School Assistant Qualification – upon completion participants will be able to assist at Forest School sessions and will receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge they can display on their school or personal website.

The Level 2 course is designed for those who would like to assist at Forest School Programmes.

This course covers four units of Study at Level 2 and looks in depth at practical skills, using the woodland as a sustainable resource and the theoretical side of planning for learning and play at Forest School.

These Units are:
Supporting Learning, Play and Development in the Outdoors
Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
Outdoor Practical Skills
Assist at Forest School
This qualification is ideal for those who would like a more in depth introductory course or who need more practical and academic experience in order to progress to the Level 3 – Certificate in Leading Forest School course. This course offers plenty of opportunities to develop your own skills at Forest School in preparation for passing those on to others at a later date. Completion of the Level 2 booklet takes place during the course and whilst assisting a Forest School Practitioner (Level 3 Trained) with planning and delivery of Forest School programmes.

On the Level 2 course you will:
– Attend 4 training days which will consist of both theory and practical tasks.
– Be able to access training and resource materials online.
– Receive 1:1 support from your tutor via email or telephone while completing your portfolio.
– Assist at a Forest School Programme in your chosen setting (if you are freelance you can assist at our sessions in our setting).
– Complete a portfolio for assessment.
– Receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge for your website.
– Receive guidance for requirements such as insurance, DBS and finding a location.
– Receive a discount when purchasing forest school tools.

The course takes place in the National Trust woodland estate of Ashdown House, near Swindon / Newbury / Oxford on the ancient ridgeway. We train in the woodland classroom and are immersed in the Forest School environment giving you a unique opportunity to experience life in the forest.
The site is accessible by bike, bus (bus stop by car park), train (train then bus) and car. There are camping, b&b and hotel options nearby if accommodation is required.

Email vickibrightwood@gmail.com for further information or to secure your place.

Forest School Level 2 (Assistant) to Level 3 (Leader) Top-Up

Course Dates:
28th September & 11th -13th October 2018, 9.30 – 4.30 each day.

This course is the nationally accredited QCF Level 2- 3 Forest School Leaders Top Up Qualification – upon completion participants will be able to lead Forest School sessions and will receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge they can display on their school or personal website.
Participants must have completed the Level 2 Forest School Assistant Course.
Participants who have completed the Level 2 Outdoor Learning Practitioner Training with Brtightwood Training or another Cambium Network Trainer, may be able to complete extra units in order to attend the Level 2-3 Forest School Top Up course.

The Level 2 – 3 course is designed for those who would like to set up and lead Forest School Programmes.

There are 5 units of study at Level 3:
– Supporting learning, play and development in the outdoors.
– Observation and evaluation of outdoor learning.
– Sustainable use of natural materials.
– Teaching outdoor practical skills (including activity ideas, tool use and fires).
– Forest School Leader.

On the Level 2 – 3 course you will:
– Attend 4 training days which will consist of both theory and practical tasks. (You are welcome to attend complimentary extra training days for in order to refresh your skills)
– Attend a 1 day portfolio workshop in person or via video / telephone conference which will help you complete your portfolio.
– Be able to access training and resource materials online.
– Receive 1:1 support from your tutor via email or telephone while completing your portfolio.
– Run a Forest School Programme of at least 6 sessions in your chosen setting (if you are freelance you can run your sessions in our setting or we can advise on how to set up your own).
– Have a work based assessment and free consultancy visit from your tutor .
– Complete a portfolio for assessment.
– Receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge for your website.
– Receive guidance for requirements such as insurance, DBS and finding a location.
– Receive a discount when purchasing forest school tools.

The course takes place in the National Trust woodland estate of Ashdown House, near Swindon / Newbury / Oxford on the ancient ridgeway. We train in the woodland classroom and are immersed in the Forest School environment giving you a unique opportunity to experience life in the forest.
The site is accessible by bike, bus (bus stop by car park), train (train then bus) and car. There are camping, b&b and hotel options nearby if accommodation is required.

Email vickibrightwood@gmail.com for further information or to secure your place.

Fire & Food

– Forage and learn to use tinder found in springtime.

– Learn to light fires in the wet and different fire lays for inclement weather and different purposes (cooking / bad weather / safe fires to avoid forest fires in dry weather).

– Learn to light fire using friction techniques (bow drill, neolithic flint and steel, WW2 techniques, flint and steel).

– Spring recipes for wilderness cooking that can be done in a typical 2 hour outdoor learning session or for a campfire meal.

– Cook using a dutch oven; Polish Kotlich and Swedish skillet.

– Create wild teas and make dandelion coffee over the campfire.

– All participants will receive an ebook and a CPD Certificate.

Family Forest School

Family Forest School for children aged 0-7 yrs with accompanying adult / parent / carer

Join us for our all year round Family Forest School, set in private National Trust Woodland.

We will be tracking animals, playing woodland games, making woodland crafts and toys out of wood and natural materials, using tools, cooking over a campfire, telling tall tales, exploring, climbing, wandering, hanging out in the hammock, bug hunting, swinging, meeting like minded kids and their parents / carers, making friends having a hot drink and snacks and chatting round the campfire.

It’s a relaxed session and you are welcome to play freely and chat and join in with optional led activities if you wish. Babies, feeding mums, ASD, visible or non visible additional needs friendly – just let us know if we can help out.

All of this means we will be developing crucial social, emotional intelligence, musical and rhythm skills, co-ordination and physical skills; core muscle, gross muscle, fine motor skills; communication skills, understanding and love of the natural world, adventures and ability to judge risk while we are playing (something that is missing from modern life); developing resilience, independence, self esteem and confidence. But as this is done through play and the facilitation of our qualified Forest School Leaders, you and your children will be having a fabulous time!

Every Tuesday in term time. 1230 – 1415.
The Long Shrubbery National Trust Woodland, Coleshill, Oxfordshire SN6 7PT
£6 per session
Booking essential via vickibrightwood@gmail.com

Resilience Outdoor Alternative Education

Outdoor Education programme for Alternative Education Provision.

Designed for ASD, ADHD, SEMH participants.

Incorporating elements of Forest School, Outdoor Learning and John Muir Awards, we focus on building resilience through development of self esteem, self confidence, understanding of the world, emotional literacy, new perspectives, communication and physical skills.

Outdoor Learning Practitioner Qualification Level 2

Course Dates:
Participants attend 20th, 27th April & 18th May.
0930 – 1630 each day apart from 18th May which is 0900 – 1200hrs.

This is the nationally recognised QCF Level 2 qualification to become an Outdoor Learning Practitioner.

If you would like to run Outdoor Learning Sessions for groups, schools, pre-schools, nurseries, youth clubs or alternative educational provision with activities that are linked to a curriculum, this course is for you.

The course comprises of 2.5 days of training, plus a portfolio.

Once qualified, participants will have the skills, activity ideas, confidence and curriculum planning skills to run outdoor learning sessions for all ages linked to a curriculum. All participants will receive a nationally recognised certificate and e-badge which can be displayed online, in your signature block or in your literature.

May Day Outdoor Fair

We will have a stall at Highworth May Day Fair (near Swindon, SN6) on Saturday 5th May in the Market Square.

We will have free outdoor activities, and help and advice on completing Outdoor Learning or Forest School Training or wanting to join sessions.

The event will have a traditional Wiltshire ‘Green Man’ where you can take a piece of greenery for luck the whole year round; outdoor drummers; pipes; a traditional May Pole; clog dancers; races, fancy dress; outdoor circus acts; community cider; outdoor stalls and farm animals.

Outstanding Outdoor Learning – RFS Teaching Trees

RFS & Teaching Trees Logo

Teacher Training Event

Deepen your understanding of Outdoor Learning with a packed day of activities to take away and use with your groups.

  • Equipping and planning outdoor learning.
  • Alternative approaches – Reggio, Montessori, Forest School
  • Developing resilience and resourcefulness in your learners
  • Muddy Maths, Creative Literacy and Topic Links for all ages

FREE for all primary teachers and TAs.

Location – Ranton, Staffordshire

For details and to book your place please email becky.wilkinson@teachingtrees.org.uk

Making Natural Play Structures Course with John Cree

A super full day of fun learning aimed at teachers, childminders, rangers and forest school leaders!

Rope swings, rope bridges, rope walks (in fact any rope things for creative play) and other greenwood play structures will be built, along with consideration for health & safety and risk assessments.

Based at Skelton Grange Environment Centre in Leeds, where thousands of children enjoy outdoor learning and play each year in woodland, meadow & pond settings.

Led by Jon Cree, an inspirational tutor with over 30 years’ experience as an environmental and earth educator and trainer. Jon is a Field Studies Council Trainer based at Bishops Wood Centre, with a passion for helping others ‘get in touch’ with the natural world through dynamic learning programmes and hands-on learning experiences.

We will sustain you with tea & coffee, and some very gorgeous cake from That Old Chestnut, a friendly Leeds-based bakery that uses organic ingredients 100% free from animal products. Please bring a packed lunch with you – local options are limited.

Skelton Grange is a beautiful, light eco-building set in a nature reserve with ponds, meadows, woodland, vegetable garden & fruit orchard. If the weather is inviting, you are very welcome to enjoy your lunch or cup of tea outdoors and wander…

All proceeds will go to support the great charitable work of The Conservation Volunteers at Skelton Grange Environment Centre, which you can read more about on our website. You can also view other workshops & events we are planning!

CLOtC Annual Conference and Awards

clotc-logo

“The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom annual conference is a fantastic opportunity to keep up-to-date with the learning outside the classroom sector, and network with others working in LOtC.

The conference is an amazing opportunity to listen to inspirational speakers reflecting on topics relevant to LOtC, sharing their experience of implementing high quality LOtC provision. We also have a series of practical and informative workshops to allow you to find out more about specific aspects of LOtC.

The workshop programme offers both practical activities to develop your skills outside the classroom and more strategic sessions looking at key research and projects happening in the sector. Workshops also reflect the full breadth of LOtC, including school grounds, farming and countryside, arts and creativity, heritage and natural environment.

This is an ideal opportunities for schools and providers to take part in valuable CPD opportunities. To reflect this, all delegates will receive a certificate of CPD attendance after the conference.”

Earlybird discount available til Friday 27 July

Woodland Activity Leader Training (WALT)

Wild Things Logo

Do you have a passion for outdoor education and learning outside the classroom? Do you dream of learning how to lead your own outdoor sessions in a woodland environment?

If you are interested in enhancing your skills to lead groups in a woodland environment, training to become a Woodland Activity Leader will provide you with the learning and knowledge you require. Woodland Activity Leader Training is an accredited outdoor learning course and an alternative to forest school training.

This course is for anyone and everyone who wants to lead environmental education and outdoor learning sessions, or facilitate positive nature experiences for children, young people or adults. Whether this is as a parent, as an outdoor enthusiast or in a professional capacity.

Woodland Play in the Early Years

2 children playing with big metal bowls in a woodland setting

This course will help practitioners to understand the vital role woodland play is within the EYFS and how using the natural world as a resource can aid learning and development of a child

Learning Objectives:

• To consider the context of Forest/Woodland type education in the Early Years and its effect on the well-being of children
• To develop an understanding of the principles of this approach and how it supports EYFS practice
• To link policy to practice and consider the resources necessary to successfully introduce Woodland practice
• To develop a policy which can be introduced to parents and staff
• To consider “Risky Play” and how this is communicated to all staff and parents
• Delegates need to be prepared to go outside for a part of this session

Trainer: Cath Larkin

L2 Award in Outdoor Learning Practice

This two and a half day course is designed to get you teaching outdoors.

You will experience practical low cost outdoor activities linked to the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 curriculum.
You will understand the benefits of holistic outdoor learning and understand the environmental impacts.
You will plan and prepare sessions, identify where these can take place and be able to identify the hazards and risks involved.
You will need to deliver 2 outdoor learning sessions as part of this qualification, so you will need to have a group and site identified.

This course is assessed by portfolio and usually takes 6 months to complete. This course is 5 credits and you will cover the following units:

  • Outdoor Learning Practitioner
  • Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
  • Entry requirements:
    • Aged 16 years or over
    • Level 1 qualification or equivalent (1 GCSE)
    • Current DBS Check
    • A suitable First Aid qualification is useful to complement this course.