Level 2 Award for Forest School Assistants
The Open College Network West Midlands Level 2 Award for Forest School Assistants provides learners with the skills required to support Forest School Leaders when supporting Forest School programmes. the course is a mixture of theory and practical skills that will be the basis of your practice when you are a Forest School assistant:
This qualification is designed to enable learners to develop an understanding of the principles and ethos of Forest School. It will prepare learners for further study and employment in the outdoors. It is designed to meet the needs of school and college staff, youth workers, parent helpers, students, and others in providing preparation for further development and study to becoming a Forest School Leader.
On achievement of this qualification, learners will become a Forest School assistant, within which learners will:
Understand the Forest School ethos, principles and holistic approach to learning and development.
Know how experiences can support learning and development at a Forest School
Be able to perform the role of Assistant at a Forest School in relation to the Forest School ethos, principles and criteria.
Know how to reflect on own Forest School training.
The Forest School Assistant course consists of the following two units
1. SUPPORTING A FOREST SCHOOL PROGRAMME: LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT
This unit focuses on the knowledge and understanding of facts, procedures and ideas unique to Forest School. It also covers some of the theoretical components that underpin the Forest School ethos.
Topics covered include:
Understanding the Forest School approach to learning: considering its benefits to participants and the role of the assistant in facilitating the ethos
The importance of holistic development and how it can be promoted at Forest School
The role and benefits of play at Forest School
How self esteem can be developed at Forest School and its impact on learning & behaviour
Assisting with the planning and delivery of Forest School sessions
Observing individual learners over time and evaluating impact
2. SUPPORTING A FOREST SCHOOL PROGRAMME: PRACTICAL SKILLS
Working safely and practically within a natural environment is key to the effectiveness of Forest School. This unit focuses on the skills needed for the safe and sustainable use of woodlands and natural materials for learning.
Topics covered include:
Tool use at Forest School: personal skills & safe practice, protective equipment, storage and maintenance
Useful knots and lashings for Forest School
Shelter building: applying skills to construct temporary shelters.
Fire lighting, safety and management: understanding fire preparation, lighting techniques and extinguishing
Using natural resources: applying practical skills to make craft items from natural materials
Woodland ecology: understanding the history of woodlands and woodland ecosystems
Woodland species identification and observation
Sustainable management of woodland – considering how Forest School can affect the woodland and how this can be managed
The role of risk at Forest School – considering the benefits of appropriate risk for and how this can be managed
Frequently asked questions
What is the entry requirement for the Level 2 course?
To be considered for Forest School Assistant Training you will first need:
to be aged 18 or over
Learners must be in a position to support a Forest School Leader who is delivering a Forest School Programme.
Please note you do not need to have completed the level 1 Forest School course to do the level 2 course. Having done the Level 2 course you can tansfer onto the level 3 course within a 2 year period and use your credits towards the final course.
How long does the course take?
The total qualification time is 70 hours, of which 54 are guided learning via the training days.
It is possible to progress onto the Level 3 certificate. The training consists of 5 training days with an additional 3 sessions where you will assist a Forest School Leader. You will also need to assist 3 sessions of the same Forest School group and observe two children during this time.
You will also need to attend 100% of the planned training programme dates, and submit your coursework for marking and verification within 6 months of starting the programme.
What will I have to do other than the face to face training?
As part of the course learners will need to carry out background reading and research and complete all aspects of the study programme. You will have time to practice the skills and write up your learning
The course also includes a 3 weeks assisting a Forest School project were you will provide evidence of observation, and reflection. We will be available to support you through the duration of the course.
Will the course be just focused on working with school children?
No we will be drawing on our array of experience of working outside with children, young people and families. We have worked with babies, toddlers, children all the way up. Children and young people with special education needs, disabled children and young people, young offenders, parents with a multitude of life experiences, young carers among others.
Is assessment based on a written work, practical skills or observation?
You will have to provide a portfolio of evidence to show that you understand what you have learned on the course and that you're putting it into practice. Usually this is in the form of essay-style writing but we encourage learners to use as many innovative methods, such as videos and physical creations, if that makes it more interesting for you (and us!)
Do you support learners outside of the face-to-face training?
Between training days we are available for tutorial support. We will also supplement your learning by offering free online resources, links to best practice, current research and inspiring ideas all of which will help you to complete your portfolio. There may opportunities to see our work in practice, and a network of other Forest School staff to connect with.
How do I submit my portfolio?
You will submit your portfolio within 6 months of starting the programme. We usually ask for it in month 5 and will ask you to submit it via google drive, which is a safe and environmentally effective way to send written work. If you use other means of evidencing your work, we will agree the best way to submit it.
The cost of the course
The course costs £495 for 5 days of training and support over the year.
Courses are delivered by Wild about our woods do not charge VAT.
What are the next dates of the course
The course takes place in Barnet and Haringey woodlands on the following dates:
25th, 26th & 27th January
23rd & 24th February
How do I find out more or sign up?