The Wild Ones Forest School
Become a Qualified Practitioner in nurturing nature-based communities.
We are working with one of the world's most experienced Forest School trainers to bring you an inspiring and unique journey!
If you are wanting to work with children or young adults, helping them grow as part of a long-term community and in a deeper relationship with the natural world, then this Forest School training is for you.
The Level 3 qualification prepares you to create and lead programs that foster a community of learning. These nature-based communities encourage self reflection, personal growth, social skills, and nature connection through qualified practitioners holding a particular kind of space for play, exploration and discovery.
You will enjoy an initial training of 8 days, where we will explore and discover the Forest School ethos, values, and practice.
You will be introduced to a rich landscape of new ideas and perspectives that are new to forest school practice. This will happen through making genuine, heartfelt connections with your fellow students and the Land
Over the following year you will build a portfolio of experience in creating forest school communities.
You will be guided step-by-step through the qualification process and supported in how to creatively adopt and evidence your new practice.
In 2024 you will be observed in how you hold the space and support the exploration, discovery, and reflection of your community.
You will achieve the Agored Cymru Level 3 qualification ‘Certificate in Leading Forest School‘.*
You will develop meaningful, authentic, and genuine practice for creating long-term communities that nurture the human spirit and its relationship with the natural world.
*This Level 3 qualification is run in association with Cambium Sustainable and recognized by the Forest School Association.
The training and qualification follows the Forest School Association (UK) Six Principles
Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions over the course of 12+ weeks, rather than one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation, and review links each session.
Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world.
Forest School uses a range of learner-centered processes to create a community for being, development, and learning.
Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent, and creative learners.
Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners, who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
The experiences that we will share together are a transformational journey into deeper relationships with ourselves, one another, and the Land. Recognition and respect for the Tséstho’e (Cheyenne) and Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) people, history, and their unceded lands will be explicit within the course content.
Our immersive community of learning will allow us to experience the seasons, explore how communities emerge as well as how to nurture reciprocity with the natural world. Together we will nurture meaningful relationships and experiences, where we learn about how to be in a relationship with the Land as well as explore and nurture a culture inspired by the other-than-human.
On this course you will:
Attend 8 initial training days which consist of both theory and practical tasks.
Run a 6 wk Forest School Program in your chosen setting (2023-2024).
Have a work-based assessment in 2024.
Complete a portfolio for assessment over 12 months.
Regular online tutorial sessions with your trainer.
There is also the option to attend a one day course gathering with your fellow students in 2024 to recognize and celebrate your journey.
In using a “radical pedagogy” we will explore new ways to learn and share our understanding of Forest School practice. This journey will both challenge and inspire you. Your knowledge, skills, and philosophy will be transformed throughout the year. Together we will create something beautiful and authentic.
This Forest School Leader training guides you through five study themes:
Supporting Learning, Play, and Development in Natural Environments
Sustainable Use and Management of Natural Resources
Teach Outdoor Practical Skills
Deliver Forest School
Observation and Evaluation of Forest School
*Note - Before undertaking Level 3 Forest School Training, you are strongly advised to undertake a suitable First Aid Qualification and hold a recognized background check for working with young and/or vulnerable children.
You will become a qualified Level 3* leader through the Cymr (Welsh) Agored board who have been pioneering forest school practice since its beginning in the 1990’s. Presently Wales is also leading the world in both sustainable communities, technologies, and approaches.
(*Level 1 is aimed at occasional helpers whilst Level 2 is designed for assistants. The Level 3 is the recognized qualification for Forest School leaders.)
The 180 credit qualification includes 55 hours of in-person training, 6 hours of tutorial, 4 hours of assessment, and 115 hours of guided learning and self study over the 12 months. Investment is $2,750
We will live, learn, and laugh as we create something authentic and beautiful. You will be inspired not only by learning from nature and what forest school can create but who you are and what you are capable of.
During our training we will inspire you with new approaches to forest school practice. We will live in the woods, cook together on our campfires, and share stories and songs. Recommendations for hotel accommodations will be provided upon enrollment if you'd prefer.
As Forest School leaders, we help nurture our community by introducing different ways of exploring the Land, ways of being a part of a community, and reflecting on how we create lives in balance with the natural world.
The training is experiential and reflexive. It evolves and adapts to the community of learning and the Land.
Meet Paul (he/him)
As one of the most experienced forest school trainers in the world, he has delivered in-person training to over 4000 practitioners internationally in the last 14 years.
His background in countryside management, social forestry, and bushcraft. He has been fortunate to have spent time learning from several indigenous communities such as the Ngati Tuwharetoa Maori of New Zealand, the Sammi of Scandinavia, and the Aboriginal Bibulman of western Australia.
Presently he is completing a postgraduate degree in Outdoor and Experiential Learning where his research focuses on foregrounding practice that supports kinship with nature. Next year he is continuing onto PhD to further explore new practices within the field.
As an ethnoecologist (the study of nature connection), his teaching brings a new direction to forest school practitioner training. He has developed a research-based approach to how we form meaningful relationships with the more-than-human world.
He is the founder of the non-profit Explore Our Nature, which creates workshops, qualifications and adventures to nurture who we are as people and how to connect to the natural world. It supports schools and the nature-based practitioner community for free through its activities.
Meet Erin(They/She) and Cassie (She/Her)
Erin and Cassie are the founders of The Wild Ones and your hosts for this training! They have been running a forest school for the last several years. While collaborating with other outdoor practitioners, they saw a need for a training program that would instill the same level of confidence, practical skills, and knowledge they gained from their training.
Under Paul's guidance, Erin and Cassie are currently pursuing their Level 4 Practitioner Training in order to offer training in the United States, support others who share the same passion for collaborating, and to bring safe forest school practices to our communities.