Course: Level 3 Forest School Leader (April)

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Foxburrow Nature Reserve, Melton, Suffolk
Starts 22 April 2024

Cost: £1,199

Sectors: environmental education, conservation & wildlife

A ten day course certified by AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group aimed at individuals who wish to lead a Forest School programme.


22 - 26 April 2024 (Foxburrow Nature Reserve)

6 - 8 June 2024 (Foxburrow Nature Reserve with option of overnight stay in the woods)

3 - 4 July 2025 (Foxburrow Nature Reserve)

Times: 9.30 - 5.00

Practicing Forest School leaders require 16 hour first aid. We offer this training for an additional £180
11 May 2024 '16 hour outdoor and paediatric first aid' for other dates see website
This corresponds to Forest School Association guidance for Forest School Leaders. 

A support visit will also be provided for participants based in Suffolk. Out of county learners will be required to provide video evidence of their pilot study. 

Entry criteria:

  • Participants should be over 21 and hold a qualification at Level 2 or above in teaching or youth work OR have significant experience of working with young people.
  • All participants must demonstrate that they are in a position to deliver a six session Forest School pilot programme during their training.
  • All participants must hold a First Aid certificate before delivering Forest School. A 16-hour First Aid with an outdoor element is recommended.
  • Please note that you do not require Level 1 Forest School Ethos and principles, or Level 2 Forest school Assistant before undertaking this Level 3 Forest School Leader training course

Option to pay in instalments available but the course must be paid for in full before the start date. 

If you have undertaken AIM accredited Level 2 Forest School training with Suffolk Wildlife Trust within 18 months of the start of the level 3 course you can top up at a reduced price (where applicable). Please see details below.

Course layout:

Ten days of face to face training to cover Forest School programme delivery, learning and development, planning and preparation, practical skills and the woodland environment. 

This is an outdoor course. 

A coursework portfolio should be completed within 12 months of the start of the course, this will involve a lot of additional study*. This portfolio is split into 5 units (details of which can be found below), hand in dates for these units will be given out on the course and will be spread over a 12 month period from the start of the course. 

As part of the course you will be required to plan and deliver a six week Forest School programme during which one of your tutors will perform a support visit.

Please note that you will not be qualified to run Forest school sessions until receipt of your certificate and you should allow at least 12 months from the start date of the course for this.

*Guided learning hours for the qualification: 155, Total qualification time: 180 hours

Course content:

The Level 3 course is designed to develop leadership, facilitation, practical and teaching skills to enable participants to understand the principles and ethos of Forest School and to plan and deliver Forest School programmes. It is designed to meet the needs of early years practitioners, teachers and teaching assistants, youth workers, adults and professionals in training to become a Forest School Leader.

The course consists of five units, on the webpage you can download the assessment criteria and learning outcomes for each unit. hand in dates will be given out at the start of the course and set at regular intervals throughout the 12 month following the teaching days.

Practical Skills 
Learning and Development 
Planning and Preparation
Woodland Environment

We use a platform called Moodle to submit and mark all coursework, you will be given details of this at the start of the course.

What will I need for the course?

Please make sure you bring the following with you each day:

  • Packed lunch, cup and snacks
  • Suitable outdoor clothing for the weather conditions (trousers, not shorts)
  • Stout shoes or boots. Please do not wear sandals.
  • A camera can be useful for recording some of the activities.

We will provide:

  • Hot drinks
  • All required paperwork
  • All tools and equipment for the outdoor tasks(N.B. For a variety of reasons we would ask you not to bring your own tools)

Topping up from Level 2 to Level 3

There is the option to top up to a Level 3 Forest School Leader for participants who have done a level 2 with us within 18 months of the start of this course. Those topping up from level 2 to Level 3, will need to attend days 6-10 of this course (6th-8th June and 3rd-4th July)
Cost: £785. See website for further details.

Find out more