Course: Level 3 Forest School Leader (October)

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Bradfield Woods, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Starts 7th October 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.


7 - 11 October 2024 at Bradfield
11 - 12 November 2024 at Bradfield
21- 23 March 2025 at Foxburrow with an optional overnight stay on the Saturday

Times: 9.30 - 5pm

Practicing Forest School leaders require 16 hour first aid. We offer this training for an additional £180
19 - 20 October 2024 '16 hour outdoor and paediatric first aid'. See website for details.
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 website for details.

Course layout:

Ten days of 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, see website to download the assessment criteria and learning outcomes for each unit: Practical Skills, Learning and DevelopmentPlanning and Preparation, Woodland EnvironmentDelivery

We use a platform called Moodle for coursework submissions, you will be given details of this at the start of the course.

What will I need for the course?

  • 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)

Find out more