If you’re passionate about nature-based education and outdoor learning, you might have wondered, “Can you run a Forest School without a qualification?” Forest School, a hands-on and immersive educational approach that takes place in natural settings, is gaining popularity. However, there are important qualifications and training requirements for those who wish to lead Forest School sessions. In this post, we’ll delve into the different levels of Forest School qualifications, the associated responsibilities, and entry requirements, helping you understand the importance of proper training in this field.
Understanding Forest School Qualifications: Forest School practitioners must be qualified to deliver Forest School opportunities for Early Years, Primary Schools, and more. These qualifications are essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of Forest School programs. Here’s a breakdown of the qualification levels and their respective responsibilities:
- Level 1: Awareness: This level is an excellent starting point for individuals interested in Forest School but not necessarily leading sessions. Level 1 focuses on developing an understanding of Forest School principles.
- Level 2: Assistant: Level 2 Forest School Assistant qualification is designed for individuals who want to support Forest School sessions under the supervision of a qualified Level 3 Forest School Leader. Responsibilities at this level include assisting with activities and ensuring the safety of participants.
- Level 3: Leader: To deliver a Forest School program independently, at least one Level 3 Forest School Leader must be present. This is the minimum qualification required to lead Forest School sessions. Level 3 practitioners are responsible for setting up, planning, and delivering regular sessions. They have the necessary skills to manage Forest School activities effectively.
Entry requirements for Forest School training may vary, but typically, candidates should have the following qualifications and attributes:
- A basic knowledge and understanding of Forest School principles (Level 1).
- A Level 2 qualification if aiming to become an Assistant.
- To become a Level 3 Leader, candidates must complete a Level 3 Forest School training course, which includes a significant amount of practical experience.
- Higher levels (4 and 5) often require previous experience and training at lower levels.
It’s essential to research specific training providers and their entry requirements, as they may have their own criteria.
In summary, Forest School practitioners must obtain the appropriate qualifications to deliver effective and safe Forest School sessions. As the demand for outdoor education continues to grow, understanding the different levels of Forest School qualifications and their respective responsibilities is crucial. Whether you’re looking to become a Level 3 Leader or are interested in supporting Forest School as an Assistant, proper training and qualifications are essential for the success of Forest School programs.
If you’re considering Forest School training, be sure to explore Forest School training providers and their specific requirements to embark on a fulfilling journey of nature-based education.