Level 3 Certificate in Forest School Programme Leadership (RQF)
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Why Forest School?

Forest School training is a proven pedagogical methodology and one which has been adopted extensively throughout Scandinavia where it has become a key element of Early Years provision.

A great way to deliver the LNF, Successful Futures, Creative Curriculum and the Wellbeing act  ….. using the outdoors!!

Forest School provides a unique way of creating a child-centred learning environment which fosters independence and self-esteem in children through involvement in stimulating outdoor learning activities that enhance physical, mental, social and cognitive development.

Course Commitment:


Total Qualification Time: 180 Hours


Course Duration: 9 Months


8-11 Practical Days in Person


This qualification is worth 18 Credits at Level 3


You will be assessed via a portfolio and a practical skills assessment day



This qualification is intended to provide the skills and knowledge required to set up and deliver safe and effective Forest School programmes and for those who wish to become Forest School Leaders.

Suitable for:


Adults wanting to lead inclusive, learner-centred approaches in the outdoors e.g. Childcare practitioners, health practitioners, teaching professionals and outdoor professionals.

Blended Learning Approach

We now offer a blended approach with courses completed via a mix of E-Learning, online tutorials & practical training days as part of a well-rounded self-directed study programme that is flexible, inclusive and enables you as the learner to choose the pace of your learning and to join us on your study programme throughout the calendar year.

Practical Skills and Assessment – In person

Forest School Training Wales

5 days initial training


1 day Practical Skills Assessment Day


Floorbook (TM) training

Theory – Online via our E-Learning


Theory is completed via our E-Learning system and can be completed at own pace (submission within 9 months).


The E-Learning contains videos, resources and quizzes help you along with your studies.


Theory will be assessed via a portfolio that can be downloaded from our E-Learning Library.

This qualification is composed of 5 units, consisting of:

Unit 1: Learning & Development

Application of learning and development theory, understanding of impact of behaviour to learning and development, holistic learning and development at Forest School.

Unit 2: Planning

The development of Forest School ethos supported by policies and procedures and understanding the ecological impact when planning a Forest School Programme.

Unit 3: Delivery

Deliver, assess and evaluate a Forest School Leader programme.

Unit 4: Practical Skills

Facilitating a range of woodland skills, including campfire management appropriate to a Forest School Programme.

Unit 5: The Woodland Environment

Woodland structure, identification of flora and fauna, and sustainable woodland management at Forest School.


Assessment tasks will result in each candidate producing a portfolio of evidence meeting each assessment criteria in each unit.

Meet the Trainers

Darren Lewis

As a qualified Teacher, Forest School Leader and Trainer, Darren founded Ignite following a visit to Sweden where he observed first-hand the multitude of benefits children experience through learning in the outdoors. After becoming the first teaching practitioner in Wales to become a certified Swedish Outdoor Learning pedagogue, Darren established Dare Valley Forest School based in Aberdare.

As a former Director of the Forest School Association and Training Consultant for Mindstretchers™ and current Forest Kindergarten Ambassador for the UK, Darren’s vision is to enable children in Wales to experience the rich learning experiences that only outdoor environments can provide to enable their full potential to be ignited and nurtured.

Sapphire Lewis

Sapphire is a qualified Teacher, Forest School Leader, Trainer and Playworker. Sapphire has followed her passion for the outdoors and is the leader of Dare Valley Forest School after an extensive period of volunteering with our company.

Following her PGCE (PcET) where she undertook research into how to improve learner engagement via online learning, Sapphire has become one of our Trainers and has created our brand new E-Learning system.

Upcoming Courses

Participate in a range of Forest School experiences and achieve the Practical skills unit at our woodland centre (flexible dates are available x 5 dates per year).

June 2024

Dare Valley Community Woodland, Aberdare

Practical Days: Monday 3rd June – Friday 7th May

Assessment Day: 20th June

Cost: £1100