What is Forest School?
The following points are a summary of the Principles of Forest School as agreed by the Forest School Trainers Network in 2012:
- FS is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visit; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
- FS takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- FS uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
- FS aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- FS offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- FS is run by qualified Forest School leaders / practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
To find out about the history of Forest School in the UK, click here.
To find out about research and benefits of Forest School, click here.
Cambium has been providing Accredited Forest School Training since 2004 and has been a Qualifications Centre for Agored Cymru Qualifications (OCN Wales) since 2008. All the Forest School Training that we and our Associate Trainers provide is registered on the Qualifications and Credit Framework for Wales which is part of the Regulated Qualifications Framework UK.
Cambium is run by Sam Goddard and Carol Travers who between them have many years of Forest School Training experience and have each played leading roles in the development of Forest School Trainings. The Forest School Training course that we now deliver has been refined and developed to meet the needs of our students by delivering high quality, best practice training that fully equips our students to deliver Forest School programmes that are embedded in the ethos of Forest School whilst ensuring that our students are able to achieve their Qualification. We know the challenges of juggling studying for a new Qualification with a busy work schedule and personal commitments and do our best to provide the support and course structure that will help you to balance all of these.
Both Carol and Sam and the Associate Trainers that work with Cambium run Forest School Programmes regularly and have worked with a range of ages of children over the years. We aim to operate an ethical and people centred business and our training reflects this and the Forest School ethos.
Over the last seven years we have built up, through the Level 4 Trainers programme, an Association of over 30 Trainers who all adhere to a common set of standards for Forest School Training, this means that we can offer Forest School Training at a range of Levels throughout the UK. All these Trainers adhere to the same standards for training, are able to share and tailor course materials from Cambium so that they can meet the needs of their local community. They all undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) through the Cambium Forest School and Outdoor Learning Trainers Network (OLTN). Find out more about these Trainers here.
Cambium Forest School Training is delivered using a variety of locations and patterns of training days but the emphasis is on practical and enjoyable training delivered through a wide variety of methods that enables our students to put their new learning into practice quickly and effectively. Students are assessed during the training days and in their own workplace and are given a set of staged deadlines for evidence of their learning to be presented for marking and feedback from their Trainer. Students are able to contact their Trainer for help and advice at any point during their course.
If your organisation is interested in providing a suitable venue for training, we may be able to offer a free place for a member of staff.