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Forest school training programme

Our successful Forest School programme isn't just focused on children: we're also boosting the skills of teachers and other professionals as part of our determination to create a new woodland culture.

We provide a range of training and mentoring opportunities for school staff and future teachers, in order to create a sustainable Forest School movement in Merseyside and North Cheshire.

 

Our training is boosting the employability of individuals and has helped to create and protect jobs within schools and local organisations.

 
Learning through participation

Staff at schools participate in Forest School sessions run by The Mersey Forest Team, learn techniques from us, are mentored and are then able to lead the sessions in the future. We also encourage individuals to come and observe or participate from external organisations.

 

Undergraduate Teacher Training

In a major step forward for Forest School in the area, students now learn introductory Forest School as part of the undergraduate teacher training curriculum at Liverpool John Moores University. The first course took place in September 2016 at a site newly developed on campus.

 

We're now aiming to forge links to allow students to include Forest School as an element of their teaching placements within local schools. Many schools running Forest School find it difficult to provide a high ratio of staff to children in Forest School sessions, and trained students could provide a crucial extra resource.

 

Forest School Network – Merseyside and North Cheshire

The Mersey Forest co-ordinates a local Forest Schools Network that provides ongoing support to all trained school leaders. Meetings are held at different schools, allowing teachers to view the different Forest School sites and learn from each other.

 

This peer support network is also attended by others enthused by Forest School, such as volunteers, independent practitioners, forest contractors, and other environmental organisations, providing a broad range of knowledge and support.

 

The group also provides training courses such as 'Advanced Forest School Skills' and Tree Safety for Forest School Leaders' as well as keeping participants up to date with funding opportunities, internet resources and the work of the National Forest School Association.

 

Over the last year (October 2015 – November 2016):
  • 11 people were intensively mentored and 3 qualified as Forest School Leaders
  • 54 Year 3 Primary Education undergraduates attended an introductory Forest School session.
  • 113 people have attended training events
  • 2 Forest School Level 3 Training courses took place
  • 33 people will be accredited by the Open College Network (equivalent of an 'A level' or 'NVQ Level 3').



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