Bristol school hosts Forest School training course

Colston’s School in Bristol, recently welcomed Bridgwater College’s Forest School team to deliver training to early years, childcare and school professionals.

Staff from Dolphin School CGS Trust, Freshford Pre-School, Bradley Stoke Community School, Bristol University Nursery and Horfield Welly Pre-School, attended the training course, which was the BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Forest School Leaders. Volunteer pupils from Colston’s School provided the delegates with an opportunity to practise their newly learnt skills. The children were encouraged to explore the woodland to collect natural materials with different textures, and thread them on string to make mobiles. They had to use their imaginations to work collectively, in constructing creatures made from natural materials, and debate a story line for them.

Hannah Whitcombe, Bridgwater College Forest School Assessor said,

“Forest School provides a learning opportunity for children and young people through experiencing practical activities in an outdoor environment. They are encouraged to explore and experience the natural world within a curriculum-based session which nurtures, supports and develops the self-esteem of participants, laying firm foundations for other learning across school and nursery. It is an ideal environment in which to develop innovation, problem solving, risk taking, creativity and teamwork.”

Colston’s School has an established Forest School; their leaders are all trained by Bridgwater College. The school is currently used as a training venue both for classroom and woodland facilities.

Those who attended the course could go on to either set up Forest School as a new programme in their schools, or to gain the qualification to enable them to replace staff who were moving on.

Benjamin Jackson, higher level teaching assistant for physical and medical needs at Bradley Stoke Community School, South Gloucester said,

“The training exceeded my expectation by far. It was engaging at all times. Information was always relevant and interesting. The skills learnt have given me the confidence to lead Forest School groups in my setting. Andy and Hannah delivered the training beautifully. Their calm and competent approach made me feel at ease immediately. They created a supportive environment encouraging cohesion between candidates. I always felt comfortable to attempt new challenges and to do things that I’ve shied away from in the past. The course has enriched my life and work far beyond the scope of Forest School.”

If you would like more information about Forest School training by Bridgwater College please contact our Administrator on 01278 441365.