Herefordshire focused Forest Schools information and resources.

New accredited Outdoor Schools CPD programme enables quality outdoor learning

Outdoor Schools is an exciting new way to gain accredited continuing professional development (CPD) in Learning Outside the Classroom. These Accredited courses are designed specifically for educational professionals and have been piloted by Cambium Training across the UK during the last 18 months . Pilot courses have received very positive feedback, notably from Buckinghamshire County Council who commissioned a course to further Outdoor Learning in schools across the County.

Outdoor Learning Practitioner (level 2) will enable skills and confidence building leading to delivery of high quality curriculum based learning outdoors. Outdoor Learning Co-ordinator (level 3) further develops outdoor knowledge and skills facilitating embedding of frequent and progressive outdoor learning in the setting.

Many readers will be aware of the raised profile of learning outside the classroom in recent years. Research highlights the significant benefits for development of young people when they are able to regularly learn in their local natural spaces.

This realisation is welcomed. However, practical implementation for many practitioners has proved to be a challenge. The following comments are frequently mentioned….

‘We do not use our grounds enough’ ‘ We use them for Science in the summer’ ‘we did have a pond …but when the teacher left it got over grown and we filled it in’, ‘ Some teachers are keen but it really depends on them being outdoor types’ , “ I don’t really know where to start!’

….along with common concerns about getting outdoors: Adverse weather, lack of space in the grounds; funding; health and safety concerns; time to plan outdoor sessions; how to manage groups & successfully teach outdoors; lack of knowledge about the natural environment …

With a clear understanding of the difficulties and the skills gap facing practitioners – from experience of running Forest School Training since 2004, Cambium has developed this distinct , thorough and practical training for curriculum based outdoor learning.

Comments from participants

With a greater understanding of the outdoor environment I have been able to maximise opportunities for learning … providing ways to strengthen the whole school community and environment.’ Teacher

‘Loads of useful ideas to get things moving along back at school.’ Teacher


We have Outdoor learning planned every week now as a timetabled activity and a far more focussed appreciation of the value of outdoor learning has spread throughout the school due to Sue attending your training, so I thank you for that.’ Head teacher


Comment from Beth Gardner (Director of LOtC)… ‘ Achievement of the Outdoor Learning Practitioner and Coordinator courses by individuals in schools working towards gaining the LOtC Quality Badges would be viewed very positively in the assessment process.’

For further information on the course content and to see where your nearest course will be held visit the following website: Cambium Outdoor Schools has a policy of bringing training to you and has developed an ‘in-house’ training programme for trainers enabling the building of local supply for local demand. We are always interested to hear from suitably qualified and experienced teachers / trainers that would be interested in undergoing our training programme with a view to delivering training in partnership with us.

February 11th, 2014

Posted In: News

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