Marina Robb becomes a Forest School Association Endorsed Trainer!
In January 2018, the Forest School Association (FSA) – the UK’s professional body and voice for all things Forest School – launched a new quality assurance scheme for Forest School Trainers. The FSA Trainer’s Quality Assurance Scheme is based on a new set of ‘Forest School community’ agreed professional standards. Marina Robb from Circle of Life Rediscovery has been a successful applicant and has been added to a publicly accessible map on the FSA’s website.
This is an important development for individuals, schools and settings that are trying to identify a trainer to help them or their staff become Forest School qualified. Decision makers such as Local Authorities and Academies can have confidence that an FSA endorsed trainer is operating professionally and works to ‘Forest School community’
agreed professional standards.
The FSA Trainers Quality Assurance Scheme offers the reassurance that Trainers:
• Are working in accordance with good Forest School practice.
• Give adequate face-to-face time to develop a student’s practical
• Lead courses with the Forest School ethos in mind.
• Provide students with a thorough support package.
• Have the relevant qualifications, first aid training and insurance in
• Model excellent practice themselves.
Gareth Wyn Davies (CEO of the Forest School Association) says, “FSA endorsement of Forest School Trainers helps the public and decision makers to quickly identify those Trainers who are following good Forest School practice. It allows good training providers to distinguish themselves from other providers who may be offering many less hours of face-to-face tuition, less rigorous assessment and less ongoing support. We therefore congratulate Marina Robb on her success in becoming an FSA Endorsed Forest School Trainer.”
Why choose Forest School Leadership Training with Circle of Life Rediscovery?
Are you considering doing your Forest School training? Have you heard about Forest School Training but are not sure about taking the next step?
Here’s all you need to know about our Forest School Training! We asked our past cohort of Forest School Leader trainees about their experience of the training with Circle of Life Rediscovery, and what advice they would give to someone considering taking the next step and becoming a Forest School Leader.
Here are their responses…
(Initials have been used to protect identity, in brackets is the age group each trainee currently works with)
1. What made you want to do Forest School Training?
B (Primary) – “I have always been interested in nature and have loved spending time outdoors since I was a child. Then having my own children, I was always looking for ways of getting them outside and interacting with the environment. After a big life change a couple of years ago I was looking for something to do alongside my classroom teaching and approached my head about doing the course.”
D (Secondary) – “A colleague had started Forest School training and said how great it was, I have always been in to outdoor learning etc, so had a look online and persuaded our school to start a Forest School.”
Y (Primary, Nursery and Secondary) – “I have always had a passion for the outdoors and have been delivering the Duke of Edinburgh, bush craft and outdoor team building activities for several years. It made sense to get a qualification in the area I enjoyed teaching in and one in which I am passionate about and has an impact on young people almost instantly.”
P (Freelance – Primary, Secondary, SEN) – “I have always had a strong interest in the natural world and as I work predominantly with young people it seemed the perfect way to enhance their appreciation of the world around them and gain a formal qualification.”
2. Why did you choose Circle of Life Rediscovery?
R – “Friends had recommended it and it was local to me.”
D – “After looking into lots of different companies Circle of Life Rediscovery seemed to be the best fit with how the course was run.”
P – “Having worked with some of the Circle of Life Rediscovery instructors in the past I have always been impressed by their knowledge and ethos.”
3. Did the training live up to your expectations?
R – “Yes the training more than met my expectations. I felt that the syllabus was broken down well into: practical sessions, theory as part of the group and self study. The group were very good at documenting and sharing images etc, which made it easier when writing up.”
D – “The training really did, I learnt so much from the guys at Circle of Life Rediscovery and felt inspired to learn more and more, I spend most of my free time learning and practising skills now!”
P – “Yes very much so, it really opened up some new areas of interest for me. Coming from a Bush craft background it was great to expand on the elements of play, mindfulness and participant led discovery.”
4. How has your practice changed since the training?
R – “My organisation skills have improved. I feel more confident to observe and react to learning before interjecting. I feel more capable when demonstrating practical skills.”
D – “Before I started training I was in a classroom everyday, I rarely go into the school now. I work in our outside area all day everyday.”
Y – “More organised and not trying to cram too much into the sessions and allow it to be more child led.”
5. What was the best thing about the training?
B – “Being around like minded people, the amazing settings for the training, the knowledge and support of the leaders.”
R – “I enjoyed the games and practical training. It was really useful to spend time being a student outdoors before being a leader with students! The day when Ringmer school came to the woods was probably the best as it was a consolidation of all the ideas and theory. I had a genuine sense that this was something I could do by the end of that day.”
D – “Learning so many new skills, like knots and whittling, plus a very friendly learning environment with a great group of people.”
Y – “I enjoyed all elements of the course including the course work as it helped identify I need to have a better knowledge of trees plants etc.”
6. What would your advice be for someone thinking about doing Forest School training?
B – “Definitely do it!”
R – “Try as many activities as possible as they will only scratch the surface of the possibilities when you begin responding to students. Make sure you document the sessions with photos and film as you will need them when it comes to writing up! Take a camera on walks to broaden your identification skills.”
D – “Go for it! Not much else I can say, if you enjoy working in a woodland environment and in the outdoors this is definitely training you should do!”
Y – “To give yourself the time to really concentrate on the course with as little distraction as possible. To complete parts of the course work as you go. Maybe some pre-course reading or identification of trees plants etc.”
P – “I would recommend it especially to those who already have an active interest in outdoor learning as well as to the complete novice. Leave your assumptions behind and soak everything up, you will learn more than you might expect, some of it about yourself.”
7. Do you have any other comments?
D – “I thoroughly enjoyed Forest School training with Circle of Life Rediscovery and the training really has had a massive impact on my life! I actually enjoy getting up to go into work!”
P – “Having done Forest School training in the past I was particularly impressed by the breadth and depth that Circle of Life Rediscovery practitioners bought to the whole experience. “
We are running our next course in September 2019.