ITC Level 3 Certificate for
Forest School Leaders

Are you looking to gain the knowledge, understanding and skills and tools you need for employment as a Forest School Leader? Join our ITC Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders and gain your qualification with FSA Endorsed Trainer, Marina Robb.

For any questions please email us

or call 01273 814226

Our Level 3 Certificate consists of 9 practical days training at our stunning woodland site in East Sussex, as well as 1 day online (3 separate webinar sessions).   The practical days take place across the seasons so you can experience the woodland and nature throughout different times of the year.  Students get fully involved from the onset!

Who is the ITC Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders for?

Forest School Training East Sussex

The Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders is for people who understand the importance of play and the outdoors for children’s health and wellbeing and capacity to learn. Also, that giving children opportunities to experience nature is a prerequisite for caring for nature.

The course is suitable for Teachers, Health workers, Youth workers, Playworkers, Rangers, Ecologists & Teaching assistants with significant experience of working with young people or adults (at least two years).

Next ITC Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders Course Dates

Parts 1 and 2 plus our Development Days take place at our stunning woodland located at Mill Woods, near Laughton, East Sussex, BN8 6BP. 

Circle of Life Rediscovery

November 2024 Course Dates

Webinar 1:
Welcome & Course Overview & Theory Group
Thursday 7th November 2024
5.00pm to 6.30pm

Part 1 in the woods:
14th, 15th, 18th & 19th November 2024
8.30am – 5.00pm

Webinar 2:
Monday 25th November 2024
5.00pm – 7.00pm

Webinar 3:
Monday 10th February 2025
5.00pm – 7.00pm

Part 2 in the woods:
27th & 28th February, 3rd & 4th March 2025
8.30am – 5.00pm

Part 3 in the woods/Development Day:
Saturday 10th May, 2025
9.30am – 3.30pm

(Please note: Our beginning times for part 1-3 are often 8.30am and end by 5pm – this is to allow for set up practice and extra time where necessary)

Cost: £1035


Become a qualified Forest School Leader

Accomplish something meaningful. Develop your career.

What you’ll learn

Cross Sticks

 The ITC Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders gives you all the practical and planning skills you need to run a Forest School:


  • Child development theory
  • Observation and listening to children
  • The benefits of the outdoors and play
  • How to create your Forest School handbook
  • How to develop policies and risk assessments
  • Woodland stewardship and management

How the training works

Your training will take place across seasons so that you can experience nature and what’s possible throughout the year.

During the course, you’ll complete:

  • Written work including short assignments 
  • Risk assessments and health and safety policies
  • Practice files
  • Reflective logs
  • Practical demonstrations
  • A pilot programme designed, run and assessed by you.
  • And take part in group discussions.

The ITC Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders equips you to provide a safe, fun and professional experience for your young people outdoors.  The course will inspire both you and your groups to be curious about life, learning and nature. 

Testing your skills and knowledge

Six Forest School pilot sessions form part of your assessment. During your pilot sessions, you’ll find and assess woodland/nature space and plan and deliver Forest School sessions based on your observations of the children.  After that, you’ll write up your pilot.

Tips for pilot studies

  • To carry out a pilot, you need to be covered by insurance. Therefore, we recommended you carry out your pilot sessions within an established organisation or school (we can help you with this). 
  • Think about your options in advance. Know we can support you in finding a suitable placement. 
  • Build confidence during your six pilot sessions with peer support. Share knowledge. Improve your understanding. Work together to complete tasks.

Course Details

Number of units5
Credit value18
How long will it take?

One year to complete 180 hours in total.

  • 150 hours guided learning
  • 25 hours private study/work experience
A deposit of £200 is required to secure your place. Full payment if within 60 days of the training start date.

Course Features

  • 9 face to face training days
  • 3 webinars 
  • Access to our online learning resources 
  • Video materials
  • Links to best practice
  • Downloadable resources for you to keep

Recognised certification, approved by the Forest School Association and awarded by ITC First.

ITC First

Your Level 3 Training Facilitators

Our tutors are dedicated, experienced and, best of all, have up to date knowledge of Forest School and environmental education, as well as issues relating to mental health. 

Trainers include Circle of Life Rediscovery Director Marina Robb, Mark Lloyd,  Helen Stringfellow, Jennie Lamb and Anna Richardson.

Marina is co-author of The Essential Guide To Forest School & Nature Pedagogy (2021) and also co-authored the popular, Learning with Nature: A how-to guide to inspiring children through outdoor games and activities’ (2015) with Anna Richardson.

Why get an ITC Level 3 Certification?

Learn how to apply outdoor learning to the curriculum

The ITC Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders provides a complete foundation to working in nature with groups of children of all ages and capabilities.

Once qualified, you’ll be able to take out groups of young people, families and adults outdoors, enabling them to discover the natural world, increase their learning, confidence and sense of wellbeing.

Develop your career

Qualified Forest School leaders work in schools, colleges, charities, health-based organisations, early years, older groups, nature-based organisations, social services, playwork, and independently.

What about First Aid and DBS requirements?

Participants should also have access to a group with whom they will run a six-week Forest School Programme.

All participants must be DBS checked and hold a first aid certificate by the end of the training.

This can be a 16-hour ITC outdoor first aid certificate or equivalent.

A tailored two-day First Aid in the Outdoors, delivered and certified by a provider registered with the HSE, is also acceptable.

We can provide this during the training (at an additional cost of £150). For more details about our 16-hour Forest School ITC First Aid course please click here.

ITC Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders – Portugal

We work in partnership with the Associação Escola da Floresta in Portugal, the next training course commences in February 2023, please find out more here.

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Why learn with Circle of Life Rediscovery

Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC has over 25 years of experience in training professionals and inspiring thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds into the outdoors in both the UK, Portugal and SE Asia.

We are a leading organisation in nature connection and personal development. We’ve received many grants and awards for our work with groups across different ages and backgrounds.

Bonus content

The Outdoor Teacher Logo

Sign up for Forest School Training Level 3 and get a 40% discount on The Outdoor Teacher’s Forest School Activities Online Training Course taught by Circle of Life Rediscovery founder, author and trainer Marina Robb.

Get 100 videos and resources and step by step instructions

Get a bumper pack of additional inspiring activities and ideas to use in your Forest School sessions

Refresh core skills from your Level 3 training