Reframing how to work with Behaviour and Stress in the Outdoors

About this nature-based practice CPD course

Equip yourself with powerful tools to help you to improve outcomes for yourself and students who display challenging behaviour.

Up to date research and best practice guidelines for working in the outdoors form the basis for this nature-based practice CPD course.

Who should attend

Anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of ‘behaviour’ expressed by learners (of any age) and how working outdoors within a natural space can be a catalyst for change. The course is suitable for Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Early Years Practitioners, Outdoor Educators,
Forest School Practitioners, Home School Educators and Play Workers.

Aims and Course Content

This 3 day course will unpick theory, look at real life case studies, outdoor activities and chats round the fire! The days will be participatory and crammed full of tips, ideas and activities that can be used in any natural setting. There will be time and space to consider specific issues that
participants may be encountering with specific individuals in their care. Importantly the course will encourage participants to look at themselves and ways of self-regulating in order to regulate other learners in the groups we work with in the outdoors.

We will also be exploring how natural world setting can be essential for emotional regulation. The underlying ethos/methodology of the course is one of problem solving through difficulties and working with learner centred and ecological centred practices.

The course will cover:

  • What do behaviours communicate and reframing ‘challenging behaviour’ – what does anxiety, ‘stressed behaviour’ and socially/ecologically engaged behaviour look like?
  • The 3 C’s – Models for working with behaviour, including choice theory.
  • Why outdoors? – What needs does the natural world cater for?
  • Interventions & De-escalation – ways of working with behaviours
  • A ‘needs – based’ approach and what needs the outdoors satisfy
  • How to work with various ‘needs’ from neuro-typical through to various ‘attachment’ needs, including ASD, sensory attachments and many other ‘labels’!
  • Working with brain, body and place – how the nervous system works. Co-regulation and self-regulation – the essential body based approaches
  • Self- care – Looking after ourselves
  • Reviewing policy & procedures relating to behaviour and safety. Working in partnership with our client groups

What it involves

This nature-based practice CPD course balances theory and practical application.
Also, it includes real-life case studies, outdoor activities and ideas you can use in a natural setting.

Outcome / qualification

If you opt for the accreditation you have the opportunity of gaining a Level 3 Accreditation (worth 3 credits) from ITC First – please note that this option requires some assessment via discussion participation and coursework (average 12 hrs of home study) to meet assessment criteria. The cost of the accreditation is an additional £55.

Learning Objectives

Day one

Challenging Behaviour Training

  • Welcome, introductions and how we work together
  • What is behaviour: our challenges
  • Course overview: assessment criteria and learning journal
  • 4 theories of behaviour, (behaviourism) Skinner and Bandura, (psychotherapy) Vaillant and Freud, (humanism) Rogers, (constructivism) Kohn, Glasser and Rosenburg
  • Course expectations
  • Magic spot: qualities the outdoors brings to ‘affecting behaviour’
  • Fire
  • Needs met and unmet by the outdoors for my clients and me
  • Responding in the moment: the role of EI, empathy and de-escalation
Day Two

teenagers working outdoors

  • Personal ecology – how I see myself, how others see me
  • Neural Development including the adolescent brain
  • How the outdoors meets my needs and particularly working with groups and challenging behaviour in the outdoors – link to ‘feelings’
  • ‘Reading’ our learners
  • Empathic language and communication
  • The ‘isms’
  • Intervention strategies and de-escalation
  • Participants Scenarios, Planning and simulation
Day Three

Shelter Building

  • Revisit scenarios and de-escalation
  • The challenging behaviour First Aid Kit and Support Networks
  • The whole cycle and how to work with each part of a behavioural cycle
  • Review own Policies and Procedures
  • Back to Assessment criteria, Personal Learning Journals, Paperwork for portfolios
  • Review and Action plans

About Jon Cree

Jon Cree is a rare creature usually found rummaging around his natural habitat of the woods, paddling in his canoe or hibernating in a hammock. He is easily identified by his charismatic hats, giggly infectious laugh and a slightly squeaky voice when excited. Being a social creature he is at his best when in company and is a long time earth educator, Forest School leader, storyteller and environmental trainer. He has worked with numerous groups of all ages over the last 40 years, within the UK and internationally. His passion has always been working with learners challenged by our education system and who thrive in the natural world. 

Jon has long time worked with adolescents from a variety of settings – from mainstream secondary schools through to pupil referral units, special schools, youth clubs and looked after children. He has recently co-authored ‘The Essential Guide to Forest School and Nature Pedagogy’ and has just started working with co-author, Marina Robb, on a comprehensive nature based training programme for health practitioners.

Jon Cree photo

Reframing how to work with Behaviour and Stress in the Outdoors

Learn how to work with young people with challenging behaviour, in an outdoor setting

Next available dates

This course takes place at our stunning woodland site located at Mill Woods, near Laughton, East Sussex, BN8 6BP

Date: Monday 2nd – Wednesday 4th October 2023 (3 days)

Lead Facilitator: Jon Cree

This is a Level 3 ITC First Accredited Course

Cost: £325 for the 3 day course
£55 optional extra fee for the accreditation

Day 1: 9.00am – 5.00pm

Day 2: 9.00am – 5.00pm

Day 3: 9.00am – 4.00pm

Why choose 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, Ireland, Portugal and SE Asia.
We are a leading organisation in nature connection and personal development. As such,we’ve received many grants and awards for our work with groups across different ages and backgrounds.
Our team also offers bespoke training. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.