Forest School 

Training Centre

Manchester Forest School Training Centre


L3 Forest School Leader Training  – Next Course

Or you can contact us direct to book at training@socialadventures.org.uk Tel: 07837 446062

This course consists of:

  • 6 Theory days based at our Manchester Centre
  • 2 Practical days based at our Manchester Centre
  • 6 sessions where you lead your own group one session of which is assessed (we can provide a group for you to work with if needed)
  • A portfolio made up of 5 units
  • Several Continuous Professional Development Days will be offered at the Centre, these are not compulsory but are planned in to offer more support if needed.

The assessment:

  • You will be assessed at the end of the 2 practical days
  • One of the sessions that you lead will be assessed
  • Your portfolio will be assessed at the end of the course

Forest School Theory

The Forest School Theory part of the course forms the first 6 days and provides you with everything you need to set up and lead your own forest school. There is a course handbook that accompanies the course which includes templates and examples.

Some of the areas covered within this part of the course include – risk assessments, gaining landowner permission, child to adult ratios, basic equipment list, health and safety, policies and procedures and, how to run forest school.

Forest School Practical

This is 2 days of getting hands on and learning the practical skills of forest school. The different skills of forest school will be demonstrated to you and you will be given lots of opportunity to practice, share learning and utilise one to one support.

Some of the areas covered within the practical section of the course include – tool training, lighting campfires, building different types of shelter, tying knots and, examples of the different types of activity that can be encompassed with a forest school

Leading your own Sessions – assessment

Once you have completed the practical and theory days you can now start running your own forest school sessions.

As part of the course you must plan and lead 6 of your own forest school sessions. One of these sessions will be assessed as part of the criteria for passing the course.

For those that need it we can provide the opportunity to work with one of our cohorts of children or adults in order to complete this part of the course. We work with different age groups across several Manchester locations all year round.

For this part of the assessment you will be expected to bring together all aspects of the theory and practical skills that you have learnt so far. The trainer will be looking at aspects like whether you have the right kit and whether all the correct paperwork is in place.

Forest School Portfolio

You will work on your portfolio throughout your course as it forms an evidence base of your forest school knowledge. The portfolio has questions for you to answer some of which just require a few sentences and some which require longer answers but these are never longer than a page. You can include pictures within your portfolio too. Answers can be typed or handwritten.

The portfolio is made up of the following 5 units:

  • Supporting learning, play and, development in the outdoors.
  • Observation and evaluation of outdoor learning.
  • Sustainable use of natural resources.
  • Teaching outdoor practical skills.
  • Forest school leader.


It takes between 9 and 12 months to qualify as a Level 3 Forest School Leader and it is recommended that a minimum of 180 hours of  independent learning will be required (this equates to around 5 hours a week across a 9 month period).

Once you have registered on the course and have completed the first 7 days of training you can start running your own forest school sessions and can continue to do so as long as you pass within 12 months. In fact it is essential that you run your own sessions to gain the practical knowledge and experience required to pass the course.


Our Training Centre is based 10 minutes outside of central Manchester.

We have a beautiful enclosed setting which backs directly onto a large woodland.

Our Centre includes classrooms, a kitchen, toilet facilities and an enclosed forest school space.

There is plenty of parking and we are near to central Manchester railway stations.

Our address is – Garden Needs, 1 Radford Street, Salford M7 4NT


The total cost of the 12 month course is £900. We also offer a set amount of places on flexible payment options which allow learners to pay over the remainder (after paying the deposit) over several months.


You can either book via our Eventbrite page HERE or by contacting us direct on the details below.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the training or would like to find out more contact us at training@socialadventures.org.uk or call 07837 446062