Current News and Events

Summer 2017

If you would like to be added to the Derbyshire Forest School e-news circulation list  or add your details to the directory below please send an email to

Derbyshire Forest School Day July 12th 2017

Book your place here

See below for details of last years event

NEW – Derbyshire Forest School Directory and map search for local schools and independent practitioners running Forest School Programmes in your area. If you like to be added to the list please email details to the address above.

 Upcoming Events in Derbyshire
  • Introduction to Forest School taster days

These one day introductory sessions are aimed at anyone considering beginning running Forest School programmes within their school or setting.

Course Description: 

The day will:

  • Outline what Forest School is and the potential benefits of running programmes
  • Provide an opportunity to take part in a Forest School session within an established programme and discuss the value of these sessions with staff and pupils.
  • Provide a framework for initiating Forest School programmes within your own school or setting

Upcoming Dates: TBC


Local Cluster Group Meeting

Details of previous meetings can be found in this section Past events and cluster groups

Meetings are open to all as an opportunity to meet up with fellow local Forest School Practitioners.

Upcoming Meetings:

  • March 29th 2017, 3.45pm – 5ish Lons Infant School, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3SE. Parking is limited in school so its parking around the roads near to school but with consideration to our neighbours. There will be a tour of the site and the theme for discussion will be use of tools throughout the school but especially with younger children, if you have an example of simple activities which show progression please bring this along.
  • June 14th 2017 4-5pm Barlow Primary School (contact school for directions)

If you would be happy to host a cluster meeting (usually 4-5.30pm) please get in touch

Recent Events

Derbyshire Forest School Day June 2016 – A brilliant day! Thank you to all that attended. If you were unable to attend or would like a recap please visit the dedicated page on this site by scrolling down the menu on the left or clicking here 

Excellent day – going home with loads of ideas to try out

Thank you so much for a wonderful day – full of ideas, resources, meeting other practitioners. A really useful day!

A really good and valuable day, a great opportunity for practitioners to meet and exchange ideas

Learnt so much from ideas suggested, practical sessions and modelling. Such a lot of information shared in just one day!


 Funding Opportunities
  • Forest School and Primary School Sport and PE Funding

For those of you seeking funding to either have a member of staff trained or for a member of staff to deliver Forest School programmes at a Primary School you may want to consider using the current Sport and PE funding. Forest School although perhaps not an obvious choice can offer a number of important health benefits including improved physical health, mental health and value for money in that it costs very little to run in the long term.

Focusing upon the stated purpose of this funding and the need for schools to demonstrate the impact of this spending we have put our heads together with the DCC School Sports Development Officer and have drafted an outline example case study of how Forest School might be eligible for a portion of the funds available within a school.

School X spent £1000 training one member of staff as a Level 3 Forest School Practitioner:  The trained member of staff ran sessions each week, all year round in a nearby woodland environment.  The Forest School sessions targeted the least active children and those with poor self-esteem who generally did not participate in additional physical activity or sports offers in the school.  The Forest School sessions included building self-confidence, self-esteem, co-operation and increasing levels of activity through – walking, climbing, running, jumping, team games and wider general health promotion including healthy eating and good mental health.  In the following years (at no additional cost) the Forest School Practitioner was able to continue to offer sessions to the target group and expand to offer sessions to other cohorts including an out of school ‘Fit for life’ club involving children and families from the community who were not motivated by traditional sport or outdoor physical activity and sessions for pupils to develop their leadership skills for those showing sporting promise. 

For more potential funding sources please visit the funding page

Forest School Training  taking place in and around Derbyshire 2016
  • Subsidised Forest School L3 training starting soon!

    A limited number of subsidised Forest School level 3 training places are available for £495 per person rather than the full price of £895 (funded by The National Forest Company) for teachers/ educators/ other school staff in The National Forest and South Derbyshire  (please register your interest if you are not eligible for the subsidised places as any remaining places will be open to all at the standard charge)Participants with subsidised places will be required to submit a report on how they have put their training into practice following completion of the course and numbers of any participants who have benefitted so far. Supportive mentoring sessions will also be available to those attending the course. Applicants for the subsidised places should check their eligibility with the Environmental Education Project but should book their places directly with Creative Outdoor Learning ( Subsidised half day woodland craft courses places (£10 per person) are also available (funded by Ernest Cook Trust and National Forest Company grants) see above for more information.

    creative-outdoors-course-information-level-3-forest-school-training      subsidised-woodland-craft-training-with-dates-info-sheet

  • Into the Forest Learning Modular Format Forest School L3 Training – courses beginning May and Autumn 2016. Bestwood Country Park, Nottinghamshire.  See flyer below for more information.

May 2016 Forest School Level 3 Flyer – Into the Forest Education

  • Forest School Education (FSE)/Archimedes Training Some courses are run in and around Derbyshire, view course diary here                                                                                   
  • Staffordshire Wildlife Trust – L3 Course beginning March 2017 march-course-2017-poster
  • Notts and Leics FEN (Forest Education Network) occasionally host courses, email for more information
  • Environmental Studies Leicester – L3 Training Mon 24th July – Sat 29th July 2017£685 + VAT 10% student discount

– Courses planned for 2017, April 17th-21st, June Fridays x5, August 7th-11th, September Fridays x5.  All of the courses are suitable for Level 2 and 3 (with Level 3s attending a further set of days within 6-12 months) and are held in Grange Wood, North West Leicestershire. Level 3 is £799 and Level 2 is £399.

-Skills development days will take place on the following Saturdays, April 1st, July 15th, August 26th 10am-3pm, £35 on the day or £30 paid in advance. All the forest school tools and kit are available and the days are flexible but include opportunity to light fires, cook, build shelters, join species ID walks and some include extras like willow weaving, pewter casting and so on.

See photos from previous courses and events at

Dates: 6th – 10th March 2017 (training), 4th-5th May 2017 (assessment). Location: Ecclesall Woods, Sheffield

Special offer for first 3 booked on £600.  Please also note that the Level 2 course will run alongside the Level 3 course but attendance will be required for the first 4 days only and is £450

Please contact Mhairi Walker on 07738762335 or

The Forest School Association provides information about selecting a training course here

National FS Events and Information

Forest School Association

 Forest Education Network

Institute of Outdoor LearningDerbyshire Forest School Directory

Council for Learning Outside the Classroom

  Other Forest School Related Traning, Events and Workshops
  • DCC Learning outside the Classroom Courses 2016/2017

Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service are offer a series of workshops and training courses for teachers, teaching assistants and group leaders designed to get you and your young people learning outside the classroom.

Courses on offer include:

  • Biodiversity Action in Schools
  • Science Enquiry in your School Grounds (Key Stage 1 and 2)
  • History in your school grounds and local area (Key Stage 1 and 2)
  • Numeracy in your school grounds (Key Stage 1 and 2)
  • Music in your school grounds (Key Stage 1 and 2)
  • Literacy in your school grounds (Key Stage 1 and 2)

Dates, venues, costs and how to book for the courses can be viewed here

  • DerwentWISE

Get Skilled for DerwentWISE – Practical courses aimed at inspiring those that live and work in the Lower Derwent Valley to find out more about the landscape and how to take care of it. derwentwise-autumn-2016-leaflet_web

First Aid Training

This two day (16 hour) first aid course includes assessment for the Emergency First Response ‘Primary and Secondary Care’ and ‘Care for Children’ courses, which are valid for three years.  The course is aimed at staff who work with young people, are involved with DofE expeditions or Outdoor Activities.  The qualification obtained is appropriate for those supervising expeditions, forest schools and also for most National Governing Body awards.

Elements of the course will involve working outside, whatever the weather.  Please come appropriately clothed, with boots/outdoor footwear and waterproofs.

Dates:            15th & 16th May

Time:               9.30am – 5.30pm on both days

Location:         Lea Green Development Centre, Lea, Matlock, Derbyshire

Cost:                £115 (Derbyshire applicants)

£145 (Out of County applicants)

Please contact Heather Staple on 01629 534561 or for more information or an application form.

Application Forms MUST be received at least 2 weeks prior to the course.  Places are limited on  courses and will be allocated in the order application forms are received, so please apply early to avoid disappointment!

EFR Course Application Form

Latest News
  • Lea Primary featured in Reflections magazine

See page 78-82 of the digital edition here 

  •  Duke of Norfolk, All Saints and St Margaret’s Primary Schools

L3 Practitioner Chris Ellison is running Forest School at all 3 schools! Read all about it in the Glossop Chronicle.

  • Alfreton Park Special School celebrate the opening of their new Forest School site

Local company Eurocell have helped staff and students to create a fantastic Forest School base within Alfreton Park’s school grounds. The features included make great use of the space many of which could be added to any site – click here for more details Alfreton Park Special School Forest School Site Features

Eurocell-celebration assembly (14)

  • Lea Primary (Matlock) Judged Outstanding in Recent Ofsted Inspection

The ofsted inspector was invited to observe a Forest School session at Lea Primary and included the following comments in the final report:

Pupils’ attitudes to learning and their conduct in lessons and around the school are excellent. They are hugely respectful of others and of others’ feelings. They talk animatedly about how the personal skills developed through the ‘forest school’ work equip them for now and for later life. For example, they discussed how important it is to ‘get along’ with others, to do ‘jobs we might not necessarily like, but are important for harmonious living’, and to be confident in themselves without being ‘boastful’, because that would not help in later life. They talked about people being ‘dominant’ in some schools, but here ‘we learn to take turns, make a rota, be fair’.

 Outstanding provision is made for all pupils to learn indoors and out and to become increasingly aware of their place in society and the wider world. It starts with an excellent range of outdoor activities in Reception Year, which included making apple pies and ice-cream outside, and continues through to, for example, Year 2 searching for answers to calculations in the woods and the campfire activity observed in Year 6. The school’s very successful engagement with parents, carers, other schools, and external agencies contribute greatly to all of that.

Lea Primary School.  Ofsted Insepction dates: 10th-11th July 2012:  

One response

16 12 2013
Steve Taylor

My children did some Forest School Training @ (if you’re in the area, worth checking out!) and had a brilliant time. If you’re unsure whether your littl’uns will enjoy it or not, take my word for it, they will love it – and who cares if they get a bit dirty – they are kids, its what they do

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