About our courses

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Who are they for? 

Anyone!  We understand that everyone interested in working outdoors with groups has their own background, qualifications, abilities, questions and ideas about how it could work for them.  Every school, community group, nursery, organisation is different, and so their training needs will differ too.  We can offer training to staff teams or individuals.

How do they work?

 

We are offering comprehensive training in small packages which you can pick and choose from as appropriate.   For example, if you already know how to work with groups outdoors but just want to become campfire competent, or want to use tools safely with a group, then you can choose to do just the courses which will add to the skills you want to offer.  You might however be a complete 'beginner' seeking to develop a new career path, in which case you might take advantage of all of the courses, which when taken together offer something equivalent to a full Forest School Leader training course.  

What are the courses like?

 

Our courses are all very hands on and practical and are underpinned by a learner centred approach - much like the FSA's Forest School Ethos.  We understand that this learning journey is different for everyone, which is why we try to make our courses responsive to the needs of those who attend.  You will find smaller groups, and a relaxed and happy atmosphere to support your learning, with plenty of opportunities for you to pursue your interests in a way which is helpful to your own development.

Who is running them?

 

Suzy is the main facilitator, and has a wealth of experience that she is very keen to share!  She has been delivering Forest School and Outdoor Learning in a wide variety of settings in Croydon and beyond for over 14 years, with nurseries, schools, PRUs, youth and community groups, families and individuals with all kinds of needs and abilities.  She is a trained Forest School Leader and experienced trainer, with a PTLLs level 3 and a PGCert in Youth and Community. She founded Go Wild With Us UK Community Interest Company in 2016 to continue spreading the love of the outdoors far and wide.  As a result, she has a good understanding of how outdoor learning can work in a wide variety of settings.

 

 As an organisation we have supported many local schools and groups to set up and run their own outdoor learning opportunities, in a bespoke way which works specifically for them.  We consider ourselves highly competent and knowledgeable in our field, and importantly very enthusiastic to support folk who would like to follow in our footsteps.    We want to spread the love of the outdoors to all who are willing!

Why don't you accredit your courses?

 

Our courses are unaccredited for a number of reasons.  There are many courses out there which are costly, and are also no guarantee of competence.  

After having delivered and supported a number of other accredited courses of various levels, we found it very difficult being tied to criteria and tick boxes, when in fact we wanted to allow learners more freedom to pursue the natural learning opportunities that had opened up for them.  

 

We felt that if we were promoting the Forest School Ethos, then our training should really reflect that natural flow which we all hope for and try to cultivate in our sessions, but unfortunately the higher the accreditation level of the courses we shadowed, the less this seemed to be possible.  Something important was being lost.

We decided we didn't want to engage with the great mounds of paperwork and lack of flexibility which accompany accredited courses.  We just wanted to inspire and empower people to get into nature, to connect more deeply with the wild world around us and to come away feeling really excited, inspired and competent to take the next step on their personal and/or professional journey.

We are very keen to keep the costs of the training as low as we can to be as accessible to as many people as possible.  Too many people who would be wonderful leaders in outdoor learning, or who have great ideas about working outdoors with others are excluded by low incomes.   Unfortunately accredited courses are costly to run, because other organisations are involved in the administration, licensing and moderation, so an easy way of making courses less costly is to make them unaccredited. 

We understand why people are reassured by accredited courses, but in many cases this does not always guarantee a good learning experience in which folk emerge competent and confident.  We offer well thought out, carefully crafted courses which aim for each learner to emerge confident, competent and inspired to learn more.   

 

Why don't you offer Forest School Leader training?

 

For all the reason we give above, but we also strongly believe that although Forest School is a wonderful ideal to aspire to it is by no means the 'be all and end all' of amazing outdoor learning.  As much as we would love to see pure Forest School happening all over the country, and embedded in every school curriculum, sadly this seems a bit like running before we can walk. 

 

Too many settings (particularly urban ones like Croydon) are excluded from running FSA approved Forest School sessions.  This is because true Forest School can only happen in wild spaces, and within that setting, the same groups of just 10 children should be going out for over 2 hours for a minimum of 6 consecutive weeks.  Too often schools / nurseries / PRUs can't afford to send the same, small group of children out for a minimum of 6 weeks.  There are too many other children needing this time outdoors. 

 

We want to encourage folk to start small and sustainably, by offering professionals some useful experiences they can take back into their setting and make work, in the most effective way and to the greatest benefit of all.   We hope our courses might achieve this.

What ongoing support can I expect?

We believe that this kind of training is never 'finished', there is always more to know, which is why we have developed a community of folk who stay connected and can support each other as they proceed on their own outdoor learning journey.

 

​We also offer learners the opportunity to work shadow us, as we believe there is no better way to train for this work, than on the job itself!