About our courses:

We have worked hard for years to produce our most comprehensive and empowering training programmes. These courses are for those who want to see young people flourish, for those with a real passion for education and especially for learning through first hand experiences outdoors. We are not interested in simply training leaders, we want to support and encourage a real love for learning. Great leaders inspire others and are happy to share who they are and what they have learnt. Our hope for every student is that they will discover that there is more in them than they ever knew. Our objective is to build experienced, confident leaders who are not afraid to try, who are never too old or too knowledgable to learn and who have a passion for seeing people become the best they can be in the great outdoors!

What our students say:

“Inspirational”            “Great people, caring and invest in you as a person”         “Life changing”

“A well thought out programme that values children”         “A refreshing way to approach learning”

“Life changing, has made me a better person”        “It gave me the confidence to run my own group”

“Amazing teaching, fantastic setting - inspiring”

“An excellent life changing course which I would thoroughly recommend to anyone”

“Lovely people, well organised”     “Fully practical and interactive hands on forest skills learning”

“Inspires many with good, strong values”

“Life outlook changing experience”         “Hugely informative and fun”

I couldn’t have asked for a more nurturing team to learn from and learn with. In all my years of teaching and doing courses, this course has had the greatest impact on me and been the most exciting”

“I would like to be here every day, it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done!”

“Engaging, exciting and motivating”

“One of the high points in my life!”

Level 3 Certificate in

Coastal School Leadership (QCF)

The nationally recognised benchmark for Beach School in the UK

About the course

This comprehensive training is designed to give you the best possible foundation when leading activities from a marine environment. With core units in beach safety, conservation and group management it is the standard for teachers and outdoor practitioners or anyone looking to establish Beach School provision in their own setting, as well as those who are using the beach for field trips and activity days.

Click here for course dates

Click here to book on

This course covers the skills and knowledge required to safely set up and run Beach School with children and adults. Designed and run by highly experienced staff with years of experience of running sessions on beaches across Cornwall

The training builds upon previous outdoor learning and experience we highly recomend either the Forest School Level 2/3 or Newquay Forest School's Foundation Training.

The course runs for 5 days followed by 12 months to complete portfolio work. It is a 13 credit qualification with a total qualification time of 130 hours, including 47 Guided Learning Hours.

Entry Requirements:

The minimum age for this qualification is 19.

Prior to application it is recomended that students either:

hold the ED Basics certificate or a similar outdoor qualification at level 3)


have a minimum of two years’ experience of working with groups in the outdoors.


The course starts with comprehensive training in the following areas:

Creating an outdoor classroom in a coastal environment

Beach shelter building techniques

Coastal safety and planning considerations

Understanding tides and weather

Access and permissions

Fires including - Safe fire lighting techniques for use in different beach environments and with children, rules and permissions relating to fires and outdoor campfire cooking.

Foundations of leadership

Group management

Transferable learning through play

Teaching and learning theory and techniques

Mental health and the outdoors

Rock pooling and marine life identification (including water based coastal environment walk/scramble/swim)

Beach activities, games and crafts

Environmental conservation

Coastal foraging

Wellbeing in the outdoors

Emergency management

Water safety and rescue training (with additional modules if required)

Core Units:

Supporting learning, play and development in the outdoors

Teaching outdoor practical skills

Sustainable use of natural resources

Observation and evaluation of outdoor learning

Coastal School leadership.

Where is the course run from?

The course is run from a number of different beaches in and around the Newquay area so that students can benefit from putting their skills into action in a range of environments. You will be contacted with details and directions. If you have a group and would like to organise a course further afield then our trainers may be able to come to you. Please contact us to discuss your requirements. Contact us for details on local accommodation and to arrange transport to and from the sessions.

Do I have to get in the water?

The water safety training will involve getting in a wetsuit and splashing about in the water (though you will not need to be a strong swimmer for this). The same goes for the other water-based elements. If you would like to opt out of the water based elements then you are welcome to do so. Please contact us to arrange this.

What happens after the training course?

Following the training element you will be given a number of assignments to complete. One of these will be to put together your own Beach School program and to run a series of sessions with a group of learners.

The assignments include completing risk benefit assessments, operating procedures and emergency action plans as well as creating resources for your own use.

Assignments will be submitted via our online portfolio system which. This enables students to submit work at any point for marking and means that you can access support from anywhere in the world (with internet access).

This part of the course is achievable in 6-8 months though each student will be given 12 months to complete should they require it.

Continued support...

We provide outdoor learning workshops and skill shares throughout the year. Beach School students can access these free of charge for 12 months from the start date of their course. For more information on the next skill share click on the link here

Our Staff

Our head trainer is Jonathan Burfoot (Jo) an experienced water sports coach, coasteering and sea-kayak instructor who has worked in outdoor education for the last 20 years. Beginning by studying a degree in Outdoor and Environmental Education Jo then went on to work in a number of settings, teaching and training children, young people and adults which included seven years as an outdoor instructor trainer with Cornwall College. Jo set up Newquay Forest School in 2013 with his wife Anna and together they have a heart for empowering people to be the best they can be using the outdoors as a vehicle for change.

Karl Fice-Thomson is an inspiring Beach School leader and trainer, bringing a huge amount of experience and passion to the course. Karl has spent his whole career working with children and young people, this includes being education officer for Newquay Aquarium and the RNLI. Karl is head of outdoor learning for a local academy trust and has been instrumental in the establishment of Beach School in Cornwall. Karl is passionate about getting children outdoors and changing perspectives on what constitutes a ‘classroom’. With boundless energy and a lifetime of experience, Karl is an incredible man to learn from.

Pete (Smudge) Smith is an SLSGB lifeguard trainer and born ‘water man’. Pete’s experience includes running the foundation degree programme in outdoor education for Duchy College and has since set up Saltwater Safari, a coastal adventure company for families, running coasteering, surfing and stand-up paddle boarding. Pete gives a great deal of time to Surf Action supporting the health and wellbeing of the armed forces community in Cornwall. Pete heads up the water safety training for the level 3 course.

How much is it?

The course costs £560pp or £1160 with Foundation training

(Discounts available for group bookings and NFS students. Contact us for details)

If you would like to opt out of the water elements then the cost will be £500pp

For details of when the next course is running click here