About our courses:

We've worked hard for years to produce some of the 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're 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.  The key 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)

Nationally recognised training for leading Beach School

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, activity development 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 course runs for 10 days, with the option of just doing 5 day short course if minimum entry criteria are met (see below) and looks to build upon previous outdoor learning and experience wherever possible.

The training course is followed by 12 months to complete portfolio work. It is a 13 credit qualification with a total qualification time of 130 hours.

Entry Requirements:

The minimum age for this qualification is 19.

Prior to application students must have a good level of experience of working with children/ young people. Students have the option of doing the shortened course if they have evidenced one of the following:

Completed Newquay Forest School's Level 2/3 Forest School training within the last 2 years or

Hold a level 3 Forest School Qualification or equivilent.


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

Holistic development in the outdoors

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

Beach activities, games and crafts

Environmental conservation considerations

Coastal foraging

Wellbeing in the outdoors

Emergency management

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

Core Units:

Coastal School leadership

Supporting learning, play and development in the outdoors

Teaching outdoor practical skills

Sustainable use of natural resources

Observation and evaluation of outdoor learning

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?

Half of 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).  If you would like to opt out of the water based elements then you are welcome to do so.

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 enables students to submit work at any point for marking and means that you can access support from anywhere in the world with access to the internet.

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 a number of outdoor learning workshops and skill shares throughout the year. Beach School students can access these free of charge. Each group of students will have direct communication to eachother and our tutors via a shared messaging group. We also offer one to one mentor support which can be done in person, over the phone or via email.

Our Staff

Jonathan Burfoot (Jo) set up Newquay Forest School in 2013 with his wife Anna. Together they have a heart for empowering people to be the best they can be using the outdoors as a vehicle for change. Jonathan heads up our Forest School and Beach School programmes. He's a British mountain leader, sea kayak leader and BCU watersports coach as well as a survival instructor and first aid trainer. Jonathan has worked in outdoor education for the last 20+ years. Beginning by studying a degree in Outdoor and Environmental Education before doing his teacher training and then going on to work in a number of outdoor settings teaching and training children, young people and adults, which included seven years as an outdoor instructor trainer with Cornwall College.

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.

How much is it?

The course costs £1160 or £650 or for 5 day short course.

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

For details of when the next course is running click here