Level 2

Award for Forest School Assistants

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A nationally recognised award, designed to equip Forest School support staff

This qualification is run alongside our level 3 program and covers exactly the same topics and material during the training phase. After that the coursework differs greatly from the level 3 program and is achievable within three months. We give 6 months to qualify, however we will allow extensions up to 12 months if needed.

The level 2 is designed to give you the confidence, encouragement and support needed to start your Forest School journey. While not a leadership qualification in itself it does qualify you to work closely alongside Forest School leaders to design, plan and deliver Forest School sessions with a good degree of autonomy.

The level 2 is easily upgradable to level 3 with the portfolio work slotting neatly into the new program.


The course is divided up into two parts:

1. Training

(either 6 day intensive training or 11 day regular training course)

The course is run alongside the level 3 training and covers the following areas:

Safe fire lighting and outdoor cooking

Tool safety (including knives, saws and axes)

Rope work and shelter building

Species identification, animal tracking and woodland/site management

Activity development for Forest School

Theories of learning and bringing the best out in your learners

Managing risks and staying safe in the woods

The goal of the training period is to build the skills and confidence needed to be able to start assisting with Forest School sessions. It is a great opportunity to forge strong links with other students who will be on the journey with you

2. Practical experience and assignment completion

(6 months from end of the training course)

During this phase you will be expected to start to piece your portfolios together and you will also need to gain experience assisting with the running of Forest School sessions. This is something we can help with if we have space or we can point you in the direction of some other Forest Schools who would be happy for you to come and work with their existing groups. You will need a consistent group which you can run with for at least 3 consecutive sessions.

The portfolio is all online and so you can edit it at any time and also have your work looked at by an assessor to let you know if you are on the right track before you throw your all into it! We try and make the paperwork as straight forward as possible and encourage you to use a range of different ways of presenting your work. This includes video, audio recordings, sketches and drawings and making use of other qualifications you may hold where applicable.

Continued support...

Our aim is to train the best Forest School practitioners in the country and as such we recognise a great importance to ensure that you keep on growing in your knowledge and skills as you go forward. We provide regular skill share workshops to all our level 2 and 3 students which is included in the price of the course. These workshops are run at intervals throughout the year and so long as places allow you are always welcome as part of the Newquay Forest School family to come and learn and grow with us. For more information on the next skill share click on the link here

Where is the course run from?

Our course is run from our 10 acre wood which is situated 15 minutes outside of Newquay (details on booking). We have a couple of large shelters suitable to keep the best of the Cornish weather off for classroom sessions and for the rest of the time we will be out and about! We have a compost loo (a nice one) and a small kitchen where we keep tea, coffee on tap (though as the course goes on the hot water is up to you) and usually some really nice biscuits!

Our wood is a mixed broad leaf woodland with loads to explore and learn from!

Who is the course run by?

Our head trainer is Jonathan Burfoot (Jo) who has worked in outdoor education for the last 19 years. Beginning by studying a degree in Outdoor and Environmental Education he 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 Education teacher 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.

What are the entry requirements?

The minimum age requirement for the level 2 qualification is 18. Applicants should also have suitable background experience in children and young people’s work and most importantly the drive and desire to see the process through.

The portfolio requirements for the level 2 are substantially less that the level 3, however we have high standards and expect the same from our students so this in not a qualification to be taken lightly due to the environments in which you are likely to be operating. We see no purpose in giving a lesser degree of training to our level 2 students as they will be working side by side with level 3 practitioners and as such the demands on them are of no lesser importance.

How much is it?

The level 2 costs £655 all in, with no hidden fees. Payment plans available*

There is also an option for level 2 students who have studied with Newquay Forest School to upgrade to the level 3 certificate in Forest School Programme Leadership within three years of registration for just £650!

Other benefits include:

Our New online portfolio system which enables you to complete your course from anywhere in the world.

Access to FS library holding over 70 forest school books and resources

Online resource network

15% discount on all items in our shop

Free access to skill share workshops with NFS

Discount on Forest School First Aid courses with Forest School First Aid

*Payment options:

There is a £100 non refundable deposit to reserve your place on the training which will be taken off the final figure unless choosing to pay monthly.

There are two ways to pay.

Option 1 - Upfront payment of by BACS or cheque.

Option 2 - 6 month plan - £100 non refundable deposit + 6 Monthly payments of £100 per month.

How do I apply?

The first thing to do is to check that the course is the right one for you. It will be worth talking it over with us either over the phone or we would be happy to arrange a meeting.  For course enquiries please call 07773799755 or email us at learn@newquayforestschool.co.uk

Once you have confirmed that this course is the best fit for you then you need to decide how you would like to study, we offer 2 options:

Term time training - Runs 10 Fridays 09:30 - 16:00.

Summer intensive training course - Runs Monday-Friday 09:30 - 16:30 for 2 weeks and may include the option to camp out to save transport costs and travel time.

For details of when the next course is running click here.  

To book your place on the course please read the above information carefully and click on the link below: