Forest School Leader Level 3 training course at BU Chapel Gate Woodland

We’re delighted to offer a Forest School Leader Level 3 training course at our Chapel Gate site, starting in January 2024.  

What is it?

This course is designed for those who would like to set up and run Forest School programmes, either in a school, nursery or private business. If you are a BU student or graduate hoping to become a teacher this could be an excellent course to develop your outdoor learning approach. Or if you are already a teacher this will enable you to set up a Forest School offer at your setting.

The Level 3 course is set within woodlands and aim to immerse the learner in the ethos of Forest School. You will develop practical skills for teaching fire and tool use, develop an understanding of woodland ecology and how to protect biodiversity. There are five Units of Study at Level 3 and if you are not ready for the full Level 3 there is an assistant level 2 available.

How much time?

This course is a big commitment and includes 8 days of delivery, a tutorial day around 6 months in and an observation of each student when you are delivering your 6 sessions (either in your own school setting or we can help you find a placement setting). The course also includes full support for each student from Muddy Puddle Club and it includes a course handbook.

Financial commitment

£950 per student


The course is in the woodland area at Chapel Gate. This has been specially set up as a nature connection area and is used for a range of outdoor learning activities.

Bournemouth University Sports Campus, Chapel Gate, Christchurch BH23 6BL.


Friday 5 January

Friday 19 January

Friday 2 February

Friday 16 February

Friday 15 March

Friday 12 April

Friday 26 April

Friday 10 May.

You will need to be able to attend all these dates to complete the course. These may be subject to some change for emergency situations.


Courses are delivered by Muddle Puddle Club CIC using Bournemouth University Sport BU woodland at Chapel Gate. Teachers from Muddle Puddle Club belong to the Cambium Sustainable network of trainers and the courses are accredited by the Institute of Outdoor Learning. You can read more about Muddy Puddle Club CIC here.

What do I need to bring?

You will need to bring a packed lunch each day and suitable warm outdoor clothing.

Is there an assistant level course I could do instead?

Yes, the level 2 assistant course is £500. You would attend 5 days of the course and can come back and do the remaining days later and top up to level 3. 

This course covers four Units of Study at Level 2 and looks in more depth at practical skills, using the woodland as a sustainable resource and the theoretical side of planning for learning and play at Forest School. This course is designed for those wanting to assist a Level 3 Forest School Leader.

Booking details

You can book onto this course here: Forest School Training – Booking by Bookwhen

Principles of Forest School

The principles of Forest School underpin our practice at Muddy Puddle Club. These are set out by the Forest School Association;

  • Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session
  • Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
  • Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  • Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  • Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.