Email Chris@owlcraft.co.uk for more information

Forest School Training With O.W.L.

As a training provider for Forest Schools, Wilderness Living Skills, First Aid, and the related areas, I offer a range of certificated and non-certificated courses.  Regardless of what the course is, my aim is to deliver high quality, reality based programmes for all students.  Below is a short list of professional points from my current skill set that shows how O.W.L. achieves this-

  1. I have a BEd (Hons) teaching degree, with experience of working with the EYFS all the way through to helping students complete their degree work.
  2. Forest School qualifications- Level 3 and Level 4.
  3. I have worked with some groups of children, every year, since they were in nursery and now they are in year 6 and above.
  4. Your training will be adapted to meet your individual needs and circumstances- Not just something that is paid lip service to!
  5. Tutor groups are kept deliberately small- 1-3 on average.
  6. The units used by O.W.L. are owned and regulated by OCN and NOT by other parties, as some would have you believe!
  7. O.W.L has to pass the yearly OCN centre review which maintains the quality as a training centre.
  8. Where timetables allow, O.W.L. is happy to take part in Ofsted inspections alongside the schools that I work in, these act as an interim assessment of practice.
  9. O.W.L. has a proven track record of training and assessing.
  10. The work that O.W.L. does with Forest Schools, Wilderness Living Skills... is a full-time job, not something that fills free time like it does with some providers.

Please note that another major difference between the training that O.W.L. delivers, on all of its’ courses, compared to many other providers/instructors is that you are given the ‘Science to the Subject.’ Simply put this means that students are taught the principles rather than a series of set methods. Once these are understood students are able to adapt what they are doing to location, season, situation...safely!  Unfortunately, most other students are normally taught a ridged methodology that is of little use unless they continue to work in the same environment that the training took place in.  There are also a lot of instructors who do not fully understand Forest Schools properly nor understand the principles and therefore cannot help students to adapt and apply their knowledge.  These instructors also teach their students ways that often contradict themselves and lead to confusion.

O.W.L. has spent a long time researching and developing the most effective ways to work with its’ students. This has now culminated in programmes that…

· Are simple to understand, yet progressive
· Contain effective modular systems that revolve around core principles
· Have a rapid learning curve
· Are reproducible and consistent in a variety of different environments

I will ask a lot of my students, and I like them to show or develop their own initiative during the training, to help make them the best that they can be.  In return, I ask a lot of myself because I choose to lead and train by example and would not ask someone to do something that I am not prepared to do myself, or already done.  During training students also get the chance to observe me working with children and adults.  I also have the additional training to enhance the courses that I teach-

  • Safeguarding- Level 1 and 3
  • PREVENT
  • Various first aid courses
  • Food Hygiene- Supervisor level 3
  • Health and Safety- Manager and Supervisor level 3
  • FGM
  • Cultural Awareness

I am also full insured, to the correct level and requirements, to run sessions and carry out training.  A copy of my insurance is available upon request.  If you ever meet any instructor who cannot show you their insurance or explain the components of what they should have, one is REALLY important, walk away immediately!

 

Certificated Courses

 

Forest School Leader Level 3 (Updated for 2017)

If you want to lead your own sessions and carry out activities up to the three areas of high risk, this training is for you!

Learn to:

1. Plan lessons appropriate to your children's needs
2. Complete risk assessments that are realistic and specific to the activities being done
3. Carry out activities involving fire, hand tools and 'off the floor' safely
4. Learn how things like VARK and schemas can relate to the outside
5. Set up a base camp
6. Use the natural resources found outside

As this is a practical course, all of the instructional time is spent outside, unless it is extreme weather. It is important that you bring a note book, something to write with and a camera. Handouts and a reading list shall be provided during the week. You shall need to dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own lunch and drink.

The course consists of several evolutions:

• At least six days of direct contact time with me- some of this time will also include working with groups of children, as required by the units.
• Assessment is carried out through the use of on-going demonstrations, coursework and discussions between the student and myself.

• The chance to attend additional flexi-training days.

 

As a student to qualify with O.W.L.

• You must be able to show a current Enhanced DBS.
• Have valid certificates or proof of training for- first aid, food hygiene, health & safety/ manual handling, Safeguarding and Prevent. (Any good instructor will be able to explain why these additional skills are important to you as a Leader)
• Be 21 or over.
•Pass a competence day

Please note that if you cannot complete your coursework within six months of the initial training, for whatever reason, you shall be required to attend an additional skills day to ensure that your practical skills are still sharp and up-to-date.

The cost of this Level 3 course is £600 per person. Payment guarantees your place on the course as numbers are always limited.

If you do not have the other required certificates I can provide you with links for training that will not break the bank! If you are interested in joining the training, please contact me to find out when the next course is.

"The FS Leader course run by OWL is comprehensive and enlightening in equal measure. Students tutored by Christian will be ensured of not only quality teaching but also challenge to any previously held complacency about leading young people and adults in an outdoor setting. OWL training is (excuse the pun) a cut above the rest. There are good Forest Leaders and there are excellent Forest Leaders. Students of OWL have a great chance of being the
latter."

Please note that the Level 3 qualification is a ‘stand-alone’ course in its own right and so there WILL BE work involved, it is not a case of attending the initial training days and then instantly becoming the subject matter specialist!

 

Forest School Assistant Level 2 (Updated for 2017)

If you want to take small groups on-site, doing low risk activities, or be able to assist a Forest School Leader then this training is for you!

Learn to:

  • Develop your danger awareness and use of risk assessments
  • Learn how to do low risk activities or assist a Forest School leader in a variety of roles
  • Learn strategies and schemas for young children and people
  • Set up a base camp
  • Find and use natural resources outside

As this is a practical course, all of the instructional time is spent outside, whatever the weather- apart from lightning! It is important that you bring a note book, something to write with and a camera. Any handouts and a reading list shall be provided during the week. You shall need to dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own lunch and drink.

The course consists of several evolutions:

  • There are at least five days of direct contact time with me- some of this time will also include working with groups of children.
  • Assessment is carried out through the use of on-going demonstrations, coursework and discussion between the student and myself.
  • The chance to attend additional flexi-training days.

As a student to qualify with O.W.L.

  • You must be able to show a current Enhanced DBS
  • Have valid certificates or proof of training for- first aid, food hygiene, health & safety/ manual handling, Safeguarding and Prevent. (Any good instructor will be able to explain why these additional skills are required)
  • Be 18 or over.
  • Pass a competence test

Please note that if you cannot complete your coursework within six months of the initial training you shall be required to attend an additional skills day to ensure that your practical skills are still sharp and up-to-date.

The cost of this Level 2 course is £300 per person.  Payment guarantees your place on the course as numbers are always limited.

If you do not have the other required certificates I can provide you with links for training that will not break the bank! If you are interested in joining the training, please contact me to find out when the next course is.

Once you have completed your training, regardless of level, O.W.L. does not disappear, unlike some trainers and companies. Should you ever need help and advice you can still contact me.


Insurance

If you wish to obtain insurance for doing Forest Schools, I can recommend several companies that both myself and several of my former students use.  I am not on commission!

They can design the insurance to suit your specific needs and the cost of it very often comes out a lot less than what other companies are currently able to provide. It really does pay to shop around.


Please contact me for more details.

 

 

Forest School Activity First Aid Course Level 2 (Updated for 2017- restricted only to my students)

  • Several years ago the HSE removed the regulations placed on certain first aid courses and provision so that employers would be able to find training more appropriate to their needs.
  • This course owes its inception to that shift!
  • This course is designed to provide a concise and pragmatic approach to the first aid needs that could be found in a Forest School setting.
  • The creation of this course comes from a combination of being a first aider for over 25 years, a full-time Forest School leader/Instructor who spends over 1500 hours a year working with participants and the desire to be able to offer my students a high quality, relevant course for their needs- not one that covers areas that have little or no use in reality.
  • There is a strong emphasis upon practical skills and being able to cope in an emergency.
  • Students use a blend of hands-on activities, ICT, real world experiences and discussions to complete their training.
  • The course is organised into sections that make strong links with risk assessments and activities and covers such topics as-
    • CPR- adult, child and infant
    • Choking- adult, child and infant
    • Shock
    • General injuries/illnesses- allergies, eyes, asthma...
    • Fire related injuries- burns, scalds, smoke inhalation...
    • Tool related injuries- cuts, penetrations, amputations...
    • Fall related injuries- head, spine, dislocation, breaks...
    • Bleeding- minor through to catastrophic
    • Environmental issues

Course content is consistent with ILCOR/ERC/UK resuscitation council and HSE guidelines, I am also a member of the ERC.

The cost is £90 per person, it is two days long and you receive a certificate at the end of it accredited by OCN, please contact me for more details and dates.

 

Disclaimer- Please note that on all courses run by O.W.L. the students are shown/explained the consequences of either mis-leading or not doing what is required of them.  To this end, when students qualify they have met the criteria(s) set them.  If they chose not to follow their training, once qualified, this course of action is purely down to the individual and O.W.L. does not recommend nor endorse this type of behaviour.

Likewise- anyone who claims to work for, or be under the guidance of O.W.L., must be checked through me so that I can provide proof of their claims.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with regards to checking anyone.