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Brigit’s Garden is proud to offer the first Certificate in Forest School Leadership in Ireland that leads to a Level 6 award on the National Framework for Qualifications. This is a Special Purpose award and is worth 20 credits. The course equips you with the knowledge, skills and competence needed to work as a qualified Forest School leader. It prepares you to lead effective and safe Forest School programmes outdoors for children, families and adults, with nature connection at the heart of the practice.

The course is delivered by our professional team of tutors, all of whom have many years’ experience leading and teaching Forest School in a wide range of settings. If you have any queries you can email Laura at adulteducation@brigitsgarden.ie.

Upcoming courses

In 2024, we will hold two courses at Brigit’s Garden, Co. Galway and two courses at Larchill Arcadian Garden, Co. Kildare. To apply for a place on a course, use this form.

Please note that you need to attend all the dates for your course. Days and sessions are not transferrable between different courses. Each course has 20 places.

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Further Course Information (click each to expand)

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion title_size=”20″][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1692606936933-9dd1f4ba-c7a0″ title=”How long does the course take?”][vc_column_text]The course has 8-9 onsite learning days, including 4-5 webinars, over a 4-6 month period, depending on the season. On successful completion of the 6-month coursework, leading to certification, there is a 5-6 month timeframe for completing a forest school pilot work experience.

You will plan, run, document, and evaluate a series of pilot Forest School sessions for a group of participants as part of your work experience assessment.

The course involves about 120 hours of your own self-directed learning: writing up notes and a journal, researching and writing assessments and running your pilot programme. You will need to commit sufficient time to your self-directed learning, which is in addition to the in-person training days.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1697549896956-ac171971-b811″ title=”Course fees”][vc_column_text]The course fee is €1,500 and must be paid before the course begins. If you choose to pay by instalments, there is an extra €100 charge to cover bank and admin fees.

There are two payment options:

The full fee for both payment options is due at least four weeks before the start of a course. Your place is not confirmed until the fee is paid in full. We may impose a late payment penalty if fees are not paid on time.

The course fee does not include the cost of an outdoor first aid course (Remote Emergency Care Level 2 or 3), which normally costs in the region of €150.

If a course is not viable, we notify applicants and invite them to transfer any fees paid for a place on the next available course, or refund any fees paid.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1692606936920-91ab456a-cba5″ title=”Course Details & Dates” css=”%7B%22default%22%3A%7B%22font-size%22%3A%2216%22%7D%7D”][vc_column_text]

Summer Courses

Hazel: Brigit’s Garden, Pollagh, Roscahill, Co. Galway, H91 CC90

9 on-site learning days:

Saturday to Sunday 18, 19th of May 2024 from 8:45 – 4:45
Saturday to Sunday 22nd, 23rd of June 2024 from 9:00 – 4:45
Wednesday to Friday 17th, 18th, 19th of July 2024 from 9:00 – 4:45
Saturday to Sunday 14th, 15th September 2024 from 9:00 – 4:45

5 webinars:

Tues 14th of May, 2024 from 5-7
Tues 18th of June, 2024 from 5-7
Tues 9th of of July, 2024 from 5-7
Tues 10th of Sept, 2024 from 5-7
Tues 6th of May, 2025 from 5-7

Alder: Larchill Arcadian Garden, Kilcock, Co. Kildare, W23Y44P

9 on-site learning days:

Saturday to Monday 1st,2nd,3rd of June 2024 from 8.45 – 4:45
Wednesday to Friday 24th,25th,26th of July 2024 from 9:00 – 4:45
Wednesday to Friday 21st,22nd,23rd of August 2024 from 9:00 – 4:45

5 webinars:

Monday 27th of May, 2024 from 5-7
Monday 22nd of July, 2024 from 5-7
Tuesday 6th of August, 2024 from 5-7
Monday 19th of August, 2024 from 5-7
Monday 28th of April, 2025 from 5-7

For upcoming Autumn 2024 courses, click here.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Further Course Details (click each to expand)

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1698231120228-8c165cde-8759″ title=”Future Courses”][vc_column_text]Further courses will start in Brigit’s Garden and in Meath/Kildare throughout the year. If you have any queries you can email Laura at adulteducation@brigitsgarden.ie.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1692608680597-a9867d57-905d” title=”What are the entry requirements?”][vc_column_text]

If you don’t meet the entry requirements but think you may have sufficient learning based on your work, another programme of study or other learning experience you can apply for entry using Recognition of Prior Learning, email us for further information about this route of entry.

Before starting your pilot project in month 5 or 6 of the course, you will need to show that you have an outdoor first aid certificate, Remote Emergency Care level 2 or 3 (not included in price of course); a child safeguarding certificate (e.g. TUSLA Children First e-learning programme); be Garda vetted with your client group and have suitable insurance. Your tutor will advise further about these requirements.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1692610242035-4473f43e-299b” title=”How applications are processed”][vc_column_text]

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What is Forest School?

Forest School LeadershipForest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor learning in a woodland or natural setting. Participants have the opportunity to develop their skills, self-awareness and confidence through hands-on play and engaging learning outside in nature – benefits that are confirmed by a growing body of research.

Forest School is not a one-off experience but offers regular sessions over a period of time to maximize the benefits. Participants are usually children, but Forest School can also be offered to teenagers or adults. Forest School is becoming increasingly popular in primary schools, early years’ groups and in community settings.

Who is the course for?

It is important that Forest School is run by qualified Forest School leaders. This Certificate course offers a professional qualification that equips you with all the theory and skills you need to run your own Forest School sessions.

The course is ideal for a wide range of people who wish to join the growing number of professional Forest School leaders in Ireland, including teachers, early years’ practitioners, youth workers, environmental educators and all those with an interest in outdoor learning and development.

What does the course cover?

The Certificate in Forest School Leadership consists of four sections that are taught in parallel to ensure a good balance of theory, practice and practical skills.

On successful completion of the course, you will be able to:

Forest School LeadershipHow is the course assessed?

There are four assignments for the course. Assignments 1,2, and 4 are submitted online though our learning management system.

You need to pass each assessment to achieve the Level 6 award. The pass mark is 50%. Your final award is graded as a Pass (50-54%), Merit (65-79%) or Distinction (80-100%).

Teaching methods and learner supports

We want every learner to flourish, and we are committed to a learner-centred approach which is flexible, creative and inclusive.

The teaching methodologies include whole group and small group sessions, practical skills demonstrations and practice sessions, group sharing and preparation for assignments. The teaching reflects the Forest School ethos of hands-on and place-based learning, with nature connection at the heart of the experience.

All course materials are easily accessed on our online learning management system.

Your tutor will encourage you to set your own goals, conduct research, develop your awareness and reflect on and evaluate your own progress and learning. We also encourage peer support within the group, both in the class and via the online platform.

Your tutor will be available throughout to support and advise you. There is also a Learner Handbook and a comprehensive induction.

We do our best to accommodate learners who have additional support needs, e.g. dyslexia. If you have a support need please email us and we will arrange to discuss options with you.

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Further Information (click each to expand)

[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1692615981865-0cc490fb-5a64″ title=”Can I transfer to the course from other courses, or progress on to other courses?”][vc_column_text]At present we do not have any formal transfer or progression arrangements for this course though we aim to research these for the future. However, the Level 6 award may be evidence of Continuous Professional Development. It may also enable a learner to gain entry to Level 7 courses for which a Level 6 award is required.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1692616147743-8182d415-75e1″ title=”Opportunities for continuing professional development”][vc_column_text]We encourage graduates to join the Irish Forest School Association (IFSA), which supports the development of Forest School in Ireland and provides gatherings, networking events and opportunities for further learning. We also invite you to join our Brigit’s Garden Community of Practice, a forum for ongoing learning and networking.

IFSA currently offers one year of free membership to graduates of this Level 6 course, and reduced rates for any events held during the course.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1692615981845-a19e27d4-04b4″ title=”Course fees, refunds & cancellations”][vc_column_text]If you cancel your application more than four weeks in advance of the start date we will refund your course fee less a €150 administration charge. If you cancel less than four weeks but not less than five days before the start date a 50% cancellation fee applies. If you cancel within five days of the start or withdraw from the course we do not make any refund.

If for any reason Brigit’s Garden has to cancel a course we have insurance which ensures that learners will be reimbursed for any fees paid.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1700145033830-7d1fac02-0612″ title=”Deferrals”][vc_column_text]We facilitate applicants who wish to defer a place for a period of up to a year if the person cannot undertake the course on the dates booked. We require written notice of the intention to defer a place at least four weeks before the start date to facilitate this. Deferrals are only possible up to 14 days before a course starts. You cannot defer your place after you have started a course, and a refund will not be possible if you decide to leave the course.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section tab_id=”1700145044217-450dc805-61f6″ title=”Section”][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]