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Bringing outdoor learning and forest school training to the north west

More children in the north west are experiencing the benefits of the outdoors with new forest school and outdoor learning training for practitioners in the area. Branching Out Training, based at Upton Heath Church of England Primary School in Chester, have delivered training for 18 providers in the area since 2018 with over 2000 children set to benefit.
Leader of Branching Out Training Sarah Pearson said: “When we set up our own forest school provision at Upton Heath Primary School 8 years ago, we really had no idea how successful our forest school would become. Forest school and outdoor learning is ingrained into the culture at Upton Heath. Our EYFS teachers are out making their observations alongside us, our teachers value and understand what we are trying to achieve, and when our children talk about what they love about school, Forest School is often mentioned.”
The Branching Out provision was received so well by parents, pupils and staff at Upton Heath that it wasn’t long before Sarah was fulfilling requests for training from other schools in the area:
“Setting up Branching Out Training was the natural progression, enabling us to offer accredited training for schools, pre-schools and nurseries so that they have the skills and qualifications to set up a forest school in their own provisions. As well asChildren at forest school training in the north west being training providers qualified to Level 4, we’re a primary school that has been through the process and we’re teachers too. That brings a unique perspective that education providers really appreciate. We can share our successes and also the potential pitfalls.”
Branching Out Training have released the dates for their 2020 training. The 7 day Level 3 Forest School Leader spring course will take place from the 23rd April whilst the autumn course kicks off on the 24th September. The 2 day Level 2 Outdoor Learning Practitioner course takes place 4-5th June 2020. There is a free taster session on Thursday 2nd April, 1.30-3.30pm at Upton Heath for the Level 3 Forest School Leader and Level 2 Outdoor Learning Practitioner course. 
All courses are hosted in the mini woods at Upton Heath C of E Primary School and are in association with UK training network Cambium and accredited by Agored Cymru. The Outdoor Learning Practitioner course is also recognised by the Institute of Outdoor Learning. 
To find out more about the Level 2 Outdoor Learning Practitioner or Level 3 Forest School Leader training courses, please visit http://www.branchingouttraining.com/ or email: spearson@uptonheath.cheshire.sch.uk. You can also book online at cambiumonline.co.uk for the spring Level 3 training, autumn Level 3 training and summer Level 2 training.  

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