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Teacher CPD and student teacher training

Learning Outside the Classroom Training Courses

Are you a teacher or a member of your school support staff wanting to do more teaching outside the classroom in your local area and further afield, particularly where there are trees and woods? Are you a student teacher wanting to learn as much as you can about different ways of teaching? We can help! The Forestry Commission offers practical and informative courses for teachers, support staff and students on exactly these subjects.

Student Teacher Placements

We're aware that many student teachers are required to arrange placements in alternative educational settings in addition to teaching practice placements in schools. Alice Holt Forest is an ideal location for your placement if you're interested in taking learning outside the classroom. Whether your interest is primarily in environmental education e.g. habitats, or whether you're more interested in using the outdoors as a resource for other subject areas e.g. orienteering, map work, team building, we can offer an interesting and rewarding experience. You will learn about the role of trees and forests in providing economic, social, health and environmental benefits as well as experiencing a wide range of educational activities that you can adapt for use with your classes in the future. Please contact us on 0300 067 4446 or email if you or your students would be interested in a placement here.

Training Courses for School Staff and Early Years Practitioners

If you are interested in arranging a training course at Alice Holt or would like us to come to your school to run an INSET day please contact us on 0300 067 4451 or email
Prices vary according to course content and length of day.

Ranger led school visit to Kirroughtree forest in Galloway FDINSET days and twilight sessions for whole school staff can be arranged on dates to suit individual schools. They can be arranged well in advance to coincide with school INSET days.

Early Years

Courses are available for Early Years Practitioners working in nurseries, pre-schools and schools. These are for whole staff groups from individual settings or for a group of practitioners from more than one setting. They provide ideas and information which can be adapted for use in most settings, although the emphasis is on the benefits for children of learning in a woodland environment. Courses can be run at Alice Holt or in other appropriate settings.

Little Explorers group enjoying a forest adventure.Quotes from nursery staff:
'The whole day was brilliant, informative and fun! I learnt a range of activities linked to EYFS and how to deliver them at a child's level. 10/10!'
'I would definitely recommend this to colleagues'.


Map Reading and Orienteering skills event with secondary school childrenHere are some genuine comments made by delegates:  
"It has been a super day....many ideas for inspiring children to use, enjoy and care for their environment" ." It has really inspired me to move forward with developing the outdoor space".
" One of the best things was being reminded that YOU CAN do things and they aren't too risky"
"I'm now much more confident about making links between activities outdoors and learning objectives"

Secondary Geography

Map Reading and Orienteering skills event with secondary school childrenThese courses are suitable for all geography teachers and will be especially valuable for non-specialist teachers of the subject. They will highlight the opportunities for study offered by local woodlands and other outdoor locations with trees, including school grounds. Geography specific aspects of the course will be led by Forestry Commission staff who are also qualified geography teachers.

The course programme includes

  • a look at the reasons for learning outside the classroom in lesson time and through play
  • hands-on experience of educational activities in the woods
  • the role of off-site visits to woodland and other outdoor locations
  • creative, cross-curricular, outdoor learning 
Last updated: 7th March 2016

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.