Nature Education, Outdoor Learning and Forest School Activities in China

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Circle of Life Training is working with organisations to bring high quality ‘Nature Education’ to China. We are offering a series of bespoke courses and pathways that meet the needs of Chinese teachers and parents,  founded on our shared belief that time spent in nature offer a multiple of benefits for our health and well-being.

Gateway 1: Introduction to Outdoor Learning and Forest School Activities

A 2-day, practical outdoor training course for kindergarten managers and teachers to introduce the concepts of Outdoor Learning and Forest School from the UK. This training can be tailored to Early Years and/or Primary levels.

The training includes:

  • Practical ideas, activities, songs and games
  • Adult-led vs Child-led learning in practice
  • An introduction to session planning
  • Using stories to develop a theme
  • An introduction to risk and safety planning
  • Subject-linked learning
  • Developing language through songs and games
  • Art in the environment
The training covers a mixture of theory and practical activities, which can easily be adapted for use in all types of settings; from forest kindergartens to more urban sites. All participants will receive a certificate of achievement upon completion of the training.    

The Forest School Activities Online Training Course

Our Director Marina Robb has created a new online training. Marina wanted to offer a quality training resource that is accessible to a wider audience, who can't get to our woods in person! It includes over 100 training videos and resources with step by step instructions designed to inspire new ideas for both experienced and novice practitioners. Click on the image below to find out more:

Forest School Activities Online Training Course


Gateway 2: Forum on Practical outdoor skills for in Early Childhood Education Practice

A 5 day immersion in nature for primary school teachers based on Forest School ethos and activities.

Training Outline

Day 1

  • Introduction to Forest School and theory – video, slides
  • Introduction to games and songs, and how to use them
  • Introduction to fire making with children
  • Different settings for Forest School and Outdoor Learning in the UK – slideshow and discussion.
  • Shelter building – part 1

Day 2

  • Introduction to tool use with children– part 1: saws and palm drills
  • Introduction to Risk/ Benefit Assessment
  • Shelter building - part 2
  • Example Forest School session – opportunity for adults to see Forest School routine, and try out different activities. Theme: Senses

Day 3

  • Schemas and Forest school theory
  • Fire making – cooking with children
  • How to apply these ideas to an urban setting / group discussions and ideas sharing
  • Tool use with children - part 2: knives and peelers
  • Nature walk and plant-related activities

Day 4

  • Fire making - charcoal
  • Art in the environment – ideas and activities
  • Knots and lashings
  • Ropes and rope bridges
  • Planning and discussion for FS session, as a group.
  • Observation of children and the importance.

Day 5

  • Practical Forest School session - run with children
  • Cooking on fire – extension
  • Curriculum links and outdoor learning
  • How you can apply these activities and ideas to your setting? Discussion and ideas sharing
  • Animals and homes – games and activities

Gateway 3: Learning with Nature

A 2 day experiential nature-based training for teachers across the school ages to introduce our nature-centric model of learning. This training brings together key thinking and practice of Forest School and Outdoor Learning. We use a variety of activities to link learning with nature and offer an insight into how games and activities provide opportunities to build self-esteem; build knowledge and understanding of the natural world; improve team and life skills. We offer an introduction to risk assessment and key communication when working with young people. We  base some of the key activities on ‘Learning with Nature’ whilst developing on the interests of the group and the local environment.

Training Outline

Day 1

Introduction to Forest School and Outdoor Learning
  • FS Principles – child-led ethos
  • Outdoor Learning linked to the core subjects
  • 4 key aspects of FS
  • Role of the practitioner
  • Non-directive, directive
  • Invisible learning and value-led learning
  • Benefits of the outdoors for learning
  • How children learn – basic neuroscience and child development
  • Introduction group activities – nature names etc, Key group expectations
  • Use of tools and tool indicators
  • Importance of risk taking
  • Transferable skills
  • Use of bow saw/palm drill
  • Art of questioning
  • Ropes & Shelters & Play
  • Use of the senses – games and activities to increase nature awareness and learning

Day 2

Development of Core routines of nature connection – responding to the season and natural resources.
  • Animal and plant games and activities – i.d, practice leading to understanding then knowledge. Deepening our relationship of plants and animals – from simple food and medicines.
  • Linking activities to core subjects – English, Maths and science
  • Use of fire – depending on the environment
  • Team and life skills
  • Effective communication