Branching Out Training is the result of many years of experience in delivering forest school at primary level. Our journey began over seven years ago at Upton Heath Church of England Primary School, a large primary school near Chester.
Qualified teacher Sarah Pearson was tasked with developing the forest school provision at the school. After gaining additional forest school qualifications to implement forest school at Upton Heath and train future forest school leaders, and with the assistance of a small team of colleagues, Branching Out was born.
Children at Upton Heath have enjoyed forest school sessions as part of the curriculum at Upton Heath since 2012, and forest school is a valued and valuable part of the curriculum. Over time, Branching Out were approached by other schools in Cheshire for assistance in setting up forest school provisions.
Upton Heath also became a founder member of The Samara Trust, enabling it to deliver forest school at all schools within the multi academy trust, including Clutton C of E Primary School and Little Sutton C of E Primary School. As a hub for forest school in the Cheshire area, developing a specific training arm was the natural progression, and so Branching Out Training was founded in 2019. Training income is invested back into our forest school provision, helping more children to experience forest school more often.
Our courses are designed to support those within the education sector who wish to develop quality outdoor learning experiences to the children and young people in their care.
We are part of the Cambium Trainers Network. The Cambium Network has trainers in many parts of the UK. We cooperate in Continuing Professional Development, standardisation of assessment and feedback, submission of work to Agored Cymru (Formerly OCN Wales) awarding body and internal and external quality assurance.
Trainers meet regularly to discuss the latest developments, and to exchange ideas, skills and techniques and to play for the future. Most members of the Cambium Network provide services directly to schools and other bodies wishing to engage with the expanding use of Forest School, Outdoor Learning and Coastal School techniques in early years, primary and secondary education.