Outdoors Thinking

WTW 8490

Certificate in Outdoor Practice Level 3 (NK01)

A course of 12 training days over a 12 month period based nr Fakenham

Course Dates

This course takes place on the following dates:

  • Sat, Apr 23rd 2022 Start Date
  • Sat, May 21st 2022
  • Sat, Jun 18th 2022
  • Sat, Jul 16th 2022
  • Sat, Sep 10th 2022
  • Sat, Oct 1st 2022
  • Sat, Nov 5th 2022
  • Sat, Dec 3rd 2022
  • Sat, Jan 14th 2023
  • Sat, Feb 11th 2023
  • Sat, Mar 11th 2023
  • Sat, Apr 1st 2023 End Date


This course takes place here:

All Saints Primary School
Fulmodeston Road
Stibbard, Fakenham
Norfolk NR21 0LT

WTW 8490

Book a place

Fully booked

More details about this course:

The Certificate In Outdoor Practice


Course FAQs

Who is the course for?

The course has been specifically designed to extend the understanding and expertise of practitioners and teachers/TAs who have at least 2 years experience in early years practice. The course is also very suitable for those holding a nationally recognised level 3 qualification but with less experience in practice.
So as to complete the implementation aspect of the qualification, you will need to be working or on placement with children from 2 to 6 years in any private, voluntary or maintained early years setting, school or childminding service.

How long is the course?

In general the course spans 12-14 months.

An example of a standard delivery of the full award would be one training day per month then to return to your setting to implement gained knowledge and experience. In this way you would complete a unit every month, a module every 4 months and complete the whole certificate over a 12 month period.

For Privately commisioned courses - This can be done over a shorter timescale but it is very important to allow enough time between each unit before moving on.

How will it work?

Employing a coaching approach, the course supports you to gradually develop a firm basis of understanding and competences in a long-term, incremental and stepped way. The structure allows you to gradually develop your own expertise across the year, providing a slow, regular and manageable approach.

Utilising a blended mix of face-to-face experiential sessions, in-person or online discussion and analysis sessions and guided study, you will be supported to work things out for yourself. Constructive observation, implementation and evaluation in your own setting’s outdoor space ensures that new understandings become embedded into your practice and are maintained. We aim for this training to work for everyone and to involve actual development of your setting’s outdoor provision and practice.

How will it help me?

Undertaking the Certificate in Outdoor Practice will:

  • Build up your understanding and commitment to the outdoors as a powerful environment for learning in the early years.
  • Foster the practical skills needed for creating a continuously available outdoor environment that really harnesses the special nature of being outdoors to meet how young children are most able to feel good, learn and develop.
  • Support you to feel truly comfortable, confident and competent in working in your setting’s outdoor environment.
  • Empower you to enact effective early years pedagogies in your work setting.
  • Help you create wonderfully rich outdoor provision that works successfully to provide your children with exciting learning experiences that best meet the way they are designed to learn.
  • Enable you to provide an outdoor environment that works well throughout the whole year, so that children and staff alike love being outdoors for lots of time, every single day.
What makes it unique?

The qualification is content focused, incorporates active learning and supports collaboration and gradual progress. The course is:

  • Focused on the early years of childhood (2-6) and child development and wellbeing.
  • Focused on onsite outdoor provision and on continuous provision that makes best use of the special nature and features of the outdoor environment for learning.
  • Develops the setting itself as an integral part of the course, resulting in continuously improving provision that operates well throughout the year.
  • Supports participants in working with their statutory curriculum framework in the outdoor context.
  • Has an enabling and empowering process, working on comfort, confidence, competence, and the ability to articulate to others.
  • Centered on research-informed effective early years pedagogies that integrate theory with practice.
  • Carefully designed with the express intention of embedding training into practice, drawing explicitly on what is known from research about what makes CPD effective.
  • Focuses on personal development of the participant through a coaching and action research style of training, including development of the staff team they work with.
  • Provides the participant with a professional qualification as an outdoor specialist.
  • Prepares the participant for a progressive range of training and qualification opportunities, broadening the outdoor context (such as Local Nature Play or Forest School) and/or increasing the academic level.
What are the outcomes?

Making a difference for practitioners and children.

The Certificate in Outdoor Practice from Outdoors Thinking has an enabling approach with the following ongoing impact and outcomes for practitioners, managers and settings:

  • becoming comfortable and confident about working outdoors;
  • becoming competent in being able to see the potential and in working with what the outdoors has to offer;
  • knowing how to make the most of its special nature;
  • knowing how to best support learning through play outside;
  • becoming proactive in enhancing provision, practice and management of the outdoor environment for wellbeing, play, learning and development;
  • belonging to peer support networks to sustain developments after the training and continue the journey;
  • having essential and solid first steps in continuing on to Forest School or Outdoor Nursery training and qualifications.
How is the course accredited?

Our course in England is accredited by Open College Network West Midlands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out our FAQ page

Venue FAQs

Where should I park?

Please park in a large car park around the side of the school building.

Is there anywhere I can get lunch from?

You will need to bring your own lunch with you due to the locality and timings of the day we ask you to bring a packed lunch with you.

Trainer FAQs

3 Words that best describe Felicity




Why does Felicity love the outdoors?

I have always loved the outdoors because it gives me a sense of peace, belonging and freedom. From the age of 8 I went to a Froebel School, and we spent a huge amount of time learning in the natural environment. We learnt about plants, trees and living things that share this environment with us and how to care for them and enable them to thrive. We learnt when harvesting in the vegetable garden never to take everything to allow for seed dispersal and the next generation. I have recently read a wonderful book called 'Braiding Sweetgrass' by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and I discovered this is a Native American principle.

I only became a teacher because I was accepted onto the Froebel Institutes teaching course and the main subject was Natural Science.

What is Felicity's favourite moment in the outdoors?

There are so many, it is hard to choose but I think I will always love watching children discover something for the first time and the sense of wonder and excitement this brings. I remember a little boy at Earlham lying on his back staring at the clouds in the sky, he was watching them move and their shapes change, he was transfixed by this and stayed watching for most of the morning. Another child sitting in the willow bower on a cold snowy day and looking up and seeing the blue-sky form patterns through the willow and just said 'Wow'. Another little girl showing off her knowledge to an Ofsted Inspector who was with me saying 'Look Felicity this is a Purple sprout, it is good for you' moving on and saying 'look this is a white sprout, it is good for you' moving on saying 'look this is a poppy, it is beautiful!' Two children jumping and laughing in a puddle making waves and getting splashed and then noticing shoots of grass moving in the puddle and exciting saying 'There are fishes, look there are fishes and they are moving- lets get food for the fishes' they ran off and picked grass to throw in the puddle for the 'grassy fishes'.

Why does Felicity think Outdoors Thinking is Unique?

I think this course is unique because it is starting from where the practitioner is at in their learning and understanding of outdoor learning. It is about the learner, taking them on a journey of discovery and opportunity in a nurturing and person-centred way. It is not delivering anything, it is inspiring and asking the learner to reflect and find out for themselves. All the practitioners learning will be different and personal to them but because of this it will be embedded in them, and this will help them to make changes in their settings. This will bring the outdoors space into a real time learning space for children whatever the constraints of the setting.

What is Felicity most excited about in her role as Outdoors Thinking tutor?

I am excited and honoured to be part of such a new and innovative training. I am also really excited to be working with such a spectacular team.

I am also enthusiastic about the possibilities of this training growing and becoming a must for Early Years Practice. For me it reflects and responds to the challenging times we are living in regarding Covid and Climate Change.

Finally I am delighted to be working with a colleague in Norfolk who was a student of mine and has developed her practice in such a way that she would not only be an advocate for this course but also an authentic practitioner for those who come on the course.

3 words to best describe Sue




Why does Sue love the outdoors?

Everything it offers: The seasons, fresh air, freedom, adventure, the unknown, well-being.

What is Sue's favourite moment in the outdoors?

I have so many but I think climbing up Priekstolen (Pulpit Rock) rock in Norway stands out.

Why does Sue think Outdoors Thinking is Unique?

Outdoors Thinking is unique because it is offering something that has not been offered before, a level 3 outdoor qualification, with tutors who are experiences and passionate about children being outdoors.

What is Sue most excited about in her role as Outdoors Thinking Tutor?

Sharing my passion for the outdoors with other and inspiring them to go back to their schools and settings and make a difference to the children in their care.