Forest Kindergarten (SCQF level 7) CPD Award

Course code 97X3

What is special about this course?

This National Workplace Award is suitable for qualified early learning practitioners, early years workers, managers, teachers, third sector workers, and others who wish to organise and supervise regular off-site visits to woodland and green spaces for children in their care.

Accredited through the SQA, the award recognises the value of woodlands as an integral part of the learning process for pre-school children and covers the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to develop a forest kindergarten.

On successful completion of the course, you will develop your knowledge, skills, and confidence to plan and lead forest activities.

Special features

  • Flexible delivery using a mix of online learning and face-to-face practical experience
  • National Workplace Award accredited by the SQA

Entry requirements

  • No formal qualifications are required. However, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have some knowledge or experience in working with children in an early years setting.
  • Access to practical placement in a nursery, school or voluntary setting is also required.


CPD Award

This is a Level 7 SQA Award with 4 SCQF points. It consists of one unit with three outcomes:

  • Forest kindergarten site (The place) - locating a suitable woodland and practical steps to ensure a setting can use it
  • Planning and engaging with children and adults (The people) - suggestions to prepare, inform and educate staff, children and parents about the woodland visits
  • Setting up and leading forest kindergarten sessions (The activities) - possible lines of development to extend children's experiences of playing in the woods

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will learn through a combination of online study using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE) and face-to-face practical activities. The practical elements will be delivered in an outdoor environment with online content and videos available for consolidation.

How long will my course last?

  • Part-time (structured): 40 hours

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides - Fort William; Stornoway
  • Orkney
  • Perth

Start date

  • September
  • January
  • Variable - for information on start dates please get in touch with your chosen campus


Full time

If you are studying a full time Further Education course (NCs, NQs etc.) the College claims your fees from the Scottish Funding Council for students who are under 18 on the first day of the course. Students over the age of 18 on the first day of the course have to apply to Orkney Islands Council (OIC) for a tuition fees bursary.

Information on the tuition fees bursary is available on the OIC website.

Part time

Normally you are responsible for your course fees but if you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be eligible for a Part Time Course Fee Waiver. Not all part-time courses at Orkney College UHI are covered by the Fee Waiver Scheme and only certain benefits are acceptable as a basis for a Fee Waiver. Please contact the college to enquire.

If you are eligible, you may be entitled to an ILA of up to £200 a year towards a course.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this award you will be able to plan and deliver outdoor activities using a forest kindergarten approach.

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Outdoor learning not only improves mental wellbeing and health and fitness, it can make a huge difference to children's confidence levels and their ability to risk assess while encouraging a lifelong love of the outdoors. 

Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years

Apply for Forest Kindergarten (SCQF level 7) CPD Award

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024 or Jan/Feb 2025

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.