How to create a Forest School portfolio

What is a Forest School portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of work that demonstrates knowledge, skills or talent. All Level 3 Forest School Leadership courses require you to create a portfolio of evidence. Your Forest School portfolio will demonstrate all of your hard work and showcase the knowledge and practical skills you have gained during your course.

Think of your portfolio as a showcase of your Forest School journey so far. It should demonstrate your experiences and and your thought processes, show what you have learnt and how you have grown as a Forest School practitioner and a human being.

General advice

  • Quality over quantity! – It really doesn’t matter how long your portfolio is or how many words you’ve written as long as you’ve demonstrated you understand the topic.
  • Be different! – Don’t be afraid to present your portfolio in the way that suits you best. Your portfolio can be electronic or written by hand on paper. Your portfolio doesn’t even have to be a written document, you could present some or all of it as a video or podcast for example. Why not create your portfolio as a blog or website to share with others?
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. – Take lots and lots of photos on your course. Photo’s can be used to demonstrate everything from knot tying skills to identification of plants on your site.
  • Talk and share! – Don’t be afraid to talk to your course trainer, other learners on the course and other Forest School practitioners. Ask advice and share your knowledge with others.

What should my Forest School portfolio include?

Your Forest School trainer should give your a list of unit titles and details about what should be in each. The exact content of the course will vary from provider to provider but all will cover the same key topics. Read through the articles in our Forest School Portfolio series for a step by step guide on how to tackle each section.

Your portfolio should include:

  • A title page of some kind. Make sure your trainer has up to date contact details so they can return your portfolio and get in touch if they have any questions.
  • Your evidence organised in a sensible order with each section clearly labelled or divided.
  • An index that tells your trainer where to find the evidence for each section. If your portfolio is written this would be page numbers, it it’s electronic it may be web addresses or links.
  • A list of appendices or attachments if you have included them.
  • Your failures and challenges as well as your successes. Trainers want to see how you have developed over the course and including information about how you overcame problems is a great way of showing personal growth.

Forest School Portfolio Examples

It goes without saying that copying and pasting sections of someone else’s portfolio is plagiarism and a sure fire way to void your portfolio and fail your Forest School Leadership course. That said, reading about other peoples experiences and looking at how they approached or presented sections of the portfolio can be really useful.

Below are a list of example, complete, Forest School portfolios.

  • A complete Level 3 Forest School Portfolio can be found at the following website:
  • A completed portfolio from Geoffrey Guy can be downloaded as a PDF file.

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