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Honeyguide School Leader Support

Outdoor Learning Role Skills Audit Pack

Outdoor Learning Role Skills Audit Pack

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Looking to identify the skills and development points of your school's outdoor learning lead? Or perhaps you're a outdoor learning practitioner or Forest School lead who wants to explore your role-specific strengths and weaknesses as part of ongoing development or when looking for a new role. No matter the situation, this handy pack contains exactly what you need to uncover strengths and plan for professional development & growth.
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What's included in this bundle?

A quick-and-easy pack to audit the skills of an outdoor learning lead or a Forest School Teacher. This pack contains concise guidance to support you in effectively utilising the skills audit, whether you're line managing an outdoor learning practitioner or whether you're a Forest School lead or outdoor learning teacher yourself who's wanting to evaluate their strengths and areas for improvement.  

Included is a 10-page template covering the different areas of skills that a outdoor learning leader or assistant may need. These are split into handy sections, such as: outdoor education pedagogy and practice; teaching, learning and facilitation of outdoor activities; environmental stewardship and sustainability, and health, safety and risk management so they can be used flexibly. Questions include:

  • Am I confident in using natural materials, tools and resources to create engaging and hands-on learning opportunities aligned with curriculum objectives?
  • How does the learning environment I create outdoors ensure pupils feel confident to take risks?
  • How well do I understand the unique characteristics and dynamics of local ecosystems, including habitats, species diversity and ecological processes?
  • Can I enforce boundaries and safety measures in a firm but supportive manner, maintaining a positive and respectful learning environment for all?

Who will find this resource useful?

The pack is aimed at supporting outdoor learning teachers and leaders but can be used by anyone who line manages someone in an outdoor learning role, such as a Forest School teacher, Forest School leader, outdoor learning practitioner, outdoor learning assistant or outdoor education teacher. This can help to inform appraisal and performance management processes, as well as identify CPD needs for the outdoor learning lead.

What questions does this pack have the answers to?

Whether staff members are new-to-role or have vast experience in their area, skills audits are a valuable self-evaluation tool. When a staff member reflects on their competencies and expertise, they’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the strengths they bring to their role while identifying opportunities for growth or next steps. This self-awareness can boost confidence and self-belief, as well as enabling individuals to articulate their unique contributions to the team.

When skill gaps are identified, performance targets can include specific objectives aimed at addressing these gaps, allowing those with line management responsibilities to support the staff member through professional development and further training. Skills audits can also help school leaders to create balanced teams, prepare for change, support staff retention and assist in succession planning. 

Key questions answered:

  • Why is it important for staff to utilise skills audits?
  • How should a skills audit be conducted?
  • How can skills audits inform performance management targets?
  • How can leaders identify individual staff training needs?
  • What other ways can skills audits be used?

What else can help me?

Skills audits can be used as a valuable part of the induction process when a new staff member joins your team. Find out more about how to craft staff induction procedures that allow staff to get off to a flying start in your setting with the following pack:

If you know that your staff have training and development needs, and are looking to enhance your CPD planning, this pack will support your thinking:

If you're thinking about recruiting an outdoor learning lead or Forest School teacher, and want to use the skills audit as part of that process, then you'll find the following packs and pages useful too: