Closing date for applications: 6th October 2017 at 1200

Salary: Not applicable

Location: Guba Farm Plyaschool, Malkerns, Swaziland, southern Africa

Job categories: Forest School Leader, Forest School Trainer, Voluntary / Unpaid

Explain how applicants should contact you / apply: To learn more about us – a permaculture training centre based in beautiful Swaziland – & the services we provide, you can visit Please submit your CV & cover letter application by email to Emma Granville at, by 6th October 2017 at 1200, including:

  • A summary of your work experience to-date, including dates & at least 2 references. (Please ensure that you refer to the personal qualities we have outlined here when writing your covering letter.)
  • Any forest school qualifications or experience you have in a woodland/outdoor learning setting.

Job description: As Volunteer Forest School Practitioner you will be responsible for running a forest school programme during school holidays for 5-8 year olds which will mean annual leave cannot be taken during these times. During term times you will be working alongside the preschool staff team to provide basic forest school activities for children aged 2.5 – 6 years. You will plan & deliver a high level of outdoor education that will enable our children to explore stimulating environments & fun experiences that will help them to achieve & complete challenging tasks. You will act as a positive role model, providing supported learning whilst developing self-awareness, self-esteem & building confidence. You will also be expected to provide on-the-job training for preschool team members as means of maximizing the sustainability impact of your position.

The successful candidate must be able to:

  • Plan effective learning & care programmes
  • Demonstrate experience of working with the Early Years Foundation Stage & other relevant learning programmes/strategies e.g. contributing towards individual education plans
  • Work collaboratively as part of a team (with staff & management)
  • Take key decisions independently
  • Lead the effective planning of learning
  • Identify & discuss staff training needs with staff & management
  • Self-evaluate learning needs & actively seek learning opportunities & communicate with management
  • Set, demonstrate & promote good practice in-line with the ethos of the preschool, both indoors & outdoors
  • Manage multiple tasks, whilst ensuring children, colleagues, parents & carers are respected and listened to.
  • Keep updated written records of children’s achievements including observations
    Share your Forest School skills through a well prepared training framework with your preschool team during term time & through their employment during school holidays where applicable.

Person specification: You may have little understanding of Swazi culture, so you will need to be committed to listening & learning from your Swazi counterparts without judgement or hesitation. We are seeking a playful, independent, self-motivated, open-minded, inventive & resourceful attitude, as well as a commitment to the environment, people & sharing.

To be considered for this full time position you must:

  • Hold level 3 certification in Forest School Programme
  • Show passion, enthusiasm & a commitment to helping children do their best, providing inspiration through exciting activities whilst promoting the Forest School & outdoor learning ethos
  • Contribute to the overall work & aims of the Forest School, & manage the site sustainably
    Have recent experience in a Forest School setting working with children of pre-school age for a minimum of 2 years
  • Demonstrate flexibility, creative thinking & adaptability
  • Relate well to both children & adults, including other professionals/carers/parents
  • Demonstrate strong communication & listening skills
  • Demonstrate an understanding & recognition of the principles of equality & diversity (with particular reference to the Swazi-context where possible)
  • Show a working knowledge of child development & learning processes with reference to particular barriers to learning (with particular reference to the Swazi-context where possible)
  • Demonstrate a proven ability to lead planning sessions
  • Demonstrate working independently using own initiative
  • Demonstrate an ability to be highly organised & computer literate (Word/Excel)
    Demonstrate a willingness to share Forest School skills with preschool team members through on-the-job training.

Any other information: This position will be open from January 2018. As well as term time activities, you will be expected to work 4 weeks during school holidays providing a Forest School programme for 5-8 year olds designed by you with support from management. Term time working hours are from Monday – Friday 0800 – 1400 although these hours are negotiable to maximize your macro experience of Swaziland. Guba will commit to paying for a return flight from an international airport in the UK to Johannesburg in South Africa & return trip transit bus from Johannesburg to Ezulwini, Swaziland, where you will be collected. Costs for a volunteers Visa will be also be included. Beautiful accommodation will be provided by Guba at no cost, situated on the same permaculture farm as the school. Electricity & hot water are provided, & an abundant kitchen garden will supplement food requirements. You will need to cover other living costs, local transport costs, etc. This position is available for between 1 – 2 years (1 year minimum, 2 years preferable). The main language spoken is SiSwati but education is (mostly) conducted in English. Be prepared to learn a different strain of spoken English + basic SiSwati, live in a rural setting using public transport & dress in a sympathetic way to fit in with Swazi culture.


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