Levels

Natural Connections has several levels of award and although each has a firm structure (number of elements and number of hours) the way in which you choose to design the programme is very flexible. You should select a level that is appropriate for your group.

Foundations

  • The new Natural Connections Foundations programme is aimed at Primary 1-3 and builds on the Forest Kindergarten experiences encouraging regular opportunities to learn outdoors.
  • Participate in 4 elements for at least 5 hours per element.
  • Time commitment at least 20 hours plus time to produce a record of experiences.
  • A journey of 2-3 hours is required depending on the age.

Level 1

  • is usually best suited to children in Primary 4-7.
  • Participate in activities for the six elements for at least five hours per element.
  • Total time commitment at least 30 hours plus time to produce a permanent record of all your experiences.
  • A full day is required for the journeying element.

Level 2

  • Is best suited to P6- S2, transition/secondary education.
  • Participate in activities for the six elements for at least 10 hours per element.
  • Total time commitment at least 60 hours plus time to produce a permanent record of all your experiences.
  • Extra time for planning activities for helping the environment and journeying.

The journey is two days with an overnight stay, camoing or bothy, or residental.

Level 3

This has three elements- adventure skills, helping the environment and journeying. You will spend the same amount of total time as Level 2- but twice as much for each element- 20 hours. This allows you to focus and specialise on activities that interest you. By now you should be working together and finding your way naturally and will be improving your skills in planning, reviewing and recording.

The 20 hour journey will involve two overnight stays camping, bothying or other residential.

You could gain higher awards from the John Muir Award, National Navigation Award Scheme or the British Canoe Union. You could take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

Natural Connections – a Flexible Award

It is recognised that many groups have special considerations which means that the best level for them does not fit this general guidance. Some Primary groups will achieve L1 quite quickly and seek to progress to L2, some older groups may find L1 challenging enough and some community groups may well have the skills and experience to progress directly to L3.