Woodwork CPD online course

Introducing woodwork in early childhood education
Professional development training

The video above provides a short overview of the course (4mins)

This online course comprises of a set of recorded videos that those enrolled can stream and a comprehensive collection of handouts and course notes that can be downloaded. You will require a reasonable internet connection. This gives participants the freedom undertake the CPD where and at a time that is most suitable.

This in-depth course provides everything you need in order to safely introduce woodwork in early childhood settings. Comprising of 8 training videos, a selection of handouts and in-depth guidance for a hands-on practical session to experience the most suitable woods and tools before you start to introduce woodwork to children. The tutor has over 20 years of experience of providing woodwork to young children. He is the author of Learning Through Woodwork (Routledge) and has undertaken extensive international research.

  • Unit 1 – An introduction to the course. The historical and current context. Equal opportunities.
  • Unit 2 – Theory: Associated learning and development
  • Unit 3 – Introduction to tools, wood, resources and workbenches
  • Unit 4 – How to set up a woodwork area and manage the provision
  • Unit 5 – Health and safety and risk assessment. Parents
  • Unit 6 – Longer term and collaborative projects, primary progression, makerspaces
  • Unit 7 – 20 top tips and concluding comments
  • Unit 8 – Practical: Guidance for practitioner hands-on experience

Currently around the world we are seeing a surge of renewed interest in woodwork and we are seeing an ever increasing number of settings embed woodwork within their practice. There is something so special about working with wood, the smell and feel of wood, using real tools, which all go to captivate young children and we see extraordinary levels of sustained engagement and focus. Hands, minds and hearts working together. Woodwork incorporate all areas of learning, particularly developing children’s core dispositions to learning as well as their creative and critical thinking skills. Physical development, mathematical thinking, mark-making, literacy, scientific thinking, STEM, communication, collaboration and design thinking all are incorporated in the magic of woodwork.

The emphasis of the course is on ‘creative’ woodwork, with children learning how to use tools safely and then going on to make what they want to make. I see wood as just another material with which children can express their imagination. Wood is not the easiest material to work with and it certainly throws up lots of challenges, but when children are making what they want to make they have the intrinsic motivation to persevere, to problem solve, and resolve their ideas. In this way woodwork is truly exceptional for developing children’s creative and critical thinking skills, as well as core dispositions such as taking risks and persistence, and thus builds children’s self-esteem, confidence and a sense of agency.

Woodwork, time and time again, has proved to be exceptional for engaging certain children who typically find it hard to focus and concentrate. Their curiosity is captured and woodwork becomes the key that unlocks their learning as they thrive and flourish at the woodwork bench.

The course explains the most suitable tools and woods and how to introduce them safely. We look at progression and how to safely manage your provision. There is an in-depth explanation of the value of woodwork – exploring the pedagogical context focusing on all areas of children’s learning an development. We look closely at the health and safety and measures we need to put in place to ensure woodwork is safe, understand risk assessment and how to best respond to possible parents concerns. Examples of longer term projects are provided and there is detailed guidance for a practical session before you start to introduce woodwork to children. The course is comprehensive, the video format enabling me to provide even more content than when delivered face to face.

The course is aimed at all early childhood educators; teachers, support staff, childminders, headteachers, local authority advisors and students. It is suitable for everyone irrespective of the specific curriculum or approach followed so whether you follow the EYFS, Curriculum for Excellence or IB PYP…, or you are a Montessori, Froebelian or Reggio inspired setting… the course will be highly relevant for you.

On completion of this accredited course there is a very short simple assessment form to complete and then your CPD certificate will be issued.

Course Tutor: Pete Moorhouse

This masterclass course draws on over 20 years experience of providing woodwork to young children. It draws upon extensive international research in many countries including Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and USA and my research on the Big Bang research project at Bristol University – evaluating the impact of woodwork on children’s learning and development. Pete has presented research at several international conferences such as OMEP, BECERA, IAEC.

Pete is the author of ‘Learning Through Woodwork’ (Routledge 2018), Pete has written several books and had many articles and papers published in educational journals.

What is included:

  • Set of 8 training videos (approx 1 hour each)
  • Course notes, with links and discussion/reflection prompts

Comprehensive set of 18 handouts:

  • Woodwork equipment and suppliers
  • Health and safety checklist
  • Example woodwork risk assessment
  • Example letter to reassure parents
  • Woodwork booklist
  • Specific booklist with positive role models for girls using tools
  • Health, safety and risk guidance summary
  • Learning and development summary
  • Woodwork and curriculum
  • Woodwork learning outcomes
  • Mathematical thinking through woodwork
  • Progression in woodwork
  • 20 top woodworking tips
  • Nails and screws
  • Soft start – balsa wood and alternatives
  • Physical and anatomical development
  • Instructions to make your own workbench!
  • CPD Certificate (on completion of short simple assessment)
  • 20% discount voucher on the book – Learning Through Woodwork
  • Post course support: For group bookings – option of a follow up consultation by zoom.  For individuals follow up questions answered by email
  • Invitation to participate in the Big Bang research project


NOTE: VAT is to be added to the prices below for sales within the UK. Many settings are able to reclaim the VAT.
Individual: £120 plus VAT
School/nursery group up to 10:  £500 plus VAT
School/nursery  group up to 25:  £950 plus VAT
School/nursery group of 25+:  POA contact for more information
Local authority courses: POA contact for more information
Teacher training courses/ modules:  POA contact for more information

Videos are streamed so you will require reasonable internet connection

For groups the training course can be watched either as a group or individually. I would recommend making time for discussion or reflection. Discussion prompts are included in the course notes.

For those already providing woodwork, the course will provide a wealth of supporting information and new ideas to further develop your woodwork provision, and will also be useful for new members of staff joining your team.

In terms of impact – which is what CPD is all about – it is most effective if all staff members watch the videos and then have some discussion around them and have a hands-on practical session together.

Through woodwork children will be learning skills that will enable them to shape their world

What others say about Pete’s training:

Thank you so much. I found the training course absolutely brilliant and inspiring. So accurate and complete in both its theoretical part and practical part. I had already read previously the book but the online training course gave me the final knowledge to consolidate my competences and and my confidence to set up and run a woodwork area in my provision. Marcello Patruno, Rebecca Cheetham Nursery School, London

Thank you so much. This has been the best course I’ve partaken in , I ‘ve really enjoyed tinkering with all these tools etc and plan to include woodwork in our preschool. Thanks again. Alison Gault Smallfry community playgroup, Northern Ireland

Woodwork CPD not to be missed! So many tips and tricks to ensure working with wood and tools is a successful and fulfilling experience for children.  I now have more confidence in the use of tools and how to introduce these to the children. I was reminded of how many learning opportunities are supported through woodwork.” Headteacher, Sally Costello, Little Learners

“The CPD was really useful and informative. It was really inspiring and thought provoking and has really got me thinking. The great visual images really brought ideas to life and so many wonderful dynamic ideas. I’m really looking forward to setting up our woodwork area. Thank you.” Sadia Khan, UAE

“The training really opened up my ideas to the possibility of woodwork with the really strong links to curriculum, Fantastic professional development that was really inspiring and informative. I am definitely going to embed woodwork within our setting. Cant wait to introduce it! Pete is a very knowledgeable tutor and has in depth knowledge of curriculum and links woodwork to all areas of learning – especially to the characteristics of effective learning. Pete’s passion for woodwork really comes across”  Vicky Wright, EYFS lead teacher and advisor

I really enjoyed the course and I found it really beneficial to my practice. Understanding of appropriate resources that promote a safe environment where children can participate in challenging and “risky” play. The course promotes a sense of creativity and curiosity throughout promoting child led learning and creativity. Great to have a solid theoretical framework and understand the developmental importance of woodwork. Maggie Hapling, Forest Folk

I’m so excited to get started! Thank you – so informative – a really excellent course. It will provide a creative opportunity to develop gross and fine motor skills, problem solving and critical thinking, ability for children to design and take part in collaboration and teamwork projects. Melanie Booth, Melrose Infant School

Really informative and inspirational! The course really highlighted just how beneficial woodwork is to children, offering a new experience to encourage their natural curiosity. He emphasises how safe woodwork is if the correct risk assessment and safety measure are in place. Great to learn how to use and introduce children to the different tools and wood in a way that they are guaranteed to succeed. It’s about the process – let the children be creative. Marta Chivers, Little Tots

Thank you! Really excellent explanation of the theory and the practice of woodwork. This will make such an impact on our provision. Grazie mille! Marco Lippi, Bologna

I’ve attended courses in the past that have covered many topics and I have developed them in the setting almost half-heartedly due to either not enough research, too many barriers or lack of interest which have resulted in rushed, overpowering and lack of depth learning experiences, whereas, after this woodwork training, I was so inspired and motivated to develop this into the nursery and couldn’t wait to get started. Stacey O’Donnell, Early Years Officer at Bainsford ELC

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Big bang – small hands – BIG ideas!

Unit video timings:

Unit 1 – An introduction to the course. Historical and current context. Equal opportunities.63mins
Unit 2 – Theory: Associated learning and development70mins
Unit 3 – Introduction to tools, wood, resources and workbenches68mins
Unit 4 – How to set up a woodwork area and manage the provision61mins
Unit 5 – Health and safety and risk assessment. Parents55mins
Unit 6 – Longer term and collaborative projects58mins
Unit 7 – 20 top tips and concluding comments38mins
Unit 8 – Practical: Guidance for practitioner hands-on experience26mins