Meynell Plays Ltd.
Meynell Plays Ltd.

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Tracks

Finding the correct room for your session couldn’t be easier! There are useful tracks on the floor to guide you on your way and if that proves to be too stressful then there are lots of helpful Conference staff who can show you how to get to where you want to be.

The Colloquy

In previous years we have had leading academics and social thinkers present a ‘colloquium’ which took the form of a 45 minute lecture followed by a 45 minute discussion session but for this year I am working on ideas to make it more of a ‘colloquy’. Conceptually a colloquy is less formal, giving opportunity for conversation, and what I want is not a presentation that is uninterrupted but one in which there is a continual stopping as participants pick up on the specifics of the presentation to ask, comment and discuss. The colloquy will be chaired to ensure that the end of the prepared material is reached and is timetabled to last for 90 minutes

The Colloquy is a session that is planned to be accessible to all from first timers to the really experienced. The person chairing it will set the scene and encourage everyone to interrupt, ask questions and debate. The content for this is the understanding of play, its importance etc.

Track 1 – Thinking about play

A playworker needs to be constantly thinking about children’s play as their job is about supporting that play. Drawing on the life experiences from a cross section of those in the playwork world, these 4 sessions give an insight into different ways of thinking about play and provides you with the opportunity to further reflect on why play is important.

Track 2 – Thinking about Playwork

Drawing on the parallel thoughts that have been percolating for the last few months, this track draws on the Facebook discussion about ‘Authentic Playwork’ and also on the re-emergence of stories as a way of knowing.

Track 3 – Telling Professional Stories and Reflective practice

Reflective practice is a process by which you stop and think about what you do, consciously analyse what you have done and draw on theory in order to relate it to your day to day work. This forms a key part of the playworkers role. In this track are sessions that introduce the concept of reflective practice and demonstrate some good examples that are currently being undertaken and which can be used as models for your own practice.

Track 4 – Advanced Playwork Theory

It is never a good idea to stand still - someone will use you as a coat stand! If we want to become better in our playwork practice then we need to engage and reengage with the theories that underpin our practice

Track 5 – New to Playwork 1

This is a first for the National Playwork Conference! Playwork Partnerships, together with their European partners, have developed a training programme for those new to playwork. This is an accredited introductory course of seven modules. This track covers the first four modules which are certificated as a standalone programme. You can take part in the whole course - over the two days [and follow up programme] or just dip in to what seems interesting for you.

Track 6 – Teamwork and management

We all exist in teams and are either the manger or have a manager. What is there not to like about this track? Four sessions that will support you to work better and more effectively with your teams.

Track 7 - Professionalisation

Interspersed around the sessions that will improve your thinking and will help you get messages across whether you are a playwork teacher/trainer are other sessions that will help us think about playwork as a profession drawing on developments in the UK as well as across the world.

Track 8 - Practical Ideas

Sometimes at a conference it is nice to do something practical so we have gathered together a number of stimulating and useful subjects which will provide for both your personal enjoyment and something you could take back to your setting and offer to the children. These are all taking place in the garden - so dress warm!

Track 9 – Storytelling and Reflective Practice

This is an outdoor fully-hands on session of kite-mapping. It is an accessible and low cost DIY practice of gathering aerial photography using kites. During the session, while people actively engage in kite-mapping a nearby area, probably the beach, there will be a sharing of stories of this practice being used in places such as in Israel as a way to bring Palestinian and Israeli children together to re-imagine the contested spaces which they inhabit and to create playful dialogue. This track will include thinking of ways this practice can be useful to people’s current work and people will be to directed more resources and information they can use.

Track 10– Inclusive Practice

When playworkers talk about children and young people we talk about ALL children. But is your practice as sharp as you think it is? Are you aware of all the issues? Or is your inclusive practice tokenistic?

Track 11 – Different Playwork Contexts

Three varied sessions about playwork in ways that we do not necessarily think about enough.

Track 12 – New to Playwork 2

The final two sessions of the new course and for people that didn’t want to do the course and who want a really fast catch up on playwork theory we have put that in for the end of the day.

Track 13 – Current Issues and Campaigns

We are not lone individuals walking our own paths. We are part of a network of like minded souls but to achieve as a group we need to ‘fight’ and ‘argue’ together.

Track 14 – Working with Play

A further consideration of play and our understanding of it. How we engage with people who think differently and how we can put that thinking into practice.

Track 15 – Advanced Playwork Principles

Three sessions looking in some depth at Principle 2, Principle 4 and Principle 7.

Track 16 – Practical Ideas

Sometimes at a conference it is nice to do something practical so we have gathered together a number of stimulating and useful subjects which will provide for both your personal enjoyment and something you could take back to your setting and offer to the children. These are all taking place in the garden - so dress warm!
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