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What Really is Playwork?

Therapeutic play on an adventure playground - Ali Wood and Clair Meares

We all know that play is therapeutic and that children and adults alike benefit from playing in a multitude of ways.  But how do we 'know' that and what evidence do we have that will convince others - (including funders)?  At Meriden Adventure Playground when we opened up again after the first lockdown and it was clear that children had all kinds of fears and anger that they were playing out, we decided to employ a therapeutic playworker whose whole reason for being was to enable this to happen at various sessions including youth nights, open play sessions and targeted sessions run jointly with local psychologists for children on mental health caseloads.  We will be sharing our findings, how we collected the evidence and inspiring you too.

TIME: 09:30-11:00 LENGTH: 1.5 hours TARGET AUDIENCE: Play Explorer

Does playwork in schools change playwork? - Cath Prisk, Michael Follett, Mike Barclay and Ana Ardelean

This is a discussion about how/if/whether playwork in schools can/does/will have an impact on the beautiful practice of playwork. In a survey of c. 400 staff in 10 schools only 6 of them had a Playwork qualification, and three quarters had never heard of Playwork. Only a couple had visited an Adventure Playground. Most didn’t know they exist. Yet OPAL schools do develop playground cultures that mimic and replicate a playwork approach. Midday supervisors are re-named as Playworkers. Local Authorities now have approved job descriptions for ‘Play Team Members’, identifying these lunch-time supervisors as playworkers. As more and more schools are exploring a playwork-inspired approach what will this mean for the profession of playwork?

TIME: 11:00-12:15 LENGTH: 1 hour 15 mins TARGET AUDIENCE: Play Explorer

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The National Playwork Conference is brought to you by: Playwork Conferences Ltd: 13095247 and Training, Playwork and Play CIC: 13575861 11 Beachy Head Road, Eastbourne BN20 7QN 01323 730500 meynell@meynellgames.org.uk