Explore the tracks for 2024!
If, as playworkers, our purpose is to support and enable children's play, then we need to have an understanding of what play is, because if we don't, then how can we provide for the opportunity to play?
As a profession, we have a number of theories that underpin our professional approach. But these theories can be interpreted and interrogated in different ways Can the playwork approach be varied depending on the context in which the playworker works?
All children have a right and a need to play. The need to provide an appropriate play space for the older child is often missed, and for many playwork provisions, the top age of their participants is 12 or 13. Teenagers need to play too, and we need to understand the teenage brain, their need for play, and how we can resource this.
Whilst it is recognised that children need adventure and risk in their play, playworkers often struggle with how to justify the risk-taking opportunities provided for their children. It is also often forgotten that risk-taking is more than just the physical, but encompasses emotional and mental risk-taking as well.
The co-creation of the physical space in which the play takes place is fundamental to the children's sense of ownership of their play spaces. The theory sounds great, but how does this actually happen in practice? We will explore both the theory and the application.
Here is an opportunity for the Conference participants to get in some playing for themselves, as well as perhaps gain some ideas they can take back into their settings to offer to their children.
Policy and Advocacy
How do we create policy and campaign for the importance of play and the playwork approach at local and national levels? This is a fundamental question for children's health and well-being and our sector's future.
The Out of School Sector
It is essential to recognise that playwork is not just about adventure playgrounds. A massive sector is often overlooked because children have to pay to attend, and this sector faces unique challenges and barriers in delivering high-quality playwork provision.
This track will be curated by Rebekah Jackson Reece and the wonderful Out of School Alliance, who you can read more about here. OOSA members can also access a 10% discount on their Conference tickets - contact Rebekah to find out more.
Playwork in Schools
The increasing raising of awareness of the importance of play within the education system has meant that hundreds of schools across the UK have been working to bring in the playwork approach, whether it is a whole school approach or restricted to lunchtime and other playtimes. We are going to explore the various options that have been adopted