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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?

Whistle Stop tour of playwork theory - Ali Wood

There is a wealth of playwork theory out there and we only have an hour!  So we will be looking at some of the more 'basic' theory and specifically how this relates to practice, together with some teasers to get you wanting more!

TIME: 9:30 - 10:45 LENGTH: 1 hour 15 minutes

Therapeutic playwork: making theory from practice - Wendy Russell & Pip Levett

Come and find out about (and play with) our developing theory of therapeutic playwork that's emerging from Play Gloucestershire's Play2Nurture (P2N) project, now in its third year. P2N works at the intersection of playwork and play therapy. Sessions are offered to small groups of children living with emotional and/or economic hardship. They are supported by experienced community playworkers who are also trained play therapists, play rangers, young volunteers and a therapy dog. The ongoing evaluation is a blend of Theory of Change, creative mapping and regular dialogue. You'll have a chance to have a go at the evaluation methods and talk about how relevant this might be in your work.

TIME: 11:00 - 12:30 LENGTH: 1 hour

The heritage of adventure playgrounds - Professor Ben Highmore

Based on my book (Playgrounds, the experimental years - forthcoming in September 2024) this session will look at how adventure playgrounds emerged as a form of reparation for damaged lives in damaged cities in the years following 1945. Rather than seeing this history as belonging to the past, I want to show how it needs to be celebrated and remembered as a crucial aspect of youth heritage. To treat adventure playgrounds as living heritage has the potential of providing new forms of protection for limited resources. But even more importantly it connects us to a history whose social ambition was to facilitate the conditions for youth to flourish beyond the demands of our commercialised world.

TIME: 12:45 - 13:45 LENGTH: 1 hour

Playwork Stories - Mick Conway

A Zoom session in a room with Bridget Hanscomb helping me out to tell stories about play and playwork. Everybody is welcome to join and ask questions, put other points of view - think of it as chat in a good boozer but without the beer and the awful quiz night

TIME: 14:00 - 15:00 LENGTH: 1 hour

I can't believe they told us to eat off a bush - GLUE Collective

GLUE Collective are a group of artists and play workers. Working predominantly with SEND children and their families. How SPARK developed, stretched and grew as it popped up in different communities and future plans for a permanent home for SPARK to take root. Exploring the elements of SPARK, how it differs from a play space or adventure playground. Children don't visit SPARK alone, so how to engage adults in playful, creative and reflective ways that allow their children the space they need to play freely. Sharing examples of co-creation in indoor and outdoor spaces peppered with anecdotes gathered from children, parents and playworkers. Interactive session with an invitation to co-create.

TIME: 15:30 - 17:00 LENGTH: 1 hour 30 minutes

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The National Playwork Conference is brought to you by: Training, Playwork and Play CIC: 13575861 11 Beachy Head Road, Eastbourne BN20 7QN 01323 730500