Did you attend an after-school club during the 1990s or 2000s?

When you were at school you may have attended an after-school club at the end of the school day.  The after-school club may have been in your school, community hall or even a leisure centre.  The after-school club was not part of the school curriculum run by the school (for example it is not a … Continue reading Did you attend an after-school club during the 1990s or 2000s?

The right to play is for every child, regardless of where they live

'She seems genuinely impressed when she hears about the freedom and control that children have here, and especially at the sense of community and social connection they exhibit: that this is their place, of which they are immensely proud. Before she moves on, The Princess Royal turns to me and says that these children, from … Continue reading The right to play is for every child, regardless of where they live

Let’s make this thing our metaphorical campfire

Penny Wilson offers a personal view of the struggles of playwork in a world that undervalues play, and of how the Playwork Foundation represents an opportunity for developing our common cause, building mutual support and working together for the growing recognition we deserve. Sometimes, being a playworker feels isolated. We struggle – with local authorities, … Continue reading Let’s make this thing our metaphorical campfire

How youth workers can go the extra mile for play

When Ali Wood enrolled for an event, ‘In Defence of Youth Work’, in Birmingham, she saw that the agenda featured discussions on youth work in different settings and situations. Never being shy about speaking out for play, Ali asked if youth work in adventure playgrounds could be added to the programme. This is a synopsis … Continue reading How youth workers can go the extra mile for play

Colleagues, community and commons – our vital triumverate

In this critique of Voce and Sturrock's A Situated Ethos of Playwork, Simon Rix suggests that community should be integral to playwork practice, and the central focus of the field's fightback. Thanks are due to Gordon Sturrock and and Adrian Voce for their recent paper, A Situated Ethos of Playwork. It rightly acknowledges that the internal … Continue reading Colleagues, community and commons – our vital triumverate

A manifesto for play – a policy development event

10am – 3pm, Thursday 12 July 2018. Shiremoor Adventure Playground, Brenkley Ave, Shiremoor, North Tyneside NE27 0PR. Free event – all welcome! Hosted by Shiremoor Adventure Playground, this play policy forum is a unique opportunity for everyone in the north east and beyond to come together to discuss the issues – both nationally and locally – for … Continue reading A manifesto for play – a policy development event

Marshmallow education

Baseline tests for 4 year-olds, designed to assess their capacity for self-regulation as a predictor of future performance, are not only culturally biased and discriminatory against poorer children, says Gordon Sturrock: they are also part of a regime that is denying the vital importance of children's play – and their human right for that to … Continue reading Marshmallow education

Describing (and not describing) playwork

A response to the review of the National Occupational Standards for Playwork Shelly Newstead In October 2015, Shelly Newstead posted her response to a review of the National Occupational Standards,  raising some fundamental questions about how playwork is defined and described. With kind permission, we are making her response available here, believing these questions to … Continue reading Describing (and not describing) playwork

Fraser Brown’s ‘unique characteristics of playwork’ – a response from Gordon Sturrock

Gordon Sturrock here responds to Professor Fraser Brown’s paper, ‘What is unique about playwork?’, which was based on the latter’s presentation to the launch of the Playwork Foundation in November 2017. These unique characteristics for our work require some considerable evaluation. For the sake of brevity, I'll take the final proposition and use it as … Continue reading Fraser Brown’s ‘unique characteristics of playwork’ – a response from Gordon Sturrock

What is unique about playwork?

At the launch of the Playwork Foundation in November 2017, Professor Fraser Brown described the elements of playwork practice that he identifies as unique within the children's workforce, using playwork stories to illustrate each point. He has now followed up his presentation with an expanded paper, which can be downloaded below, while the list of unique elements is set … Continue reading What is unique about playwork?