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?

An organisation that reflects who we are

When Penny Wilson was asked to speak at the recent Playwork Foundation launch event, she took her brief seriously; consulting with colleagues and deeply reflecting, both on her practice and on the chequered history of playwork representation. The result was this impassioned entreaty for an organisation that can do justice to the extraordinary work that … Continue reading An organisation that reflects who we are

The Play Cycle 20 Years On

 In 1998, Gordon Sturrock and the late Perry Else presented a paper at the IPA International Play Conference in Colorado, Canada.  The paper was titled ‘The playground as therapeutic space: playwork as healing’, later referred to as ‘The Colorado Paper’ and introduced the Play Cycle to playwork theory. In the last twenty years, elements of … Continue reading The Play Cycle 20 Years On

‘Youth vs. the world’

Like so many, Meriden Adventure Playground, in the West Midlands, is having to fight a rearguard action to preserve even its meagre level of funding. It faces an uncertain future; something not lost on its young users. These include a girl called Misha, who earlier this week delivered this message, via the playground staff, to the … Continue reading ‘Youth vs. the world’