The training course for Play-Friendly Schools is a step closer to being ready

Six countries come together in Slovakia to pilot the draft course and train trainers to use the resources

starting out, getting to know each other

mapping memories of playing

As a part of our Children’s Access to Play in Schools (CAPS) project, we are developing a training course to support schools to meet the Quality Criteria for play-friendly schools. For the week of 10-17 February, our partners and associates came together in the ballroom of a hotel in Veľký Meder to try out the activities and to train trainers to use the resources.

The course is designed as a 30 hour course of ten 3-hour modules, with the first module being a general introduction to the concept of play-friendly schools and to the Quality Criteria, suitable for whole school communities or for promotional events. This, together with the following four modules (the first half of the course) give an overview of the theory and practice that schools will need in order to meet the criteria. The second half of the course is aimed more at the practitioners working directly with children.

cutting the line of barriers to play

The project draws on two UK practices: playwork and the work of Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL), and these are explored in the course, which looks at how schools can establish the necessary structures and processes that can ensure children have sufficient time, space and permission to play both at dedicated play times and throughout the school day. The activities are a mix of theory and participative/experiential learning, with real-life planning activities to help schools decide where they are now and what actions are needed to meet the criteria. The course can be used as a whole course (or two halves), or people can use the suggested activities as a toolkit.

exploring loose parts

The outline of the course is:

1. What is a play-friendly school?

2. Making time and building a culture that supports play (1) – strategic/policy issues

3. Making time and building a culture that supports play (2) – introducing playwork practice

4. Space for play

5. School strategy and action plan

6. More on play – perspectives on its nature and value

7. The self – personal aspects of supporting play in schools

8. Playwork theory and practice

9. More on play and space

10. Play beyond play time / action planning / closing

after a week together, we're feeling connected!

Following the pilot, partners will analyse the feedback and make adjustments to the course and also develop an information pack that will give schools the background theory and tools that can help them meet the Quality Criteria.

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