We held one of our Multiplier Events Playworks, Nottingham’s play resource centre on December 5th 2018
We aim to be working with Playworks on the project and hope they will be able to continue the work after the project ends, together with another support organisation in Nottingham, the Toy Library. The event was offered as a twilight session aimed at school staff, introducing the idea of the Play-Friendly School label and the Quality Criteria. There was a lot of interest from schools and support organisation. Fourteen people attended the event, including school staff, support organisations and an academic. The schools that attended are interested in becoming pilot schools for the project. The Quality Criteria were received enthusiastically, and one school felt they were already well on the way to meeting them and are keen to engage with the ideas.
Wendy Russell facilitated the event, talking about the benefits of becoming a play-friendly school: research shows that in schools that have made deliberate changes to support play, children are happier, enjoy play times more, and return to classrooms ready to learn; teachers say that there are fewer behavioural issues and that they gain up to 20 minutes teaching time after breaks because they are not dealing with incidents when children return to the classroom. Those attending had a go at some of the activities from the planned training course, including drawing a map of their playground and using child-based questioning to see how the space works.
We are looking forward now to working with our pilot schools and to developing the training course.