Playwork courses

​​​​​​​​​​​​All of Playwork Partnerships training courses have been developed with the underpinning of the Playwork Principles and are inspiring to the people who attend. Our courses:

  • are based on research and development with practitioners and therefore reflect practical experience of working with children and young people
  • embed a range of learning methods to ensure the sessions are fun and engaging to the learner
  • clearly map to the National Occupational Standards in the sector to enable learners to have a clear progression route and to access the appropriate course for their work
  • are available to be delivered by us or through local trained providers either in the UK or internationally
  • benefit from national recognition

If you'd like Playwork Partnerships endorsed training in your area, you can arrange for us to visit you or become a Playwork Partnerships Associate Trainer (PPAT). 

Get in touch to find out more.


Our courses

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Course

Play-Way

Course overview

Play-Way' is a new entry-level training course developed through the VIPER project in 2015.  The course aims to provide learners with:

  • an understanding of children's freely chosen play and the roles and responsibilities of the adult in supporting children and youngpeople's play alongside safe working practices
  • underpinning theory around play and playwork
  • an understanding of the Playwork Principles, Children's Rights and the importance of inclusion and equalities when working with children and young people
  • confidence and skills when working with childrenand young people aged 4-16 in a range of settings including a play setting
  • opportunities to gain practical experience of workingand or volunteering with children and young people and to reflect on their experiences
  • signposting to information about further training and job opportunities

For children and young people, play is an essential part of a healthy childhood. Not only do children and young people play in their own homes and neighbourhoods but also in a range of staffed settings where adults who work or volunteer there, have a key role in creating and supporting the environment in which children can freely play.

The UK play sector covers a wide range of settings including playschemes, adventure playgrounds and out of school clubs. Working with children of all ages and abilities is hugely rewarding and training such as the 'Play-Way' course is essential to staff and volunteers to enable children to access high quality play opportunities.

Play-Way is a 14 hour course, divided into two hour sessions:

  1. Understanding Play
  2. The Importance of Play
  3. Playing for ALL
  4. Playing Safely
  5. Supporting Play
  6. Play Spaces
  7. Reflective Practice

The course consists of many tasks and activities that should be fun and participatory in order to make your learning enjoyable and worthwhile. Your trainer will introduce the aims of each session and the notebook provided is for assessment tasks and your personal thoughts.

Assessment and recognition

Play-Way is a 14-hour professional development training course that has previously been accredited and endorsed by Skillsactive, the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning.  The course, written by Playwork Partnerships at the University of Gloucestershire, provides learners with an introduction to children's play and playwork.  The course content provides some of the underpinning knowledge for Playwork National Occupational Standards at Level 2.

The course emphasises participative learning, discussion, practical activities and games. The assessment will be based on active participation in the taught session, completion of a short question paper and a reflective diary sheet based on a practical experience undertaken after session 6.

Book today

If you're interested this course, get in touch with us today to find out more.

Course

Playing on the Range

Course overview

Playing on the Range is an exciting 2 day training course specifically for play rangers working in the public space and playworkers based in open access settings.

Whilst exploring the unique role and position of the play ranger within the local community, there will also be an emphasis on practical ideas for delivery during the winter months, including playing in the dark and the seasonal weather!

This level 2 course is 20 hours, made up of 15 hours training time and 5 hours of individual study. The sessions are:

  • Session 1 - Play ranger
  • Session 2 - Free range children
  • Session 3 - At home on the range
  • Session 4 - At a safe range
  • Session 5 - Community ranger or lone ranger
  • Session 6 - Wider ranger

Applicants must be able to demonstrate current experience of working with children in a play setting, and must have undertaken some introductory Playwork Training.

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • enable learners to gain confidence and competence in facilitating freely chosen play in 'open access' provision
  • enable learners to understand the importance of play ranger projects within the wider community
  • develop learners' ability to effectively monitor and evaluate their play ranger service
  • help learners appreciate the significance of community and project development and the importance of accountability for the play ranger service

Assessment

The delivery of the course will emphasise participative learning, practical group work and individual reflective practice. The assessment will be based on your active participation during the taught session and completion of a reflective diary, the diary can be presented in any format which reflects your learning needs.

To pass this course and receive a certificate you must:

  • attend 80% of the taught sessions
  • actively participate in sessions
  • complete assessments including a course reflective diary

Book today

If you're interested this course, get in touch with us today to find out more.

Course

Playing with the Elements

Playing with the Elements is a two-day course that looks at a range of ideas and opportunities available for playing outdoors with the four elements, focusing specifically on the winter months and how to make best use of the weather and the darker evenings. Suitable for all playworkers and practitioners working with children and young people in outdoor spaces.

'Playing Outdoors with the Elements' is a variation of this course and has the benefit of being able to be delivered in 1 day, simply covering all the practical aspects of the course.

In this course, the concept of the four elements is used to represent:

  • the make-up and physical features of outdoor play environments
  • themes for different types of activities and outdoor play experiences
  • symbols and concepts for the different ways in which children play outdoors and interact with the natural world

Facilitating environmental play should not be limited to outdoor 'specialists' within the children's play workforce. Playing outside with natural elements should be a regular and ongoing aspect of supervised play for all children, in a wide range of settings, and as such is the responsibility of everyone who works to support their play.

With this in mind, the course aims to bridge the gap between your existing skills, tools and confidence and those needed to make the first moves in environmental playwork or to develop it further. Through the course structure, you will be able to identify and acknowledge your own specific areas for learning and development.

This Level 3 course is a 30 hour course, consisting of five sessions of 3.5 hours, then a final session of 4.5 hours, plus 8 personal reflective practice hours.

The sessions are:

  • Session 1 - Introducing the Elements
  • Session 2 - Earth
  • Session 3 - Fire
  • Session 4 - Water
  • Session 5 - Air
  • Session 6 - Mixing the Elements

Applicants must have undertaken some playwork study at level 2, currently be working with children in a play setting, and have undertaken training which includes the Playwork Induction Standard or similar.

Course aims

The aims of this course are to:

  • recognise the value and importance of children's outdoor play and interaction with natural elements
  • enable direct experiences with each of the natural elements and explore practical elemental activity 'springboards' that can be adapted and modified to different settings
  • provide knowledge, information and guidelines on the principles and best practice of outdoor playwork, including awareness of how to overcome specific barriers
  • explore ways in which any play provision can be improved or added to in order to best facilitate elemental play outdoors
  • introduce conceptual ideas about children's play through considering the importance and significance of the four natural elements

Assessment

To receive the full certificate for this course you must:

  • Attend 80% of the Playing with the Elements course
  • Actively participate in sessions
  • Complete assessments including a reflective course diary

Book today

If you're interested this course, get in touch with us today to find out more.

Course

Playing Creatively

Course overview

Information, inspiration and ideas for playworkers and early years practitioners who want to work creatively with children and young people.

This 10 hour course is suitable for anyone working with children who want to develop their own creativity and gain some new ideas to put into practice. The course explores several practical ideas and creative games, whilst based on relevant theory around children's play. It also develops a personal creative journey for each individual participant.

Children are naturally creative and use many forms to express themselves which aids their overall development and encourages learning. You don't need to be a great artist or painter to encourage creativity in children, but maybe a few different ideas would support you in your setting in helping make it a creative place for the children you work with.

It is linked to the Playwork National Occupational Standards (NOS) at level 3 and will provide learners with information, inspiration and ideas to support their development as creative practitioners and increase further understanding of the relationships between play and creativity.

Course content

This course is designed to be delivered over four sessions of 2½ hours plus personal reflective practice of five hours making a total of 15 hours of study. You are required to attend 80% of the sessions in order for you to be considered for a full certificate. More details on the certification process are given later.

To get the most from this course you are asked to participate in all learning exercises, engage in all discussions and challenge yourself and others in a positive and constructive way. You may be required to undertake some of your learning outdoors.

  • Session 1: Playing Creatively - what is play, what is creativity?
  • Session 2: Playing Creatively - transforming spaces
  • Session 3: Playing Creatively - understanding intervention
  • Session 4: Playing Creatively - the creative practitioner

This course is designed to meet the needs of Playworkers, Childcare Professionals, Extended Services Providers, Early Years Practitioners and Teachers. The course will support learners to gain confidence and competence in facilitating playing creatively and focuses on participative learning, practical group work and individual reflective practice.

Learners must demonstrate current experience of working with children and young people in a play context, which may include holiday play schemes, extended school services, play times, public park & spaces as well as established play centres and adventure playgrounds. It is desirable that learners have undertaken training in playwork at Level 3 and be familiar with the Playwork Principles, but introduction to some playwork theory will be included in the course.

Course aims

This course aims to equip people with the knowledge and confidence to develop and extend opportunities for creativity when working with children and young people.

Assessment

Assessments confirm that you have understood the learning and know how to put it into practice. Trainers will explain at the beginning of each session what the learning outcomes are for that session. Trainers will ensure that their teaching and your learning have come together so that assessments can be made.

Trainers are expected to carry out the formal assessments of your reflective course diary and make their own informal assessments during the sessions by assessing your involvement and participation in all aspects of the taught course.

To receive a certificate you need to:

  • attend 80% of the Playing Creatively course
  • actively participate in sessions
  • complete assessments including the reflective course diary

Book today

If you're interested this course, get in touch with us today to find out more.

Course

Playing Up!

Course overview

Playing Up! is a level three course for those working with older children. It provides learners with the knowledge and confidence to support the needs and play behaviours of older children and young people in their settings. The course focuses on understanding the needs and play behaviours of older children and how to support them in a range of settings through providing exciting resources, flexible approaches to planning and by building relationships through empowerment and effective participation.

Learners must demonstrate current experience of working with children and young people in a play context, which may include children's centres, early years provision, childcare at home, holiday play schemes, extended school services, play times, public parks andspaces as well as established play centres and adventure playgrounds. It is desirable that learners have undertaken some training at Level 3.

Playing Up! is a 30 hour course made up of 20 tutor led training hours and 10 hours of individual study plus observations in play settings. The sessions are as follows:

  • Session 1: What is play?
  • Session 2: Rite of passage
  • Session 3: Play for all
  • Session 4: Risky play
  • Session 5: Is it playing?
  • Session 6: Play theory
  • Session 7: So what?
  • Session 8: Children's rights
  • Session 9: Resourcing the play setting
  • Session 10: Moving forward

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • provide you with an understanding of the needs and play behaviours of older children and how to support them in your settings
  • provide you with an opportunity to fully reflect on your playwork practice
  • enable you to develop confidence in working with older children andyoung people in your setting
  • supply you with information on further training in play and playwork and provide an understanding of play and playwork issues

Assessment

The delivery of the course will emphasise participative learning, practical group work and individual reflective practice. The assessment will be based on your active participation during the taught sessions and completion of a reflective diary.

To receive a full certificate you must attend 80% of the taught sessions, actively participate in sessions, and complete assessments including a course reflective diary and a grade of 50% or more.

Book today

If you're interested this course, get in touch with us today to find out more.

Course

Play Up!

Course overview

Understanding the play and behaviours of older children.  This 5 hour level 3 training course is for those working with over 8's who want to develop an understanding of older children's behaviour and learn how to support their play needs in their settings.

Based on the Playwork Principles and with reference to current theory and inclusive practice this course will explore the importance of play for all children and how adults can support play opportunities for the children they support and work with.

The following four sessions can be delivered during a single day, multiple days or evenings:

  • Play Theory
  • Rites of Passage
  • Is it Playing Up?
  • Reflection 

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • enable you to understand the play and developmental needs of older children particularly in relation to independence
  • provide you the opportunity to explore a range of play opportunities required to meet these needs
  • enable you to consider ideas for resourcing their setting for older children
  • supply you with information to enable you to explore attitudes and responses to the behaviours of older children in their settings

A participatory course on the play needs of older children and how to support and develop relationships with them through appropriate interventions and resources.

There is no formal assessment however observation and discussion may form an informal assessment between the tranier(s) ans learners.

Book today

If you're interested this course, get in touch with us today to find out more.

Course

Volunteers in Play

Course overview

This course was developed by Playwork Partnerships as part of the Free Time Consortium's 'Get Involved in Play' programme. In July 2013 the course won the 'Enterprise In Education' Award at the University of Gloucestershire's Enterprise Awards. 

Working with children of all ages and abilities is hugely rewarding and can lead on to many other training opportunities or potential paid work. The play sector itself covers a wide range of settings that support the child's right to play from playschemes and adventure playgrounds to Out of School Clubs and Play Rangers in parks. Play is an essential part of a healthy childhood and understanding how adults can create spaces and environments in which children can freely play is an important part of a playworkers role.

This training course introduces the principles and ethos of good quality playwork and aims to give the relevant information that is needed to start volunteering within children's play services.

Volunteers are an important member of any playwork team and we hope that this course will inspire those attending to continue working with children.

Course details

Anyone working as a volunteer or in an unpaid capacity supporting play opportunities for children and young people.

Learners must be aged 16 years and over and must demonstrate current experience of volunteering in a play setting. It is desirable that learners have undertaken some learning at level 2 and have a recent CRB check.

The course can be delivered during a single day or multiple days/evenings. The course is divided into five sections:

  • Understanding Play
  • The Importance of Play
  • The Role of the Playworker
  • Supporting Play
  • Play Spaces

The course consists of many tasks and activities that should be fun and participatory in order to make the learning enjoyable and worthwhile.

Course aims

The course aims to introduce learners to the nature of freely chosen play and the role and responsibilities of the volunteer in supporting children and young people's play within a range of play settings. By the end of the course learners will:

  • Understand the nature of freely chosen play
  • Understand the benefits of play for all children and their communities
  • Understand the role of the volunteer as part of the playwork team
  • Understand how to support children and young people's play
  • Explore how to resource and create spaces that support freely chosen
  • play for all children

Assessment

There will be a short reflective diary to complete after the course as part of assessment before certification. Other assessment will take place during the course through observations of participation in group tasks, discussions and activities.

Book today

If you're interested this course, get in touch with us today to find out more.