Kinloch Kids Club provides an environment in which the children feel safe and are able to relax and have fun after school, engaging in activities if they choose. Our Club’s practice is underpinned by the Playwork Principles:
At Kinloch Kids Club we promote play ‘as a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated’. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons. This ethos promotes inclusive practice for all children as play adapts to the needs and abilities of the individual.
The Club’s staff have a clear focus on the importance of play, and use the common language of play types described in Bob Hughes Taxonomy of Playtypes (Hughes, B. (2002) A Playworker’s Taxonomy of Play Types, 2nd edition, London: PlayLink).
These play types are: Symbolic Play; Rough & Tumble Play; Socio-dramatic Play; Social Play; Creative Play; Communication Play; Dramatic Play; Locomotor Play; Deep Play; Exploratory Play; Fantasy Play; Imaginative Play; Mastery Play; Object Play; Role Play; Recapitulative Play.
The role of the playworker
‘The playworker’s core function is to create an environment which will stimulate children’s play and maximise their opportunities for a wide range of play experiences. A skilled and experienced playworker is capable of enriching the child’s play experience both in terms of the design and resources of the physical environment and in terms of the attitudes and culture fostered within the play setting.’
Best Play (2000)
The playworker is engaged with enabling or facilitating play opportunities. The way that they do this is characterised as ‘low intervention, high response’. That is, the playworkers should do everything possible to ensure that choice and control of their play stays with the child. Playworkers make themselves available to respond to the needs or the invitation of the child.
The degree of ‘enabling’ a playworker might do depends on the needs, personality, age and ability of the child or children – or even just the mood of the children on a particular day.
Other aspects of playwork practice
Playwork recognises the importance of risk in children’s play and playworkers actively support play opportunities that offer risk and challenge to the children. Experienced playworkers’ role in managing risk requires professional judgement regarding when and how to intervene in children’s play. They should be aware of not disrupting the play unnecessarily while ensuring the children aren’t exposed to unacceptable risks.
Other roles of the playworker include acting as an advocate for children and children’s play, building relationships and networks, undertaking organisational and project development tasks.
Particular significance is given to skills both in observation of children’s play and reflective practice in order to improve the play environment, provision or playwork practice.
The Playwork Principles
These Principles establish the professional and ethical framework for playwork and as such must be regarded as a whole.
They describe what is unique about play and playwork, and provide the playwork perspective for working with children and young people.
They are based on the recognition that children and young people’s capacity for positive development will be enhanced if given access to the broadest range of environments and play opportunities.
- All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well being of individuals and communities.
- Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.
- The prime focus and essence of playwork is to support and facilitate the play process and this should inform the development of play policy, strategy, training and education.
- For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult led agendas.
- The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.
- The playworker’s response to children and young people playing is based on a sound up to date knowledge of the play process, and reflective practice.
- Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people’s play on the playworker.
- Playworkers choose an intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well being of children.
Please see PlayScotland for more information.