Understand Playwork Priciples

10 October 2016

Children and young people play naturally, it comes from within. It happens at any time. The fun occurs during play. Children learn through play experiences. Learning through play will teach or can teach children specific skills that they will benefit from later in life. The playwork principles state that: “All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is 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 and for their own. ” 1. 2 It is important that children are able to play as stated above they learn through their play. They discover new things, deal with different aspects that occur and find ways to solve solutions to any problems that arise.

Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of Children states that ‘children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’. Children can understand the importance of ‘health and well- being’ by playing outdoors, learning through healthy cooking activities etc. At WOASC children have the freedom to choose their play. It is not imposed and not interrupted by adults unless requested by children. The range of play types that are commonly accepted are: SPICE Social – Social play – creating opportunities for intense personal interaction where there is an understanding.

Physical – rough and tumble play – this enables the children to discover their physical flexibility. E. g. play fighting, wrestling and chasing each other. Intellectual – social play, Imaginative play and communication play – social play would make them abide by rules and expect that everyone has to abide by the rules e. g. board games, team games and co-operative play. Imaginative play is where they will pretend to play or make a fantasy become real. E. g. becoming a pilot, being a pirate on a ship or going to a disco. Communication play using words or gestures.

Creative – creative play also known as inventive play, where children are free to explore with different media, materials, colours and texture. Emotional – imaginative play would come into this as above, social play and role play. Role play is where children act out different characters or states such as dead, blind and beautiful. 1. 3 Play is biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well-being of children. ” Children play because it is something that they do naturally. also see 1. 2) 2. Understand children and young people’s rights in relation to play. 2. 1 All children and young people under the age of 18 have rights and are protected by various legislations for their safety and development. All children have the right to a name, nationality, be protected from abuse, torture and neglect. It is important that children, young people and adults understand that importance of UN Convention on the rights of the child in relation to play provision. Within my setting WOASC we openly discuss the Children’s rights with the children.

They have worked in small groups to allow them to understand that as children they have the right to play. They have made posters and displayed them in the setting. By giving this right to the children it enables adults working in playwork to allow children the right to play. As a playworker I aim to empower the children to enforce their rights to them. 2. 2 Playwork organisations such as ourselves allow children the freedom to play in a safe and nurturing environment. Within our setting staff are trained and understand this importance, therefore all our resources and equipment is placed where children can easily access these.

If there is equipment that is stored away children feel comfortable and are aware that they can approach any member of staff to get out equipment. We plan to children’s needs and always listen to the voice of the child as much as we possibly can, obviously unrealistic requests may not always be possible, such as if something they wanted to do cost lots of money, as there may be a budget restriction. 3. Understand the role of the playwork team in supporting children and young people’s play. 3. 1Working as a team is very important as we all bring in different qualities to the setting.

It is important to work together and to work to the same objectives in order to be fair and consistent to all children. We attend team meetings to ensure that colleagues work effectively and are able to express any opinions or raise any concerns. At WOASC I believe and feel that the resources that we provide and the play spaces that are created meet the needs of children and young people. Children are able to freely choose which activity they would like to take part in, through all the different play types for example: role play, symbolic play, socio-play, fantasy play, deep play, creative play etc….

We try to provide enough space for differing play opportunities that arise. It is amazing watching children play and being able to identify the different outcomes of play. It is important to use constructive criticism between colleagues so that we empower people rather than de-motivate them. Praising colleagues is a good way to enhance output and raise good team working. 3. 2 Play workers are there to promote play, it is our responsibility to keep children safe and away from harm. We do this by ensuring that the area of children’s play is free from risk, we do this by completing health and safety checks and risk assessments.

As playworkers our role is to enhance the children’s play, plan on developing their play by creating play spaces and keeping it resourceful for them to expand their learning and development. 3. 3 Different interventions that can be used in playwork are: Using the play cycle and waiting for a cue to be invited to play. Allow children to play naturally and not interfering in their play. Allow children to explore their own values. Leave children to solve problems themselves. By using the above interventions playworkers allow the child to grow within themselves, they develop confidence and skills that they are able apply in later life.

To support children and young people’s play, is by evaluating their current play and see how they are doing, if they are struggling in their current play, I would approach the child/ren by giving a play cue. E. g. asking them to play a game or do some drawing with me or inviting another child to play with them. If I saw a child playing on their own playing with a ball, I would see if they would like to play with me, by asking if they wanted to throw or kick the ball to me and I would return it back to them. 3. 4 Children and young people all need to be included.

If there are a few children from a certain religion and do not eat certain foods. During snack time this has to be reflected upon and they have to be given an alternative option, so that they feel included. It is the settings responsibility to be inclusive to all children and young people. Alternatively there may be an activity where children do not want to take part in for example, making Xmas cards, they may not celebrate Xmas therefore allow them to make cards as they wish. They should not be made to carry out activities. 3. The impact that play workers have on the play space is that they can ensure that play spaces are effective. By observing children’s play, play workers can provide resources when need, monitor hazards and risks also child protection issues. Supervise and make them feel safe and deal with accidents accordingly. For example if they were making dens and found that they did not have enough, I would provide more for them. 4. 6 The impact of a playworker on a child/ren and young peoples play is very important and this sometimes maybe emotional, serious or even be for a better reason.

E. g. learning from the child, or even gain experience example, the English language. This will happen on a daily basis, as everyone’s life situations are different. Some playworkers may have a bad past and some may have the complete opposite. 3. 7 Reflective practice is very important within a playwork team in order to be able to look back at what has worked, what has gone well, what has gone badly, what can be improved, how can it be improved. The more you reflect the better the setting will become.

Constructive criticism is important and using the praise sandwich, whereby you give good feedback, explain how it can be improved and further giving praise at the end. This allows for team members to be motivated in the work that they do. By allowing team members to contribute to meetings and listening to their views and opinions will also help. By using reflective practice and identifying strengths and weaknesses increases confidence and staff morale. Areas of development can be identified. It boosts self- esteem. A high standard of work is maintained by comparing what was achieved with what was planned.

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