Play Training2020-02-04T14:43:29+00:00

For over 30 years PlayBoard has been developing and delivering focused training for the play sector across Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. As an organisation committed to excellence, PlayBoard ensure that all training staff are highly qualified, occupationally competent and capable of meeting the training needs of the Play/Playwork sector.

PlayBoard’s training typically offers participants an opportunity to take part in group work, focused discussions and a range of practical activities designed to support practitioners to reflect on their own playwork practice. Through training participants are able to learn new skills and have an opportunity to explore and reflect on their current practice against the Playwork Principles.

For further details of the training programmes currently on offer please contact PlayBoard on 028 9080 3380.

In addition to a wide range of established training courses, PlayBoard are able to offer flexible bespoke training and consultancy services across the UK and Ireland tailored to meet the needs of individual groups and organisations. Courses can be individually tailored to meet the needs of participants and can be delivered locally at suitable venues and at flexible times including evenings and weekends.

PlayBoard typically deliver training across a range of settings and to variety of professional groups including:

  • Staff within school aged childcare settings

  • Child-minders

  • Day care and nursery workers

  • Youth workers

  • Social workers

  • Classroom assistants

  • Teachers

  • Non-teaching staff within schools

  • Sure Start workers


All PlayBoard training is delivered within a quality framework, as extablished by the SkillsActive Code of Practice. SkillsActive is the sector skills council for playwork; their quality control framework identifies minimum standards and guiding principles for the delivery of training.

PlayBoard’s robust CPD (Continuous Professional Development) policy ensures that all staff involved in the development and delivery of training are competent and current in their Play/Playwork knowledge. CPD addresses the following areas:

  • Appropriateness of qualifications

  • Relevance of experience

  • Competency

  • Quality Monitoring

  • Review and Evaluation

This course aims to equip participants with the skills; knowledge and understanding that will help them to carry out their playwork practice more effectively.
Areas covered include identifying the needs of children; developing the understanding, skill and confidence to meet these needs and promoting the value base of playwork.

Areas covered include:

  • Play and Playwork

  • Playwork principles

  • Supporting children’s play

  • Building relationships

  • Play types

  • Loose parts

Aimed at staff whose main role is to provide opportunities for freely chosen, self-directed play; this course equips participants with the knowledge and skills they need to plan and implement play opportunities within a play environment.

Areas covered include:

  • Planning for play opportunities

  • Involving children and young people in planning

  • Considering suitability based on the stage of development

  • Health and safety considerations

  • Identifying suitable resources

This course is aimed at supporting practitioners to engage more effectively with parents, carers and families in a playwork context.

Areas covered include:

  • To develop relationships with parents, carers and families

  • Methods of communication

  • Working with parents to support children and young people

  • Respecting the wishes of parents within the limitations of agreed procedures, values and children’s rights

  • Confidentiality

  • Dealing with issues or complaints in accordance with organisational procedures

This course aims to explore with playworkers how to manage the balance between risk and safety in settings; to explore the benefits of managing and balancing risk with the play value of different play opportunities; and how to develop risk assessment procedures that support this.

Areas covered include:

  • What is risk and what are hazards?

  • Barriers to providing challenging play opportunities

  • How to provide more challenging play opportunities

  • Looking at the factors that affect playworkers’ judgment

  • How to encourage children to assess risk themselves

  • Undertaking risk benefit assessments

This course aims to support practitioners in providing opportunities for physical play by exploring play types and how to meet the physical play needs of children and young people.

Areas covered include:

  • Developmental stages and play needs based on this

  • Planning for physical play

  • How and when to facilitate physical games

  • New ideas for games and ideas for physical play

  • How to adapt to meet needs (age, ability, space, resources)

This course aims to explore a range of creative ways to support play for children and young people. By using materials in new and innovative ways and offering creative and exciting things to make and do a number of different play types can be supported.

Areas covered include:

  • Loose parts

  • Play types

  • Using materials in new ways

  • Supporting exploration

  • Supporting inclusion of all children in these activities

  • Making creative activities stimulating for mixed ability and different age groups

  • Supporting inclusion of all children in these activities

  • Risk benefit assessment involved in planning for this play

  • 100 new ideas for things to make and do

This course aims to explore the purpose of individual and team reflective playwork practice; the purpose of observing children playing and how to carry out observations that help with reflective practice by the Playworker.

Areas covered include:

  • Loose parts

  • What is reflective practice?

  • Different methods of reflection

  • The relationship of organisational and team culture to reflective practice

  • The role of observation in reflection

  • Making creative activities stimulating for mixed ability and different age groups

  • How to carry out and record observations

  • Playwork theory that supports reflective practice

The aim of this course is to support Playworkers to explore the issue of challenging behavior.

Areas covered include:

  • Reviewing the different ways children communicate

  • Review the way adults communicate

  • Exploring the role of the Playworker in managing behaviour

  • Reviewing the physical and affective environment

  • Reviewing strategies for promoting positive behaviour

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