Working with children is well known as one of the most rewarding, challenging and multi-faceted jobs there is. Whether you work in a nursery, a school, a forest school or an after-school club, you will know that every day brings a new challenge. Despite the regular routines, no two days are ever the same.  At…

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On Monday 8th July 2019 Dr Shelly Newstead, the founder of PARS Playwork, Common Threads and the International Journal of Playwork Practice, led a workshop entitled ‘PARS 4 Parents’. It was designed to give parents an understanding of the PARS approach taken by staff at Smartkidz Play and Learn. What is an adventure playground? The…

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At Smartkidz Play and Learn, our staff are trained in PARS Playwork practice. Their role is to protect and facilitate the act of play with little adult interference. Playwork allows the opportunity for play that promotes imagination and creativity, builds resilience through risk taking, aids social skills, and improves physical and mental health. In practice,…

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Tom Nethercott here, Deputy Playleader at Girton talking about my recent experience of the PARS course and how it has impacted my practice here within Smartkidz. Having previously been a practitioner in settings where activities were more adult led, the PARS course was something very different to me. However, over the 3-day course I was…

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The number of 5 -19 year olds being diagnosed with one or more mental health condition was recorded as 1 out of 9 children in 2017. There has been a steady increase in this area since 2004 and this is mainly down to emotional disorders such as stress and anxiety. Its not hard to see…

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The Playwork Principles These principles 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…

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boy tying knot

At Smartkidz Play and Learn we have a unique approach that we have developed from years of experience and training in childcare, primary education, playwork and forest school. Our inspiration came from the beautiful environment that we developed as our first site, combined with our belief in child led play. We were fortunate enough to…

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