An introduction into PARS playwork

PARS practicals is a course which aims to introduce PARS playwork practice as an alternative/complementary professional approach to working with children in supervised settings. Each session is 2 hours and takes place once a week for two consecutive weeks.

Our course has been designed to offer a mix of practical and theory to engage all candidates and will cover:

An overview of the PARS model and how it is put in practice.

Information about how and why PARS playwork practice differs to other approaches to working with children

An introduction to the philosophy of PARS and what this means in practice

An outline of PARS key concepts

Knowledge about how PARS theories, methods and techniques are used in practice

An insight into how PARS theories, methods and techniques are used to explain PARS playwork practice to other adults.

Please note that there is no compulsory practical element to this course. This course is not assessed – a digital certificate of attendance will be issued for 100% attendance.

What is PARS?

PARS is an alternative approach to working with children in their leisure time. Based on the practice of the UK adventure playground pioneers, the PARS model of playwork practice was developed from research by Dr Shelly Newstead and is now used by professionals (and increasingly parents) all over the world.  PARS empowers adults to enable children make their own choices about how they spend their free time. Research has found that PARS practitioners are less likely to intervene in children’s self-directed activities and are more open to children’s risk-taking behaviours, which increases children’s social and emotional development and resilience (Chan et al, 2020).

Pars combines theories, techniques and methods to give practitioners the skills to be able to recognise children's play and if and when to intervene and which of the techniques and methods to use.

The aim of PARS playwork practice is to compensate children for the presence of adults in supervised settings.

If you would like further information regarding PARS then click here.



Meet our PARS trainer, Jess.

Jess is our brand new Senior Play leader who will be overseeing both Haddenham and Warboys. Jess started her career in Play work working as a play worker in the summer holidays in the village where she lives. After studying health and social care she decided to take a year out of studying and went to Nepal volunteering in schools. While there, she helped to rebuild and refurbish their libraries and also helped to encourage play within the schools. This experience taught her invaluable lessons about children and play and how the simplest of resources can create all sorts of creative and imaginative play! After returning home, Jess took on her current role as Play leader in the same club she started out in. Her experience in Nepal, previous role as play worker and completing the PARS POP course, fuelled her passion for play and the drive to encourage children to explore, take risks and let their imaginations run wild.

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