Children need to play everywhere and that includes in school. We believe that outdoor child-led play opportunities can improve both enjoyment and progress at school and is an essential part of the school day. Physical activity, creativity, improved social skills and time having fun help children to feel more ready to learn when they go back into the classroom.

Lunchtime Play

We aim to make the longest break of the school day more playful, active and fun for all children. We bring ideas for play and encourage the children to develop their own; we also help schools to build their play resources, including ‘loose parts’.

Play Nurture

We offer outdoor Play Nurture for small groups or individual children who need extra support, working closely with the school to understand each child’s circumstances and meet their needs, using the power of play. Delivered by our most experienced Play Rangers.

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Training and Support

We can bring our experience and perspective as play work professionals to support teaching staff in making their schools more playful. This can include background theory, practical skills and ideas and help with improving their schools’ play resources.

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Play Nurture

What is it?

Play Nurture is child-led outdoor play in small groups or one-to-one with Play Rangers trained in counselling with therapeutic play skills. Enabling children to lead their play offers back some control, helping them to cope better with adversity, grow resilience, have improved emotional wellness and increased social connections.

Who is it for?

Play Nurture is for children whose physical health, emotional health and childhood wellbeing are impacted by anxiety and stress, either as a result of the social and emotional challenges of everyday childhood, or because they are facing complex psychological and physical difficulties that make them particularly vulnerable.

Who delivers it?

Our Director of Play, Pip Levett, has a Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills and our core team of Rangers have all undertaken training in Counselling Skills for Working with Children with Place2Be, as well as other training in aspects of therapeutic playwork. They are supported by our Pets As Therapy assessed dogs, Rafa and Steve.

Training and Support

For Teachers, Teaching Assistants and Lunchtime Supervisors

Play Gloucestershire was founded in 2007 and our core team have decades of experience and training between them as professional play workers. We have recently worked with the University of Gloucestershire and partner organisations across Europe on the PAClife project, developing a framework to train practitioners in working with young people from a refugee and other disadvantaged backgrounds. We can provide an overview of the theory of playwork and its skills and benefits, practical advice on ideas to put into practice to make your school more playful, and offer support for staff in delivering them. Different types of training can be delivered online or in person. Contact us for more information.

School Testimonials

“Play Nurture has helped children find healthy ways to cope with the stresses and strains of life. Their emotional well being has visibly improved as has their engagement in learning”

Harewood Juniors

“Sam has really loved going to the Play Nurture Group!  He was like a different boy after the sessions!  When he had talked about what he had done he was so happy, animated, relaxed and enthusiastic!”

Harewood Infants School

“The weekly play nurture sessions at the Milestone School  have been aimed primarily at pupils who have endured high levels of adverse childhood experiences/trauma and the impact to date has been extremely positive.  Through access to creative, outdoor play, pupils are beginning to demonstrate greater self confidence, less aggression and a growing ability to form positive relationships with one another and with the Rangers. They return to class calmer and happier and as such are more ready to learn. We have been truly amazed with the Play Nurture outcomes. “

Val Kennedy, Lead SENDco