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Play Leadership

Course CodeVRE101
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

 

Learn to be a play leader

Play leaders are people who create and manage play opportunities. Sometimes play leaders are people who are fulfilling a duel role. They can be parents, teachers, pre-school teachers or nannies, who look after both the play needs, and other needs of children in their care.  Some play leaders are employed specifically to concentrate on managing the play needs of children. They may be an assistant to a teacher or care worker, or they may be employed in a supervised playground, play centre or other facility that focuses on play.

This course will develop valuable skills in anyone working, or wishing to work with children. Our staff have experience training play leaders since the late 1970s, our knowledge in the industry is extensive and current. We have devised this truely fantastic course which will challenge you and arm you with the skills you need to succeed in this vitally important industry.  Children deserve the best!

 

Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

  1. Understanding Play
    • To explain the purpose of play in the cognitive, physical and social development of a child.
  2. Leadership Skills
    • To determine the skills required to carry out a play leadership role in different situations.
  3. Planning Play Programs
    • To develop a plan for a supervised children's play program.
  4. Child Development through Play
    • To develop a basic understanding of the impact of play upon the psychological development of a child.
  5. Play Safety
    • To determine appropriate measures to take to protect a child's safety when at play, while minimising any interference which might diminish the quality of the play experience.
  6. Physical Play
    • To develop an understanding of options for physical play activities, including games and sports, in a supervised play program.
  7. Social Play
    • To develop an understanding of options for social play activities, in a supervised play program.
  8. Adventure Play
    • To develop a basic ability to plan, establish and manage a supervised adventure playground.
  9. Play Apparatus
    • To develop an ability to evaluate a range of different play apparatus, including playground structures, toys, sports equipment, commenting on quality, safety features, appropriate applications and cost benefit.
  10. Activities
    • To broaden your scope of opportunities that can be offered for children to play, appropriate to a wide range of different situations.
  11. Special Project

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Explain the purpose of play in the cognitive, physical and social development of a child.
  • Determine the skills required to carry out a play leadership role in different situations
  • Plan a supervised children's play program.
  • Describe the impact of play upon the psychological development of a child.
  • Determine appropriate measures to take to protect a child's safety when at play, while minimising any interference which might diminish the quality of the play experience.
  • Explain options for physical play activities, including games and sports, in a supervised play program.
  • Explain options for social play activities, in a supervised play program.
  • Plan, establish and manage a supervised adventure
  • Evaluate a range of different play apparatus, including playground structures, toys, sports equipment, commenting on quality, safety features, appropriate applications and cost benefit.
  • Expand your knowledge of opportunities that can be offered for children to play, appropriate to a wide range of different situations.

Uninterrupted play is important for a child’s social, physical and mental development; play encourages brain development, stimulates creativity, increases a child’s academic ability, and enhances quality of life through to adulthood. Children who have learnt how to play, will have a more playful and creative approach to life as adults.

This course focuses on the provision of play opportunities for children, and teenagers.

Play leaders are people who create and manage play opportunities.

Sometimes play leaders are people who are fulfilling a duel role. They can be parents, teachers, pre school teachers, or nannies, who look after both the play needs, and other needs of children in their care.

Some play leaders are employed specifically to concentrate on managing the play needs of children. They may be an assistant to a teacher or care worker, or they may be employed in a supervised playground, play centre or other facility that focuses on play.

 

Planning for Play

While free play is a very important part of the childhood experience, it is not always possible or desirable that children are just left to play when, where and how they wish. Sometimes, their situation does not encourage or support free play. Sometimes, lack of social skills, shyness, cultural differences or other factors can limit the child’s ability to initiate play or to interact in a relaxed and enjoyable manner with other children. Often, working parents rely on supervised programs to provide safe and enjoyable care after school hours or during holidays.

Play programs can take a variety of forms. Some can be loosely program, providing resources and opportunities for free play in a supervised and contained situation. Others can involve structured play activities. Structure is not necessarily an impediment to play, but it must be carefully planned and managed to avoid losing the vital ‘play’ aspects of intrinsic motivation, optimal arousal and control.

Aside from the benefits of structure and predictability offered by play programs, there are other important benefits, some of which are listed below.

  • A degree of structure can introduce children to play options that they might not otherwise have considered.
  • A program can provide a range of stimuli and experiences for the child
  • A program can increase children’s opportunities for socialising with others of the same or other age groups
  • A program can make it easier for children to participate in group activities
  • A program can provide support for those children who need it, when they need it
  • A well-designed program can improve inclusiveness by providing a range of activities that meet different children’s needs
  • A program can provide an adult presence that can be very reassuring to young children, and agreeable to older children  who have been shown to seek out responsive adults for conversation)
  • And very important, a program, if properly managed, can decrease the likelihood of anti-social, bullying or excluding behaviours (such as not allowing another child to join in or to even watch).


Meet some of our academics

John Mason John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
Lyn QuirkM.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.
Tracey JonesWidely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).
Gavin ColePsychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin is both a highly experienced Psychologist and tutor. Gavin has over 25 years experience in the Psychology industry, and has been working with ACS for over 10 years. He has worked in both Australia and England, and has been involved in writing numerous books and courses in Psychology and Counselling


Check out our eBooks

Working With PeopleA job and careers guide for people who like working with people -covering everything from counselling and personnel management to marketing, health and education
LeadershipWhat makes a good leader? Is it an innate personality trait or a skill that can be acquired? This book is an excellent guide to the theories and practice of leadership. It is full of interesting facts about social dynamics and examples of leadership styles. For those who are curious or in need of some leadership skills, this book will provide both entertainment and advice.
How Children ThinkLearn more about child psychology and how children think. Have you ever tried to make a child clean up their mess, stop throwing mud or stop drawing on the walls? Then you will know that children think differently to adults. This book is for parents or students of psychology. Seven chapters cover: developmental stages, the influence of nature and nurture, creating balance, changing behaviours, problems and solutions, and staying up to date. 73 pages 40 colour photos
The Environment of PlayFirst published in the USA in 1982, this text has been used in the past as a university text (in landscaping and education degrees), and was completely revised in 2012. Full of inspiring colour images of playgrounds around the world, this book is ideal for designers, park managers, schools and parents! Play is the most important and effective method of learning for adults as well as children. It can be active or passive, planned or spontaneous. If you want to learn about the relationship between PLAY and the ENVIRONMENT, this is the ebook for you. Learn to understand children and design play spaces that function for homes, parks or school grounds. 187 pages