Symposium on Childhood Play


A Symposium on Child’s Play will be held at IT Sligo on February 8th to provide a platform for dialogue on current research and practice in the area of childhood play within Ireland and Europe. It will provide an opportunity to examine the numerous factors that impact and influence the quality of ‘Play’ and ‘Outdoor Play’ in children’s lives.



The potential for collaboration between practitioners, educators and scholars regarding children’s play research and practice experiences will be discussed by a wide range of speakers.


Practitioners in childcare settings, infant class teachers in national schools, members of the academic community, ECCE graduate and post-graduate students, and other professionals who support children’s play experiences are invited to attend.


The Symposium is funded by CRiSP the Centre for Research in the Social Professions. Read more about research in this area underway at IT Sligo here.

To register for the event click here: Play Symposium Registration Form. 




Friday 8th February 2013

Institute of Technology, Sligo

10am – 4pm 


10.00             Registration (Tea & Coffee) 


10.30        Key Note Speaker: Professor Elizabeth Wood, Sheffield University: Free play and free choice in early childhood education: challenging the discourse 


11.00          Panel one: Marlene McCormack, Early Childhood Ireland; Jonathan Angus, UCC; Trisha MacLaughlin, IT Sligo: NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAY IN IRELAND: parental perceptions and children’s experiences.

Patricia Gardner, Walking Matters: Access and attitudes to outdoor play in neighbourhoods. 


11.40            Panel two: Joan McGrath, Sligo County Childcare Committee: Outdoor play, current and new ECCE practice. 

Sally O’Donnell, The Glen Outdoor School: Outdoor Play -Forest School and ECCE practice.  

Marlene McCormack, Early Childhood Ireland: Outdoor Play & Aistear in the ECCE


12.10          Panel three: Arlene Forster, National Council Curriculum and Assessment: The transition of Play – Aistear 0-6yrs.

Mary Hough, Sligo Education Centre: Aistear and Play in the National school setting 

Jane Harding, Ballinacarrow NS: Play in practice in a National School


13.00             Lunch


14.00          Panel four:  Perry Share, IT Sligo: Work and Play 

Steve Whitemore:  IT Sligo: An intercultural exploration: Games   ‘others’ might play, can you find the ‘space’?


14.30             Break away sessions; Topic/ group discussions.


15:30            Topic presentations and feed back.


 16.00             Close