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Annual National Conference 2020: Play! Play! Play!


Hosted by the Aberdeen branch

Our 2020 conference is focused on the importance of play in the early years.  Our programme of speakers will focus on outdoor play, risky play, how we value children's learning through play not just in nursery but into P1 and P2, as well as looking the importance of attachment and relationships for the play of children under 3.

Join us for a warm welcome in Aberdeen, including opportunities to visit local settings, and an evening of food, music and inspiration from the ever popular Real David Cameron.


Friday 15 May 2020

pm - Visits to settings - details to follow

6.30-9.30pm  Dinner and entertainment

Speaker: The Real David Cameron

Venue: Doubletree by Hilton, Aberdeen Beach, Aberdeen

Saturday 16 May 2020

9.00am Registration, refreshments and exhibition
9.30am Welcome and introductions
9.45am Ministerial address: Maree Todd, MSP, Minister for Children and Young People

Claire Warden – Outdoor play and nature

Does the natural world have a central place in the design and use of outdoor areas or is it too much effort?

This speech will consider how we view playing in, learning about, thinking for and being with the natural world inside and outside. Join Dr Warden as she explores the complex relationship we have with the concept of outdoor play.


Tim Gill – Risk Aversion Disorder: Is a cure within reach?

Early years educators in the UK and beyond are harnessing the learning power of active, exploratory outdoor play in nature. But they still face big barriers, chief amongst them the fear of things going wrong (and of getting blamed or sued as a result). The good news is that this barrier can be overcome through taking a risk-benefit approach. But what is risk benefit assessment? How can it help win over the doubters, the anxious parents, the regulators, the media, the politicians and the lawyers? Tim will share news of an emerging global consensus that might just put adult anxieties to rest for good.

12.15pm Lunch break

Kym Scott – The Power of Play

In her speech Kym will explore the thorny issue of ensuring children are challenged in their play. She will highlight the myths that exist in this area and share her views around the conditions that enable truly challenging play to take place.

Delegates will have opportunities to:

*Explore the key elements that need to be in place in order to develop engaged young learners who seek to challenge themselves.

* Focus in more closely on the particular role of the environment with regards to ensuring children are truly challenged in their self

chosen play & exploration.

*  Be inspired with visual images that show how easily & cheaply challenging experiences can be provided for young children. 


Jools Page – the role of attachment and relationships in supporting play for under 3s (details to follow)

3.45pm Closing remarks
4.00pm  Close of conference

Read more about our speakers.

Bookings and accommodation

Please book your place using the form below.  Get 20% off 3 or more bookings by using discount code EEABERDEEN3 when prompted to add a coupon code.

Accommodation is not included.  Delegates are eligible for a discount on standard room rates at the Doubletree by Hilton, Aberdeen beach, where we are holding the Friday evening event.  To obtain this discount please book by phone on 01224 633339 then select option 2 – group reservations and quote Early Education to receive a 10% discount.  Other accommodation options can be found via Visit Aberdeenshire or all the usual online hotel booking comparison sites.

Photos of Aberdeen courtesy of Aberdeen City Council

David Cameron
Claire Warden
Tim Gill
Kym Scott
Jools Page
Maree Todd MSP
Event type: 
Annual National Conference
University of Aberdeen
Saturday, 16 May, 2020

Members: £120.00 (Saturday only) or £160 (Friday and Saturday)
Non-members: £140 (Saturday only) or £180 (Friday and Saturday)

Get 20% off 3 or more bookings by using discount code EEABERDEEN3 when prompted to add a coupon code.

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