All posts by KellyC

An invitation: Play and Drama – a route for resilience

Dear Partners, Teachers, Trainers, Leaders and all of who work with children,

We arrived to a milestone in our international cooperation for developing a course to increase children resilience. This project, the ARTPAD – Achieving Resilience Though Play and Drama, started on the 1st September 2015 with 5 organizations:

And now we would like to present to you our results in workshops, our personal experiences and we would like to answer questions like: What are some of the essentials of working with children? What is important in playing? What is playing? What is drama? How can playing help us and help children in self-strengthening? What kind of techniques can help to develop resilience? What happens if you work with children with special needs?

We kindly invite you to our international conference. We are cooperating with Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Primary and Pre-School Education and university students will present a poster section about “Free Thoughts about Early childhood Playing – Scientific researches and outcomes”.

Please, don’t hesitate! Participation is free, but registration is required!

Follow this link: Registration

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We happily share with you:

We are looking forward to seeing you at the meeting for resilience!

Rogers Foundation – Levente Turóczi

The UK host an event with Kate Cairns

The School of Liberal and Performing Arts at the University of Gloucestershire are lead partners of a three-year European project: ARTPAD (Achieving Resilience Through Play and Drama). The project explores the use of drama and play for supporting teachers and practitioners working with children and young people to promote engagement with learning and we are holding an event for you to find out more and take part.

Why you should attend this event:

·         Inspiring speakers talking about resilience and how to support children and young people

·         Interactive workshops in both play and drama techniques

·         Information on how your school and/or youth setting can benefit

Keynote Speaker – Kate Cairns

Kate is an author, speaker and trainer with an international reputation for
her work around attachment, trauma and resilience, particularly in
relation to vulnerable children and young people. She has been a social
worker for forty years, and a trainer for twenty years. In 2002 she
published Attachment, Trauma and Resilience, which explored how these
three key concepts could provide a structure for understanding ourselves
and those with whom we work. The book became a bestseller for BAAF
and has influenced practice around the world.

Workshops – Sue Colverd and Karen Benjamin

During the event, there will be two workshops looking at the development of specialised training for those that work with children and young people in formal, informal and non-formal education and how to support them. This will include understanding a range of drama approaches that can be used, alongside an understanding of the importance of understanding and providing time and space for play.

Sign up below…
Date: Tuesday 24th April 2018
Cost: Free
Venue: University of Gloucestershire, Oxstalls Campus, Gloucester
Time: 3.30pm – 6.30pm (includes light refreshments)
Book tickets:
If you have any questions, please contact the team by emailing

We look forward to seeing you,

Full invitation can be downloaded here

21st of February, 2017 a ’Day of Joy’ in Hungary

On Tuesday, 21st of February, 2017 a ’Day of Joy’ was organised within the ARTPAD project by Rogers Foundation to share the results of the project so far with stakeholders. Attendees were introduced to the Best Practice Guide and participated in parallel workshops about play, games and drama. The event was held at RS9 Theatre, which was one of the organisations Rogers Foundation has introduced as a best practice – this way our cooperation was strengthened further.

There were 35 professionals participating at the event, coming from all over Hungary. Among them were representatives of national educational institutions and networks, such as the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development, as well as practitioners, teachers and youth leaders, both from public and higher educational institutions, psychologists and trainers.

The event was officially opened by the president of the board of Rogers Foundation, Magda Draskóczi, followed by a short presentation about RS9 Theatre by Katalin Lábán. After the opening words, Virág Suhajda has introduced Rogers Foundation and the ARTPAD project, and Zsuzsa Vastag presented the Best Practice Guide and the central principles found throughout the research phase of the project. The participants were invited to look at all the themes and methods presented during the day keeping in mind the principles, and evaluate in what forms are each principle relevant to the given methodology/approach.

Three workshops were held both about play and games, and about drama. Regarding play and games, the first session explored the possibilities in using board games for educational and personal developmental purposes. Participants had the possibility to hear about theoretical approaches and also to try out different games in practice, discussing their benefits when playing with children and young people. Secondly free play was introduced. The participants got to know the approach of play and the importance of understanding the role of adults in children’s freely chosen activities, as well as discussed issues of health and safety and ways to differentiate between danger and risk. Finally at the third workshop an educational card game was presented, called ‘Morality – What would You do?’. It is a tool to use with adolescents to discuss moral and ethical question through a game.



Regarding drama, the first workshop was focusing on RS9 Theatre’s program about creative writing and drama camps. These one-week camps are organised during the summer, where children have the possibility to participate in writing their own play, rehearsing it and then present it to their parents at the end of the camp. The attendees of the workshop tried this method by forming small groups and sketching and presenting a scene. The workshop ended with a reflection about the experience and a discussion on the effects of such programs on children. The second workshop was called „Dramatic Changes”, where Rogers Foundation has introduced a good practice about using dramatic tools to help develop young people’s employability skills. Participants tried some drama games and discussed ways they could use such methods with their groups of young people. The third workshop was focusing on the power of tales and ways to act a tale or story in a dramatic way. Participants of this workshop listened to a folk tale followed by processing it dramatically.

The event was closed with a common discussion about the program of the day, where each participant had the chance to express their thoughts and feelings about the workshops, to reflect on the presented methods and approaches and explore how the central principles of the Best Practice Guide are relatable to them. According to their feedback, the Day of Joy was a success, as stakeholders left inspired and motivated to use some of these methods and approaches in their work, to learn more about our projects and also they had the chance to discuss issues with their colleagues.

If you would like to find out more about this event and future events please contact Judit Rátz at

ARTPAD Multiplier Event in St. Pölten – ”Good schools promote resilience – with drama and play”

The first Multiplier Event for the ARTPAD Project in Austria took place on May 23rd at the Hippolythaus St. Pölten

We started with a short drama drama exercise to welcome each other and to get a first idea about our expectations for the afternoon.


After this warm-up session, Paul Schober started to introduce the main ideas of the ARTPAD Project, the concept of resilience and the six ARTPAD principles, which are the base for supporting resilience.

Empowerment, Environment, Methodology of Drama and Play, attitude of the adults, the individual within the group and alignment are essential in this context.

Emina Eppensteiner and Dagmar Höfferer-Brunthaler reported on their work in schools. Both are experts in educational drama and they gave a clear insight into the practical dimensions of educational drama.

Although the research findings on resilience are well known, the concrete implementation in the educational institutions is only at the beginning.

To enable children and adolescents to resiliency, to cope with crises in such a way that learning chances arise, is becoming increasingly important. It is not only meant to deliberately accept a failure in certain areas, but also to provide learning opportunities and to train the resilience of one’s own personality. The methods of theatre and drama education are certainly well suited for this. The recognition of uncertain play situations, the risk of a common approach to themes and content, to allow failure to learn from it – all these elements of drama / theatre pedagogy are promoting resilience-, and they are usually also joyful and very motivating.

The next input came from Paul Schober again;he presented the Best Practice Guide more detailed and also gave a preview of the training course.

The Guide might be used to get a first idea of the connection between resilience, drama and play and to convince policy makers and decision makers in school authorities about the importance of both approaches

The training course will be piloted in Poland March next year and after that adapted and transferred to Austria. All participants were highly interested into training and we will keep them informed.

The next ARTPAD Multiplier Event in Austria is planned for May/June 2018. If you would like to find out more about this event please email Paul Schober at

UK Multiplier Event Report – March 2017

An information and consultation event – 29th March 2017

In March, staff at the University of Gloucestershire hosted the first ever UK meeting  to promote ARTPAD (Achieving Resilience through Play and Drama) to the play, youth and education sector.  This ambitious 3-year project has researched how play and drama is used in schools and youth projects in 5 European partner countries to help develop resilience in young people (Hungary, Poland, UK, Germany and Austria).  The project has developed a best practice guide for leaders of settings and is currently producing a course for practitioners.  As the event was held after the first year of research, the project event enabled staff to share the key findings so far and in particular the core principles established through the project.  The staff also provided inspirational lectures in play and drama techniques and how these can impact on the work of teachers, youth workers and playworkers.  This gave rise to a useful networking and ideas sharing discussion amongst the group which was really helpful to those who attended.


Events such as this are a vital way to promote the work of organisations and a wonderful opportunity to further the impact a project can make by getting news of the work out to a wide audience.  The event was well supported by Head teachers and teachers, staff from local drama education services and Play Organisations and attendees who travelled from as far afield as Torbay and Birmingham to hear about the project.

Leonie Burton from the University of Gloucestershire said of the day “it is so encouraging to hear how useful staff from Schools and Youth settings say the Guide and the course will be to them and how enthusiastic they were.  We are excited about the next stages of the project as we write the course and train new trainers in the UK who will be able to deliver this for us in the future.”

For anyone who is interested to find out more about the project and how they can benefit from the course development through pilots or accessing the training when it is completed – please contact

A Rainy but Fun UK Transnational Meeting!

An ARTPAD meeting held on 5th and 6th June in Cheltenham was well attended by partners and gave us a useful opportunity to launch in to the detailed preparations for writing the ARTPAD course for teachers and youth workers.  Aside from the very wet UK summer weather which disappointingly put our plans on hold to show our partners around Cheltenham, the 2 days was a great success and achieved a lot.  We were able to test run some of the materials that will be included in the modules around play and drama and to explore issues relating to how the course would be written and by when.


The ARTPAD course is ambitious in that it has a mixed target audience- teachers and youth workers.  It also covers two subject areas that are both very different from one another- play and drama techniques.  In addition, the end result is hoped will be improved provision for both in schools that will supports the development of resilience in young people and will have a positive effect on reducing school drop our/ disengagement in education and non-formal learning. Given this challenge, the group were also enthusiastic in planning the 2018 training of trainers in Poland which will be key to the success of delivery and is likely to be delivered at a training centre in a coastal location called Hel, as you’d expect, this provoked much hilarity about how the event could be branded- going to Hel and back!  The team has fixed the date for this 12th– 16th March 2018 and afterwards local pilots of the course will be delivered.  This seems like a long way off but as we know, things come around quickly especially when working transnationally, we need to have adequate time for planning.

Keep your eyes posted for more news about that and also for details of events in each country in March/ April 2018 and of course the International Conference in June 2018.  This a big year ahead for the project with hopefully lots of news coming out and we look forward to sharing it with you.

A free information and consultation event in the UK

Achieving Resilience Through Play And Drama – Wednesday 29th March @ University Of Gloucestershire

The event will introduce the newly developed Best Practice Guide for teachers and youth workers that was developed within the ARTPAD project, through the active collaboration of the partnership, and is a result of a year long research process. The methods introduced are intended to have an impact on the well-being of children and young people, developing a mind-set that helps them to face adversity and overcome challenges – resulting in greater engagement in learning.

The aim of the project through the Best Practice Guide and subsequent training is to highlight the importance of introducing drama and play in institutional programs. It is intended to support practitioners, teachers who want to learn about the possibilities and impact of drama and play on the development of themselves as teachers and the development of the children they teach.

During the first year of the project, the partnership has visited several organisations and institutions, best practices, in the five partner countries (Austria, Poland, Hungary, Germany and the United Kingdom), who work with play and/or drama methods with children and young people. The visited organisations – schools, youth centres, professionals, NGO-s, and more – all covered different aspects of play and drama. Through these visits, the partnership was able to conclude what are the core elements of these practices, what are the factors that ‘make them work’. These elements then were turned into central principles, fundamental suggestions for practices to consider when building up their program. These principles are the heart of this guide and the event, summarising all the experiences the partnership has gained throughout the research.

Using drama techniques and play for learning is not a new or even recent idea. There are examples within early Jesuit education of using play as a tool for learning. Comenius, a Czech philosopher from the 1500’s, emphasized the importance of demonstration, and promoted the use of drama and play in order to support learning. During his work in Sárospatak in Hungary, he wrote down this idea in Schola Ludus (“Playful school” 1654). Other philosophers, including Rousseau, also recognised the importance of inner motivation, freedom and spontaneity within a child. Froebel too believed in a holistic approach to education built on ‘first-hand experience, collective play, talk and reflection’. Thus throughout history drama and theatre have been used to inform, educate and stimulate learning, whilst play is the natural activity of humans and higher brained mammals.

This event will provide you with an insight in to what has been learned so far and presented in the Best Practice Guide and will be an opportunity to find out about the up and coming training and development opportunities and how you might get involved both on an individual level or if you are fact finding on behalf of your School, Youth Setting or Academy.

Find out more about the event visit:


”The starting point for Research phase”

ARTPAD visit in St. Pölten; Written by Paul Schober

St. Pölten was the starting point for the research activities of the ARTPAD project. The aim was to get to know good practice in the field of drama and play. For this purpose three projects were presented in St. Pölten:

”Füreinander Miteinander” is a educational drama group led by Emina Eppensteiner. Children and adolescents from different cultures, with different languages and religions often live side by side and not together: The project named “For each other – together” overcomes the everyday distances in the common theatre play. All children and young people are welcome. In groups of max. 14 children or young people, games are developed together and rehearsed. Everyone finds space for his creativity and imagination.

The drama-educational project of “dream catchers”, led by Christoph Rabl, addresses the question of how bullying and other forms of violence affect children and what can be done about it.

In the narrative form of the fairy tale, “dream catcher” takes up motifs of the Grimm fairy tale figures and joins them in a dramaturgical arc. It tells how children and adolescents are gradually gaining social competency and finding themselves out of the wake of their despair and developing new life perspectives.

Finally Margot Cammerlander and Paul Schober presented their Symbolwork. With the help of symbols they are able to provide children and adolescents with an additional language, when they cannot find the right words. In this context, symbols work similarly to an interpreter; furthermore, they transmit information one cannot or does not want to share.

As a symbol may have infinite meanings and is interconnected with multiple feelings, the key is an individual approach to support children and adolescents in adverse situations.

After a short presentation from each project the ARTPAD Research group had intense discussions about the characteristics and the impacts of the presented practice.