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The Final Event – by Leonie Burton, Project Manager

ARTPAD Final Conference – 26th June 2018, Budapest Hungary

As my colleagues and I arrived in the University for the International Conference, we pinched ourselves to believe we had really arrived at the final point for the ARTPAD project, a culmination of 3 years work funded by Erasmus Plus.  As we stood by the Hungarian poster advertising the event for a selfie we felt great knowing that the tentacles’ of project had reached Hungary as well as the other 4 partner countries involve in the work, Austria, Germany, Poland and the UK and this day was a culmination of that work.


The event was held at Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Primary and Pre-School Education and was attended by not only University students but also local and international organisations with and interest in the subject. There was a warm and lively atmosphere in the hall and we soon got started with the programme from the day. Initially, I gave a presentation to introduce the ARTPAD project which was followed up by an exploration of  The Strength of European Diversity for Supporting the Development of Children’s Resilience through Play and Drama, by Dr Wendy Russell.

These were followed throughout the day by a mix of workshops on the topic including the art of resilience in challenging situations – how to endure, change and thrive , Dr Paulina Pawlicka and Dr hab. Maria Kaźmierczak; Playing with stories – a taste of playback theatre- Beáta Oborny;  Working with tales by paper theatre and drama techniques – Dr Virag Suhajda; Understanding freely chosen play and the importance of the environment- Leonie Burton;  Drama games, techniques – a route for stronger resilience-  Karen Benjamin and Dr Adam Jagiello-Rusilowski and  Playing Drama games, techniques – a route for stronger resilience- Veronika Karsai.

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Around and about during the day there were poster presentations by the students Poster on the topic of ‘Free Thoughts about Earlychildhood Play – Scientific research and outcomes’ to explore and wonderful opportunities to chat to a wide group of people about their work and how they have enjoyed working on the project.

We’ll be sad that the ARTPAD project has finished but what a way to say farewell!


The Liberty Statue or Freedom Statue is a monument on the Gellért Hill in Budapest, Hungary. It commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary.

‘It was like a celebration of the project’

Play and Drama – a Route for Resilience

ARTPAD Conference – 25th June 2018

The final ARTPAD international conference (official title: Play and Drama – a Route for Resilience) was held in Budapest on 25/06/2018. It was the biggest event organised by Rogers Foundation this year (with more than 60 participants from all around Europe), and the first of us ever organised with English as official language. It took place at Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Primary and Pre-School Education. During the preparation period we cooperated with Nedda Kolosai, senior lecturer of the Department of Pedagogics, who not only supported us in logistics and invitation issues, but also was thinking about organising a play related academic conference next year with our assistance. Hard copies of ARTPAD principles as well as the Best Practice Guide were available in hard copies at the registration desk and also in the conference hall.

On the conference the first speech was given by Virág Suhajda who warmly welcomed everybody and delineated the programme of the day. Then Leonie Burton from the University of Gloucestershire, made an interesting presentation about the aims and achievements of the ARTPAD project. The day continued with Wendy Russel from University of Gloucestershire,  who had an interactive lecture about the importance of play and drama, and their connection with resilience.

After a short break there were 3 parallel workshops: Working with tales by paper theatre and drama techniques (Virag Suhajda), Art of resilience in challenging situations – how to endure, change and thrive (Adam Jagiello-Rusilowski and Maria Kaźmierczak) and Playing with stories – a taste of playback theatre (Beáta Oborny).

After this workshop session we had a short time for rest during the lunchtime. Participants used this time for networking and to visit the poster session on play presented by University Students.

In the afternoon there was a second workshop session with three workshops: Understanding freely chosen play and the importance of the environment (Leonie Burton), Drama games, techniques – a route for stronger resilience (Karen Benjamin and Adam Jagiello-Rusilowski) and Playing without words (Veronika Karsai).

The day was closed with a plenary reflection session, where participants had a chance to formulate their learning outcomes, to reflect on the lectures and workshops and give some feedback to organisers.

The whole event had a great, cozy and real international atmosphere, with enthusiastic participants, and with many opportunities for experiential learning. It was like a celebration of the project.

The University recommended creating an abstract book, as part of future cooperation, so we collected abstracts of all the lecturers and workshop leaders and forwarded them to the contact person. The publication is going to be ready by the end of September.

Report and images by Rogers Foundation


Conference Image Gallery

The essence of play – Multiplier Event Hungary

ARTPAD Multiplier event – Rogers Foundation

24th and 25th March 2018

On 24th March we organised an ARTPAD multiplier event on the topic of play. There were nine participants, and two trainers. Two of the participants were from Gdansk, Poland.

Participants were different stakeholders: kindergarten teachers, parents, university students, special education teachers.

We started the day with the introduction of the ARTPAD project, the principles and other related materials. Then we made different activities about the essence of play to give first hand experience for attendees on what playwork is, why children like to play, and what the obstacles of freely chosen play are. In the next session we studied the importance of play according to the SPICE model: the Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative and Emotional aspects of play. To maintain the activity of the group we used experiential education tools between the intellectual training parts, such as a rainbow parachute.

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After the lunch break we dived into the topic and discussed how it is possible to ensure the possibility to free play to each and every child, examined the stereotypes and prejudices which playworker may have to face and had a nice conversation about the special needs of the disabled.

ARTPAD principles were found to be a very useful help: a good summary of the main aspects of the topic – participants referred them regularly during the whole day.

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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

(or type your browser:

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.