Classmates Drawing Together, 1600x600

Child's Curriculum Conference

The Natural Voice of Young Children : Making Sense of Learning Through Play

Child’s Curriculum International Conference


Saturday 3 November 2018

Royal College of Physicians

9 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JQ

A collaboration between the Child’s Curriculum, University of Strathclyde, Scottish Universities Insight Institute and Men in Childcare

The Child’s Curriculum Group is a professional, academic and policy orientated interest group with varied and considerable experience of the early years. This year we celebrate our shared endeavour with the publication of a book by Oxford University Press titled “The Child’s Curriculum: the natural values of young children”.

Our aims are to:

-        uphold the tradition of excellent early years provision in Scotland;

-        advance principles of child learning and development for excellent education and care in which the child leads the way;

-        embrace the life of the child within family, community and culture; and

-        promote children's nature and children's rights as inseparable

This conference will advance discussion on the role of play and companionship in learning and their contribution to attainment and happiness in the longer term. Early years education has built on the tradition of collaborating with children's gifts of creativity and companionship to form communities of learners. Research proves that children are born motivated to live in affectionate and playful attachment in community with parents, other adults and other children. Sensitivity to these motives promotes social, cognitive, linguistic, and sensorimotor growth, establishing confidence and imagination in the knowing and doing of happy and proud children. Promoting children's learning and development matters not just for them, but for all of society. Play is central to creative, inquisitive and motivated learning. This conference will explore the continuing relevance of play, how it is understood by professional adults working with 0-7 year olds, and what we need to know and understand about learning to ensure continuing playful experiences in caring educational communities during early childhood and into school.

Delegate Fee: £80

A limited number of concession places are available: contact us to ask about this


09.30-10.00  Registration, Tea & Coffee  
10.00-10.15   Welcome to the Conference Government Minister

Morning Programme

The Spirit of the Child

Chair : Aline-Wendy Dunlop

10.15-11.15   Understanding the spirit of the child, and the benefits of movement Snorri Magnusson, Ungbarnasund Snorra, Iceland
Professor Hermundur Sigmundsson, Norwegian University of Science & Technology
Introduced by Colwyn Trevarthen, University of Edinburgh 
11.15-11.40  Rich environments for active childhood: Paradise lost? Chris Miles MBE Education Services, Fife, retired
11.40-12.00 We are born to share our music Professor Raymond MacDonald Chair of Music Psychology and Improvisation, University of Edinburgh


What do Communities do? sessions and exhibitions


Afternoon Programme

The Natural Voices of Young Children

Chair : Jonathan Delafield-Butt

13.30-13:50  Sharing playful learning stories Kirsten Thomson,  Principal Teacher of the Early Level within Neilston and Madras Learning Campus
13.50-14.20  Celebrating Literacy: Assessment models for rich responsive teaching Professor Sue Ellis and Jenny Carey, Senior Teaching Fellow. University of Strathclyde
14.20-15.00 Keynote : The pleasure and power of imagination in play Professor Pauline von Bonsdorff: University of Jyväskylä, Finland
15.00-15:10  Concluding Remarks  
15.10  Book Launch Opening: "The Child's Curriculum" Coffee, tea and cake reception party  
16.00  Close