Celebrating all Children’s Right to Play

Join the LINC Programme for an Insightful Webinar Celebrating the United Nations International Day of Play with Guest Speaker Fiona Kirkland from Play Scotland 

The Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) Programme is proud to announce its celebration of the first International Day of Play. In honour of this momentous occasion, the LINC Programme will be hosting a free webinar on Tuesday, June 11th  from 5pm to 6pm, featuring distinguished guest speaker Fiona Kirkland, Play Pedagogy Officer at Play Scotland.

The LINC Programme is dedicated to supporting the inclusion and active participation of all children in the early years, through an inclusive culture, practice and pedagogy. Play Scotland shares this commitment, advocating for the importance of play in children’s lives and providing resources, training, and support to enhance play experiences.

The “Celebrating all Children’s Right to Play: Insights from Play Scotland,” webinar seeks to shed light on the crucial role of play in fostering inclusive environments for all children. Joining Fiona Kirkland will be Prof. Emer Ring, Dean of Early Childhood and Teacher Education at Mary Immaculate College, Dr. Lisha O’Sullivan, Head of the Department of Reflective Pedagogy at Mary Immaculate College and Shirley Heaney, National Co-ordinator of the LINC Programme. Together, they will delve into various facets of play, including Play Pedagogy, Fostering Inclusive Play Environments, Supporting Transitions and the Benefits of Loose Parts Play.

Fiona Kirkland shares her excitement for the webinar, remarking, “I’m thrilled to be discussing Scotland’s growing interest in Play Pedagogy at the LINC webinar on June 11th, marking the first UN International Day of Play. As the lead organisation in Scotland advocating for children’s right to play, Play Scotland has played a leadership role in the development of the Play Pedagogy Award alongside partners and educators. We are dedicated to supporting national initiatives that support play at home, play in early learning and school, and play in the community. The UN Rights of the Child has recently been enshrined in Scots law, and the refresh of the national play strategy has just been released for consultation. It has never been more important to recognise and uphold the child’s right to play. Join me to learn how we provide resources and training to enrich children’s play experiences and promote inclusive early education.”

Expressing her anticipation for the webinar, Dr. Lisha O’Sullivan remarked, “We are delighted to welcome Fiona Kirkland, Play Pedagogy Project Officer at Play Scotland, for this exciting LINC webinar to mark the inaugural International Day of Play on June 11th. The webinar will provide a valuable opportunity to learn more about the innovative work of Play Scotland, the lead organisation for the development and promotion of play, in Scotland. We are very much looking forward to hearing Fiona’s insights around how play is embedded across the education continuum, in the Scottish context. The event will provide a valuable opportunity to join together and celebrate the right of every child to inclusive and meaningful play experiences.”

Prof. Emer Ring echoed the sentiments, emphasising the significance of the International Day of Play. In welcoming Fiona Kirkland, she noted, “the UN specifically reaffirmed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Convention on the Rights of the Child including its Optional Protocols; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Marking the inaugural International Day of Play further aligns with the mission and vision of the LINC Programme to support educators in providing inclusive playful learning experiences where diversity is the norm and all children can thrive.”

Shirley Heaney emphasized the importance of play in childhood development, stating: “Play is a fundamental right for every child, and the International Day of Play endorses the centrality of play in children’s learning and development. We are thrilled that Fiona Kirkland will be delivering a LINC Webinar on the important topic of Celebrating all Children’s Right to Play, and we look forward to welcoming all who are interested in this important topic to our webinar of June 11th. “

This webinar promises to be an enlightening and inspiring event, bringing together experts and enthusiasts to celebrate the universal right to play and its transformative power in children’s lives.

Registration for the webinar is now open. To reserve your spot and join the celebration, please click here.



For further information please contact:
Helena Thompson
Marketing, Communications & Recruitment Officer, LINC Programme
T: +353 86 152 5625
E: Helena.Thompson@mic.ul.ie

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