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Quality Improvement for Out of School Providers

First Claim could help you learn to be a better playworker using a self assessment tool.

First Claim helps playworkers look at the play experiences children have in their clubs and explains the role of a great playworker. It works by helping after school clubs and holiday playschemes operate in a playful way that creates fun and engaging environments where all children can play, for example by doing activities such as den building, playing with water, air and the earth, sounds, smells, loose parts, fire and having a bit of risk.

There are so many rules and regulations that playworkers have to adhere to, sometimes play can get a little lost. This framework can work alongside Ofsted's requirements, helping playworkers put children's play first. Originally from Wales, this is now a nationally recognised document.

How it works

First Claim is a tool for self assessment. It can complement the self-evaluation required by Ofsted. One of the first things we ask is that you find out if you are a zoo or a game reserve (.pdf format, 23KB).

First Claim moves you towards developing a great environment which children love to play in (just like a ‘game reserve’). It works by reflecting on your practice; just look at what you do, why you do it and most importantly what you could do differently. A range of supporting information has been developed on the types of play (.pdf format, 43KB) your environment could offer, the ways you can support children playing (.pdf format, 42KB) , how you interact with children (.pdf format, 11KB) , and the wide range of materials to support children playing (.pdf format, 270KB).

The First Claim framework

Now you have flicked through the information about how to be a great playworker, why not see how your club does against the First Claim self assessment (.pdf format 24KB) . This helps you look at all the areas which make up a great play setting and how often you do these types of activities. If you never do some of these activities, it could be for lots of different reasons, but the assessment framework makes you think about this.

The self assessment is called a Playwork Curriculum. Don’t worry as although the language is new to some people, actually it’s possible that you have been playing this way for years. Here are some examples of what the words in the playwork curriculum (.pdf format 19KB) could mean in your setting and some activity ideas (.pdf format, 9.3MB). The idea is to do the self assessment every six months and look at what you do well and areas that you could do more on.

First Claim helps you look at what you do and how you do it, rather than spending money on expensive equipment or external assessors. It's about finding ways of playing and using equipment differently.

First Claim could also help you with funding applications. For example, it helps you evidence why you need money. Some examples of local grant applications we have supported are for 'loose parts' or fire pits.