Preservice ECTs host free pop up play spaces as part of innovative placement program

Preservice ECTs host free pop up play spaces as part of innovative placement program

by Freya Lucas

March 21, 2022

Preservice early childhood teachers (ECTs) from Victoria University (VU) will host free pop up play spaces in Footscray as part of an innovative placement program. 


The play spaces will utilise loose parts play and explore the practice of Playwork, which empowers children to engage, create, imagine, and explore by moving a variety of ‘loose parts’, such as recycled cardboard and fabrics, for their own reasons and in their own time.  


VU students who are studying both a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and the Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood will be involved, attempting to engage with the children who attend the free events, gain their trust and observe their creativity and play. 


“We really have to believe that children are clever and creative and inventive, and the best way to do that is to watch what they do when playing with lots of loose parts,” lecturer Sarah Jobson explained.


The development of the innovative program was accelerated by the number of families seeking safe outdoor spaces for their young children, however the focus of the program remains as being a means to offer pre-service teachers a unique placement opportunity.


“When these students become teachers, they will know how to provide lots of materials for children, and then to stand back and wait for the amazingness to happen,” Ms Jobson said. 


The sessions run in Footscray Park (near the riverside playground) and Railway Reserve (3 McNab Ave) at 9-11am and 1-3pm Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (Saturday pm – Railway Reserve only) until 26 March. 


Children of all ages are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. No bookings are required.