Close this search box.

National Childhood Network (NCN)

Useful Links


Useful Links

The links below are to external websites, they will open in new tabs on your browser.

The importance of play in learning is often understated in the curriculum. Amongst various highly politicised curriculums and competing subjects jostling for funding and limelight, the impact of well structured playful learning, and all of the holistic benefits that emanate from it, are being forgone.                                     


Play and Inclusion (June 2022)

Dr Sharon Colilles considers how play allows young children to develop, learn and explore socially constructed ideas about their ethnic identity.

Top Five Ways Children Develop Through Play (n.d)

Play may look simple, but it is incredibly complex and that complexity has made it a difficult thing for researchers to study. There are many benefits to play — more than I can name here. This list represents the types of play that affects a child’s development in deep and meaningful ways and that is also backed by some research. For each one, I also give quick tips on how to encourage that kind of play.


We are such a risk averse society today. Often children are wrapped in cotton wool to ensure they come to no harm, but this also denies them the opportunities that risky play and behaviour provide to learn and develop. Helicopter parenting has become the norm, seriously reducing the freedom children have to play freely.

Sir Ken Robinson speaks on outdoor play (05/05/2016)

Educationalist Sir Ken Robinson, known to millions for his work on creativity in schools, yesterday shared his thoughts on outdoor play.

Why Children Need to Learn to Play Alone (31/03/2016)

Some children concentrate well and enjoy playing alone. They are inventive, attentive, and full of ideas. They develop skills and pet projects without assistance. Other children seem to need others always involved with their play.

People with Autism Can Read Emotions, Feel Empathy (13/07/2016)

There is a persistent stereotype that people with autism are individuals who lack empathy and cannot understand emotion. It’s true that many people with autism don’t show emotion in ways that people without the condition would recognize.

Pioneering Psychologist Jerome Bruner on the 6 Pillars of Creativity and How to Master the Art of “Effective Surprise” (June 2016)

“Passion, like discriminating taste, grows on its use. You more likely act yourself into feeling than feel yourself into action.”

The Guardian. The Science of Learning Five Classic Studies (12/12/2015)

A few classic studies help to define the way we think about the science of learning. A classic study isn’t classic just because it uncovered a new fact, but because it neatly demonstrates a profound truth about how we learn – often at the same time showing up our unjustified assumptions about how our minds work.

Why can’t we remember our early childhood? (12/07/2016)

Most of us don’t have any memories from the first three to four years of our lives – in fact, we tend to remember very little of life before the age of seven. And when we do try to think back to our earliest memories, it is often unclear whether they are the real thing or just recollections based on photos or stories told to us by others. The phenomenon, known as “childhood amnesia”, has been puzzling psychologists for more than a century – and we still don’t fully understand it.


Could Steiner schools have a point on children, tablets and tech? (07/07/2016)

The methods at the school, which are based on the controversial teachings of Austrian 19th century philosopher Rudolf Steiner, may be different from those employed in mainstream state schools, but the Iona was recently declared outstanding by the School Inspection Service – the independent equivalent of Ofsted. The report noted that…


Brain Hierarchy: When Your Child’s Lower Brain Levels Are Weak, they Can’t Learn (09/03/2016)

This article contains information regarding the brain hierarchy and how each part affects learning in the classroom.


100 Questions That Help Students Think About Thinking (06/04/2016)