The Joy of Play Educator’s Conference

Following on from the success of our 2019 event, this conference was for primary and ECE teachers and other professionals with an interest in the use of play as a pedagogical tool for children’s learning. Longworth Education were excited to host this event in sunny Napier in January 2020 and welcomed all those with a passion for bringing play back into New Zealand children’s school experiences.

How we help schools to implement learning through play

Date: 22 January 2020
Location: Napier Conference Centre, Napier

Keynote Speaker

Teacher Tom (Seattle, USA)

Thomas “Teacher Tom” Hobson is a preschool teacher, education blogger, public speaker, and author.

A teacher at Woodland Park Cooperative School in Seattle, and prolific blogger, Tom has become a sought after public speaker for audiences of early childhood educators and parents at conferences and trainings around the world, including the UK, Greece, Iceland, Vietnam, Canada, China, Australia, New Zealand and across the US.

Tom will be presenting both keynote and breakout sessions at the Joy of Play Educators’ Conference in 2020.

Closing Speaker

Nigel Latta (New Zealand)

Nigel Latta is a critically acclaimed psychologist, TV personality, public
speaker and author.

Nigel’s professional experience to date spans over two decades and reflects a dual interest in both forensic psychology and working with young people and their families. In recent years he has developed an increasing speciality and passion for working with kids in the ‘toohard’ basket. He is well known for his TV documentary series, including Beyond the Darklands,

The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show, and more recently Nigel Blows Stuff Up.


"I have just had a chance to sit and watch the teaching the key competencies while kids play webinar.  Thanks so much, it was very valuable for me as a beginning teacher to understand ways to be able to teach these in the classroom.  I feel much more confident now to be able to pull something out from my observations of play to work on with the class and how to do this.

"I look forward to more Longworth Education webinars!"

"Your presentation was superb and had me smiling away and laughing out loud!  In fact, your amazingness made me feel quite inadequate!  You will be pleased to know that tomorrow afternoon Room 9 is making 'George's Marvelous Medicine' and my T.Aide is planning to have a magic oven (double-doored cardboard box oven) which produces edible fairy bread once the magical potion is put in!  Let the fun begin!"

"Oh, we had so much fun making Marvelous Medicine! The poor carpet suffered under our creativity though, and we made it into the newsletter this week (because a group of girls were sharing a kids cookbook and made up a fantasy cook-off, telling everyone what group they'd be in and who out of the powers above were going to be the judges) We had a four-group bake off in the staff room, with no-bake fudge/truffle dishes.  The next day The Principal and two Deputy Principals were cordially invited to judge the dishes. Oh, the squeals of delight at the judging! The children all took home cellophane parcels of all the treats.  We honoured Tanvi with massive applause at the end, for taking the book out of the school library and making up the idea!  How much am I enjoying the licence to follow child-led learning?  

"Thank you, Longworth, for all your guidance and affirmation that we are on the right track.  But most of all for leading the charge and changing the tone, under which our children can learn best!  Thank goodness!"