More Information on OSCN Courses

Course descriptions

"Who’s in Control?" - Working with Children in Groups

This workshop session is aimed at building confidence in your less experienced staff and helping them to develop effective practices in group management. We use games, scenarios and interactive discussion to highlight the basics of keeping control, especially when things get busy.

Your experienced staff will benefit from hearing about different approaches to common situations and strategies to get staff on board with a consistent approach to group management.


- "They won't listen!" Getting and keeping attention
- Bag of tricks - activities, games, fillers with no equipment
- The foundations of group control - what works and what doesn't
- Gone off track - sorting minor misbehaviour

Along the way we will link basic group management techniques to child development principles, which will give new staff a firm foundation to take a more active role in your programme.


Maximum Childhood" - Child-centred practice / strategies for interaction & participation

Every staff member you employ needs to count - much more than just a number in the ratios. This workshop is aimed mainly at newer staff but will also be a worthwhile refresher for those who are more experienced and want to expand their strategies for helping children participate fully in their programme.


- “A good environment for children” - using child-centred practice
- Getting off to a good start each day
- Activity supervision approaches that enhance child participation
- Conversations with children & professional boundaries

"Keeping Your Cool" - Everyday discipline and challenging behaviour

We hear all the time that children are becoming more challenging in their behaviour and that staff often struggle to respond effectively when kids are pushing limits or “melting down”. This 3-4 hour workshop aims to keep things simple – we focus on effective strategies for everyday use that help kids get back on track with a minimum of confrontation: if we want cool, respectful kids then we have to walk the talk ourselves.

We use games and practical activities to show how to approach challenging behaviour with a cool head and positive purpose. We can also make links between these everyday discipline practices and strategies needed for children with conditions such as ADHD, FASD etc.


- Helping children to behave well: what are we aiming for?
- Low-key discipline techniques for everyday use
- Why are children challenging?
- Effective responses to challenging behaviour: accommodation and intervention strategies
- Evidence-based practice: what can we learn from research into classroom teaching?

"Here to Care" - Common sense for OSCAR professionals

This workshop aims to build awareness and understanding of the professional obligations and sector standards for programme supervision, as well as 'waking up' your staff to their important responsibilities. Topics include: duty of care, legal liability for injury, risk assessment and effective supervision.

We take a practical, common sense approach, which balances the need for safety and the need for children to be active and learning from real experiences. We also focus on the need for good connection across the staff team to ensure consistent supervision coverage in all programme areas.


- Actively managing the risk of harm: obligations under health and safety legislation
- Standards and guidelines for effective programme supervision
- Duty of care, negligence and reasonable care of children
- How much risk is OK? A balanced approached to assessing risk in activities

Tuning in to Children

This 3-hour workshop aims to improve staff confidence in games facilitation and increase the sense of connection within staff teams. We'll identify some useful activity leadership strategies and take time to give and receive feedback.

There will be lots of practical learning about getting games off to a good start and we will reflect on how games can contribute to a positive programme culture.


- Why play games?
- Activity leadership essentials
- Ready to roll? Being prepared to run a game and common challenges during games
- Building participation: tips for getting children involved and getting their feedback 

"You're In!" - Games for Participation and Learning

An immersive 2-3 hour workshop to sharpen your skills at helping kids into games. A great way for your whole team to get energised and inspired for the year ahead. Learn some different, easy games and share strategies for building participation.

"Working Together" - Professional boundaries in OSCAR

This 2-3 hour workshop aims to open up discussion within staff teams about appropriate professional practice when working with children, their parents/caregivers and other professionals, in an OSCAR setting. 

At OSCN we understand the challenges that forming positive relationships with children and their families presents, and we believe that conversations about this process can be very valuable for staff teams. This will be an interactive and practical workshop, with some fun activities to get you thinking and learning.


- Being “professional”: what does it mean for you?
- OSCAR Code of Conduct / MSD OSCAR Standards
- Recognising and establishing boundaries: for the service as well as personal boundaries
- Crossing the line? Professional conduct case studies and problem-solving boundary issues

Child Protection

This session will provide a supportive introduction to the topic, specifically for people who work in OSCAR services. Practical exercises are included to help staff become more aware and effective in safeguarding their children, their programme and themselves. This is essential training for all programme staff and a requirement under the MSD OSCAR Standards.

Please note that this topic may be challenging for some participants as it does not shy away from presenting the reality of child abuse and mistreatment.

"Difficult Conversations" - Skills for communication with parents and staff

“I had no idea how it was going to go. I was worried I’d say the wrong thing.” We are often hearing about your challenges with approaching parents or staff when there is a serious issue to discuss.

Whether there are concerns around the behaviour of a child, or it is a staff member who is not meeting your expectations, there are many ways in which a conversation could go “off the rails”. But equally there are techniques that can improve the likelihood of a positive outcome. We will learn about some of these in this workshop and share experiences from our programmes that we can all learn something from.

Positive Parent Relationships

This workshop is aimed at managers / supervisors and takes a holistic look at how we build good relationships with parents. Practical activities are used to build awareness of effective communication processes and some of the ways that we can end up with problems that could have been prevented. Case studies will highlight best practice for a range of practical issues and provide helpful strategies for sorting through typical OSCAR issues.


- First contact and enrolment
- Helping your staff to build rapport with parents
- Professional boundaries for your service - "yes we can", "sorry we can't" 
Working through concerns and complaints

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Safe and Sound in OSCAR

This workshop covers requirements under the MSD OSCAR Standards for safety and explores how to best respond to the everyday safety challenges posed by children’s behaviour. We aim to provide a balanced approach to issues of risk and child development.

The training is highly interactive, with practical activity and reflection throughout. It is mainly focussed on skills required for supervising and maintaining boundaries with children. 


- Safe environments: what are the essential components?
- Professional and legal requirements for safety, supervision and risk assessment
- Safety and child development – what are children learning about ‘looking after themselves’
- Positive behaviour guidance: responding when boundaries are being tested and helping children get behaviour back on track