Children and families

Your stories have become part of our childrens lives.

Glasgow 09, Abida Cathcart


Licketyspit Symposium May 2013

The Licketyspit Symposium and International Ideas Exchange: Transforming lives – the possibilities of theatre

Wednesday 1st & Thursday 2nd May 2013


“We know of no other company working in this way using actors.” 
(Beth Ferholt, Play Scholar & Assistant Professor, School of Education, City University of New York)

On 1st and 2nd May 2013, Licketyspit held an international Ideas Exchange and Symposium hosted by North Edinburgh Arts entitled: ‘The Adventures of LicketyLeap: Transforming Lives – the possibilities of theatre. Engagement, Art and Resilience, nurturing imaginative play and possibility in early years children’.

Are we imagining enough for our vulnerable three and four year olds?

Are we listening well enough?

Are we engaging well enough?

The event was attended by 100 delegates from arts, education, health, social work and play who were interested to learn about the LicketyLeap model and explore the impact of this groundbreaking practice. International delegates attending from Sweden, Italy and USA, also attended an ‘Ideas Exchange’ which included participation in a LicketyLeap performance session.

The Symposium programme consisted of a series of presentations, breakout discussion sessions, plenary discussions and networking opportunities. ‘The Adventures of LicketyLeap: Transforming Lives – the possibilities of theatre’, Licketyspit’s report on LicketyLeap project delivery in 2012/2013 was launched at the event and an interactive exhibition of LicketyLeap was installed throughout the building.

The event was chaired by Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Tam Baillie, and opened by Professor Susan Deacon (Former Scottish Cabinet Minister and Author of report ‘Joining the Dots: A better start for Scotland’s children’).

Speakers and contributors included:

Virginia Radcliffe - Artistic Director/Chief Executive, Licketyspit

Kate Wimpress – Director, North Edinburgh Arts

Tam Baillie - Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, SCCYP

Professor Susan Deacon – Assistant Principal Corporate Engagement, University of Edinburgh

Steven Wray - Public Health Practitioner, NHS Lothian & Lead Officer, East Lothian Support from the Start

Aileen McLean - Senior Education Manager, City of Edinburgh Council

Debbie Willett – Board of Directors, Play Scotland

Joan Parr – Portfolio Manager, Education, Learning and Young People, Creative Scotland

Dr Sara Watkin – Medical Adviser for Scottish Adoption and Barnardo's Scotland & Board of Directors at North Edinburgh Arts

Dr Graham Mackenzie – Consultant in Public Health, NHS Lothian and Chair of LicketyLeap Steering Group

Dr Rosemary Geddes MBChB, MMed (PH), FCPHM (SA) – Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Marguerite Hunter Blair – Chief Executive, Play Scotland

Beth Ferholt – Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood and Art Education Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Kevin Kibble – Chief Executive, The Nurture Group Network

Anita Risberg and Angelika Lindberg – Pedagogues of Drama, Cultural Educational Center, Skellefteå Municipality

Marie Parker Shaw – Drama Teacher and Director, Malmö Stadsteater

Rhona Matheson – Director, Starcatchers

Guglielmo Papa - Artistic Director, La Società della Civetta


Delegate feedback: 


"A very informative and enlighting day with excellent speakers.  LicketyLeap is an excellent, very inclusive programme."


"A fantastic day. LicketyLeap is an excellent tool / vehicle for creative play."


"I came with an open mind which was sparked with all sorts of creative ideas - thank you."


"The variety and in depth sharing of knowledge, relevance and opportunities for developing creativity has been immense."


"The day was absolutely fantastic! A great deal of useful information - I look forward to working with Licketyspit again."


"I'm so delighted I was able to experience today."


"I have learnt the importance of working creatively with early years children and their families.  I have been inspired by work I have heard about, particularly the work of Licketyspit."


"Great day, the breaksout session was super and the speakers were excellent."


"I particularly enjoyed the LicketyLeap footage and hearing about the process, including the work with parents."  

Tam Baillie speaks at the Licketyspit Symposium 2013


The hat was too big it was going to be the nest. Stan was dressed as an owl, everybody was laughing at that. They were singing a lot of songs. The snow came down. I drew a picture of the Crumpety Tree - it made me laugh.Child
Something tremendously courageous and important here, in the determination to create a show truly based on the rhythm of children's imaginations at workScotsman
Child loved it - very funny!Audience member. The LicketyTale of Molly Whuppie, December 2013