What is OPAL?
Research has shown that children spend 20% of their time in school playing. To
ensure that this time and our fantastic school grounds are used to their full potential
our school has adopted an OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) philosophy that
allows the children freedom to explore play in their own imaginative ways, often
using found and gathered resources in the natural outdoor environment.
An OPAL approach promotes a more inclusive play environment in which all children
can feel comfortable to express themselves. Our OPAL journey began in Spring
2017 and since this time, we have quickly transformed our outdoor environment. Our
children love the new outdoor opportunities that OPAL offers with so much more for
them to do, no matter the weather! From playing with tyres and digging in the sand
pit, to enjoying imaginative play in the small world area or cooking up a storm in the
mud kitchen, OPAL offers an exciting alternative to the standard playground
Through this approach to play children are not only more active at lunch or break
times, but they are also having the opportunity to further develop life skills such as
cooperation, team work and problem solving. They are becoming motivated and
enthusiastic builders, engineers, explorers and designers.
We have now completed our first half term of OPAL play. It has been a great
success – more children are loving being outside, no matter what the weather, as
there is now so much more to do.