What is OPAL?
In May 2023, we began our exciting new project to make playtimes even better, in conjunction with OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning). OPAL is based on the idea that, as well as learning through good teaching, your children also learn when they play. As 20% of their time in school is playtime, we want to make sure that this amount of time (equivalent to 1.4 years of primary school) is as good as possible.
One of the reasons we chose to participate in this amazing programme is that childhood has changed. Many children no longer get their play needs met out of school.
- Average screen time per day is six hours.
- Average outdoor play time per week is five hours.
- Percentage of UK children who only play outdoors with other children at school is 56%.
There are many proven benefits for schools that carry out the OPAL Primary Programme. They usually include: more enjoyment of school, less teaching time lost to disputes between children, fewer accidents and greatly improved behaviour.
In addition to the above, we hope that OPAL will further develop life skills such as team work, problem solving, resilience and cooperation. We aim for our children to become motivated and enthusiastic explorers, designers, builders and engineers.
We’ve worked hard to develop our outdoor areas and want to thank our wonderful families for their contributions of resources and loose parts. It is greatly appreciated by both our children and staff.
Take a look at some of the amazing areas developed and the fun we have been having so far!
OPAL Play Charter
Loose Parts Donations
However, it is vital that loose parts continue to be donated so we can further develop our outdoor areas. Please click on the attached poster to find out about the Loose Parts that can be donated.
We thank you in advance for any future donations!
Golden Welly Award
The Golden Welly award has been introduced as an opportunity to celebrate the children and their amazing play. Children can achieve this award for using their initiative during play, outstanding behaviour, being a kind friend or showing good sportsmanship. Each week, a member of the Opal play team will be selected to identify a child to win the award. This child is then presented the Golden Welly in our Achiever’s Assembly.
Here are some of our Golden Welly Award winners so far this year.
OPAL after School Club
Following the success of OPAL during lunchtimes, we are now offering an OPAL afterschool club. This is a fantastic opportunity for children to access areas in a smaller group setting to build resilience and confidence. The after school club often work hard at ensuring our areas are up to scratch and support in developing new areas.
OPAL club have successfully finished their first project – our very own music board. We are looking forward to playing with this very soon.
If you would like to learn more about the OPAL Primary Programme, please have a look at the OPAL website, where you will find lots of useful information and several videos about the programme.