We recently started our Outdoor Play At Lunchtimes (OPAL) to improve opportunities for physical activity, socialisation, cooperation, coordination, resilience, creativity, imagination and enjoyment through improved play.
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.
Play is not messing about. It is the process evolution has come up with to enable children to learn all of the things that cannot be taught, while also having so much fun. There are certain things children must have in order to be able to play.
Here is just a snippet of some of the comments we’ve heard:
(I’ve heard this a lot): “It’s been the best playtime I’ve ever had.”
Child Y3: “if you want something quiet but fun, you can use ribbons and wool to weave on the fence and then other children can continue after me.”
Child Y4: “love playing with all the fancy dress equipment.”
Child Y5: “I enjoyed playing with my friends from other year groups.”
Parent: “I’ve heard so much about Opal play, they love it.”
Staff member: “Took me back to my childhood.”
Staff Member: “lovely to see all the children engaging and supporting each other even if they are from a different class or year group.”
Staff member: “It’s been so lovely to feel that buzz around the school it feels like a different place.”
Head Teacher: “The children and staff are having so much fun!”