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OPAL

 

What is OPAL?

We believe that every child in our school should have access to high quality play each day, particularly given that 20% of a child's time in school is playtime (equivalent to 1.4 years of primary school).  In order to help us achieve this, we signed up to the OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) programme in February 2024.  The OPAL programme is founded on the principles and values of playwork, providing a wide variety of play opportunities from the sixteen types of play.  To date, OPAL has run programmes in over 500 schools throughout the whole of the UK and has recently expanded to Canada, France, Poland, New Zealand and Australia.  They use knowledge and expertise gathered over seventeen years of testing and development to support schools to change both their environment and their culture in order to enable provision of amazing playtimes every day.  

 

Our OPAL Journey 

We were so excited to begin our OPAL journey and the children enjoyed their first experience of an 'OPAL playtime' when they came back to school after the Easter holidays.  There have already been lots of changes to both the Key Stage 1 and 2 yards, and many more things are planned.  Our vision for OPAL playtimes is ambitious and so it will take time for that vision to become a reality, but our first steps have been meet with overwhelming enthusiasm and positivity from the children.  

 

How Can Parents/Carers Help?

We are always grateful for donations of a wide variety of materials - please see the Friday Letter for more specific details.  We would also be delighted to hear from any parents/carers who could offer expertise in procuring resources from industry and/or anyone who could spare some time to help improve the school grounds/construct resources.  Please contact Mrs Lennon via the school office if this is something you are able to help with.  

 

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