Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)

an image of the opal logoWe are an OPAL school. As a staff we wanted to improve the provision available for children at lunch and break times. We recognised the many benefits of play for children of all ages. Play supports physical, creative, social, emotional and intellectual development. OPAL was the answer.

OPAL stands for Outdoor Play and Learning.

Children have the opportunity to use and access natural and man made resources to build, create and play with. The OPAL initiative has been a great success and has provided children with many more opportunities to engage in self chosen play experiences. The children have access to the whole school grounds, the OPAL field, the football pitch, the Sports Yard and the secret garden. They can climb trees, make dens, play with sand and water, make mud pies, dress up or read quietly, to name just a few of the opportunities on offer.  We are extremely proud that St Cuthbert’s has been accredited with a platinum award (the highest level) for OPAL.

The impact of OPAL in our school has been

  • Happier children
  • Children coming into class ready to learn
  • A fully inclusive playtime offer
  • Physically active, creative and problem solving children
  • Children developing independence and resilience skills
  • Increased social skills
  • …. and most importantly fun!
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