We are delighted to announce that we are now an OPAL school. OPAL stands for outdoor play and learning. The programme will help us to develop opportunities for physical activity, socialisation, co-operation, coordination, resilience, creativity, imagination and enjoyment, through improved play.

OPAL is based on the idea that as well as learning through good teaching, children also learn when they play, and as approximatley 20% of their time in school is play/lunchtime, we want to make sure that we offer the children the absolute best provision that we possibly can.

‘Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 31, play is a human right. All state parties have a duty to ensure every child has access to play.’

We are at the early stages of our OPAL programme, with the view that the sky is the limit in terms of how we can continue to improve how playtimes look at school. A few examples of some of our latest enhancements include, music playing throughout the playgrounds, bubbles, chalk and book nooks. Our aim is to create an environment that children can innovate, express themselves and be creative through various forms of play. Going forward we will be looking at implementing small world toys, dressing up, buckets and spades, teddy bear picnics and more.

According to an annual report on children’s health by the chief medical officer of England,  

‘promoting physical and mental health in schools creates a virtuous circle reinforcing children’s attainment and achievement that in turn improves their wellbeing, enabling children to thrive and achieve their full potential.’ (Professor Dame Sally C Davies, 2012). In short, children learn better when they are happy. 

With this in mind we would love your help with donations. We are currently seeking the following items –   

o  Chalk

o  Books

o  Small World Toys

o  Bubbles & Bubble Mix

o  Picnic items

o  Pots, Pans and Bakeware

o  Dressing up items, this can  include items like jazzy shirts

o  Watering Cans

o  Paint brushes

o  Teddy Bears

o  Buckets & Spades

If you would like to learn more about the OPAL Primary Programme, please have a look at the OPAL website where there are videos and testimonies from schools around the country.