Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)

Home » Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)

OPAL at Swanland School

What is OPAL?

Research shows that children’s mental and physical health is getting worse and that great play can make it better. During 7 years at primary school, children spend 1.4 years playing. To ensure that this time and our school grounds, are used to their full potential, Swanland Primary School has become and OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) school. OPAL allows the children freedom to explore play in their own imaginative ways. The approach also promotes a more inclusive play environment in which all children can feel comfortable to express themselves.

Through this approach to play children are not only more active at lunch and breaktimes, but they are also having the opportunity to further develop life skills such as problem solving, resilience, cooperation and teamwork.

Our Journey So Far

Our OPAL journey began in April 2024. In just the short amount of time since then we have started to transform our playtimes and outdoor environment. Our children have been loving the new opportunities that we have been able to offer including music, wheeled play on scooter and bikes, dressing up, digging and cooking in the mud kitchen, chalking and drawing.

What does our school community think?

Please find the survey results from our pupil, parent and staff surveys carried out at the start of our OPAL project in April 2024.

Opal parents survey analysis results _240520_205203

We appreciate all the kind donations we have received so far. The dressing up, small world, and water toys have been thoroughly enjoyed by our children. The donations of loose parts such as pallets, drainpipes and guttering and astroturf have enabled us to build lots of exciting resources that we can’t wait to watch the children enjoy.

If you would like to donate to our OPAL playtimes, please contact [email protected]

Working Party Meeting 1- 21st  May 2024 Working Party minutes 21st May

Our Inspiration Photos