OPAL – Outdoor Play and Learning
Here at Broughton Community Schools, we are committed to ensuring quality play opportunities are available to all our children. Play is an integral part of the school day and, on average, takes up 20% of a child’s time in school: around 1.4 years of their primary school life!
As schools, we recognise play as a way all children encounter, explore and make sense of the world and their place within it. Therefore, it is our duty to ensure our site, staff and skills optimise the most fulfilling and rich play opportunities possible during breaktimes and lunchtimes. In doing so, we aim to highlight the interconnection between play, learning, development, health and happiness.
Most of our best childhood memories are from playing outdoors, climbing trees and exploring the wide world around us. OPAL gives us the opportunity to give those memories to your children. OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) is all about using naturally and man made resources to allow children to be inspired and creative at playtime.
There are many proven benefits for schools which carry out the OPAL Programme. These include: more enjoyment of school, less teaching time lost to disputes between children, less accidents and greatly improved behaviour. Not only this, but research tells us that children who play outdoors move more, sleep more, eat better are happier and care about the planet more.
This term's OPAL focus has been around science. We have created a mud kitchen for the children to explore and we have already had lots of donations of kitchen utensils. We also are in the process of creating a water wall for the children to explore. The children really enjoyed making up the rules for these new zones during our half termly play assembly. Years 5 and 6 have applied and been shortlisted for our play ranger roles, the children are really enjoying their play time responsibilities and they are all doing an amazing job. You may have seen the unit that is attached to the fence on the junior playground. A letter went out about our new donation station and there are already some amazing items in there. Thank you so much to everyone for your donations and support around our OPAL journey. More to come next term.