Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)
At Westerhope Primary School, we believe that it is important that life is more than a virtual/digital world. We are passionate about your physical wellbeing and will therefore provide opportunities for our pupils to develop resilience and manage risk and elements of danger, through exploring and having fun.
This year, we are undertaking a school improvement project to become an OPAL School. This is a school which continually strives to improve the quality of play for all of its children. It embeds play in all aspects of planning, self-evaluation and delivery. It acknowledges the seriousness of play as a human right and regards play as a necessity for children’s mental and physical wellbeing.
OPAL is based on the idea that as well as learning through good teaching, our children also learn when they play, and as 20% of their time in school is playtime, we want to make sure that this amount of time (equivalent to 1.4 years of primary school) is as good as possible.
“...better, more active and creative playtimes can mean happier and healthier children, and having happier, healthier, more active children usually results in a more positive attitude to learning in school, with more effective classroom lessons, less staff time spent resolving unnecessary behavioural problems, fewer playtime accidents, happier staff and a healthier attitude to life.”
OPAL in action
Here are examples of OPAL in action. It is a pleasure to see all the children working together and having fun!
Our Play Policy
Take a look at our play policy to find out about our aims, rationale and implementation.
To find out more about OPAL, please see their website: