Woolavington Primary School has launched OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning). The school has fantastic grounds and outdoor spaces, which are now fully utilised by children across the school at play and lunchtimes. OPAL was introduced firstly to meet children’s play needs and to support a reduction in playtime and post-playtime behaviour and friendship issues.

In the Spring Term, we launched the first phase of OPAL, and it has been an enormous success. So far, we have bought each child a pair of school wellies so that they can access the whole school site no matter the weather; introduced new resources for Den Building such as pallets, tarpaulins and sheets; built a racetrack for Bikes and Trikes and encouraged play with Large Loose Parts. We also opened our own Mud Café, equipped with mud kitchens, raised beds, bistro seating, and a Games Room, which is a quiet indoor space for crafting and board games.

We are now working on our Rewilding Area, developing a Sensory Garden, and launching our Creative Play Area.

OPAL positively impacts learning, particularly in the afternoons, when children come in from lunchtime having had fun with their friends. OPAL also supports us as a school by teaching our children how to play, socialise, be inclusive, take risks, and enjoy being outside.

Georgina Maclennan, Headteacher, Woolavington Village Primary School