Bradshaw Primary School has embarked on a fantastic new programme to improve our children’s playtime.
This will introduce new opportunities for physical activity, socialisation, co-operation, coordination, resilience, creativity, imagination and enjoyment through improved play. The OPAL Outdoor Play and Learning Programme, is the result of 17 years testing and development in over 500 schools, and in 2018 OPAL won first prize in an EU funded award for the best active school’s programme in Europe. OPAL is based on the idea that as well as learning through good teaching, 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.
We are starting to implement new play opportunities a zone at a time, ensuring that the zones are safe, fun and resourced appropriately. As Bradshaw improves play opportunities for children, we need resources that could help to improve the grounds and play equipment. These may be old tyres, crates, tubes, fancy dress clothes or even old scooters and bikes. These will be items that we can adapt for safe play in school, this could even be links to a company that would be willing to donate items. The children will be using more of the grounds, for more of the year.
The children may get a bit messier, be exposed to more challenges and have greater freedom to play where and how they like. Therefore, it will be essential for children to have a pair of wellies with them, in school, ready for their turn to play on the field where they are likely to get dirty. In addition to this, a warm, sturdy winter coat is needed every day, one that can withstand a bit of dirt, wet and wear and tear!