OPAL Play News

The Power of Playtime – Read or download this booklet with lots of practical ideas for busy parents:

The Power of Playtime


March 2024 – News Update

Our Break the Rules day raised an impressive £452.85 which will be spent on large scale garden games for the children to enjoy in the better weather e.g. giant Jenga, boules, connect 4 as well as some physical play equipment such as slack lines to walk along.

Our next planned fundraiser is a Movie Night on Friday 22nd March. Details to follow but our next goal is to raise enough money to purchase and install a large-scale sandpit on the field.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support with our OPAL endeavours!

Our Super Spring Challenge!

This half term, classes have chosen an area of our outdoor play to develop and enhance. The children have helped to create a ‘Bingo Board’. The aim of the challenge is to race to collect each item on the ‘Bingo Board’ (as a group). We do not expect families to buy these items but would like you to ask around to see if anyone is having a clear out and are willing pass these items on. The classes that that complete their board first/collect the most equipment will be rewarded with some extra OPAL Play time to enjoy.

The areas we have chosen to improve this term are:

EYFS: Small World Play, KS1: Mud kitchen, LKS2: Dinosaur World, UKS2: Water Play


17.03.2023 – New Installations

This week we have opened up a new ‘Digging Zone’ and ‘Mud Kitchen’ for the Key Stage One and Two children to enjoy. We held class assemblies to discuss sensible play and the children came up with their own rules for this zone. These have been displayed in the digging zone as a reminder. It was all very exciting … and muddy, this week but we hope as they begin to use it more regularly they will remember how to stay cleaner! Thank you to Mrs Ziolkowski for building our mud kitchen furniture.

Our lovely new seating area in the ‘Zen Zone’ (Wildlife Garden) has been installed. It is large enough for a class to be seated to enjoy stories and activities outdoors and also for children to use during OPAL play, once we open this zone. Thanks again to FOHS for fundraising for us and our whole school community for contributing! We are so lucky to have your support!

Thanks to the Education Training Trust fund, we now have a real stage for all of our budding performers to enjoy!

01/03/2023 GREAT NEWS!

Thanks to Mrs Gregory and Mrs Southern we have secured £1000 of community funding for our OPAL Play project. We plan to spend the money on den posts and materials to enhance our den building skills and opportunities.

The seating area for the Zen Zone in the Wildlife area (thanks to funding from FOHS) is due to be installed on Friday 17th March.

Staging (Funded by St Andrew’s Church) is also due to arrive on 17th March.

Our digging zone and mud kitchen is almost complete. Tools for this will be purchased from the money raised on our Break the Rules Day.

We were unlucky with our Armed Forces bid for a Water Play Zone but will continue bidding for funds … if you are aware of any funding opportunities you think we may be able to access, please do contact us.

Opal Play Loose Parts update 27.02.2023

What is OPAL Play?

We are very excited to let you know that we have begun our OPAL Play journey! OPAL stands for Outdoor Play and Learning; research shows that children’s mental and physical health is getting worse and that great play can make it better. During seven years at primary school, children spend 1.4 years at play so we want to make it as fun and stimulating as we possibly can!

Click on the link to see an example of an OPAL Play Platinum School:

The video was taken after a two year journey with OPAL Play …. we are just at the beginning of our journey but the possibilities are exciting!

Here are the OPAL Working Group:

Mrs Cubbage (Curriculum Lead), Mrs Ziolkowski (Play Coordinator), Mrs Walker (Play Coordinator), Mrs Southern (Parent/PTA Champion), Mrs Gasser-Thompson (Site Manager), Mr Wheatley (Headteacher) and Mrs Henderson (Play Governor)



Today we launched OPAL Play with the children. We invited the children to mix Key Stages and across both yard spaces. We opened up a Sports Zone with football as our first weekly sport; it was rude not to when the World Cup is on! We added a performance area and a board games zone. Here are some photographs from our first day …