OPAL - Outdoor Play and Learning
The Importance of Play
UN Rights of the Child:
Article 31 (leisure, play and culture) Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.
Research has shown that children spend 20% of their time in school playing. This equates to 1.4 years of their school attendance. To ensure that this time and our fantastic school grounds are used to their full potential, our school has adopted an OPAL philosophy that allows the children freedom to explore play in their own imaginative ways, often using found and gathered resources in the natural outdoor environment as well as made-made items.
We believe that play is essential for physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual development of each child. An OPAL approach promotes a more inclusive play environment in which all children can feel comfortable to express themselves. 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.
Feedback from our OPAL Coordinator following a CPD Visit : Sept 2023
"Dear Exhall Cedars Infant,
I would just like to share how inspiring I found my recent visit to your school; it is positively noticeable that you have developed a warm, stimulating, and welcoming environment where all the children are evidently happy, cared for, and encouraged (by a fabulous staff team) to embark on a learning journey with resilience, passion, and confidence.
The children spoke with confidence and a love of their school experience(s).
I very much look forward to visiting again."
Through this approach to play, children are not only more active at playtimes, but they are also having the opportunity to further develop life skills such as cooperation, teamwork and problem solving. They are becoming motivated and enthusiastic builders, engineers, explorers and designers.
Can you help?
It's amazing that items which may be discarded can be turned into dens, swings, costumes, sculptures and much more. And we're also helping ot reduce, reuse and recycle!
If you have any of the following items, we'd love to have them in school:
Wooden sheet/ MDF boards
Old Kitchen Equipment
Pots and Pans/ Utensils
DO YOU KNOW OF ANY LOCAL INDUSTRY
THAT MIGHT BE WILLING TO DONATE AND DELIVER ANY OF THESE ITEMS TO US?
PLEASE BRING ANY ITEMS INTO SCHOOL, OR LEAVE LARGER ITEMS ON THE GRASS BY THE PLAYGROUND GATES