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Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)
The OPAL Programme
Mark Ryan, Headteacher, Blue Coat Primary
Imagine a world without testing for primary school children. Would they still be able to thrive? Would they still develop social skills, resilience or strong and healthy bodies? Would they still be driven by their innate curiosity to find out about the world around them and their part in it? Now imagine a world where children were deprived of play and ask the same questions.
Research shows that play contributes to children’s physical and emotional health, wellbeing, approach to learning and enjoyment of school. In fact, everything that can be claimed by sport as being beneficial to children applies equally to play, except that enjoyment and engagement is at (or very close to) 100% during ‘high-quality’, active playtimes.
Every child loves to play!
Outcomes include an 80% improvement in lunchtime behaviour incidents as well as fewer accidents, increased pupil happiness, more parent satisfaction and greater physical activity for more than an hour every day