Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL

Curricular Lead for Play (John Vickers)
Play Coordinator (Sophie McCarthy)
Play Leads (Nicola Burniston and Jess Burniston)
Assistant Play Leaders (LSA’s – Lunchtime Supervisors, all Teaching staff and all Teaching Assistants)
Caretaker (Dave Murgatroyd)
OPAL Champion Governor (Claire Tennyson)

All adults working at the school are part of the play team and have a responsibility to follow this policy.

It has long been recognised that play is fundamental to a child’s health, happiness, development and well being. Research has also shown that children spend 20% of their time in school playing. This led staff to reflect upon how playtimes could be improved in our school and in the spring of 2019 our OPAL journey began.

The OPAL vision is that “every child in every school has an amazing hour of high quality play every day” and as a school we share this vision and recognise the enormous benefits play has on a child’s life.

Take a look at what we have been up to…

Wheelies and bouncers

We have developed the OPAL approach and worked with our school community to improve our play provision. Our school grounds are an ongoing project with two traditional play yards, two MUGAs and small field. Traditionally some of these spaces have been underused, however through our OPAL project, our school site is being transformed to offer the highest quality play experiences whatever the weather.

Digging and planting

The school site has been divided into rainbow coloured zones and fundamental to our approach is that children have the opportunity to play wherever they want, with whoever they want. Children have the freedom to explore and play in their own imaginative ways, experimenting, problem solving and having fun using a wide range of available resources which are very different in each zone.

Playing with nature

Our outdoor areas are continually being developed and offer an even wider range of play opportunities. The children love playing in all the different areas including balancing on tyres, digging in the sand pits, zipping around on the wheelies, creating games with small world toys or bouncing around the yard on the space hoppers. They are having fun and are developing life skills of team work, problem solving, communication, resilience whilst also developing their creativity and imagination.

Sand play

Our OPAL play project is at the beginning of its journey and we hope to grow our outdoor learning provision with the help of our wonderful children and the support from our parents, carers and school community. We hope that the world of play will blossom at Grangetown Primary School and continue to capture and inspire our children’s imaginations.

Splashing in puddles

The school acknowledges the UN Charter on the Rights of the Child, especially Article 31, and supports the child’s right to play. We believe play provision should be:
“Welcoming and accessible to every child, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, economic or social circumstances, ethnic or cultural background or origin, or individual abilities.”


Ready – I can play in any zone with anybody
Respectful – I will play with the equipment, resources and toys appropriately and tidy up when I am finished with them
Safe – Will it hurt? Will it break?


02 September

PD Day

School closed to children


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