Outdoor Play and Learning

Grove Academy is launching a programme to improve opportunities for physical activity, socialisation, co-operation, coordination, resilience, creativity, imagination and enjoyment through improved play.

The OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) Programme is based on the idea that as well as learning through good teaching, your children also learn when they play. 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.

There are many proven benefits for school which carry out the OPAL Programme. They usually include: more enjoyment of school, less teaching time lost to disputes between children, less accidents and greatly improved behaviour.

Play is not messing about. It is the process evolution has come up with to enable children to learn all of the things that cannot be taught, while also feeling like it is fun. There are certain things children must have in order to be able to play. These include:

  • Having clothes that you can play in
  • Having things to play with
  • Having a certain amount of freedom

As we make improvements to play opportunities for your children, you may find that we will be asking you for resources and unwanted items you may have at home. Your children may get a bit messier, be exposed to more challenges and have greater freedoms to play where, with whom and how they like. The experiences we are fostering are essential for children’s physical and mental well-being and are in line with all current good practice advice on health and safety, well-being and development.

We will continue to update this page, and send correspondence home, as we embark on this exciting journey together. In the meantime, if you would like to learn all about OPAL please visit their website www.outdoorplayandleaning.org.uk , where you will find many videos, like the one below that illustrate the programmes true value.

For further information, download this booklet. Power-of-Playtime.pdf