Outdoor Play & Learning

We started our OPAL journey at Kells Lane in September 2019.

OPAL is a playtime project which improves the quality of play opportunities for all children. Play is a process that is freely chosen by the child, directed by the child and from the child’s own motivation and reasoning.

During primary education, children spend around 1.4 years outside actively playing.

OPAL focuses on providing a wide variety of play opportunities from the fifteen types of play, meaning children are still learning and having fun whilst outside. OPAL has a strong impact on children’s creativity, imagination, cooperation, resilience, stamina and overall confidence.

SMART School Council

As part of our SMART School Council, we have an OPAL Buddies action team, who are made up of Year 5 children. Their roles in school are: to support the development of OPAL at Kells Lane, manage the OPAL equipment, lead assemblies (with support from Mr Bradley) to provide regular OPAL updates, meet regularly to plan and discuss new actions and to support outdoor play and learning at breaks and lunchtimes.

During our whole school assemblies’ children and classes can win an OPAL certificate and our Golden Wellington for excellent outdoor play and learning.

The 15 types of play

  • Symbolic Play – pretend playing with objects or toys representing other objects.
  • Locomotor Play – movement in any or every direction.
  • Recapitulative Play – exploring ancestry, history and stories.
  • Creative Play – practising skills for self-expression.
  • Exploratory Play – learning about the world and the effect they can have on the environment.
  • Deep Play – learning to take risks.
  • Imaginative Play – open-ended play to explore using their imaginations.
  • Social Play – interacting with peers.
  • Mastery Play – purposeful play.
  • Object Play – playful use of objects.
  • Role Play – exploring scenarios they have seen, experienced or would like to experience.
  • Socio-dramatic Play – imaginative and dramatic play shared with peers.
  • Communication Play – communicating with peers.
  • Dramatic Play – taking on the role of someone else.
  • Fantasy Play – play which rearranges the world in the child’s eyes.

Downloads & Videos

Below is a ‘wish list’ that the current Opal Buddies have created. If you are able to donate any items to help, please pass them to a member of staff on the yard before school.