Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)
We believe play and learning go hand-in-hand. Playtime takes up 20% of a child’s school day and provides opportunities for children to learn all the things that cannot be taught: socialisation, co-operation, coordination, resilience, creativity, imagination and negotiation. This is why we are constantly striving to improve our play offer at Brentfield Primary School. The skills that our children learn through play feed directly into our BRAVE Values (Belonging, Responsibility, Aspirations, Valuing diversity and Empowerment).
We know that excellent play opportunities develop a child’s sense of belonging, improve their ability to express themselves clearly, increase their aspirations and encourage inclusiveness across age, gender religion and nationality. All these skills will also help to ensure our children become the Champions for Tomorrow.
The OPAL programme has supported us to widen play opportunities for the children. The children have the opportunity to engage in play through the following areas: mud kitchens, bikes, sand pits, art area, forest area, dressing up and quieter areas so all children can find a safe place for themselves. Providing the breadth of opportunities for play has resulted in our children being more active, more creative, healthier and happier. We know that increasing a child’s sense of wellbeing in play will help towards creating a positive attitude to learning in school.
We hold regular play assemblies to involve children in recognising and celebrating their approach to play and helping children to identify risks and manage them appropriately. The children have developed their own Play Charter on how to play kindly and safely. Children regularly go round the school photographing some of the wonderful things that are happening and then share what they have captured through notice boards and assemblies.