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OPAL Launch


Dear Parents and Carers,


 We are about to launch our exciting new project to make our playtimes even better, in conjunction with Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL).


 In 2018, OPAL won the best active schools’ programme in Europe award and has been cited in two parliamentary reports as delivering outstanding practice. OPAL is working closely with Sport England to promote more active childhoods, which is one of the many reasons we are improving our playtime, as well as to improve opportunities for socialisation, cooperation, coordination, resilience, creativity, imagination and enjoyment for your child. We are hoping to foster many different types of play and I have attached the poster to show different types of play.

 We strongly believe that: 


“Play is freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated behaviour that actively engages the child. Play can be fun or serious. Through play children explore social, material and imaginary worlds and their relationship with them, elaborating all the while a flexible range of responses to the challenges they encounter. By playing, children learn and develop as individuals, and as members of the community.”

(Children’s Play Council 2001)


The project will start at the end of April and our hopes are that it will change the way we think and how we play together. To facilitate this project, we will need to buy some new resources, move some things around on the playground and require some loose parts. Loose parts are any materials that can be easily moved, combined, and incorporated into children's free play. The items we are looking for will enable us to enjoy a wider range of play experiences during playtime (see the Bingo Cards for some examples).


We have sent out Bingo cards for each class and when resources are brought in these will be checked off per class. The first class to get a line will get 10 minutes extra play and the first class to complete the Bingo card will get 20 minutes extra play. 


We will be holding a collection week beginning Monday 18th March. The sooner we do this, the sooner the children will be able to play with the items! Please do not bring your donations in before this date as we will have nowhere to store them. If objects are oversized, we will ensure that there is someone available to help you carry them into school.


In addition, we will soon be asking all the children to have a pair of wellies in school to allow them to access all the outdoor areas all year round. Children will also need a waterproof coat in school as we will still be going out even if it is raining. If you have any spare wellies that you could donate, we would be very grateful. Please do not bring wellies in until we let you know that the wellie storage is ready. If anyone has the time and skills to assist us in making welly storage we would be extremely grateful.


 We are really excited about this project and hope that you will support us in our efforts to improve playtime for all children.  


Yours sincerely,

Mrs Barrowcliffe (Curricular lead for play)


Additional members of the OPAL team are as follows:


Miss Dyer, Miss Leame and Mrs Pailing (Play coordinators)

Mrs Poxon (Play governor)

Mrs Bainbridge (Play parent)

Mrs Bates (Supporting as the Head Teacher)

Mrs Parnell (Supporting through the use of Sports Premium Funding)