OPAL at Green Meadow
Research has shown that children spend 20% of their time in school playing. To ensure that this time and our amazing school grounds are used to their full potential each and every day, our school has adopted an OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) philosophy that allows the children freedom to explore play in their own imaginative ways using the wide range of resources available to them and the natural environment.
Our OPAL journey began this year, in Spring 2023, and since this time, we have quickly transformed our outdoor environment. Our children love the new outdoor opportunities that OPAL offers and there is so much more for them to do, no matter the weather! From playing with tyres and boats and using and crates and pallets, to building incredible structures around the grounds, to den building, cooking up a storm in the messy cafe or mud kitchen or to enjoying imaginative play in the small world area, keeping fit on the trim track or climbing the climbing domes and fort, OPAL offers an exciting alternative to the standard playground activities and there is something for everyone to enjoy every day of the week! Our OPAL approach at Green Meadow promotes an inclusive play environment in which all children can express themselves, get creative, risk assess and develop resilience! Through this approach to play, children are not only more active at lunch times, they also have the opportunity to further develop life skills such as co-operation and collaboration, team work and problem solving. They are highly motivated and enthusiastic builders, engineers, explorers and designers!
This is what our children have to say about OPAL lunchtimes:
"I find OPAL really entertaining! We have all of the equipment I love!"
"I am so excited that we can start using the climbing frames soon!"
"I love to play on the bikes as I can use all of my energy pedalling."
"I love dinosaurs and I like being able to play with them with my friends."
"Me and my friends are getting more adventurous with how I am building different obstacles with the crates and wood to challenge ourselves and we all make sure we help each other to risk assess so we are safe."
"The thing that I like the most is that we can play with friends in different year groups and I can play with my little brother."
"We have so much choice now. There is something for everyone and you can change what you are doing whenever you like. I like listening to music and making up songs and dances with my friends."
"I like to make dens and forts with my friends. It's challenging and makes us think and risk assess."
"I like dressing up as a princess and putting on jewellery."