Birchwood Grove CP School

OPAL (Outdoor play and learning)

Here at Birchwood Grove CP Primary School, we are committed to ensuring quality play opportunities are available to all our children. We have recently embarked on an exciting journey with the OPAL programme.

Children spend 20% of their time in school playing and we believe that play is essential for physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual development of each child. There are many benefits to the OPAL programme including:

  • Improving playtimes for all children meaning happier children and children who come into the classroom ready to learn
  • Improving our play spaces across the school making the most of our wonderful spaces and ensuring a fully inclusive play offer 
  • Develops our school values encouraging children to be creative, resilient independent and collaborative whilst respecting those around them 
  • Improving behaviour at playtimes
  • It's fun!

OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) is all about using naturally and man made resources to allow children to be inspired and creative at playtime.

We anticipate this being a 18-24 month journey, please visit this page for any updates on our journey.

Here is a link to a school that have fully embedded the OPAL approach to their playtimes- we think it looks great!


Play day

Please join us on our play day on the 26th September 2023: there will be a short presentation and question and answer session and then a chance to join in playtime from 10-10:30 (ONLY for year 1-6 parents, EY join in OPAL a little later in the year). 

Meet our play ambassadors 

Play assemblies 

At least every half term we have a play assembly where we gather the children together to ensure that there is communication between adults and children about play. This forms a crucial part of the OPAL process it allows us to celebrate play, gain the children's ideas about play development, discuss safety and risk management and then continue to innovate our playtimes. 

Play assembly Spring 1- sharing of pupil's surveys and introduction to OPAL

Play assembly Spring 2- plan for summer playtimes and sharing of resources 

 Summer Term update

We are very excited that we have begun to roll out OPAL at playtimes and lunchtimes. As of the beginning of the term year 2-6 have enjoyed playtimes together, more resources, more movement and a lot of fun! 

We plan to hold our next play assembly at the end of the half term to gather the children's thoughts on how we can continue to develop our play offer further.