Washingwell Community Primary School

Achievement for all

OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning)

It has long been recognised that play is fundamental to a child’s health, happiness, development and well-being. Research has also shown that children spend 20% of their time in school playing. This led staff to reflect upon how playtimes could be improved in our school and in the Autumn of 2022 our OPAL journey began.


What is OPAL?

 OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) is all about using our full grounds and resources to allow children to be inspired and creative at playtime. We want to make the most of our wonderful site and encourage our children to be energetic, creative and co-operative.


The OPAL programme rationale is...


“…better, more active and creative playtimes can mean happier and healthier children, and having happier, healthier, more active children usually results in a more positive attitude to learning in school, with more effective classroom lessons, less staff time spent resolving unnecessary behavioural problems, fewer playtime accidents, happier staff and a healthier attitude to life”.



What your child needs for OPAL


We want all children to be outdoors every day, in all weathers, in all parts of our grounds. Therefore, every child will need their own wellies and a warm coat in school in school each day. Waterproof trousers are also a good idea especially if your child loves getting muddy!



Don’t throw it away!


We are continually developing our play offer as we work through the OPAL programme and are always looking for any spare items you have that we could use.





Thank you to everyone who has donated items so far.

Play Policy