OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning)

  • Rossmere Primary School are now working collaboratively with OPAL (Outdoor Play And Learning)  to give a new and exciting play learning experience to the children who attend Rossmere Primary School.

     

    Reach High at Rossmere

     Introduction

    Rossmere Primary School recognises the importance of the need for high quality sustainable play for all primary aged children. Inclusive play is achieved by offering carefully considered outdoor zones with a wide variety of equipment and resources. 

    Commitment

    Rossmere Primary School is committed to using high quality play.

    At Rossmere Primary School, we want to help children to be successful citizens for the 21st century through ensuring  they have high communication skills, can cooperate as part of a team are flexible and resilient to change as well as reaching high academic standards.  We believe that play is an important tool to help achieve this.

    Rationale

    Better play means happier children. Happier children mean fewer behaviour problems, a more positive attitude to school, more effective lessons, core skills development, less staff time spent resolving unnecessary problems, fewer accidents and happier staff.

    Play England drew up The Charter for Children’s Play which sets out a vision for play.

    Please click here to see the Play England Charter.

     

    Rossmere Promise:

    • To implement play changes, gradually and systematically
    • To be informed by the children and work with the children to create a space that is exciting, engaging and enthuses children. where they feel safe to take risks and explore their world
    • To work in partnership with parents and the community making use of local expertise
    • Build projects collaboratively, respecting existing boundaries
    • To use government guidance

    Please click here to view New Charter for Children’s Play.

    Please click here to view the Public Health England website.

     

    OPAL and Rossmere Primary School

    At Rossmere Primary School we recognise and value the fact that all children learn through play.

    So much so that we have devoted a talented team of staff to strategically lead and manage this area of our children’s development on a daily basis.

    The basic aim of OPAL is to enhance opportunities for children’s play in schools. Within the programme play is defined as behaviour that is ‘freely chosen, intrinsically motivated and personally directed’, a definition drawn from Playwork Principles (PPSG, 2005).

    The OPAL project has developed a thorough, practical, step-by-step guide to developing the conditions to support play in schools. This will be developed and embedded within Rossmere Primary School over the next few months.

    The design of OPAL, although listing universal and aspirational indicators and criteria in the audit process, acknowledges that schools will have different start points in terms of the physical environment (buildings, grounds, perimeter structures, geographical location); size; community catchment area and relations; head teacher priorities; financial resources; staff culture, and more besides.  Given this, the application of OPAL is not an absolute approach but is responsive to local conditions and what happens, and the nature and pace of change varies significantly across schools. This precludes the identification of any standard approaches and comparison across the OPAL participants. However, the review of documentary evidence through meetings with the schools Strategic Group will result in identifying the key themes which will emerge and become part of the Play Policy to allow a great ethos of play across the whole school.

    To learn more about OPAL please click here.