OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning)

A strategic school improvement programme which supports senior managers to create sustainable change in culture and practice to ensure  EVERY playtime is an OUTSTANDING playtime!



The benefits of OPAL include:

  • More teaching time – happier, more creative children who settle more quickly in to their lessons after playtime
  • Improved behaviour – OPAL schools report up to 80% drop in the use of behaviour policies and 90% drop in Senior leadership time spent in resolving playtime issues
  • Faster core skills development – rapid progression in physical activity, creativity, imagination, cooperation, resilience, stamina, emotional regulation
  • Inclusion– play is better for every child, every day with no exceptions
  • Happiness and wellbeing – less stressed children, happier and more excited about school
  • Training – School lunch time staff are trained and positively motivated to support play
  • Strategic Approach – Your school will have a long term plan to develop play and a clear policy which parents and staff can understand


Did you know?

Children attend primary school for seven years. Of those seven years, around 1.4 years will be spent outside actively playing, making `playtime’ by far the most dominant element within the curriculum. Unlike sport and PE lessons, children’s active play can claim 100% engagement, provided it is delivered with the right expertise, consistency and understanding of children’s social and emotional needs.


What is OPAL?

OPAL is a mentored support programme which enables schools to transform the quality of playtimes they offer. Whether you strive for excellence in all areas or wish to address boredom and behavioural incidents at lunchtime. The OPAL primary play programme would without doubt bring immediate benefits.


How does it work?

Your school would be supported by an experienced OPAL mentor who would work with you to develop the key areas which schools must address such as Policy, planning, risk management, staffing, grounds development, playwork training, equipment and resources.


Overview: OPAL;

  • Is a school improvement programme for playtimes
  • Is a journey and can take anything from 12  – 24 months.
  • Is a whole school programme involving staff, children, parents and governors
  • changes both the environment and culture to enable the provision of amazing playtimes everyday.
  • Schools work towards an award of achievement resulting in a silver, gold or platinum certificate valid for 3 years

OPAL has helped make play better in hundreds of primary schools & early years settings. Our experienced team will be able to help you create happier playtimes, design better play spaces and enable staff to support wonderful play.


Contact details:

For further information or BOOK your free introduction contact North East OPAL Mentor.