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OPAL Outdoor Play and Learning

Our school recognises that play is an essential part of a happy and healthy childhood. As a school, we provide consistently high quality, sustainable play opportunities for all children. These opportunities in play are achieved by offering carefully considered outdoor spaces, equipment and toys that offer a rich choice of play experiences for every individual child.

The OPAL programme rationale is that 

“… 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.”

The school acknowledges the UN Charter on the Rights of the Child, especially Article 31, and supports the child’s right to play. We believe play has a vital role in children’s health, happiness and wellbeing. It creates children who are independent, confident, imaginative, adaptable, social and able to assess risks. These skills link closely to our school values of; hope, wisdom, respect, love and courage, which were developed to encourage and teach essential life skills across the whole school day.

Outdoor play at Christ Church School aims to encourage our children to:

  • ensure play settings provide a varied, challenging and stimulating environment.
  • allow children to take risks and use a common-sense approach to the management of these risks and their benefits.
  • provide opportunities for children to develop their relationships with each other.
  • enable children to develop respect for their surroundings and each other.
  • aid children’s physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual development.
  • provide a range of environments that will encourage children to explore and play imaginatively.
  • provide a range of environments which will support children’s learning across the curriculum and learning about the world around them.
  • promote independence and teamwork within children.
  • build emotional and physical resilience.