Play is hugely important at Friars. We know that about 20% of the children’s time is spent outside at play therefore we aim to provide an abundance of meaningful play opportunities for everyone. We recognise that every child should have the right to play in a purposeful, creative and meaningful way as play is fundamental to a child’s health, happiness, development and wellbeing.
At the beginning of 2022-23, after agreeing that we wanted our play to be even better, we began our OPAL journey. OPAL is an award-winning, mentor supported school improvement programme that addresses all the areas that schools must plan for if they want to strategically and sustainably improve the quality of their play opportunities.
The OPAL vision is that ‘every child in every school has an amazing hour of high quality play every day’ and as a school we share this vision and recognise the enormous benefits play has on a child’s life.
We are developing our OPAL approach by working with parents and our local community. OPAL is a journey where we are always looking for ways to improve and transform our outdoor areas to ensure the children have freedom to explore in their own imaginative ways.
The children love playing in all of our play areas which include den building, creating recipes in the mud kitchen, building sandcastles and exploring their many ‘small worlds’