Outdoor Play and Learning – OPAL

After 16 years delivering amazing school improvements to play in hundreds of schools across England, OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) has arrived in Scotland.

Administered by Play Scotland, OPAL is a school improvement programme targeting non-curricular play. It supports sustainable cultural change within schools, to transform the quality of their playtime. This has huge benefits for children and adults.

Simon Knight is our national OPAL ‘mentor’. When schools sign up, he supports them to radically expand their play offer made to pupils at playtimes.

This is a short film documenting the transformations that occurred at Udston Primary School, in South Lanarkshire, during their journey through the OPAL Programme. Members of the senior leadership team speak about the impacts of OPAL while viewers see many of the new play activities developed for children.

“Most schools think creatively about playtimes and many offer good play opportunities already. Having now witnessed OPAL in action, things can be so much better. It’s really exciting!”

“OPAL offers a tried, tested and proven improvement programme with a massive range of supporting structures and materials. So, there is no need to make mistakes and reinvent the wheel.”

“Playgrounds quickly begin to look and sound better. Children are more engrossed, active and happy. Playtime supervisors stop having to be like the police and become play workers. There are less accidents and squabbles too, which means less pressure on the senior leadership team. When the bell rings, children are ready-to-learn sooner; delivering up to an hour’s more teaching time a week.”

Here is a short film of an OPAL Award winning school.

Amazing Primary Playtime at St Michael’s  OPAL Platinum School

If your school would like a free, no obligation, introduction to OPAL please fill in the contact form on the OPAL website.

Useful resources