Outdoor Play and Learning


At King Edward primary school, we are working with OPAL to improve opportunities for physical activity, socialisation, co-operation, coordination, resilience, creativity, imagination and enjoyment through improved play.

OPAL is based on the idea that as well as learning through good teaching, your children also learn when they play, and as 20% of their time in school is playtime, we want to make sure that this amount of time (equivalent to 1.4 years of primary school) is as good as possible.

Play is not messing about. It is the process evolution has come up with to enable children to learn all of the things that cannot be taught, while also feeling like it is fun.

There are certain things children must have in order to be able to play.

These include:
• Having clothes that you can play in
• Having things to play with
• Having a certain amount of freedom

Your children may get a bit messier, be exposed to more challenges and have greater freedoms to play where, with whom and how they like.

The experiences the school is fostering are essential for children’s physical and mental well-being and healthy and in line with all current good practice advice on health safety, well-being and development.

If you would like more information on OPAL you can visit their website outdoorplayandleaning.org.uk

Our OPAL lead in school is Mrs Gelder, email her at: outdoorlearning@thornekingedward.co.uk

Twitter: @kingedoutdoors

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To facilitate this project, we will require some loose parts.

Loose parts are any materials that can be easily moved, combined, and incorporated into children's free play.

The items we are looking for will enable us to enjoy a wider range of play experiences during playtime (see below for some examples):

• Suitcases of any size and type
• Anything on wheels/castors
• Plastic milk crates
• Briefcases, especially hard cased ones
• Road signs and cones
• kitchen pots, pans, baking trays, worktables, wooden spoons, chopping boards
• Tools like spades, trowels and brooms
• tubes of various sizes and various materials
• Buckets
• Nets and ropes
• Keyboards
• Fabric (large sheets/brightly coloured fabric)
• Foam sheets / body boards
• Wooden pallets
• Metal frames
• Cable drums
• Guttering
• Noodles (the type you use in the swimming pool!)
• Pegs (to help to set up dens)

If you have any of the above items that you would be happy to donate to us, please contact Mrs Gelder.



As the weather gets wetter, we will need wellies for the children to use. If you have any old wellies at home that you do not need, please donate them to school where we can reuse them.

Thank you, we are very excited about our OPAL journey and improving outdoor play and learning for all of our wonderful children.

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