We are an OPAL school! This means that we recognise the importance of playing and learning outdoors.
Did you know that children spend 20% of their time at school playing?
“Every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.” (article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the child).
We want to make sure that all our children enjoy the best possible play whilst at St Julian’s and so we became an OPAL school 2020. Our OPAL development plan will ensure that our grounds, our strategy, our resources and our approach to play will lead to all play being child-initiated, child-led and FUN!
Fun playtimes lead to improved:
- Behaviour – happy children don’t cause nearly as much trouble as bored children
- Accidents – OPAL schools have up to 80% less reported accidents
- Staff well-being – Supervising happier children leads to happier staff
- SLT time – senior leaders report dramatic reduction in the time they spend on resolving play conflicts
- Teachers – consistently report more teaching time in afternoon lessons
- Self-regulation – children in OPAL schools learn to self regulate through practice, trust and freedom
- Physical activity – all children, including girls, SEN and non-sporty children are significantly more active
- Mental well-being – Research shows OPAL children are happier and self-reporting improved mental health
- Social and emotional development – Good play in the laboratory of life where relationships are practiced
- Links to formal learning – Many OPAL schools report increased creativity, imagination and collaborative skills
- Attendance – children can’t wait to come to OPAL schools because they have such fun
- Parents – we all want our children to be happy. Well informed parents at OPAL schools love it that their children are happier
- Rights – Play is a child’s right as recognised by the UN Convention on the rights of the Child
To find out more about OPAL please visit their website: https://outdoorplayandlearning.org.uk/
If you would like to find out more about our OPAL plans please contact our OPAL Lead, Mrs Parker.