Mud Kitchen


Mud Kirchen


Mud Kitchen




Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)

We believe play and learning go hand-in-hand. Playtime takes up 20% of a child’s school day and provides opportunities for children to learn all the things that cannot be taught: socialisation, co-operation, coordination, resilience, creativity, imagination and negotiation. That is why we have been striving to improve our play offer at West Borough.

The Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) Primary Programme is an award-winning, mentor supported programme that is supporting us to improve the quality of our play opportunities. OPAL is the only programme of its kind that has been independently proven to sustainably improve the quality of play in British primary schools.

OPAL is the result of over 20 years of testing and development in over 800 schools and has been used in Spain, Canada, France and New Zealand. The programme has also been adapted and used in schools in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Austria under the Play Friendly Schools project. In 2018, OPAL won first prize in an EU-funded award for the best active school’s programme in Europe and two UK national playwork awards. In 2019, OPAL was awarded a quarter of a million pounds by Sport England to bring the programme to many more schools.

There are many proven benefits for schools that carry out the OPAL Primary Programme. They usually include: more enjoyment of school, less teaching time lost to disputes between children, fewer accidents and greatly improved behaviour. 

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 having so much fun. There are certain things children must have in order to be able to play. These include:

  • Having clothes that they can play in.
  • Having things to play with.
  • Having a certain amount of freedom.

At West Borough, we began our OPAL journey in January 2023 and we have been working hard ever since to make playtimes as meaningful and enjoyable as we can. Since we began, we have introduced tyres, a mud kitchen and dress up clothes to name just a few. We are very much looking forward to continuing to develop our playtimes at West Borough and sharing our successes with you.

Thank you everyone that has donated and supported our journey so far.

For more information see the OPAL parents’ guide

Our Play team:

Curricular Lead – Mr Sloane

Play Champion – Miss Berry

Play leaders – Support Staff

Our play rangers - Year 1 – Mila and Flo

                                 Year 2 – Jayden and Rowan

                                 Year 3 – Archie-Jae and Violet

                                 Year 4 – Megan and Ramu

                                 Year 5 – Tyler and Amelia

                                 Year 6 – Evangeline, Daizy-Mae, Aria and Seif

Be kind, be safe, be responsible and embrace challenge