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OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning)


At Welland Academy, we believe that it is important that life is more than a virtual/digital world. We are passionate about emotional and physical wellbeing and will therefore provide opportunities for our pupils to develop resilience and manage risk, through exploring and having fun. 

This year, we are undertaking a school improvement project to become an OPAL School. This means we are a school which continually strives to improve the quality of play for all of its children. It embeds play through planning, self-evaluation and delivery. It acknowledges the seriousness of play as a human right and regards play as a necessity for children’s overall wellbeing. 

 OPAL Rationale 

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

“...better, more active and creative playtimes can mean happier and healthier children, and having happier, healthier, more active children usually results in a more positive attitude to learning in school, with more effective classroom lessons, less staff time spent resolving unnecessary behavioural problems, fewer playtime accidents, happier staff and a healthier attitude to life.” 


OPAL in action 

Here are examples of OPAL in action. It is a pleasure to see all the children working together and having fun! 


Play Types 

These are the 16 different play types that we want to provide in our playground.