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At St Barnabas and St Philip's, we are committed to ensuring quality play opportunities are available to all our children. We believe that play is essential for physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual development of each child. Most of our best childhood memories are from playing outdoors, climbing and exploring the wide world around us. OPAL gives us the opportunity to give those memories to your children. OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) is all about using naturally and man made resources to allow children to be inspired and creative at playtime.

What does this mean for us

  • Happier children
  • Children coming into class ready to learn
  • A fully inclusive playtime offer
  • It allows children an opportunity to be creative and make decisions
  • Children develop independence and resilience skills
  • Increased social skills
  • …. and most importantly fun!

Our Play Team

All of our staff have been trained in the Playwork Essentials, and so all support our Opal Play.

Our Play Lead is Mrs Petrovic

Our Parent Champion / OPAL Governor is Mr Barrett (Year 3 Parent and Parent Governor)

How you can support OPAL?

OPAL is all weather play. Please ensure children are dressed appropriately for the season. Wellington boots and a change of shoes are essential for them to access the full play offer.

We want your junk!
Our OPAL project are looking for a few items if you have them!

  • Small world items ( dinosaurs, figures, cars, farmyard animals etc…)
  • Dressing up clothes 
  • Pots, pans and kitchen utensils.
  • We still need some bigger items (pallets, tyres, crates) 

Types of play 

As part of our OPAL provision, we ensure that we plan for and cover all types of play. These include:

  • Creative/ fantasy/imaginative play– such as loose parts, role play.
  • Exploratory play-using objects in new ways.
  • Mastery play– building, changing and growing things.
  • Object play– playing with objects in expected ways or unconventional ways. 
  • Communication playing– singing, miming 
  • Socio-dramatic play– role play, songs, re-enactments.
  • Rough and tumble play– testing strengths with objects, pulling and pushing objects.
  • Locomotor play– chase, tig, climbing and jumping.