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Westmoor Primary School

Work Together, Play Together, Succeed Together


Outdoor Play and Learning Programme


What is OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning Programme)?

OPAL is an award-winning, mentor supported school improvement programme that addresses all the areas that schools must plan for if they want to improve the quality of their 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 at Westmoor


At Westmoor Primary School we have been thinking about how play times are for our children and how we can improve them!  So, we are excited to announce that in February 2023 we have started working with the not-for-profit, OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) to improve our pupils' experiences at playtimes and lunchtimes as we recognise that play time forms approximately 20% of a child's school day and is incredibly valuable. 

The OPAL ethos is that playtimes should be active, creative and involve activities that are freely chosen and directed by the child. 

This is a significant project for us to undertake and as such, we will be working with OPAL over the next 18 months. At the moment, we are in the early stages of our journey but we want to keep you involved in our project and up-to-date with all the improvements. Keep your eye out on this page for updates!

OPAL Phase 1 at Westmoor Primary School 

In phase one we  have collected in all the donations made (thank you so much for all of these so far!) and set up some of the different stations for children to use and added music to playtimes.


Playtimes already are calmer and a happier place to be! All the feed back so far has been extremely positive!


Please see some videos and photos below. We can't wait to continue this journey with more exciting stations and adapting and improving the ones we have. 

If you can please donate any of the items listed above or know any who can help provide us with some of the above please let us know. Thank you for all your support so far!

Why is play so important?


During the last 2 years children have lost out on lots of opportunities for play and cooperation due to the pandemic therefore there has been an increase in the number of children who struggle with forming strong friendships, communicating together and conflict resolution it has been proven though OPAL play work these areas can be positively impacted.


Children spend 20% of their school day in play therefore it is a really important area for us to focus on, through  play children encounter, explore and make sense of the world around them and their place in it.


Here are just some areas that play can improve for a child:

  • health and wellbeing
  • cognitive development
  • social development
  • understanding of risk and challenge
  • resilience and character.


The OPAL programme rationale is that “…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.”

What we are aiming for! OPAL Platinum Playtime at St Michael's School

This is what we are aiming for our playtimes to be through this programme.
All the children are engaged and enjoying their play times but still showing the 6Rs and learning without even knowing it!

OPAL - More Information.

If you would like more information about the OPAL programme or the research behind it please see the links below.