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    Opal Play


    The Opal Play vision is that every child in every school has an amazing hour of high-quality play every day – with no exceptions. If one child is not enjoying playtimes, then things still need improving"

    Rationale for introducing Opal Play at Thorpe

    Thorpe Church of England Primary School believes that all children need opportunities to play which allow them to explore, manipulate, experience and affect their environment.


    The school aims to address the provision of improved play opportunities to:

    • ensure play settings provide a varied, challenging and stimulating environment.
    • allow children to take risks and use a common-sense approach to the management of these risks and their benefits.
    • provide opportunities for children to develop their relationships with each other.
    • enable children to develop respect for their surroundings and each other.
    • enable children to flourish physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually and intellectually.
    • provide a range of environments which will encourage and inspire children to explore and play imaginatively.
    • provide a range of environments which will support children’s learning across the curriculum and learning about the world around them.
    • promote independence and teamwork within children.
    • build emotional and physical resilience.

    The Value of Play

    Play is defined as any freely chosen activity which a child finds satisfying and creative. It may or may not involve equipment or other people. We believe play has many benefits, including:

    • Play is critical to children’s health and wellbeing, and essential for their physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual development.
    • Play enables children to explore the physical and social environment, different concepts and different ideas.
    • Play enhances children’s self-esteem and their understanding of others through freely chosen social interactions, within peer groups, with individuals, and within groups of different ages, abilities, interests, genders, ethnicities and cultures.
    • Play requires ongoing communication and negotiation skills, enabling children to develop a balance between their right to act freely and their responsibilities to others.
    • Play enables children to experience a wide range of emotions and develop their ability to cope with these, including sadness and happiness, rejection and acceptance, frustration and achievement, boredom and fascination, fear and confidence.
    • Play encourages self-confidence and the ability to make choices, problem solve and to be creative.
    • Play maintains children’s openness to learning, develops their capabilities and allows them to push the boundaries of what they can achieve.

    Please see a sample of photos below of Opal Play in action.

    For more information on Opal Play click HERE