OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning)
We have a commitment to children’s right to play, as set out in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (Article 31). Every child has a right to play!
At Myatt Garden, play is an important part of our curriculum and we have partnered with OPAL, an award winning programme, to strategically and sustainably improve our play provision.
High quality, child-led play opportunities have a critical role in supporting our aims that Myatt Garden children:
- have the learning and social skills to succeed and contribute;
- the confidence, enthusiasm and self-belief to achieve, create and participate;
- the curiosity and passion to problem-solve, take risks and be ambitious;
- a sense of social responsibility that makes them team players, great friends and active citizens.
Our children have access to a wide range of materials, which they can use in their play. These include tyres, crates, wood, fabric, mud, wheeled toys and much more. Through regular play assemblies, they are taught about dynamic risk assessments and playing co-operatively with others.
We follow advice from the Health and Safety Executive, who support active play in schools:
HSE fully recognises that play brings the world to life for children. It provides for an exploration and understanding of their abilities; helps them to learn and develop; and exposes them to the realities of the world in which they will live, which is a world not free from risk but rather one where risk is ever present. The opportunity for play develops a child’s risk awareness and prepares them for their future lives. (From the Health and Safety Executive’s Children’s play and leisure - promoting a balanced approach.)
PLATINUM AWARD FOR THE QUALITY OF OUR PLAY!
Since we started our OPAL journey in 2019, our play has been completely transformed. Children now have ownership of their play, choosing from a huge range of resources and using them to create their own games. Therefore, we are delighted and proud that we have achieved the highest possible award for the quality of our play.
Walk around our playground at any lunchtime and you will see children making dens, climbing, swinging in hammocks, testing their strength, dancing, dressing up, making mud cakes, playing in role, chasing, jumping over tyres, digging in the sandpit, developing new skills, negotiating with others and being completely immersed in play. It is wonderful!
You can read our play policy here: Play Policy
Outdoor Play and Learning