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AvenueInfant School

Outside Play and Learning (OPAL)

Exciting playtimes are here!

We are so excited to start an exciting new programme in conjunction with OPAL. (http://outdoorplayand‌‌ to make our play times even better.   OPAL has won the best active schools’ programme in Europe award and been cited in two Parliamentary Reports as outstanding practice.  OPAL is working closely with Sport England to promote more active childhoods. Through the OPAL programme, we are hoping to improve opportunities for physical activity, socialisation, co-operation, coordination, resilience, creativity, imagination and enjoyment through improved play in our school.

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

We strongly believe that: "Play is freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated behaviour that actively engages the child. Play can be fun or serious. Through play children explore social, material and imaginary worlds and their relationship with them, elaborating all the while a flexible range of responses to the challenges they encounter. By playing, children learn and develop as individuals, and as members of the community" (Play Council 2001).

In July 2021 we asked our children what they thought about playtimes and this what they said....

 “I like running”                                                     "I get friends and give them my big smile”

“Running around makes me happy”          "You get stronger”               "Playing games”


  We are looking for donations of the following items to launch our new play project:

⭐️ wellies

⭐️ kitchen utensils and cutlery (nothing sharp)

⭐️ spoons of any variety

⭐️ brooms

⭐️ trowels

⭐️ brushes



⭐️spades of any size for sand and mud

Donations can be brought to school.


Launch day of OPAL at The Avenue Infant School, 22nd June 2021 

 The Year 1 children enjoying the launch of our new playtime project. 

“I enjoyed the sand and water — you can use tools, and it's fun!”

“I liked playing with the suitcase and the fabric, I pretended I went to Mexico”


“I enjoyed playing in the sand and in the water I was swimming it around to make waves.”


 “Me and my friends were pushing the box and were taking turns to push someone inside”

       “My playtime was good as my friend and I shared the digger in the sand”


 “You can make cardboard boxes into a boat”    

Reception enjoying the new playtimes.

“Me and my friends made a sandcastle”


  “You can play with the cardboard boxes and make a house!”


 “I was playing in the kitchen with the saucepans and I saw a spider crawling around, but it didn't scare me”

Year 2 fun at playtime!

“I enjoyed the boxes, I made houses”

“I was in the sand, I made a tall tower with the kitchen stuff and I made a drink for you”


“ I made a beach, and it made me happy”

 “When you're playing with the kitchen it makes it fun because you can play lots of different games!”