The OPAL Play Programme (Outdoor Play and Learning)

In June 2022 we were given an amazing opportunity to take part in the OPAL play programme, which allows children to get the most out of their playtime opportunities.

The OPAL Primary Programme is the only one of its kind, blending elements of strategic school improvement practice, action planning, self-evaluation, play work skills and knowledge. It supports our UNICEF right of children having the right to play but allows them a safe space to choose risk and how they can evaluate this.

OPAL is a mentor supported school improvement programme that addresses all the areas that we plan for in order to strategically and sustainably improve the quality of play opportunities our children have access to.

The project is undertaken with specialist support from an OPAL mentor , Kayleigh Atkinson as well as designated staff in the academy who run the programme on a daily basis. This embeds play into the school’s policies and practices and establishes clear guiding principles and strategies for initiating lasting changes at playtimes.

Our Play Working Party

  • Joanne Hall – Head Teacher
  • Sarah Williams – Deputy Head Teacher
  • Sue Campbell – Play Co-Ordinator
  • Kayleigh Atkinson – Play Mentor

Our Play Team

  • Sue Campbell – Opal Play Co-ordinator/ Midday supervisor
  • Elizabeth Parkes – Midday Supervisor
  • Heidi Habermacher – Midday Supervisor
  • Ekene Anyanegbu- Sports Coach

Lunchtimes are now full of purposeful opportunities as the children are given access to develop and design their own play. The children have opportunity to use wheeled toys, the mud kitchen area, basketball/football, water play, tyres, stage area and loose parts are just a selection of what is on offer. What they choose to do is left to their imaginations!

Our vision is that every child at MBA has an amazing hour of high quality play every day – with no exceptions.

To find out more about OPAL and the story behind it click here

To find out more about the importance of playtime and how you can help your child enjoy outdoor play please take a look at the booklet below.

Power of Play – Parents Guide

Below is a video of our pupils experiencing a wonderful lunch time play session by using all the values and skills that symbolise OPAL


If you would like to support OPAL @MBA by donating any play equipment please contact Susan Campbell ( play lead Opal) or Sarah Williams (Deputy Head) at the academy on 01216751299.

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