What is OPAL?
Our school has started the OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) journey to ensure that our children have the freedom to explore play in their own ways. This is often through the use of donated equipment from parents and carers or through the use of outdoor resources that the children often find during their playtimes and lunchtimes. An OPAL approach means that our play environment has become more inclusive, allowing children to increase their confidence, social skills and problem solving skills, as well as providing extensive opportunities to express themselves. With OPAL, the children really can be whoever they want to be: designers, builders, magicians, pop stars, princesses, scientists, detectives; the list is endless.
Our OPAL journey began in Spring 2019 and lots of exciting changes have taken place since then. Our children love the new outdoor opportunities that OPAL offers, come rain or shine. So far the children have enjoyed playing with bikes, scooters and scooter boards, digging in the sand pit, playing with mega board games, taking part in imaginative play with dressing up and small world areas, building with tyres and relaxing in various seating areas across our school grounds to name a few.
What do our children think?
100% of children surveyed said they now like playtimes at Hasting Hill Academy.
All of those interviewed said the sandpit is their favourite activity.
Rio said "I love hunting for treasure in the sandpit!"
Find out more about OPAL on their website https://outdoorplayandlearning.org.uk/