"West Horndon Primary School has just achieved Platinum award status from OPAL Outdoor Play and Learning. This means that they are in the top 0.5% of UK schools for the quality of the play they provide for all their children. The school has demonstrated that it takes the UNCRC Article 31, the child's right to play, seriously and is implementing all stages of school improvement in relation to play, including policy, planning, resourcing, staffing and evaluation." - Michael Follett BA Hons Ed, PGCE OPAL Founder and Director
In October 2021, we began our OPAL journey and we are delighted with the positive impact it is having on our pupils at lunchtime. Our rationale for choosing OPAL was simple - we recognised how the pandemic, national lockdowns, and partial school closures had reduced children's opportunities to socialise with their peers. Our ethos of developing the whole child puts social interaction at the heart of what we do. We viewed the OPAL project as a way of redressing the balance and providing children with richer, more meaningful ways of interacting with their peers and 'catching up' for lost time. The development of social skills is crucial in providing children with a positive school experience and we are confident that our children - who now have a more purposeful, enjoyable and rewarding lunchtime experience - are fulfilled throughout every part of the day, which enables them to be more receptive to learning inside and outside the classroom. This, ultimately, fits our long-held belief that happy children learn best.
Please enjoy our 'West Horndon Does OPAL Lunchtime' video below!