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Introducing Our OPAL Programme


Over the past few months, Collis School has embarked on an exciting journey with the Outdoor Play and Learning Scheme, known as OPAL. This innovative initiative has been made possible through the generous funding provided by the CSA, and we are thrilled to share the journey with you through our short film.


In a world where children's mental and physical health faces increasing challenges, we believe that play is the key to making a positive difference. Research has shown that during their seven years at primary school, children spend a significant 1.4 years at play. It's during these moments that they learn invaluable life skills that cannot be taught in a traditional classroom setting.


Our mission is simple yet profound: we want to ensure that every child at Collis experiences at least one hour of outstanding outdoor play during every school day. Childhood has evolved, and we can no longer assume that children have ample opportunities for enriching play beyond school hours.


The benefits of great play are numerous and transformative:


  1. Behaviour: Happy children are less likely to have arguments, leading to improved behaviour.
  2. Accidents: OPAL schools have reported up to 80% fewer accidents, creating safer play environments.
  3. Staff Well-being: Supervising happier children results in happier staff members.
  4. Senior Leadership Time: Senior leaders report a significant reduction in time spent resolving play conflicts.
  5. Teaching Time: Teachers consistently report having more teaching time during afternoon lessons.
  6. Self-Regulation: Children in OPAL schools learn valuable self-regulation skills through practice, trust, and freedom.
  7. Physical Activity: All children, regardless of gender, special educational needs, or athletic abilities, are significantly more active.
  8. Mental Well-being: Research indicates that OPAL children are happier and report improved mental health.
  9. Social and Emotional Development: Play is the laboratory of life where relationships are practiced, enhancing social and emotional development.
  10. Links to Formal Learning: Many OPAL schools report increased creativity, imagination, and collaborative skills that benefit formal education.
  11. Attendance: Children can't wait to come to OPAL schools because they have so much fun, resulting in improved attendance.
  12. Parents: Well-informed parents at OPAL schools appreciate that their children are happier and thriving.
  13. Rights: Play is recognised as a child's right by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  14. OFSTED: OPAL schools can easily provide evidence of their approach to well-being and inclusion, aligning with OFSTED standards.
  15. Risk Management: OPAL schools report significant improvements in children's ability to identify and manage risk, fostering a sense of responsibility.


We invite you to enjoy our short film, which captures the essence of our OPAL journey and the profound impact it has had on our school community. Together, we are redefining playtime and ensuring that every child at Collis has the opportunity to experience the joy and growth that comes from outstanding outdoor play.




Our Play Policy can be found in the School Policies section on this website.


Collis OPAL - Film 1

Uploaded by Collis Primary School on 2023-10-19.

Collis OPAL - Film 2

Uploaded by Collis Primary School on 2023-10-18.

OPAL Presentation to Parents - 17th November 2023


Last Friday, November 17, 2023, our school buzzed with excitement as we opened our doors to parents eager to delve into the magic of OPAL (Outdoor Learning and Play). The OPAL team led a presentation, unraveling the essence of this innovative program.


Parents gained insights into the program's goals and activities, discovering the positive impact of outdoor learning on their children's development.


The action shifted to the playground, where families immersed themselves in the OPAL experience. Laughter and camaraderie filled the air as parents and children explored hands-on activities, unveiling the heart of the OPAL scheme.


A big shout-out to the parents who joined us on this special day!


Your enthusiasm is the driving force behind our vibrant school community.


Stay tuned for more adventures in outdoor learning!