Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)
At Tidemill Academy, we understand that play is a crucial part of learning. As playtimes and lunchtimes make up 20% of a child’s time at school, we want to ensure they are high quality, fun and memorable. As play is such an important part of the curriculum, from October 2022, we will be working with OPAL to strategically and sustainably improve our play provision. OPAL is an award-winning programme that has worked with many schools to transform their playtimes and lunchtimes.
High quality, child-led play opportunities are fundamental to developing our Tidemill skills and attitudes. Engaging in child-led play enables children to develop their social skills, confidence, enthusiasm, curiosity, creativity and problem solving. Our aim is to enable the children access to a wide range of materials to develop the 16 types of play as described by Bob Hughes.
Our approach to risk
‘’The more risks you allow your children to make, the better they learn to look after themselves’’
During their play, the children at Tidemill Academy will be given the chance to learn about taking risks in a safe environment. We follow the advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who support active play in schools:
HSE fully recognises that play brings the world to life for children. It provides for an exploration and understanding of their abilities; helps them to learn and develop; and exposes them to the realities of the world in which they live, which is a world not free from risk but rather one where risk is ever present. The opportunity for play develops a child’s risk awareness and prepares them for their future lives.
From: The Health and Safety Executive’s Children’s Play and Leisure – Promoting a Balanced Approach.