Outdoor Play and Learning

Town End Academy have transformed playtimes for all of it’s pupils with the help of the OPAL project.

Before the project pupils said :-

  • You don’t get to play on the grass unless it is the summer/dry
  • There are not enough places to sit
  • There is nothing/not enough things to use if you want to build or make up a game
  • The outdoors is dull and grey

We spend a lot of time outdoors and we wanted the time to be used to develop wider curriculum skills such as resilience, perseverance, team work, collaboration, imagination and overall enjoyment.

Working with OPAL we assessed our play offer to be 26% at the beginning.  Our recent audit in February confirmed we now score an amazing 93% gaining us the highest award of platinum status.  This improvement is down to the hard work and commitment of the staff, pupils, parents and wider community groups who have supported us with equipment and fund raising.

The impact of becoming an OPAL platinum school has transformed our time outdoors.  Behaviour in school is much better and behaviour on the yard is amazing.  No-one wants to miss out on time outside as it is such an amazing place to be (in all weathers)

Now the pupils say:-

  • Before we had our playtimes it was really moody and sad.  Now it is amazing and we can even use our mangenashan!!!  Ava Year 2
  • Before I had nothing to play with and nothing to do.  It was boring now it is amazing.  It is much more fun.  There are less fights. James year 4
  • Now we have our play lab it is much more exciting.  We can make up our own games with the tyres, dress up, mud kitchen, fairy garden and digging area. Lilia Year 3
  • Behaviour is much better.  Children are more engaged so are less likely to cause upset with others.  My job is much better.  Mrs Dobson
  • I love coming in on a Monday morning to see what you have been doing and what changes have happened.  I’m 35 year old man, can understand how the children must feel.  Rio (Forest school leader)

We don’t want to stop here.  We are in the process of fund raising for a spider web climbing frame.  We have £3500…only another £8000 to go!!!!