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Jesse Gray Primary School

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At Jesse Gray, OPAL play means that the children have access to the whole school site and are able to mix with different age groups freely. We see younger children showing older children how to be creative in their play and older children helping younger children complete risk assessments independently.

We embrace the British weather by enjoying the shade of the Wild Area in the summer and the mud of the field (in our wellies) in the rainy seasons. We have had many wonderful donations of ‘loose parts’ which allow the children to challenge and expand their play but we are always looking for more – so if you can donate anything please get in touch!

Gallery of OPAL in action

Some more details:

We have now launched our exciting new project to make our playtimes even better, in conjunction with Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) CIC. In 2018, OPAL won the best active schools’ programme in Europe award and has been cited in two parliamentary reports as delivering outstanding practice. OPAL is working closely with Sport England to promote more active childhoods, which is one of the many reasons we are improving our playtime, as well as to improve opportunities for socialisation, cooperation, coordination, resilience, creativity, imagination and enjoyment for your child. 


We strongly believe that: “Play is freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated behaviour that actively engages the child. Play can be fun or serious. Through play children explore social, material and imaginary worlds and their relationship with them, elaborating all the while a flexible range of responses to the challenges they encounter. By playing, children learn and develop as individuals, and as members of the community.” (Children’s Play Council 2001).