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Here at Dundale, we are committed to ensuring quality play opportunities are available to all our children. Play is an integral part of the school day and, on average, takes up 20% of a child’s time in school: around 1.4 years of their primary school life!


As schools, we recognise play as a way all children encounter, explore and make sense of the world and their place within it. Therefore, it is our duty to ensure our site, staff and skills optimise the most fulfilling and rich play opportunities possible during breaktimes and lunchtimes. In doing so, we aim to highlight the interconnection between play, learning, development, health and happiness.


Most of our best childhood memories are from playing outdoors, climbing trees and exploring the wide world around us. OPAL gives us the opportunity to give those memories to your children. OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) is all about using naturally and man made resources to allow children to be inspired and creative at playtime.


There are many proven benefits for schools which carry out the OPAL Programme. These include: more enjoyment of school, less teaching time lost to disputes between children, less accidents and greatly improved behaviour. Not only this, but research tells us that children who play outdoors move more, sleep more, eat better are happier and care about the planet more.

Parent Feedback



Our journey so far....


Autumn 2022 - 

The Opal team met with Neil Coleman to go through the OPAL audit for the first time. Our Baseline score was 42% (Most schools score between 30% and 40% at baseline.) Neil said that our site had lots of potential!


Spring 2023

Teachers and TA's had in introduction to OPAL on INSET day which was delivered by Neil.    We can really see the potential in the programme and eager to get starterd.  Background preparation is underway and the DSA have agreed to help fundraise for the important storage needed.   We have carried out a baseline survey with staff, pupils and parents about play and looking at the results. 


Summer 2023

Enough funds have been raised to source the storage.   We have visited other schools to see OPAL in practice and have lots of ideas that have come together so that we can implement in September 2023.  Resources have been bought and a list of resources to source have been shared locally.    Implementation - September 2023!


Autumn 23

We have this term started to launch out OPAL project across the school.   Over the summer we have been busy the outdoor areas - we now have a construction area, mud kitchen & water wall, scooter area and new playground markings.  The children have all been in assemblies and talked about risk-taking and safety and come up with rules as to how to play sensibly with the new resources.    Over the course of the term more will be added!   Lots of fun and positive feedback so far.

Key Documents so far in our OPAL Journey


Initial letter to parents

Update to parents June 2023