Outdoor play and learning

Children in British primary schools spend 20% or 1.4 years of their school attendance in play times.

Through the Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) Primary Programme, Central Primary School has formulated a two-year school development plan to strategically and sustainably improve the quality of our outdoor play and learning opportunities.


Research shows that play contributes to children’s physical and emotional health, well-being,

approach to learning and enjoyment of school. Given the importance of play in children’s lives

and current concerns about children’s health and opportunity to access time and space to

initiate their own play outdoors, there are considerable benefits for children, parents, school

and the wider community from participating in OPAL's programme.


The OPAL Primary Programme supports schools in developing a cultural shift in thinking about

and supporting children’s play. This ensures play is embedded into our school’s policies and practices and establishes clear guiding principles and strategies for initiating changes at play times.  We are currently developing an Enchanted Garden at Central Lower Site. A design of the area, planned by the children, can be viewed to the right. 


Enchanted Garden Project

Enchanted Garden

The beginning of our Enchanted Garden developed by Bernicia during National Apprenticeship Week