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At James Cambell, we are committed to making playtimes great for our children. We do this by following the OPAL programme and we are delighted to announce we have been awarded the Gold Opal status.  

What is OPAL? 

OPAL stands for Outdoor Play and Learning. It is an award winning, fully inclusive programme by a not-for-profit organisation to help schools improve children’s play experiences.  

Why is playtime important?  

Children spend seven years at primary school, 1.4 years of which is playtime. Playtime is a vital part of children’s development. Children who play more sleep better, eat better, are happier and care more for the planet. When children play outside they improve their social skills, they learn how to take risks and problem solve. When children come home dirty, they have had a successful day at play.  

The impact 

Behaviour: When children’s fundamental needs are not met their behaviour suffers. James Cambell is ensuring that we meet our children’s play needs. We have seen a huge reduction in playtime and post-playtime behaviour issues. 

Improved well-being: Evidence shows that children need plenty of time to be outside, active and freely playing to keep them feeling happy and healthy. To be happy we all need parts of our lives we have control over. We are enabling children to make choices and control their actions through play.  

Develop skills: Play is the way children learn all things they need to know that cannot be taught. OPAL helps children develop a greatly increased range of ‘soft’ or ‘life’ skills. These include cooperation, imagination, initiative, collaboration, resilience and risk-taking. 

Wish List 

Things you could offer include: 

  • Old suitcases, handbags, toolboxes. 
  • Kitchen equipment such as pots, pans, baking trays, chopping boards, utensils. 
  • Fabric (large sheets/brightly coloured material), tarpaulin. 
  • Pegs 
  • Old clothes and dressing up clothes. 
  • Balls- all kinds including footballs, rugby balls, tennis balls etc. 
  • Full size and play size buggies, pushchairs and prams 
  • Scooters, trikes, bikes. 

For more information, please visit the OPAL website at: https://outdoorplayandlearning.org.uk/