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Amazing play, everyday, for every child at St Andrew’s

What is OPAL?

OPAL is an award-winning, mentor supported school improvement programme that addresses all the areas that schools must plan for if they want to strategically and sustainably improve the quality of their play opportunities. OPAL is the only programme of its kind that has been independently proven to sustainably improve the quality of play in British primary schools.


Opal brings many benefits

OPAL schools see benefits in physical health as well as emotional regulation and wellbeing. Opal schools have seen:

  • 80% drop in reported behaviour and first aid incidents
  • 20% more afternoon teaching time
  • Compliance with wellbeing inspection requirements
  • Increased resilience, collaboration and inclusion

What does OPAL look like at St Andrew’s?

OPAL is a whole school approach to enriching playtimes and lunchtimes. It encourages sensory, imaginative and creative play alongside the usual sports activities available.

Think of it a bit like turning our wonderful grounds into an adventure playground with sandpits, water works, grass mazes and mud kitchens. Not to mention den building, dress-up and karaoke!

Why do we need it?

Because our children deserve it. Did you know that primary aged children spend 1.4 years of their first 7 years in school out at play, either for break or lunchtime? More than ever, we must support children to be healthy and active as well as enable them to access creative, collaborative and imaginative play to support their wellbeing.