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OPAL - Play


We are delighted to announce that we have received the OPAL platinum award! When Michael Follett – our OPAL mentor - carried out the audit we had progressed from 43% to 92% - a huge achievement in such a short space of time.


He will be back in school in October to present us with the award, watch this space for further details!

Although we are delighted to have achieved this award, we see this just as the start of the OPAL journey. We have lots of exciting plans for the future which we have discussed with the OPAL team. Our next steps will involve opportunities for children to have access to sand and water play all year round, the development of the school grounds and the topography of the site, planning for humps, bumps and tunnels and developing our imaginations using music, barriers and natural loose parts.



                                                                                IT IS GREAT TO PLAY!!!!!! 1

9 Awesome Benefits of Outdoor Play For Children

Apr 5, 2016 10:28:55 AM By Andrea Wallis   

When it comes to childhood development, outdoor playtime encourages children to be imaginative and curious. Outdoor play remains steadfast as a great way to learn. Children develop certain skills through play, and it’s an essential part of growing up.


1. Exercise and Motor Skills

One of the major benefits of outdoor playing for children is for health reasons. Outdoor play encourages exercise and allows children to help develop motor skills. Most area playgrounds are equipped with play equipment that challenges children physically with the use of play. A child won’t know that climbing up a ladder twenty times to go down the slide is helping his or her cardiovascular system. However, with each step, jump, or climbing activity, each workout is helping the child gain strength and endurance.


2. Real World Discovery

There isn’t a video game that can take the place of real world discovery. Children who play outdoors get to use their senses to help discover what the real world is like. Remember what it was like blowing dandelion and watching the seeds fly? Children like to be active and learn by doing as to observing.


3. Becoming Social

Another great aspect for the benefits of outdoor playing for children, is having the chance to become social with other children. If you take your child to a community playground, chances are your child will run into another child playing. Outdoor play can encourage children to interact with each other and learn how to be social. Learning to take turns on the slide or share the spring rider, can help your toddler become more skilled at team building and working in groups.


4. Imaginary Play

Almost every playground has a theme or at least an area where a child can pretend play. Playing make-believe allows children to use emotions and understand role development. This type of play also involves language skills and provides children the ability to understand different points of view. So, if you feel a bit concerned with your child’s less than accurate reenactment of Snow White, don’t be alarmed.


5. Following Directions

When children play games with rules, it encourages them to process actions. Outdoor play can help by allowing children to make up rules and take a leadership role. It also helps children to follow guidelines. So yes, a child can learn how to be productive by playing a game of Red Rover.


6. Health Reasons

Outdoor play helps children build their immunity. A playground can have some nasty germs. However, early exposure can allow the body to defend itself naturally. Furthermore, exposure to sunshine allows for Vitamin D production. You still want to be cautious regarding sun exposure, but fresh air and bright light can be good.


7. Better Sleep

Children who play outside have a tendency to sleep better. Exercise helps with sleep too, but it’s actually exposure to sunshine that can help a child catch some good dreams. Sunlight stimulates a small endocrine gland known as the pineal gland. This gland helps with the release of melatonin and regulates sleep patterns.


8. Less Anxiety

Children can have stress—albeit different than adults. Outdoor play can reduce anxiety while allowing children to play in an open environment without worry.


9. Nature’s Laboratory

Playing outside lets children observe nature first hand. Observing squirrels playing or bees pollinating can give a child a different view of the world and learn how it works.

TPE 11: Understanding the Importance of the Social Environment; Let the children play!

Outdoor Play and Learning Booklet 2016/2017

Welly Sheds

Thanks to efforts of Friends of Brookside the school now has two welly sheds on site and ready to receive Wellington Boots!

We will be able to start our `Welly Weeks` next week, letters will be going out shortly to let you know which weeks your children will need their Wellington Boots and an old waterproof coat which is able to withstand the elements and a little bit of mud!

The Outdoor Play and Learning Project is moving forward all the time with discussions about developing our grounds and playtimes to enable us to provide a stimulating environment which can be used all year round in any weather! 




Children at Brookside School in Street had an energetic treat when they were visited by skipping phenomenon "Skippy John", whose mission was to help every child in the school become a better skipper!

Skippy John gave the children tips on how to improve their technique, such as how to hold the rope properly and develop a good rhythm. Once the basics were safely tucked under their belts, the children progressed on to some impressive skipping including side splits, front and back splits and even switching from forwards to backwards skipping without stopping the rope.

The sessions began with solo work and progressed to skipping in pairs, which required some good communication skills and team work. The youngsters all thoroughly enjoyed  the workshops, and are still enthusiastically practising their new skills on the playground whenever the weather permits.