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OPAL - Play

We are delighted to be working with OPAL, the Outdoor Play and Learning Team, based in South Gloucestershire. This team will be working with us over the next 18 months to help us develop the range, quality and support for our play time provision.

Over the course of our children`s Primary education, play-time accounts for 20% of their total time at school and therefore it is an important part of their physical and emotional health, well-being, approach to learning and enjoyment of school. Over the next 18 months we will be developing our outdoor environment, giving children access to all weather activities, improving physical and natural resources and training all staff so that they can actively support and enhance the quality of children`s play.

To find out more have a look in the information provided by the link belownand take a look at the project in action at Beacon Rise Primary School.



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.




Mrs Forsyth has been busy this week refreshing us all in the merits of playing traditional playground games! Children and adults enjoyed time together to resurrect many classic games which we all played in the recent and perhaps not so recent past!

Traditional games have an important place in supporting children`s development. Both individually and collectively, children can establish and sharpen their cognitive, physical and emotional abilities through positive  playground experiences. These include;

  • acquiring new skills and interests
  • making choices, setting new goals and objectives
  • generating decisions, collaborating, negotiating and problem solving
  • developing creativity, ideas and imaginations
  • understanding rules and structures
  • successfully using a wider range of social and interpersonal skills

Plus it keeps us healthy and fit!!!

Do you remember playing classics such as, Farmer, Farmer May We Cross the River?  In and Out the Dusty Bluebells, What’s the Time Mr Wolf? Grandmother’s Footsteps, Fishes in the Sea, Duck, Duck, Goose, Captain’s Coming, Keeper of the Treasure, Queelio Cockio, or Mother May I? Ask your children to remind you!!