Staples Road Primary School

Strive, Respect, Succeed

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OPAL Programme

What is OPAL?

OPAL is based on the idea that as well as learning through good teaching, children at Staples Road also learn when they play and, as 20% of their time in school is playtime, we want to make sure that this amount of time (equivalent to 1.4 years of primary school) is as good as possible.


We are concerned that childhood has changed as a result of the pandemic and other factors and many children no longer get their play needs met out of school.


  • Average screen time per day 5 hours
  • Average outdoor play time per week 5 hours
  • Percentage of UK children who only play outdoor with other children at school 56%


There are many proven benefits for schools which carry out the OPAL Programme. They usually include more enjoyment of school, less teaching time lost to disputes between children, less accidents and greatly improved behaviour.


What does OPAL offer?

Playtimes at Staples Road are a real highlight for the children. All children have access to the whole play space and they are free to choose from a wide variety of activities, including:


Den building

Mud kitchen

Craft Cabin

Sand Hut


Small world play

Dressing up



The Play team

The play team consists of any adult that is involved in play at Staples Road. This could be a midday meals supervisor, a member of senior leadership, a sports coach or a learning support assistant. Any member of the play team has had training and is aware of the expectations to enable play, ensure it is safe and promote independent play.


Play Assemblies

There are play assemblies which reinforce the expectation that play should be safe, fun and fair and how children should use equipment. These are for all children and are run by members of the play team.

Our values are kindness, honesty, creativity and resilience