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Littleton Church of England Nursery and Infant School

Play Time

Littleton OPAL Play Project

At Littleton C of E Nursery and Infant School we recognise that play is an important part of a happy and healthy childhood and as a school we are passionate about providing all our children with high quality, sustainable play opportunities for children regardless of their needs and abilities. These inclusive opportunities in play are achieved by offering carefully considered outdoor spaces that offer a real choice of accessible play experiences. It is on this understanding that we are embarking on an exciting journey to become an OPAL School.

Children spend up to 20% of their time in school at play. Therefore, this time needs to be coherent and planned for. Changes in society such as heavier traffic, busier lifestyle, less areas for play and awareness of risk have led to ‘play poverty’ for today’s children. This makes the play opportunities at school even more vital. In addition to these reasons to prioritise play in school, Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that ‘A child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.’

Research studies have found that the social, physical and mental benefits to children of managed risks are vast. Children become more resilient, adaptable and are keen to try new experiences. Children should be provided with opportunities to challenge themselves and also to experience successes and failures. At Littleton C of E Nursery and Infant School we are committed to providing these experiences for our children in a managed way. The Health and Safety Executive offer guidance on the provision of play in education and state that:

‘HSE fully supports the provision of play for all children in a variety of environments. HSE understands and accepts that this means children will often be exposed to play environments which, whilst well managed, carry a degree of risk.’ (Health & Safety Executive, 2013)

Our children are encouraged to use all of our school grounds at playtime, mixing together across the year groups and enjoying a huge range of play experiences including:

· Loose Parts

· Bug Hotel

· Mud Kitchen

· Scooters

· Trikes and Bikes

· Tennis

· Grass football pitch

· Trim trail

· Outdoor classroom

· Outdoor chalk boards

· Stage

· Dressing up

 To learn more about OPAL please visit: https://outdoorplayandlearning.org.uk/

Loose Parts List.pdf