At Middlestone Moor Primary School, we believe that play, in it’s correct form, is extremely valuable and beneficial to any child. Play enables children to learn through experiences that cannot be taught. Through exploring and testing ideas, children learn about:
- themselves as a person,
- how to get on with people,
- the physical world around them.
The National Trust document “Natural Childhood” states:
“…children don’t simply learn more, or learn better, when freed from their desks. They also learn differently, experiencing improvements in four specific ways:
- Cognitive Impacts (greater knowledge and understanding)
- Affective Impacts (attitudes, values, beliefs and self-perceptions)
- Interpersonal and Social Impacts (communication skills, leadership and teamwork
- Physical and Behavioural Impacts (fitness, personal behaviours and social actions.)
So, children who learn outdoors know more, understand more, feel better, behave better, work more cooperatively and are physically healthier.”
Over recent years, we have maximised our fantastic grounds and outdoor spaces to develop a wide range of outside play environments and opportunities to meet the needs of all of our children. We believe that high quality play opportunities in the school grounds will support our children’s development in a wide range of ways. Thinking skills, creativity, resourcefulness, resilience, problem solving and social skills are just a few of these and all of this will make our children better learners. We have a member of staff who was appointed to lead OPAL every lunchtime, Mrs Jordan.
In the current gradual erosion of safe play environments for children outside of school, we feel that we need to provide the opportunities for play and discovery that we had when we were young, utilising our lovely and extensive school grounds.
Watch these videos that our children made about OPAL: