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Opal Play

We are very excited to have launched the OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) project at St. Nicholas. We are committed to improving the quality of play for all the children. 


What is the OPAL Play Project?

OPAL is a mentor supported school improvement programme that addresses all the areas that schools must plan for if they want to strategically and sustainably improve the quality of their play opportunities. The project is undertaken with specialist support from an OPAL mentor. This embeds play into the school’s policies and practices and establishes clear guiding principles and strategies for initiating lasting changes at playtimes.


Opal's vision is that every child in every school has an amazing playtime every day – with no exceptions.


To find out more about OPAL and the story behind it click here


To find out more about the importance of playtime and how you can help your child enjoy outdoor play please take a look at the booklet below.

What are the benefits of Opal play?


  • All children are able to engage in fun activities at playtime. 
  • Improves Mental Health. 
  • Research shows OPAL children are happier.
  • Social and emotional development - Quality play  life where relationships are practised. 
  • Links to formal learning - increased creativity, imagination and collaborative skills.
  • Through the OPAL approach to play children are not only more active at playtime, but they are also having the opportunity to further develop life skills such as cooperation, team work and problem solving. They are becoming motivated and enthusiastic builders, engineers, explorers and designers.


What does OPAL mean for us?


  • Happier children
  • Children coming into class ready to learn
  • A fully inclusive playtime 
  • It allows children an opportunity to be creative and make decisions
  • Children develop independence and resilience skills
  • Increased social skills (there is a great mix of all ages playing together) 
  • …. and most importantly fun!

What Our Children Say About Playtimes


"Playtimes are really fun."


"We learn how to play at playtimes."


"The playground is really fun and we have lots of space to play."

Opal Launch April 2023

Mud Cafe Opening

OPAL Stay and Play - Thank you to all the families that came to our first Opal Stay and Play session. It was lovely to see everyone exploring the new Opal equipment and hearing the great feedback.

Over the summer holidays we had a new sandpit installed. The children are loving it!

Can you help?


We are busy collecting resources that children can use for creative play. If you have any of these please drop them into the office.


Play Types - we aim to provide resources and opportunities that address the 16 play types.

Opal Play Parents Booklet