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OPAL fun and news

Welcome to our OPAL blog.

We wanted to share with you some of the fantastic things that we get up to at playtimes. Additionally, we also thought that this would be a good place to share information about events and how you can help. We are always looking for new resources and loose parts so if you can help by donating any items then we would really appreciate it.

Each week – in our Celebration Assembly – some children are chosen to receive a Play Award. This can be for many things including; positive play, imagination, creativity, helpfulness, kindness to peers or being a fantastic role model.

Reminder: Please encourage your child to have their wellies in school as this enables them to access all areas in most weathers. Wellies aren’t just needed in the rain but they are used to ensure safe exploration in the forest for example or more fun experiences in the mud kitchen. We have new carpets in school and need to look after them.

IMPORTANT- we would love to see what outdoor play and learning you have been getting up to while you are staying safe at home. We would love it if you could email any pictures that you don’t mind us sharing on this blog. This way all of your friends can see what you have been getting up to. It’s also important to stay connected at the moment and this is a nice way of doing that.

Send your pictures to fatfield.academy@inspiremultiacademytrust.co.uk and put for the attention of S Grotz.

Week Beginning 15.06.20

It was lovely to hear from Oliver this week about his outdoor adventures. This is what he wrote:

I have been enjoying going for walks I walked from my house at teal farm all the way to Penshaw monument and back it was such a long way but worth the view at the end. I have seen a giant mushroom and treehouse when we walked along Fatfield river they were so cool. I also have been able to get out on my motorbike I got some new kit for my birthday so I was super excited to wear it and get out for some even harder exercise. I went to high force during half term that was really nice walking to the huge waterfall and around the woods

It was also lovely to see Danny making the most of the miserable weather this week and having lots of fun in the puddles.

The adventures of Miss Grotz, Des and friends.

This week the weather has been rubbish. Poor Des wanted to go out when he heard the ice-cream van.

Listen to the voice on him!! He’s loud isn’t he!

Over half term I have been working on some up-cycling projects. My sister moved into a new house just before lock-down and had a beautiful baby in between. I thought it might be a nice idea to help her out a little to make her home the way she wanted with a budget.

First we took an old mirror frame which was brown and painted it white. When it was dry, I then used some spray paint to make it silver. This is how it turned out:

We then decided to make a radiator cover as we didn’t want my nephew burning his fingers. I used an old pallet, made some adjustments and then sanded it down to make sure there was no splinters. It then need a few coats of paint before it could be put in position.

I think they turned out quite nice and didn’t cost very much. It’s amazing what you can make out of old things.

This week my garden has loved the rain and I think it was really needed. My beautiful lillies have started to open and my one strawberry is ready to eat. Yum Yum.

Week Beginning 25.05.20 – half term

Activities for you to try at home:

Lets see what you lot have been up to this week:

Heidi helped her Daddy take down a fence and clear our all the weeds at the side of our house, she planted geraniums in pots to make her garden look pretty. She has also been on adventures with her family including; woodland walks looking for wild flowers, going on a bear hunt and visited Finchale Abbey to climb in the trees and explore. They also took advantage of the beautiful weather and went to the beach several times to build sandcastles & jump over the waves and then been up to Kielder for a family bike ride. Whilst there we learned all about the Dam & how it works.

Danny and Lexi have been working hard in the garden to make some stick decorations. These seem to be very popular this summer!

They also visited the beach this week to toast some marshmallows and do a spot of fishing. I love that Danny has been practicing his name writing in the sand.

The adventures of Miss Grotz, Des and friends.

This week has been so hot! We took the opportunity to get some work done in the garden. It was too hot during the day for Des to go out n walks.

We started the week by taking down the old fence and putting up a new fence. This was also the ideal opportunity to cut the trees behind as they are huge with big thorny bushes. This is still a work in progress so photos to come next week.

Oliver and I have been growing strawberries in our gardens. This week my strawberries have started to grow. They are still green and not ready to eat yet but there are currently 6 growing. I cant wait to eat them! How are yours coming on Oliver?

I’ve also had lots of birds visiting my garden this week so i bought some suet balls and put them into the feeder.

On Friday we went for a nice stroll along the beach. Des enjoyed leaping in the water but was a bit scared of the noise from the waves.

Week Beginning 18.05.20

So, I was in school on Friday with the children of key workers and we went into the forest. Its HUGE!! Its grown so much in a week since I was last there because it hasn’t got you lovely lot running through it keeping it down. So my plan is to go in this week to do some maintenance ready for you all coming back. We will keep some of it as it’s great for hiding in etc.

Look at the size of these. Some are bigger than me!

It’s looking a bit better now, I managed to cut back some oft he weeds on the tracks and path ways. I found the most beautiful flowers hiding at the back of the forest.

Activities for you to try at home:

Heidi has been on lots of adventures with her brother. I enjoy receiving your emails to see what you have been up to.

Oliver got his own little greenhouse from his mum and dad for his birthday. He tells me he has planted strawberries, lettuce and cucumber. He is mostly excited for the strawberries as those are his favourite.

I’m also growing a strawberry plant Oliver. We will have to see who grows he most. Here is mine.

Hannah and Sophie have also been growing plants in their garden. They also made the most of the windy days to fly their kite.

Remember you can continue to send in your pictures at any time. We love seeing that our all safe and well and making the most of the current situation.

The adventures of Miss Grotz, Des and friends.

So this week the nurseries opened and thought it would be nice to get out of the house for a little. I used to have some lovely lavender plants in my garden but Des decided that it was also a good spot to wee and the plants died so I bought some new ones. They are in pots this time so that I can keep them out of the way of Des. He had a good sniff off them but we had a little chat and hopefully he will listen. The bees love lavender plants and sometimes they can grow really big. I thought that the angel wings plant looked beautiful and would go lovely in my garden.

Lavender and angel wings

Des got a bit hyper this week and tried to be an osterich. He does this when he gets over stimulated. He gets too carried away and buries his head in my sofa. What a silly billy.

Mrs Young has been busy in her garden. She make a bar out of pallets. She can’t wait to have a BBQ and friends over to show it off. We think she has done a fab job. Well done Mrs Young

Miss Burney

Mrs Dowdle has been making Sophia do lots of work again! She seems to be getting the hang of it now.

Mrs Sinclair has been out exploring in her local area. Check out these amazing hedgehog trees in her Grandad’s garden

Week Beginning 11.05.20

A huge thank you to everyone who sent in photos from your adventures at home. It’s lovely to see some of the amazing things that you have been getting up too. Lets take a look:

Aston and Lexi have been making a stick heart for their home just like Miss Brown. They gathered twigs that they found and then they used a glue gun to glue them together. Then to make it even better they spray painted it gold. I think it looks amazing.

Joshua has been doing some planting ; onions, carrots, parsnips ,3 different beans, lettuce, chilli, dill and brussels sprouts in his garden. I can’t wait to see the finished product and find out what delicious food you might make with some of these delicious products.

Hannah and Sophie have been up to all sorts. I love how they have used lots of loose parts to do some of their home learning. It looks like you have been observing nature on your daily exercise looking for different mini-beasts. I also love the poppy wreath that you have made, what a lovely replica of nature. Well done girls. I also see that you both enjoy love dressing up at home as much as you do at school.

Harry and Zac have been having lots of fun in their garden posing in their blue colours for our school rainbow.

Heidi has had lots of fun in her garden. I’m loving the water play. When we are in school and the sun is out, we all enjoy getting out the tubs of water and paintbrushes to draw our own designs.

She has also been using some of nature to create her own environmental art. I absolutely love this Heidi and I think that when we are back in school you will have to show everyone how you did it.

As if that wasn’t enough, Heidi’s mum also sent us some photos of some of the other activities they have been up to as a family. There’s loads more too but I will save those for next week.

Esther has made her own bird feeder. WOW! I love it. Do you think you could show me how to make some for our forest. The birds will love them. Take a look at what else Esther and her family have been up to.

Eva has been celebrating VE day in her garden and making some yummy treats.

The adventures of Miss Grotz, Des and friends.

This week we celebrated 75 years since VE day was announced. So Des and I got to work in the garden making some bunting. He mainly spectated and tried to pinch my ice-cream rather than help if i’m honest.

I was delighted to hear from Miss Ward this week. She told me that some of our choir children had been practicing their songs for VE day that we had been learning and sang together through FaceTime. This really made my day. Well done girls.

This week I managed to beat Tyler at scrabble and he wasn’t happy and don’t think he wants to play anymore haha.

This week also saw me use a new skill. I was inspired by Miss Scriven when she lit the fire pit to toast marshmallows. I bought the biggest Marshmallows I could find when I was doing our essential shop and then we toasted them on our fire pit (which I managed to light myself).

Miss Lloyd and her son Max have been on some outdoor adventures in their local area. I love the hope scotch you made, reminds me of when I was little.

Week Beginning 04.05.20

Hey everyone, hope you are all safe and well. What lovely weather we have had this week. I’m hoping it continues for a little while longer as it would be nice to celebrate VE day in the garden with a picnic.

Here are some ideas i came up with around VE day that you could try at home.

I know how much you guys like using the chalks and drawing on a lunchtime so why not use this idea of using the sun to draw around shadows. You could turn your shadow into a soldier! Or if you have toy soldiers why not draw around their shadows to create a scene.

A lot of events have been cancelled because of the virus but why not have a garden picnic. I know lots of streets beside me are having little picnics in their gardens and making their own decorations to celebrate. There are some websites playing songs from the war period too so might be worth a listen (especially choir children as we started to learn some of these songs).

The adventures of Miss Grotz, Des and friends.

So this week I have spent a lot of time in the garden. I tried to find some sticks to have a go at the heart that Miss Brown made but i haven’t managed to find many so I will have to keep trying.

Tyler decided that he didn’t want me to forget how to spell so he challenged me to a game of scrabble. I lost badly.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, he even stole my sun glasses!

We decided it might be a nice idea to put the trampoline back up. Now, we have only had Des for a year and he has never seen the trampoline. This is what happened:

This week I enjoyed seeing what some of you have been up to while you have been out and about or playing in your gardens. Lets have a look:

Maisie and Guy:

How big are those puddings! You both look like your having some fab adventures together and making the most of being at home.

Sam and his sister Jessica:

You guys look like you have been to some interesting places. I think my Des would love to go and play in the water like your dog.

Danny and Lexi:

You guys look like you have been very busy! I can’t wait to hear about all of your activities when we are reunited.

Miss Burney and her family have been using their daily exercise to take some beautiful photographs. Wow, how amazing.

Miss Quinn has set up her own you tube channel so show you some lovely crafts you can be doing at home. Why don’t you go and check it out!

Don’t forget to send your pictures to Miss Grotz of any outdoor activities. We would love to post them here to share with your friends.

Week Beginning 27.04.20

I hope everyone is safe and well and enjoying learning at home. I have been busy working hard to think of some cool ideas that we can add to our OPAL development ready for when we can all return. Here are some ideas I came across that might be nice for you to try at home. I might even have a go myself:

The adventures of Miss Grotz, Des and friends.

So I thought it might be a good idea for you guys to see what I and some of the other members of staff have been up to and I would love to hear from you too so please email in your pictures and i’ll post them on here.

This week we had some lovely weather so it was nice to be able to work outside in the garden. Now, you all know how much I love music, but it was nice to not have it on for a change. Instead, I listened to the birds singing and watched them visit my garden. They were collecting part of Desmond’s fur and little sticks for their nests (Des, is my excitable but often lazy husky).

The government say that we are allowed to go out for an hours exercise everyday and it was lovely to see Sophie, Rosie and Matthew walk past the school gate gate when I was in school this week. Was lovely to hear about how they’ve been staying safe at home and what they have been up to.

Fatfield has some lovely places to go for a walk but beside where I live we are not as lucky. However, we do have some interesting places within our hour walk. This week, we decided to walk around the cemetery. Ours is huge and has lots of interesting statues and lovely cherry blossom trees. We were lucky enough to spot some squirrels but I had to stop Des from chasing them. Take a look, can you spot the squirrel (you might have to zoom in)?

Miss Brown has inspired me this week. She has been collecting sticks on her walk to create her masterpiece and I thought one would look good in my garden too! They look quite simple to make but really interesting to decorate the garden a little. I can’t wait to see the finished products.

Mrs Young has also been out working hard in the sun shine with her beloved Cooper. They look like they have enjoyed some lovely strolls together.

Cooper just wants his mammy to play with him all of the time.

Mrs Dowdle and her daughter Sophia have also been taking advantage of the lovely weather this week. Mrs Dowdle has been teaching Sophia how to keep the house and garden spotless while she does her important jobs . Sophia did a fabulous job but I bet she can’t wait to be back at nursery to have a break 😉 . Take a look:

It has been lovely to see all of the videos that you have been making to send to us. It’s lovely to see you all safe at home and they certainly put a huge smile of the faces of all staff members. Don’t forget to send in your pictures to the email address above and we can share with your friends what you have been up to in your gardens on on your exercise time. Remember to come back every week to see what we have been getting up to too!

Week Beginning 30.03.20

Here are some useful websites that you may find entertaining, useful or helpful.

  1. Looking for some heartwarming entertainment to enjoy from the comfort of your own home? We have rounded up the best animal live streams from around the world you can watch online for free.


2. Watch some of the adventures of Steve Backshall on his expeditions


3. Scout indoor activities


or try one of these:

Indoor activitieshttps://www.nhs.uk/change4life/activities/indoor-activities

Family fun activities indoor – https://www.familydaystriedandtested.com

PE with Joe https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyCLoPd4VxBvQafyve889qVcPxYEjdSTl  

Go Noodle  (lots of songs with actions to keep fit)  https://family.gonoodle.com/

BBC Super Movers  https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/supermovers

Cosmic Yoga  https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

Learn to dance with Oti Mabuse every day at 11.00 and at any time


Week Beginning 23.03.20

Although our school is current closed to the majority of pupils, I thought this would be a good chance to share some of the responses from the parent questionnaires.

60% of parents told us that they thought that their child’s confidence had improved in some way.

Comments stated that they liked the structure and felt that their child had better relationships with children of all ages and staff. One parent told us that their child loves the responsibility of being a cupboard monitor.

A huge 87% said that their child’s safety at playtimes had not changed.

It’s nice to know that you understand that introducing alternative play will not compromise the safety of any child or staff member. During playtime activities we encourage children to take risks but alongside that we talk them through the process. We ask questions such as; what could happen? How will we ensure safety? How could you check safely? Safety is paramount in our school and teaching children to think about their own safety and make risk benefit assessments of their own means that they can judge situations better. We have lot of Health and Safety discussions in assemblies and around the playground.

Comments on the survey suggest that the school will maintain all pre-opal standards of safety – this is very true.

60% of parents stated that their child’s friendship groups have improved

lot of the comments suggest that this is mainly because children can chose where they want to play and therefore mix with younger and older peers. One parent stated that this has also helped their child outside of school as they play with each other outside of school too. Lots of comments stated how the children enjoy talking about playing with their new friends and are always talking about the fun that they have had.

This is very important to us. We know that initially parents may have had concerns but the children have learned so much from their peers. Children look out for each other, even if they aren’t in their class, as well as making sure everyone has someone to play with. Additionally, children take more notice of what other children are doing. Just last week, some of the older children made go-karts and slides. Because the younger children could see how much fun their had, they too wanted to participate in making one. From this they listened to how they communicated, how they talked about problem solving and how to work as a team safely. This is just a short list but the older children also learned new experiences. They learned how to communicate with younger peers so that they understand, how to ensure that their safety is the first priority and they also learned from their imagination new ideas.

63% stated that their child’s happiness at playtimes had improved and the other 37% said that it had not changed.

This is great news! A lot of the comments talk about the availability of activities and resources available meaning they have less time for boredom. Trust me, every day is different outside in our play spaces. We have also just introduced a timetable of activities that will be placed within the different areas to ensure that we don’t get bored of those areas too. In addition to this, we also have a suggestion box in school where children can pop in their ideas. This could be anything from a song suggestion for the I-pad, new resources we could ask for or an activity that they would like us to prepare for. It is important that we listen to our young people as it is their ideas and experiences that we want to promote.

What would your child say about OPAL?

This was my favourite part 🙂

  • Better than his last school. They have a choice of bikes/scooters
  • Good but they wont build a swimming pool
  • It’s better now with all the new stuff
  • Has made playtime more fun
  • loves playing in the ‘big yard’
  • It’s so much fun, I love playing on the scooter
  • It’s the best because you go on the grass with wellies on
  • I like playing with the bikes and phones
  • It’s great, I love it
  • She enjoys helping to collect things
  • She is very happy, safe and confident at school

What are your views as a parent about OPAL?

This part is one of the most important. It is important because we need to work together and communicate effectively so that you know we are giving your child the best learning experiences but with safety as the priority.

  • Brilliant, this had made a significant improvement (although our washing bills have gone through the roof, haha). Very happy with the introduction of OPAL.
  • Good idea- would be nice to have a list of OPAL activities they have access too.
  • Really pleased to see and hear about. Great to see fun equipment outside – kitchens, classrooms, ball games. Thank you – goes over and beyond our expectations.
  • I think its great that families have become involved by donating lots of things. My son donated a large toy and he said he likes seeing others play with it
  • My child is so content at her school, so I’m happy with all staff and procedures within school and at playtime.
  • I believe it may have helped children who may have been lonely or without friends to have more opportunities to join in with a variety of activities.
  • I think its a great idea for everyone
  • I’m thrilled -all staff are amazing
  • Good for older children but feel nursery are too young.
  • Love it!
  • She talks more about playtimes and is always excited when telling us about it.

From the list above there are some things that we can address to continue moving forward.

When we return, I can post a copy of the timetable on here so that you can see which activities are available and maybe discuss them with your child if you wish to do so. These timetables are also posted at most exit points so that the children can always check. However, children will always have free choice and are not told that they can only do those activities. For example, a few weeks ago in the forest we had a Gruffalo theme. Some children engaged in this and others just wanted to explore. This is fine too.

Nursery are included but this has been done in stages and their safety is always paramount. They always wear their wellies and a high viz vest so that they are easily identifiable. Rules and boundaries are put in place and children are kept within the KS1 area or can access their safe space within the EYFS area if they choose to do so. On the yard they have access to the small world, role play, mud kitchen, age appropriate bikes, small trim trail and the small forest. You will also find plenty of staff joining in and playing alongside them too.

There will be a point in which we will invite parents in to experience what an OPAL playtime looks like. We cannot give a date as yet due to the current situation we find ourselves in but we are working on it.

Until then, keep exploring, creating and inventing in your safe spaces. I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures when you all get back.

Week Beginning 02.03.20

This weeks Play Awards go to:

Taiven, Charlie and Nathan – they used their engineering skills to work together as a team to create their amazing go-kart. You really need to check out the photos below to see if. They enjoyed talking about the creation and problems solved when it wasn’t quite working out. They also got Miss Scriven and Mrs Pizl to have a go – but made sure they had their helmets on first for safety.

Detami – she showed compassion when she noticed a younger child looking for someone to play with. She set up a little play area and played alongside and others joined in.

Alfie – he always helps to ensure that our resources are looked after and always wants to assist our play leaders


The year 6 boys who won play awards this week made some amazing go-karts and inspired others to have a go at making a similar one. Take a look:

Some other children had a go at making their own slides. they were able to discuss with me why they used the equipment that they had chosen and how they made sure that they had time to get in safely before sliding down. They had thought of everything. They even experimented with different resources. We have some talented youngsters at Fatfield Academy. Look at how much fun they had.

Opal prize- extended play

This week, classes had an extended play. Most classes brought in either a high ticket item and the other classes brought in the most loose parts. Year 3 will take their main prize at a later date to celebrate gaining the first full house. Thank you all for your support in helping us with this. Teachers also got to come outside and join in with the fun.

Outdoor natural art

Here is one of the reasons why paintbrushes and rollers were on the bingo boards.

Here are some other photos from this week:

We look forward to seeing everyone when they return. Until then, stay safe, look after each other and I’d love to see and hear about all the outdoor fun you have had with your family while you’ve been learning at home. Maybe you could introduce them to playing and creating with loose parts.

Week Beginning 02.03.20

This weeks Play Awards go to:

Lily, Sophia, Annabelle and Elizabeth are amazing to watch at lunchtime. They can often be found in the big forest getting involved in what ever activity is taking place.
Cohen never gives up. He really enjoyed using the flicker at lunchtimes and really wanted to try the bike that didn’t have stabilizers. He found it tricky at first but he never gave up and now he is a pro.
Connor has been an amazing helper at tidy up time. He was also recommended and spotted by several members of staff.


Winners will be announced in assembly on Wednesday but the competition has now ended. However, we will always take items to continually replenish our stock of resources.

Little Forest – Environmental Art

This week in the little forest we have been using natural resources to create art. The children decided that they wanted to make a Gruffalo with Miss Brown. Here is there journey:

Den building in the Big Forest

Miss Fletcher has been working in the forest this week with the children to create dens.


This week we were lucky enough to take delivery of some of the high ticket items from the bingo game. We now have a boat and some large cable reels for the children to play with and use. The children really enjoy playing with this unusual items.

Other photos from this week:

Week Beginning 02.03.20

This weeks Play Awards go to:

Che was also recommended for this award by one of the play leaders. This week is has been lovely to see him in different areas at lunchtime and lovely to see him encouraging others to help look after our school and equipment.

Molly loves helping whenever she can. She loves to be involved in new activities and she can often be found in the forest or hanging upside down on the climbing frame.

Tilly has been a super helper this week in the forest working with others to create the Gruffalo Trail (see photos below) and it looks fantastic.


So far, Year 3 are the only class to claim a full house on their bingo boards. Instant prizes have been claimed by year 1 and year 4. I am aware that some classes have some items ready to be delivered too! How exciting. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support. The resources come in really handy and i’m sure that you can tell by the photographs that the children are enjoying using them.

Book Week

This week we celebrated World Book Week by adding book themed enhancements within some of the areas to celebrate our love of books.

Big Forest – The Gruffalo

This week in the big forest the children have worked hard with Miss Quinn and Mrs Sinclair to create the most amazing Gruffalo Trail. They worked together and used the resources from the forest to create houses for the different animals in the story. Additionally, the labelled their houses with log slices to make them stand out. If that wasn’t fun enough, Mrs Quinn brought in some character masks and they re-enacted the story around the fire pit.

Little Forest – Aliens love underpants

There were strange goings on in the little forest. There were underpants hanging everywhere and a UFO had crash landed in the trees.

Mud Kitchen – Harry Potter

It was spells galore in the Harry Potter Spell kitchen this week. We had children making spells for all kinds of things and some odd ingredients.

Reading Area – making story stones

Other photographs

Its hard to try and keep the photographs down to a minimum as some of the activities the children get up to are just so fascinating. I love hearing about their creations and how they work; watching the older children and the younger children playing together and watching the experimentation that takes place. Watching a child achieve something new and being proud of themselves makes my day.

Week Beginning 24.02.20

This weeks Play Awards go to:

Mark – for being an all round amazing person. Mark helps everyday and is passionate about his role as a play leader and wants to do the best he can.

Ivy – Ivy has put on her wellies everyday and helped out Miss Fletcher in the forest. It now looks amazing.

Lexi – Lexi gave up her own time to come and help clear our yard so that it is tidy- especially the large construction

Thank you for your support and effort. it doesn’t go unnoticed.


This week we started a whole school competition. It’s difficult to decide if it is the children who are more competitive or the teachers! The challenge involves each class having their own loose parts bingo board and they have to try and collect them all before Friday 13th March to get a full house and then win a prize. Other items can be brought in too as every little helps. There are also prizes for ‘high ticket items’ which add the extra wow factor to our play.

Currently Year 3 is winning with the most items ticked off their board and they also currently have the largest collection. If that isn’t amazing enough, there’s also rumors that they have a few of the high ticket items too! WOW!! Well done year 3. There is still plenty of time for the other classes to try and beat them. I can’t wait to see who gets a full house first.

This week, some of the pupils have been helping to ‘reset’ the forest. We decided it needed a bit of a make over so, so they children and staff worked together and came up with a plan.

In the little forest this week, the children worked with Mrs Johnston to make bird feeds for the birds. It’s nice to help our nature in this unpredictable weather.

Here are some more pictures from this week:

Week Beginning 10.02.20

This weeks Play Awards go to:

Tyler has had positive behaviour outside this week and engaged within activities outside with great enthusiasm. He has been helping Mrs Sinclair with the digging pit everyday and remembering to wear his wellies.

Connor makes some amazing designs and has been helping to tidy up more this week which I am really pleased about. Well done to you both.

This week has been another week of fab creations. One of our play leaders took charge of the camera this week and took lots of photographs of the children playing outside. Unfortunately due to the high winds this week our forest has been closed but hopefully after the half term the weather will be much nicer.

In our play assembly this week we discussed the risks and benefits to using the digging equipment. We discussed how we should use these pieces of equipment safely so that we can get the best results. Some of the children were able to identify that using these tools will hep with hand-eye co-ordination, risk management and muscle development. As you can see from the pictures above, the children enjoyed using them, especially when the mud was wet and gooey as it made it easier to dig holes.

Mark took the opportunity to take lots of selfies with his friends and staff

After half term we will be doing a competition to collect more loose parts so watch this space for more information.


We ask that children keep wellies in school so that they can continue to access all areas regardless of weather and ground conditions. It is very important that shoes are changed outside and not worn within the school to ensure that we keep the school clean and tidy. PE shoes are NOT to be worn as football/outdoor shoes as they are not always appropriate. We do have a small stock of wellies but not as many as we would like.

Week Beginning 03.02.20

This weeks Play Award’s go to Maddison for her fantastic imaginative play in the mud kitchen and Bailey for being really helpful.

This week we had a very special visitor in school. Ingrid from the OPAL team came to see how we were getting on. She was so impressed with what she saw and recognises how much we have changed playtimes for the better. She spent some time discussing with the children about what areas they choose to access and what resources were available etc. She gave us lots of ideas so that we can continue moving forward.

This is absolutely fantastic, well done”


This week also saw a delivery of pallets in school. We tried to move them to the construction idea but the children had other ideas. They thought that they could make some great dens and forts where they were so that’s what they did. Poor Mrs McAlpine accidentally ‘invaded’ their territory and was caught in their trap. Luckily, they realised that she wasn’t a threat and let her go. Take a look at some of the fantastic building work:

Watching the children in this area was inspirational. There has been so much creativity, team work, problem solving and communication between each other. They can’t wait to rebuild again next week and we can’t wait to hear all about it and see what they come up with.

The mud kitchen was also quite popular this week. We had all sorts of fabulous foods being created. Other children were also helping out by digging in the mud pit to supply the mud.

This week has been AMAZING to witness! In fact it has been so amazing that it was hard to keep the number of photographs to a small amount so we uploaded them all instead.

Week Beginning 27.01.20

This week Zack and Jake received our Play Award for their fantastic see-saw that they created using the large pieces of construction. They enjoyed talking about their creating and telling me how they had made it extra safe by adding blocks underneath to stop them bumping on the floor. Their design also inspired others to also create a see-saw.

This week we were able to collect a few more materials for our large construction area and here are some of the creations:

OPAL (Pre-blog)