OPAL Play & Learning
We received the highest level (Opal Platinum) in June 2018
Outdoor Play And Learning (OPAL) at the Ridge
Learning through play and playing to learn at break and lunchtimes is over seven and a half hours of curriculum time each week. We see this as essential for the children’s growth and learning. We are Platinum award holders from OPAL - an internationally recognised body for Outdoor Play And Learning. We work to ensure a structure and environment is created where Ridge children can be seen to flourish and can freely choose an activity which they find satisfying and creative. While they play, they explore, manipulate, experience and effect their environment. As they have full access to the different areas of the site, in all but the very worst of British weather, they can adapt their play to meet their needs and ensure they have suitable clothing. They are able to play imaginatively and creatively with loose parts, often creating intricate role plays. Through their play, they develop resilience both socially and physically. They can use the skills of negotiation when playing with others and learn from their mistakes. They know they can get dirty, make a mess, and sometimes be out of direct gaze of adults and through this they develop their independence and decision making. They value play at the Ridge and hold a collective responsibility and ownership of the environment and the thousands of resources available and through this, have respect for each other and the equipment. Above all, they are able to take acceptable risks and challenge themselves beyond their existing capabilities in a safe environment which develops their ability to independently judge risks and learn new skills so they are ready for the wider unsupervised world.
At the Ridge we work hard to continually develop the school grounds and improve the play opportunities to allow the greatest range of play for all our children.