Maun Infant and Nursery School

Reach for the stars


OPAL (Outdoor Play And Learning)


Maun Infants is proud to be an OPAL school!


What is OPAL?


OPAL is a strategic school improvement programme supporting our school improvement through play. Play makes up 20% of school life.  All the research says time playing outdoors is time well spent. Children who play outdoors move more, sleep more, eat better, are happier and care about the planet more. 



The benefits of play are broad, encompassing:

1. Health and wellbeing

2. Early childhood development

3. Cognitive development

4. Mental Health

5. Emotional wellbeing

6. Social development

7. Learning about risk and challenge

8. Play as therapy

9. Resilience and character


Playing and Learning

Playing contributes greatly to such diverse areas as language, arts, culture, science, maths, technology. Furthermore, play supports self-regulation as a key developmental mechanism: this ability is increasingly shown to be vital to academic success. Research provides considerable evidence that play can develop the cognitive abilities needed for formal learning: play aids development of problem solving capabilities, creativity, representational skills and memory. Another important consideration is the emotional literacy and control needed to learn in school. Playing aids the development of concentration and attention. Playing in outdoor environments with natural features has been shown to be particularly helpful to this. 



'Letting children go out to play is one of the best things that parents can do for their children's health: outdoor play uses more calories than clubs and tuition.' Mackett (2004)