Outdoor Play and Learning

At Woodham Ley Primary School, we recognise that play is an important part of a happy and healthy childhood. Children spend up to 20% of their time in school at play. Therefore, this time needs to be coherent and planned for.

Changes in society such as heavier traffic, busier lifestyles, less areas for play and an awareness of risk have led to ‘play poverty’ for today’s children. This makes their play opportunities at school even more vital. In short, high quality play leads to happier, healthier children.

Over the last 9 months, we have been busy transforming our school grounds and working alongside an outside agency called OPAL (www.outdoorplayandlearning.org.uk) to help guide us through a strategic approach to developing play at Woodham Ley Primary School.

In addition to this, our ‘Play Committee’ work in collaboration with parents, teachers, learning support assistants, lunchtime supervisors and children, to implement the changes and transform our play culture.

As a result of this, we know that our children:

  • are happier
  • have an increase in self-awareness and self-esteem
  • have improved language and communication skills
  • have improved concentration after playtimes
  • have improved their imagination, independence and creativity
  • have improved their social skills
  • are more resilient, confident and good problem solvers
  • are more independent
  • have more opportunities to practise life skills
  • have improved physical development,
  • co-ordination and fitness.

At Woodham Ley Primary School, we are committed to developing our playtimes to enable all children to engage in high quality play at all times. Inclusive opportunities in play are achieved by offering carefully considered outdoor spaces that offer a real choice of accessible play experiences. We are on an exciting journey to transform our playtimes and create permanent play spaces that nurture and excite our children.


The children say…

“I think that OPAL has helped me to widen

my circle of friends.” (Year 5 girl)


“It has helped me to manage risk when I play

and to challenge myself.” (Year 3 boy)


“I love that we can use lots of resources that

we wouldn’t normally get a chance to play with.” (Year 6 boy)

Contact Us

01268 753 652


Rushbottom Lane