At St Sidwell's Primary School we recognise that children's learning does not stop at a bell for play-time and that the best learning happens when children reinforce what they know through their play.
Recently the adults and children at school have been working together to improve both the opportunities for children to lead their own learning through play and the provision to support this. The project is called OPAL and is an acronym for 'Outdoor Play And Learning'.
You will have read about this in 'The Bell' newsletter and are hopefully aware that we are collecting items for the children to use at play-times to make their play richer. We already have provision for tree climbing, den building and playing with natural materials for example, mud and sticks.
Alongside we are teaching the children how to weigh up risk. We discuss both the risks involved in types of exploration and the benefits. We then decide if the benefits outweigh the risks and agree on ways to limit any risks that we identify. The conclusion is then written up and displayed outside for adults and children to check. Obviously these 'Risk Assessments' may change over time as the children become more skilled at managing their safety.