Proud to be a member of the
Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust

OPAL Play (Outdoor Play And Learning)

Opal logo

Our objective at Theddlethorpe is to give every child the opportunity to grow, learn, and develop via engaging activities that we offer them throughout the school day, both inside and outside of the classroom.

In order to achieve this, we are currently developing our plan of action to become a PLATINUM OPAL school. OPAL, which stands for Outdoor Play And Learning, is a programme designed to provide play opportunities for socialisation, physical activity, resilience, cooperation, coordination, creativity, and enjoyment. The OPAL method is being embedded in all of our play areas during lunch and playtimes.

For more information about the opal programme visit:

Two pupils playing on a wooden cable reel drum.

Our playground is an integrated play area where children in Nursery through Year 6 can play together during break and lunch. Children can play with their siblings or friends from different year groups, as well as form new and varied friendships, whilst having the freedom to explore every section of the playground. They can explore and play in various ways and have access to all the playground equipment when they have access to the entire playground. According to our experience thus far, the majority of children find this approach to be really enjoyable.

Pupils playing in a cardboard box, playing with an oversized 'Connect4' game, and sitting on a wooden cable reel drum.

Our Playworkers

During lunchtime, we have a team staff that consists of playworkers who are responsible for managing the playground and the school halls. If the children are in need of assistance with something, it is of the utmost importance that they communicate with a playworker. They are there to provide assistance to the children in their play, to resolve any problems that may arise, and to make sure that the children have an enjoyable experience during lunchtime.

A pupil drawing on the playground with chalk.

Welly Day Friday!

On Welly Day Friday, when the field is deemed too muddy for general use, we will only allow children onto the field with appropriate footwear—wellies!

Two pairs of wellington boots, one dark blue with black and white striped detail, the other pink with red and yellow flowers.

Children can change their footwear in designated areas after they have eaten their lunch and can leave their school shoes on the welly rack. They easily change back before the end of lunch. To avoid too much mud and dirty hands children must wash their hands before going back into class.

Welly Day Fridays will ensure that the children can play on the field all year round and make use of all of the play spaces we are lucky to have here at Theddlethorpe.

In addition, days spent on the muddy field provide children with opportunity for sensory play, which we are aware is essential to their growth and development. By wearing wellies, the children's shoes will be protected, and the school building will be kept free of mud.

Please note that it is the children's responsibility to take care of any footwear brought into school. We appreciate your understanding that the footwear will get muddy and will require cleaning and returning to school from time to time. Please help us by clearly naming any footwear that you send into school.