Beacon Rise

Outstanding play at an outstanding school
OPAL Platinum school Beacon Rise

 What OFSTED think about OPAL’s input

“Pupils show respect for others in many situations, for example through the harmonious relationships evident at playtimes. The school has invested heavily in improving play facilities and resources, with a designated play coordinator. Pupils enjoy the variety of stimulating opportunities for creative play, which have helped to eliminate almost all incidents of inappropriate behaviour. This has added to pupils’ enjoyment of school. High rates of attendance further confirm this enjoyment.” Beacon Rise OFSTED Report March 2012

This video was shot over twenty minutes in a single lunch time play at Beacon Rise Primary School in Kingswood, Bristol. None of the opportunities have been specially provided for the video and this is not a highlights film of a long period of time; this could have been shot on any day at Beacon Rise.

This is probably the best school in the country for play; this type of outstanding quality does not happen by accident, it is the result of six years of development led by Chris Thomas the head, supported and advised by Michael Follett from OPAL Outdoor Play and Learning and realised by the fantastic play team at the school.

In this video you will see children who have become highly skilled through their play; physically, socially and mentally. They are making good judgements about risk, being highly cooperative, developing coordination and strength, developing literally skills through enactment of imaginative narratives and above all they are having a wonderful time. If I was a parent I would pay for my child to have play like this and it is freely available every day.

Although play like this does require investment, most of that investment is in thought, commitment and creation of a culture that supports and understands play. OPAL is about supporting schools so they can make the journey and become another Beacon Rise.


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