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Elveden C of E Primary Academy near Thetford receives platinum award for play





Elveden C of E Primary Academy has been praised for its efforts in ensuring play is an integral part of the school day.

The school, in Elveden, near Thetford, has received a platinum award from Opal (Outdoor Play and Learning) - a not-for-profit organisation working with primary schools to transform children’s play - after scoring 96 per cent in a play audit.

Elveden C of E Primary Academy is delighted to have been awarded a Platinum Award by Opal of recognition of play. Picture: Elveden C of E Primary Academy
Elveden C of E Primary Academy is delighted to have been awarded a Platinum Award by Opal of recognition of play. Picture: Elveden C of E Primary Academy
The school scored where we scored 96 per cent on its play audit. Picture: Elveden C of E Primary Academy (61370960)
The school scored where we scored 96 per cent on its play audit. Picture: Elveden C of E Primary Academy (61370960)

Michael Follett, CEO of Opal, said: “This means that they are in the top five per cent of UK schools for the quality of the play they provide for all their children. he school has demonstrated that it takes the UNCRC Article 31, the child’s right to play, seriously and is implementing all stages of school improvement in relation to play, including policy, planning, resourcing, staffing and evaluation.”

SENCO and PE lead at the school Zoe Maguire, who is also the OPAL curriculum lead, said: “Because of Opal, we have all seen an improved zest for learning and a happy, cheerful vibe across the school. It really has created something special.”

She said the award was a whole school effort involving all the children and staff.

PE lead and SENCO Zoe Maguire said It really was a whole school effort. Picture: Elveden C of E Primary Academy (61370963)
PE lead and SENCO Zoe Maguire said It really was a whole school effort. Picture: Elveden C of E Primary Academy (61370963)
The school has a play team of adults and children who enjoying coming up with new play zones and ideas. Picture: Elveden C of E Primary Academy (61370966)
The school has a play team of adults and children who enjoying coming up with new play zones and ideas. Picture: Elveden C of E Primary Academy (61370966)

She added: “They manage their own risk assessments whilst playing and have even come up with a play charter that we all had to sign, so we all knew how to play safely.

“Our play team consists of adults and children who are also empathic advocates of play and who also enjoying coming up with new play zones and ideas. Our parents also come to play and often send in loose parts to enhance our playtimes too.”

She said the school had worked hard to improve its play and physical activity provision and feels ‘we are really achieving our whole school commitment to be active’.