At Marlborough Primary School, we believe that play is essential for physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual development. Most of our best childhood memories are from playing outdoors, climbing trees and exploring the wide world around us, this is why we have decided to focus on making our play-times as stimulating and engaging yet, most of all, FUN for your child at school! We have teamed up with OPAL; a company who are experts in developing school playgrounds and the activities as well as the ethos’ that help school play times to change for the positive!

What is OPAL?

OPAL stands for Outdoor Play and Learning. Their motto is to ‘create happier play times, better play spaces and enable staff to support new outdoor learning. ’ OPAL is all about using natural and man-made resources to allow pupils to be inspired and creative at playtime, which is something we felt fitted well with our ethos at Marlborough Primary. Find out more about OPAL Schools by visiting the OPAL website.  Our school grounds will provide a crucial place for the experience of self-initiated play.

What has happened so far?

So far, we have been extremely busy!  What we have been up to;

  • All of our children have participated in creating their very own ‘Perfect Playground’ where we have seen amazing examples of child-led ideas for what our children want in their playground. These can be viewed here
  • Pupil questionnaire about what sort of playground they would like and what activities/apparatus they would like to be brought in. Pupil survey results can be viewed here.
  • Parent questionnaire about what ‘Play’ was like for adults in society now and how play has changed for children today. Parent survey results can be viewed here.
  • Staff questionnaire about what ‘Play’ was like for adults in society now and how play has changed for children today. Staff survey results can be viewed here.
  • Phase 1 of our Playground Plan is ready to get underway!

The exciting path ahead… 

If you take a glance at our initial playground design plan at the foot of this entry, you will get a flavour of the phased plans which will guide us closer to improving the quality of play and creativity at play times. As expected, with the ever-changing climate of schools, the phases may be tweaked slightly, though any changes to the original draft plan will be made, as always, with the children’s learning and development in mind. As ever, we will keep you updated with the latest playground news and events, in which we will be working in close partnership with ‘OPAL’ Schools Playground development team to ensure that your child has the most fulfilling time out there on our playground! We can not wait to get the ball rolling!


On this page as well as our social media pages, you will able to follow our exciting and inspiring playground journey. With regular updates and information regarding your child’s play time and how the transformation of our playground is progressing!


Our OPAL gallery…