A Wiltshire primary school has been named in the top one per cent in the country for an innovative scheme.

Lea and Garsdon C of E Primary School in Malmesbury has been audited for its Outdoor Play and Learning, or OPAL, programme, which supports children’s play.

The school is one of over 200 across the country to embark on the programme, which uses natural and man-made resources to help create “creative and inclusive” play environments where children can express themselves.

This has included building a large sandpit and mud kitchen to provide “hours of fun.”

Children and staff at Lea and Garsdon C of E Primary SchoolChildren and staff at Lea and Garsdon C of E Primary School (Image: Alison Withers)

The school was recently audited on its play provision by inspectors and was awarded a score of 97 per cent, putting it in the top one per cent of OPAL schools nationally.

Play co-ordinator Alison Withers said staff were “thrilled” that they received a platinum award for their positive performance.

She added: “We’re thrilled because it recognises what has been achieved but it’s also just the excitement of seeing how enriched the children’s play is.

“They are learning so much and are such happy children because of this style of play, we’re delighted and that’s the driving force.

“1.4 years of a child’s time in primary is spent playing, so you want that to be quality time.”