A PRIMARY school has been presented with an award after offering pupils outstanding opportunities for play at lunchtime.

Tanfield Lea Community Primary School, near Stanley, has been named an OPAL school, which stands for Outdoor Play and Learning.

Pupils can dress up, build dens, play in a sand pit, use wheeled equipment, play on a tyre swing and use sporting equipment among a range of other activities on offer.

It follows efforts to build up what is on offer for young people during breaks between classes over the last 18 months.

The presentation of a platinum OPAL award was made at a special assembly on Thursday morning.

Headteacher Kay Hemmings said: “Our aim was to give children a more exciting, challenging, creative, fun time.

“Lunchtime and break times take up 20 per cent of the school timetable and so we wanted to make it as active, motivating and engaging as possible.

“The children love it and are so excited about coming to school now everyday.”