Whitley Park School, Reading

An Account of Phyzzpod by Ann Tanner, Head Teacher of Whitley Park School, Reading

Just imagine having a tardis in your own classroom or having daily access to the wardrobe into Narnia. Well that is what having a Phyzzpod is like. It transfers you and your children into a new world, a new place, an exciting space with lots to do and lots to see. It makes your senses go wild.

Many of our children have had very limited opportunities before they enter school. Their language development is significantly delayed, their word knowledge is small and their speech is poor. Phyzzpod has enabled us to take them on many different journeys and give them lots of exciting experiences without even getting on a coach.

Phyzzpod has been at Whitley Park for three years and it has given so many wonderful opportunities to our young children to explore. Teachers have skilfully set up different themes in the pod and children have experienced the language and senses of the different environments created.

Children who are shy to speak in the classroom and rarely utter a word are found in the Phyzzpod talking confidently, using words and expressions that their teachers have never heard from them before.

Phyzzpod has enabled us to increase the naming vocabulary for many children. It has expanded their range of vocabulary and given them opportunities to handle, see, hear and feel objects associated with the themes. They have handled sea creatures whilst swimming under the sea and they have crawled in the woods amongst the night creatures. They can now tell you all about nocturnal animals because they met them in the woods at night under the starlit sky. They can confidently name jungle creatures because they have been into the depths of the jungle and seen for themselves.

The Phyzzpod has supported us in developing children’s imaginative language. The language of stories has been brought alive through interaction with adults and other children in the Phyzzpod. Children have made up their own words and responded to the excitement and stimulation of the pod. This has a consequential and positive impact on their use of descriptive words and phrases when they start to write.

Phyzzpod is amazing. It is very popular with teachers and with the children as it is stimulating and motivates learning. The clever devices and the creative themes make this a rewarding place to be and children seek opportunities to have a turn. Phyzzpod has also helped us to improve the quality of the role play provision in classrooms as it has given teachers and early years practitioners a fantastic model of what is possible to achieve.

Children at Whitley Park love stories and story books. The language of books and stories has been enhanced and enriched through the Phyzzpod. Children make reference to their experiences which has increased their understanding of stories and as a result their comprehension skills have improved. Phyzzpod has also supported the children’s reading development as they have more knowledge and understanding of words to build their reading capacity and confidence.

Phyzzpod develops confidence and self esteem. It has a feel good factor about it and children and staff feel better when they leave the pod. The release from the everyday world into a special place is both relaxing and refreshing.

Phyzzpod has really made a difference to the lives of the children at Whitley Park. It has developed their language skills and their confidence to talk. It has given fun and happiness to children every day. I do not know what we would do without it.

I strongly recommend Phyzzpod to you. It represents great value for money and brings learning opportunities to life. If you believe children learn through play you will love it! One child summed this all up by saying Phyzzpod is fan-tabby-tastic! I could not put it better myself.

Ann Tanner Headteacher, Whitley Park School, Reading.