You are here

Play Pod

Playpod

Noble Park Primary School has been one of the fortunate recipients of a Playpod. Over the period of time it has been located in our yard the Playpod has been transformative in the context of how children use the yard space and interact with one another.

The Playpod itself is a shipping container which is filled with ‘spare parts’. It includes all sorts of factory off-cuts including wooden, plastic and materials (all quality controlled for safety purposes) with which children can let their imaginations run wild. The children build all manner of things, rocket ships stages, cars, beds, swings, slides; you name it they build it! This then leads to all sorts of imaginative games and role play.

Most visitors comment that the children are playing just like we did when we were kids when all we had was our imagination and what was close at hand.

The Playpod is a wonderful complement to the whole school philosophy about relationships, to one another, the environment and the curriculum. Our understanding of children learning through exploration needs to be lived in all aspects of school life and the pod allows that seamless flow from learning spaces to the school yard.

Recently, one of our students said, when I asked her if she liked the pod she replied ‘…I love the pod – my friends and I love building different stuff each day’.

One of the boys at assembly when launching our regular pod report- a slideshow which shows interesting designs, said ‘….the pod is one of the best things at school- ‘it’s awesome!’

Our relationship with Play for Life has yielded other partnerships and the professional learning for all staff, as we have engaged in a range of conversations and events has been invaluable. Students have also made connections through events and opportunities to be involved in for a where they have shared their thoughts.

Current research and practice tells us that students learn best in an environment which is rich in opportunities for experiential learning and caters for consideration of developmental factors. To that end our school has been working on practices which exploit those opportunities and mirror the practices which are proving successful in some of the highest performing educational jurisdictions such as Finland.

The Playpod itself has provided endless opportunities for our students to interact in ways that are limited in the traditional yard. This is particularly supportive of a cohort of students where about 80% come from Non English Speaking Backgrounds and many of them have endured a refugee experience. There is no doubt that their school experience has been enriched and this extends to their orientation to school work and readiness for class after break times.