Pridwin Preparatory School – Joanne Glendinning, Head of the Junior Prep
“Natalie Ridl recently presented the 6 hour Physifun course to the junior phase and physical education teachers at Pridwin Preparatory.
The course provided us with a host of tools and strategies to take back into the classroom to ensure that each of our pupils’ physical needs are met in what is too often a very static learning environment. Many creative ways, not heavily reliant on expensive equipment, were suggested to implement the taught strategies in the classroom or on the sports field. The practicality of the information that was shared gave teachers the confidence to implement the ideas, and the research informed content provided the impetus for teachers to carry out the suggested methods.
At the very least, the importance of being mindful of movement, correct seating, physical activity, good nutrition, and screen time were highlighted.
We found the course to be well presented and engaging, striking the right balance between theory and practical, in a way that held the attention of the staff for the duration of the course and reinforced the manner in which movement can be integrated into general teaching. This course was wholly worthwhile.
Natalie has also presented to the Pridwin parent community on the importance of posture, the correct seating equipment and a mindfulness of leading an active and healthy life, through good sporting and nutritional choices. This talk was well received by the parents and reinforced many of the values by which the school operates. Critical to the success thereof is the buy in from parents and Natalie’s presentation was effective at achieving this.
I would recommend Physifun and any of their courses as our community in general have benefited from the vast expertise and input of this organisation.”
Dainfern College, Principal at the Junior Prep – Patti Blackhurst
“This letter serves to testify that Natalie Ridl and Physifun have provided professional training and support for Dainfern College Junior Prep teachers, Physical Education teachers and teacher assistants. Natalie and the Physifun team have developed a creative and developmentally appropriate physical education programme that addresses the important aspects of physical literacy in our younger children.
The training that our team completed was of a very high standard and has been easy to implement in our day to day programme. It has already proven most beneficial and the results are evident in our children’s increased core strength, muscle tone, balance, co-ordination and general love of movement and movement activities. Natalie and her team are helpful, reasonable and accessible.
The Physifun newsletters provide insight and information for our parents and teachers. I strongly recommend this training for any team of people working with young children.”
Director of Masikhule NPO – Leanne Keet
Masikhule is a NPO serving the greater Helderberg area since 2005. Our main purpose to offer training, mentorship, capacity building and resource development to community-based daycare and pre-school staff, unemployed women, community workers and parents in all aspects of Early Childhood Development (ECD). We train over 300 women annually and offer a mentorship service to more than 30 community-based ECD centres. See more at www.masikihule.org
In our efforts to ensure that our ECD training remains as holistic, relevant and practical as possible, so that the young children attending these community-based ECD centres have access to a variety of stimulation and holistic developmental opportunities, we are extremely grateful for the role that Physifun has played in achieving this aim. The Physifun program, offered by Janet Keet, has been part of our Advanced ECD Training since 2014 and the crèche workers attending the training have so enjoyed and benefitted from Janet’s enthusiasm, her insight, knowledge and her ability to adapt according to the needs of the group. Through this ‘train the trainer’ approach, we have seen many young children benefiting from these fun exercises with improved sitting postures and coordination skills. Thank you Physifun for making a difference in our community.
Director of Education at The Kusasa Project – Jacquie Spiers
“Tracy Prowse from Physifun has provided training and on going support to the teachers at our Early Learning Centre since the beginning of 2013. There has been a continuous mentorship programme through visits, email messages and WhatsApp for our teachers and they have attended several workshops at Solms Delta as well as in service training at the school.
There have also been parent lectures on the importance of physical activity, movement and healthy nutrition for the optimal learning of their children. These have taken place in the evenings at the school.
Both parents and teachers acquire from these workshops easy to implement, practical and cost effective ideas on how to provide the best learning environment for their children.”
Physifun webinar for physiotherapists and OTs feedback
‘Thank you very much for the webinar. I found the information and ideas practical and of such a nature that they can be implemented easily within a therapy session.’ Cathy Oliver
Mum to Patrick, aged 5
My son did not walk until he was two. He stood by in the park playgrounds whilst the other children played on the apparatus. At four, he could not run properly, jump or stand on one leg. He lacked confidence and was not prepared to ‘risk’ negotiating activities that required physical co-ordination. All of these play activities were not only important for his physical development but also for his emotional and social development. We tried lots of activity classes, all were OK but most of them took for granted the perceived ‘inateness’ of a child being able to jump, hop etc and to be ‘physically confident’ especially given the ‘invisibility’ of his physical needs. Most health professionals attempted to assuage my fears and concerns and so the problems persisted and whilst his peers developed, my son remained ‘a late developer’ making very little progress. He was recently diagnosed as having ‘hypermobile joints’ and dyspraxia.The ‘exercise’ programmes given to me by the physiotherapists were met with resistance from my son. He hated every minute of them and it was so stressful.
And then my boy started Physiball and the transformation has been wonderful. He now runs with a proper running gait and not in a ‘fast, power walk’ way; he launches himself off stairs, benches, chairs (quite panic inducing…I’m just not used to it), his jumping technique has vastly improved, his balance has improved – he can now stand on one leg for a short period of time and his concentration has improved and his confidence has grown. But more than anything, he loves Physiball and actually looks forward to a ‘physical activity’ – I can’t believe that I am able to say the he enjoys doing something physical. Thank you so much for the programme.
Every pre-school and primary school age child deserves to have this programme available to them at school. The hard work’s been done by Tracy in devising the programme… but schools and pre-school services now need to provide evidence of their commitment to every child by offering this programme. We were lucky.
Mum to Patrick, aged 5
Headmistress, Greenfield School
The staff found the Inset on the importance of posture and its effect on a child’s learning and behaviour and the difficulties that some children experience in the classroom to be invaluable. We have made many changes within the classroom with extremely positive results. I would highly recommend this Inset as it is relevant to all schools.
Headmistress of Greenfield School, Woking, UK
Jan Hardy, Greenfield School
PhysiFun has proved to be a great success at our school. Children enjoy the programs immensely and this has helped to improve their confidence as well as their physical development and coordination. Tracy is particularly passionate about this aspect of children’s development. She has provided our staff with outstanding training and has highlighted many aspects and new ideas for use both in the playground and the classroom. The Swiss Ball is a useful resource for the Physiball sessions, and the children and staff are constantly surprised at the many activities and ideas using the ball. The entire program has made staff aware of the importance of strengthening core muscles.
Parents are also thrilled with the results and the progress their children are making. I highly recommend this program as a regular activity in schools, nurseries and playgroups.
Greenfield School, Woking, UK
Mum to Jack, aged 5
Since joining the Physiball programme our son’s physical development has quite literally come on in giant leaps and bounds. Not only have we noticed massive improvements in his physical strength and coordination but also his enthusiasm, confidence and desire to participate in physical activity. We put this down to the unique fun and involving sessions provided by PhysiFun. Every child is unique, requiring differing levels of support. In the case of our son Jack, the PhysiFun team were also able to recommend and introduce a specialist physiotherapist to help build and run alongside their own programme.
We can’t thank PhysiFun enough.
Emma, mum to Jack, aged 5
Pam, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
PhysiFun has been running at our school for nearly a year now. The impact that it is having on the pupils is encouraging to see. Not only does their body strength improve but their ability to concentrate and focus is markedly increased. Along with this, their self-confidence and willingness to takes risks and attempt activities that they would have been reluctant to do before. Most of all the pupils enjoy themselves and have great fun!