Success Story: Thornton Primary School
Thornton Primary School joined WeLoveBricks in October 2016. Here Hannah Thomas explains how they use the WeLoveBricks LEGO sets and the benefits that this has brought to the pupils and the school.
The LEGO sets provided by WeLoveBricks are used within our LEGO therapy groups that are delivered by the school’s ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant). This intervention takes place 3 afternoons a week and lasts for 30 minutes at a time.
Groups and children that have access to the LEGO
The children that access the LEGO therapy sessions are the children that would benefit from some social and emotional intervention. We as a school identify these children at the beginning of the year and carry out a baseline assessment. They then take part in the LEGO therapy groups for as long as we feel is benefitting them – some have just started their groups and some have been doing it for over a year now. Throughout the year we continue to track progress that the children make with their social and emotional needs, such as their ability to share, take turns, communicate effectively with their peers and have the confidence to speak within a group. LEGO therapy has helped so many of our children with these things and we now, as a school, wouldn’t be without this fantastic provision.
The children that take part are a mixture of SEN children, pupil premium children or just children who we feel may benefit from it. We also run the sessions in a variety of ways too; some children have 1:1 sessions with our ELSA as they aren’t ready to work within a group yet, some with just one other person but not in the full group of 3 and some within the full group working independently alongside other groups.
We have also had some older children demonstrate to younger children how an effective LEGO therapy group is run.
LEGO therapy helps our children develop their social and emotional skills and targets some of their barriers to learning. It teaches them how to work successfully within a group and makes them realise that if they don’t, they will not achieve the desired outcome of building the LEGO model. They learn how to take on a specific role and learn how to stick to it, even when they don’t particularly enjoy having that specific job. They learn the importance of having to give and follow effective instructions in order for the building of their model to progress. They also learn how to interact and communicate appropriately and effectively with their peers within a group and often apply the skills they have learnt to different situations and scenarios outside of the sessions.
Why did we choose WeLoveBricks?
I heard about WeLoveBricks at a teacher conference 2 years ago and was immediately interested. I had spent time sending messages to parents asking for old unwanted LEGO sets that we could use and even looked around charity shops trying to find sets. WeLoveBricks was the perfect solution as we are provided with new and exciting sets that the children love to build that then get changed after finishing them – instead of just sitting in the cupboard. We always enjoy opening the delivery of new LEGO sets to see which ones we have got! It is very easy to send the sets back and always get the new sets on time ready for the new half term to begin. I highly recommend using WeLoveBricks – we definitely wouldn’t be without it now!