Got some spare Lego? This school has a clever way of putting it to use
- Credit: Roz Yassin
Do you have any spare Lego kicking about?
A Norwich high school will happily take it off your hands as it looks to expand a therapy programme using the iconic blocks.
Hellesdon High School has run Lego-based therapy sessions – an idea coined in the US – to help students with learning and communication difficulties.
It now wants to expand the scheme into a lunchtime Lego-based club for students in years seven and eight, to extend the benefit of this unusual therapy technique.
In a post on its Facebook page the school in Middletons Lane put out a plea for blocks, saying that 'all donations will be gratefully received'.
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Abby Thetford, wellbeing coordinator at Hellesdon High School, said the launch of the new club followed a short hiatus in the school's Lego therapy sessions.
'We thought it was important to keep it going because we have a number of students who struggle socially and we find it really helps them as they are learning how to work together and follow rules, and it really helps the younger students who have those kinds of issues,' she said.
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'But the sessions can only help a small number of students so we are going to have a lunchtime club run by our trained mental health mentors, who are sixth form students who have been trained to support the more vulnerable students in the school.'
The club is being promoted and organised by year seven student Joseph Tibbenham.
Ms Thetford added: 'I think it is going to be very popular. We are going to keep it to a small group of students because we need to be able to make sure we have enough Lego – which is why we've launched this appeal – and that our mentors are able to support the students well, as well as keeping it as a relaxed atmosphere.'
Hellesdon High is not the only place in Norwich to have realised the value of Lego as an educational and therapeutic tool.
A mobile classroom dedicated to Lego-based therapy, the Block Bus, run by Alpha Inclusion, launched at the Norwich Science Festival last year.
It has recently signed a deal with local charity The Hamlet to provide a course of therapy sessions for the young people the charity supports.