Students on the Autisitc Spectrum at Hall Mead School in Upminister enjoyed the benefits of Lego therapy sessions facilitated by a Jack Petchey Small Grant. The ‘Teamwork with Lego’ project focused on developing interaction between pupils including collaborative intervention, collective communication and following precise instructions.
Pupils work in groups of 3, taking it in turns to adopt the different roles of Builder, Supplier and Engineer. A facilitator oversees the session, encouraging and enabling the group to solve by themselves any issues that may arise. At the end of each session pupils have the opportunity for ‘free play’ where they are able to use their imagination and construction skills.
Learning Support Assistant Ruth Mitchell won a Jack Petchey Leader Award for her outstanding work in the department, while she also runs a lunchtime social club for vulnerable pupils.
She said, “The project focuses on collaborative problem solving, sharing and turn taking – which some of the pupils find difficult. The young people were consulted on what sort of Lego they wanted. Some asked for specific models while others preferred more plain sets which allow them to be more creative.”
Research shows that playing with blocks at an early age leads to advanced maths skills later in life, while it also increases problem solving skills, enhances creativity and increases awareness of engineering. It is also, and perhaps most importantly so, a highly entertaining and rewarding activity!
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