Buddy Bench Ireland came to visit our school recently to deliver their highly sought programme to our three third classes here in St. John’s SNS. The Buddy Bench is now an exciting and imaginative way for the children in our school to express their feelings and also promoting their friendship with classmates. The bench can be used by a child who is feeling upset or who is simply looking for a friend or group of friends to play with on yard.
Therefore if a child for whatever reason may feel down or upset on a particular day they can make their way to our Buddy Bench during break time or lunch time. The other children will see their classmate on the bench and will simply have a chat with them or ask him/her if they would like to join in a game.
Through role play, discussion and self-awareness exercises, buddy Bench Ireland helped children reflect on their emotions, which sometimes can feel overpowering, and encouraged the children to share their feelings, to generate a caring attitude to themselves and each other while also promoting communication. Each child also received a workbook featuring teaching stories and creative activities that give opportunities for developing a vocabulary around feelings, and a positive attitude about asking for help.
Combined with the Buddy Bench as a visual tool when the children might be feeling down, they are also able to find comfort and support through each other rather than feeling upset and worried. It’s these small changes, spread across classrooms that will aid the children in our school to show empathy and compassion towards others.