Merton Council is helping school children in Merton to build their communication skills and self-confidence using Lego.
In group sessions with trained staff, children use Lego blocks to help them build their social language skills. By improving pupils’ communications and social skills, Lego therapy helps children and young people get more involved in their lessons so they can make the most of their education, whether they are in a main stream or special educational needs school.
Speech and language therapists from the council’s Language and Learning Support Team have developed a pack of building sequences and a YouTube demonstration video to take Lego therapy into all the borough’s primary, secondary and special schools. This has been part of a three project plan rolled out this term which aimed to build the skills of school staff to better assess and support pupils with speech, language and communication needs. Each project has included training for school staff, a pack of resources for each school and on-going support from one of Merton’s speech and language therapist.
Cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Maxi Martin, said: “We are seeing the benefits of these projects across our schools for children who face challenges in the classroom. By using Lego building for group work, Lego therapy allows children to develop confidence, communication and teamwork skills. Our language and learning support team are doing a great job of finding new ways to engage with children an ensure those who face additional challenges are helped to reach their full potential.”
Lead Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at Raynes Park High School Shirley Hall said: “We are always looking for ways in which to improve our pupils’ learning experiences at school. Help like this within mainstream education where possible, is vitally important and I am looking forward to seeing the results of the Lego therapy paying off later in the school year.”