Our guest blog this week is courtesy of Karen Baird, Principal Teacher at Furnace School in Argyll. Karen explains how they have taken Abbies winning design and transformed it into a safe place for their young students to leave their worries.
Our LapSafe Classroom Buddy takes pride of place in our classroom and is well used. We are lucky enough to almost have an iPad for every child and so we are able to install the most appropriate apps for each child, including some that are just for fun.
We were so proud of Abbie’s wonderful design that we wanted to make sure it was well used, and not just on the Buddy and the iPad cases. We had already thought of having a box of some sort that children could post their worries in, as sometimes they don’t really want to talk to an adult or are worried that what concerns them will be seen as silly. It seemed logical to take Anti Bully Bot Bob to the next level.
With this in mind we created a paper version of Abbie’s design to put on the wall in our cloakroom area. He is approximately 75 cm tall and hangs in a space which we do not currently need for jackets. He has a notebook and pen attached and a little box (from a variety pack of cereal) in which to put worries. We did alter his wording slightly to suit his slightly different role. On Abbie’s design it says “I can catch bully messages before they reach you” and on the new version it says “I can catch your problems before they reach you”.
Children can post messages about things which are worrying them in school and staff check the box regularly. They are asked to put their name or initials on so a staff member can speak to them privately if necessary, although problems which may affect other children too will be shared and discussed in class, while leaving the poster anonymous.
So far this year we have only had one problem to look at, and long may that continue, but everyone is happy to see Bob smiling at us in the cloakroom, ready to help if we need him.