The Buddy Bench Challenge

Here’s a challenge for you and for the nation of young thinkers:

Most of us know of and many of us love the buddy bench at school. It’s where a child can sit at playtime if they are feeling a bit lonely. There’s even an advert on TV for a chocolate biscuit that shows the bench in action. A child spots a classmate who is sitting on the bench and sits on the bench beside him to make friends. Since it’s an advert, these two children also share some biscuits.

The guidelines for social distancing will raise lots of new questions for schools.

For example – what’s the best way for a child to signal that they are feeling lonely and would to have a friend at playtime?

Here’s my challenge. Which discipline or disciplines can you draw on to help you to come up with a way to address the gap created if we no longer have a buddy bench. You’ll be surprised – try ‘languages’ for example – what possibilities does that open up?

If you are over 16, you can email your ideas directly to LASAR @ (remove the spaces) and if you are under 16 please tell a teacher and ask your teacher to forward your idea to us. We’ll publish your ideas – so please get them to us quickly!

Planning a teaching session for a child

Children are likely to have lots of questions about the changes they see happening around them and the new rules they are asked to keep – when they are at home, in shops, in parks and at school.

Can you design a teaching session that helps a child to make sense of one or more of the changes they are experiencing? Perhaps you can also build in some problem-solving activities into your session – where children use their many scholarly discipline hats to come up with ideas for a solution.

You could come up with a new problem or you could choose one of the problems explained in the Buddy Bench video. Think about the child you want to teach – and choose the problem and problem-solving activities appropriately.


This link will take you to a survey that will help you to decide on your learning goals for children and also plan a teaching session.

We recommend you use the tool many times. You can choose which sections you answer each time and print / save your answers at the end of each visit.

Session Planning Tool

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