New Buddy Bench sparks friendships at Sarisbury Infants
Friendships are blossoming at Sarisbury Infant School after a new ‘Buddy Bench’ has been installed at the school.
Felix Edney and Abbie Wells sitting on the buddy bench
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) raised £7,000 over the past year to provide the bench and a new artificial grass area for the start of this term.
Charlotte Weavers, head teacher at the school in Barnes Lane, said the outdoor areas will be developed to become quiet places for reading and socialising, adding that the buddy bench is great for developing the children’s confidence in making new friends at lunchtime.
“It has really lifted the playground and the grass can be used throughout the year,” she said. “It’s good for their self esteem and knowing that we care for them and look out for them.
The new artificial grass fundraised by the PTA
“We always ask the children for a wish list each year and the PTA will give the children money for them at the beginning of the year. In the past that has bought colouring pencils and equipment, as well as other outdoor play features.”
Prior to the artificial grass, the area was covered with bark and wood chipping, and could not be used in the wet weather. Now the new synthetic lawn will mean the children won’t get grubby and it can be used all year round.
The buddy bench is already proving a hit with pupils, including Felix Edney, 6, and Abbie Wells.
(l to r) Adam Harrison, Isobel Boggust, Daisy Williams and Harry Russell enjoy a picnic on the new grass
Six-year-old Abbie has opted to be a play leader at the school, which means one of her roles is to welcome and socialise with children sitting on the bench and making friends with them.
“It’s good,” she said. “When people are sitting on the bench you have to go and ask them if they’d like to play with you.”
Mrs Weavers added: “We’d like to thank the PTA particularly and all the parents and children who have helped fundraise through the different events we have had like the Christmas Bazaar and the Strawberry Fayre.”