'˜Buddy bench' for Titchfield school '˜a huge success'

A new bench has worked wonders for a school.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26th May 2016, 6:00 am
The Young Governors at Titchfield Primary School with the new buddy bench 

Picture: Sarah Standing (160653-5690)
The Young Governors at Titchfield Primary School with the new buddy bench Picture: Sarah Standing (160653-5690)

Titchfield Primary School in Southampton Road installed it in the quiet area of the playground last month.

It replaced a small ‘stop sign’ that the school had previously used for the same purpose but it was not used every day and was often too small for the pupils to spot.

Michelle Wenham, a member of the school’s PTA team, which led the project, said: ‘It has been a huge success.

‘We brought it in as we thought it would be far more noticeable as it’s more colourful, has handprints all over it and is going to make a nice little difference to help all the pupils enjoy their time in the playground.’

The idea is for the bench to act as a place for the schoolchildren to find a friend when they are upset or want someone to talk to.

Lunchtime supervisors and designated buddy pupils will then go over and chat to them.

The bench was built by Neptune Street Furniture in Botley, which specialises in manufacturing park and school playground furniture, after it was approached by PTA member Rosalie Hore.

The build was completed on April 29 where the school’s form of student government, the Young Governors, got the chance to see it for the first time,

The Young Governors is made up of two pupils from each year group who meet once a month to go over ideas for the school.

It was the group that decided to go ahead with the bench’s construction.

Ms Wenham added: ‘The pupils were very keen to bring forward the bench and they were very happy to be one of the first to see it and use it.’

A poem on the bench chosen by the Young Governors reads: ‘Friends are people that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little brighter and live a little better.’

The bench is also covered with handprints from some of the schoolchildren and is painted pink, green and yellow.

Alan Gingell, managing director of Neptune Street Furniture said: ‘We looked at what material could provide the school with a low-maintenance and hard-wearing solution that could be customised to meet the children’s ideas and expectations.

‘We then provided several design ideas and colour schemes for the children to work with.’