If Benji Mosley had a superpower it would be his ability to transcend time and space, immersing himself into the world of play.

The 11-year-old, who attends Ladbrooks School in Christchurch, is a passionate Lego-enthusiast – it allows him to escape life’s daily stressors and provides him with a sense of calm.

“It brings me into a different world – it allows me to be creative and I feel happy while doing it.”

The wellbeing wall

Benji runs the lego club at Ladbrooks School alongside friends Liv Fryer and Henry Scoulding. The aim is to teach other kids how using Lego is great for improving wellbeing. This year they received a gifted learner’s award from the Ministry of Education, providing enough funds to help with their next project: a wellbeing wall.

Using Lego dots, the idea of the wellbeing wall is to provide a space for students to connect, reflect and relax with friends. During term 3 students embarked on their first challenge of making mosaics for the wall, whilst relaxing and practising mindfulness.

Alic Scoulding, a teacher at the school, helps facilitate the classes.

“We are often looking for different ideas on how to promote mindful, positive mental health initiatives in the school and this was something that came up because Lego is a great way to help with mental health - it’s a relaxing tool - so when we were thinking of doing the Lego Club we thought why not do a wellbeing aspect.”

Tuakana-teina

The club meets weekly, with around 15 students currently taking part. Anyone can join the group, regardless of age and ability.

Alice says the students embrace the practice of tuakana-teina (older children guiding the younger children).

“Students can relax in this environment and it is something they find calming. The great thing about Lego is that there are lots of different options for how to use it and none of them are 'correct' or 'wrong’, so it gives children confidence to be themselves and to follow their own passions,” says Alice.

The impact

For Benji, Liv and Henry, the impact has been huge.

“People are happier and calmer” says Henry, whose focus next term is on getting more students involved.

“It’s different from usual class subjects like writing, maths and reading.”

Alice agrees.

“Some students may struggle in other subjects, but with Lego they’ve really been able to find what they’re good at and express themselves creatively.”