Block Club, known as Lego Therapy worldwide was originally developed by Daniel B. LeGoff in the United States and researched by Gina Gomez de la Cuesta and colleagues at the University of Cambridge to build social competence in learners. It has been successfully replicated across the world and fits well into the New Zealand context.
What is Block Club at Oranga School?
Block Club draws on a shared interest in block creations to aid the development of social skills, listening and sharing. It also increases and encourages students to build new friendships. Block Club coaches students to work as a team, using Block in a precise and skilful way to achieve an outcome together as a group. Research has shown that the skills learned during Block Club sessions naturally transfer well into other settings such as learning spaces, playgrounds and home.
How are students selected for Block Club?
students are chosen in collaboration with the SENco, teachers and whānau
each Block Club group has no more than three students at a time
students are carefully grouped according to age.
How does Block Club work?
Block Club runs for 10-11 weeks for each group
sessions run for 45 minutes and take place once a week
during the first session students work together to create rules and develop an understanding of roles: Engineer, Supplier and Builder
the group leader (adult) measures student's social competence with a pre-assessment
a post-assessment at the completion of the programme measures student progress over time in terms of their social competence
the focus of the group leader (adult) is to facilitate social communication and collaboration between students.
We are very fortunate and pleased to have the expertise at Oranga School to run Block Club. Below are some comments from students who have participated in the programme:
"Block Club is amazing! You get to make new friends and learn how to take turns!"
- Student, 10 years old
"It was great! I liked building the different things."
- Student, 8 years old
"It was fun working with other people who I wouldn;t usually work with"
- Student, 9 years old
"It's so fun! You get to communicate with your group and you can make new friends."
- Student, 8 years old
Our LSC, Fatima, oversees the running of Block Club. She provides training for Learning Assistants, ensures resources are up to date and regularly reviews the effectiveness of the programme.