The Bench’s concept was posed to each student, who were then encouraged to submit their designs for the Bench. The Bench’s design was then taken on by talented volunteer artist, Naomi Duarte, to select and amalgamate four students’ designs, one from each year group. After finalising the design and securing the relevant permissions with the support of the school’s Elaine D’Amato, the Bench and accompanying mural were painted by Ms Duarte using materials donated by GibSams.
When asked how this initiative has impacted the students he has been teaching during his PGCE year, Nicholas replied: “This project allowed me to instil the Bench’s principles in the class I taught during my PGCE. I also had the gratifying opportunity to share these teachings with the entire school through the lessons I prepared and year-group presentations I gave during the school’s Wellbeing Day. Many students expressed a thorough understanding of the Bench’s purpose, and I observed instances where students actively supported others who had been on their own in the playground”.