Three Wise Monkeys

Creative: Pietro Ferrari

In a world where relationships play a pivotal role in the life of every individual, teaching students how to navigate them safely and constructively becomes vital. 

Traditionally, the three wise monkeys from Japan stand as a symbol for the age-old principle: “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. Pietro Ferrari reframes this adage for the modern age, transforming it into a tool for building healthy relationships. Through this modified concept, students are taught to:

‘See’—observe behaviours and situations as they unfold;
‘Hear’—understand intentions and the tone behind words;  
‘Speak’—voice out feelings, set boundaries, and engage in open communication.

Solution: A simple educational tool that presents various scenarios, encouraging students to employ the three monkeys as a response mechanism. By engaging with these scenarios, they prepare themselves to face both positive and negative situations in real life. 

To complement this tool, Barnardo’s children’s charity also created lesson plans for the students of Cornwall soon, and an online web page with a bank of resources that primary schools can utilise for free. Furthermore, this tool will be also used in one-to-one sessions for children and young people as part of the RECONNECT programme, delivered by Barnardo’s as a part of Safer Futures in Cornwall.

This idea is supported by Barnardo’s and went live over 2023/2024 in primary schools in Truro, Cornwall. 

Read more about this initiative here.