Information about the Program
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s Better Buddies Framework is based on several years of research into buddy programs in schools. Buddy system’s play an important role in helping to create friendly and caring school environments assisting young students’ transition into primary school.
Buddy systems teach, and give children the opportunity to practise the important values of respect, care, inclusion and acceptance, responsibility and friendship. Through looking after and caring for smaller children who are just starting school, older children learn the skills associated with empathy and compassion through activities in the classroom and in the playground. This helps in combating bullying and other forms of antisocial behaviour. Teaching pro-social values and skills can also contribute to the development of resilience, a protective factor for children if they experience hardship or loss.
What does the Better Buddies Programme do?
The Better Buddies Programme;
- assists with student transition to primary school
- develops positive cross-age relationships
- provides opportunities for peer tutoring
- contributes to more positive behaviours by providing role models
- develops responsibility
- builds self confidence
- develops empathy
- promotes inclusion
- discourages bullying
The Better Buddies Programme involving the Year 5 and Foundation students will start this week, with training sessions for Year 5 students which comprise the following aspects;
Part 1: What are the expected behaviours and qualities of a big buddy (reflecting the St. Andrew’s values).
Part 2: Role & Relationship Boundaries
Part 3: Developing empathy for Foundation buddies (students reminisce about their own experiences of starting school).
The training culminates in students reflecting on what makes a great buddy, from which a big buddy charter can be written. The charter is used as an evaluation tool throughout the buddy programme.
The First Buddy Session where Foundation and Year 5 students are introduced and get to know each other will be on Friday 14th February.
We will be having a Teddy Bear Picnic, and inviting students from both Year 5 & Foundation to bring along a teddy bear or something special that they would like to share with their buddy.
Term One will be filled with many fun and engaging Buddy activities. Stay tuned!
Katherine Bedford - Student Wellbeing Leader