Better Buddies is program from the Alannah & Madeline Foundation designed to help reduce bullying and create inclusive and caring school environments. The Framework builds strong relationships and research shows children benefit immensely. The Framework teaches students the values of caring for others, friendliness, respect, valuing difference, including others and responsibility. The Framework encourages positive behaviour, as well as developing students’ self-esteem, connectedness, social skills, trust and sense of community.
In Term Three of each year our Grade 4 students are buddied up with the following year’s Prep intake and begin getting to know each other to ensure a smooth transition for all Preps. The first event for these buddies is a “Super Hero Sausage Sizzle” held at the school. A number of other Transition Days will follow in Term 4, where these bonds can be strengthened. When the students begin school they meet up each month and participate in a range of activities. We continue the connection the following year, so the students will always have a familiar friendly face on the playground. The other year levels participate in Friendship Groups, whereby students meet monthly with a mixed group of children and a teacher to learn social skills and support each other’s wellbeing.
We celebrate Buddy Day every year. Our buddies get together for a special Buddy activity and then enjoy lunch together.
In previous years, Buddy Bear has been a special visitor to assembly to remind us how important it is to be a good friend and to look after one another. We all showed Buddy Bear that we know the Buddy handshake.
The friendship seat is a place to stop by if you are looking for a friend during any break. It is just a place to drop by like a bus stop as very quickly someone will be around to invite you to join in their game. This is one way we can show we care.