Our Buddy Program at St. Brigid’s is a structured human relations program where Prep students meet regularly with students from the senior grades who guide them through an activity.
The Buddies work together focusing on areas such as the creative arts, mathematics, spelling and reading. This provides a two way advantage for students. The older students are able to provide a mentoring role to younger students and the younger students are exposed to the capabilities of the more senior students.
The Buddy Program has been very successful in developing positive relations between younger and older students in our school. The Buddy Program assists the students settle in and become familiar with faces outside their everyday classroom environment. The Prep students are eagerly assisted by the big buddies who provide a helping hand to ensure they feel safe, happy and secure in an environment that is very new and exciting.
Studies have shown when people have strong relationships within a community such as a family, friends, school and interest groups they are more resilient to disappointment. To be resilient a young person needs to feel connected to their peers at home and at school and have a positive self-image. An important part of building resilience is to foster social networks.
At St. Brigid’s School the Buddy Program:
- Promotes a sense of community and belonging in the school;
- Promotes acceptance of others;
- Promotes cross gender and cross age friendships;
- Builds self esteem;
- Provides social and academic benefits for student;
- Provides mentoring opportunities;
- Provides leadership opportunities, and
- Fosters a sense of fun and enjoyment in learning.
Some of the Buddy Program activities at St. Brigid’s are:
- Shared reading;
- Computer support and mentoring;
- Playground games;
- Gross motor activities
- Special celebrations;
- Gardening activities;
- Shared lunch, and
- Thinking skills.