The Buddy Program has been a part of the Junior Campus curriculum for many years. Beginning with Year 4 and Prep students to promote social and support networks and a sense of community and belonging, the program now includes all year levels from ELC to Year 4.
The benefits of the Buddy Program are twofold; the older children learn to take on responsibility, while the younger children know that they have a fellow student they can turn to for support and friendship. The program helps to promote relationships and support between older and younger students through regular collaboration between their classes and fosters a sense of community across the whole school.
According to Year 1 teacher, Emma Craig, ‘The Buddy Program is one of the highlights of the Junior Campus program because buddies look forward to seeing each other and participating in various activities.’
‘The Year 1 students approach their buddies in ELC with pure excitement and an instinctive sense of leadership, responsibility, and empathy. As a teacher, it is lovely to see the students work together to solve problems and have fun, while also providing staff with the opportunity to work alongside colleagues that we would not normally have the opportunity to work with,’ she said.
Different sessions are planned to incorporate developmental play, themed activities for special events, consolidation of learning concepts from the classroom, and provide opportunities for play at the ‘Big Girls’ playground. Activities that have run this year have included a scavenger hunt, pattern making out of natural objects found in the playground, visiting the chickens in ELC, and making Easter baskets in the art room.
Learning through play is a focus of the program; our older students learn valuable skills of leadership, compromise and empathy, and younger students have a supportive role model and special friend outside their peer group.
‘I like reading books with my buddy.’ Zoraver, ELC
‘I like when we play with our buddies. My buddy is Jacqueline.’ Harrison, ELC
‘I am excited about buddies because I love it when they want to show me everything.’ Victoria, Year 2
‘I love counting with my buddies. They are my friends.’ Katherine, Prep
Prep — Year 6 Curriculum & Pedagogy
Leader / Year 4 Teacher