Colac south west primary school
At Colac South West Primary School we have joined the national Better Buddies Framework to help create a friendly and caring community, especially for our new students.
An initiative of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Better Buddies pairs Grade Prep students with a Grade 5 buddy, helping them to feel safe, valued and connected to our school community.
Buddy Bear is the mascot of Better Buddies and represents feelings of safety, warmth, comfort and being cared for.
Grade 5 Buddies are an essential part of our transition program. They play an important role during early transition sessions where they meet their Prep buddy and spend a session together getting to know each other. During this transition session older buddies have the opportunity to introduce themselves to family members and become a familiar face for our Prep students.
Throughout the first term of Grade Prep, Grade 5 buddies assist the students at playtimes to navigate their new environment and encourage them to develop friendships with other students in their grade.
During their Prep year, buddy sessions are conducted for an hour each fortnight. In these sessions the students enjoy completing many activities together ranging from team building, using the iPad through to practicing Maths concepts and other areas of the curriculum. The advantage of having Grade 5 students as a buddy is that they get to enjoy 2 years of their schooling together.
Grade 5 students are trained before the buddy sessions begin and throughout the program they learn about being leaders, teachers, and mentors to the younger students.
Having a Buddy is often one of the favourite things about their first year at school and being a Grade 5 Buddy is one of the senior student’s fondest memories of primary school.