The Buddy Program: Building Resilience
People who have strong relationships within their community (family, friends, school and clubs/interest groups) are more resilient to disappointment. To be resilient a young person must feel connected either amongst peers, at home, at school or in their own mind (positive self-image). An important part of building resilience is to foster social networks (e.g. buddies).
(Dr Michael Kohn, Paediatrician, Westmead Children’s Hospital)
You Can Do It! (YCDI) is a program to build emotional resilience and support the development of a positive learning environment. The program is implemented across the school at Aranda Primary. It provides all children with the foundations for achievement and social-emotional well-being. These foundations are:
Getting Along (mixing well with others, being tolerantand non-judgemental)
Confidence (believing in yourself, taking risks, trying something new)
Persistence (trying hard, not giving up when something feels too hard)
Organisation (planning, following instructions, having supplies ready)
Resilience (bouncing back, learning to cope with adversity)
At Aranda Primary School the Buddy Program:
- embeds the foundations of the YCDI program
- promotes a sense of community and belonging in the school
- develops social networks (Protective Behaviours)
- builds resilience
- promotes acceptance of others
- builds self esteem
- provides social and academic benefits for students
- provides mentoring opportunities
- provides leadership opportunities
- promotes cross gender and cross age friendships
- fosters a sense of fun and enjoyment in learning.
Organisation of the Buddy Program
To promote a smooth transition from preschool to school, the Buddy Program establishes social networks by introducing Aranda Preschool children to their Year 2 school buddies at Year 2 visits to the preschool in Term 3, and with buddy activities linked to their Kindergarten orientation visits in Term 4.
- Kindergarten buddy with Year 3/4.
- Year 1/2 buddy with Years 5/6 and some 3/4.
- Year 6 also assumes leadership roles and responsibilities across the school.
Children may keep the same buddy for the year, or may change with each term or semester. Buddy sessions may be weekly or fortnightly.
Buddy Program Activities
Whilst all activities embed Getting Along many activities will also provide opportunities to develop Confidence, Persistence, Organisation and Resilience.
- Portfolio sharing
- Shared reading
- Board games
- Playground games
- Gross motor activities
- Shared dance
- Parachute games
- Computer support/mentoring
- Special celebrations eg Harmony Day, French Day
- Shared lunch
- Gardening activities
- Mini Fete
- Shared attendance at performances
- Shared assembly items
- Shared newsletter reports
- Buddy class teacher exchanges
- Birthday cards for buddies
- Multiple Intelligences activities
- Thinking skills.
Related Papers - Understanding Leadership, The ‘You Can Do It’ program