How the buddy program helps boys thrive
The buddy program (based on the Better Buddies program) is an integral part of the Junior School Student Wellbeing program, reinforcing the friendly and caring environment and culture that is inherent at BGS.
In the program, older boys are paired with younger boys from ELC 3 to Year 6 (with the exception of the Year 3 boys, who work together as ‘big buddies in training’). Weekly buddy lessons focus on each boy’s sense of belonging, safety and friendship as they meet, talk, share and work with their buddy partner.
Symbols of friendship
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation Better Buddy Bear – a fun-loving and caring purple bear – is the Better Buddies symbol. Boys whose Better Buddy Partnership reflect the values of the program have the opportunity to receive Buddy Bear, along with a certificate of recognition, at Assembly. It’s a great way to formally acknowledge and celebrate boys whose buddy partnership embodies kindness and mateship.
We have also introduced a Buddy Bench, where boys can sit if they feel sad or alone. All the boys are encouraged to approach anyone sitting on the Buddy Bench and include him in their games.
The buddy bond
Over the year, boys build a unique bond with their buddy. For many of the boys, it’s the highlight of their week.
The program helps boys to develop so much more than friendships outside their own year levels – it helps them build social skills (including caring for others and being a good friend), empathy, valuing difference and trust. It is one of the many elements of Student Wellbeing that helps boys to flourish.
Monica Le Couteur
Junior School Student Wellbeing Coordinator