YOUR STORY: Everyone has a buddy in kindergarten
WHEN you join Kindergarten at St Brigid's Primary School in Kyogle, you immediately have a friend!
Not just a friend in your class to play with but a 'big kid'. You get a 'Buddy!'
For a number of years now the incoming Kindergarten students at St Brigid's have been paired with a student who will be in Year 5 when they come to school for the very first time.
Their 'Buddy' is there to show them around, help them when they need something, listen to them, help them make friends and lend a hand with their learning!
The 'Buddy' system is used frequently for school events, such as Mass services, where the Kindy kids are seated next to their Buddy so they can learn what is expected of them in the Church.
Buddies are used to walk with their Kindy friends when we go out of the school for an event and when we have a school assembly buddies sometimes perform tasks together such as reading and public speaking!
While the benefits of the Buddy program are obvious for the young, new and often overwhelmed Kindergarten students it is just as worthwhile and beneficial for the older students, teaching them responsibility, and can also ease the minds of the parents of our new students, who know their child has someone else looking out for them along with the staff!
The Buddies become firm friends and some even exchange birthday and christmas presents and cards.
How cool is that?
"The way in which the Year 5 and Kindergarten students bond is a very memorable part of their primary school days.
The Buddy Program builds strong relationships and research shows children benefit immensely - with younger students feeling safe and cared for, and older students feeling valued and respected" Principal of St Brigid's Primary, Tony Hunter said.