Better Buddies at Avoca Primary School

2 - Avoca Primary School

Grades 5/6 students from Avoca Primary School painted us some new artwork to represent the six values of our Better Buddies Framework: friendliness, responsibility, respect, valuing difference, caring and including others. We now have them displayed in our office. 

We spoke to their teacher Michelle Wilson to find out how they have integrated Better Buddies into their school and what the values mean to them. 

1. What do the Better Buddies values mean to your students? And why are they so important? 

The values of The Alannah & Madeline Foundation are displayed on similar canvases within in our school. These values underpin the way we learn, work, communicate and relate to each other at Avoca PS. These values apply to all students, staff, parents, volunteers and members of the wider community.

2. How is Better Buddies integrated into Avoca's timetable?

It's really important to provide authentic opportunities for our senior primary students and youngest school students to meet, connect, share and communicate. We love the resources and scope of ideas that The Alannah & Madeline Foundation provides under their Better Buddies program.

We begin to implement Better Buddies when our incoming preps are in kindergarten, in consultation with parents and local early childhood settings. Beginning the buddy process early ensures the little ones feel comfortable, and our senior students feel valued and responsible even before their official buddy duties start.

Our buddy relationships continue throughout our whole school, with prep, year 3 and year 6 students linked together for the duration of their school life at Avoca PS. The program really helps to develop the social and emotional skills of all our students.

3. The best/most interesting outcome you have seen in relation to Better Buddies at Avoca?

Our Student Attitude to School survey has improved dramatically since the introduction of Better Buddies, especially in the areas of Student Morale, School and Peer Connectedness. Our parents regularly comment on the success of the Better Buddies program. 

A big thank you to Michelle for her time and sharing this with us. If you'd like to share your Better Buddies story with us please email betterbuddies@amf.org.au 

Better Buddies
Better Buddies