Babies Buddy Up

Our Better Buddies Framework is supporting children of all ages as they make significant transitions through early childhood.

Each year, new students make the transition into prep to start their schooling, and each year, grade 6 students enter their final year of primary school. Facilitating the smooth transition of these two groups into their new roles within a school is an integral component of the Better Buddies Framework in its traditional form.

Better Buddies helps students entering their first year of primary school to feel safe, valued and connected to the school community. The program pairs new primary school students with an older buddy. Teachers at Welly Road Early Learning Centre in Mt Barker, South Australia, recognised that their youngest students would also benefit from a program to help ease transition.

The Centre adapted the Framework to their different age groups, from their Babies group up to Kindergarten, taking a whole-of-centre approach to Better Buddies.Welly Road Early Learning Centre Director, Kylie Bloffwitch, said that the Framework was flexible enough to support children of all ages.

“We buddied up the Toddlers and Kindy classes, and the Pre-Entry class was buddied up with Junior Toddlers and Babies,” Kylie said.

“At the end of the year we reflected on the benefits of the Better Buddies program. We felt the program was very beneficial and complimented our Educational Program and end of year transitions as it promotes empathy, caring for others and respect for our peers.”

Welly Road successfully created positive cross-age relationships through fortnightly buddy events, where children participated in a range of activities, including art and music, cooking, adventures, sharing lunches and more.

Maree Stanley, Better Buddies Program Manager said that Better Buddies works by fostering the development of pro-social, cross-age relationships, which makes younger students feel safe and older students feel valued within their schools.

“The Framework can be adapted to many different age groups and settings, and it’s wonderful to see how Welly Road has adapted it to suit their learning environment,” Maree said.

8 - Babies Buddy Up

Better Buddies
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