Better Buddies at Banana State School, Queensland

We spoke to Elaine Pelling, Principal at Banana State School about Better Buddies at their school.

“Better Buddies sets a tone of acceptance and mutual respect throughout our school environment. We don’t have any issues of bullying in the true sense of the word – what a wonderful statement to be able to make!” said Elaine.

At Banana State School, we decided to implement Better Buddies as a way of developing the leadership qualities of our Year 7s. We had no pre-existing buddy system at our school, and have seen a real difference in our students since we began Better Buddies. The program has helped the younger children in our school to feel special, because they feel loved and supported by our senior students.

Our older and younger buddies had a lot of fun participating in Random Acts of Kindness. One of their ‘acts of kindness’ involved playing and being mindful to including others - as they knew how important it was not to leave anyone out of their games.

Our buddies also generated some ideas about what they could do at home and they suggested helping with the washing, giving their parents hugs and kisses and playing with their siblings. Our buddies reflected that this activity helped them to make more friends and they felt that through their ‘acts of kindness’ they earned the respect of others.

The parents of our students and prospective parents in our community playgroup, are well aware of the Better Buddies program, which helps to build a school culture which is open, welcoming and positive.

Our tips to other schools implementing Better Buddies are:

  • Have a staff member who is committed to the delivery of the program and give it a regular spot in        your timetable.
  • Involve parents and members of the broader school community, because they all can make a valuable contribution.
  • Publicise your program because awareness helps to promote the participation of others.

Better Buddies
Better Buddies