Better Buddies at Balcombe Grammar

What a wonderful organisation and exceptional program! I was both excited and humbled when Maree Stanley of The Alannah & Madeline Foundation emailed to ask about the possibility of arranging a 'special tour' of our Better Buddies School for some special guests of the Foundation.

Of course, Natalie, our Primary Wellbeing Coordinator, and I wanted to do something special; however, it was important to us that whatever we did was a reflection of 'the normal' and not a one-off event.

Balcombe Grammar School has been a Better Buddies School for approximately four years, running the program across our entire school, Foundation to Year 12.  The program begins in our Primary School where Foundation students share a building with Year Five students.  It is a special year for both of these groups as it is the first time that the Year Five students become an 'older buddy' and, of course, the brand new Foundation students idolise their older buddies who offer great support as they settle into school life.  Their proximity to each other makes it easy for them to regularly catch up for Buddy activities, and on Fridays they are allowed to play with each other in the Foundation playground.1 - Better Buddies at Balcombe Grammar

Our decision was easy.  Assisted by our Year Ten students, we ran a Buddy morning for the Foundation and Year Five students.  They participated in two simple activities; icing, decorating, and of course eating, teddy bear biscuits with purple icing, and making buddy chains with written messages from one buddy to the other.

During this time, the year five buddies presented the foundation buddies with their own 'Buddy Bear'.  The foundation buddies presented their year five buddies with a 'Buddy' lapel pin.

The buddy session was followed by morning tea, thanks to our Foundation parents.  The students then shared morning play time together in the Foundation playground.  A school tour was conducted for our special guests hosted by our Year Ten students.

The event ran extremely well and we are all very proud of our Foundation, Year Five, and Year Ten students.

The Better Buddy program has many obvious benefits.  It is flexible, rich in resources; designed by teachers and supported by a National Charity whose mission is 'keeping children safe from violence'.

Thank you to The Alannah & Madeline Foundation for the opportunity to share a little bit of our day to day life with the wider community.

Tim Johnson
Balcombe Grammar School Teacher

Better Buddies
Better Buddies