One of the loveliest things we do in Prep is “Buddy Time”. A Year 6 class is paired with a Prep class and each of the Prep children has one, or sometimes two, special big friends matched with them. Once a fortnight or so, the Year 6 classes come to each Prep room and spend time with their little buddy. Sometimes the older children help their Preppie do a tricky craft activity, read books or play games.
The children are paired with their buddies for the whole year and hopefully, make a special connection that will see a friendship develop for many years. It is nice for the younger ones to see some friendly faces at College events that may involve the whole of the Primary school, such as assemblies or sports days, or at the Library at lunchtime. t is interesting to note that when the current Preps are in Year 6 (the last year of Primary), their buddy will be in Year 12 (the last year of Secondary school).
Some of the Year 6 children used to be in Prep at GCC, so visiting their old classrooms can be very fun for them. We hear lots of “This used to look so much bigger to me when I was in Prep!” or “Prep has changed so much since I was here!”. Having a little person looking up to them can be quite affirming for the Year 6 children as well. It is noticeable that some of the older children who may not be naturally confident with their peers, really shine as they work with and build relationships with younger children and take on a leadership role.
We have also had some lovely feedback from parents about the program. Recently one Mum sent an email talking about how when they were at the Beerwah pool, her Prep child spotted his Year 6 buddy. The older boy came over to the family, introduced himself, and spent some quality with the Preppie before his swimming lesson. These are the kinds of connections we hope will stem from this program – building up the love of learning and confidence in our Preps, and the leadership qualities in our Year 6 children.
Heather Dodwell, Prep Team Leader
For more photos click here