Making a Difference
The buddies are here...
At Kilmorie all children in Year 6 are trained to be Playground Buddies. Those children who would like to become buddies are put on a rota to support others to feel safe and have fun in the playground.
The aim of the scheme is to encourage children to understand what it is to be responsible; be good role models and use their skills to support the younger children in the school. It also plays an important part in creating a safe, friendly, happy and peaceful atmosphere for the children during lunchtime.
Students who run the sessions learn so many skills about how to be a leader and really take their job seriously. There is very little adult input needed, as the children plan and run the sessions completely independently and take great care of the younger children.
The role of a buddy is to:
- help children to play cooperatively with each other
- help children resolve minor conflicts
- introduce children to a wider range of games
- be a good listener when someone wants to talk
- help lonely children make more friends
- be available to be a friend to all the other children
What the playground buddies say:
Isabella Year 6 – “To me buddies is an important opportunity for children who don’t always feel included and have someone to play with. In buddies we have a game for everyone and we make sure that everyone is happy. There are always a few ups and downs but we make sure that they are sorted out immediately. I love the feeling when we pick the children up and they all shout our names and are really excited to join in, it makes me feel so good! As we change our year 6 buddies every day we always improve and it gives us a sense of responsibility that we haven’t had before.”
Amelia Year 6 – “I think that it is a good for Year 6s to get involved and have the opportunity to have more responsibility for looking after the wellbeing of children at Kilmorie. Its good for young children to play with all year groups so that they can learn new skills and inspire to be better and included in many games and activities.”
Daisy-Mae Year 6 – “I think buddies are important because it helps children to find friendship and it helps the Year 6s to be more supportive in helping them to be young leaders. It makes the children and us, as buddies, happy at the end of each session and it makes the children look forward to lunchtimes. Some of the children find it a struggle and it boosts their confidence. It also makes you understand how younger children learn and personally it makes me feel really happy knowing that I have made children happy at the end of lunchtimes. It makes the teachers trust us more, knowing that we can look after children responsibly."
What the other children say:
Emmanuelle Reception – “I like duck, duck goose and the games I get to play. I like when the buddies come and get us and they give us hugs and say hello. It’s very fun.”
Samuel Year 1- “I like the penalty shoot outs and the basketball. I like how everyone gets turns and its fair. You care for me and you let us play different games, you are very good at being buddies. You help me do things I can’t always do. I look forward to it in class.”
Cezar Year 2 – “I like how they always make buddies fun for us. They’re always happy and spread joy to everyone. I like the different games and I like the random fun stuff that happens.”
Kitty Year 2 – “I like buddies because there are different games and you can chose which game you want to play. I like that if I hurt myself or anything happens its sorted out and that they are there for me.”
The ‘Reading Buddies’ programme is now up and running. This originally ran pre-Covid and was very successful and a big hit with the children. It pairs an older child with a younger child for them to take turns reading to one another. Different year groups are matched and teachers have carefully paired the children in their respective classes. Reading Buddy sessions are taking place weekly. Reading Buddy sessions take place at the same time each week.
A buddy reading programme can greatly benefit both the older and younger buddies in many different ways.
Younger buddies grow as readers when hearing more experienced readers model fluent reading. They also benefit from hearing more appropriate phrasing and intonation. Additionally, the younger buddy benefits from supportive feedback and the opportunity to talk about the books they are sharing within a relaxed and calm space and in a context that is different to the teacher-student relationship.
For our older buddies, it can help increase confidence for those less willing to read with their same-aged peers. Reading with a younger child provides them with a chance to feel confident as a reader in a less intimidating environment. It naturally builds confidence when they know someone is looking up to them both academically and socially. Younger children are often in awe of their older buddies!
Additionally, the older children are provided with an opportunity to learn and practise skills such as leadership, patience and problem-solving as they work with their younger buddies.
Often, children’s interactions are limited to their same-aged peers, but reading buddies provide opportunities to make the school feel more connected.
As well as all of that, one of the most significant benefits is to support children in developing a love of reading. Seeing and experiencing reading as something that can be fun, informative and soothing can only be beneficial. Whether it is alone or shared, we want reading to be an enjoyable experience and one that children will continue to build on as they journey through and beyond Kilmorie.
Best New Children's Books - May 2023
Whatever you're looking for from a book - whether it's adventure, humour or just pure escapism - we're delighted to be sharing our children's book recommendations, including: