We are very proud of our ‘Buddies’ system which has been running successfully for many years. A Year 7 student. who may require some extra support or assistance in transitioning to secondary school. is paired with a Year 11 student who is their ‘buddy’ until the summer term (or earlier if the Year 7 student’s growing confidence means they no longer require their Year 11 partner for the whole year)
The pairs meet weekly during form time in our Learning Resource Centre where they can chat and discuss any concerns they may have. Discussions often centre around topics such as lessons, friendships. clubs or any other aspect of school life. Year 7s benefit greatly from able to talk to an older student. Year 11s always begin by looking at their planner for the week and discussing lessons. It is lovely to see the bond many of the Year 11s and 7s develop as the year progresses.
Year 7 students are nominated for a buddy via a variety of sources such as primary school, parents, form tutors and pastoral managers. However, all year 11s receive training before they can become a buddy and are clear when issues need to be referred to a member of staff.
Year 11s, in turn, gain just as much from the programme as the year 7s. They have to apply for the position at the end of the previous academic year and a selection process is then undertaken. They need to demonstrate they can listen, be patient and resourceful. Many use this as the volunteering section of their Duke of Edinburgh Award and therefore understand this is a long-term commitment. Please speak with relevant primary school staff or Mrs Humpleby, our pastoral manager, if you feel your son/daughter may benefit for our ‘Buddies’ scheme.