Reception and Year 6 Buddy System


Nurturing Connections: Our Reception and Year 6 Buddy System “Seeds and Gardeners”

At St. Michael and All Angels, we take great pride in fostering an environment that nurtures the growth and well-being of our children. One of the initiatives that embodies this commitment is our longstanding and carefully refined buddy system, which serves as a cornerstone of our school's vision of love and care.

The buddy system is designed to ensure that our newest members of the school community, the Reception class, embark on their educational journey with confidence, enthusiasm, and a sense of belonging. We believe that by forging strong, genuine relationships from the outset, we can create a foundation for their personal and academic success.

How Does the Buddy System Work?

Each Reception child is paired with a Year 6 buddy, who serves as a mentor, guide, and friend. Our Year 6 pupils are carefully matched and trained to take on this important role, as they have the maturity and experience to serve as positive role models for their younger counterparts.

The buddy relationship begins even before the first day of school, with our Year 6 pupils eagerly awaiting the opportunity to welcome their new buddies. Throughout the year, they provide support and guidance in various ways:

  • Assisting them in settling into the classroom routine.

  • Accompanying them during playtime and lunchtime, ensuring they feel included and have someone to turn to.

  • Modelling appropriate behaviour and conduct, setting an example for their buddies to follow.

  • Fostering a sense of belonging and security, making the transition to school life smoother and more enjoyable.

Benefits for All

While the Buddy System primarily aims to support our youngest pupils during their transition to school, the benefits extend far beyond this initial phase. Our Year 6 pupils also reap immense rewards from this experience, as they take pride in their roles as mentors and cherish the relationships they forge with their buddies. It is a mutually enriching experience that strengthens our school community and reinforces our core values.

Here's what some of our Year 6 buddies had to say about their experiences:

"Being a buddy helps the younger children feel more comfortable at school." (Freya)

"I love being able to show my buddy new things and being there to play with them if they are on their own." (Gracie)

"Being a buddy has helped me to be patient and learn how to listen better." (Freya)

"It is important to be kind and patient with your buddy because it helps them do the same with other people." (Jay)

"It teaches us to be more responsible when we have a younger buddy to look after. Sometimes they really need our help." (Martha)

Introducing the Buddy System

To ensure a smooth transition, we hold an information meeting for our new parents in July, where we share photographs of their child's assigned buddy. This allows parents to introduce the concept to their children and discuss the exciting new relationship they will soon form.

Additionally, the Year 6 buddies write welcome cards to their assigned Reception partners, introducing themselves and setting the stage for their upcoming friendship.

During a series of taster mornings in July, the new Reception children have the opportunity to meet and interact with their buddies. These initial interactions help establish the foundation for the strong bonds that will continue to grow throughout the year.

A Year-Long Journey and Beyond

The Buddy System is not merely a fleeting experience; it is a year-long journey that often extends beyond the confines of the academic year. The relationships formed between the buddies are so strong and genuine that they continue to play, interact, and share experiences together, even after the Year 6 pupils have transitioned to secondary school.

Our school events, such as shared reading activities, special days like 'Roald Dahl Day,' sports day, and collective worship sessions, provide ample opportunities for the buddies to work together and strengthen their bonds further.

We are incredibly proud of the Buddy System at St. Michael and All Angels, and we look forward to welcoming our new Reception children and introducing them to their Year 6 mentors in the upcoming academic year. We are confident that this programme will continue to positively impact the lives of our children, fostering lasting connections and a love for learning that will serve them well throughout their educational journey and beyond.