"A buddy doesn't let kids get hurt in the playground": Starting school with buddies

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    Starting school can be a daunting experience for young children. Recognising the importance of peers and peer support during the start to school, many schools implement 'buddy programs' where older, more experienced students are paired with new school starters as a means of helping new children become familiar with school, and as a way of helping older students demonstrate responsibility for others in their school community. During 2004, a buddy training project operated in two suburban schools in Sydney, Australia where 25 teacher education students and 130 Year 5 school students participated in training days aimed to facilitate the development of communication, reflection and community building skills. Using conversational interviews, researchers identified areas of interest and concern as children entered these schools, as well as potential avenues for support. These provided the basis for the development of 'training' experiences by the teacher education students. This paper describes the buddy training program implemented in the two schools and uses the perspectives of children, university student teachers and school staff to evaluate the program.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)22-34
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Transitions in Childhood
    Issue number2005
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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