Better Buddies @ KVPS

At Keilor Views Primary School we have successfully implemented the Better Buddies program at Prep and Year 6 level since 2007.

In mid 2007 teachers at the school saw the value of having Buddies and suggested that we could have this program across all year levels.

With respect to the Better Buddies practice that Buddies should be reserved for Prep and Year 6 students, we named the rest of the student partnership Buds. So now we have Buddies and Buds.

Buddies and Buds is imbedded in our classroom practice and curriculum.

At the start of the year the teachers chooses a Buddy or Buds class. Not only do the students in the school have a Buddy or Bud but also each teacher has a Buddy or Bud.

Teachers are able to support each other with the implementation of classroom activities and programs. Some examples of older student supporting younger students across VELS domains are as follows:

  • ICT – students work together in the computer lab
  • Literacy – students read to each other, assist in writing and spelling programs
  • Numeracy – peer teaching
  • Science –excursion to the Zoo
  • Physical Education – Buddies and Buds Games Day
  • Whole school celebrations – Book Week, Literacy and Numeracy Week, Education Week and end of year concert.

Interpersonal Learning underpins all of the above activities.

Teachers meet up when and how they choose making the program very flexible but effective. This approach has made the program an easy task to implement.

How has Better Buddies and Buds helped address bullying @ KVPS?

KVPS students:

  • have a clear understanding of what constitutes bullying/cyberbullying.
  • develop empathy
  • use the same language across the school eg excluded, bystander
  • know that bullying/cyberbullying behaviour is not acceptable @ KVPS
  • are able to stand up for themselves in a smart but non violent manner – Name It! (building of resilience)
  • support each other if someone displays bullying behaviour
  • articulate inappropriate behaviours to others – students have a voice!
  • feel comfortable in telling a trusted adult and will seek support regarding any bullying incidents
  • know they have the right to feel safe
  • build positive relationships with their peers and teachers
  • builds connectedness to the school
  • come to school happy/improvement in student attendance
  • have trust in our process
  • are much calmer, less physically aggressive
  • engage positively in the programs being delivered and share their experiences with their families

KVPS Staff:

  • have been given strategies on how to deal with bullying incidents – Ken Rigby’s Six Approaches to Dealing With Bullying
  • are proactive and deal with incidents immediately and effectively
  • understand the process to follow
  • have ownership of all documentation
  • are supportive of any form of primary prevention and intervention that addresses the wellbeing of all students
  • have trust in our protocols
  • feel confident when dealing with bullying/cyberbullying issues
  • have consistent approach to dealing with bullying/cyberbullying incidents

KVPS Parents:

  • come and meet with Student Engagement Coordinator when there are concerns
  • know that all will be followed up and will be told of outcome in a timely manner
  • have trust in our process

How it has changed school culture with students, teachers and parents?

KVPS Students:

  • understand and follow the process
  • will often sort their own problems out effectively and let you know that they did
  • be respectful when sorting issues out
  • know they have a voice, speak up
  • feel a lot more safer knowing that issues are addressed

KVPS Staff:

  • feel supported
  • can focus on teaching because of effective approaches in addressing bullying and cyberbullying
  • value the programs being delivered
  • see and experience the positive outcomes

KVPS Parents:

  • are happy to know that their children feel safe
  • feel comfortable in coming up to the school or ring in for advice
  • see positive outcomes

How has running BB helped our students?

KVPS Students:

  • value and accept differences
  • behave in a respectful manner when working with their Buddies and Buds
  • value the program and have fun
  • develop leadership skills
  • develop empathy
  • build positive relationships across the school
  • look forward to the training