The Buddy Reading Program at Northern Bay
The Northern Bay site are working together to support the continuity of learning for kindergarten children.
What is the Buddy Reading Program?
The ‘Buddy Reading’ program is a collaboration between Northern Bay College and Korayn Birralee and was established to support connections between Grade 5 NBC students and Kindergarten children who will be commencing Prep in 2023. The program aims to support the smooth transition from kindergarten to school whilst fostering a sense of familiarity, connection, friendship, and support. The program has occurred twice in Term 3, with future opportunities being planned.
The literacy component of this program has many reciprocal benefits. The school children select a book they would like to share with their kinder Buddy, which gives them a sense of pride and ownership in supporting their ‘Buddy’s’ journey. Sharing books together also enables the kindergarten children to get to know their future school peers.
Reflections from Kindergarten teachers:
The children in our group thoroughly enjoyed the buddy reading program. Our students regularly ask when they will visit again. Some of our students were shy and almost overwhelmed at first, but as the older students interacted with them it was encouraging to see the confidence develop in both the younger and older children. The buddies were very kind and respectful as they spoke with the Kinder children, and it was wonderful to see the young role-models sharing their reading skills and love of books. Marion, Red Room Kindergarten Teacher
Northern Bay grade five students came to orange kindergarten to read the children story books and enjoy a play both inside and outside at kindergarten. The kindergarten children thoroughly enjoyed the visit from the grade five students.
The grade five students initiated a game of duck duck goose outside with the kinder children it didn’t take long for friendships to develop. This was a fantastic experience for the children to support them in transition to school and connecting with buddies once at school to help them feel safe and create a sense of belonging as they start their school year. Trish, Orange Room Kindergarten Teacher
Reflections from School Staff:
Having had the opportunity to support the Kinder/Year 5 Buddy Reading program has been an absolute blast! Our Year 5 learners have loved the responsibility of visiting our school library to select interesting and exciting picture story books, rehearse reading these stories aloud, then share their love for learning to our wonderful kinder friends and future schoolmates.
Whenever we visit, we are met with excitable ‘hello’s’ and a genuine sense of anticipation. Teachers regularly speak about the level of obligation our children bring to these visits. The sense of calm and positive regard the group have towards one another reminds us that kids working together can build positive connections both now and for the future. Our 10- and 11-year old’s embrace the play-based learning within the Kinder setting and love getting to know more about their Buddies in the process.
Our Buddy Reading visits have already transcended sometimes cumbersome task of reading for our Year 5 Kids. For them, it’s about sharing your strengths and recognising individuality in others. It’s about remembering what structured learning first looked like for them. It’s about looking forward to seeing their 4-year-old friends arrive in our school uniform at the start of the new school year and continuing these relationships in the primary setting. It’s a way of saying ‘Don’t stress little matey, we’re looking out for you!’. Anthony, 5-6 Learning Community Leader.
Aligning with the Our Place Approach
This is one example of the Our Place evidence-based element of High-quality Early Learning, Health and Development in action. To learn more about this element or our other evidence-based elements Click Here