Every year the school councillors are chosen to be Buddies for the academic year. They are expected to demonstrate exemplary behaviour, have good listening skills and patience, and show a kindness for others. These young people, are given training so that they can be there for others; their training enables them to ‘enable others’. They do not resolve issues but help children to resolve their own minor disputes/problems that are upsetting or causing anxiety. Whilst this is mostly about playground behaviour at lunchtime, children can also seek out a buddy at breaktime as well. In addition to this support network, the buddies also help to teach children new games to play.
Each lunchtime four Buddies are ‘on duty’. Two are there to assist as problem solvers and keep an eye on the friendship bench where children go if they are upset, lonely or want some help. The other two are game leaders who organise playground games for anyone who wants to play.
When Buddies are on duty they all wear red baseball caps so that everyone can recognise them easily.