Aug 192014
 

Going back to school after the summer holidays can be difficult for everyone but just put yourself in the shoes of a 4 or 5 year old Primary One pupil. All those big children and ‘hard’ sums, not to mention the long day, would be enough to put even the most confident of us into a spin.



But not at St. Mun’s, where the new starts arrived happy and smiling for their first day, already knowing a lot of ‘faces’. Through a combination of visits to the school, accompanied by Nursery staff, when the children became familiar with their soon to be new surroundings; visits of parents and children together to meet staff and the ‘Buddies Programme’, transition to the ‘Big School’ doesn’t seem to have phased any of the children.

The ‘Buddies Programme’ begins in the summer term when Primary 6 are identified and matched with nursery children and accompany them when they come into school for their induction days, which ensures the children know each other before the new entrants start in August. Primary 6 pupils are selected to ensure there is continuity in relationships as they are now this year’s new Primary 7s.

As well as being a familiar face for the new starts, the Buddies meet their Primary 1 at breaks and lunch times and accompany them in the playground, which ensures firstly that no new child is ever on their own and secondly that they do not get caught up in the rough and tumble of a typical playground.

This year the children of Primary 1 and 7, along with their teachers, worked collaboratively on and art project, which produced not only beautiful kites, which are on display in the school under the banner, ‘Flying High Together’, but a lot of conversation, which allowed children and staff to get to know each other even more.

The ‘Buddies’ programme works for both sets of children, enabling the development of self-confidence and self-esteem and encouraging the children to be fully engaged in the learning process while feeling valued members of the school community.

Good luck as you embark on your school years and good luck to all the other new Primary Ones.

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