Buddies for EAL pupils

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Information on buddies for EAL pupils

“The initial worry of most pupils about a new school is making friends. Having a person chosen for you, who will stay with you and help you find your way around as well as help you to meet and make other friends is very important.”

Dfes ‘Managing Pupil Mobility’

When choosing buddies for EAL pupils, please bear in mind the following:

  • Try to choose two buddies:    An academic buddy (to sit with in lessons) and a social buddy for breaks and lunchtimes
  • Pupils should be of a similar age and be able to model good language and behaviour.
  • Training for a group of pupils volunteering to be buddies should be provided each year.
  • Ensure that there is a set procedure for welcoming new pupils into the school and that this is in line with the school buddy system.
  • It may be necessary to provide ongoing training as a result of feedback from buddies.
  • Ensure that the buddies chose are reliable, friendly and willing to befriend a pupil with EAL.
  • “It can be helpful if a ‘buddy’ is someone who speaks the same language as a new arrival, but it is also important that a ‘buddy’ is someone who can confidently include new pupils in classroom activitiy and social networks.” Naldic
  • A buddy does not have to be a long-term friend, but needs to ensure that he/she introduces the pupil to friendship groups.
  • Use role play to help the buddy to understand situations that they may encounter.
  • Buddies will need supervision and a set time per week or per month to come and talk to a responsible adult.
  • Use an appropriate reward system in line with school policy to reward pupils for being buddies eg merits, certificates, mentions in assembly etc.
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