Oratory ‘Buddy’ Mentoring Program

On Friday 22 February we experienced a wonderful occasion of joy filled Salesianity.

Today we embarked on a mentor and buddy system, which is part of the Oratory Program for Year 7 and 11. In today’s session (their first one), boys spent time getting to know each other. In the second half of the session the Year 11 students gave their Year 7 buddy a tour around the school; showing them speciality areas like the Art rooms and VCAL rooms, introducing them to Reception and teachers they met on their travels. It was also beautiful to see them in the Chapel, explaining when the Chapel is used and how they are to respond when they are in there, including directing them to the holy water to bless themselves.

We are very proud of our Year 11 students and how they approached their responsibility of meeting and looking after their Year 7 buddy. Their leadership skills shone through for all to see. It was also encouraging to watch our Year 7 boys demonstrate their willingness to listen and courage to ask their new buddy questions about their experience and the school.

As the year unfolds, we look forward to other mentoring sessions including when the Year 11 students will help the Year 7s prepare for exams, and when we will discuss relationships at the end of Year 7, in preparation for heading into Year 8. In addition to these mentoring sessions, Year 7s and 11s will meet once a term for some inter house games and activities.

We are really looking forward to seeing the program unfold and develop into the future.

Mrs Nadia Knight
Assistant Principal – Faith and Mission

Student Reflection – Shevin Fernando, 11B

“Participating in the Buddy Program was an amazing experience for me. I was paired up with some year 7 students and had the  opportunity to converse with them about their Year 7 life so far this year, including their experience of camp and the sports meets. I also had the opportunity to show my Year 7 buddy around the school, and talk to them about the different regions of the school and where all classrooms and the staffroom are. This program was quite amazing because it helped demonstrate to my Year 7 buddy, as well as to the Year 11s that they are included and valued in our community. It made me feel as if I had a part in my buddy’s journey to success in his high school years and likewise, he will have an impact of my life through the last few years of my time at Salesian. During our tour around the school, the program made me realise that having a buddy ensures a positive school culture, and has a major emphasis on our motto Omnia Omnibus. The buddy program was such a privilege and it is definitely something that should be continued.

The buddy program is definitely valuable, because it provides younger children with the opportunity to understand and practise the values of respect, care and friendship that are portrayed in many of the older children. It also brings together the school community and encourages younger students to ask their older peers for help. The buddy program makes the younger students feel they are in a safe environment and that they will always be valued.

The idea Year 11 buddy is able to show care for all students, has the generosity to give up their time to support a student or a teacher when needed, contributes to the school in whatever way it may be (academically, culturally, through sports etc), doesn’t put others down by any means, has great self confidence in themselves, can identify their responsibilities, is able to socialise and talk to others, and can feel empathy and sympathy for and with others.

I think that inter – year level activities such as buddy tutoring, or a buddy scavenger hunt (to get to know the places of the school and who they are named after) or even buddies working together in the canteen during recess and lunch once every few weeks could be valuable activities to the program in the future.”