Buddying provides academic support and builds community

Buddying provides academic support and builds community

7 December 2022

Sixth Form students enthusiastically put themselves forward to provide academic advice and support for younger students in a new buddying initiative set up by Academic Ribbon Tilda as part of this year’s Ribbons Team focus of ‘Giving Back’.

Tilda, Academic Ribbon

Originally, I prioritised finding Sixth Form buddies for students in Years 10 and 11, as they have GCSEs to revise for and A Level choices to make soon. However, due to the large number of Sixth Formers who volunteered, I was also able to get buddies for Year 9 academic scholars in our Kritikos programme.

This is a great opportunity for younger students as they can receive revision tips from students who have already completed their GCSEs, as well as advice on what kind of work experience and extra reading will be required at A Level. It is mutually beneficial for Sixth Formers, who are able to work on their communication skills, and be involved in something which will be beneficial to any personal statement or CV.

Academics aside, I believed that the buddying system was also a way to strengthen community within the school, especially after COVID, with many students having spent some of their time at Woldingham studying virtually. It’s been great to see more connections being formed between year groups.

When it came to pairing buddies, I decided to match students based on mutual interests and aspirations. It has proved to be a success and I am proud to say that we currently have 28 pairs in the buddying system. Buddies can message each other via Teams and arrange times to meet up independently and discuss work.

On Friday 25 November, everyone involved in the buddying system got together for the first time. Pairs were tasked with discussing two things that they needed help with. It was wonderful to listen to the variety of different topics discussed and see the connections between students grow.

As role models to the rest of the school, Sixth Form students have really taken advantage of this opportunity by helping others and sharing their good example. I hope that the younger years will not only have learnt invaluable lessons from their buddies, but also aspire to follow in their footsteps.

There are still a few Upper Sixth students yet to be paired with a buddy, so if other students are interested in taking part in the programme, I invite them to email me with details of the subjects they would like help with.

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