The first day of school has been a long time coming for Sophie Pritchard, who gets into her uniform every day and eagerly looks over her Year 6 buddy’s welcome card from orientation day last year.
At Grahamvale Primary School in Shepparton, the staff believe creating a strong relationship between their eldest and youngest students is crucial in creating a positive learning environment.
Sophie, 5, and Claudia Boschetti, 11, have already started building a positive friendship before the school term starts. For Claudia the term starts today, and for Sophie it will begin tomorrow.
Although gift-giving has been a part of the school’s buddy system for many years, the new gift of a specially designed key ring has been introduced this year.
After finding out their Foundation buddy while in Year 5, the students set out to design and create the prefect gift for them.
Principal Simone Higgins is delighted with the new initiative.
‘‘After years of Foundation students presenting a book to their Year 6 buddy at the end of the year, we thought it would be nice to give the Foundation students something at the beginning,’’ she said.
The presentation will take place at the first assembly of the year in which the Year 6 students and Foundation students will gather on stage and sit down together afterwards.
‘‘It’s a nice way to welcome the students,’’ Mrs Higgins said.
The school will welcome 64 Foundation students across three classes this year.