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Buddy System at UNIS Hanoi Elementary School

Every second Wednesday in the Elementary school, all students from EY to Grade 5 participate in a much loved activity called Buddies. Students from the upper grades are carefully partnered with students from the lower years with the hope that a new and unique connection will form that is different from the bonds that they form with students of their own age in their class or grade levels. These pairs then engage in a range of joyful activities hosted by the teachers of both upper and lower classes. 

It’s a regular occurrence to see an 11 year old cautiously guiding a 7 year old around the play structures or a grade 4 student reading a great book to their Kindergarten buddy. Each Wednesday of Week B, at around midday, you’ll hear joyful noises coming from classrooms and the playgrounds as these pairs of students run around making connections and having fun with each other.

The buddies programme has been running for many years in the Elementary school because of the reciprocal benefits for both students involved in the partnership. The elder student is given opportunities to model and mentor the younger student while the younger has the attention of the elder friend who they can look up to and ask questions of.

Many of our students reflect on their buddies from previous years and still connect with each other in the playground, years after they were partnered together.