The Buddy System

Buddy image

Toe By Toe has achieved remarkable results in schools which have used the ‘Buddy System’. This system (also known as mentoring) uses older students to tutor their younger counterparts. This tends to have a positive effect on both parties. Toe By Toe Buddy schemes have been pioneered in the U. K. by Ynysawdre and Tonyrefail Schools in Wales, Tomlinscote School and The Winston Churchill School in Surrey, Marston Vale Middle School in Bedford, Brownhills High School in Stoke-on-Trent and Fernwood Comprehensive in Nottingham. The change in the schools’ ethos has been quite dramatic.

The success of Toe By Toe as a mentoring tool has prompted similar schemes to be established in a wide range of establishments throughout the world. Minlaton District School is pioneering the use of such schemes in Australia and huge improvements in literacy are being seen in prisons through the work of the Shannon Trust.

We are convinced by the results of many Buddy Schemes that they not only improve reading skills, but have a positive effect throughout the school including: –

  • More responsible attitude of older pupils
  • Better social bonds across school years
  • Reduced bullying
  • Reduced truancy

We actively support schools planning or running Buddy Schemes through workshops, monitoring and general advice.

Toe By Toe has been an enlightening time where I taught, but in a way I was also the one being taught, how to teach. Toe By Toe is a great experience.”

Year 9 student

“The ‘Buddies’ programme has had a marvellous effect on both coaches and pupils alike. Instead of failure, these pupils have started to experience success. This has manifested itself throughout the school with pupils becoming more confident, better behaved and, because their reading has improved, they are also making progress in other subjects.”

Susan Oates (SENCO)

Ynysawdre Comprehensive School, Bridgend, Wales.
Headteacher: Trevis Woodward B.Sc., M.Sc.
(Winner of Welsh Secondary School Award for its Toe By Toe initiative)