Next Friday 30 July is the International Day of Friendship. One of the aims of the International Day of Friendship is to foster a culture of peace through education. It is “based on the recognition of the relevance and importance of friendship as a noble and valuable sentiment in the lives of human beings around the world”.
Some children find it easy to make friends. Others may find it a little more difficult. While some of us enjoy time on our own, there’s no denying that days are often brighter with friends. This is especially true of children at school. Without a friend to play with, children can feel left out and alone. They may feel they don’t belong and begin to think ‘What’s wrong with me?’ Having a friend or two can influence how they feel about attending school and impact the whole school experience.
The establishment of a welcoming and supportive classroom in which all children have a sense of belonging is essential and underpins a great year of learning and teaching for all involved. Part of that classroom is the social dynamics and friendship groups. They don’t always form naturally and, especially when some friendship groups are already established, newcomers may have difficulty being accepted when they try to fit in.
Here at readilearn, we have a variety of lessons, activities and teaching resources to assist the teaching of friendship skills in your classroom. They can all be found in the Friendship Skills collection in the section Character Development.
Getting to know each other
Getting to know you surveys are a great way for teachers and children to get to know each other at the beginning of the year, and support the establishment of a welcoming, supportive environment in which individuals are respected and appreciated. Topics to survey are limited only by your imagination. With the incidental development of literacy and mathematical skills, they make an all-round great introduction to school.
Me and my friends Children interview their friends to find out ways in which they are similar and how they differ from each other
As children get to know each other, they come to realise that they have some characteristics in common and some that differ. Those characteristics do not make them better or worse. They make them who they are.
Me and My Buddy is a great activity for your children’s first session with their buddy class.
Children interview their buddies to find out more about them and discuss ways in which they and their buddies are similar and different.
A community of friends
Continue reading: Cultivating friendships on the International Day of Friendship – Readilearn