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THE 'BUDDY SYSTEM'

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.  The use of Toe by Toe with this system has 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.  As you will see, 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 massive successes 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.
Minlaton District School, South Australia

"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

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


   Tonyrefail Comprehensive School, Tonyrefail, Mid Glamorgan, Wales.  Headteacher:  John Parry.

  "I have children knocking on the door asking to join us .... The pupils think of it as a private club.  Sixth formers love to get into it .... it has changed the culture of the school."
Kathryn Whitehead, Language Support - in charge of Toe By Toe Project whereby sixth-formers tutor first-years.

Marston Vale Middle School, Stewartby, Bedford
 "One of the best things about Toe By Toe and its use in the 'Buddy System' is the way that it helps student and tutor.  Tutoring students have told me that Toe By Toe has also improved their own decoding skills.  In addition, the self-esteem of both student and teacher has improved dramatically..."
From:  Jim Godfrey B. Ed. (Headteacher)

Tomlinscote School, Camberley, Surrey.  Headteacher:  Mr.  A.A. Ryles B. Ed (Hons).
"I could go on endlessly but what I really wanted to do was express our gratitude, on behalf of the staff and pupils involved, and those about to be, for this incredible reading scheme.  We shall continue to broadcast its praises around the county and beyond, but what really counts is the satisfaction you have brought to the instructors for providing the key to literacy and the pleasure of seeing a student make progress and the growth of self-esteem and a sense of achievement in those pupils who would otherwise fail.  Thank you very much indeed."
From:  Judith Yorke (Language Support)
(Used as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme)

The Winston Churchill School, Woking, Surrey.  Headteacher:  P A Barnard MA
"Now that this school has been using Toe by Toe for approximately one year, I wanted to let you know of our appreciation of the programme I find that readers make progress quickly, this motivates them and then they become committed to completing the course Readers blossom in self-confidence and self-esteem"
From:  Molly Rickwood  Adv. Dip.Ed. (SEN) MA(Ed) (SENco)

Brownhills High School, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent
"We are very pleased with Toe by Toe for a variety of reasons, not least because of the relationships that develop betwen the pupils and their peer tutors..."
Mrs. S.A. Wilson (Senior Teacher ∓ Literacy Co-ordinator)

Fernwood Comprehensive School, Wollaton, Nottingham
"I find Toe by Toe works very well with bright dyslexics and 'neglected' poor readers.  I use older pupils and volunteers as tutors but monitor them carefully ... I'm a convert"
Trish Tunstall (SENCO)