Date
26 September 2021

Support friendships with structured approaches

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Supporting and strengthening peer relationships’

On this page:

On this page:

Current page section: ​Support friendships

Go to top of current page: ​Support friendships

Show list of page sections

Circle of friends

Circle of friends

Creating a student support network.

A teacher shares how she uses the Circle of Friends strategy to tackle challenging behaviour and promote inclusion in year 7.

Develop buddy systems

Develop buddy systems

Use buddy systems to promote social skills.

  • Buddies are given training on how to help students develop specific skills, such as recreation, social, and communication skills.
  • Buddy systems result in personal growth for non-disabled peers.
  • To promote high quality interactions, students should also have opportunities to interact in activities that are not always instructional.

Utilise peer support

Utilise peer support

Ben has ASD. He needs support with communication skills. His circle of friends and teachers model and explain how the group works for him.

Facilitate friendships

Facilitate friendships

Friendships are an important foundation in an inclusive classroom.

Strategies to create and maintain friendships:

    • Identify interests – Allow learners to express their interests through discussion, surveys, games, and clubs to help them discover other students who are like-minded.
    • Highlight strengths – Highlight student strengths to help learners to feel valued and confident amongst their peers.
    • Emphasie social skills – Embed opportunities to teach social skills through the curriculum, for example: games, problem solving activities, class meetings or discussions.
    • Provide opportunities –  Encourage friendships through social opportunities such as play, group work, class trips or school wide activity days.

Source: Friendship Circle (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Circle of friends: A type of person-centered planning

Publisher: Friendship Circle Special Needs Resource Blog

Visit website

Website

Primary SEN – Circle of friends – Ben

Publisher: FAM UK Enterprises

Visit website

File

Springboards 2 Practice: Friendship

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Download PDF (428 KB)

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Support and strengthen peer relationships”:

Return to the guide “Supporting positive peer relationships”

Top