Being aware of inclusion programs in other institutions such as the Big Brother program, we were inspired to prototype it in our own ecosystem to build a sense of community and equity.

Watch Kiran share the inspiration behind the design of the Buddy Interaction Process.


Try the empathy lens:

Try recalling how you felt in the 1st week when you joined school. Consider how you would have felt if you had a buddy during those initial days at work and how that could have impacted your experience and emotions.

See the shift when you do have the comfort of having a ‘go to’ person, or even being able to be that person for another.


  • When we started the school, the number of students was very small and working with mixed age group cohorts happened naturally and very easily. We found that this helped to nurture relationships and a culture of learning from each other.

  • We found that many of the times, when children of different age groups were together, they surprised us with talents which we otherwise would not have seen.

  • As the school grew and more students and teachers joined in, we realized that we wanted to retain that equity in the learning community which brought a sense of comfort and collaboration. From this purpose was born the process of Buddy Interaction.



Children understand that learning and caring for each other is not dependent on age?



A time-tabled process which:

  • Paired children as buddies with an age gap of four years for the most impactful interaction and engagement through the year;

  • Ensured that children started feeling safe and comfortable since they found a champion in their older buddies in sessions, on the bus, playground, etc.;

  • Had an inbuilt component of planning and reflection to get both age groups to understand that they can learn from each other;

  • Helped teachers to notice different talents of their children, which otherwise might not have been visible in the classroom.

The fallout of this process was that children felt a sense of belonging to the community of the school. It also built a mindset that there is no hierarchy of age, gender or role in learning.



This video helps make visible the process of Buddy Interaction from ‘intention’ to ‘action’.


In the video above, you will understand the relevance of the process as well as see different kinds of Buddy Interactions taking place at Riverside. Notice how teachers set the tone at the beginning and how reflections are done at the end. Alongside, you will also see some students share their experiences.

Additional Videos:

  • 4:10

    a) Case Study 1

    Watch how a Buddy Interaction builds the mindset that there is no hierarchy of age in learning.


In this section, Riverside edu-heroes share strategies and insights from their experience of the process and how the process has impacted their practice.

  • 5:15

    a) FAQ Video

    Watch Fozia share important guidelines, strategies, and tips for planning and implementing Buddy Interaction.

  • 4:35

    b) Impact Video

    Watch Fozia share the impact that Buddy Interaction has had on the students as well as on her own practice.


  • Begin the process in a small way, maybe by pairing just two grades. It might be a great idea to have the buddies meet informally over lunch or play time in the first month, before starting with the formal interactions.

  • Help your teachers understand that this is not an added burden in the timetable, but instead a great way to create a larger community of learners and teachers.

  • Recommend to teachers that over and above the time-tabled buddy interactions, they should continue to encourage informal interactions between the buddies during a visit, on the bus or even when the teachers need help in the classroom.