We would like to share what a brilliant anti-bullying week it has been. Every year we try to raise awareness of bullying and this year as led by the Anti-bullying Alliance, our theme was ‘Make a Noise’. We wanted to encourage our children to call out bullying that they may be seeing either in school, on the playground, outside of school or even online.
What happened this week?
We kicked the week off with our usual Odd Socks Day, in which children came into school wearing Odd Socks to celebrate how great it is that we are unique and different from one another. In our anti-bullying lesson, children discussed what sort of things we can do to show kindness, especially if someone is being bullied. We also made pledges about all the things we would do to reach out and stop bullying, by creating a kind, caring environment in the school. Here are photos of some year 6 children's pledges detailing how they are going to stand up to bullying.
We also had some lovely quotes about how to manage bullying from year one. Here are a selection:
"If someone is bullying someone you have to say, stop, that's not nice, that's not fair. That's not a good thing to do.'
'When someone is bullying another child, I will tell a teacher."
"We can help children if someone is pushing and hitting them."
"When someone is lonely, I will play with them."
"You can use kind words when talking about bullying."
"We can protest if something is wrong and no one is listening to you."
"We can watch good role models and be like them."
During assembly, children looked at our school council’s definition and discussed the types of bullying that exist. We discussed physical, verbal and social bullying. One thing children were also particularly vocal about was cyber bullying and the types of things this can include such as nasty messages, sharing inappropriate messages/photos, spreading rumours or if someone is telling others to ignore or not play with someone else online.
In year six, this week the children are studying the text ‘Booked’, in which the main character, Nick, is bullied. We discussed the things that make Don and Dean bullies and the class made a fantastic definition of what they think bullying is generally:
“A bully is a person that bullies another many times, physically or mentally or verbally. Physical may be punching them, slapping them or kicking and pushing them. Anything that is physically hurting them. Verbal or mental bullying may be calling them names. In the text the twins 'bark' at Coby, meaning they are saying aggressive things to him. Bullying is repetitive, it happens again and again. There is also cyber bullying where for example you could be on an app or social media and people can call you names or comments and won't leave you alone. They could also threaten you.”
How will we address bullying in the future?
This year we are making some changes. Research last year found that children didn’t always feel supported in conflicts during break by their peers and as a result arguments often happen. Staff have also noted that children find it hard to manage their feelings and communicate with others when they disagree or have a dispute. Based on this, we are going to be introducing a new role of ‘mediators’ to help manage issues between children on the playground. We will be training up 20 year 5 children to support them with managing conflicts, as well as looking out for those who are upset or alone. In addition, we will be having assemblies on conflict resolution, the difference between banter and bullying and how to express and manage our emotions. We hope these initiatives will create a kinder, more supportive anti-bullying environment at the school.