Anti-Bullying Week 2017
Anti-bullying week, 13th – 17th November, is nearly upon us – it is a time when we focus on raising awareness about bullying, its consequences and what can be done to help prevent this. This year’s theme is: ALL DIFFERENT ALL EQUAL
This current campaign looks at equality - embracing and celebrating diversity in today’s society, the need for individuals to understand others and appreciate the richness that comes from our differences.
Students will have assemblies and Citizenship and Guidance lessons relating to this during this week. Although Anti-Bullying Week is just one week in the year there is work that is done throughout the year in relation to equality, core values, empathy, how we should treat others and what kind of community we want to be part of as well as anti-bullying. Below are some of the core values that are in the student planners for them to consider and adhere to and, above all, if all individuals truly understand and respect each other bullying disappears.
Core values help us know what is right and wrong and our students are expected to be trustworthy, considerate, courteous, friendly, co-operative, hardworking and honest.
The school’s expectations are that everyone should be treated in accordance with equality and human rights legislation:
The Equality Act 2010
‘Protected characteristics’ – nobody can be treated badly/differently/discriminated against because they have one or more of these characteristics:
- pregnancy, maternity and breastfeeding;
- gender reassignment;
- religion or belief;
- sexual orientation.
and within school there are clear rights and responsibilities:
- You do not have the right to discriminate against, harass or bully other persons
- You have the right to feel safe at school. If you are being harassed or bullied in, or outside school, report it. If you see someone else being bullied, report it.
- We are all responsible for each other’s wellbeing.
- We respect each other’s differences and celebrate diversity.
In September we had the Be Nice Bus come into school with over a 100 students spending time on the bus across all year groups; thinking about how we use social media and discussing how easy it is to be either positive or negative and looking at the consequences of liking negative comments or seeing yourself as distanced just because we are online as if it isn’t the same as being hurtful face to face. The students were encouraged to “Be Nice”; like a comment – say something positive - report cyberbullying - block bullies. A key message of theirs which dovetailed nicely with ours was not to be a bystander but to be an UPSTANDER! This doesn’t mean standing up to a bully face to face but supporting a victim and ensuring that teachers/trusted adults are made aware so they can intervene and stop people suffering. The students took this back to their Form groups and the House Leadership Team, who also attended, used this for part of their House Assembly so that the BE Nice Bus experience and ethos was relayed to the whole school.
- You are not alone, it’s not acceptable, you are not to blame.
- If this is happening to you or a friend or anyone you know, the school has a responsibility to ensure it is dealt with. They can only help you if they know it is happening.
- Don’t be a bystander. Be an Upstander!
Routes to report bullying include any member of staff as well as the online bullying report form.
To enhance the opportunities for the student voice in school all students are asked to complete the anti-bullying survey and the LGBTQ survey which gives us data in relation to how they perceive these issues and which helps us to pinpoint any areas which might need focused work to take place. To ensure that we are promoting equality and diversity throughout the year we have awareness days/weeks/months which feeds into the notion of this year’s anti-bullying week theme:
ALL DIFFERENT ALL EQUAL
We ensure that, amongst many others, we highlight Black History Month, LGBT History Month, International Women’s day, religious festivals, Holocaust Memorial Day, HIV/AIDS awareness, young carers, disability (numerous), mental health and so on. In societies across the world it is often the lack of understanding and empathy that can cause prejudice which, in some case, realises itself as bullying and in school we have the opportunity to educate young minds and to ensure their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development alongside their academic pursuits.
For example Year 7 during Enterprise Week, amongst a whole host of activities including House events, MFL and study skills (using Black History Month and the story of Walter Tull as inspiration), they looked at core values through sessions on British values, LGBTQ, online safety and anti-extremism. They also had an assembly on anti-bullying where they watched nine Sixth Form students perform 'Walk a Mile in My Shoes', originally commissioned for Lowdown’s anti-bullying campaign.
The play uses the premise of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and thinking about how it might feel to be them and the consequences of being bullied. It covers name calling, cyberbullying, social, sexual and physical bullying alongside banter versus bullying and top tips and it ends:
We might be different sizes, cultures, colours, ethnicities, classes, sexualities, genders and have different disabilities and issues, but we are all part of the human race. The race is not about winning, it’s about working together to ensure respect, individual liberty, equality and tolerance.
Children and young people are bullied for all sorts of reasons. It makes the lives of its victims miserable.
NOW IS THE TIME to break the chain and make a new one.
Now is the time to
Reach out – ask for help
Reach out - be a friend
Reach out and don’t be a bystander