Anti-Bullying - Our Journey
Where our Journey Began
In April 2021, a group of 19 children (who are in Year 4 and 5) and 2 members of staff received Anti-Bullying Ambassador training through The Diana Award. This three-hour virtual training allowed these children to pass their new knowledge onto their peers and design and carry out campaigns. In the summer term 2021, the team worked hard to make decisions as to what they could do for the school as a result of their training. Lots of ideas were in the pipeline.
Academic Year 2021-2022
In the first autumn half term 2021, the team worked hard to make decisions as to what they can do for the school as a result of their training. During the training, the children were made aware they can work towards a number of badges; they decided to focus on gaining the 'wellbeing' badge. To achieve this, the children were made aware this would involve promoting the importance of wellbeing and organising campaigns to improve wellbeing across the school. We felt this goes hand in hand with spreading positivity around school in a number of ways too. For this reason, the team created posters which were put around the school for the children to be reminded of certain phrases and images to help spread positivity. Other ideas the team considered were: dress up days to spread positivity, sponsored fun runs, music playing when children arrive in the playground in the mornings to boost morale, increasing and supporting opportunities to read at break and lunchtime by being reading area monitors, film nights and many more. It was explained to the children that some of their ideas were ‘quick wins’ and others may take more planning and preparation so will have to be carefully mapped out. We acknowledged that some of these campaigns may require a small contribution or it may involve fundraising - for this reason we created an Anti-Bullying fund whereby any proceeds raised throughout the year would be used to further boost and promote wellbeing (as this was our focus) across the school.
In meetings, the team discussed how they were going to use Anti-Bullying Week in November 2021 to educate the rest of their peers and members of staff about their training. This involved a number of assemblies/follow up activities which the whole school completed that week. This emphasised the definition of 'bullying behaviour', the types of 'negative behaviour' and how to be an upstander (someone who stands up to negative behaviour) as opposed to a bystander (someone who stands by when experiencing or witnessing negative behaviour).
From the meetings, the children discussed possible ways to improve/promote the importance of wellbeing across the school (not just in the hope to achieve the badge, but with the aim to continuously improve wellbeing in our school). In the second half of the autumn term, this involved: planning and organising a 'Dare to be Different' non-uniform and sponsored fun run and planning, organising and holding a film night for the whole school. These events were were used as fundraisers for the Anti-Bullying Ambassador fund, which is something which they are continuing to build with the aim of using the money to further improve wellbeing. Some of their potential ideas already are: buying more benches for people to read outside, having experience days e.g. inviting in an animal experience company, a yoga teacher to name a few.
The team began the spring term 2022 with a meeting where the children reviewed the school's anti-bullying policy with Miss Powell and used their knowledge from their training to help with this. They were already considering what other events could be held in the Spring term. We trialled some morning fitness activities on the playground before school (e.g. playing music for dancing, skipping, fitness activities etc) which were successful – lots of smiling facing showed an increase in positivity and wellbeing.
Miss Powell attended one of her regular follow up meetings with The Diana Award staff where they discuss progress made towards badges. Once the wellbeing badge has been gained the team are looking to work towards the Online Safety badge. However, there will be an emphasis to maintain all of the hard work and continue with campaigns for the wellbeing badge as it has been really positive across the school. In addition, Miss Powell is liaising with The Diana Award staff to ensure we can train some more children up before the end of the academic year as come September ten of our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors would have left us for high school.
Academic Year 2022-23
As we lost some of our ambassadors to high school, we needed some new recruits – this included another Anti Bullying Ambassador team leader! In October 2022, Miss Powell took ten Year 5 children AND Miss Batram (our newest lead recruit) to our first ‘in person’ training day held at Castle Hill Primary School. The training was a full day and the children learnt all they needed to know to become Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. The group returned to school with lots of information and ideas to help us become a ‘school of ambassadors’ - spreading positivity and wellbeing for all.
To promote ‘Anti-Bullying Week (week beginning 14th November 2022), the new recruits along with the existing ambassadors, discussed with their team leads how they could ensure the rest of their peers and members of staff were up to date with their knowledge and terminology. Over the week, a number of assemblies and follow up activities were held. This emphasised the definition of 'bullying behaviour', the three types of 'negative behaviour' (verbal, indirect and physical) and how to be an upstander (someone who stands up to negative behaviour) as opposed to a bystander (someone who stands by when experiencing or witnessing negative behaviour). As well as this, all pupils were encouraged to consider ideas such as why people may be more likely to be the perpetrator of negative/bullying behaviour, how being the person experiencing this can feel, who are more more likely to be targets of this behaviour and the potential signs to spot someone may be experiencing negative/bullying behaviour but not speaking up.
All pupils and staff were introduced to the ‘Positivity Postbox’ and all pupils wrote a ‘positivity postcard’ to a member of their class to begin the week. Children reflected on how it made them feel to write the note as well as how they felt receiving their note.
All children wrote their pledge to be an upstander once they had all of the knowledge and skills they had learnt over the week too.
To finish the week, children were given a ‘hook’ to write a set of instructions to a set audience to demonstrate their understanding of the information gained across the week. The purpose and audience were as follows:
- Year 1 and 2 - children wrote instructions on ‘how to be an upstander’ to inform any pupils who are new to the school or those who may need reminding over the year.
- Year 3 and 4 - children wrote instructions on ‘how to create a school free from negative/bullying behaviour’ to inform any pupils who are new to the school or those who may need reminding over the year.
- Year 5 and 6 - children wrote instructions on ‘how to support primary aged children in responding appropriately and assertively to negative/bullying behaviour’ to inform any members of staff not in the assemblies, new members of staff to our school and parents/carers as they have not received the training.
Finally, at the end of of ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ 2022, children were invited to come into school for a ‘Stand Up, Stand Out’ non uniform day to promote and celebrate our theme of EVERYONE becoming an upstander.