Ideas for Anti-Bullying Week 2017

Written by: Martha Evans | Published:
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How can we make the most out of Anti-Bullying Week in schools? Martha Evans looks forward to a week when young people’s stance on bullying takes centre stage

It has been 15 years since we first started running Anti-Bullying Week is schools across England. With this year’s Anti-Bullying Week coming up from November 13 to 17, we have been looking to make sure that it is as fresh an interesting as possible.

Some of the 60-plus young people who responded to our Anti-Bullying Week survey in January indicated that Anti-Bullying Week and school’s anti-bullying activity was something that schools made them do.

They would say things like “yeah, school did an assembly to us about it” or “they put up a poster”.

It seemed that some children thought of Anti-Bullying Week as something that teachers dreamed up in the staffroom.

Anti-Bullying Week is a great opportunity as a school to talk about bullying and review your practices. But it is vital that students are also involved and heard throughout your Anti-Bullying Week activities. That’s why this year we’ve tried to give young people the lead in Anti-Bullying Week.

We have worked with young people and the Diana Award to come up with some tips about engaging young people in your week’s activity:

  • Create a student advisory group: Develop activities for Anti-Bullying Week with a diverse group of students to get everyone involved.
  • Select a school slogan: Use the official Anti-Bullying Week slogan (All Different, All Equal) or come up with your own.
  • Social media takeover: Encourage students to take over their school’s social media for the day to send out anti-bullying messages.
  • Take photo pledges: Create a space where students can take photos with their pledges to treat each other with respect.
  • Share the knowledge: Encourage older students to share their anti-bullying experiences in assemblies or short lessons.
  • Create a positive message: Using a wall in the school, encourage other students to spread positive messages or drawings.
  • Review your anti-bullying policy: Share your anti-bullying policy with other students and make positive changes to the policy.
  • Lead a balloon launch: Make a statement by publicly sharing positive messages through a balloon launch.
  • Organise a fundraising event: Hold a creative fundraising event for your favourite anti-bullying charity or school event.
  • Review your school ethos: Create or review your school ethos on how all students and staff treat each other.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) has chosen the theme All Different, All Equal for Anti-Bullying Week 2017, because young people made it very clear during consultation that they didn’t want people singled out as the “different ones” and they wanted to celebrate that we are all different. If you want to ensure that difference is understood and experienced in ways that are positive for everyone, it’s important to:

  1. Celebrate the differences in all pupils and staff, so that pupils with differences that are less common, such as a disability or a disfigurement, don’t feel especially different.
  2. Ensure all members of staff feel comfortable and confident talking about all kinds of difference. Children will pick up on any member of staff who feels uncomfortable. Create opportunities for staff to explore their ideas and discuss their feelings about difference and diversity.
  3. Allow children to talk about things that they find different so that they can explore their ideas and attitudes. Using statements (such as “we are all equal”) without context and explanation can sometimes create the opposite effect and make people feel like they “stand out” more.
  4. If a pupil has a disability, disfigurement or something that makes them appear “different” to others, make sure you work with them to discuss what they want to share with others. Support them to define themselves and take the lead in their own lives.
  5. Ensure all pupils have a strong sense of all the things that make them who they are. Also, look for shared interests and commonalities that they share. For example, can they talk and ask about pets, favourite school subjects, favourite spare time activities, favourite music or favourite YouTube clips?
  6. Avoid talking to other students about a classmate’s difference, outside of the parameters they are happy with, even if they ask. If points 3 and 4, are already well covered, then it will be quite straightforward to encourage a curious or doubtful youngster to get to know their classmate for themselves.
  7. Some children may need help to develop ways to communicate information about themselves. For example, if someone communicates differently or finds it hard to express themselves.
  8. At the same time, other children might need to learn how to communicate with a classmate who communicates in a different way or finds it hard to communicate. For example, the class/school may learn Makaton or British Sign Language.
  • Martha Evans is national coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

Further information

Anti-Bullying Week is from Monday 13 to Friday 17 November 2017. Find out more about Anti-Bullying Week and get free resources at www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/antibullyingweek


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