This week is Anti-bullying Week, which places a really important focus on the prevalence of bullying and the damaging effects it has on children. At Mountford Manor Primary School, we dedicate a wealth of time and resources every year to preventing and eradicating bullying.
Anti-bullying Week is organised annually by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), a unique coalition of organisations and individuals united against bullying. Their vision is to “stop bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play, and learn.” This is a vision that is shared by our school and The White Horse Federation.
Currently, our school has a comprehensive framework in place to prevent, counteract, and punish bullying. Throughout this week, children across the country will be taking part in lessons and activities that raise awareness of bullying, discuss how to identify it, and advise how to deal with it.
This week, at Mountford Manor, our whole school is focusing on this year's anti-bullying theme, 'Change Starts with Us!' Over the course of this week, our pupils are taking part in afternoon sessions centred on various bullying-related themes. These themes differ between key stage and year group to ensure they are age-appropriate, but they all aim to develop children's understanding of:
- What bullying is and what it isn't.
- Who children can turn to if they feel they are being bullied.
- The actions we, as a school, take to reduce bullying.
- The different forms bullying can take.
- How the bully and the victim feel and how our school's restorative approach considers both to help everyone move forward.
After the final afternoon session, children will, as whole classes, create a response to what they have learned. This is something which can be displayed or presented to ensure we all have one vision when discussing and dealing with bullying and that enables everyone to feel safe. These responses will then be presented by each year group in a concluding assembly at the end of the week,
Helen Sanders, assistant principal, SENCO, and inclusion manager, said: "The work that is being done this week is integral to our whole-school ethos and restorative approach to behaviour. It is invaluable in teaching children to consider the feelings of others; to understand and empathise.
Although this week is an opportunity for us to focus and address the issue of bullying, we would like to reassure parents, pupils, and staff that every effort is being made throughout the year to make our school a safe, enjoyable, and bullying-free environment.