We started the week with a whole school ‘wearing odd socks’ assembly around this year’s theme of National Anti-Bullying Week: ‘Make a Noise About Bullying’. We discussed that having a joke or teasing somebody we know well or love (banter,) is part of human nature but, when the joke or friendly teasing goes too far, it tips into bullying if we let it and don’t stop it.
We reminded ourselves that the definition of bullying is: ‘the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or a group by another person or a group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. It can happen face to face or online.’
So, how DO we ‘Make a Noise’ about it?
These messages were further endorsed in our PSHE lessons during the week and recognising that we can be like Jo Jo from Horton Hears a Who- our one voice can make all the difference if we are brave enough to stand up for what we believe is right and speak out, either for ourselves or our friends. We also cited examples as to what classifies as ‘banter’ and when it can tip into ‘bullying’ using a ‘bantometer’. We all agreed that bullying is unacceptable and it makes people feel upset, angry or distraught inside.
Our Celebration Assembly on Wednesday recognised those children in particular who have been ambassadors for anti-bullying: spreading their kindness, showing empathy towards others, telling a teacher if something has gone too far, including people in their games at playtime or sitting next to them at lunchtime as well as being respectful towards members of staff.
The main message we have taken away from this week: don’t stay silent when you hear or see someone being hurt by actions or words; speak out.
We don’t have to agree with everyone and we don’t have to be good friends with everyone, but we MUST use our Character Values of Respect and Teamwork to help avoid banter becoming bullying and ‘Make a Noise.’