All Different, All Equal

Stop Bullying

Anti-bullying week promotes difference and equality in schools

Anti-bullying week, held between 13th and 17th November, is a reminder to children, young people and adults of the impact of bullying on individuals, both in the classroom and out. While there are no official statistics on bullying and cyberbullying, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) reports that there were 24,000 Childline counselling sessions with children about bullying in 2016/17. The NSPCC assert that bullying is an issue that affects almost all children in some way.

Anti-Bullying week, coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and supported by SafeToNet, aims to shine a spotlight on bullying and encourages children, teachers and parents to take positive action against bullying throughout the year.

The theme of this years’ campaign is ‘All Different, All Equal.’ The aims of the campaign are to:

• Empower children to celebrate what makes them and others unique.
• Help children to understand the importance of feeing valued and included in school, and be able to be themselves, without any fear of bullying.
• Encourage carers and parents to work closely with schools and talk to their children about bullying, difference and equality.
• Enable teachers and professionals to also celebrate difference and equality, and to take action to create safe spaces and prevent bullying behaviour.

The Anti-Bullying alliance offer a range of resources for teachers and are encouraging schools to display the official Anti-Bullying Week 2017 poster. They also offer resources and ideas for lessons and assemblies designed to promote an anti-bullying culture within school and beyond.

This year the Anti-Bullying Alliance are encouraging children to wear odd socks to school for the week. It’s a fun way for children to express themselves and appreciate individuality and uniqueness.

Bullying is an ever-present problem in schools, and can easily go unnoticed if teachers don’t follow an active plan to stop bullying from happening. Here are 6 things teachers can do to reduce bullying at school:

1 – Discuss bullying: give children the opportunity to talk openly about bullying. Let the children get involved in making the rules to prevent bullying behaviour. Discuss the harm that bullying can cause and strategies children can use to help them if they experience bullying.

2 – Teach cooperation: children need to learn how to compromise and assert themselves without demanding. Cooperation and collaboration are important skills.

3 – Develop an action plan that children can defer to if they are confronted with bullying behaviour or witness it.

4 – Act immediately – any form of bullying should be dealt with swiftly to reinforce the rule that it is unacceptable for anyone to be mistreated.

5 – Don’t challenge bullies in front of their peers. Confront bullies in private.

6 – Involve parents and listen receptively to those who report bullying behaviour. Always investigate any reports of bullying and feedback to parents the action that has been taken.

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