ABA Team School Road Trip for National Anti-Bullying Week!

To celebrate National Anti-Bullying Week we sent our team out to schools across England to see what our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors were doing during the week with their schools. The team had an awesome time and wanted to share with you what they got up to...

Blackpool Aspire

Our Training and Development Officer Elisha visited Blackpool Aspire last week, a whole year after first training them last November! Since being trained the school have implemented some amazing initiatives and developed a strong anti-bullying team who support and advise students with the support of their school's case workers and Assistant Head Teacher.

During the visit Elisha had the pleasure of meeting the schools Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and hearing about all of the work they are doing to tackle bullying. To name a few, the Ambassadors have their own Twitter/Facebook page, notice board, recruitment system, badges, uniforms, posters around the school and much more! Blackpool Aspire have even featured in local newspapers due to the positive work they are doing. The school also have an amazing music department who recorded an anti-bullying song called ‘Who do you think you are? Bully!’ which has just been released on iTunes and sounds great!’

‘I’m amazed by the whole school's contribution to tackling bullying at Blackpool Aspire. In the space of a year they have truly kick started their campaign by getting excited and making things happen, in and outside of school.’ - Elisha

McAuley High School, Doncaster

Paul our Training and Development Officer headed up to Doncaster to visit McAuley High School’s Anti-Bullying Ambassadors aka the McAuley 'Buddies'. The Buddies have been extremely busy since their training and have done a lot of work to encourage good behaviour and support students who are being bullied. The Buddies also designed their own hoodies to help other students recognise them.

One of the initiatives the Buddies have set up is The Zone. Young People can come  to The Zone at break and lunch times if they feel that they are being bullied by anyone else in the school. There are 4/5 Buddies there every session who monitor it on a rota basis. 

Several fun activities were taking place every lunchtime during the whole of Anti-Bullying Week.

-          Friendship games to help students to make new friends and mix with people from different years including badminton, cricket, giant snakes and ladders and parachute games (what makes me unique is, giant mushroom and Chinese whispers). Here, the activities were run by the Buddies themselves.

-          Anti-Bullying parade. At the end of lunchtime, all Buddies marched holding anti-bullying banners made by students and staff all the way through the outside area of the school, encouraging others to chant their anti-bullying message and help raise awareness of bullying.

-          Self-portrait compliments. Students at the school were asked to draw self-portraits of themselves. These were then passed around their class for their peers to write compliments around their self-portraits to boost students' self-esteem.

The Buddies were a brilliant bunch and are leading on some really inspiring work in their school. The Buddies are helping to ensure that students are in a nurturing environment where peers support each other. Keep up the good work!  - Paul

St Andrew's Primary School, Cambridge

Ellie, our Information and Support Officer visited St Andrew’s Primary School in Cambridge which is the old Primary School of our current Youth Board Member Kate.

The school’s previous Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, like Kate, were all in Year 6 and have now moved onto Secondary School. The previous Anti-Bullying Ambassadors did such a brilliant job that the school asked them to train up a new group of Year 6s. Ellie has the pleasure of seeing the new Ambassadors run a whole school assembly to introduce themselves.

“The new Anti-Bullying Ambassadors did a fantastic job at introducing themselves in a very professional way. It was great to see Youth Board Member Kate at the assembly, passing her knowledge and energy onto the new group. The Ambassadors also performed a brilliant role play which showed students what they can do if they are being cyber bullied.” - Ellie

During the week the Ambassadors asked each student in the school to write on a leaf their thoughts on bullying. These were then put together to produce an Anti-Bullying Tree to show the school is taking a stand against bullying.

Despite only just being announced as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors the students recently helped arrange an anti-bullying day with local schools. The day involved students doing a very energetic dance to shake off bullying Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’. You can watch the video here: http://www.st-andrews.soham.org.uk/

The Ambassadors have a lot planned including a day in December where students will spend the day looking at different role models who represent diversity.

“The new Ambassadors have so much energy and passion. In the meeting I had with them they had so many ideas about how they can encourage students to speak out about bullying and treat each other with respect. I can't wait to see what they achieve in their new roles!" - Ellie  

Latimer Arts College, Kettering

Emmanuel, our Project Support and Linda, our Awards and Accreditation Officer spent an action packed day at Latimer Arts College in Kettering with the Bullying Stops Now (BSN) Anti-Bullying Ambassadors . Despite only being trained by the Diana Award in the summer, Latimer’s BSN group Ambassadors took Anti-Bullying Week to the next level!

“Linda and I had THE BEST day at Latimer Arts College. The BSN group had been running a Latimer’s Got Talent Show throughout the week and we were privileged to be asked to sit on the judging panel of the final of the talent show. All of the entries were impressive but congratulations again to the winner who wrote an anti-bullying song and performed it in front of the whole school!” – Emmannuel.

Emman and Linda were particularly impressed with the school’s idea of Vertical Tutoring. Once a week during form time, the school is mixed up and each form has students from each year.

During this time, they do a number of uplifting and positive activities and tasks which teach them to be kind to each other and build different friendships. Some example of these activities include:

-          Discussing the importance of not judging a book by its cover

-          Post-it note compliment wall

-          Wall displays to promote anti-bullying and tackling homophobia and racist.

-          Doing a quiz on bullying produced by one of the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors

-          Helping to re-write their school’s Anti-Bullying Policy

The BSN group are currently rebranding their logo and they have welcomed ideas and designs from the whole school.

“The day was brilliant! The whole school atmosphere was great and the young people really engaged with each other during the vertical tutoring form time. I am very proud of the difference the antibullying team are taking Latimer Arts College.” – Linda and Emmanuel.

Northgate High School, Norfolk

Kieran, our Project Support visited Northgate High School in Norfolk. The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors were helping to lead a whole school photo where students in Year 7, 8 and 9 spelled out the phrase “together we are strong” to show that the school doesn’t tolerate bullying.

“The students had been really busy throughout the week doing anti-bullying activities. They had visited a 'show racism the red card' event where they learnt about how to stop racist and homophobic bullying. They had also presented assemblies on bullying to lower years and explored bullying in their drama lessons. It was also lovely to see their anti-bullying wall where students had written anti-bullying messages on post-it notes. 

One of the most innovative ideas I saw on the day though was to have stickers on all of the food from the canteen which tells students who the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors are and who they can talk to if they are being bullied.

It was also great to see the staff getting involved in Anti-Bullying Week. Each of the staff members wore a 'Northgate says 'NO' to bullying' stickers throughout the week.

I was extremely impressed with all of the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, the dedication they showed towards their role was impeccable. I really enjoyed speaking to the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and their staff member Miss Theobald. I was shown a variety of videos they had created throughout the week and they also spoke to me about the event they attended. I think they are all great role models and I look forward to hearing about their future work.” – Kieran.

A HUGE thank you to the following schools who got in touch with us to tell us what they got up to for Anti-Bullying Week....

Hope School, Liverpool - Blue Friday to help students understand how bullying makes them feel.

St Anne's Catholic School, London - Wish Tree, Ambassadors spoke in year group assemblies and organising a human chain at lunch time. 

Sir John Colfox School, Dorset - Activities in tutor time and a compliments day to encourage positive behavior.

Abraham Darby Academy, Telford - Anti-bullying assemblies all week and a whole school anti-bullying quiz. The students helped to re-write the school's Anti-Bullying Policy.

Quarry Bank Primary School - Pride of Quarry Bank Award ceremony to recognise and reward good behaviour.

Bredhurst Primary School - Selling anti-bullying wristbands and holding a friendship week.

Altrincham Grammar School - Anti-bullying assemblies.

Springwell Community College - Anti-Bullying 'Secret Dance Project' with schools from the local area which was performed to members of the public. Dancers wore diversity masks which they had designed. The Ambassadors also ran assemblies throughout the week with the lower years. 

Lidget Green Primary School - Students each did a handprint to make a large anti-bullying tree. The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors also held a competition for the best anti-bullying poster. The winning poster will be made into a banner which will be put outside the school. Students also spelled out ABW for Anti-Bullying Week in an aerial photo. A HUGE thank you to Lidget Green too for raising £200 for the Diana Award!