Ratcliffe College Top 09/02/22

St Margaret's Anti-Bullying Week

Published Monday 12th of December 2011 03:45:27 PM

Children as young as four have been learning how bullying can have a devastating effect on classmates' lives.

All pupils at St Margaret's Preparatory School, Calne, have taken part in the national anti-bullying week organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. This year's focus has been 'Stop and think - words can hurt' and all the children have been encouraged to think about how even humorous remarks about differences can be upsetting.

Deputy Head Cath Jones said: 'Anti bullying is something we take seriously throughout the year, but this week gives us the chance to really reinforce the message of the children being supportive of each other. One of the things we have done is to suggest they become a new friend to someone else during the course of the week. This means that if they see a person who would not normally be within their friendship group, they approach them and have a chat or invite them to join in a game. We also have a buddy bench in the playground where a child who is feeling lonely can sit and someone will come and sit with them for a chat or ask them to play.'

Older pupils have approached the subject by picking role models from both people they know and celebrities who show, by what they do and say, that they are against bullying and inclusive in their friendships. Some of the children have been expressing themselves through singing and have learnt a piece called 'Raise My Voice', which the school hopes will encourage them to 'raise their voices' not only in song but also to express their feelings and aspirations.

Some children have taken part in role play games where someone is the bullied and others the bullies. Miss Jones said: 'This really brings home to everyone taking part how it feels to bully and to be bullied. With the youngest children we approach the subject in a more gentle way to get over the importance of being kind and thinking about what you say to someone.'
The school is also talking to both pupils and parents about e-safety and how texting, emailing and social networking sites can be used for bullying.

Miss Jones said: 'We don't allow mobile phones in school and our pupils are too young to legally have Facebook sites. However, a lot of them have phones at home and older brothers and sisters on Facebook, so it is important they understand the problems that can arise. In years gone by children might have passed an unkind note to one another, but now they text. Our children are usually very supportive of each other, but that does not mean we can ignore such an important issue as bullying.'
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St Margaret's Preparatory School, Calne

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