Anti-Bullying tackled in a odd way

Coventry schools marked Anti-Bullying week last week with assemblies and activities, as the annual event returned this November for its 15th anniversary.

 

 

The week, designed to raise awareness about bullying in schools and help both troubled children and parents to do something about it, is run by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, which was formed in 2002 and is hosted by the National Children’s Bureau.

 

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary in Coventry is one of the schools that took part. Michelle Garvey, a teacher at the school, spoke about the importance of raising awareness of bullying in young children.

 

‘Children need to be aware of the types of bullying, what to look out for if someone they know is experiencing bullying and what to do if they are the victim of bullying. We want children to have a voice on the issue and to know that we are ‘all different, all equal’’.

 

The aim of the scheme, which runs in autumn time every year, is to raise the profile of bullying and to create a climate in which everyone knows that it is unacceptable.

 

This year, the theme is ‘All Different, All Equal’ and the anti-bullying alliance has made children’s TV presenter Andy Day their patron. Andy formed a band called ‘Andy Day and the Odd Socks’ as a way to promote the idea that everyone is different and unique and to promote inclusivity.

 

In tribute to Andy’s band, this week, the ABA invited all UK schools to participate in ‘Odd Socks Day’ where children can wear odd socks, to express themselves and their individuality.

 

Sacred Heart took part in Odd Socks day on Monday and has been doing countless other things for the occasion.

 

They held a pupil-led assembly on anti-bullying this week and a theatre company performed a play called ‘Power of One’ designed to teach children about bullying and the issues around it. The school has also been sending out leaflets to parents this week about bullying, and offer an all-year-round counselling service for children who feel they are having friendship issues.

Two of the pupils from the school spoke to iCov about what they thought of the week. Head boy Joseph and head girl Trishya said they enjoyed the assembly that the school had on Monday, but their favourite bit was the play.

 

‘They told us a very important message – that we can all be heard by anyone and we’re not going to be ignored because everyone has a voice.’

 

‘If you tell a teacher about the bullying it’s going to help and solve the problem whereas if you don’t it’s not going to improve.’

 

Trishya told iCov that she understood the importance of anti-bullying and what the wearing of odd socks represented.

 

‘I think it’s important to tell the message that if you see bullying you should always report it. The odd socks showed that we’re all unique and we shouldn’t be like anyone else because everyone else is taken.’

 

Joseph added an important point about the issue of cyber-bullying, which is becoming a more common problem in modern society.

 

‘Even if you’re not the one sending the messages, sharing the messages is cyber-bullying too.’

 

If you think you or someone you know is being bullied, you can call Childline on 0800 1111 or the NSPCC ON 0808 800 5000.

By Joseph Connelly

 

 

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