Anti-Bullying Week 2019 – #ChooseKindness
11-15 November 2019 marks Anti-Bullying Week in schools across the UK. This year, the central theme of Anti-Bullying Week is ‘change starts with us’, aiming to tackle bullying at its roots. We want to trigger a collective change in attitude towards bullying, from schools and children to parents and beyond. This recognition week is a prime opportunity for your school to reinforce the message about your approach to bullying and to stop it in its tracks, by empowering children with messages of positivity and kindness instead.
Did you know…?
A staggering 45% of young people experience bullying before the age of 18!
In fact, in the last year alone, 22% of children and young people involved in the Ditch The Label Annual Bullying Survey 2018 stated that they have been bullied in the past year, while another 22% said they have witnessed bullying in the past 12 months.
It is a phenomenon that is still prevalent in today’s society and it needs to be tackled head-on. Bullying comes in many forms, including verbal, physical, emotional and increasingly, online/cyber-bullying. It can have a lasting negative impact on a child’s mental health, confidence, happiness, learning and self-esteem, which can go on to affect them in later life. Many victims of bullying report ongoing feelings of depression, isolation, fear and anxiety as a result of the bullying they have faced, and therefore, prevention is better than cure. We believe that it is best to stop bullying from taking hold before any damage is done, by advocating that children #ChooseKindness.
Resources for schools
This year, there are numerous inspirational and creative resources available from the Anti-Bullying Alliance, Bullying UK and BBC Teach to help schools raise awareness of bullying and tackle the problem. This includes presentations, posters, flashcards, comic strips and videos, which are all pitched at the perfect level for children in your school, whether that’s primary or secondary. These resources are designed to help us make small, positive changes, start conversations, create safe environments and challenge bullying, because #ChangeStartsWithUs.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance is championing the ‘change starts with us’ message and they have resource packs available for primary schools and secondary schools, a pack in the Welsh language and a support pack to encourage young people to ‘stop, speak, and support’. Each pack is designed to be age-appropriate and includes resources such as lesson plans, videos, activities, posters, PowerPoints, handouts and more, helping you to bring Anti-Bullying Week to life in your school. They are also advocating Odd Socks Day on Tuesday 12th November as a way of highlighting Anti-Bullying Week and celebrating what makes us all unique as individuals. This is a great way for your school to show support for this important initiative.
Bullying UK are also offering a host of useful and creative materials that you can use this year for Anti-Bullying Week, from presentation slides and advice/debating activities to comic strips, videos and flashcards. They champion the #Choosekindness message and have wristbands available to promote the message beyond the school gates, in addition to a helpline for young people to call for advice when they need it: 0808 800 2222.
A collection of Anti-Bullying Week resources for Teachers is available on the BBC Teach website. This includes short animations and short dramas which explore a range of subjects relating to bullying. The videos delve into pertinent topics such as the effects of bullying on our mental health; the emotional issues raised by bullying; the transition from primary to secondary school and issues that might be encountered along the way; celebrating our differences and the things that make us unique; dealing with difficulties around body image, gender and sexuality; the pressures faced by young people today; and coping strategies for bullying. These could be a great resource for reinforcing your Anti-Bullying Week message and presenting your students with a different perspective.
As well as these educational resources, there are some simple steps that we can all take each day to make a difference and tackle bullying, and they all stem from choosing kindness:
- Think twice about what you say and do – would you be hurt by your comments and actions?
- Try a random act of kindness – do something good for someone else without expecting anything in return
- Smile more – you could brighten someone’s day with a healthy dose of positivity
- Say something nice to boost someone else’s confidence and improve their day
- See the good in people and think positive thoughts instead of negative ones
- Listen and offer the opportunity for others to tell you if they are being bullied
- Offer support if someone is being bullied – don’t just ignore it
With so much support and so many great ideas and resources available for Anti-Bullying Week this year, we are well equipped to spread the right message about bullying and make a difference together. Change starts with us!
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