The theme for Anti Bullying Week in 2022 was ‘Reach Out’. To highlight this, and World Kindness Day, our Trust Consultant Teachers for PSHE Kathryn Ferguson and Lauren Munro-Hall discuss the importance of teachers, students, parents and the wider community reaching out and opening up dialogue on bullying.
As the wellbeing leads for the GDST and TCTs for PSHE, our role is to select and highlight important initiatives which can help positively impact our community. Sunday marked World Kindness Day and the 14th to 18th of November was Anti-Bullying Week. The week took the theme of ‘Reach Out’ for 2022; empowering teachers and students to do something positive to counter the harm and hurt that bullying causes.
The 2022 Theme – Reach Out:
The theme, Reach Out, aims to encourage children to speak out about bullying. Whether this is speaking out to a trusted adult or reaching out to another person who is being bullied; if we can challenge bullying, then we can change it.
Reaching out isn’t just for young people either. Teachers, parents and all other educators have a responsibility to speak out against bullying. By setting positive examples and speaking out against bullying, we create kinder communities in our schools.
In fact, reaching out shouldn’t stop after Anti-Bullying Week and World Kindness Day end. Encouraging open communication and everyday kindness are concepts that are well embedded in our approach at GDST and at our school, Notting Hill & Ealing High School. While the week is a good reminder to discuss resources and strategies, looking out for pupil and staff mental health, friendships and wider lives should happen all year round.
Odd Socks Day at Notting Hill & Ealing High School
How did we mark World Kindness Day and Anti-Bullying Week?
On Monday 14th November, we kick-started our own GDST ‘Reach Out’ initiative – with each school partnering with another in the Trust to share kindness and anti-bullying initiatives. These included an assembly for junior school pupils and asking students to design an anti-bullying slogan and logo to be shared across all GDST schools.
We’ve also built connections across the GDST teaching community through the Trust Wide Book Club for PSHE Leads. Great resources shared so far are Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival and Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller.
NHEHS Juniors ‘reached out’ to Kensington Prep as our buddy school. We arranged a Google Meet with a Kensington class to say ‘Hi’ (the first step to reaching out) and share how we were all wearing Odd Socks (for Odd Socks Day – Monday 14th November). Other wonderful examples of reaching out across GDST include Howell’s and Royal High School Bath’s Prep School pupils buddying up to post each other well-being letters and video clips.
Our approach is to focus on the fact that everyone has a role to play in promoting positive relationships by identifying how people might react in friendship situations.
For senior pupils, we advocated further ‘Reach Out’ activities. At the beginning of each academic year students apply for the post of Well-Being Lead and they are tasked with promoting positivity and kindness throughout the year. We are very much led by the students on what they want to focus on through their student voice. They led part of a whole school assembly which explained that Notting Hill & Ealing students will partner with South Hampstead High School for Anti Bullying Week. We used PSHE lessons to write online postcards to fellow Year 8 pupils at our partner school which will include sharing what helps them feel positive.
The student led Anti-Bullying Week assembly
A Year-Round Approach:
During Children’s Mental Health Week in February, where the theme is ‘Let’s Connect’, we will revisit these postcards and the connections that we made between our junior and senior school buddies during Anti-Bullying Week.
Holistically, we are reinforcing the message across GDST that if anyone in our community is feeling down, struggling or needs a helping hand – they can reach out to anyone in the network, including wellbeing representatives within the student body.