No one likes the thought of bullying occuring, yet it is a challenge that every school has to face. Whether bullying focuses on a characteristic such as race, sexuality, disability, nationality, faith or if there is no particular characteristic at all, we should all find it unacceptable. Of course, all good schools and educators challenge bullying wherever and whenever they see it – Anti-Bullying Week however gives us a chance to discuss bullying and proactively tackle it using the most effective weapons in our armoury: education and unity!
Anti-Bullying Week 2020 will take place from 16th to 20th of November. This year the theme is United Against Bullying. The theme embraces the power we have when we come together to affect big change and tackle challenges where we find them. You can follow the events on social media using #antibullyingweek and #abw20.
The week will kick off with Odd Socks Day ; an event that has been run for the last few years. Teachers and learners are encouraged to wear odd socks to help emphasize and embrace the diversity and uniqueness inherent in all members of our schools and our society.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance have created a whole range of resources to support schools make the most of the week. These include:
- School tools (packs for primary and secondary schools)
- School Staff Award
- Odd Socks Day Information Packs
- Information about how to get involved online
- A toolkit for parents and carers
Bullying UK has a range of videos which can be used in lessons and assemblies or shared with your learners and their families with address a range of issues around bullying. These are a great way of starting conversations on how to spot and tackle bullying. They can provide invaluable advice and support and have been made by young people across the country.
‘Spot It and Stop It’ is an interactive video – throughout this video you will be asked to make a decision from the point of view of the bully, the victim or the friends. These choices will alter the story as you go. Here is the first scene:
The BBC has also produced some excellent resources to support Anti-Bullying Week:
LGfL’s Everyone Matters has been produced to raise awareness of the problems of homophobic bullying in schools. Developed in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Wandsworth and Waltham Forest local authorities, these resources feature role play scenarios to challenge both students and teachers to reflect on their own attitudes to this form of bullying.
The organisation Special Needs Jungle have an eye opening article written last year by a young girl with autism who recounts her experience of bullying and offers some pointers which might be helpful for other neurodiverse young people. I hope that it also provides a perspective that you and your colleagues may not have had the benefit of experiencing before. It’s NOT your fault: An autistic teen’s comprehensive guide to surviving being bullied.
In relation to neurodiversity and Autism in particular the National Autistic Society (NAS) provides a page of advice and links to further support for parents and carers of young people with autism who are being bullied.
Adobe Spark and Adobe Creative Cloud provide wonderful tools which can be used to provide wonderfully creative learning experiences. LGfL schools are entitled to a number of Adobe Licences as part of their subscription. Here are some examples of how Adobe tools can be used to engage your learners with Anti-bullying themes:
- Adobe Spark Anti-bullying templates
- Anti-bullying poster project
- Blog: How 5 artists are creating to end bullying
Also read ‘Your Toolkit for Anti-Bullying Week 2020… and Beyond!’blog by the LGfL DigiSafe Team.
How are you making the most of this awareness week to energise and unify your school community to tackle the challenge of bullying? Whether it’s assemblies or classwork, art projects or roleplays, writing or any other medium, share it with us on Twitter or Facebook and let us share your great work with the whole LGfL community!