Today is the start of Anti-bullying Week, which places a really important focus on the prevalence of bullying and the damaging effects it has on children. At The Ridgeway School, we dedicate a wealth of time and resources every year to preventing and eradicating bullying.
Anti-bullying Week is organised annually by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), a unique coalition of organisations and individuals united against bullying. Their vision is to “stop bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play, and learn.” This is a vision that is shared by our school and The White Horse Federation.
Currently, The Ridgeway School has a comprehensive framework in place to prevent, counteract, and punish bullying. Throughout this week, students will be taking part in lessons and activities that raise awareness of bullying, discuss how to identify it, and advise how to deal with it.
The theme for this year’s Anti-bullying Week is to choose respect over bullying. This was determined following a consultation with more than 800 children, teachers, and members of the ABA. During the conversations, it emerged that a top priority was showing that bullying is a behaviour choice, and that children and young people can set a positive example by opting to respect each other at school, in their homes and communities, and online.
The aims of this week are to support schools and other settings to help children and young people, school staff, parents, and other professionals who work with children to understand:
- The definition of respect.
- That bullying is a behaviour choice.
- That we can respectfully disagree with each other.
- That we all need to choose to respect each other both face to face and online.
Although this week is an opportunity for us to focus and address the issue of bullying, we would like to reassure parents, pupils, and staff that every effort is being made throughout the year to make our school a safe, enjoyable, and bullying-free environment.