This week, in the UK and international schools around the world, is dedicated to the fight against bullying in the classroom and playground. Students are encouraged to express themselves freely and talk about issues that affect them at school. Teachers have been providing students and activities to celebrate our diversity, resulting in a very colourful and vibrant environment for all.
Students were encouraged on the Monday to wear odd socks as a symbolic gesture that celebrates how each person is unique and original in their own way. Keeping with the vibrant colour-theme, students broke out the chalk and wrote supportive messages all over the long court, transforming the area into a dazzling, eye-catching environment.
Assistant Principal (students), Mr Nick Loudon says it is great that Shrewsbury commits to Anti-Bullying week and that this years’ theme of ‘unite’ is being embraced inside and outside the classroom.
“The importance of having an Anti-Bullying week is that it gives a focal point to our approach to stopping bullying at school. While we work all year round to combat unkind, bullying behaviour, this week allows us to step back and look at the things we are already doing and decide what we should do, even more, Mr Loudon insists.”
According to Mr Loudon, the teacher’s role is to talk to students about what bullying behaviour looks like but most importantly our role is to allow students to talk to us about any concerns they may have.
“What makes Shrewsbury so great from a pastoral perspective is bullying, and mental health concerns are always conversations that teachers are ready to have with our students. There are always things that we can do to help when we are made aware of concerns. Anti-Bullying week reminds us of this.”
Shrewsbury is a community, not just a school, so having parents involved in Anti-Bullying week, is equally important as nurturing the students. With this in mind, a ‘Parents in Partnership’ event was held to inform families of the changing digital environment and how that affects young people. The event focused on the emotional wellbeing of students and how they can be good digital citizens. Parents were asked to participate in a range of activities that made them aware of issues such as cyberbullying, screentime, online stress, hate speech and having safe online relationships.
“The world is a completely different place now than when many of the parents were kids, and so it is our responsibility to inform and begin a conversation about what is healthy and acceptable behaviour online. I was pleased with how many parents attended, and hopefully, they took some real positives out of the session,” Mr Loudon says.
“Overall, it is encouraging how well we are supporting each other at Shrewsbury and having Anti-Bullying week to remind us of our close-knit relationship is fantastic.”