Each year on November the 13th, countries around the world observe World Kindness day, asking people to mark it with random good deeds and to spread joy within their communities. Shrewsbury has decided to get right on board with this in the playgrounds, sports fields and classrooms.
A quick trip around the school saw the musically minded senior students perform a free concert to their fellow classmates. It was a joy to watch performers such as Laura in Year 10 (of Thailand's Got Talent fame) sing with such poise and beauty. Elsewhere Early Years, EY2 made Kindness trees that they planned to give to someone special in their lives and in the Prep School, Year 6 students were tasked with creating a ‘hands of kindness poster’.
Assistant Principal, Mr. Nick Loudon, says this is how Shrewsbury students subscribe to events such as World Kindness day and Anti-Bullying week.
"Not many years ago, to commemorate days like today would have been seen as soft or showing weakness. It is a sign of the times we live in to see younger people understand that treating others with respect and kindness is necessary to the society in which we live. It shapes the relationships we have with each other in adult life. Shrewsbury students are always willing and ready to partake in events to celebrate positive societal movements. It makes me proud."
Acts of Kindness are a central theme in a more extensive programme of activities this week to raise awareness surrounding the difficult and often complex issue of bullying; itself part of an initiative promoted across UK schools from 11-15th November by the Anti-bullying alliance (https://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk).
Anti-bullying week is something Mr. Loudon is passionate about as it helps define what acceptable behaviour is – not just at school but in the real world too.
"I think schools need to be places to grow not just mentally or physically, but emotionally too. Shrewsbury takes this very seriously. It is our job as educators to show students how to interact with each other and model behaviour that is important when they leave this place. It is as important as good grades".
Anti-Bullying week's headline theme is 'Change starts with us' which is the only logical place to start. Mr Loudon wants students to ask themselves; am I mindful and respectful with/to my peers? Do I say something if I see someone being mistreated? Would I like that if it happened to me?
"If you make sure your behaviour is respectful, then you are halfway there. From here, you can help others to take a look at their behaviour and make positive change in your community".