It is no secret that in 2023, the landscape of bullying continues to change. Greater use of smartphones, social media, and networking apps means online bullying can follow a child anywhere they go. Educators have a responsibility to create a safe and inclusive space for all pupils.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), is the organisation that coordinates National Anti-Bullying Week which runs from the 13th to the 17th of November. Anti-Bullying Week is an annual opportunity for schools and educators to unite to address the issue of bullying. The theme for this year is ‘Make A Noise About Bullying.’
Bullying can affect all children. Yet, according to the Institute of Education research, children with special educational needs (SEN) are twice as likely as other young people to suffer persistent bullying. Anti-bullying week focuses on stopping all bullying, including that of disabled children and those with SEN.
Understand the Impact of Bullying
There is no legal definition of bullying, but it is often described as behaviour that hurts someone else, physically or emotionally. Bullying extends to psychological damage, affecting victims long after the incidents. Pupils who experience bullying often struggle with their self-esteem, mental health, and academic performance. Findings from Statista reveal that the most reported result of bullying is depression and anxiety.
The emergence of cyberbullying
The 2020 Bullying Survey by Ditch the Label highlights that bullying has increased by 25% year-on-year. The report shows that 1 in 4 pupils were attacked and 1 in 3 have experienced bullying online. According to ONS data, nearly three out of four children (72%) who had experienced online bullying behaviour experienced at least some of it at school or during school time.
Schools play a pivotal role in shaping the culture and values of our society. During Anti-Bullying Week, schools can take a proactive stance against bullying by:
Implementing anti-bullying programmes, workshops, and awareness campaigns can empower pupils and educators to recognise, report, and prevent bullying.
Encouraging diversity and inclusion within the school community is essential.
Establishing support systems, such as counselling services or a peer-to-peer scheme.
Make a Noise about Bullying
Educators and pupils wanted a theme that empowers them to do something positive to counteract the harm and hurt that bullying causes. Too often, people stay quiet when they see bullying going on.
Anti-Bullying week Activities
The week will kick off with Odd Socks Day on Monday 13th November, where educators and pupils can wear odd socks to celebrate what makes us all unique.
Created for this year’s Anti-Bullying Week, the ABA has created some fantastic materials. For key stages 1, 2, 3, and 4, activities explore the concepts of bullying, inclusion, and accepting differences.
Primary and Secondary School Packs
There is a school pack available for primary schools to download. These resources are suitable for Key Stage 1 or 2. There is a school pack available for secondary schools to download. These resources are for Key Stage 3 or 4.
The ideas in these packs are designed to help schools celebrate and engage in Anti-Bullying Week 2023. The resources in both packs tackle the issue of face-to-face and online bullying. The pack contains an assembly plan, lesson plan, and cross-curricular activity ideas that encourage pupils to think about how we can unite to address bullying.
Additionally, Twinkl also has a selection of fantastic display materials, resources, and activities to explore with pupils at all Key Stages as part of Anti-Bullying Week.
There is also free CPD-certified anti-bullying online training. This is suitable for teachers, teaching assistants, tutors, educators and anyone who works with children and young people. With 15 courses to choose from, topics include:
On Monday 13th November at 11 a.m., an interactive programme for primary schools will help children understand what bullying is and empower them to speak out about bullying. Hosted by Katie Thistleton, Tee Cee and Dr Ronx will guide pupils on how to spot and address bullying. This 30-minute programme will be available to watch via BBC Teach on the CBBC channel.
Educators and Their Role
Educators are on the front lines. They witness daily interactions and the challenges pupils face. To make a difference, they can:
Actively listen, creating an environment where pupils feel comfortable discussing their concerns.
Encourage open dialogue about bullying and its consequences.
Lead by example, demonstrating kindness, respect, and empathy in pupil interactions.
Protocol Education's Commitment
Bullying remains a significant problem for many children, with lasting impacts well into adulthood. At Protocol Education, we believe education is more than academic excellence; it's also about creating a safe and nurturing environment where all pupils can thrive.
We are dedicated to supporting schools and educators in their commitment to tackling bullying. This Anti-Bullying Week, let's raise our voices and work together to create a world where every pupil feels safe, valued, and empowered to reach their full potential.