Borough of Poole ‘powers up’ against bullying

This year’s Anti-Bullying Week takes place across the country from 14 - 18 November. Organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, this year’s national theme is ‘Power for Good’ and aims to get children, young people, parents, carers and teachers to ‘power up’ and take action against bullies individually and collectively to create a safe environment where children can thrive.

An anti-bullying survey is undertaken with all Poole schools every year. The most recent survey showed that it was cyber bullying where schools had reported the most increase. The survey also revealed that half the schools which responded have peer mentoring schemes in place to help with friendship issues, whilst every school has a senior staff member who is an anti-bullying champion, with staff forums held every term. 

Throughout the week and beyond, schools across Poole will be getting involved in the anti-bullying campaign by putting on a host of awareness activities, competitions, workshops and assemblies. Specially-trained student anti-bullying ambassadors will be on hand in several schools, allowing students to support each other should bullying occur.     

Friendship is a key theme of school activity, with Victoria Education Centre and Lilliput CofE Infant School making whole school Friendship Trees, and Longfleet Primary School holding a Friendship Week to reinforce their ‘Respecting Charter’ with a host of activities across the school. The theme at Talbot Primary School is ‘Friendship Flowers’, with each child making a flower with a photo of themselves in the middle and words of friendship on each petal which will be put on display.  Anti-bullying ambassadors will be available at playtimes and lunchtimes and the PTFA are also funding a new bench that can be used as a base in the playground for friendship issues.

At Old Town Infant School and Nursery children and staff will join together in making a giant Friendship Flag, and children at Sylvan Infant School will be presented with two yellow friendship benches donated by Poole Rotary Club to go in the school playgrounds. Courthill Infant School playground will feature a friendship sign made from every child and adult’s handprint, and each child will receive a friendship bracelet to take home at the end of the week.

Baden Powell and St Peters School will be getting creative with an anti-bullying poem competition, and aspiring artists at Sylvan Infant School can enter a ‘How to be a Good Friend’ poster competition. Heatherlands Primary School has invited Caboodle Arts Company to perform The Power Within, a play tackling key issues around bullying, whilst a special puppet show will take place at Lilliput CofE Infant School. Creativity is also a key theme at Oakdale Junior School with a variety of anti-bullying activities including art, writing and drama.

All pupils at Oakdale Junior School and Hamworthy Park Junior School will attend special assemblies dedicated to the anti-bullying message. St Mary's pupils will use French lessons to look at anti-bullying slogans which can be shared with their partner school in Brittany, as well as designing their own super heroes to tie in with the ‘Power for Good’ theme. 

Students at Parkstone Grammar are putting on an anti-bullying showcase, including a poster competition, quiz, cake sale, balloon release and a ‘Power for Good’ photo booth. St Aldhelm’s Academy students will be writing ‘Power for Good’ pledges and story boards about their own super hero with super powers to be used for ‘the Power for Good’. 

At Poole High a drive will be taking place to recruit new anti-bullying ambassadors, with 14 students going on to attend specialist ambassador training. Bournemouth and Poole College is promoting the theme of ‘Power for Good’ by encouraging positive social action that improves rather than destroys lives. Students, staff and visitors will be encouraged to praise, motivate and assist others to develop a culture in which bullying has no place.

Anti-bullying videos will be created by Parkstone Grammar, Poole High and Victoria Education Centre students, whilst Poole Grammar School is highlighting the key issue of cyber bullying by holding an E-Safety Day presented by the Safer Schools Community Team. The school Anti-Bullying Committee has also designed a special button for the school website - clicking on this will reveal sources of information and contacts within the school who can help.

Winchelsea School will be promoting Anti-Bullying Week alongside Unicef UK’s Outright Campaign with children and staff wearing blue on Monday – the colour of both charities. Students will also be making their voices heard by writing letters to MP’s on issues affecting them. Students at Magna Academy will be able to visit an anti-bullying advice station at lunchtimes all week, and the school will also launch an anti-bullying anonymous box that can be used to report any bullying incidents.

Outside the schools, young people attending Poole’s Youth Centres and involved in youth projects will be exploring different approaches to tackling bullying, and engaging in discussion about how much of an issue it is for them. Bourne Valley Youth Centre will be running a host of  activities throughout the week  including comic strips, debate, quizzes and free food on the following days: Wednesday 16 November  - Year 10 and over,  Thursday 17 November - Years 8-9 and Friday 18 November - Years 6-7.

Dorset Police Safe Schools and Communities Team are delivering important anti-bullying education and training for schools and staff and have also created a 20 minute video for parents as well as providing a termly Parents Online Safety Newsletter, with tips on helping you keep up to date with your child’s online activity.  

Cllr Mike White, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Capital Projects, Borough of Poole, said: “Anti-Bullying Week helps to highlight the impact of bullying on children and young people in schools, communities and online. We take bullying extremely seriously, and hope that the work being done in our schools and with our partner organisations will bring children and young people, teachers, parents and carers together with the aim to help stop bullying.”

To find out more about all aspects of bullying, including cyberbullying and how to stay safe online, visit the Staying Safe page on the FID (Poole’s online Family Information Directory). 

Borough of Poole’s Anti-Bullying Strategy has been developed and led by the Poole Anti-Bullying Strategy Group and informed by consultation with children and young people, parents and carers, schools and key partners. A copy of the Anti-Bullying Strategy can be downloaded from the website.

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