All different, all equal

Posted: 16th November 2017

Anti-bullying week: a Whole School mission

We were pleased to support Anti-bullying week this year with a range of activites throughout the school. “As a school that promotes Gospel values of truth, justice, compassion and reconciliation, we aim to help both the victims and perpetrators of bullying”, commented Mrs Cotton.

Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and takes place this year from 13th – 17th November 2017. The Anti-Bullying Alliance aims to:

  • empower children and young people to celebrate what makes them, and others, unique
  • help children and young people understand how important it is that every child feels valued and included in school, able to be themselves, without fear of bullying
  • encourage parents and carers to work with their school and talk to their children about bullying, difference and equality
  • enable teachers and other children’s workforce professionals to celebrate what makes us ‘all different, all equal’ and celebrate difference and equality. Encouraging them to take individual and collective action to prevent bullying, creating safe environments where children can be themselves.

In advance of Anti-Bullying Week, Form III, Lower IV and Upper IV participated in Virtual-Reality Anti-Bullying Workshops on the morning of Friday 10th November.

A trainer from Education Group played a virtual reality bullying scenario to the girls, and they were able to interact with the characters (pupils and teachers) that they could see on the screen via their headsets. Danielle, the trainer from Education Group, then engaged the girls in discussions about bullying behaviour and how to avoid it.

After a workshop with School Council, Katya and Tara in Priory 6 generated the following ideas for activities for Form Time this week:

Shout Outs

The girls take it in turns to say ‘Shout Out to (name) for (thing they have done)’. This might be an act of kindness, something impressive in class, something amazing in co-curricular etc. (This would make a great weekly activity, they noted).

Paper Hands

The girls can draw around their hand and put their name at the top of the page and the hands are passed around the class and compliments are added inside each hand.

Mrs Costello held an Assembly for Preps I to III on the theme of Anti-Bullying Week, ‘All Different, All Equal’. The Preps noticed that there was something extra on the Prayer Table that day – a box. A few of the girls (and Mrs Raffray) took it in turns to have a look in the box, and tell Mrs Costello whether they thought what was in the box was unique, beautiful and special. They all did – and so everyone else had to guess what they thought might be in the box! Guesses included a necklace, a light, a rosary, a photo of your family, a picture of Jesus, love from God?

Mrs Costello then revealed that there was in fact a mirror inside the box, and explained that we are celebrating that we are all different this week, and that even though we might like different things and have different interests, we are all special. The girls learned that the school is like a cake; all the ingredients are different, and they all do different things – but they are all important.

This Anti-Bullying Week, Prep I have been learning what ‘bullying’ means, Prep II were thinking about things they are proud of and Prep III have been talking about what it takes to be a good friend. Assembly ended with the following prayer, for which they each had a quiet think to fill in the gaps:

Dear God

I’m so thankful that you gave me _______

I’m so glad that you helped me with _______ today

I love you God because you _______

Please help me tomorrow as I _______

Please watch over _______

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