On Wednesday 4th July, twelve Year 10 students participated in an anti-bullying ambassador training day led by The Diana Award at St Patrick’s RC High School. The training day helped to teach us how to respond to different bullying scenarios as well as showing us some ways in which to promote anti-bullying within our school.
At the start of the day we were taught how to differentiate the various aspects of bullying such as verbal, physical, and indirect. We even learnt about the different tactics people use when cyber bullying others. These involved denigration (sharing false information about others online) and flaming (use of extreme and offensive language). By learning about all the different ways someone cam be bullied it reminded us how we are Anti-Bullying Ambassadors both offline and online.
After this, we were taught how to recognise when a peer might need support. We did this by watching a video in which a bully victim told us his story. From the video we were able to identify the warning signs that he was being bullied as well as how the bullying was making him feel. It is important that we can understand how a bullying victim may feel as well as the signs and symptoms that indicate a person may be being bullied. The Diana Award trainers clearly informed us on how vital it is that we can spot bullying before it becomes an even more serious situation.
From this we began to talk about how to handle a bullying scenario. The key message from the entire day was to make sure you were an upstander not a bystander. This shed a light on how much difference reporting a bullying incident that you witnessed makes rather than expecting everyone else to do something about it. They also emphasised how when talking to a victim of bullying it is important that you let them tell their story without interrupting and letting them think of solutions that they think would make a difference to the situation rather than just telling them what you plan to do to resolve it.
To test out whether we fully new how best to handle different scenarios, we were given a bullying scenario and had to come up with possible solutions. The scenario we received was “A boy in your year spends all his lunchtimes in the library on his own. At the end of every lunch break the popular kids wait out side the library to call him names like ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’. What do you do?” As a team we decided the best thing to do was to try and understand what interested him and see if there was a club in school that would appeal to his interests. We would also try to find him safer places to spend his lunchtime as well as ensure that the bullies were kept away.
Towards the end of the day we started to think about ways in which to promote our anti-bullying campaign. From this we now have lots of ideas which include talking in assemblies and finding ways to encourage kind behaviour within our school community. Now that we have returned to school we are beginning to formulate plans for the new academic year so that we can start to make a positive change in Helsby High School. You can recognise your Anti-Bullying Ambassadors by their blue anti-bullying badges. Please feel free to come up to us at any time if you have any questions about our role or you wish to report a case of bullying. We are all looking forward to making Helsby High a safer and happier environment in the new year.
The school would like to thank the Frodsham Ladies Circle for their kind donation which has allowed the school to pay for the training.
Written by Thea W, who is one of Helsby The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors