Dealing with bullying; why it matters

Our goal as educators is to prepare our boys not only for their next academic step (in our case, the 7+ and transitioning to their next schools at Year 3) but also for life ‘beyond’, the world of interactions and relationships with others and arming them with the tools to become the best versions of themselves.

Care is one of our 3 key values at the Falcons Pre-Prep and therefore a very important word in our school community, encompassing many areas. For example, caring for your friends and family, helping someone when they are feeling sad or lonely, as well as caring about wider issues such as the environment and supporting our chosen charity, the Marine Conservation Society.

Anti-Bullying Week has meant that the value of ‘Care’ has taken centre-stage and has been at the very heart of our conversations with the boys as we have talked all week about the importance of being kind to one another and celebrating everyone’s differences.

The Annual Anti-Bullying Survey 2018 makes for very interesting reading, having been conducted across 9,150 young people aged between 12-20, and highlights why it is so important for anti-bullying messaging to be communicated within the school environment.

Out of those who had experienced bullying (1 in 5), the key perpetrator of the bullying was cited as a classmate in 57% of cases.  The main reason for bullying was given as ‘attitudes towards my appearance’ at 52%.  With this in mind, it is clear why ‘Odd Socks Day’ was such a brilliant supporting concept for Anti-Bullying Week, one which we fully embraced and encouraged all the boys and teachers to come to school wearing odd socks, the crazier the better!

It has been a heartwarming and fun way of allowing us to reinforce our zero-tolerance policy towards bullying and discuss with our boys the joys of being different from one another and how there is power in being unique rather than all trying to fit a mold or stereotype.

We know that sometimes being confident enough to embrace your uniqueness takes ‘Courage’, but that’s another value to discuss on another day!

Adel Thomson – Deputy Head