Schools in Northampton launch their Anti-Bullying Week with kind words and odd socks first on the agenda
The annual event begins in the wake of rising rates of bullying in Northamptonshire
Schools across Northampton have launched their Anti-Bullying week, aiming to reduce bullying in schools, with kind words and wearing odd socks first amongst their list of activities.
The week-long event, which takes place November 15th to November 19th is promoted by the Anti Bullying Alliance. It is held annually with the aim to reduce bullying in schools and raise awareness of the impact it can have on young people.
This comes not long after Department for Education figures revealed that bullying was on the rise in Northamptonshire schools, despite lockdown keeping students at home for months.
The Anti-Bullying week began on Monday (November 15th) with the curious 'Odd Socks Day' where students wear brightly-coloured odd socks to school.
Ellie Day, who teaches Year 5 and acts as PSHE coordinator at Green Oaks Primary School in Kingsthorpe, spoke positively of the idea. She said that bringing the funky footwear into schools for the day would make the day enjoyable, whilst underlining a very important message.
She said: "It's important that it's fun for the children as well as thought-provoking. Giving the opportunity to express themselves and celebrate what makes each of us individuals and what makes us who we are.
"We also show students how they can stand up if they see something that isn't right and how it should be done properly."
The idea combines with existing efforts to root out bullying, especially in the form of 'Anti-Bullying Ambassadors' who are students themselves. The 'Ambassadors' act as a friendly face on the playground for children who may be feeling unsafe.
At Sponne School in Towcester, students lead a similar function known as an 'anti-bullying group' where they hold discussions around how to tackle bullying and stop incidents when they occur. The school is one of many that work with the Diana Award, supported by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, which offers training sessions on the issue for both students and staff.
Kelly Notley, who is the assistant head teacher, said: "I think quite often students don't realise the impact that they have through what they say. So we're looking to tackle that by having them say kind things to each other and see the impact it has.
"It doesn't take very much to be kind. That's not just about being in social situations. It's about being online and every day life. It's about helping our students become responsible adults."
The event is set to continue all week (November 15th to 19th) with a range of activities all designed to promote the school environment as a safe and positive place for students.