Anti-Bullying Week 2020
Themes: Staying safe and happy; making friends; finding help; respect; treating others well; dealing with bullies.
Summary: This assembly examines what makes someone turn to bullying and how bullies can be encouraged to change their behaviour. Pupils are invited to explore ways to deal with bullies, find help and stay safe and happy in school. Anti-Bullying Week 2021 is held in the UK in the w/c 15 November, organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. The events include 'Wear Blue Day' - an opportunity for everyone to signal their support for anyone who feels bullied.
Ensure you review the video for suitability before sharing it.
In the video Ariana describes how she learned to stop bullying others at school. She examines the roots of her bullying - beginning with the arrival of a new baby brother which made her feel left out at home.
Ariana recalls the things she did to hurt others, such as making personal remarks or deliberately breaking up friendships. She describes herself at this time as 'angry', 'unhappy' and 'closed off'.
After her teacher suggested she could make herself happy by making others happy, Ariana had a change of heart. She found that by reaching out to others, joining in and being friendly, she became happier too. She stopped being a bully and began to make friends.
Duration: 4' 32"
Last words: '...so...just had to get used to it.'
- What event in her life does Ariana say led her to start bullying at school? (She says the birth of her baby brothers made her feel left out and overlooked)
- Can you finish this sentence of Ariana's? 'If I'm angry then I'm going to..' ('...make everyone angry and then everyone's going to understand how I feel.')
- Why does Ariana say she 'built a wall around herself'? (She says she did it because she believed she couldn't tell anyone how she felt)
- Why did Ariana stop bullying other people? (She stopped after her teacher gave her some advice)
- What advice did Ariana's teacher give her? (Her teacher told her: 'If you want to be happy, surround yourself with happiness')
1. Entry music
'Lean on me' by Bill Withers. Dealing with how 'we all need somebody to lean on', this soul classic has been covered by numerous artists, with versions, lyrics, piano music and guitar chords all readily available online.
Display the image of two school friends. Ask pupils for words to describe it - eg: 'friendly, caring, inclusive, welcoming, happy'. Now ask for opposites of these adjectives - eg 'unfriendly, uncaring, excluding, hostile, miserable'. Ask: 'Why would anyone choose to be unhappy? Why would anyone choose to be unfriendly? Why do some people choose to be bullies?' After taking initial thoughts from the children, tell them about Anti-Bullying Week and add: 'One of the ways we can deal with bullying is to understand what drives someone to do it. That way, we can help them stop.'
3. The video
Play the video. The duration is 4' 32" and the final words are: 'So...I just had to get used to it.'
4. After the video
Tell the assembly: 'Friendship can be a cure for bullying. Our friends support and look after us. They make us feel wanted. But how do we make friends? One good way is to find things we have in common.' Choose pairs of pupils from different year groups. Give them two minutes to step to one side and find something they have in common. To help, give them a list of prompts: animals, food, favourite colours, favourite places, first memories, hobbies, sports, music, etc. While the pairs find their common ground, start a discussion with the rest of the children about the video they have just seen.
5. Time to talk
Begin the discussion with:
- Does understanding why someone is a bully excuse their behaviour? (No. Understanding helps us to deal with the bullying, but it doesn't mean we accept the bad behaviour.)
- Can a bully change? (Yes. Everyone is capable of change.)
- If you feel sad, scared or unhappy about the way someone has treated you, what should you do?' (Guide the children towards telling someone about what has happened: a friend, parent or teacher.)
Remind pupils a way to dealing with bullying is to form good relationships by finding common ground. Invite your pairs of pupils to share what they have found in common with one another. Suggest that at break-time, other children might like to try talking to someone new and finding out what they have in common.
Move the discussion to a close. Ask:
- What advice would you give someone to help them stop being a bully? (The children's suggestions might include: 'If you're feeling upset or angry tell someone how you feel, don't bottle it up inside.' / 'Try making someone else happy. It'll make you happy too.' / They might also make these points: find what you have in common and build on that. / Be a good role model. / You show respect for yourself by respecting others. So consider other people and their feelings. / Don't leave people out.)
End the discussion with:
- Remember, it's not your fault if someone else is a bully. You deserve to be happy and safe and free from bullies. When bullying happens, we can all do something about it using the positive power of friendship. Everyone can change. But if you are being bullied, tell somebody, so the bullying can stop.
6. Opportunity to sing
Suggestions for songs from BBC collections below.
7. Opportunity to reflect
We are all different, but we are all capable of friendship, sharing and respect.
If we respect others, then they will respect us in return. That's how friendship and how sharing works.
We are all different, but we are all together in one school community.
Think to yourself now about how you will show respect for others today.
8. Opportunity for prayer
Use your standard form of address ('Dear God', etc) and:
We thank you for our friends.
Help us to value and respect the things that matter to them and to share with them true friendship in return.
9. Follow-up activity
You (or children you have asked to prepare this in advance) could demonstrate how to weave a friendship band. These bands can be worn on the wrist or, if you're not a wristband person, used as a bookmark. They make great gifts. A friendship band is a strip of woven threads. The colours represent something important to the friends. So, for instance, it could be team colours for sports fans. Weaving a band is an easy and fun way for children to express what they have in common. To find out how to do it search online with the terms 'friendship band', 'friendship bracelet' or 'braiding wheel'.