Reach out and listen up

Pupils at the High School of Dundee have been promoting positive behaviour to mark National Anti-Bullying Week.

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Since Monday, pupils from throughout the Senior School have been taking part in a range of activities based around the theme of, ‘Reach out and Listen Up.’

Recognising that one of the biggest challenges in dealing with bullying behaviour is the fear of being called a “snitch” for reporting it, the theme combines those of the Scottish, English and Welsh campaigns and is all about encouraging and supporting pupils to speak up and take action against bullying.

Led by the School’s Anti-Bullying Ambassadors (pupils who are about to engage in Respect Me anti-bullying training), the event has seen pupils take part in:

- A Motivational Monday anti-bullying Kahoot Quiz
- Treasure Hunt Tuesday: featuring anti-bullying clues and riddles to promote ‘Good Vibes’
- Wonderful Wednesday: positive quotes displayed around school, focusing on the theme of asking for help, and the power of support and respect
- Thrilling Thursday in which lunchtime was devoted to fun activities, including Just Dance, Pictionary, cup pong and Twister, to promote positive participation and inclusion
- Feel Good Friday: a non-uniform day tying in with Children in Need and a House themed day led by House Co-ordinators and House Captains

In addition, the Anti-bullying ambassadors have been leading assemblies this week, as well as creating a lesson for PSHE.

Meanwhile, children throughout the Junior Years received powerful anti-bullying messages, and reminders of the importance of kindness and respect, in the course of a special assembly on Teams.

Louise Baxter, PT Guidance, co-ordinated the event. She said, “This week’s campaign has given us a platform to deliver a strong anti-bullying message across our whole school community. Our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors have worked hard to plan and organise the week’s activities. In assemblies and PSHE, we made clear the type of behaviour that constitutes bullying and the serious negative impact these behaviours can have on individuals. We placed a particular emphasis on 'banter' and how the use of this language can often wrongly excuse bullying.

“Through our slogan of ‘Reach Out and Listen Up’, we combined the importance of reaching out to ask for help and reaching out to help someone in need, as well as ensuring our young people understand that they will be listened to in an agreed response to dealing with any bullying behaviour.

“Our goal is to collectively stand together to challenge negative behaviour and promote kindness and respect.”