Next week is Anti-Bullying week at St Christopher’s and we have been building up to it with assemblies and positive messages over the course of this week. The theme is ‘One Kind Word’ and Form Tutors will be speaking to the children about this in greater detail throughout the course of the week. Odd Socks Day will be on Friday 26th and I look forward to seeing a variety of colours and patterns!
This week I saw Years 1 and 2 for an Assembly where we read Everyone’s Different by Todd Parr, and we discussed the ways we are different. In fact, one page says “It is ok to wear glasses?” and one of the Year 1 children said, “Ms Lyle, YOU were wearing glasses when you read that page!” What a wonderful observation. On Thursday, 6G did an insightful Assembly for the whole school on Differences and being yourself. It was full of positive messages from the children of 6G.
At St Christopher’s we believe that the first step in combating bullying is embracing differences. Every person is unique and special and we celebrate this in our lessons, assemblies and theme weeks like Anti-Bullying week. In addition, it is important to me that we build children’s self esteem by encouraging them to try new things and meet challenges head-on and unafraid, because they know they have the resilience to handle success and setbacks. Happy, secure children are much less likely to be unkind to others. Finally, all adults at St Christopher’s evince kindness and acceptance of differences. Our school has a warm, inclusive culture that is, in my experience, very special. We also allow children to make age-appropriate mistakes, make it right with a heartfelt apology, and move on. Remember the marbles in the jar?
It is not always enough to tell children to be kind to one another. Bullying is a complex issue and it requires a robust solution. At St Christopher’s we take a multi-faceted approach to tackling bullying; we embrace differences, build children’s self esteem and resilience, and encourage the behaviours we want to see. I do believe that children must be allowed to learn from their mistakes but all of our pupils know that repeated unkind behaviour will not be tolerated at St Christopher’s.
Ms Elizabeth Lyle, Head