Bullying is an issue that all parents have concerns about; Chesterfield takes it very seriously. The Department of Education in partnership with The Diana Award’s developed the idea of Anti-Bullying Ambassadors being in every school in Britain. In the past academic year (2011-2012) they have recruited over 400 Anti-Bullying Schools and have seen a 20-40% reduction of bullying incidents. To help keep Chesterfield High School a happy, safe place, free from bullying we jumped at the chance to join.
Two pupils from each year were nominated by their Heads of Year to become ambassadors. Their role is to look out for bullying hotspots around school and to make staff aware of these places. They also act as the bridge between staff and pupils. Any pupils who is aware of someone being bullied or being a bully, or pupils who feel they are being bullied can approach an ambassador who can then alert staff members.
4 members of the group attended a government training course developed for the Anti-Bullying ambassador scheme. The day focused on team building, watching good practice of being an ambassador, and role play in which each group had a scenario highlighting the work the Anti-Bullying ambassadors would do. They also worked with ambassadors from other schools and discussed why their role is important.
Suzie MacKenzie and James Price, our year 9 ambassadors, also attended an Anti-Bullying Conference held in Bootle Town hall for all high schools in Sefton. Here they talked about what things our school has in place to help prevent/deal with bullying and also took some ideas down from other schools.
It was anti-bullying week from 19th – 23rd November 2012. To raise their profile, during this week the ambassadors spoke in each year’s assembly explaining who they were and what their role was. They also carried out some fund raising activities. They had a cake sale and they also organised ‘throw a sponge at Mr Henney’ to raise money for the NSPCC who fund anti-bullying initiatives across the UK. From these events they raised £116.72. They also hope to raise more money on the last day of term when we will be having a red or blue MUFTI day in line with the official colours if anti-bullying.
Since then the Anti-Bullying ambassadors have produced numerous form time activities based around different types of bullying; cyber-bullying, racist bullying etc. They have also staffed a drop-in in CASC every lunchtime for people to come and tell of any incident of bullying they have experienced, or seen.
The hard work put in by all the ambassadors has been well received by the pupils and staff at Chesterfield and a number of pupils have used their help to deal with small friendship issues that could have developed into more serious situations.