As a school, Gladstone SHS recognises that bullying is an increasing problem for our young people and that we need to be proactive in promoting awareness and giving students the tools they need to cope with some of these challenging situations.
To support this approach, students here also have the benefit of a fantastic student support team, which includes a dedicated Care Class teacher, Positive Behaviour for Learning team, Year Co-ordinators, Guidance Officers, Chaplains and our School-Based Police Officer.
Our school theme this year, courtesy of the school Positive Behaviour for Learning team, is ‘Bullying is un-bear-able’. Over the last few weeks, students have been working with their Care Class teachers to understand what bullying is and how it can impact people, as well as learning strategies to deal with this kind of behaviour and how to be an ally rather than a bystander.
To reinforce this message, our students have been involved in the following activities:
• A group of Senior student council members have taken Stan the anti-bully bear (who is a giant teddy almost as big as some of our year 7 students!) around to Junior classes as a way to show their support and help deliver and discuss the anti-bullying message. Students then have the chance to pose for a photo with Stan to show their support (which will be published in the newsletter or on the school Facebook page), and this has been a huge hit!
• We are also building a Bullying. No Way! wall, using paper bricks designed by students to show that bullying is not welcome at Gladstone State High. Each of these bricks depicts a powerful message against bullying behaviour and it has been fantastic to see students’ passion and creativity on the issue.
• Finally, we have your Year 10 Peer mentors visiting Care Classes in the morning to lead Junior students through a range of activities on how to be an ally rather than a bystander, aimed at empowering students and promoting the idea that everyone can play a part in discouraging bullying behaviour.
These initiatives have really been led by our students this year, which shows they are taking ownership of this issue and are resolved to work together to stamp out bullying in their school.
Here at Tannum High, we are taking a different approach: KINDNESS DAY. A team of staff and student leaders have been working to put together a little something for this day: a kindness project.
Rationale: Instead of focussing on what bullying looks like and that students shouldn’t do it, we have aimed to put the spotlight on the opposite of that: kindness. Today is all about spreading kindness around TSSHS, and hopefully that will allow students to see how far a little positivity and kindness can go.
Thursday at House group each student received one compliments card to fill in for another student in that house group. Encouraging students to write genuine compliments, not only external ones like ‘you have nice hair’ etc. That’s over 1000 compliments in one day!
Today teachers handed out compliments cards on parade and lunchtime Friday our student leaders and any teachers who wished to be involved (especially teachers on playground duty) wore fluoro orange safety vests and gave out ‘free compliments’- cards with positive messages to students as they passed by. By the smiles on Natania D’Sa and Kyan Naylor it certainly made their day!
Teacher and organiser Emma Smith, said she was delighted by how the staff had supported the initiative, at least one teacher taking the time to add another compliment to each card in her class.