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Students unite against bullying

1 February 2017

Over one hundred students from across our primary and secondary phases took part in an Anti-Bullying Conference that focused on sexist language and discrimination.

Our Anti-Bullying Conference, which took place on Tuesday 24th January, is an annual event which helps to further enhance the tough stance our school community takes against all forms of bullying.

On the back of the government’s criticism of schools for underplaying sexual harassment, and in addition to the related work that we already do in the classroom, Samuel Ryder Academy decided to address this important issue in-depth at this year’s conference.

The focus of sexist language and discrimination inspired numerous insightful discussions between the students who also produced inspirational video messages describing how they would tackle sexual harassment.

During the conference important topics such as homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, racism, ageism and gender inequality were also covered with students being given the opportunity to discuss and explore these topics in-depth.

Year 9 student, Charleigh Embers Heatley, said:

“It was a very interesting and enjoyable day. As well as learning more about these important issues we had fun activities to do and learnt how to prevent bullying.”

Year 9 student, Marco Spasiano, added:

“I learnt more about the different types of bullying and how bullying can make people feel. It was a really worthwhile experience.”

Members of the school’s Academy Cabinet supported with the preparation of the event by feeding into the planning stage and making suggestions for the activities on the day. The activities included quizzes, drama performances, debates, video messages, the presentation of student made films and a tower building exercise which was used to demonstrate discrimination and inequality.

The conference ended with students sharing their positive messages as one hundred gold balloons carrying these messages were released into the sky.

Headteacher, Mr Gauthier, said:

“The staff organised a variety of interesting and engaging activities that allowed the students to explore the range of issues that surround it.  I was so proud and impressed - it is a delicate and difficult topic and typically, the students approached it with great maturity and sensitivity.  I know that all of those involved got so much out of the day.

"At Samuel Ryder Academy we are very fortunate to have extremely low levels of bullying and the students, across all year groups, are very supportive of one another and are quick to take positive steps on the rare occasions where an instance of bullying may occur.

"We also feel very fortunate to have such a positive and supportive school community. Our most recent Ofsted report recognised that students “value the sense of community and feel safe” while students “socialise well and are proud of their school”."

We would love to hear from any recipients of the messages of hope that are being carried by the balloons - please do get in contact. 

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