From the 11th to the 15th of November, we focused on our Anti-Bullying Week. This year’s theme was ‘Change Starts With Us’. We echoed the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s message that small changes can make big differences! Although Laxton Junior School is a happy place where we embed our positive values every single day, bullying (wherever it takes place and whether it is verbal, physical, online or in-person) has a significant impact on a child’s life well into adulthood. By making small, simple changes, we can break this cycle and create a safe and happy environment for everyone.

Together, we can challenge bullying. Change starts with a conversation. It starts with checking in with others. It starts with working together. Change starts at LJS!

Our aim from this week was to inform our community that it takes a collective responsibility to stop bullying. So on Tuesday, 12th November, we wore odd socks to school to express ourselves in a fun way and to celebrate individuality! Throughout the week our Forms took part in activities and conversations during Form Time and PSHE linked to anti-bullying. Using Votes for Schools – our online voting platform that gives all young people a better knowledge of current affairs, embodies British Values and helps prepare our learners for life in a democratic society – the children discussed their ideas on responsibilities, the small changes they could make, explored a range of different scenarios and took actions by creating posters.

School Council also launched a design competition for their peers – the ‘Buddy Bench’! They decided to launch this competition after friends in their class said that we should bring back the Buddy Bench. The Buddy Bench is a tool for positive well-being. It is a special place where children can go when they feel lonely, want to talk to someone, are looking for new people to play with or feel like they need support from their peers. School Council want to make sure that LJS’s Buddy Bench is unique to our school, just as each and every person is unique!

Staff, the PFA and pupils all took part in discussing our current Anti-Bullying policy and procedures, sharing opinions on useful practices within the school and those that can continued to be improved. These conversations are of the upmost importance as we continue to ensure that our community is fully involved in the success of every day at LJS.

Remember, we can all choose to be kind, thoughtful and helpful to others or we can choose to ignore things, look out for ourselves and laugh when we know it hurts someone else. It really is up to us to the be change we want to see and make our community the happiest and safest place it can be!

For more information on anti-bullying, check out these websites: NSPCC, Anti-Bullying Alliance and Safe to Net.