education.govt.nz

Countdown to Bullying-Free NZ Week 2018

Issue: Volume 97, Number 6

Posted: 6 April 2018
Reference #: 1H9iDZ

Every school will have to deal with bullying at some time. Bullying is a complex and serious issue that disrupts school life, affects student health and wellbeing, and can contribute to a range of poor educational and life outcomes. Bullying prevention is most effective when applied early to children who are young – the earlier the better. Reducing and preventing bullying requires a whole-school approach with everyone – students, staff, parents and whānau — sharing responsibility for making school a safe and inclusive place.

 Rathkeale Senior College, Masterton, conducting colourful chemistry experiments

Rathkeale Senior College, Masterton, conducting colourful chemistry experiments for Pink Shirt Day 2017.

We know that most bullying takes place away from adults and the majority of children and young people find it difficult to talk to adults about bullying. This year’s theme, Let’s Talk About It! is a chance to focus on encouraging conversations between students and the adults around them, and to get the whole community talking about the issue.

There’s a lot on offer. A free bumper school activity pack is available, which includes a range of activities to encourage students to tell their stories and talk about how safe they feel at school. All primary and intermediate schools are being sent sets of four laminated posters to help students understand what bullying is and what they can do if they’re being bullied or see it happening. Each poster includes a space for students and staff to add what they do at their school to be a Bullying-Free NZ school. In addition, there is a DIY poster to help schools create their own poster. Schools can also use the updated media guide to help tell their community about their bullying prevention activities.

Students can enter this year’s competition to write, make or compose something to highlight the Bullying-Free NZ Week theme.
Let’s Talk About It! Entries will be judged in three age groups: junior, intermediate and senior, with winners receiving $500 worth of resources of their choice for their school. We’re also searching for bullying prevention superstars – nominate a student, staff member or group responsible for outstanding work to prevent bullying at your school.

The week ends with Pink Shirt Day(external link) led by the Mental Health Foundation  – end on a high note with an event showing your school’s commitment to a bullying-free environment.

Bullying-Free NZ Week is an initiative of the cross-sector Bullying Prevention Advisory Group, a collaboration of organisations from the education, health, justice and social sectors, as well as internet safety and human rights advocacy groups.

The focus of Bullying-Free NZ is to provide practical resources school staff can use to implement, sustain, expand and modify their approaches to bullying prevention within a whole-school framework, and in response to the unique needs of their students’ social and emotional learning.

Make sure your school gets involved in this year’s Bullying-Free NZ Week(external link). All resources are free and available on our website, where you can view details for both competitions and check out 2017’s winners.

It doesn’t matter who or where you are, you can make a difference to someone’s life by saying NO to bullying. Thank you for supporting a Bullying-Free New Zealand.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 10:55 am, 6 April 2018

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