This week is Anti-Bullying Week! It runs from the 13th– 17th of November and aims to raise awareness of the severity of bullying in both our schools and workplaces! Bullying is undoubtedly a massive part of school life, however that does not make it acceptable. It is recorded that a massive 50% of young people are being or have been bullied at some point during their school life. This stems from verbal bullying in primary school, to physical and cyber bullying as they approach secondary school. All types of bullying are wrong! And can have detrimental effects on children as they transition into adulthood. This is why Anti-Bullying Week is so important and at Hand Made Places we support their mission to make schools a safer and bully free environment for children of all ages.
Anti-Bullying Week 2017
This year’s theme for Anti-Bullying Week is ‘All different, all equal’ and aims to celebrate the differences in everybody. Bullying UK want to reiterate the message that these differences should be celebrated, and not be cause for discrimination.
Anti-Bullying Week was established by Bullying UK in 2004 and their first theme was ‘Stand up for us’. This theme targeted primary and secondary schools all over the UK, and urged them to improve their bullying policy.
Bullying happens in the majority of schools up and down the UK and therefore it is essential that schools have a policy in place to help to combat the effects of bullying. One of these policies which is tried and tested is the use of the ‘buddy’ system. This system works by having two children who are ‘partnered’ up. These children can usually find each other and confide in one another. This gives the child who is being bullied someone to talk to who is of a similar age and then often gives them the confidence to approach an adult. This therefore reduces the amount of children who feel that they have to tackle bullying alone.
Where does Hand Made Places come in?
This ‘buddy’ system has been adopted by many schools and has even grown beyond this small partnership, into a system which helps to build lasting friendship groups. At Hand Made Places, we support the growth of this buddy system and have designed the Buddy Bus Stop. This gives children a safe place to go and make new friends. Either ‘Mr Buddy Bus Stop’ or ‘Mrs Buddy Bus Stop’ can be used as a designated area where a nominated buddy can go. Or it can also be used as a space where children can sit with other children who are looking for friendship.
Another great product which Hand Made Places, design manufacture and install is the Friendship Bench. This is a large seating space which provides an area where children can sit and converse with other children. Again this simple piece of playground furniture can play a vital part in the building of friendships and relationships. Which is a big part of combating bullying.
Bullies usually segregate and separate children from their friends as people who are isolated are a much easier target. By employing the use of these great pieces of playground equipment you can encourage both friendships and social interaction. This enables schools to help to do their part in reducing bullying within their premises. It also encourages the formation of large social groups. These groups consist of a mixture of children, who are all different, but all equal!