This week, we are marking Anti-Bullying Week: an annual tradition that allows us to address an important issue whilst continuing to encourage a culture of kindness, tolerance and respect among our pupils. I wanted to share some of the key messages and activities happening in school during this week. Today, many of our pupils and staff (as well as many of you at morning drop off) are wearing odd socks to celebrate individuality.
This simple act serves as a visual reminder that our differences, which make us special and unique, are something to be celebrated. It’s a wonderful way to emphasise that diversity is what makes our school community vibrant and interesting.
In our assembly this morning, we discussed the concept of bullying. We defined it as: the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another, where there’s an imbalance of power involved. Bullying can manifest in various forms, such as physical, verbal, or psychological, and it can occur face to face or online. This year, the focus of Anti-Bullying Week is ‘Make a Noise about Bullying’ and that we can make a difference by taking a stand against bullying. While we may not always agree with everyone, we can choose respect and unity at all times. I shared a video Anti-Bullying Week 2023: Make A Noise which conveys this message effectively.
Tomorrow, during Form Time, the girls will delve deeper into the theme of Anti-Bullying Week. Then, on Wednesday, we will all gather on the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) after playtime to ‘Make a Noise about Bullying.’ This will be a powerful demonstration of our commitment to standing up against bullying.
Throughout the week, all of the girls will fill pictures of megaphones with kind images, words, phrases and affirmations. Miss Kitsis (Head of KS2) and Mrs Brant (Head of EY & KS1) plan to use some of these in a whole Junior School display as a constant reminder of the values we uphold.
We also discussed the benefits of developing emotional literacy, emphasising its positive impact on the girls’ mental health, well-being, and their relationships with others. Miss Alfaro and Miss Walker (our PSHE & Emotional Management Leads) used our Emotional Management Programme, Kimochis, to highlight the significance of recognising and comprehending emotions, as well as distinguishing between feelings and behaviours. Their core message was that experiencing a range of emotions is normal, but that it’s essential to express them without resorting to hurtful behaviours.
We believe that by instilling these values and principles, we can make our school a more respectful environment. We are committed to continually reinforcing the importance of kindness and being empathetic like Empathy Rabbit. In the most recent weekly newsletter from Tooled Up Education, entitled Raising Emotion Scientists, they proposed the idea that we should support children in becoming ’emotion scientists.’
The newsletter includes a quote from Professor Marc Brackett, the founding director of the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence, stating, “True success is learning how to use your emotions wisely to achieve your personal goals and well-being.”
Thank you for your ongoing support in promoting a positive and inclusive school community. Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of our pupils.
Happy Diwali to all of our families celebrating! On this joyous festival of lights, may your life be illuminated with happiness, prosperity, and the warmth of love. May the divine light bring hope and peace to your heart and home.
With warm wishes
Miss Dina Hamalis
Head of the Junior School