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Anti-Bullying Week

Students tackle cyber-bullying for national campaign

Students from across the borough will descend on St Joseph’s Catholic College on Friday to mark Anti-Bullying Week (16-20 November).
 
Eleven schools will be showing film footage and performing plays, poems and dance routines for each other during the 'Blue Friday' event at the school, in partnership with Swindon Borough Council.
 
Anti-Bullying Week is a annual awareness campaign organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), which is part funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

This year the national theme is ‘Cyber-bullying’, giving Swindon students the chance to highlight the impact on young people of bullying through the use of mobile phones and the internet.
 
St Joseph's 
 
Students from St Joseph's will be performing a dance about a girl who is bullied in a fictitious dance class. The victim is bullied initially by one person who then encourages others to join in. The victim also receives threatening text from the bully and is the target of unpleasant posts on Facebook and MSN.
 
The dance ends with the victim informing the teacher about the situation who then resolves the issue. Later, the bully is given a chance to redeem herself.

According to the ABA, national research has found that more than a third of 12–15-year-olds have faced some form of cyber-bullying.
 
Locally, Swindon is in line with the national average for bullying.
To help combat bullying, a Swindon Anti- Bullying Vision has been spearheaded by the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the council.
 
The vision has also been developed in consultation with local organisations and groups. The purpose of the vision is to form a common agreement on how bullying should be tackled in both education and community settings.
 
Blue Friday Event
The aim of the Blue Friday event is give schools the opportunity to share any work they have undertaken on anti-bullying.

Five schools will also receive anti-bullying accreditation at the event. They are the first schools in the borough to receive this.
 
The schools are: Crowdys Hill School, Peatmoor Community Primary School, Highworth Warneford School, Brook Field Primary School and Shaw Ridge Primary School.

There are eight areas where schools need to provide evidence of the work they have done, including setting up an anti-bullying interest group involving school leadership, students, parents, teachers, a school governor and a representative from the wider community.
 
Schools also have to train students as peer mentors using recognised training providers, and staff training needs are identified to help them put steps in place to deal with bullying incidents.
The anti-bullying event starts at 10am and will be opened by Clive Maguire, the football and community development manager from Swindon Town Football Club.
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Anti Bullying Week - website
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