Dear North Tawton Friends and Families,
Anti Bullying Week
This week has been our anti bullying week. Of course, every week is anti bullying week, but this is a week each year schools focus specifically on the topic.
Throughout the year we have assemblies and PSHE sessions where we talk about what it means to be a good friend, we select books and poems to highlight kindness, teach internet safety lessons and address friendship issues as they arise. We talk about bullying specifically in lessons so that children are aware of what it is, and what to do when it happened to them, or they see it. We train older children to be peer mediators and play leaders so they can be role models to younger ones.
We share stories about people from a wide range of countries, cultures and religions, and from different families and with different abilities so that our children hear positive messages about us all being unique and to promote inclusion.
On Monday I held a workshop for parents to attend to find out more about what we are doing in school to tackle this issue and how we can work together to support our children. Only three parents attended, one parent gave apologies as something came up which prevented her from being able to attend. I was disappointed as this is such an important issue and many parents have raised this with me and other staff.
In the meeting I explained how our school rules are encapsulated in the three words:
We looked at the differences between being rude, being mean and bullying and discussed
the culture of bullying in popular books, films and TV shows and how it can be portrayed as ‘character building.’ Th reality is that some people do come through bullying experiences stronger, but many do not.
We also spoke about on line bullying, as this is where we experience many issues.
Do you know what platforms your children are using? Do you have filters? In school we are able to monitor children and we have a filter. We also have a system which alerts me to any user who accesses something that should be filtered, and also alerts me to any rude or threatening language written.
Tik Tok and Roblox are the platforms currently causing problems with some of our pupils at home. Also children sending and receiving unkind messages to and from each other on instant messenger, Snap chat and the chat functions in games like Roblox.
I shared the advice from a friend who did not give her children a phone, ipad or computer. She made it clear to them that she owns them, and allows her children to use them with her rules. She regularly monitors and has at times taken away for short periods if her rules are broken.
I cannot count the number of times I have spoken with a parent who is worried that their child is being bullied, however, I can easily count the amount of parents who have asked for help because they think their child is a bully.
It is our job to work together with you to help our children learn how to behave. We name the behaviour as bullying, not the child as a bully so stigma and shame do not prevent children from learning and changing.
Here are some great resources for parents:
Advice for parents and carers (anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk)
Bullying | Parents Guide to Support | YoungMinds
Helping Children Deal with Bullying & Cyberbullying | NSPCC
And this is an interesting article about the differences between being rude, mean and bullying:
Children in Need
It’s been a fabulous end to the week with children celebrating their uniqueness dressed up in all sorts of clothing and wearing odd socks. It was lovely to see children chatting, going for walks, sharing books and writing with children in other classes during our Think, Pair, Share and Read for Children in Need afternoon.
The facepainting was extremely popular and a huge thanks must go to our team of face painters. What a talented staff we have!
Please make sure you have signed up for a parent teacher meeting. We are happy to call you if that is more convenient
Week beginning 21st November – parent teacher meetings – class teachers will organise slots, these can be in person or a phone call
Friday 2 December Christmas Market –– after school in the hall and playground
Monday 12th December 2pm Magic Martin treat from FONTS
Wednesday 7th December –Christmas Jumper Day (raising funds for Save the children) and Christmas dinner (date changed to accommodate swimming)
Friday 9th December – 2pm Carol Service at school – parents welcome
Tuesday 13th December 2pm – Christingle at church – parents welcome
Nativity performances: Parents can attend Wednesday 14th December at 4pm or Thursday 15th Dec at 5pm – details about this to come via Dojo (we will have a dress rehearsal in school so all children can watch)
As always, please look at the class blogs to see what the pupils have been learning about this week.
With very best wishes