Bullying is Never Ok
Bullying is Never Ok
Earlier this year, all students and staff at Swan Valley Anglican Community School recognised the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence. The day started with students tying white ribbons onto the tree in our Friendship Garden. Primary and Secondary students later joined together to make buddy bands. Without a doubt, the highlight was all students and staff coming together to form a community heart, symbolising our commitment as a school to standing as one against bullying and violence: Bullying is Never OK!
The way to stop bullying is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Students and staff in the Secondary School have a strong sense of belonging and collectively maintain a purposeful, respectful and positive school climate. During Pastoral Care time we explore resilience, individual Signature Strengths and the importance of calm, clear and positive thinking as part of our Flourish and Thrive Program.
Our Protective Behaviours Program, in conjunction with other learning areas (such as Health and English), explore the nature of relationships with a focus on power and trust.
Characteristics of bullying and the strategies that bystanders can utilise are also explicitly taught. In addition, this is an opportunity to look at our own Prevention of Bullying Policy and the role that all students play in keeping our community safe.
Cyberbullying is also explored so that students have a clear understanding of online safety and what strategies they can use to protect themselves and others. These programs are enhanced by external providers, including Paul Litherland (Surf Online Safe), Armed for Life and Anglicare WA.
Camps are also seen as an integral component of our prevention of bullying strategy. Our Year 7 camp has a focus on resilience and team building, whilst the theme of our Year 8 camp is ‘Overcome’.
In the Primary School we focus on building strong and positive connections amongst peers. We never tolerate negative or intimidating behaviour towards others. This starts from the outset of a student’s learning journey, with a sense of being and belonging beginning in the Early Years.
All learning opportunities are targeted as students are equipped with the emotional intelligence skills they will undoubtedly rely on in later years. Students are encouraged to respect each other, value opinions, mediate disagreements and demonstrate the school’s Core Values: Commitment, Integrity, Compassion, Service and Faith.
Our Pastoral Care program explores the ways in which negative behaviours can easily become bullying and provides opportunities for discussion and skill development. Students learn the importance of not standing by and seeking help from an adult when necessary. Our students are empowered to know that they always have a right to feel safe.