Anti-Bullying Week 2021 takes place between Monday 15th – Friday 19th November, providing an opportunity for schools, organisations, and individuals to raise awareness about bullying and how this issue affects lives around the world. 

Bullying is defined as “the behaviour of an individual or group, that repeated over time, intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.” (The Department for Education)

It is important to remember that bullying can be verbal, physical, relational, sexual, social or online (cyberbullying) and one in five children have been a victim of online bullying, with 44% reporting that the bullying took place during lockdown. The most common platforms being Facebook –29.8%, WhatsApp – 24.9% and Snapchat – 22.9%. (Impero, 2021)

‘One kind word’ is this year’s theme for Anti-Bullying Week, where we can be so distracted with stresses of our lives, we are being encouraged to remind ourselves how much different one kind word to someone can really make. These small acts of kindness can drastically change someone’s day and improve their mental well-being. 

How can we stand against bullying and how much does ‘One Kind Word’ matter? 

  • Educate children on what bullying is. Increased awareness and knowledge on the matter can help students identify signs of harm. 
  • Encourage children to reach out. ‘One Kind Word’ is all about the power of kindness and understanding. Teach students to check up on their peers and to be kind in their interactions.  
  • Set clear and enforceable rules against bullying in your classroom. If a student breaks the rules or they are caught bullying a peer, hold them accountable. Furthermore, encourage students to uphold the rules and hold each other accountable. 
  • Keep an eye out for cyberbullying. Online communication helps build relationships and exchange information, but the risk of online bullying persists. 
  • Promote open communication. Many students will spend their school year at home, making it harder for teachers to spot signs of bullying. Therefore, having open and consistent communication with your students is key. 
  • Spot the warning signs. Have you noticed constant confrontation between two students, or have you noticed one student is isolating themselves? Maybe they struggle with attendance, concentration, sleep, or have otherwise problematic behaviour? These are just some of the warning signs of bullying to look out for.

You can find more information, guidance and resources on our website: https://www.onyourmind.org.uk/portfolio-items/bullying-2/