MSJ Anti-bullying Ambassador initiative
Malvern St James has teamed up with Anti-Bullying Pro to create Anti-Bullying Ambassadors within the School. On 3 October, 29 girls from Years 8 to 13 took part in a training day run by Anti-Bullying Pro and will ensure MSJ always has an inclusive and positive environment for girls to live and study in.
Anti-Bullying Pro are part of the Diana Award, an organisation who work to support, recognise and reward young people who carry on Princess Diana’s legacy of being compassionate, kind and charitable to others. They have trained over 22,000 young people in 2,500 schools. The programme aims to empower students and staff through a holistic and peer-led approach by engaging them to change the attitudes, behaviours, and culture of bullying by building skills and confidence to address different situations, both online and offline.
There was much interest from all Year groups and our Anti-bullying Ambassadors were selected from all those who applied.
Here are just some of the reasons girls gave for wanting to become an Anti-Bullying Ambassador.
“It’s because I love MSJ and I want to contribute to the school. For me school is a warm and loving environment to learn and grow, therefore I don’t want anyone to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable at school and I just want everyone to be happy and enjoy life at MSJ like I do.” Mandy Choi
“To help MSJ become a 100% positive zone and encourage people to make kindness a lifestyle.” Tito Otegbeye
“Becoming an Anti-Bullying Ambassador would allow people to know that I am willing to listen and understand.” Maddie Lynch Williams
“I think no one should be made to feel sad, lost or alone because of bullying. I want to replace those feelings with cheer and joy.” Harriett Lawton-Smith
During the course of the training day, the girls learned more about bullying, the causes and signs. They also learned about the different types of bullying which include physical, verbal and indirect. They explored the importance of having a support network to turn to, learned a little about the laws which are cover bullying and did some role play and scenario work. The last part of the day was spent coming up with ideas about how to form a culture of kindness and positivity. There were some great ideas which included a colour run to celebrate diversity which the girls hope to organise next year and organising some parent information sessions to share what they have learned. Here’s what some of the girls said about their training.
“My favourite part of the training day was the parachute exercise. It emphasised and celebrated positive things about us and connected everyone. There was nobody without a grin during that hour. We related to one another and felt good about ourselves.” Lydia Green
“When I signed up to be an Anti-Bullying Ambassador I didn’t really know if I was fit for the job but after a day of training I grew comfortable and confident in what I was doing. I think it was a great experience. We played a number of games including my favourite which was human bingo because I got to know people I don’t often speak to.” Alexia Rugasira
Our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors wasted no time and were introducing themselves to the school community in assembly just days later. They are available to talk to in the Library during lunch breaks twice a week and most excitingly, have been busy planning this year’s Anti-Bullying Week (w/c 13 November). The ABA team has organised form time activities, are creating a happiness vlog, spreading positive quote cards around school and have a super assembly planned.
45% of young people in the UK experience bullying before the age of 18 but we want to make sure that this doesn’t happen at MSJ.
Words by Miss Keri Haw
Deputy Head of Boarding and Mount Headmistress