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Sunderland school hosts Rainbow Friday to promote anti-bullying initiative

Hasting Hill Academy has hosted Rainbow Friday to launch its anti-bullying initiative and promote the role of their anti-bullying champions.

By Neil Fatkin
Friday, 25th March 2022, 12:13 pm

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As part of the event, children made friendship bracelets and brought in balloons representing the different colours of the rainbow which contained important messages they’d wrote about friendship, loyalty, respect and trust.

The balloons were placed in a pit in which students had to find their balloon and pass on their message to another member of the class.

The day was also a chance for the school to promote their Anti-bullying Champions (ABCs) who have special ABC high visibility jackets and are stationed around the school at break and lunchtimes to support pupils who may be experiencing bullying.

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Year 5 ABC Emily Steabler, nine, said: “My job is to be there if someone wants to talk to me and to try and help people to be friends. If there’s a big issue then there’s a member of staff I can go and see.”

Fellow ABC Tiena Manishi, nine, added: “I was really proud to be asked to be an Anti-bullying Champion and help stop people from being bullied.”

A key aspect of the day was about celebrating difference and diversity.

Anti-bullying champion Maisie Riseborough, 11, with some messages of support on her anti-bullying balloons.

ABC Amira Ahmed, 10, added: “Instead of people being mean it’s important to respect everyone for who they are. If you show someone respect they are more likely to respect you back.”

The event was coordinated by Year 5 teacher Kathryn Clapperton who added: “We have an ABC from each year group and today is all about raising their profile. They’ve been trained to recognise what represents bullying through our phrase BOO; being mean, on purpose and over and over.

"Each ABC also has key adult to report any issue to who will ensure it’s dealt with. It’s really important every child feels safe in school.”

Rainbow Friday at Hasting Hill Academy to promote anti bullying initiative. The school's Anti-bullying Champions in the rainbow balloon pit.

The school is also focusing on educating children about the dangers of cyber-bullying.

ABC Maisie Riseborough, 11, said: “This is something I’ve experienced and it’s important to deal with all types of bullying both inside and outside of school.”

Already a Rights Respecting Gold Award recipient, the school hopes the initiative will help achieve the prestigious Charter Mark status.

Headteacher Natalie Fountain said: “This project is about children taking ownership and responsibility of this subject and boosting their self-esteem.”

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