We spoke to Brechin High School’s anti-bullying group about their involvement in the Angus ‘Think B4 U Type’ campaign and the anti-bullying activities they are leading in their school.
The Angus ‘Think B4 U Type’ campaign was developed by young people across Angus in partnership with respectme, Angus Council and NSPCC Scotland. The year-long campaign aimed to further understanding of online bullying from a local perspective and find local, youth-led solutions to address it.
Young people from all eight secondary schools in Angus were involved in the campaign. At Brechin High School, the anti-bullying group was made up of: Rachel Talbot (S2), Jack Malcolm (S2), Mattea Chalmers (S2), Robbie Burke (S2) and Thomas Jordan (S2). Here are some of the activities they led…
Odd Socks Day
Odd Socks Day is a UK-wide Anti-Bullying Alliance initiative encouraging people to express themselves and celebrate their individuality. During anti-bullying week, the group held a fun session in the library where pupils came to colour in odd socks and chat to staff about bullying issues. Rachel Talbot (S2) said:‘The odd sock day went very well. We decided to take part in it because it promotes the message that it’s ok to be different.’
The anti-bullying group also led a series of PSE lessons for their peers in S1 and S2, in which they used exercises from our ‘Change Starts With Us’ campaign toolkit and lesson plans to discuss the effects of bullying.
‘Our PSE lessons linked with an S2 Mentors in Violence Prevention awareness day. The day focused on dealing with bullying behaviour by seeking out adults to help tackle bullying.’ – Thomas Jordan & Rachel Talbot (S2)
Finally, the group worked together to create ‘OK on the outside, not on the inside’, a film highlighting the hidden impact of bullying and reminding pupils that although someone may seem OK, that is not always the case.
‘We made the video as an alternative to our PSE lesson for classes which we couldn’t be in, or classes who wanted to know what our lessons were all about. In the future, we would like to send out the video to our cluster primary schools for them to show in class and have them discuss the effects of bullying. – Thomas Jordan (S2)
Going forward, the Brechin High School anti-bullying group will set up a pupil working group to promote the school values of friendliness, achievement, inclusion, trust, respect and honesty.
The group hopes to lead on health and well-being activities delivered throughout the year, and they have recently created a Google Form to measure the impact of their anti-bullying activities to date. They have reached up to 200 pupils and aim to eventually reach the whole school through assemblies.
When asked how they see these activities impacting the school, one ABG member said:‘Our future activities will promote teamwork, like an escape room and puzzle games, so the pupils can get to know each other better and they are not as nervous moving up to high school as they might be.’
Findings from the campaign are now included in Angus Council’s refreshed anti-bullying policy.