This week is National Anti-Bullying week.  This national focus has provided an excellent opportunity for each division at St John’s to reiterate the importance of kindness, respect and inclusion and to raise awareness of bullying and the prevention of these acts of unkindness.   

Students in the Nicholas Owen Block celebrated ‘Be a kind friend day’ today, participating in activities that reminded them how to be respectful and caring friends.  Lessons in the Middle and Upper School focussed on inclusion and respect and, in addition, on Tuesday, the Middle and Upper School boys attended workshops with a guest speaker, David Blake.  

David is a qualified youth worker and teacher with a wealth of experience providing safeguarding training for Surrey County Council and on a national and international level. It was a pleasure to see so many of you attend David’s online presentation for parents on Tuesday evening at 7 PM. If you were unable to attend, please see the video of the event: 

In his presentation, to parents and boys, David clearly defined Bullying as

‘the activity of repeated, aggressive behaviour intended to hurt another person’. 

It was reiterated that bullying is not a one-off occurrence and the bully’s behaviour has an intentional motive to harm.    

The categories of bullying were defined as: 

  • Emotional  
  • Verbal 
  • Physical 
  • Cyber (emails, text messages, chats, gaming, phones, webcams, message boards) 

In addition, our presenter also asked the boys to define healthy and positive relationships and with Years 7 and 8 made them aware of the “Me Too” and “Everyone’s Invited” movement where more than 54,000 testimonies of harassment and assault have been made on the online platform.  “Everyone’s Invited” has since provoked the launch of the NSPCC abuse in education helpline (0800 136 663 or and an Ofsted review in schools.  This aims to protect children in education from such experiences. 

The following techniques were shared with the boys as practical advice to follow should they feel they are experiencing bullying: 

  1. To walk away from the situation. 
  2. To tell an adult that they feel they can trust when bullying happens. 
  3. To stick together, often bullies will not approach someone who is on their own.   
  4. Not to retaliate as this may get you in unnecessary trouble.   
  5. When cyberbullied, take a screenshot, save it and print it.   
  6. When working online, maintain privacy, do not share your phone or passwords with others.     

The activities during Anti-Bullying week have provoked many important reflections and ongoing conversations amongst boys and staff and is a clear reminder of our ethos and mission at St John’s. The opportunity to restate the values of inclusion, kindness and respect in the context of National Anti-Bullying week gives additional focus to the work we do in the school across the whole year.  

Flickr album: Year 2 Be A Kind Friend Day | Height: auto | Theme: Default | Skin: Default Skin

Please do take the time to discuss these ideas with your sons and reinforce the learning, so that we can work in partnership to ensure a kind and caring community. 

Mrs Barker & Mrs Walker 
Designated Safeguarding Lead & Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead