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Anti-Bullying Week is a huge time in our diary at Konflux Theatre, with schools all over the country using our workshops to encourage their pupils to think about bullying in a different way. When it came to writing a new workshop this year, we talked in the office about the importance of prevention when it comes to bullying. Having discussed different ideas, we settled on a very important, simple theme – friendship – and that was how ‘Lean on Me’ was born.
Our aim is to show pupils that tolerance and friendship can help create an environment where everyone feels accepted and safe and to enhance their understanding of the importance of kindness to one another, in the hope that this will prevent any kind of bullying behaviours as they grow older.
When researching what we can all do to highlight kindness in work and school – I came across this article on Psychology Today, explaining some simple steps we can take to generate a positive space for everyone:
Notice Kindness - Identify the feeling whenever you observe it. “You must feel kindness toward your friend because you were patient waiting for her to finish.”
Chart Kindness - Instead of putting student names on the board for not paying attention or not finishing homework, make a list on the smart board of students who show kindness toward others. Vote for the kindest student and put that name on the board, too!
Kindness Projects – There are many web-based kindness projects. The Kindness Project that can also teach geography tracks kindness tokens distributed all over the world when kind acts are performed.
Teach Empathetic Tolerance – Tolerance for others requires that students build the neuroscience connections that enable them to feel kindly toward others. To teach tolerance is to teach the empathy that begets feelings of kindness. One of the best sources of lessons to teach empathy that enables tolerance is the Teaching Tolerance website.
Psychology Today. (2017). The Positive Psychology of Kindness. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/positive-psychology-in-the-classroo... [Accessed 13 Oct. 2017].
Official ‘Kindness Day’ was founded by Kindness UK in 2010 and takes place on the 13th November (coinciding with Anti-Bullying Week!) What better way to tie in our workshop in to your school?
For more information on any of our available Anti-Bullying workshops, please feel free to give me a call on 01937 832 740 and I’ll be happy to help.
(School’s Coordinator for the North West, West Midlands and Wales)