Bullying-Free NZ Week 2018

Bullying-Free NZ Week 2018 ran from Monday 14 May through to Pink Shirt Day Friday 18 May. See how schools throughout New Zealand took part in Bullying-Free NZ Week and Pink Shirt Day 2018.

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Students lead the conversations for Bullying-Free NZ Week 2018

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Let's Talk About It!

Each year gets bigger and better. This year more schools up and down the country took part in the third annual Bullying-Free NZ Week and joined in this year’s theme ‘Let’s Talk About It’. Some spent the week talking about bullying, using a variety of activities to build on students’ learning, whilst others marked the week with special school assemblies and celebrating Pink Shirt Day.

Thorndon School in Wellington kicked off the week by joining Oat the Goat on his epic journey. The new online interactive storybook aims to teach 4-7 year old the power of kindness, empathy and tolerance, and how to make good choices if they see bullying happening.

In its first week, Oat the Goat (external link) | Oti te Nanekoti (external link) scored over 28,000 user sessions, with 21,995 users in total, proving popular parents, whanau and younger children.

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Thorndon School students Alayna Tuisamoa-Simanu, Taylor Watt and Hunter Gardens say, “we love Oat the Goat!”

Students in Room 11 at Raumati South School shared a similar lesson using the ‘bruised and beautiful apples’ activity to illustrate the power of mean words hurting on the inside, and the power of kind words making us feel happy. Teacher Sarah Saunders said how the students were amazed at the inside of the apple. Five year old Jett explained: “When you’re mean it makes people look happy on the outside, but sad on the inside like the apple. The apple that we were being mean to was having crying juice coming out of it when we cut it open, but the apple we were kind to there was no apple juice coming out.”

Students in another class drew self-portraits before another student scrunched it up. “It was very powerful when the other student screwed up the portrait,’ said teacher Grant Fergusson. “When students straightened the paper out, they could see that bullying still leaves marks.”

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Beautiful and bruised apples at Raumati South School
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‘Dabbing’ for Pink Shirt Day at Amuri Area School, Culverden, North Canterbury.

Head Students Jess Price and Grace Bell led the way at Amuri Area School, Culverden, North Canterbury, getting the whole school behind Bullying-Free NZ Week. “Grace ran a mini workshop with each primary class to talk about what bullying is and how they can help,” says teacher Julia Steel, “and staff enjoyed the activities in the school activity pack. They were straight-forward, age-specific and proved to be a marvellous resource.”

Together Jess and Grace organised a 'Rainbow Bake Sale' on Pink Shirt Day, raising over $230, a “massive amount for our little school”. 

“We think Jess and Grace are Bullying Prevention Superstars,’” says teacher Julia Steel. “They believe that being Bully Free is something that needs to be advocated all of the time. The children responded very well to the workshops and there are plans to run activities each term, not only to raise awareness, but to maintain awareness.”

Primary and intermediate schools also took the opportunity to make good use of the new posters, talking with students about how they could respond as a bystander. “We love the idea that you can put your own stamp on what needs to happen in your school onto the posters,” said Vicki Nicolson, Principal at Port Chalmers School, Dunedin.

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Hadlow School, Masterton had a ‘big discussion about an important topic’ during rotation time in health, making good use of resources in the Bullying-Free New Zealand school activity pack.

School community officers out in force

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SCS Natasha Marinkovich talking about bullying with students at Tauhara Primary School.

NZ Police school community officers were out in force visiting schools in their districts. At Tauhara Primary School, Taupo, School Community Officer Senior Constable Natasha Marinkovich spread the anti-bullying message, starting the day with a whole-school assembly. She said it was amazing to see how engaged students were in a day of learning that included watching the BNZ Crusaders videos about bullying, following the Oat the Goat story and covering topics such as emotions, kindness and what bullying looks like.

Auckland Police and Onehunga students

Auckland Police District staff joined students in Onehunga to spread the message that Bullying is never OK, and that we all need to talk about it.

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Up in the air

Plenty of schools took to the skies to demonstrate against bullying.

Year 9 and 10 students at Rathkeale College, Masterton took a stand, whilst 50 students at Bream Bay College, Northland formed a giant peace sign.

The peace sign was the brainchild of Year 11 students Jack Paton and Thomas Jacobson, both student mediators at Bream Bay, and just one of several activities for the week.

Guidance counsellor Susan Reynolds said it was really important that activities were student led. Jack and Thomas decided an activity on the sports fields might draw in students who would not usually take part. Other school-wide initiatives included a poster competition, signing a bully-free pledge, guessing the number of pink lollies in a jar and a pink jelly eating competition, as well as a discussion at assembly on how bystanders contribute to bullying.

"It's about talking about bullying. And getting opinions about it and what to do to help," Reynolds said.

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Bream Bay College and Rathkeale College took to the skies to show their support for Bullying-Free NZ Week.

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Oaklands School, Canterbury, were busy for Bullying-Free NZ Week. Find out more (external link) on the education.govt.nz website.

Pink Shirt Day 2018

Led by the Mental Health Foundation, Pink Shirt Day rounded off the week with record numbers taking part. This year 979 schools and kura kaupapa registered and #pinkshirtday was the highest trending Twitter hashtag, with a whole range of companies, organisations and individuals joining schools in showing their support for a bullying-free New Zealand.

At Marlborough Boys’ College, special effort were taken to make sure everyone could join in, with boys hand-dyeing a supply of t-shirts provided by Marlborough Youth Trust. “Students are keen to support the day, but not everyone has a pink top to wear,” said co-organiser and peer support prefect Justin Cook. "It's mainly about making sure students feel safe around the school and feel welcome, especially new students.”

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Even a cardboard Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was recruited to get the message across at Marlborough Boys’ College. From left, Year 13 students Sam Lewis, James Greer and Justin Cook.

Check out Pink Shirt Day 2018

Check out the Pink Shirt Day photo album (external link) to see what schools, workplaces and celebrities got up to for Pink Shirt Day 2018.

Visit Pink Shirt Day Aotearoa website (external link)  and facebook (external link) for more information, videos and photos.

Ideas for bullying prevention-themed activities

Bullying prevention is an ongoing focus. Use the resources in this year's free school activity pack to support work all year round.

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Bullying-Free NZ Week 2018 FREE Activity Pack

Our biggest activity pack ever, full if ideas and activities for students and staff. Check it out!

media guide

Be Heard - a media guide for schools, 2018

Help tell your community about your school’s bullying prevention activities.

DIY poster

Bullying-Free NZ Week 2018 DIY School Poster

Use the template to create your own school poster for Bullying-Free NZ Week 2018

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