Skip to main content

Using the Skills for Life programmes to Make a Noise About Bullying

As a member of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, we’re proud to support Anti-Bullying Week Monday 13th - Friday 17th November 2023.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance are urging adults and children alike to come together to have discussions about what we mean by bullying behaviour, how we can tell the difference between ‘banter’ and bullying and how we can make changes to reduce bullying. Together, we can make a difference if we make a noise to stop bullying.

In this blog, we discuss how our Skills for Life programmes can be used to start these discussions and make changes to reduce bullying. Implementation of Zippy’s Friends, Apple’s Friends and Passport has been shown in research to reduce bullying within schools – read more here: Research and Evaluations - Partnership for Children.

Banter vs Bullying

Children sometimes find it hard to distinguish bullying from occasional teasing or ‘banter’.In the Skills for Life programmes, we give the following definition of bullying:
“Bullying involves repeated nastiness to somebody, where a person or group deliberately targets someone with the intention of hurting them or making them feel bad. The abuse can be physical or emotional and may involve name-calling or spreading nasty stories about somebody. If the abuse is done online, or via social media or phones it is called cyber bullying”.

This blog piece from Martha Evans at The Anti-Bullying Alliance has more information on the differences between banter and bullying.

Spend time with pupils exploring what banter means to them and share experiences or situations where the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks can turn into bullying.

Make a noise about bullying

The first step for schools should always be to prevent bullying which starts with a unified message.

Ask pupils to discuss the Skills for Life Bullying rules and use these to create a unified message to show that bullying isn’t welcome in your school.

  • Nobody has the right to bully other people
  • If we are bullied, we can ask for help from someone we trust

This agreed message about bullying can be turned into a poem, video, artwork or assembly to share amongst the whole school community.

See the Anti Bullying Week 2023 school resource packs for more ideas on how to spread this unified message.

Making a noise about bullying also involves standing up to and challenging bullying when you see it happening and asking others for help. Use the role play activities within the Skills for Life programmes to practice these situations so children practice their communication skills and feel empowered to make a noise about bullying. Remember to use the Skills for Life Golden Rules for Choosing a Helpful Solution when making a noise about bullying:

  • It makes me feel better
  • It doesn't hurt me or anyone else

Share your work

We would love to see how you are using the Skills for Life programmes to Make a noise about bullying during Anti Bullying Week – share your activities on social media, tagging us at @PfChildren and using the hashtag #AntiBullyingWeek

Partnership for Children
13 November 2023