The impact of Primary Bullying Intervention Training
Between 2013-15 Primary BIT was delivered to 17,000 children across 211 schools in nine London boroughs.
One of these schools was Hartley Primary School in West Ham. Its learning mentor, Sunny, talks to Kidscape about how the training project has impacted the anti-bullying strategies within her school.
Why did your school choose to participate in Primary BIT, and did it meet your expectations?
One of the school's strengths is pupil behaviour and safety. This has been supported by the introduction of peer mediators, playground pals and the school council. School councillors interview, alongside the Head and Deputy Head Teacher, for midday supervisors as well as the recently appointed site supervisor. For us Primary BIT seemed a logical next step in developing student voice and support. The programme has met our expectations.
Since Primary BIT, have you seen a difference in the attitudes and behaviour of your students? Do you think these changes will be long lasting?
Since Primary BIT started in our school, the students have become more aware of what constitutes bullying behaviours. They are more able to question their own behaviour and consequently make the right choices.
In particular they have become increasingly aware of the difference between teasing, joking and bullying. They are more focused on valuing and including people and have developed greater confidence in speaking to an appropriate adult if an incident occurs.
I believe these changes will be long lasting as the young people themselves are raising awareness regarding bullying and anti-bullying. The anti-bullying lessons which the pupils are involved in delivering are ongoing.
Has there been a particular group of students who have especially benefited from Primary BIT?
The year four students in particular have benefitted as the anti-bullying lessons have been delivered to the whole year group.
Ten anti-bullying whizz kids have been selected from across year 4 and these whizz kids are encouraged to be positive role models and assist with the delivery of the anti-bullying lessons. They are also working on producing a Hartley student anti-bullying handbook to complement the school anti-bullying policy.
These ambassadors for anti-bullying take their role very seriously and are involved in various anti-bullying initiatives such as running competitions, talking in assembly and regularly writing for the school newsletter.
These whizz kids have undergone training and have regular meetings which they minute. They are under close supervision and will be involved in interviewing and recruiting next year's whizz kids.
Has your school made any changes to its strategy or approach to preventing and tackling bullying as a result of Primary BIT?
As a result of the training, awareness has been raised school-wide and preventing bullying has been proactively prioritised.
The school anti-bullying policy has been checked against the Kidscape checklist and we have done workshops for parents on cyber bullying and keeping children safe.
Everyone is more able to identify bullying behaviours and are now consistently aware of the steps to take to deal with it.
How relevant do you think the training content was for your school?
The training content was very relevant for our school because our ethos is about valuing diversity, including everyone, being tolerant and preventing bullying.
The training content was valuable in producing our anti-bullying power points and training materials. The initial half day training session for the whizz kids by Kidscape was also inspiring.
How did Primary BIT compare to other techniques or interventions that your school has used to tackle bullying in the past?
BIT has offered continuity and a long term involvement of the children as opposed to a one day workshop with little or no long term effect.
What was the most rewarding part of Primary BIT?
The most rewarding part has been developing the role of the anti-bullying whizz kids, and the resulting quality and creativity of their ideas and work.
Would you recommend Primary BIT to other schools?
We would definitely recommend Primary BIT to other schools, the training, trainers, and materials are excellent. Our students have benefitted greatly.
More information about Primary BIT can be found here.