Anti-Bullying Week Activities
Our research shows that 1 in 2 young people will, at some point experience bullying. As a result, 1 in 3 will self-harm, grades will drop and 14% will develop eating disorders. Bullying is a national emergency and continues to undermine the self-esteem, health and potential of millions in the UK.
We are Ditch the Label, the UK’s leading anti-bullying charity. This year we are using Anti-Bullying Week to encourage people to stop using the word ‘bully’ (read more here). We also invite activists, teachers, parents/guardians, businesses and other interested parties to help us eradicate bullying and improve the lives of millions by pledging support for Ditch the Label.
We’ve put together a list of anti-bullying week activities for teachers to run which are suitable for high school and college environments.
Top 7 Anti-Bullying Week Activities
1. Help students understand the hidden part of bullying (30 mins)
We know from our extensive work with young people that nobody is ever born with an intent to bully others. Bullying is often a behaviour that is used to cope with a traumatic and stressful situation – it could be that the student is having a difficult time at home or is being bullied themselves elsewhere. Those who bully tend to have low self-esteem and confidence issues and just want to be accepted. We would never call anybody a ‘bully’ because it certainly isn’t their identity, it is just a behaviour that needs to change. We’ve produced an emotional new video to encourage students to think differently about bullying and to build their understanding as to some common reasons why people bully. Start the activity by showing the video and follow it with a discussion about the key themes in the video, opening up to the bigger picture: exploring key reasons why people bully others.
> Click here for the video
> Click here for more reasons why people bully others
2. Use Ditch the Label statistics in a quiz (30 mins)
Each year, we produce some of the most comprehensive research papers surrounding the issue of bullying and related factors. This activity is designed to help students understand the landscape of bullying and to encourage them to speak up about issues that are bothering them. The activity should take approximately 30 minutes, which includes a discussion of the results afterwards.
> Click here for the question sheet
> Click here for the answer sheet
3. Create a poster, using less than 140 characters (30 mins)
This activity works best in conjunction with a starter activity – such as the Ditch the Label Quiz, this is because it will equip students with a better understanding of bullying and will act as an icebreaker and will fuel inspiration. Students are given the task of designing a new anti-bullying poster for your school. The catch? They are not allowed to use more than 140 characters on their poster, so they need to choose their words wisely. This can be done either in pairs or as a group task. This activity can also be ran as a school/college wide competition with the winning entry being produced and displayed around the school.
> Examples of posters
4. Teach students to reprogram their stress (50 mins)
Stress is the number 1 killer and is something that troubles us all. We know that bullying massively increases the amount of stress young people face, which can go on to impact grade performance, health and general moods. We have developed a tool to help students rationalise and reduce stress in a simple, digestible way. This task should be done in pairs only. Each person should need approximately 15-20 minutes to talk about things that are bothering them, and with the help of their partner – better rationalise and deal with those issues. With time to complete the entire task, introduction and evaluation afterwards – this task would typically take 50 minutes.
> Click here to download instructions and the packs
5. Take part in The Annual Bullying Survey (20 mins)
Each year, we work with schools and colleges across the country to help them better understand the landscape and extent of bullying within their environment. We produce The Annual Bullying Survey, which is the most comprehensive annual benchmark of bullying in the UK. The survey is conducted online and will survey students on their experiences of bullying, whilst exploring their wider social lives, experiences and attitudes. Taking part is completely free and it takes students approximately 20 minutes to complete the survey.
> Click here to find out more information
6. Use role play (30 mins)
This activity works particularly well in conjunction with activity 1 and could be used as a tool to further explore reasons why people bully others. Task students to work in small groups to role play different bullying related scenarios and then invite the rest of the class to give their feedback and advice on how to deal with the situations. Examples include:
- Example 1: Student A is sending Student B abuse on Instagram. Student C sees the abuse but isn’t really sure what to do. The issue continues in school when Student A encourages Student C to say nasty things to Student B.
- Example 2: Student A is having a difficult time at home – their parents are arguing a lot and their pet just passed away. In response, Student A feels angry and has nobody to talk to. They take their anger out on Student B and is disruptive in class. Student C, who is a friend of Student A witnesses everything. What could they do to help?
7. Create a list of top tips (30 mins)
This activity works particularly well in conjunction with activities 1 and 2. Ask students to work in pairs or small groups to come up with their top 10 tips on how to overcome bullying. Ask the students to share their tips to the rest of the class. You will find that there will be a lot of repetition and overlap, so as the facilitator, note down the top 10 most commonly used tips and then use them to produce a classroom charter.
A note on Signposting
We hope that our Anti-Bullying Week activities have provided some guidance and inspiration. Throughout Anti-Bullying Week, it is likely that you will experience an influx of reports and questions about bullying. We operate the largest online support network for young people aged 12-25 and you are encouraged to fully utilise our support and resources here. Simply type your question or statement in the search bar and relevant support guides, information, articles and interviews will load. For example type: “I’m being cyberbullied” or “How can I report bullying?”
Please do feel free to signpost students to us for advice and support when overcoming bullying.