Anti-bullying Week | Whole College
This week, Marlborough College Malaysia, together with many schools around the world, has recognised ‘Anti-Bullying Week’. The various activities have been organised to send a clear message that we do not allow any form of bullying within our community. The ‘One Kind Word’ theme was a great way to focus on the positive difference we can all make to the lives of others and our overall community.
Monday started with Odd Socks Day, a colourful reminder that everyone is different and unique and should be appreciated as such. Although it can be difficult to identify odd socks when wearing long trousers, in the Senior School, the ‘spirit’ of the day was not lost and there was plenty of colour around.
The Pre-Prep and Prep Schools developed the theme, ‘One Kind Word’ for the rest of the week. Pupils from every year group have written multinational kind words to paper handprints of their own hands that have been hung onto our kindness trees which will continue to flourish long after this week is over. Meanwhile, the Beaks completed developmental training in their staff meeting, focusing on preventing and responding to bullying as well as restorative thinking.
The Senior School engaged in daily themes. “Look at life through someone else’s eyes and see their perspective” was the focus on Tuesday. It was a real challenge for everyone but it is so important to see things from other viewpoints and can do so much to relieve anxiety and tensions within relationships. In addition, the Digital Ambassadors produced brilliant ‘One Kind Word’ word clouds, graphically representing a variety of perspectives and feelings. What an excellent example they gave us all to follow.
Wednesday was the time for our individual houses, both day and boarding, to share their anti-bullying messages in assemblies and at tutor time. It also provided an opportunity for pupils to feedback on what we do well in terms of minimising instances of bullying (both in-person and online) and what, together, we can do better.
Thursday’s theme was self-kindness. Research suggests that this is possibly the most significant factor in communities to keep relationships as positive as possible. As pupils learn to look after themselves, they also appreciate the importance of looking out for others. We are eager for our pupils to understand that being kind to oneself is entirely consistent with our 3 C’s of “compassion, conversation and companionship”. Just as we expect everyone to do all they can to look after their physical health, so too do we want them to look after their emotional and mental wellbeing.
Friday moved onto ‘digital wellbeing’ and raising awareness of how behaviour, posts and online content can cause upset to others and reinforce prejudices. There are so many risks online but also a wealth of valuable content and our pupils need to be equipped to make the right decisions on what they do in the digital world. We are very fortunate in having a team of Digital Ambassadors to help navigate our pupils through the murky world of cyberspace throughout the College.
All of the events outlined above will feed into the Senior School assemblies next week when we reflect on Anti-Bullying Week and how together we can avoid any form of bullying within our caring community.
Every pupil has had the opportunity to be part of a conversation about how and why kindness is so important for our community and how being kind is an automatic deterrent to bullying.
Kindness is more important today than it has ever been. The isolation of the last 18 months has underlined how little acts of consideration can break down barriers and brighten the lives of the people around us.