Students at Oak Hill Academy recently devoted time to learning about friendships and healthy relationships to support the fight against bullying.

Anti-Bullying Week, organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, took place last week from 16th – 20th November.

Schools across the UK were encouraged to embrace friendship, compassion and goodwill during Anti-Bullying Week, to remind students of the importance of always being kind to others. 

An ‘Odd Socks Day’ was organised by the charity to allow children to embrace their own uniqueness and individuality.

Oak Hill Academy’s approach to Anti-Bullying Week focussed on the positivity surrounding friendship as the primary emphasis of their activities.

Anna Penycate, Year 5 Team Leader, said: “As a school, we chose to call it Friendship Week rather than Anti-Bullying Week because of the negative connotations the word ‘bullying’ can have on young people.

“During Wellness lessons, children had the opportunity to discuss what makes a good friendship.

“Lessons revolved around teaching children how to form healthy and happy relationships with their peers.”

As with any school, Oak Hill Academy strives for their school to be a place where children feel happy, secure and respected.  

Encouraging positive relationships with peers is a key area of focus for the academy as they aim to ensure every child forms solid, meaningful friendships during their school years.

Anna explained: “We believe that it is really important to teach children to set the foundations of positive relationships with their peers.

“Having these foundations will help the children to build their independence and give them the strategies they need to be able to overcome problems or situations.”

A big part of the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s motion against bullying involves encouraging children to express themselves and celebrate their individuality.

In light of this initiative, the charity created Odd Socks Day – a day for children to wear odd socks and show off their differences and what makes them unique.

Oak Hill Academy took part in Odd Socks Day celebrations, where staff and students came to school in their funkiest odd socks.

Anna commented: “On Monday 16th November, we raised £254.61 for the Anti-Bullying Alliance by wearing odd socks and making donations.

“We also watched and recited the Odd Socks Gang’s annual song, which is called ‘The Kids are United!’

“The children had great fun taking part and loved showing off their odd socks to each other.”

Oak Hill’s Friendship Week is just one part of their journey towards building positive, healthy relationships within their school:

“It is important to us that all children and adults are treated with mutual respect.”

Staff at Oak Hill will continue to remind students of the importance of always being kind, compassionate and friendly to each other.