Children empowered to eradicate bullying

Children attending the colourful anti-bullying event at Mayville School
Children attending the colourful anti-bullying event at Mayville School

Children from across the city have been learning to become anti-bullying ambassadors at their schools.

The Anti-bullying Training Guide was delivered by the Diana Award at an event hosted by Mayville High School in Southsea.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan alongside head boy Ruben Stitson, 15, and head girl Tabitha John, 15.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan alongside head boy Ruben Stitson, 15, and head girl Tabitha John, 15.

Training officer Lauren Hart said: ‘The idea of today is for children to become anti-bullying ambassadors and to go back to their own schools and make a real difference by putting into practice what they have learnt.’

The concept of empowering students was a big attraction to the other five schools taking part.

Andrew Milford, deputy head of Sixth Form at Portsmouth Grammar School, said: ‘We have brought seven Year 13 students who are going to being using their training to support younger children in their role as peer mentors. The Year 8 students are going to become anti-bullying representatives for their tutor groups.’

Students looked at video case studies and took part in a range of interactive sessions focused on the role of anti-bullying ambassadors. Many of the students involved said they now felt confident about putting their new-found skill set to use.

Mayville High School pupils Julia Cowlard, 15, and Oliver Terry, 12.

Mayville High School pupils Julia Cowlard, 15, and Oliver Terry, 12.

Year 12 student at Portsmouth High School, Marcy Lea, said: ‘I have seen my friends go through bullying and seen the affects. We are an all girls school and so I want to really focus on combating the conflicts which are linked to girls such as dealing with friendship issues.’

Julia Cowlard, Year 10 student at Mayville, added: ‘We have already decided we are going to set up a lunchtime drop-in session for anyone who is experiencing problems.’

A key focus of the session looked at the rise in prominence of cyber bullying. This is something which George Carrick-Baker, 11, has personally experienced.

‘I am on my Xbox quite a lot and cyber bullying is something which I have experienced. Hopefully events like today will help to stop people doing it. I want my school to be a place where people can express themselves without upsetting others,’ explained George.

Year 12 student at Portsmouth High School Marcy Lea

Year 12 student at Portsmouth High School Marcy Lea

Supporting the event was Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan. 

‘It is great to meet all of the young people here today  and I am really interested to hear their views on bullying. As someone who was brought up in Portsmouth I want to help eradicate bullying from all  our schools,’ said Mr Morgan.