Anti-Bulllying Week 13th-17th November 2017

13th November 2017

NSPCC figures suggest nearly half of children and young people (46%) have been bullied at school or at some point in their lives and is the main reason why children aged 11 years and under contact Childline. Considerable research shows that children being bullied suffer from loneliness, lower self-esteem, academic attainment (and employability) and are more likely to truant. 

Anti-Bullying Week in England is coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and this year takes place from the 13th-17th November. It shines a spotlight on bullying and encourages all children, teachers and parents to take action against bullying throughout the year.

Last year, Kent Community Foundation funded a project called ‘Something Kind’ which was run by Nathan Timothy Foundation ‘The Songwriting Charity' which delivered intensive songwriting workshops to children aged 7 - 11 years old in the six districts in Kent. The extensive programme of workshops were designed to empower children to counter bullying and unkind behaviour in school, to give and be happy to receive acts and gestures of kindness, and to express feelings and experiences through the medium of songwriting. The workshops gave children access to the latest in music technology, alongside working with professional songwriters, artists and multi-instrumentalists. 

Data was collected from 683 pre-evaluation forms: 

Teachers’ perceptions of number of children being bullied: 4% 

Percentage of children indicating they’ve experienced bullying: 53% 

Data was collected from 683 post-evaluation forms: 

22% reduction in bullying cases, in one day; 

Children who have said they are being bullied at the beginning of the day are no longer being bullied, due to an intervention that has taken place as part of the workshop, and driven by clearer and simpler ‘definition’ work conducted early in the workshop.

19% reduction in those who think fighting back helps stop bullying

13% reduction in those who think ignoring it helps stop bullying 

27% reduction in numbers of children who say they would fight back in the future 

44% increase in numbers of children who say they would report bullying in the future 

9% increase in numbers of those who indicate that telling helps stop bullying 

Children became more resilient to bullying behaviour, less tolerant of and willing to ignore it. 

As a direct result of projects funded by the Kent Community Foundation, Kemsley and Milton Court Primary Academies partnered with The Songwriting Charity to produce an album featuring their most popular songs. Tunstall Church of England Primary School recorded The Songwriting Charity’s very first Christmas single; ‘Winter Canvas’ which was released on iTunes and Spotify. The proceeds from sales of both projects are being used to support further workshops across the county. 

Listen to the songs on iTunes here.

“In terms of wider impact, nowhere has this been more keenly felt than across the Swale area of the county where we have really embedded our projects across very different schools. At a school presentation last week at Queenborough School & Nursery, a parent had shared that her son's confidence and willingness to take part in things was a direct result of being supported and encouraged by the charity's work, and by the personal encouragement of Nathan Timothy. Her son had never brave enough to step up and sing with others, and had now got up on stage and sung with an all-girl choir, singing a solo to a whole school audience. His words were, ‘Because Nathan Timothy said I can do it, I'm gonna do it.’ The parent was tearful, and very grateful.” 

“Over the last three years, just under two thousand children have directly benefitted from our projects, with many tens of thousands benefitting from the messages of resilience and positivity through songs written by children, for children. Thanks to Kent Community Foundation, children have aimed higher, become more confident and resilient to bullying, braver and more supportive of one another, and have expressed themselves in healthy and creative ways. There's a lot to be thankful for.” John Quinn, Director of Engagement

Follow the Anti-Bullying Week events on social media using #antibullyingweek and #abw17. 

Find ot more about The Songwriting Charity on Twitter: @SWCharity