Growing connections for the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence

On Wednesday 16 August 2023, Our Woodville participated in the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA). The NDA is Australia’s key bullying prevention initiative for schools and provides an opportunity to connect with students, staff and our school community to implement workable solutions to prevent bullying.

The 2023 NDA theme, Growing Connections, promotes the importance of school, family, and community connections in building safe and supportive learning environments where all students can belong, feel accepted and respected.

Research has shown that strong school connections and positive relationships can help to prevent bullying. When students feel a sense of belonging and connectedness at school, they are more likely to enjoy school, to trust and respect their teachers, and be concerned about and help others (Australian Education Research Organisation 2023).

Our school community came together to take a stand against bullying in all its forms making everyone feel safe, valued, and supported. Our Wellbeing Team ran activities at recess and lunchtime for students amplifying the belief that we can all be upstanders in our school community to stop bullying.

Our Pathways lesson on Wednesday included activities empowering students in ways to promote inclusiveness, respect and community belonging for all students by Students writing an Anti-Bullying Pledges and positive slogans for each Home Group.

Our recess time was extended by 10 minutes for students to enjoy some positive uplifting music in our Miethke Courtyard as well as being able to write positive messages on our message wall.  Activities on the day were:

  • Positive Message Wall
  • Connecting mural painted by students bring together a positive anti bullying message that will be displayed in our wellbeing Hub
  • Bookmarks
  • Poster Designing and Friendship Bracelets
  • Music and Popcorn
  • Displays and interactions with representatives from the Centre for Restorative Justice and the Port Adelaide Enfield Council Reconnect Program as community agencies that work with our students and families to provid positive, uplifting programs and strategies to address relationship challenges, including bullying.

After writing positive message students received a wristband and some popcorn or fairy floss. These foods were specifically chosen as they are a visual representation and metaphor of how we can all be in one state of being, or mindset and then evolve into another more positive representation of ourselves as we grow and flourish.

Planning for a safe and supportive school community requires a whole-school community approach. Whole-school responses to bullying prevention builds positive and supportive school environments by incorporating strategies for intervention at all levels, inclusive of students, teachers, parents and carers.

Three key characteristics outlined in the national definition of bullying distinguish bullying behaviours from other negative behaviours which are not bullying. The key characteristics of bullying include:

  1. power imbalance
  2. deliberate intent to cause harm, and
  3. ongoing and repeated behaviour.

While the following behaviours are not bullying, they may still be serious and require intervention at home and at school:

  • arguments and disagreements (where there is no power imbalance)
  • single acts of social rejection or unkind behaviour, or
  • isolated incidents of aggression, intimidation or violence.

If you have concerns that your child is being bullied, please contact the classroom teacher in the first instance. This will then be follow up and actioned by our House Leaders. If you believe the behaviour constitutes a crime, or is a serious incident of cyberbullying, please refer to the Bullying. No Way! website for information on how to report to other authorities and accessing wellbeing help.

For more information about the NDA and bullying prevention, visit the Bullying. No Way! website.

The positive uplifting comments from our students included.

  1. Always treat people with kindness
  2. Just listening, listening means a lot to people being bullied
  3. Be nice to everyone
  4. Treat others as you would like to be treated
  5. Keep on going even if it’s hard, you are not alone.
  6. Random acts of kindness
  7. Appreciate and encourage everyone
  8. I complimented someone today and everyday
  9. You can recognise everyone’s efforts and achievements
  10. Respect everyone
  11. Positive body image
  12. Always love yourself
  13. Be happy about yourself, and make others happy with your smile
  14. Treat others with respect
  15. You are doing amazing, I am proud of you
  16. You can do it!
  17. You are amazing
  18. Stay happy and stay positive
  19. Bullying is bad
  20. Follow your dreams
  21. You are so cool
  22.  You are enough
  23. You are loved no matter what
  24. Thank you to all my friends for supporting me and being so kind to me no matter what
  25. Keep up the good work and keep trying even though you’re going through a tough time
  26. Your loved