Bournside gains bronze anti-bullying mark

We are proud to be awarded the bronze anti-bullying quality mark by ABQM-UK (Anti-Bullying Quality Mark-UK) – the first secondary school in Gloucestershire to gain this recognition.

The Anti-Bullying Quality Mark is a national scheme which shows how good schools are at preventing bullying. It challenges schools to set up effective and sustainable anti-bullying policies and strategies and make them part of their everyday life.

A spokesperson from ABQM-UK said: “Cheltenham Bournside School and Sixth Form Centre achieved the ABQM-UK Bronze Award because staff, students, parents and governors demonstrated that anti-bullying is a whole school priority in which they all play an active role. Pupils are actively involved in the development of anti-bullying in the school. As a result of their work, the school has established a range of approaches to make sure that students feel safe and comfortable.

We would like to congratulate the senior team for their leadership of anti-bullying in the school, as well as the staff, the governors, pupils and parents for their hard work. We hope that the bronze award recognises their efforts and inspires them to work towards the silver award.”

Jules Godfrey, Deputy Headteacher said: “This is fantastic news and testimony to the whole school community approach we have to anti-bullying at Bournside.”

The ABQM-UK’s bronze level criteria include having a peer support scheme within the school, which is something that Cheltenham Bournside School has established with its ‘Anti-Bullying Ambassadors’ programme. These are student ambassadors in years 10, 11 and sixth form who are trained to support and offer advice to students who are unfortunate enough to encounter a rare incident of bullying at the school.

Students in the younger years can also apply to be Anti-Bullying Ambassadors if they feel a strong reason to do so. This was the case for year 9 student Tom, who has been an Anti-Bullying Ambassador at the school since he started in year 7. “I had a tough time at primary school and was bullied,” explains Tom. “There wasn’t an anti-bullying ambassador programme at my primary school so when I started here I wanted to get involved because I wanted to help other students.”

Sixth form student Abi finds the role rewarding. “It’s really rewarding seeing the impact of our work on the younger students,” she said. “The students in the school know who were are and say hello to us in the corridors. They know we are there for them if they want to talk about any issues they are having – I think often students find it easier to talk to us in the first instance, as opposed to a teacher.”  The ambassadors are able to use their training to help guide the student towards seeking help from an adult.

The ambassadors take part in meetings and activities throughout the school year, including Anti-Bullying Week which takes place from 12th to 16th November 2018.

Tom, in year 9, is one of the school’s Anti-Bullying Ambassadors