22 November 2021
Children at St Mary’s fully embraced this year’s theme of ‘One Kind Word’ for Anti-Bullying Week which took place from 15-19 November 2021.
Kick-starting Anti-Bullying Week, children as young as 3 in St Mary’s Kindergarten, through to girls age 11 in the Lower School celebrated what makes them unique with Odd Socks Day. The children in Kindergarten made hobby horses from odd socks and pupils in the Lower School wore an array of odd socks to mark this fun initiative. This sent out an important message to the girls that they can always been themselves.
The Lower School pupils took part in a number of activities throughout the week. Led by the Prefects with the Head of St Mary’s Lower School, Mrs Emma Stanhope, the girls discussed unkind behaviour, along with strategies of how to overcome and support one another. Kind-hearted words and deeds were written on leaves to create a ‘Kindness Tree’ which ‘grew’ throughout the week. A competition for the girls to create their very own anti-bullying superhero was launched and some very impressive designs were submitted.
Led by the Social, Emotional and Wellbeing Team at St Mary’s Senior School, students worked alongside the English department to encourage each other to think about the language of kindness. A graffiti board was created for the girls to express their thoughts and ideas. Year 8 girls decorated stones with kind messages on which were placed all around the school. Year 7 students were also challenged to find as many as they could, including those made by their Year 8 ‘Buddies’.
“Our pastoral support is at the centre of all we do,” said Mrs Nicola Griffiths, Principal of St Mary’s Colchester “the atmosphere at St Mary’s is calm, supportive and nurturing and we find that in this positive environment, girls develop the self-confidence needed to really blossom. Anti-Bullying Week reinforced the many initiatives we already have in place to support the welfare of our students, and we really do believe that happy girls are high achievers.”