Despite the Government postponing the event, Waverley College still went ahead with the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA) on Friday, 20 March, which marked the 10 year anniversary of Australia’s key anti-bullying event for schools.
The NDA is a positive day of action to empower students and unite our school community in finding workable solutions to address bullying and violence. This year, each of our 1480 students wrote their anti-bullying messages on bunting in their wellbeing groups. The bunting was displayed in both the junior and senior campuses. Current research indicates that bullying is less likely to occur in a caring, respectful and supportive teaching and learning community.
The following five evidence-based elements, centred on the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework, have guided Waverley College to a planned whole school approach to promote student safety and wellbeing, and address bullying behaviour effectively.
Bullying is less likely to occur in a positive environment. As school leaders, we play an active role in building a positive learning environment where the whole school community feels included, connected, safe and respected.
Bullying is less likely to occur in a culture that promotes inclusion. All members of our school community are active participants in building a welcoming school culture that values diversity and fosters positive, respectful relationships.
We have incorporated student voice into our decision-making process. Our students are less likely to engage in bullying behaviour when they feel valued. Students are active participants in their own learning and wellbeing, feel connected and use their social and emotional skills to be respectful, resilient and safe.
Bullying is a whole community issue that requires a whole community response. Effective schools such as ours have high levels of parental and community involvement, which is strongly related to positive student behaviour. Families and communities collaborate as partners with the College to support student learning, safety and wellbeing.
The College actively involves staff, students and families in promoting positive behaviour. Our staff, students and families share and cultivate an understanding of wellbeing and support for positive behaviour, and how this reinforces effective teaching and learning.
During March, all students (Years 5-12) completed the 2020 Wellbeing Survey. Some of the key results to come from this include:
- 85% of students see the College’s policies against bullying as adequate.
- 78% of students have experienced bullying ‘rarely’ or ‘not at all’.
- 80% of students ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that the College has a zero-tolerance approach to bullying.
The survey also identified the many upstanders we have at the College. This large group of boys will be celebrated publicly in the future. The small number of students that were identified as displaying bullying behaviour will be counselled and their parents notified over the coming weeks.