Newark's Magnus Church of England Academy named All Together School by Anti-Bullying Alliance
By Maddy Howe
A school has been given a gold award for its commitment to an anti-bullying code.
Magnus Church Of England Academy, Newark, has been named an All Together School by the Anti-Bullying Alliance for its efforts to tackle the issue.
The award is only given to schools showing a sustained and practical method of tackling not only incidents of bullying, but how students can report it and find support.
Natasha May, extended senior leader at Magnus, said: “Incidents of bullying occur rarely in Magnus because we have a fantastic family atmosphere.
“However, our staff wanted to create a safe environment for all students to thrive in and so we have tried our best to make sure that every single student feels comfortable to report any issues they have and be confident that their report will be dealt with effectively.”
Natasha said it took a whole-school commitment to achieve the required standard.
“This has involved creating an action plan to teach staff about how to report and deal with incidents of bullying effectively, also developing a team of peer mentors to support vulnerable students and promote a variety of anti-bullying activities including acts of worship and discussions in tutor time,” she said.
An important part of Magnus’ plan was to appoint peer to peer mentors, or buddies, who act as a support network for any students needing to talk or to report their worries to staff.
One mentor, Kacey-Jean Armstrong, said: “Students can approach us about anything, but especially bullying.
“We have mentors in most years. To be a mentor you have to be able to talk to, and listen to students that you may not have met before so you need to be a good communicator.
“We have sessions with different year groups too, so they can get to know who we are, making it easier for them to approach us.”
Katie Trinder, another mentor, said: “To be a mentor does make you feel good about yourself too because you can help others to feel more positive about themselves.
“If they do have a problem, some students might go directly to teachers, but some people struggle with that and find that coming to a student mentor first can help them to report issues.
“It feels good that the school has won the award, it makes us happy that the hard work we have put in has been recognised.”