On Friday 17th March, our students joined more than 840,000 students across Australia in standing united to mark the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. In addition to our whole school aerial photo, some of our year levels held their own class activities. The following is a summary of their activities:

K/1 Class and the story of Chrysanthemum

The K/1 class took a hands-on approach for their class activity. The purpose of the activity was to help students to understand the effects of bullying. In order for this to happen, the students needed not just to engage in discussions but also to have a hands-on experience about what it feels like to be bullied and how it can impact us.

Each student was given a paper love heart and listened to a story called “Chrysanthemum” about a little girl who had just started at a new school. The children in her class began making fun of her because of her name. Each day she would go to school and they would laugh and tease her.

As the story was being read, each time someone hurt Chrysanthemum’s feelings, the children needed to scrunch their paper heart. Every time her parents or a teacher tried to make her feel better, they had to try and flatten the heart back out.

At the end of the story, even though Chrysanthemum was accepted as part of the class and the teasing stopped, the paper heart represented the hurt and the long-term effect the teasing had had on Chrysanthemum, because even though we tried to flatten the heart, it could never go back to  its original form.  Some hearts were so damaged that they needed sticky tape to be put back together.

The class talked about what this meant for us as people and how our actions and words might make someone else’s heart feel like this and even if we say sorry it doesn’t always make things better or take away the hurt and pain.

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SMGS K/1 Class and their “hurt” hearts, a NDA class activity.

Year 9/10 ‘Take a Stand Together’ paper chain

The students in Years 9 and 10 collected anti-bullying messages from their peers and staff members across the school and strung them up outside so that they could be read by members of the school community.

NDA 2017

NDA 2017

NDA 2017

NDA 2017

NDA 2017

NDA 2017

Our heads of school were passionate about making this day a success and, by all accounts, our students participated in an authentic and enthusiastic manner, true to the SMGS spirit.

When asked about the importance of the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence in schools, Scott Frize, Head of Junior School, said, “Schools can and must play a part in educating children about all aspects of bullying so that they are equipped to represent themselves or others if they are ever faced with a bullying issue.”

Scott’s colleague, Head of Senior School, Kelli Wilson, echoed his sentiment, stating, “At SMGS we are committed to promoting positive relationships within our community. We value our students and work very hard to promote a safe and positive school, that values each and every person. A day like NDA allows us to celebrate together our positive school culture and to stand up together against violence and bullying in society.”

Thank you to all of our students and staff for helping to deliver a powerful message that bullying and violence are NEVER OK!

A massive thank you to Year 10 student, Will Wright, for his amazing drone footage.