SCHOOLS across Oxfordshire are taking part in various activities to raise awareness and stamp out bullying.

It comes as schools across the nation mark Anti-Bullying Week this week, the theme of which this year is ‘one kind word’.

At Larkmead School in Abingdon, videos are being shared with students and staff, while assemblies reinforce the message.

Jonathan Dennett, headteacher at Larkmead, said: “We have shared the Anti-Bullying Alliance videos and information with all students and staff.

“This is supported in a week of assemblies, emphasising the national message of the power of ‘one kind word’.

“Our word of the week is compassion, suggested by some Year 10 students, and this ties in with the values that we hold as a school and an important attitude that we wish to reinforce in school and in the wider world.”

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Adam Clark, headteacher at Burford Primary School, has invited in Lizzie Skinner, who runs various workshops on compassion and insecurity.

Mr Clark said: “At Burford Primary School, we are focusing in on the reasons that sometimes we are unkind to others and addressing these first.

“We have invited Lizzie to come and work with the children on Thursday.

“We will be using old socks to make sock puppets to help us to think about our inner critic, helping us to be kind to ourselves, so that we won’t be unkind to others.

“Our hope is that if we love ourselves first, then we won’t need to fear other people’s sparkle.”

Rye St Antony in Headington took part in Odd Socks Day yesterday, and throughout the week, anti-bullying ambassadors will meet with pupils they have mentored.

Ambassadors have been trained by the Diana Award scheme and will run workshops to train up pupils, with classes then taking part in activities, including decorating ‘worry boxes’ which pupils can use to ‘put their worries in’.

Oxford Mail: Rye St Antony pupils wearing their odd socks to mark Anti-Bullying Week. Picture provided by the schoolRye St Antony pupils wearing their odd socks to mark Anti-Bullying Week. Picture provided by the school

Oxfordshire county councillor Andy Graham, who sits on the council’s education scrutiny committee, said: “It’s so important, it brings a focus to the issues young people face whether that’s on social media or in the playground.

“The message of course is that if you need help or support, your teachers are there.

“Schools are in direct control of what they do but I would encourage them to look at the curriculum more holistically.

“There’s some fantastic plays about bullying and the week provides an opportunity to do different things and bring in outside agencies which can look at things with a different perspective and really engage young people.”