To celebrate National Anti Bullying Week this year, we decided to do something a little different. We always mark this week as it is important that everyone understands what bullying is and what to do about it should it occur, but this year we felt it would be great to turn the week on it’s head and celebrate being great friends and highlight the qualities of friendship.
Our Eco Council met a few weeks ago very keen to do something positive in the school and the idea of planting Friendship Trees came up. The children were keen to do something that would be long lasting, that they would be able to see when they are grown up to help them remember their time at primary school. We talked in assembly about how the wooded area would enhance the school grounds and support wildlife. We talked about how the trees would need careful attention to grow, like a good strong friendship.
The week was devoted to Friendship with the Assembly Committee and the Eco Council leading a whole school assembly on Monday to outline what would be happening over the week. They explained that the Woodland Trust had donated 500 trees to the school and everyone would be planting a tree with a friend and putting a friendship tag around it. They showed us all how to successfully plant a tree and what care and attention would need to go into the operation. Our local high schools and all our parents were invited to come along and a parents’ cafe was opened up for the two days of planting to ensure everyone was well fed and watered – not just the trees! It was great to see our parents turning up in the wind and rain to help the children and it gave the event a really good community feel. Three of our feeder high schools took up our offer and sent students along to get involved. Our nursery children came along too and planted trees with the Y6 children helping. Our local radio station planted a tree and the DJs that came in left friendship messages as well. The local press came along and our own news team filmed the project from start to finish (their film will be on the blog shortly) The Eco Council Blog has lots of information about the project at http://greencouncil.hawes-side.net/and the Assembly Committee have put a wallwisher on their blog asking everyone to add a comment about the qualities of a good friend. http://ac.hawes-side.net/
All in all the Friendship Week was a hugely positive experience, one the children will be be able to look back on for years and years to come.