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RISE is a student led anti-bullying team whose aim is to support young people who are being bullied or have been bullied in the past.
Our team motto is Respect In Schools Everywhere. We created this so students had an opportunity to stand up and speak up to help keep other students or themselves safe. When we set up RISE, we were initially met with doubts, ‘is this going to work?’, ‘who’s going to actually stand up to bullies?’ and we were worried this would be the case.
At first, not many people knew who we were so we organised a ‘Wear Something Blue Day’ on 18 November 2016 during anti-bullying week to raise funds for Bullying UK and to let the school know who we were and what we were doing.
We stood in front of assembly groups and staff meetings to ensure the whole school knew our message of wanting to put a stop bullying. We highlighted, not only the negative effects of bullying and why we shouldn’t do it, but also the importance of not being a bystander and reporting any bullying to the RISE team or a member of staff even in they are not involved themselves. We were met with lots of positivity and students began to realise that RISE is a great way to give your thoughts a voice to stand up to bullying.
Many more students wanted to join the RISE, many of whom had been bullied in the past and wanted to help in ensuring the same thing wasn’t happening to other students. The RISE team was growing in numbers and positivity. Many more students were coming forward to seek support from the RISE team if their friends or they themselves were being bullied. We were able to pass these incidents on to members of staff who could help to deal with them and we spoke to and supported the students involved.
At present, we have a core group of 10 students across different year groups who attend meetings to help to develop the RISE team by looking at applications for new members, planning events and reporting incidents of bullying. We have organised drop in sessions after school where students can pop in and speak to us about any concerns and we have a rota for doing break duties. This involves us being present in the yard and field to look out for any signs of bullying. However, it’s not just these 10 students who make the RISE team a success. It is the participation of all Stretford High students who help to keep the RISE team active and moving forward.
This term, the whole school took part in a nationwide Anti-Bullying Survey “Ditch the Label” to obtain students’ experiences and views of bullying in schools. This feedback enables us as a school to monitor forms of bullying such as through social media. We are hoping the results of this can help organisations to be aware of students’ experiences and develop effective support in response.
We have recently taken part in our own RISE Team survey in order to obtain feedback from our members regarding the service and involvement within the team. This enables us to develop the service we provide and plan for the future which ensures our members are able to take an active role.
The message we want to put across through the RISE team is:
That’s why we chose to be part of RISE.
This article has been written by the students of RISE, which is a part of Stetford High School in Manchester. To find out more, please call 0161 876 1850.