Organised by Norfolk County Council, in conjunction with the Crime Commissioners Office for Norfolk, the pupils were offered the opportunity to take part in the Bystander Intervention Programme to help deal with any potential issues of sexual harassment and abuse in schools and colleges and to train and upskill for future life.
Holly Dutton, assistant headteacher who led the programme said: “The aim of the programme is to train and upskill children and young people to become active bystanders who can safely intervene to prevent incidents of sexual harassment and harmful language. I’ve been training the children over the last six weeks, and it’s been wonderful to see how they have engaged with their learning. Their enthusiasm for becoming active citizens for the future is inspirational!”
Rudo, Head Girl at St Mary’s Junior, said: “I really enjoyed this project, especially hearing different people’s opinions and perspectives! I now know how to use the different strategies if I see someone in trouble.”
The children showcased their hard work and knowledge about how to challenge harmful language and how to become active bystanders at an event for their parents.
Parental feedback included: “I think that this is very important and great that it is done before high school starts!”.
In a survey undertaken, the results showed that 90% of parents said that they had seen a positive change in their children at home since starting the programme. 100% of parents said they would recommend continuing the programme in future years.
Richard Cranmer, CEO of St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust said: “I was really pleased to learn that this programme was being offered to the children at St. Mary’s. The school vision refers to the importance of courage and being an active bystander is an excellent way for these young people to have the confidence to act when they see things that need to stop.”