Pupils from St Martins Catholic Academy came together during Anti-Bullying Week (Nov 13-17) to learn about the effects of bullying with Leicester Tigers and club partner Aggregate Industries new ‘Give Bullying the Boot’ campaign.
Representatives from the Leicester Tigers visited numerous schools across the Leicestershire region to provide talks about bullying, its effects and how to tackle it. Tigers players Dom Barrow, Ben Betts and George Worth also shared a series of videos’ with their experience of bullying as well as advice for youngsters on what to do.
Pupils from years 7,8 and 9 at St Martins took part in the initiative through taking part in dedicated talks about bullying as well as sharing their own experiences with bullying through a questionnaire. Recent findings from this survey found over half (53%) of students asked said they have suffered some form of bullying, with two thirds (69%) of those experiencing bullying in just the last year.
As part of the partnership’s Concrete Rugby initiative, the programme was delivered to over 500 children thorough 19 sessions across four Leicestershire schools. Concrete Rugby champions a healthy lifestyle, team work and self-confidence in young people, through the introduction of key rugby skills to secondary school students.
Debbie Murphy, PE teacher at St Martins, added: “Our students are thoroughly enjoying the rugby coaching sessions. They’re fun, engaging and educational.
“It’s great to see most of our younger students are quite knowledgeable on the subject of bullying combining this in a sports setting helps to highlight the potential problems and suggests ways in which they should all be more tolerant and fair to each other.”
Chris Rose, Head of Brand at Leicester Tigers, said: “What really came out of our sessions was the variety of different guises that bullying can take; it’s isn’t just about physical or mental abuse, but can be something as unobvious as ignoring somebody or leaving them out of a group.
“Whatever the form or context, however, bullying is not okay and by speaking out and standing strong, we want to encourage pupils to help alleviate this very real issue in UK schools.”
Year 10 students had the opportunity to spend a day at Pembroke College, College along with three other schools. One of which was St Thomas the Apostle School and Sixth Form College and they were the winners of the ‘UK Secondary School of the Year’. The event is to encourage students to consider future plans at university level and Saint Martin’s recognises the needs of students who have the potential to gain places at the most competitive and prestigious Higher education institutions. The day consisted of an introduction to higher education and the University of Cambridge. Two current students shared their experience of attending Pembroke College and answered questions. Lunch was enjoyed in the college’s dining room and after this the students listened to a lecture from a Maths PhD student. He had studied at Cambridge for over 7 years and was extremely impressed with the students’ ability. One student who attended remarked ‘informative day and now looking at attending a Russell Group university’ whilst another felt it ‘helped me in my future decisions’. A current Year 11 student wrote in her recent personal statement ‘the trip to Cambridge University (which I enjoyed as it showed me what could happen if I really dedicate myself to my studies). It is good to hear that students value the benefit of visiting England’s second oldest university that was founded in 1209 (Oxford is the UK’s oldest university) and whose mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels. The day was finished with a photograph of the students sitting, with Senate House in the background. This building is now mainly used for degree ceremonies for all of the colleges.