BIG achievement for Penicuik school

Strathesk pupils celebrate receiving the first BIG Award in Scotland
Strathesk pupils celebrate receiving the first BIG Award in Scotland

A Penicuik primary school has become the first school in Scotland to be awarded a BIG Award in recognition of its efforts to tackle bullying.

For the past 18 months, staff and pupils at Strathesk Primary have been working together with parents and the local community in the fight against bullying.

BIG (Bullying Intervention Group) is a nationally recognised award for excellence in tackling bullying in schools. Schools are required to provide specific evidence to show they are providing specialist support.

P7 pupils had training to become peer mediators, helping to resolve disputes between children. Older pupils also run playground activities. Calling themselves The Fun Ones, they organise and support various motivating playground games, ensuring children respect each other, take turns and share.

The school even has its own anti-bullying mascot Purpleman, who visits from space to support the children in the fight against bullying and to help everyone respect others.

As well as these specialist programmes Strathesk staff and pupils worked on curricular programmes specially designed to support anti-bullying, and they re-designed policies and procedures.

Val Mcfarlane, director, Bullying Intervention Group, said: “Strathesk Primary School have an excellent and up to date anti-bullying policy, they involve pupils and their parents in their strategies. I am delighted that this school has now received the recognition they deserve for having a whole school approach to tackling bullying.”

Head teacher Ms Vicky Donaldson added: “We are absolutely delighted to achieve this award. It has been hard work but involvement from parents and members of the local community has helped spur us on to success.

“Of course, the children have been instrumental in our fight against bullying and initiatives such as Peer Mediation and The Fun Ones have helped to strengthen relationships. Also children have a very clear understanding of bullying, what it is, why it occurs and ultimately how to stop it and seek support if needed.”