Whoever You Are

Impossible not to be charmed and impressed by this latest Bully Beat song brought to us by the consistently brilliant young songwriters at Edward Francis Primary School, Rayleigh, Essex. The song deals with a serious issue confronting children and young people today. Whoever You Are is catchy, thoughtful, containing crystal clear messages. The sparkling performances captured in the video ensure the song’s appeal ranges far and wide. We’ve no doubt it will bring a smile to your face and get you tapping your feet, all for the right reasons!

Well done Edward Francis Primary School! You have graduated two cohorts of exceptional songwriters and clued up Bully Beat activists! This year’s Anti-Bullying Week is all about Making A Noise About Bullying – well you guys have been doing that for the last two years (and more) with the Songwriting Charity.

We offer thanks to the Essex Community Foundation and the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust Burns Night Pledge donors for supporting this important project, for playing their part in empowering children through the art and craft of songwriting and helping the world hear what they have to say.

Ely workers cycle through the night to beat bullying

Bully Beat

The SAMSON Materials Handling Ltd Songwriting Charity Nightrider Team

Workers from SAMSON Materials Handling Ltd in Ely have teamed up with the Songwriting Charity to cycle 100km round London overnight on June 6th to help raise £10,000 to beat bullying in schools.

The funds raised will mean more than 1000 children in primary schools across London, South East and the East of England will benefit directly from participation in the charity’s highly regarded anti-bullying songwriting project, Bully Beat.

Nathan Timothy, Co-Founder and CEO of the Songwriting Charity, said, “We’re very proud to have Terry and his colleagues from SAMSON MH teaming up with us! Bullying is painful, disruptive and damaging to all those affected by it. The idea behind Bully Beat is to get children across the country talking through a network of song, promoting positive anti-bullying intervention, boosting their confidence and self-esteem, some of the very things that bullying behavior destroys. The more we talk about bullying, the stronger the anti-bullying message becomes. When you transform those messages into song, they are amplified and all the more powerful.”

Terry Maley, Services Manager at SAMSON MH said, “I’m happy and grateful to be able to take part in the Nightrider to raise money for the Songwriting Charity. Bullying needs addressing, and I think more so for children who seem to suffer in silence. For the charity to be able to go into schools, and bring these children out of themselves is fantastic, as it shows them that there can be happiness and enjoyment in their lives, and I hope that my small contribution goes some way to help.”

The Songwriting Charity will use the funds raised from the Nightrider challenge to deliver Bully Beat songwriting workshops to schools in and around Ely, and other locations local to where the charity’s Nightrider fundraisers live and work.

About SAMSON Materials Handling Limited:

SAMSON are part of the internationally renowned AUMUND Group, which is based in Germany. For over 40 years, SAMSON Materials Handling have been designing and manufacturing bulk material handling equipment. We are dedicated to providing engineering solutions that are world-class in their concept, execution and delivery. With more than 3,000 installations worldwide, our products are defined by their quality, mobility, flexibility and wide range of application.

About the Nathan Timothy Foundation – Songwriting Charity: The work of the Nathan Timothy Foundation ‘Songwriting Charity’ addresses the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people using songwriting and music technology. Working from bases in Cambridgeshire, Kent and Gloucestershire, the charity’s Bully Beat songwriting project has been designed to enthuse primary aged children about the process of lyric writing, singing, music arranging and contemporary production whilst promoting a serious anti-bullying message.

To date children’s songs written across a range of the Songwriting Charity workshops have been streamed more than 212,000 times on the charity’s SoundCloud, and their music videos viewed more than 145,000 times via the Songwriting Charity’s YouTube Channel.

You can make a commission free donation to the Bully Beat Nightrider appeal here: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/nightrider2015/200571

Songwriting Charity media contact:

John Quinn, Director of Engagement

M: 07950 022009

E: john@songwritingcharity.org

‘Let The Sun Shine’ during Anti-Bullying Week


Get up on your feet


And dance to the beat

Listen to our voices

Make the right choices!

‘Let The Sun Shine’ is an anti-bullying pop song written by children at Edward Francis Primary School, Essex. We’d like to thank Headteacher Mr. Gary Soars for having us in the school and Mrs. Amy Vinnicombe for her ongoing support and encouragement. Finally, well done to all the children who took part in the workshops. The contributions were, to coin a phrase, ‘epic’! And we look forward to working at EFPS again in the New Year.

About Bully Beat in Essex
Our second Bully Beat project in Essex primary schools is supported by the Essex Music Education Hub, with generous music technology support granted by Korg Education.

Andy Hill, Head of Essex Music Education Hub said, “that the Hub is delighted to be able to support a project that raises awareness of Anti-bullying and gives young people an opportunity to perform and compose music too!”

Bully Beat has been designed to enthuse primary aged children about the process of lyric writing, singing, music arranging and contemporary production whilst promoting a serious anti-bullying message. We’re using informal music education and literacy working to communicate a range of key messages. Every song is written by the children. We record, produce and publish the songs at the end of the process.

The three key messages are: Looking out for your peers, particularly the most vulnerable; how to report worries, and keeping yourself safe. We think that the more we talk about it, the stronger the anti-bullying message becomes. And when you transform those messages into song, they are amplified and all the more impactive. Every workshop produces a song that every child has contributed to.

Re-Friend The World by Ravenscroft Primary School


The Songwriting Charity is working in partnership with Essex County Council as part of the Positive Assertive Confidence Skills Programme (PACS). We have been funded to deliver the Bully Beat programme as part of the reward structure for pupils who complete the six week PACS programme. We are committed to working with 10 schools and Ravenscroft Primary in Clacton was the first school to come on board. Their song is also available to play online: https://soundcloud.com/the-songwriting-charity/re-friend-the-world

Kindness holds key as children sing out anti-bullying message


Encouraging children to be kind and help each other will be the focus for anti-bullying week in Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) has joined up with the Songwriting Charity to run 18 workshops in schools throughout the county in November. More than 500 children from 17 primary schools and one secondary school will be involved in producing their own songs and videos.

The aim of the workshops is to encourage young people to be kind to each other, promote positive behaviour and to raise confidence levels. The main activity will be focused around anti-bullying week, which runs from November 18th to 22nd.

Young people in school are being supported to write, rehearse and record an original song and video which will be uploaded to the Songwriting Charity website on the same day. It is free for the children to download and schools can use the songs for presentations and assemblies or for use in their communities.

The schools will also be encouraged to use ‘Bottles of Kindness’ to help young people record their acts of kindness and see the impact of the choices they make. Lessons plans will be provided to support this.

The first workshop ran at Gotherington Primary School on November 12th and this is the song that the Year Four pupils produced: https://soundcloud.com/the-songwriting-charity/sets/something-kind The video is at http://youtu.be/qopL9K-0fQY

The other primary schools taking part in November are St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary, Tibberton, Gretton, The John Moore, Picklenash, Queen Margaret Primary in Tewkesbury, Staunton and Corse and Highnam. The secondary school taking part is Newent Community School. Other schools will be booked in for December.

The focus is on schools in the most rural parts of Gloucestershire, ensuring those with least access to the arts are given new opportunities to participate.

Cllr Dorcas Binns, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “We know from the Online Pupil Survey that an increasing number of young people feel confident in how their school deals with bullying but it’s vital that we keep up the good work.

“We are always looking for new ways to help our schools to tackle bullying and encourage positive behaviour. Workshops like these can be really effective in giving young people the confidence to look out for one another and to raise awareness of where they can turn if they need support.”

The Songwriting Charity offers one-day workshops and performance programmes that provide children with opportunities to sing, write lyrics, perform and record their ideas individually and as a team – evaluating their progress and supporting them to help their friends.

Ben O’Sullivan, Director of Programmes at the Songwriting Charity, said: “This year’s programme will encourage acts of kindness through songwriting, giving kindness the reputation it deserves, as well as leaving the legacy of an original song for all the schools that take part.

“In a safe and supportive environment, we can inspire young people to work together to keep each other safe, to promote positive behaviours and build self-confidence.”

You can find out more about the songwriting charity and see and hear last year’s anti-bullying songs from Gloucestershire schools at www.songwritingcharity.org

The ‘Something Kind’ programme is being supported by The Summerfield Charitable Trust and GHLL. A detailed evaluation of the workshops is also being carried out as part of the programme and the school will be able to use this and evidence from the workshop as part of their application for the GHLL award *

Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) is funded by Gloucestershire County Council Public Health. It provides targeted support to schools to tackle areas they want to focus on improving. This could range from helping ensure more of their pupils eat breakfast to increasing opportunities to be active or improving support to pupils affected by bullying.

When schools apply to become a GHLL Healthy School, their form will be pre-filled with what their pupils have told us in the Online Pupil Survey. As well as saving them time filling in forms, this will mean that pupils’ views are listened to and acted upon.

Schools will need to identify two key areas for improvement – one of which needs to focus on a vulnerable group of pupils. Targeted intervention and support to tackle these priorities will then be provided free to schools by a group of leading teachers. Additional expertise could also be provided by Public Health and other county council staff.

Gloucestershire was the first county to take this targeted approach, which will ensure that the right support gets to the most vulnerable children, helping them to do better at school.

Published: 14 November 2013


This year, Anti-Bullying Week will fall between the 19th to the 23rd November. This year’s theme – ‘We’re better without bullying’ – highlights the effect bullying has on achievement. We thought it would be a good idea to draw your attention towards our very own BullyBeat Songwriting Workshops and share a little about the process and the reason why it’s needed and also valued by our school partners.

BullyBeat has been designed to enthuse children about the process of lyric writing, singing, music arranging and contemporary production whilst promoting a serious anti-bullying message. Children that take part in these workshops are not just taught how to sing and write a song together but they are also encouraged to express their thoughts on ‘bullying’ and its effects. Many months after we’ve visited, BullyBeat songs are still featured during school assemblies and other anti-bullying events.

 “Possibly one of the best visiting workshops that I have participated in in over 10 years of teaching. Pupils were open in discussing experiences and were able to show a better undertanding of what bullying is. Well planned, fantastic delivery and a great connection with the pupils. Thank you!” Faye Blain, Sherington Primary School

BullyBeat remains one of our most popular programme after our Sports Tracks Songwriting Marathon. We have already booked up great chunks of the new school year between September and December with BullyBeat workshops and interest has spread as far as the West Country and East Anglia, where we now have a physical presence.

Why do we need BullyBeat?
Bullying remains among the top concerns that parents have about their children’s general safety at school, and increasingly their journeys to and from school. Bullying is not just a school issue, but one that affects children and young people anywhere. Bullying makes the lives of its victims a misery, it undermines their confidence and self-esteem, can destroy childhoods and lives. Bullying can negatively impact on young people’s ability to form healthy and fulfilling relationships with their peers, siblings, even their parents. Bullies are also impacted in a damaging and lasting way; attendance, levels of attainment, relationships, future prospects. They too need to find ways to channel their energy into positive and emotionally healthy activities, all the while, improving their ability to form healthy relationships with their peers and significant others.
There are no hard and fast answers. However, there are opportunities for creativity to be brought to bear and to help create the calm so often needed when bullying seems to be the all-consuming storm, touching everything and everyone in its path. Our songwriting programmes, give children and young people the time to stop, take stock, enjoy the time to be creative, and during BullyBeat workshops to consider the impact and consequences of bullying behaviour on those around them, and themselves.
Facts about bullying:
Bullying thrives in a culture or atmosphere that tolerates it; where there is little or no authority, hardly any adult supervision, no culture of respect or celebration of diversity. Bullying can also lead to short, medium and long-term school absence – school refusal.
According to the Red Balloon Learner Centre Group, providers of intensive care education centres for children so badly bullied that attendance at mainstream school is no longer possible, some 16,000 children may be absent from the mainstream education system altogether. This is a conservative estimate on the numbers of school refusers, but is a disturbing indicator on the direct affect bullying has on the education of thousands of school aged children.
Beatbullying found a direct correlation between bullying and truancy in their ‘Bullying and Truancy Report (2006) with 1 in 3 young people who experience bullying truanting from school (42% of young people who have been bullied truant).
Further facts about bullying;
  • Almost half (46%) of children and young people say they have been bullied at school at some point in their lives.
  • 38% of disabled children worried about being bullied.
  • 18% of children and young people who worried about bullying said they would not talk to their parents about it. Chamberlain, Tamsin, George, Nalia, Golden, Sarah, Walker, Fiona and Benton, Tom (2010) Tellus4 national report (PDF). London: Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).
  • 30,439 children called ChildLine in 2010/11 (11% of calls) about bullying.
  • Between 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 ChildLine carried out 30,439 counselling interactions with a primary concern of bullying. NSPCC/ChildLine facts and figures. 
During a BullyBeat workshop
When children are asked to explore the range of issues that arise when discussing bullying, through songwriting, something significant happens. Lyrically compelling, melodically expressive and highly charged performances are drawn out from the perspective of both the bullied and the bullies. The behaviors are highlighted and responded to with passion and sensitivity in equal measure. As with the uniqueness of every child, each song written by the children reflects a wealth of individual experiences to move even the hardest of hearts. In the face of growing bullying trends, this innovative engagement tool supports school awareness raising and offers an emotional outlet and support forum equipping children to deal with bullying behaviors in a safe, non-judgmental and empowering environment.
Children that take part in our BullyBeat workshops are taught how they all possess vocal ability (symbolic of ‘speaking up’), and that they can write a song together (working together not apart). They are encouraged to express their thoughts on ‘bullying’ and its effects in deep and meaningful ways through creative expression. By listening to one another, respecting their friends and working together as a team the children create something that has an immediate and lasting impact on their peers. BullyBeat gives them the opportunity to think about the problem in a number of different ways, ways that resonate, that are credible.
If you’d like to enquire further into our BullyBeat songwriting workshops, then contact us via our website enquiry form or send an email directly to ben@songwritingcharity.org.