Stop Don’t Bully Me

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‘Stop Don’t Bully Me’ is an original Bully Beat anti-bullying song written by children at Tunstall Primary School, Sittingbourne, one of 30 primary schools in the Swale District of North Kent taking part in this project.

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 Bully Beat in project in Swale is supported by our partners The Angus Lawson Memorial Trust and First Class Business Solutions. Without their support, we would not have been able to deliver such a large scale project. Interest in Bully Beat is extending right across Kent with schools in Medway showing a keenness to get involved.

We are currently working with up to 30 primary schools across the district in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. More schools than we have funding for are wanting to get involved. If your school wants to join the Bully Beat project, get in touch with john@songwritingcharity.org

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‘Let The Sun Shine’ during Anti-Bullying Week

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Get up on your feet

Yeah

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.

Bully Beat is 8 years old today! Happy Birthday!

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Bully Beat is 8 years old today! Happy Birthday!

It’s Bully Beats 8th birthday today. Over the last eight years, Nathan Timothy (and more recently the team at The Songwriting Charity) have worked hard delivering 1500+ workshops, working with 45,000 (at the very least!) young songwriters who have contributed to thousands of songs, soundbites, stories, messages, anthems and so much more. It all started at an anti-bullying conference at Charlton Athletic Football Club. Eight years on, Nathan (and Sarah) are there again during Anti-Bullying Week working with hundreds of young people from across the Royal London Borough of Greenwich to create yet another Bully Beat classic. Bully Beat has come home!

Happy Birthday Bully Beat! And congratulations, Nathan! What an achievement… what a milestone! What a team! Lastly, The Songwriting Charity would like to say thank you to every single school, group and young songwriter for making the Bully Beat journey such a memorable one, and for contributing so much to the anti-bullying movement! We ask one favour of our readers, do something kind, please share this post.

Re-Friend The World by Ravenscroft Primary School

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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

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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

Support The Songwriting Charity When You Shop Online!

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Support The Songwriting Charity When You Shop Online!

Remember! When you are buying Christmas presents online, make sure that you generate a free cash donation for The Songwriting Charity with every purchase via www.TheGivingMachine.co.uk. There are over 600 of the most popular retail stores taking part in the scheme making it so easy for you to make difference without it costing you a penny more than the normal purchase price of your item. Whether you’re purchasing insurance policies, a new iPad, clothes, furniture from John Lewis, downloading tracks from iTunes or booking a weekend away at Premier Inn, doing it through The Giving Machine will help trigger those all-important donations to charities like us and many others.

Givers like you have raised a magnificent £475 so far…. just by shopping online via >> The Giving Machine! << so right through the busy Christmas shopping period (and beyond for that matter!), keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll keep turning your gesture into meaningful and sustainable action with those that matter, our beneficiaries!

‘Spread Your Wings’ – Why small village schools need The Songwriting Charity too.

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We are St Peter’s C E Primary in Wymondham, Leicestershire – a small village school with only 40 pupils. A while ago we were fortunate enough to get to work with Ben O’Sullivan from The Songwriting Charity. You could be forgiven for thinking ‘What has the Songwriting Charity got to do with us? I thought they just visited big schools with big challenges’…and you might even be wondering how such a small school could afford a workshop programme without any local authority help or support from a grant. Let me answer both of these questions…and while I do, tell you just how inspirational and long lasting the whole experience is.

We have a great school, our teachers and pupils are happy, our latest Ofsted report was ‘Good’, we have no bullying or other such challenges to speak of, and our music provision is well established. But, we wanted to do something different, something innovative and inclusive of the whole school, something that would bring our village community together in celebration of our school and our amazing pupils. An opportunity to work with The Songwriting Charity presented itself and we grabbed it with both hands.

Ben O’Sullivan visited us and ran workshops with all the children over the course of one day. He worked with whole class groups, right down to individuals – harnessing their creativity and guiding them through the process of writing a song about our school, a song that they wanted to write…their words, not his, their melodies, not his – their school song!

Everyone was included and everyone contributed – from the reception class right through to Year 6. And what is amazing, is that those children who you would least expect to participate, were the ones who really shone. There really was an instant buzz around the school – with children singing the chorus over and over in groups around the playground…and I think maybe some of the teachers too!

So, how did we afford it? With Ben O’Sullivan’s help, we produced a DVD and CD of the song, the production costs being covered by a few generous local companies in return for their logo’s being placed on the DVD sleeve artwork. We then promoted and put on a school concert in our village hall with the children performing songs from their music classes. The grand finale was the official launch of the DVD, which was shown to all on a large screen, with the children singing along in the audience. It was a hugely emotional evening and a huge success. After the concert, one parent simply came up to me, and with tears in her eyes gave me a big hug and simply said “Thank you, thank you so much”. Our thanks are to Ben and The Songwriting Charity – for helping us show our community what an inspiration our pupils are.

The event was a sell-out and easily raised enough money to cover the costs of the workshop and the DVD sales, marketed as ‘the must have purchase of the year’ continue to generate funds for our school.

Was it worth it? Absolutely, one hundred percent YES! The children produced a truly inspirational piece of work that has created a long lasting legacy for the whole community, they have grown in confidence, opened their (and our) eyes to new & exciting opportunities, and given the whole school something to be really proud of. From a curriculum standpoint – let’s just say it ticked an awful lot of boxes! It was an incredible learning experience for all of us.

Would we recommend it to others? In a heartbeat.

By Mrs Anne Boyce – Headteacher, St Peter’s C E Primary School.