In April 2023, we had the opportunity to sit down with a Staff member from Bellan House at Oswestry School and discuss the impact of the Anti-Bullying Programme (ABAP) in their school.

At The Diana Award, one of the most rewarding parts of our work is seeing the impact it has on the young people we support. In April 2023, we had the opportunity to sit down with a Staff member from Bellan House at Oswestry School and discuss the impact of the Anti-Bullying Programme (ABAP) in their school. We discussed the uptake of anti-bullying practices after the training and the impact the programme has had on the Ambassadors and the wider school culture.

School Profile

Oswestry is an independent school located in Shropshire, England, of which their primary school, Bellan House, received Nationwide Building Society-funded training in January 2022. This training added 20 young people to an existing 15, meaning the school now has 35 trained students in Years 5 and 6. This age group of students are chosen for the training specifically due to their maturity, and allows for continuity in anti-bullying attitudes and practices as they prepare for secondary school.

School Characteristics

During our conversation, it was communicated that kindness has always been a core value to the ethos of the school. The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Programme therefore aligned well with the school's beliefs, allowing it to be well received by both staff and students. Oswestry prides itself in being a school that calls out bullying behaviour, and use the phrase “Call it Out,” to encourage students to do so. Since taking part in the ABAP, the staff lead now links this phrase to kindness, encouraging her students to “call it out” because they care:

I think the theory is that they don’t want to call it out because it’s their friend and they still want to be friends but the latest thing with our Ambassadors is we’re trying to flip it to we’re calling it out it because we care. - School Staff

Beyond simply “calling it out”, thanks to the programme, Ambassadors now have the tools to negotiate and have difficult conversations when they encounter bullying behaviour. This has now established kindness at the centre of reporting and addressing bullying behaviour.

Ambassadors leading an Anti-bullying Assembly
Ambassadors leading an Anti-bullying Assembly

Kindness Crew

From those who have received initial ABAP training, a committee of 12 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors was formed at Bellan House, known as the Kindness Crew. The committee meets fortnightly; the members nominated and selected by their class members through a process representative of the school’s dedication to pupil voice and participation. This is also evident through the committee-led selection of the badges they want to pursue as well as youth-led design of actions. The Ambassadors achieved the ABAP Wellbeing badge in recognition of their anti-bullying work, and they are currently working towards the ABAP Online Safety badge. Their lead teacher was proud to state that while the committee collaborates with teachers and prefects to lead assemblies:

The Kindness crew are the voice, and everything comes from them. - School Staff

Poster introducing the Ambassadors and their work to the school
Poster introducing the Ambassadors and their work to the school

Impact in the School

One of the factors that has allowed the ABAP to have a long-lasting impact is the trust built between the staff and students. Commenting on the impact of the programme, the staff lead stated:

We’re in a school where all the staff care...everybody here would go the extra mile and the children recognise that and they know that, so it’s that trust that they know it’s dealt with. - School Staff

Through using the skills learnt in the Anti-Bullying Programme, the Ambassadors have seen that their actions are making a difference:

The meetings consolidate their passion and their drive and what it’s all about. When we meet, they go away really enthused. You can see with the chat on Google classroom, they’re all over it asking to do something and they’ll do it straight away. - School Staff

In the wider school community, staff have seen an improvement in communication and a positive, steady uptake in students using the worry boxes created by the Ambassadors to report incidents of bullying. Since the introduction of the ABAP, staff have also noticed increased support from the parents in tackling bullying behaviour and participating in anti-bullying information sessions. Ambassadors use the existing parent forum and newsletters to feature highlights of the Ambassadors’ work, enabling parents to follow up with their children at home.

A slide from the Ambassadors' Assembly on Cyberbullying
A slide from the Ambassadors' Assembly on Cyberbullying


It was evident during the conversation that anti-bullying practices have become embedded in the school’s culture, all the way down to younger students aspiring to earn badges and become Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. In addition to this, the strong links with the secondary school have created opportunities for collaboration with secondary school Ambassadors during assemblies and policy writing.  

When asked what the Bellan House anti-bullying staff lead would recommend to other participating schools, she highlighted the importance of having passion for the role and ensuring that all staff are on board and invested. She also added, ‘If children come in happy and problems get sorted, their attainment quickly goes up,’ because they know when they call it out, it will be positively resolved.

The Ambassadors (Kindness Crew) at Bellan House
The Ambassadors (Kindness Crew) at Bellan House


We are delighted by the work the Bellan House at Oswestry School Anti-Bullying Ambassadors have done thus far, as well as their passion and dedication. In applying their new skills, knowledge and confidence gained by participating on the ABAP, Ambassadors have grown in confidence and inspired other students to do the same. The Diana Award looks forward to following the school’s progress in the future as they continue to empower their young people to help create a kinder, more respectful school community.