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Bullying-Free NZ Week

Bullying Free NZ logo.

This page provides information, resources, and ideas on how you can work with your school community to raise awareness about bullying and build a more inclusive school culture. 

About Bullying-Free NZ Week 

Bullying-Free NZ Week is an annual nationwide event organised by the Bullying Prevention Advisory Group (BPAG). It’s an opportunity for schools and their communities to raise awareness about bullying and promote inclusion. Schools that encourage respect, celebrate difference, and promote positive relationships make it difficult for bullying to be tolerated.

The week ends with Pink Shirt Day on Friday 19 May 2023, a day that aims to create schools, workplaces, communities, and whānau where all people feel safe, valued, and respected.

Curriculum connections

NZC Curriculum icon.

Bullying-Free NZ Week provides an opportunity for schools to reflect on the inclusion principle and explore the values of diversity, respect, integrity, community, and participation. Students who participate in activities during Bullying-Free NZ Week can make use of key competencies, especially relating to others, and participating and contributing. They can also achieve learning outcomes in a range of learning areas, especially health and physical education.

How can you get involved?

Some ideas for classroom or school-wide activities:

Bullying-Free NZ activities 
Run some of the classroom activities from the Bullying-Free NZ website or use the Primary and Secondary School Action packs available from Bully-Free NZ Week 2022 to get students talking about bullying and what they can do to prevent it.

Read Oat the Goat
Go on a journey with Oat the Goat, an award-winning digital pick-a-path storybook for 4 to 7-year-olds that teaches the power of kindness.

Review your whole school approach to bullying prevention
Review and plan your whole-school approach to bullying prevention using the roadmap, a tool that guides schools through steps to tackle bullying and incorporate the nine elements of the Bullying-Free NZ School Framework.

Pink Shirt Day
Get involved in Pink Shirt Day at your school. Encourage staff and students to wear the colour pink and take part in activities to prevent bullying and create a safe and kind environment. The Pink Shirt Day website has a range of suggested activities and resources for this event. 

Instructional series 

Another great way to get your students involved in Bullying-Free NZ Week is to incorporate texts about bullying into your reading and writing programme. The Instructional Series has a range of texts. Here are our top picks: 

Frog School, Junior Journal 41, Level 2, 2010
At Frog School, Freddie Frog is feeling hopeless compared to his classmates, who freely boast about their abilities. But when Snake comes along, Freddie has a chance to show his special talent. This humorous play explores bullying in a subtle and non-threatening way. 

Page from Just Kidding.

Just Kidding, School Journal Story Library, 2012
This story gently and implicitly explores the theme of bullying and provides opportunities for students to consider strategies for dealing with similar situations.

Page from How to Be Normal text

How to be Normal, School Journal Level 4, November 2018
This story invites readers to empathise with a complex character called Charley who is working hard at being "normal". It has themes related to social anxiety, isolation, and aloneness. 

Page from Badge of Honour.

Badge of Honour, School Journal Level 4, May 2015
Isaac is thrilled to be made school captain; his friend Tomasi isn’t so sure.

Words poem.

Words, School Journal Level 3, May 2019
This poem has themes of bullying, power, relationships, and resilience. 

Useful resources

Bully-Free NZ Week 2022 action packs
Primary and Secondary School Action packs provide:

  • bullying prevention-themed ideas and classroom activities
  • posters to help students understand what bullying is, and what they can do about it.

Bullying-Free NZ framework 
Find out more about the nine elements of an effective whole-school approach to preventing and responding to bullying.

Bullying prevention and response: A guide for schools (PDF)
This Ministry of Education publication provides practical information for schools to support effective prevention and management of bullying behaviour.

Tackling bullying - a guide for parents and whānau
Information for parents and whānau on supporting their child, and working with schools on reporting and resolving bullying behaviour.

Tackling bullying - a guide for Boards of Trustees
Read more about how Boards can build on existing good practice and help identify actions for your school.

Student voice: a guide
This guide sets out the importance of student voice in finding solutions to bullying and aims to promote good practice in student participation.

Pink Shirt Day
Bullying-Free NZ Week ends with the Mental Health Foundation's Pink Shirt Day on Friday 19 May. Celebrated annually around the globe, Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying, after a peer was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Register for Pink Shirt Day and receive suggested Pink Shirt Day activities and information on how to obtain posters, toolkits, event packs, t-shirts, and other resources.

Supporting positive peer relationships
This Inclusive Education guide is designed to support students to build relationships and work successfully with others. Adapt the strategies that are most useful or relevant for your learners.

The Wellbeing@School website is designed to support schools to engage with the whole school community in a process of self-review. The W@S self-review tools explore how different layers of school life contribute to creating a safe and caring climate that deters bullying.

Kia Kaha
Kia Kaha is a comprehensive anti-bullying programme in which children and young people learn and apply a range of safe practices that they can use when interacting with others.

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L)
The Positive Behaviour for Learning School-Wide framework, otherwise known as PB4L School-Wide, is helping New Zealand schools build a culture where positive behaviour and learning is a way of life. The framework can be tailored to your school’s own environment and cultural needs.

You might like …

Education Matters to Me: Emotional Wellbeing 
In this report children and young people talk about the range of significant relationships that exist in their worlds and how these relationships either enable them to achieve or prevent them from achieving. Although not specifically asked about, bullying was commonly raised as something that children and young people would change about school. 

Do you have a story to share about Bullying-Free NZ Week?

  • How do you celebrate Bullying-Free NZ Week at your school? 
  • Do you have other resources or ideas that we can add to this page? 

We would love to hear from you. Drop us a line at nzcurriculum@tki.org.nz. We will publish the best teaching and learning ideas on this resource page.

Updated on: 12 Jan 2022