A POOLE school has been given a gold award from the Anti-Bullying Alliance for the measures in place to prevent bullying in the school.

Ocean Academy has secured the award for ensuring the school is a happy place for its students.

The accolade from the charity is recognition of the measures in place which allow the children who attend to thrive, feel secure and listened to.

Mel Brown, a year six teacher and anti-bullying lead at the school, was in charge of carrying out an audit through a whole school questionnaire and an action plan of strategies was subsequently put in place.

Mrs Brown said: “A whole school questionnaire was carried out and from that questionnaire I asked what the children felt was needed.

“The children said they would like peer mediators (children have training to then go out into the playground and sort out friendship issues with each other) and that they would also like a buddy bench which can be used by any pupil and signals that they would like a friend to talk to and sit with. Both of the strategies have been implemented.

“Most children of this age experience friendship issues and the strategies we have in place help them realise that most of the time problems that arise are ‘mean moments’ rather than bullying and these can be resolved by talking things through.

“Anti-bullying is a whole school initiative and is an important part of the ethos of Ocean Academy.”

The Anti-Bullying Alliance’s All Together programme is a whole-school anti-bullying programme offered free to schools across England.

It is mainly based online and includes access to an online platform that allows them to audit their current anti-bullying practice and create an anti-bullying action plan that is tailored to their needs.

Principal of Ocean Academy, Jo Quarrie, said she was delighted with the gold award from the ABA.

She said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to have this recognition from the Anti-Bullying Alliance. It’s a reflection of the work we do every day to educate pupils, teachers and parents about what anti-bullying is.’’