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Students Stephanie Frazer and Stephanie Carey
Students Stephanie Frazer and Stephanie Carey who will be heading to Westminster this week to represent our St Helens College 14-16 Academy

St Helens College 14-16 Academy year 11 students and staff are proudly celebrating success after winning the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) film competition for Anti-Bullying Week 2016.

The winning entry, entitled ‘Bully! Bullied’, beat off tough competition from high schools across the country with its exploration of the power of reaching out to others, including bullies, with empathy.

The film is now the official campaign video for the ABA and will be showcased across schools throughout England during Anti-Bullying Week.

Along with the opportunity to raise awareness, year 11 students, Stephanie Carey and Stephanie Frazer, will be attending a reception at the House of Commons in Westminster on the 16th November, to represent St Helens College 14-16 Academy and its students on their outstanding achievement. Both students will have the opportunity to recite the poem featured in their film in front of special guests including Mr Speaker, The Right Honourable John Bercow MP.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) is a unique coalition of organisations and individuals, who working together to put a stop to bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.
The idea for the film evolved from a class discussion about the perception of bullying and the contributing factors which could lead to someone bullying others. From this, the year 11 students collaborated together, creating an inspirational poem which formed the concept of their 3-minute film.

Kirk-Newton Henry, English Teacher and Head of Media at St Helens College 14-16 Academy, said, “The theme of the ABA competition was ‘The Power for Good’, and the students felt it was important to show that the most powerful thing we can do for each other is to reach out, communicate and simply offer some understanding to anyone – even someone who might have been labelled a bully.”

As well as teaching, Kirk is also heavily involved with film education charity, Into Film, a UK-wide programme that aims to provide 5 - 19 year olds with opportunities to discuss, create and get involved with all aspects of film. Kirk is a huge advocate for the education sector with his love for teaching gaining him a feature in the national television campaign, Your Future Their Future. The campaign, which aired late last year featured a range of the country’s most inspiring and passionate classroom teachers, to attract talented individuals into the teaching profession.

Kirk added: “The students shared their range of experiences with bullying and came to recognise that it’s usually equally-troubled teens who might simply need someone to listen to them too. For them, bullying can sometimes be so subtle that it’s not always easy to identify who’s the victim and who might be suffering more. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to stop and ask if they’re OK too.”

“Students who were keen to demonstrate the differences between so-called ‘banter’ and the typical behaviours of bullies in the playground included Liam Rigby, Callum Scott, Lewis Duff, Charlie Oakes and Sam Welsh. Additionally, Keira Neild and Rebecca Unsworth showed how easily others can be left feeling isolated whilst Megan Simmons, Chloe Leah and Mel Slater all performed their roles of the pointing and jeering types of bullies. These students eagerly gave up their time for filming whilst Stephanie Frazer and Stephanie Carey are regularly involved in extra-curricular activities like our Into Film and Drama after-school enrichment programmes. Therefore, they were responsible for their own scripting and adlib performances.”

Stephanie Frazer, who features as one of the main characters narrating the poem in the video, said: “It was a challenge to make the video but it was for a good cause. I enjoyed making it and was overwhelmed when I found out that we won. I am ecstatic that I am one of the people who will raise awareness for anti-bullying and hopefully help lots of people who are bullied.”

Stephanie Carey, who is the other featured character voiced in the video, will also be reciting the poem in the House of Commons, she said: “There were plenty of challenges filming the idea that we had but it worked itself out so I really enjoyed every minute of it and hope that this video can genuinely help people who are being bullied as they might relate to it. It will be a wonderful experience visiting London; it was amazing to win.”

Caron Kerr, Head teacher at St Helens College 14-16 Academy, said: “We are extremely proud of our students for what they have produced and achieved, working together to tackle such an important issue that affects so many children and young people. At St Helens College 14-16 Academy we have zero tolerance to bullying, so it’s fantastic to see the students develop such a powerful film and be recognised for all their hard work.”

St Helens College 14-16 Academy offers a unique curriculum of GCSEs, industry sector pathways and valuable work experience to young people aged 14, who have the opportunity to join us full-time to complete years 10 and 11.

St Helens College 14-16 Academy is accepting applications for September 2017. For more information or to apply, please visit www.sthelens.ac.uk/1416academy or call 01744 623105.

St Helens College 14 16 Academy students heading to Westminster Web1
St Helens College 14-16 Academy students celebrate their
outstanding achievement with Tutor Kirk-Newton Henry