We are conducting the first ever UK trial of the Grassroots programme. The programme aims to reduce bullying and conflict in schools by empowering a group of approximately 30 pupils to positively impact their peers. All Year 7-10 pupils complete a survey which is used to identify a group of around 30 Year 7-9 students, and a small number of Year 10s, who, between them, are able to represent the whole student body. These Year 7-9 pupils form the ‘seed group’ and attend 10 fortnightly sessions to create bespoke activities to reduce conflict at school. The Year 10s act as the group's occasional 'special advisers'.
During these sessions, Grassroots facilitators will support pupils to:
Identify areas for improvement in student interactions
Generate possible solutions (e.g. activities they might do)
Provide opportunities for action
Make initiatives visible to others
A large US study found that this intervention (which has now been adapted to suit UK schools) reduced student conflict by up to 60%. Pupils felt empowered by these sessions and initiated activities like challenging themselves to model prosocial behaviours, sharing positive messages using posters and social media, and sharing wristbands with students who had taken a stance against bullying.