In his article in this edition of Prep Talk titled ‘Tough for a Reason’, Ben states that “it is people who know what they believe in who don’t let the world knock them down. If young people know who they are, what they believe and what they want to achieve, then resilience is more likely to follow”. Through our pastoral care focus on ‘Respect for All’ at Lindfield, we aim to take boys of promise to men of substance and instill the values necessary to contribute positively to society.
Our pastoral care program comprises a variety of components including our buddy program, Second Step program, leadership opportunities, mindfulness, PALS program and circle time sessions. To further enhance our program and provide us with an additional opportunity to engage with the school and wider community, we are exploring the White Ribbon Breaking the Silence Schools Program.
Breaking the Silence is an award-winning professional learning initiative for principals and teachers that provides foundational knowledge, tools and strategies to implement respectful relationships and domestic violence education programs in schools.
Building on existing initiatives
The Program supports schools to bring about a commitment to stop violence against women. It builds on existing initiatives to strengthen a culture of respect and equality at all levels of the school community – through curriculum, role modelling from staff, policies and procedures, domestic violence education programs and strengthened family and community partnerships.
Breaking the Silence is independently evaluated and suitable for both primary and secondary schools. Through the Program, students learn and experience respectful relationships, gender equality and how to challenge attitudes which support violence. The aim is to create real generational change to stop violence against women in Australia.
Schools that complete Breaking the Silence are recognised as White Ribbon Schools, becoming a strong symbol of a safe, equitable workplace and vehicle for community change.
Why are schools important to stop violence against women?
From a young age, young people are exposed to information, messaging and behaviours that can support and condone violence against women. Young people are also already exposed to, and influenced by, domestic violence.
A critical time for forming ideas
During this critical life stage, young people are already forming ideas about men, women and their relationships. Exposure to harmful messaging and gender stereotyping can lead to attitudes that support inequality and disrespect towards women.
Exposure to violence against women also has a clear and negative impact on children and young people’s behaviour, mental health, and social development.
Breaking the cycle of violence
Schools play a pivotal role in breaking the cycle of violence by teaching young people how to recognise and challenge violence against women and build respectful relationships. Breaking the Silence engages the wider school community to promote and role model gender equality and create a safe, inclusive school culture to stop violence against women.
We look forward to sharing further information on this initiative as it develops.
Pascal Czerwenka – Year 5 Teacher/Deputy Head of Lindfield Prep