Who we are:
The Friendly Faces are an anti-bullying and peer support group within Aylsham High School; we strive to help every student feel safe and happy in their learning environment and we work towards this goal through the implementation of daily duties as well as training, our annual Roadshow and taking part in events such as a regional Anti-Bullying conference we hosted recently. Because our team is made up of year ten and eleven students it makes it considerably less imposing for a student to divulge any problems they may be having - it makes our scheme all the more accessible. Although we deal primarily with bullying-related issues, all problems are welcomed and will be dealt with just like any others.
A group of our year ten students make up the team that deal directly with problems pupils have. Each week two to three of these Friendly Faces undertake a duty in our Friendly Face room - this is a small room in school, open every break and lunchtime, in which pupils may talk through any worries. In addition, every lunchtime a team of three to four Friendly Faces is outside on the playground to provide support with any issues there. If necessary, they may also send students into the Friendly Face room so the problem can be recorded and dealt with more seriously. Finally, our newest addition is our postboxes: there are two stationed in the main school building and they serve the purpose of allowing pupils to get any help they may need without the (sometimes intimidating) face-to-face confrontation. Rather than actually telling a Friendly Face, they can let them know by writing down their issue instead and posting it. As part of their duties, the Friendly Faces check these boxes daily.
To ensure that year six students are as comfortable as possible with the exciting - and sometimes stressful - move up to high school, the Friendly Faces run an annual Friendly Face Roadshow. This consists of our team of year eleven co-ordinators visiting the Aylsham feeder primary schools (and quite often other, less local schools) to provide them with information about what high school is really like, day-to-day life at Aylsham and most importantly who the Friendly Faces are and what they do (as well as some team games). These roadshows are extremely successful; alongside the obvious gaining of knowledge about high school, they help pupils to feel more confident about learning in a whole new environment as well letting them know that there will always be a familiar - and friendly - face around the corner at their new school to help and guide them.
Martha Crass, Friendly Face Captain