‘Be a buddy not a bully’ was the idea for an art project by a group of year four and five students from Elizabeth Grove Primary School.

The group of 45 children have been working with Youth Development Officer Georgina Pearce from Playford Council on a project that involved making a mural for their school. They enlisted local artist Robin Tatlow-Lord who worked with the students over four sessions to draw up what they thought the mural should look like and then paint it onto the wall. The students decided on the theme of ‘be a buddy not a bully’ and then brainstormed what they thought should be included on the mural. They wanted the characters to be half animal, half human. They all learnt this type of creature was called an ‘anthropomorphosis’. Eight Elizabeth Grove Primary students were then involved in creating a different character each that would be featured on the mural.

Georgina Pearce has been working with the group of 45 students on the project. She contacted CCYP to let us know about the great work the students were doing because she was aware of the consultations the Commissioner has been doing on bullying. “The idea was to link young people into the arts, volunteering and sports and recreation. The focus is on 10 year olds,” said Georgina. “They could have had art work about anything at all but it was amazing to see them all agree on the idea of ‘be a buddy not a bully’, as it’s a really important subject to them.”

Robin Tatlow-Lord worked with the students to create a colourful mural that will then be placed up on an outer school wall. Ten-year-old Shayla said she enjoyed being involved with how they came up with the ideas “We drew animal people. We did a person’s body and added stuff to make an animals head. We had a hippo, an elephant and a snail,” said Shayla “Be a buddy not a bully means don’t be mean.”

Ten-year-old Seth said he came up with the idea of a giraffe kicking a ball: “A half giraffe, half person is good at kicking a ball and running and that’s why I like him. He’s also a buddy as he kicks the ball to his friends and is good at teamwork.” Jake (9) liked looking at all their hard work in the finished mural: “It had good perspective, it was all 3D. It took a long time to finish it,” said Jake. “The snail is sad as two hippos were picking on her and bouncy the kangaroo came in and said stop and stepped in, he was a buddy.”

The Mayor of the City of Playford Council Glen Doherty commented: “This is a great initiative for local primary school students to give them skills in overcoming bullying, initiating pride and increasing their self-esteem.”