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Children know that quality friendships are a key to preventing bullying at school and that forming friendships can help to build resilience and confidence, particularly among younger school children. They want schools to play more of a role in guiding them on how to make friends.

They also want teachers to teach them how to be a good friend and how to maintain good friendships, including providing opportunities to develop broad friendship networks while they’re at school.They want to make friends across different year levels too. This enables them to explore new ways of relating to and getting to know the people around them. Then if issues occur with the friends they have in their year level they can find an ‘older’ friend from whom they can seek some advice.

According to children and young people, encouraging development of social skills that include having confidence to connect with others, can be a very effective anti-bullying strategy. This fact sheets contains some of their other ideas for helping to prevent bullying through supporting them to build friendships in different ways including Circles of Friendship, Gaming Clubs, Lunchtime Clubs and Conversation Clubs.