Darshan Sachdev studies a tool kit aimed at teachers about bullying in schools, and David Miles evaluates a video on the use of British Sign LanguageThe no blame approach to bullying.

The no blame approach to bullying.

Barbara Maines and George Robinson
Lucky Duck Publishing
3 Thorndale Mews

Bullying is often regarded as a normal part of school life.
Those at the receiving end of such behaviour, however, are left
traumatised as they feel powerless to counter or stop it.

This tool kit, combining a workbook and a video, is a welcome
resource that would enable school staff and others to equip
themselves with an effective strategy to counter bullying in their
classrooms and schools as well as support the victim.

The workbook begins with a straightforward introduction and is
followed by nine activities, which staff are advised to work
through before viewing the video. These activities can be adapted
for a day’s in-service training or shorter workshops, or a
series of staff meetings. The activities will give staff an
opportunity to discuss terms such as “bully” and “victim”, to
analyse how they deal with bullying, and to discuss the principles
that underpin the “no blame” approach. The book also identifies
methods that are ineffective in stopping bullying. The final
activity explains the approach advocated by the authors through the
medium of a case study.

The half-hour video is very watchable and explains the seven
steps of the “no blame” approach via a live example. The approach
has a built-in evaluation, allowing the staff to gauge how well the
“no blame” strategy has worked. The video also contains a group
interview with children who took part in the live example, and
their comments attest to the effectiveness of this approach.

This is an accessible and value-for-money tool kit for teachers
and others wishing to learn new and more effective ways of dealing
with and countering bullying in schools.

Darshan Sachdev is principal officer, research and
development in Barnardo’s policy, planning and research


Best of both worlds

Simon McKowen and Kathy Robinson
Sign Communique
The Forest Bookshop Warehouse
Unit 2, New Building
Ellwood Road
Glos GL16 7LE
£19.99 or £35 for organisations

This video presentation was originally a 30-minute programme
presented some years ago by the BBC on the Hear Say programme for
people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment.

Because of this its presentation feels slightly dated. However,
the content is still useful and informative today. The aim of the
video is to explain all aspects of deafness, but it focuses on the
development and structure of British Sign language and how its
relationship with English.

Amid the welter of factual information about structure and
development of language and the working of the ear and types of
deafness, the video shows various families who are living with
hearing impairment. These families are varied in their experiences
and social background. Some of the parents are deaf and use BSL as
their first or preferred language and have children who are also

In the video we see a positive demonstration of the family
communicating. Another couple, who are hearing, explain why they
encourage their deaf child not to sign. There is another hearing
couple who have one hearing child and one who is deaf, who
demonstrate how they live their lives using a combination of
audible and visual methods of communication.

One section of the video explains how BSL was created and how
signs are produced. The complexity of language is demonstrated,
clearly using hand shapes, movement, location of the sign and
orientation of the palm. Towards the end of the programme we are
told how BSL has been marginalised and how BSL must be seen as an
language with the same status as others.

The video is subtitled and most of it is signed. However, it is
disappointing that there are some sections that are not translated
into BSL. It tries to convey a great deal of information in a short
space of time, and so it comes across as rather jumbled at times.
However, it has many uses in many settings where staff are working
with children or adults with sensory impairments.

David Miles is a training and development officer with
Bristol social services and health department.



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