Aylsham High’s anti-bullying team win national honour - for 10th year running

From left: Aylsham High School head boy Liam Blatch, Friendly Faces captains Jordan Filby and Georgi

From left: Aylsham High School head boy Liam Blatch, Friendly Faces captains Jordan Filby and Georgia Cleaver, and head girl Madeleine Gomes, with Richard Rayment, from The Only Way Is Essex, and Tessy Ojo, chief executive of the Diana Award. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk school's pioneering anti-bullying scheme has earned national honours for the 10th year running.

Representatives from Aylsham High School's Friendly Faces crew have been presented with a Diana Award, recognising their work to support students with problems.

Head teacher Duncan Spalding said he was immensely proud of the Friendly Faces team.

'This year I have seen their message of tolerance and understanding reach as far away as New Zealand thanks to the power of Twitter and social media,' Mr Spalding added.

'Our Friendly Faces have not only created a highly-effective, student-led and sustainable model for our school but they have started to transform approaches to anti-bullying in other schools.'

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Students had shown great courage in confronting homophobic bullying and had fought hard to make it totally unacceptable.

They also provided training in anti-bullying and the 'exemplary' Friendly Face Roadshow meant all new year seven pupils had someone they could approach for help before they started at the high school.

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Team members provided 'crucial' support for students at breaks and lunches, and led the dancing at lower school discos, making sure students enjoyed themselves safely.

Mr Spalding added: 'I am absolutely convinced that our Friendly Face team has been transformational in our school. They have made participation and making a positive contribution a cool thing to do.

'The fact that over 100 year nines applied for only 40 places again this year is a testament to the regard in which Friendly Faces are held at Aylsham High and therefore the extent to which the anti-bullying message is at the heart of everything we do.'

Four Friendly Faces members - captains Jordan Filby and Georgia Cleaver, head boy Liam Blatch and head girl Madeleine Gomes - travelled to the New Hall School, Chelmsford, Essex, to collect the honour from Diana Award chief executive Tessy Ojo and Ricky Rayment, who appears in TV hit The Only Way Is Essex.

? Other Friendly Faces members are Callum Adkins, Florence Bates, Robbie Blackburn, Megan Blair, Ellie Dallain, Gabriella Elia, Mollie Gallon, Stephanie Howes, Victoria Ing, Sam Manning, Lucy Maun, Maisie Summer Mccarter, George Richards, Joe Richards, Rob Riches, Gemma Ridgway, Hannah Rowland, Ellen Smith, Becky Welsh, Teigan Will and Emmie Wright.

? The Diana Award was set up in tribute to the late Princess Diana's belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better.

The scheme is supported by Prince William and Prince Harry and aims to inspire and recognise social action in young people.

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