Singer, songwriter and 2017 Glastonbury Festival performer, Sody, took time out ahead of her Sheffield Leadmill gig to perform to pupils at Sheffield High School for Girls.
The London-based 18-year-old, who is currently supporting Tom Walker on his nationwide tour, sang three of her own tracks after speaking to Year 8 girls in a workshop about the pressures of becoming a teenager and bullying, ahead of anti-bullying week next month.
Sody, who was working through her GCSEs when she performed at Glastonbury, drew on her own life experiences to offer the girls friendly tips about tackling bullying and meanness by peers.
Nina Gunson, head at Sheffield Girls’, said: “While she is on tour, Sody was keen to visit schools and speak to girls and raise awareness about bullying, sticking together and being kind to each other.
“She was very articulate and positive and offered pragmatic and friendly advice to the pupils. These are topics that Sody obviously holds very close to her heart. This also came through in her music, when after the chat she performed three of her own songs that really spoke to the young female audience.
“The impact of having live acts at the school, to reinforce positive behaviours and attitudes, is huge and we applaud what Sody is doing in terms of addressing meanness by peers and it was great to hear from her in the lead up to anti-bullying week which takes place 12-16 November.
“Visits like these reinforce our pastoral system which is focused on fulfilling our school values, ensuring girls are happy and settled at school whilst remembering that, at certain times, individuals and groups may need some extra help or support.”
Charlotte Brown, who attended the event, said: “Sody’s songs are inspired by her own past experiences with bullying, involving handling insecurities, isolation and most importantly severe acne.
“Her drive and personal connection to combat bullying in schools is clear and it is obvious this is something she is really passionate about – the importance to be aware of bullying, that it’s not talked about and it’s an issue that’s usually overlooked.
“She described in heart-breaking detail how she coped with problems in her younger teens through music and how she took action against her own bullies.
“Sody advised anyone who may be struggling with the same problems to talk to someone – friends, your head of year, the school nurse, anyone and how there is no point bottling it up. Her visit was empowering and inspiring with the message that it’s OK to be who you are.”
The visit and workshop support the school’s Year 8 PHSEE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) programme of study under the strand of emotional well-being. All pupils participate in PSHEE lessons and this event links the topics of Being a Teen, Resilience and Conflict Resolution.
The school’s extensive pastoral care structure includes a code of behaviour and help for pupils through form tutors and head of year, sixth form prefects, school counsellor and nurse.