A national project which will see children taught anti-bullying techniques via cartoon activity books has been unveiled at a primary school.

Pupils at High Fernley Primary School were provided with the colourful guide after support from Bradford-based Yorkshire Building Society.

Barney and Echo - A Friendship Made, tells the story of Barney, an eagle with one eye bigger than the other who is always bumping into things, and his friend Echo "the most mischievous squirrel in the forest".

Young readers are invited to follow the adventures of both characters and learn about the danger of bullying and vandalism through stories, puzzles and play.

The Yorkshire Building Society paid £6,000 from its Community Investment Fund to pay for 1,000 copies of the guide.

High Fernley Primary head teacher Kath Chappell said the books would form part of the school's overall anti-bullying policy.

She said: "We aim to be pro-active rather than reactive when it comes to bullying.

"We have a culture of support and communication. Pupils have taken part in role playing, we have teaching assistants and learning mentors who work with children who have been bullied or may be involved in bullying who will work through issues in our nurture room.

"Members of staff on playground duty can also fill in slips if they see any evidence of bullying which will then be investigated.

"We want children to speak openly and know there are support mechanisms in place. We are very grateful for the support from the Yorkshire Building Society."

Pupils at the Bradford school were also today dressing in blue to highlight National Anti-Bullying Week.

Claire Byrne, manager at the Yorkshire Building Society's branch in Towngate, Wyke, said: "We are delighted that the Society's donation will benefit children in our local area.

"More than 450,000 children were bullied in schools last year and if we can help just one child who finds themselves in this situation the scheme will be a success."

Schools throughout the district have taken part in a range of activities this week to highlight the anti-bullying message.

Michael Spalton, a Year 6 class teacher at Marshfield Primary in Little Horton, Bradford, said attendance at the school had improved this week after most lessons included an anti-bullying theme.

He said: "Every subject taught in school this week has had a link with the anti-bullying message.

"In literacy classes, pupils have written their own anti-bullying rap and filmed a video.

"In art children have created wall graffiti on the theme and Year 6 pupils will be presenting their own assembly dedicated to the subject.

"We have found that the attendance has got better because the pupils have been more motivated by a themed week."

Majid Ali, deputy head teacher at Whetley Primary, Bradford, said pupils at his school were set to launch a Playground Pals scheme which would see older pupils as a mentors to younger children during break and dinner play sessions.

Pupils at Allerton Primary were today holding hands to form a giant circle around the school to highlight the anti-bullying message.

Pupils have taken part in a range of activities including building an anti-bullying tower decorated with relevant slogans, poster competitions and decorating anti-bullying biscuits.

e-mail: dan.webber@bradford.newsquest.co.uk