Anti-Bullying

INTRO

Bullying is action taken by one or more children with the deliberate intention of hurting or abusing another child. Bullying can take one of many forms: verbal, emotional, sexual, sexist, physical, cyber (including social websites, mobile phones, text messages, photographs and email), race and religion, cultural, homophobic, special educational needs and disability.

We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying, which can lead to psychological damage, both short and long term, is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.

We are a  telling school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell staff.

We believe that every student has a right to enjoy an education free from fear and distress and the purpose of this policy is to set out guidelines and procedures to achieve this important objective. At our schools we have zero tolerance of bullying and have measures in place to prevent all forms of bullying.

 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 

  • At our schools we believe that by developing a school ethos in which bullying is regarded as unacceptable and promoting excellent values, positive behaviour and relationships between all members of the community, we can prevent bullying from arising in the first place.
  • All members of the school are expected to treat each other with consideration and respect and to support children who are being bullied, to make them feel safe again, rebuild their confidence and self-ˇesteem.
  • The school will react firmly and promptly to cases of bullying and educate children to understand that bullying is not acceptable and that serious bullying may cause psychological damage and even suicide.
  • If instances do occur it is essential that early intervention takes place by staff, students and parent/carers in order to prevent recurring or serious cases
  • Interventions will be applied fairly, consistently and reasonably, taking into account all the facts and circumstances of each case.
  • If a serious or recurring case does arise it must be addressed by a member of staff immediately according to the guidelines identified in this policy.
  • This policy aims to produce a consistent school response to any bullying incidents that may occur. We aim to make all those connected with the school aware of our opposition to bullying, and we make clear each person’s responsibilities with regard to the eradication of bullying in our school.

 

PROCEDURES

  • All staff will be expected to deal sympathetically with minimum delay once an incident is reported, with students who are the victims of (alleged) bullying. Witness statements may be taken and evidence gathered from a variety of sources in order to substantiate or disprove claims. The class/form teacher and senior staff will always be informed of reports of bullying.
  • Students who are alleged to be perpetrators of bullying will always be interviewed formally by a senior member of staff. The version of events will be listened to and noted in writing.
  • Cyberbullying: where incidents of cyberbullying are reported, even if it is outside of school hours, the school will intervene and investigate and deal with the alleged incident.
  • Disciplinary action, in line with the school’s established range of sanctions, will be taken where necessary. Such action may include letters or meetings with parents, internal suspension or exclusion from school.
  • We will use the following levels as a guide when dealing with incidents involving bullying:
    • Low-Level:  Teachers deal with the matter and note it in writing. The line manager is informed and interviews victim, bully, witnesses if necessary.
    • Medium-Level:  Teacher informs Head of Department/Year Group Leader who contacts parents of victim/bully for interview.
    • High-Level:  Teacher/Head of Department inform the Deputy Head Teacher/Head Teacher. Head Teacher informs the Parents/authorities for a conference.

 

FOLLOW-UP

It is important that the victim feels they are receiving support and feel safe and comfortable. It is also important that the suspected bullies have had a fair hearing. Heads of School will follow-ˇup each case to ascertain if there have been any consequences or re-ˇoccurrences.

 

PREVENTION:

The theme of bullying is an integral part of the PSHE program. We use the following methods for helping children to prevent bullying, as considered appropriate and relevant by the class/form teacher. These activities may form part of the school’s PSHE program and be dealt with in Circle Time, Tutor Time, Assemblies, or may be handled on an individual

basis:

  • The Golden Rules: Be kind, be gentle, be honest, respect property, work hard, be a good listener. These rules are displayed in every primary classroom and are referred to in assemblies and by teachers.
  • Signing a behavior contract
  • Writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying
  • Sharing stories about bullying
  • Making up role plays
  • Discussions in literature, historical events, current affairs
  • Anti-ˇbullying week
  • Fortnightly meeting between Headteacher and Head Boy and Head Girl
  • Visual Listening Tree in Secondary, detailing who to talk to if concerned
  • Outside experts can be called on to deliver cyber bullying workshops to pupils in the 1:1 device program i.e. years 4 and above.

 

Although incidents of bullying in our school are rare, teachers should be aware of the following higher risk areas and times when bullying could occur:

  • At break and lunch times
  • Before start and end of school day
  • In the corridors, locker areas, changing rooms and playgrounds
  • On bus journeys and school trips/visits

Raising Awareness

Awareness is raised through training and/or focused meetings, particularly during Induction week. Child Protection and Anti-ˇBullying courses are made available to staff through regular training programs and more information is available in the appendices of this policy. Pupils are made aware through Assemblies, Special Focus Weeks, Curriculum content (particularly PSHE) and talks from outside agencies.

Children identified as having SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) are particularly susceptible to bullying and may be more sensitive to teasing and name calling. Teachers should be aware of this and actively promote inclusion and equal opportunities with classwork and particularly in the playground.

 

MONITORING EVALUATION AND REVIEW

This policy is monitored on a day-ˇto day basis by the Headteacher and its effectiveness reviewed annually.

 

APPENDIX 1: GUIDANCE

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Bullying is behavior that:

  • deliberately makes another person feel uncomfortable, distressed or threatened either physically or emotionally 
  • is repeated over time
  • makes those being bullied feel powerless to defend themselves
  • can include forms which are verbal, emotional, sexual, sexist, physical, cyber (including social websites, mobile phones, text messages, photographs and email), race and religion, cultural, homophobic, special educational needs and disability.
  •  Bullying may take many forms, such as:
  • physical: for example, hitting, pushing, kicking
  • name-ˇcalling and verbal abuse: face-ˇto-ˇface, in writing, by phone or online
  • cyberbullying: bullying via phone or online (e.g. by text message, email, social networks, instant messenger)
  • making racist, sexist or gender-ˇbased comments, jokes or graffiti 
  • making threats
  • taunting or mocking
  • spreading rumors
  • making jokes to make someone look ‘small’
  • shutting out a person
  • ganging up on someone
  • refusing to cooperate with someone
  • hiding equipment or other possession
  • demanding money

 

Types of Bullying

Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:

  • Teasing
  • Name-ˇcalling
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Taunting
  • Threatening to cause harm

 

Emotional bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships.

Social bullying includes:

  • Leaving someone out on purpose
  • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
  • Spreading rumors about someone
  • Embarrassing someone in public

 Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:

  • Hitting/kicking/pinching
  • Spitting
  • Tripping/pushing
  • Taking or breaking someone’s things
  • Making mean or rude hand gestures

 

Sexual bullying can involve comments, gestures, actions or attention that is designed to hurt, offend or intimidate another person. With sexual harassment the focus is on a person’s physical appearance, body parts, sexual orientation or sexual activity. Sexual harassment may be verbal, like making comments about someone, be instigated via technology like inappropriate text messages, photos or videos or be physical involving unwanted touch. Sexual bullying includes:

  • Making sexual jokes, comments, or gestures to or about someone
  • Spreading sexual rumours (in person, by text, or online)
  • Writing sexual messages about people on bathroom walls or in other public places
  • Showing someone inappropriate sexual pictures or videos
  • Asking someone to send you naked pictures of herself or himself ("nudes")
  • Posting sexual comments, pictures, or videos on social networks like Facebook, or sending explicit text messages
  • Making sexual comments or offers while pretending to be someone else online
  • Touching, grabbing, or pinching someone in a deliberately sexual way
  • Pulling at someone's clothing and brushing up against them in a purposefully sexual way
  • Asking someone to go out over and over again, even after the person has said no

 

Cyberbullying includes the use of (mobile) technology as a media for any of the purposes above. Cyber bullying is a different form of bullying and can happen at all times of the day, with a potentially bigger audience and more accessories as people forward on content at a click. Bullying via social networks, emails and texts will be addressed according to the same procedures as any other form of bullying in the school.

Please refer to our schools’ ICT Acceptable Use Policy for further details on the responsible and acceptable use of technology by our staff and students.

 

Cyber bullying includes:

  • Harassment.
  • Stalking.
  • Rumor Spreading.
  • Disclosure (sharing of personal information of others without their consent).
  • Exclusion/Ostracism.
  • Heated Exchanges.
  • Defaming, Belittling, or Mocking.
  • Impersonating.

Racial, religious, cultural bullying  is treating someone differently, making offensive remarks of being physically aggressive or offensive to somebody because of the color of their skin, their beliefs or their race. Racist bullying includes:

  •  Exclusion, harassment and ostracism
  • Telling jokes intended to offend or which could inadvertently offend
  • Attacks on your person or your property.

Homophobic bullying  is when people behave or speak in a way which makes someone feel bullied because of their actual or perceived sexuality. People may be a target of this type of bullying because of their appearance, behavior, other physical traits or because they have friends or family who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender or just because they

are seen as being different. Bullying can include:

  • Exclusion, harassment and ostracism
  • Threatening to “out” you or your family member
  • Use of offensive language or actions
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Comments or abuse via online technologies

 

SEND bullying is when people behave or speak in a way which makes someone feel bullied because of a minor or severe

Special Educational Need or Disability. Bullying can include:

  • Exclusion, harassment and ostracism
  • Use of offensive language or actions
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Comments or abuse via online technologies

 

APPENDIX 2: ADVICE

Students

The school will work to combat bullying by teaching pupils about bullying and appropriate strategies to combat bullying through:

  • weekly tutorial sessions and PSHE lessons
  • regular whole school and class assemblies
  • older children supporting younger children as playtime ‘buddies’
  • displays of appropriate work
  • students given opportunities to take leadership as prefects, house captains and school Council representatives
  • Positive reinforcement of behavior through praise, house points and merits for demonstrating positive social skills

 

Students will understand the various roles within bullying cycles and how to act:

 

 Victims:

  • always tell someone that you trust (an adult or friend)
  • remember you are not the one who is acting incorrectly.
  • inform the bully that they are acting inappropriately and you would like them to stop
  • if you can, ignore the bully and do not show that you are upset
  • if possible, avoid being alone in the places bullying happens
  • be assertive, if you can
  • walk away quickly and confidently, even if you do not feel that way inside
  • your safety is more important than your possessions. If you are in danger,
  • don’t hold onto them
  • if you are different in some way, be proud of who you are

 

Friends:

  • listen to your friend and talk it through
  • be sensitive and understand their situation
  • avoid leaving them on their own
  • advise the person being bullied to talk to an adult
  • in serious cases speak directly to an adult yourself on behalf of your friend.

 

Bystanders:

  • even if you don’t take part in bullying but see it and walk away you are ignoring your responsibilities
  • report directly to an adult any bullying that you have observed
  • give sympathy and support to the person being bullied

 

Parents/Carers and Academic Staff

Raising awareness in staff and parents through:

  • INSET sessions for teaching and non-ˇteaching staff
  • discussion of issues arising in staff meetings
  • Presentation of policy in key areas of the school and on the server for reference

Recognizing the signs

  • Someone who is being bullied may:
  • be frightened of getting on the school bus
  • insist on being driven to school
  • be unwilling to go to school
  • regularly have books or clothes damaged
  • have possessions ‘go missing’
  • continually ‘lose’ money
  • begin doing badly in schoolwork
  • have unexplained bruises, scratches, cuts
  • ask for money or begin stealing money
  • become withdrawn or start stammering
  • have noticeable and prolonged changes in mood
  • become distressed
  • become bad-ˇtempered
  • refuse to say what is wrong
  • lose appetite, or start overeating
  • cry himself/herself to sleep or have nightmares
  • attempt or threaten to harm him/herself

 

For Parents

Any of the behavior above may indicate other problems. But, if you become aware of and are concerned by any of this behavior, and think your child is being bullied:

  • encourage him/her to talk about the problem
  • reassure him/her of your support
  • listen calmly and not overreact
  • attempt to find out when and where the bullying takes place. Is there a pattern?
  • contact the class teacher to discuss the problem
  • work with the class teacher to support your child within or outside school
  • if the bullying takes place outside school, report the matter to the police

 

For Staff

All members of staff, teaching and non-ˇteaching, should deal with any incident of suspected or observed bullying by:

  • talking to the pupil and giving reassurance
  • taking action appropriate action using sanctions in line with the behavior policy
  • in serious instances producing a written statement of what has happened and the action taken
  • reporting any serious or recurring incidents to their line manager

 

Serious or recurring bullying

The appropriate member of staff will do the following:

  • arrange for support and reassurance for the pupil being bullied
  • interview the person(s) accused of the bullying, always giving them an opportunity to explain their actions.
  • ensure that the appropriate disciplinary action is taken in line with the Behavior Policy of the school.
  • contact parents/carers when necessary
  • work with pupils, parents/carers and other teachers to support those involved
  • and prevent future instances of bullying

 

Outcomes

  1. The bully (bullies) will apologize in a genuine manner
  2. Wherever possible, the pupils will be reconciled
  3. In serious cases, suspension or even exclusion will take place in line with the behavior policy
  4. After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.

All disciplinary measures in cases of bullying must be applied fairly, consistently and reasonably.