Category: Anti-Bullying Policy

Anti-Bullying Policy

stopbullyDefinition of bullying
Bullying is “Behaviour by an individual or a group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual either physically or emotionally”.

Bullying can include: name calling, taunting, mocking, making offensive comments,; kicking; hitting; taking belongings; inappropriate text messaging and electronic messaging (including through web-sites, Social Networking sites and Instant Messenger); sending offensive or degrading images by phone or via the internet; producing offensive graffiti; gossiping; excluding people from groups and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours.

Forms of bullying covered by this Policy
Bullying can happen to anyone.  This policy covers all types of bullying including:
Bullying related to race, religion or culture.
Bullying related to special educational needs.
Bullying related to appearance or health conditions.
Bullying related to sexual orientation.
Bullying of young carers or looked after children or otherwise related to home circumstances.
Sexist or sexual bullying.
Cyber bullying.

ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE

In Pensby Primary school bullying and any other forms of intimidation will not be tolerated. The school community will treat each other with kindness and respect and all will care well for each other. All community members will come to school without fear and will be safe in school. Everyone will be vigilant and will intervene promptly to intervene if there are any signs or reports of bullying.

PURPOSE

  1. To ensure that all feel safe and free from bullying and intimidation.
  2. To build an ethos where learners feel safe, free from threat and intimidation.
  3. To promote good relationships where all are treated well and where learners care for each other.
  4. To act promptly and effectively at the first sign of bullying.
  5. To encourage learners and parents to report any attempted bullying.
  6. To protect and reassure any victims of bullying.
  7. To have effective sanctions to deter bullying and to have successful strategies to reform bullies.
  8. To make this a happy school that is free from bullying.

AIMS

  1. We will use our behaviour policy effectively to promote good behaviour so that there is an ethos where bullying is unacceptable.
  2. All will be expected to be vigilant and to intervene immediately and effectively if any bullying is observed or reported.
  3. Learners will be encouraged to report bullying and when they do so they will be listened to and taken seriously.
  4. Every allegation of bullying will be investigated and followed up.
  5. Any victim of bullying will be well-protected immediately and in the future.
  6. Any allegations of bullying will be reported to the headteacher.
  7. PSCHE and circle time will be used to discuss bullying and to ensure that all are aware that bullying is never acceptable and that the victim must always report it to parents, staff or friends.
  8. We will use the school’s discipline and rewards strategy to reinforce this anti-bullying policy.
  9. Learners and their parents will be made aware of this policy.
  10. The parents of all concerned will be informed and involved in any reported incident and will be expected to support this school policy.

SUMMARY

This school will have a warm, friendly, welcoming and safe ethos. It will be a place where bullying is not tolerated and where all will treat others as they themselves would expect to be treated.

Policy Guidelines

The implementation of this policy will create an ethos where bullying is regarded as unacceptable so that a safe and secure environment is created for everyone to learn and work in. All members of the school have a responsibility to recognise bullying when it occurs and take appropriate action in accordance with the school policy. This will happen in the following ways:

  • All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents/guardians will have an understanding of what bullying is.
  • All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff will know what the school policy is on bullying and will consistently and swiftly follow it when bullying is reported.
  • All pupils and parents/guardians will know what the school policy is on bullying and what they can do if bullying occurs.
  • Pupils and parents/guardians will be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
  • Whole school initiatives (staff training, celebration assemblies etc) and proactive teaching strategies (PHSE [Personal, Health & Social Education] lessons, circle time etc) will be used throughout the school to reduce the opportunities for bullying to occur.
  • A positive, caring ethos will be created within the school environment where everyone can work, play and express themselves, free from the fear of being bullied.

What Is Bullying?

The school has adopted the following collaborative definition of bullying which is our shared understanding of what bullying is:

Bullying is any deliberate, hurtful, upsetting, frightening or threatening behaviour by an individual or a group towards other people. It is repeated over a period of time and it is very difficult for the victims to defend themselves (remember STOP – it happens Several Times on Purpose). Bullying is mean and results in worry, fear, pain and distress to the victims.

Bullying can be:

  • Emotional being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures), ridicule, humiliation
  • Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, threats, teasing, making rude remarks, making fun of someone
  • Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching, throwing stones, biting, spitting, punching or any other forms of violence, taking or hiding someone’s things
  • Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures, making fun of culture and religion
  • Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive or sexist comments
  • Homophobic because of/or focussing on the issue of sexuality
  • Online/cyber setting up ‘hate websites’, sending offensive text messages, emails and abusing the victims via their mobile phones
  • Any unfavourable or negative comments, gestures or actions made to someone relating to their disability, special educational needs or sexuality.

Bullying is not:

It is important to understand that bullying is not the odd occasion of falling out with friends, name calling, arguments or when the occasional trick or joke is played on someone. It is bullying if it is done several times on purpose (STOP). Children sometimes fall out or say things because they are upset. When occasional problems of this kind arise it is not classed as bullying. It is an important part of children’s development to learn how to deal with friendship breakdowns, the odd name calling or childish prank. We all have to learn how to deal with these situations and develop social skills to repair relationships.

Where does bullying happen?

It can happen anywhere – in the classroom, in the toilets, in the dining hall, in the playground. Bullying may also happen on the way to and from school. It can happen through social media and online. In such cases, the Head teacher is empowered by law to deal with such incidents but must do so in accordance with the school’s policy.

At Pensby Primary School, we are concerned with our children’s conduct and welfare outside as well as inside school and we will do what we can to address any bullying issues that occur off the school premises including through online contact. The following steps may be taken:

  • Talk to the local Community Police Officer about problems on the streets
  • Talk to the Head Teachers of other schools whose children may be involved in bullying off the premises
  • Map out safe routes to school for children,
  • Discuss coping strategies with parents
  • Talk to the children about how to handle or avoid bullying outside the school premises

Signs and Symptoms

A child may indicate, by different signs or behaviour, that he or she is being bullied.

Adults should be aware of these possible signs and investigate further if a child:

  • is frightened of walking to or from school
  • begs to be driven to school
  • changes their usual routine/route to school
  • begins truanting
  • becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking in confidence
  • starts stammering
  • attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
  • cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
  • feels ill in the morning
  • begins to under perform in school work
  • comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
  • has possessions go “missing”
  • asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay the bully)
  • has dinner or other monies continually “lost”
  • has unexplained cuts or bruises
  • comes home starving (money/snack/sandwiches have been stolen)
  • becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
  • starts swearing or using aggressive language for no apparent reason
  • is bullying other children or siblings
  • stops eating
  • is frightened to say what’s wrong
  • gives improbable excuses for any of the above

These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be taken seriously and investigated as soon as possible.

What can you do if you are being bullied?

Wherever you are in school, you have the right to feel safe. Nobody has the right to make you feel unhappy. If someone is bullying you, it is important to remember that it is not your fault and there are people who can help you.

  • Try not to let the bully know that he/she is making you feel upset.
  • Try to ignore them.
  • Be assertive – stand up to them, look at them directly in the eye, tell them to stop and mean it.
  • Stay in a group, bullies usually pick on individuals.
  • Get away as quickly as you can.
  • Tell someone you can trust – it can be a teacher, a teaching assistant, a midday supervisor, a parent, a friend, a brother, a sister or a relative.
  • If you are scared, ask a friend to go with you when you tell someone.
  • If you don’t feel you can talk to someone about it, write it down
  • When you tell an adult about the bullying give them as many facts as you can (What? Who? Where? When? Why? How?).
  • Keep a diary of what’s been happening and refer to it when you tell someone (see Appendix 1).
  • Keep on speaking out until someone listens and helps you.
  • Never be afraid to do something about it and quick.
  • Don’t suffer in silence.
  • Don’t blame yourself for what is happening.
  • Call a helpline.

What can you do if you see someone else being bullied? (The role of the bystander)

Ignoring bullying is cowardly and unfair to the victim. Staying silent means the bully has won and gives them more power. There are ways you can help without putting yourself in danger. The children have also discussed this question in class and some of the strategies they suggested are listed below:

  • Don’t smile or laugh at the situation.
  • Don’t rush over and take the bully on yourself.
  • Don’t be made to join in.
  • If safe to do so, encourage the bully to stop bullying.
  • If you can, let the bully know you do not like his or her behaviour.
  • Shout for help.
  • Let the victim(s) know that you are going to get help.
  • Tell a member of staff as soon as you can.
  • Try and befriend the person being bullied.
  • Encourage the person to talk to someone and get help.
  • Ask someone you trust about what to do.
  • If you don’t feel you can talk to someone about it, write it down and post it in the ‘Worry’ box.
  • Call a helpline for some advice.

Bullying of children with Special Educational Needs

Penbsy Primary School is an inclusive school. We provide a secure, accepting, safe and stimulating environment where everyone is valued for who they are. We share a site with Stanley Special Primary School and he children integrate together regularly.

High attainers, gifted or talented pupils can also be affected by bullying. Staff will treat this type of bullying as seriously and in the same way as any other type of bullying.

Homophobic /Racist Bullying

All pupils and staff have the right to be part of our school community and feel safe and not under any threat. Homophobic and Racist bullying is not acceptable and will be dealt with seriously. All incidents are recorded and parents/families informed.

Procedures for reporting and responding to bullying incidents

All staff will respond calmly and consistently to all allegations and incidents of bullying at Pensby Primary School. They will be taken seriously by all staff and dealt with impartially and promptly. All those involved will have the opportunity to be heard. Staff will protect and support all children involved whilst allegations and incidents are investigated and resolved.

The following step-by-step procedure will be used for reporting and responding to bullying allegations or incidents

  • Report all bullying allegations and incidents to staff.
  • Staff will make sure the victim(s) is and feels safe.
  • Appropriate advice will be given to help the victim(s).
  • Staff will listen and speak to all children involved about the incident separately.
  • The problem will be identified and possible solutions suggested.
  • Staff will attempt to adopt a problem solving approach which will move children on from them having to justify their behaviour.
  • Appropriate action will be taken quickly to end the bullying behaviour or threats of bullying.
  • Staff will reinforce to the bully that their behaviour is unacceptable.
  • The bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologise. Other consequences may take place and appropriate sanctions applied (see next section).
  • In the case of homophobic or racist bullying a detailed log of any incidents will be taken and actions will be tracked.
  • If possible, the pupils will be reconciled.
  • An attempt will be made, and support given, to help the bully (bullies) understand and change his/her/their behaviour.
  • In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff on the standard Incident Report Sheet. All reports will be kept in a file in the school office (Appendix 2).
  • In serious cases parents will be informed and will be invited to come into school for a meeting to discuss the problem.
  • After the incident has been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
  • Bullying incidents will be discussed regularly at staff meetings.
  • The anti-bullying Governor will present termly reports on serious bullying incidents to the Governors. These will include any incidents of homophobic or racist bullying.
  • If necessary and appropriate, the Child Protection Officer in school, Social Services or police will be consulted.

The following sanctions may be used:

  • Apologise to the victim(s) verbally or in writing
  • Lose privileges
  • Lose playtimes (stay with class teacher)
  • Stand outside the Headteacher’s office
  • Spend playtimes and lunchtimes with an adult
  • Parents will be invited in to school
  • Go on a self-improvement report
  • Be removed from class and work in isolation
  • Report to the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher
  • Be withdrawn from participation in school visit, clubs and events not essential to the curriculum.
  • Fixed term exclusion
  • Permanent exclusion

Strategies for the prevention and reduction of bullying

Whole school initiatives and proactive teaching strategies will be used throughout the school to develop a positive learning environment with the aim of reducing the opportunities for bullying to occur.

These can include:

  • Undertaking regular questionnaires and surveys to monitor the extent of bullying in the school and the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy
  • Producing a ‘child speak’ version of the policy for the children
  • Each class agreeing on their own set of class rules
  • Making national anti-bullying week a high profile event each year
  • Awareness raising through regular anti-bullying assemblies
  • PHSE (Personal, Health & Social Education) scheme of work from Reception to Year 6 used to support this policy
  • Circle time on bullying issues
  • Setting up of a circle of friends support network where a small group of children volunteer to help and support an individual experiencing difficulties
  • Children writing stories and poems and drawing pictures about bullying
  • Children being read stories about bullying
  • Using drama activities and role-plays to help children be more assertive and teach them strategies to help them deal with bullying situations
  • Introduction of a confidential ‘Worry’ box where children and parents/guardians can write and post their concerns and ideas
  • Introducing playground improvements and initiatives
  • Training Y5 or Y6 pupils to be Playground helpers
  • Implementation of the Positive Play Programme
  • Using praise and rewards to reinforce good behaviour
  • Encouraging the whole school community to model appropriate behaviour towards one another
  • Organising regular anti-bullying training for all staff
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