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Anti-bullying policy

Adopted: June 2015

Introduction

At Stradbroke, we are very clear about what bullying is and how it differs from other forms of behaviour.

We recognise that there are four main types of bullying:

  • Physical: hitting, kicking, punching, removing possessions
  • Verbal: name-calling (largest type of bullying), teasing, sarcasm, criticism
  • Indirect: or ‘behind your back’ bullying such as gossiping, excluding, spreading rumours, ‘the look’
  • Cyber: bullying related to information technology such as texting, emails, chat rooms, social networking

We recognise that bullying has three key characteristics:

  • Deliberately hurtful
  • Repeated i.e. it usually happens on more than one occasion
  • There is always a power imbalance (i.e. the victim or target of bullying finds it difficult to defend themselves against it)

We recognise that in UK schools certain characteristics can increase a child’s risk of being bullied and through our ethos and curriculum we work hard to ensure that this is not the case at Stradbroke. We are aware that these characteristics can be:

  • Race, religion or culture
  • Appearance or health conditions
  • Being a young carer or looked after child
  • Disability or learning difficulties
  • Gender, sexuality or sexual orientation

Aims and objectives

Bullying is wrong and damages individual children. We therefore do all we can to prevent it, by developing a school ethos in which bullying is regarded as unacceptable.

We aim, as a school, to produce a safe and secure environment where all can learn without anxiety.

We aim to empower children to expect to feel safe at all times, to recognise the different forms of bullying and to know how to deal with it in an appropriate manner for their age.

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 each person’s responsibilities with regard to the eradication of bullying in our school.

The role of governors

  • The governing body supports the Principal in all attempts to eliminate bullying from our school. This policy statement makes it very clear that the governing body does not allow bullying to take place in our school, and that any incidents of bullying that do occur are taken very seriously and dealt with appropriately.
  • The governing body monitors the incidents of bullying that occur, and reviews the effectiveness of the school policy regularly. The governors require the Principal to keep accurate records of all incidents of bullying and to report to the governors about the effectiveness of school anti-bullying strategies on a termly basis. The anti-bullying logbook is used as a tool to explore and investigate any potential incidents of bullying.
  • The governing body responds within ten days to any request from parents to investigate incidents of bullying and to report to the governors on request about the effectiveness of school anti-bullying strategies.

The role of the Principal

  • It is the responsibility of the Principal to implement the school anti-bullying strategy and to ensure that all staff (both teaching and non-teaching) are aware of the school policy and know how to deal with incidents of bullying. The Principal reports to the governing body and when asked to conduct an investigation into the case and to report it back to a representative of the governing body.
  • The Principal ensures that all children know that bullying is wrong, and that it is unacceptable behaviour in school. The Principal draws the attention of children to this fact at suitable moments. For example, if an incident occurs, the Principal may decide to use assembly as a forum in which to discuss with other children why this behaviour was wrong, and why a pupil is being punished. The Principal uses ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ as an opportunity to reinforce the anti-bullying message to children. The Principal does this through assemblies and letters to parents.
  • The Principal ensures all staff have sufficient training to be equipped to deal with all incidents of bullying. Through ‘restorative approaches’ training, teachers, teaching assistants and MSAs have been taught to use questioning effectively to unravel conflict. Key members of staff have also been trained in facilitating a restorative conference, so that conflict and bullying incidents can be resolved fairly and responsibly to enable closure for all involved.
  • The Principal sets the school climate of mutual support, praise and success, so making bullying less likely. When children feel they are important and belong to a friendly and welcoming school, bullying is far less likely to be part of their behaviour.
  • The Principal recognises that the anti-bullying ethos needs to permeate the culture of the school at all times. Therefore, as well as being taught through PSHE, opportunities are provided through other areas of the curriculum – such as producing posters in ICT, reflecting over darkness and light in RE and exploring feelings related to bullying through drama.
  • The Principal recognises that in order to make an impact in terms of understanding and memory, qualitative time needs to be devoted to the anti-bullying message. This happens through our anti-bullying week each November and our Keeping Day (each July) in which children explore strategies  for keeping safe through a range of multisensory activities.
  • The Principal recognises that to tackle bullying effectively it is vital to work in partnership with the local community, therefore there are regular nurse drop-ins as well as sessions with PCSOs and The Matthew Project.

The role of the teacher

  • Teachers in our school take all forms of bullying seriously, and intervene to prevent incidents from taking place. If an incident of bullying arises, they pass it on to the Principal, vice principal or SENCO who deals with it using the anti-bullying logbook proforma.
  • If teachers witness an act of bullying, they do all they can to support the child who is being bullied. If a child is being bullied over a period of time, then, after consultation with the Principal, the teacher informs the child’s parents.
  • If, as teachers, we become aware of any bullying that takes place between members of a class, we deal with the issue immediately. As well as using restorative approaches where appropriate, this may also involve counselling and support for the victim of the bullying, and punishment for the child who has carried out the bullying. We spend time talking to the child who has bullied: we explain why the action of the child was wrong, and we endeavour to help the child change their behaviour in future. If a child is repeatedly involved in trying to bullying other children, we inform the Principal and the SENCO. We then invite the child’s parents into the school to discuss the situation. In more extreme cases, for example where these initial discussions have proven ineffective, the Principal may contact external support agencies such as the Short Stay School or Children’s Services.
  • Teachers routinely attend training, which enables them to become equipped to deal with the incidents of bullying and behaviour management.
  • Teachers attempt to support all children in their class and to establish a climate of trust and respect for all. By praising, rewarding and celebrating the success of all children, we aim to prevent incidents of bullying.
  • Teachers are clear about the different types of bullying and used planned activities during Anti- Bullying Week as an opportunity to remind their classmates about what constitutes bullying, how it makes our children feel and how to deal with it.
  • Teachers are very clear that children are empowered to know how to keep safe; to know what being safe feels like and to know who to turn to should they feel unsafe. As well as anti-bullying week, the issue of recognising bullying and dealing with it effectively is addressed through our ‘Keeping Safe’ week which happens in June each year.
  • Teachers recognise that all children need to be empowered to deal with bullying effectively and that the strategies children have need to be age appropriate. All children learn our ‘Give Me 5’ ethos (five people you can turn to if you are bullied or unsafe). As they become older they also learn to use confident body language; role play different scenarios related to potentially vulnerable times such as walking to school.
  • As part of the Key Stage 2 PSHE curriculum, bullying is covered as a discrete unit. Through this unit the children learn that there are different types of bullying. Racism is included as a specific form of bullying. The children are taught about the relationship between actions and consequences and they rehearse strategies to enable them to deal with any bullying incidents, should they occur. This unit is taught in a multi-sensory way and role play is used as a way of enabling children to view situations from different perspectives. This unit also includes ‘Give Me Five’ – the children use their hand as an ‘aide memoire’ to name five people they could turn to for help if they were bullied. The Key Stage 2 curriculum also covers cyberbullying, with strategies for dealing with bullying via phones or the internet – to ensure every child feels safe.

The role of the parents

  • Parents who are concerned that their child might be being bullied, or who suspect that their child may be the perpetrator of bullying, should contact their child’s class teacher immediately.
  • Parents have a responsibility to support the school’s anti-bullying policy and to actively encourage their child to be a positive member of the school.
  • We aim to work in partnership with parents to seek their views and act upon them. As part of our annual ‘Keeping Safe’ evaluation questionnaire, parents are asked to respond to the following question, ‘Stradbroke Primary deals with any cases of bullying effectively.’

Monitoring and review

The implementation of this policy is monitored on a day-to-day basis by the Principal, who reports to governors about the effectiveness of this policy on a termly basis.

This anti-bullying policy is the governor’s responsibility and they review its effectiveness annually. They do this by examining the school’s anti-bullying logbook, and by discussion with the Principal. Governors analyse information of all children involved in bullying incidents, with regard to the characteristics that can increase a child’s risk of bullying as identified in section 1.1.