Thurton CE Primary School will not tolerate any form of bullying. We believe that pupils and staff have the right to learn in an affirming and safe environment which promotes positive personal growth and self-esteem for all.
Rationale and Aims
Bullying is an abuse of power. It is a repeated, deliberate act of aggression which causes embarrassment, pain or discomfort to another. It takes many forms and may include physical attacks, verbal insults, extortion and theft, threatening and obscene gestures, spreading malicious rumours and deliberately excluding people from a group or activity.
Bullying behaviour is normally characterised by:
- Deliberate aggression – where someone willfully seeks to harm another.
- A perceived imbalance of power – where those being harmed feel powerless.
- Aggression that leads to pain and distress – pain that can be physical and/or emotional.
- Action that takes place over a period of time – a single, isolated incident of aggression would not normally be described as bullying.
Examples of bullying behaviour can include:
- Writing offensive things about someone using graffiti, notes, letters
- Verbally abusing someone by name calling, making threats, using sarcasm etc
- Physically hurting someone by pushing, shoving, tripping-up etc
- Damaging personal property by tearing clothes, ripping books etc.
- Excluding someone by making sure they are isolated from their friends and peers.
- Inciting others to bully.
- Using technology such as text messages and email.
- Humiliating someone because they are seen to be ‘different’ (e.g. they wear different clothes, come from a different culture, have a different value system, follow a different religion, are lesbian, gay or transgender)
At Thurton CE Primary School we aim to:
- Foster a caring, supportive ethos in which bullying is not tolerated.
- Include regular anti-bullying work within the curriculum.
- Encourage a ‘telling’ culture.
- Treat all reports of bullying very seriously and record and report each one.
- Work in partnership with parents
All staff strive to develop a positive, anti-bullying ethos by:
- Promoting equality and nurturing a sense of identity and belonging for all;
- Encouraging achievement and having high expectations of all pupils;
- Celebrating success in its widest sense;
- Promoting positive behaviour;
- Encouraging the active participation of pupils in decision making and school life;
- Working in partnership with parents/carers and the wider community;
Children through classwork and at assemblies have regular opportunities to reflect on the issues surrounding bullying and are offered opportunities to develop and practice skills for dealing with any incidents which might occur. Anti-bullying work is contained in the school programme for Personal and Social Development.
Encouraging a ‘telling’ culture
We recognise how difficult it can be for pupils and parents to take action on bullying and how bullying thrives on fear and secrecy. The key messages for pupils are:
- If you are being bullied, tell someone. Don’t suffer in silence.
- If you see someone being bullied, tell an adult immediately.
- Don’t think that it’s OK to be a ‘by-stander’, this can give the impression that you think that bullying is acceptable when it never is.
Children are encouraged to report the incident to any adult in the school setting. They may write a note in a jotter to their teacher, mention it to a member of the promoted staff or have a quiet chat with a Classroom Assistant or other member of the support staff.
Managing and Recording Incidents
Reports of alleged bullying incidents can come from a number of sources including pupils, parents/carers, staff and members of the community.
Staff treat all reports of bullying very seriously and the Head Teacher records all alleged/actual incidents of bullying in the School Bullying Incident Record. A yearly return of the number of bullying incidents is sent to the Local Authority.
When reviewing an incident we will try to establish:
- Which pupils were involved;
- The nature and the extent of the bullying and where it was taking place;
- The effects on the person(s) being bullied;
- The nature of the relationship between the perpetrator(s) of the bullying and those experiencing it;
- If there were any triggers to the behaviour
- The support and disciplinary measures required to try to resolve the difficulty.
Our priority is to restore a sense of safety and wellbeing in the person who has experienced the bullying and to encourage better behaviour from those who have perpetrated it. Some incidents are resolved quickly and with limited intervention, other incidents can be very complex and demand a great deal of skill and expertise. Some incidents of bullying may require support from professionals from the Education Service e.g. GP’s, clinical psychologists, social workers etc
When responding to a particular incident we will consider (inline with our Behaviour and Discipline Policy):
- The age of the individuals involved;
- The nature of the incident;
- Whether there are any behavioural/learning needs which could affect an individual’s behaviour towards others;
- Whether the individuals have been involved in any previous incidents;
- The duty of care to all pupils and staff.
In the first instance, when bullying has been confirmed, the bully is counselled and a sanction is enforced, which reflects the seriousness of the particular incident e.g. reprimand, withdrawal of privileges, written apology, punishment exercise. In exceptional circumstances, bullying may result in exclusion from school.
We will inform parents/carers of any incidents of bullying we are investigating.
After an incident of bullying has been confirmed we will ensure that parents/carers know:
- The steps that will be taken to resolve the incident;
- The progress towards a satisfactory conclusion;
All members of staff will have access to advice and staff development as necessary, within the resources available.
Monitoring and Evaluation
This policy will be reviewed in 2016