Written: September 2010
Last Review: September 2015
Next Review: September 2017
Bullying is an aspect of behaviour which has received much attention. The governors, staff and pupils of Kells Lane Primary School are committed to working together to ensure that no member of this school will knowingly suffer from bullying.
However, should such a situation occur, the school will ensure that school procedures are followed to deal promptly with the issues and people concerned.
We believe that the ethos of the school is central to establishing and maintaining high standards of behaviour. Issues such as bullying, racial abuse and violence among pupils cannot and should not be tackled in isolation.
(This policy is referenced in both the Behaviour Policy and E-Safety Policy)
We aim to:
• Foster harmony, co-operation, tolerance, courtesy and consideration for others.
• Encourage the development of responsible thought and positive attitudes towards others, regardless of their gender, age, race, culture, ability, disability, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
• Promote the self-esteem of all pupils, responding in a sensitive way to individual needs.
• Ensure that each child is free from harassment and intimidation so that he/she is able to focus on learning.
Dealing with Incidents of Bullying
For the purpose of this policy a bully is: ‘A person or a group who deliberately sets out to hurt another, either physically or emotionally.’
The staff and pupils of this school will not accept behaviour, which falls into any of the following categories: –
• Persistent or abusive name calling
• Kicking, punching or hitting
• Picking on someone
• Forcing someone to do something against his or her will
• Being deliberately unkind to the same person on more than one occasion
• Exclusion from the group.
It is important to remember that this behaviour is unacceptable whether it is ‘face to face’ or via electronic media e.g. computer, mobile phone, social networking sites.
It is also important to note that children’s relationships with others in school can vary tremendously. Children can be the best of friends one day and at loggerheads with each other the next.
Bullying is repeated behaviour which uses power to hurt, frighten or cause unhappiness to another.
We need to be aware that temporary breakdowns in relationships do not necessarily constitute bullying.
Guidelines for the prevention of bullying
• Staff will be watchful and observe relationships.
• There will be appropriate supervision of pupils during unstructured time. (see Behaviour Policy)
• Staff will be punctual for lessons.
• Staff will try to ensure that they are present in cloakrooms and on the stairs.
• The Community policeman is regularly invited into school to discuss bullying with pupils.
• Children are made aware that their teachers are contacts to whom they can talk freely. Children are advised to “tell truths” to any adult. Adults are there for any child who feels that they are being bullied or who would like the opportunity to discuss any fears or worries in confidence.
• Discussions take place regularly during Student Council sessions and Citizenship lessons.
Immediate Action to be taken when dealing with incidents of bullying
1. Stop the incident, separate the pupils if necessary, and remove them from the immediate vicinity of other children. Confirm that the children are not physically injured. If children are injured, deal with this immediately.
2. Make it clear that the behaviour is totally unacceptable to everyone in school.
3. Show concern for the victim (in the presence of bully, if appropriate)
4. Wait for the pupils involved to calm themselves before trying to find out what happened. Listen carefully and establish the facts and factors involved.
5. Ensure that the victim does not believe any hurtful things that have been said. Let him/her know that a determined effort will be made to stop the bullying. Encourage the bully to apologise, if appropriate.
6. Discuss the incident, the problems behind it and possible solutions with both the victim and the bully. (The victim must be happy about this and needs to be given a choice.) Circle time with both sides.
7. Outline the sanctions, which will be imposed if the bullying continues.
8. Try to talk rationally about why some people find it necessary to behave in such a way. Discuss how and why behaviour should change. Offer support with this.
9. Ensure children and staff have an understanding of the situation and that prompt action will be taken, should there be a reoccurrence of the behaviour.
10. We will endeavour to inform parents on the day of bullying incidents, before children leave school, so that they can support/deal with their child at home (or as soon as is possible).
11. Inform Head Teacher personally and through weekly diary.
12. Follow up within 2 weeks and again the following half term to check that the bullying has not re-started.
Support for Pupils
• Staff will look for ways to restore the lost confidence of the victim.
• If children are identified as victims or bullies their confidence, self-esteem and ability to make friends, should be enhanced, where possible, through classroom activities and sensitive treatment.
• A buddy system is in place. A friend from another class is allocated to support in the playground. The buddy may also have weekly “chat” sessions over the lunch period.
• Student Councillors may be informed of pupils requiring support as a listening ear in the playground.
• A problem box is available for pupils to enlist Student Council support.
Raising Teacher Awareness:
Signs which may indicate bullying:
The child may:
• Be unwilling to come to school
• Begin to do poorly in school work – deterioration in the amount or quality of work over a short period of time
• Become withdrawn
• Start acting out of character, by for example hitting other children
• Develop stomach aches or headaches
• Want to stay in at break-times
• Have a cut or bruise after playtimes
Advice for Supervisory and Auxiliary Staff:
• Be aware of solitary children, and try to involve them in a sympathetic group.
• Check side and back of school regularly
• Never ignore aggressive or bullying behaviour
• When dealing with an act of aggression or bullying it is better to remove the victim from the scene as soon as possible.
• Incidents causing concern must be reported to a member of the teaching staff. Incidents of bullying must be reported to the Head Teacher.
• Try to help children talk though minor incidents – listen to both sides calmly.
Parents should be consulted if there are concerns about the behaviour of their child. They know their child, and may be able to help solve problems or provide information that could shed light on the situation or prevent another one occurring.