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Anti Bullying

Rationale

Bullying at school can have a profound effect on children’s lives and can have a lasting effect on them into adulthood. It can undermine their self-esteem and self-confidence and often result in them becoming bullies themselves. The policy on Anti-Bullying has been drawn up within the school’s ethos of promoting positive behaviour.

Aims:

  • To create within our school community, an atmosphere/ethos of trust, which values, respects and protects the rights of each of its members to be within a safe and secure environment.
  • To develop within the ethos and curriculum of our school, attitudes, skills and activities which will prevent all aspects of bullying.
  • To foster trust among members of the school community so that bullying incidents can be reported, discussed and dealt with appropriately.
  • To encourage and foster active parental support in achieving those aims.

The School community includes: pupils, all teachers, auxiliary and ancillary staff, Board of Governors, remedial support teachers, speech therapist, Education Welfare officer, school nurse, school police liaison officer and other visitors to the school.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is repeated behaviour which uses power to hurt, frighten or cause unhappiness to another.

This behaviour includes:

  • Name calling;
  • Hitting, kicking, punching;
  • Damaging or stealing property;
  • ‘Ganging up’ on people;
  • Teasing about personal or physical differences;
  • Teasing about family/domestic/cultural situations;
  • Threatening;
  • Shouting, swearing, verbal abuse;
  • Extortion;
  • Malicious gossip;
  • Forcing someone to do something they do not wish to do;
  • Racial and homophobic bullying.

What can we do about it and how can we achieve our aims?

The underpinning values held at our school endorse all our policies and are set within our whole school aims. At Castlewellan Primary we hope to develop self-esteem, self respect, self control, caring and respect for others. We also discus many of these values in other curricular areas like Health, Citizenship, Religious and Moral Education. We study bullying as part of our Personal and Social Development programme within each class and also at whole school assemblies.

As part of our strategy for promoting positive behaviour, we look at attitudes, skills and activities which will prevent bullying;

  • We value and listen to children’s contributions;
  • We help children learn and practice the skills required to build good relationships with other children and adults within the school and the wider community.

Raising Pupil Awareness:

Activities through which this can developed:

  • Playing games;
  • Role play/simulations;
  • Stories, poems, media;
  • Play situations;
  • Writing;
  • Behaviour problem solving scenarios;
  • Circle time;
  • Participating in drawing up agreed whole school rules;
  • Whole school assemblies.

Children share experiences, think of other peoples’ feelings, share opinions, explore difficult feelings, put themselves in other peoples’ shoes, develop self respect, assertiveness, co-operation and independence/interdependence.

Where does bullying occur?

Most bullying occurs on the way to and from school, including trips in school transport and in the playground.

Practical Advise to share with Pupils:

  1. If you are bullied TELL a member of staff.
  2. TRY TO IGNORE silly comments or teasing – don’t say anything back – try and walk away.
  3. Tell people who are bullying you to ‘BUZZ OFF’, shout ‘NO’ or ‘GO AWAY’. You must say it loudly and walk away immediately. Practice this in the mirror.
  4. Stay with friends when playing – you are most likely to be bullied if you are on your own.

A separate sheet for pupils is attached to this policy. (appendix 1) This explains to the children what to do if they are bullied and contains a simpler version of bullying definitions.

Practical Advice for Parents:

  1. Encourage your child to talk about what has been going on in school and talk through any minor incidents calmly to ascertain what has happened.
  2. Inform the school immediately if you feel there may be a bullying problem.
  3. Encourage your child to tell a teacher or the playground supervisors if they or any of their friends are experiencing difficulty in or out of school.
  4. Watch out for signs of stress in your child – headaches, sore stomachs, reluctance to come to school- they can be indications that all is not well.
  5. Investigate if a toy/money starts to go missing.
  6. Take an interest in friendships and out-of-school activities.
  7. Avoid unsupervised exposure to violence on television/video/computer games. Spend some time discussing the different forms of violence – reality versus fantasy.

Raising Teacher Awareness:

Signs which may indicate bullying:

The child may:

  • Be unwilling to come to school;
  • Begin to do poorly in school work;
  • 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 playtime.

Advise for Supervisory and Auxiliary Staff:

  • Be aware of isolated children and try to involve them in a sympathetic group;
  • Keep a watchful eye on ‘rough and tumble’, to ensure that everyone is enjoying it!
  • 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 should be reported to a member of the teaching staff. Persistent bullying must be reported to Mrs McClelland.
  • Try to help children talk though minor incidents – listen to both sides calmly.

How Do We Deal With Bullying?

All incidents are investigated, discussed and hopefully resolved and the children involved supported. Their future behaviour will be monitored. If incidents recur, parents of the bully and the bullied pupil will be contacted and parents and school will together monitor progress. The school will use a range of strategies to resolve bullying issues. School will favour “The No Blame” approach.

The No Blame approach.

A non-punitive response developed in the UK by Barbara Maines and George Robinson. It is similar to the Method of Shared Concern and the training materials area easily accessible to schools. It has been used in primary, secondary and college environments since 1990.

When bullying has been observed or reported then the following steps are taken:

Step one – meet with the bullied pupil

When the teacher finds out the bullying has happened she starts by talking to the bullied child about his/her feelings. She does not question about the incidents but she does need to know who was involved.

Step two – convene a meeting with the people involved (a healthy group)

The teacher arranges to meet with the group pupils who have been involved. This will include some bystanders or colluders and even friends of the bullied child who joined in but did not initiative any bullying. We find that a group of six to eight young people works well.

Step three – explain the problem

She tells them about the way the bullied child is feeling and might use a poem, piece of writing or a drawing to emphasise his distress. At no time does she discuss the details of the incidents or allocate blame to the group.

Step four – share responsibility

The teacher does not attribute blame but state that she knows that the group are responsible and can do something about it.

Step five – ask the group for their ideas

Each member of the group is encouraged to suggest a way in which the bullied child could be helped to feel happier. The teacher gives some positive responses but she does not go on to extract a promise of improved behaviour.

Step six – leave it up to them

Step seven – meet them again individually

About a week later the teacher discusses with each student, including the bullied child how things have been going. This allows the teacher to monitor the bullying and keeps the young people involved in the process.

All incidents of bullying are written into our file, with information recorded about what happened and the action taken.

If a child becomes a persistent bully, we may seek support/advice from outside agencies e.g. Education Psychologist.

Monitoring and Review

We will monitor and review our policy on a regular basis. We will also monitor any incidents to see patterns of bullying and effects on pupils’ attainment and progress. This policy has been drawn up in consultation with Governors. Parents will be informed on any changes to the policy.

Pupils:

What to do if you are being Bullied:

  1. If you are being bullied tell your teacher, playground staff, parent or friend. If you are bullied outside school tell your parents.
  2. Try to ignore silly comments or teasing – don’t say anything back – try and walk away.
  3. Tell people who are bullying you to ‘BUZZ OFF’, shout ‘NO’ or ‘GO AWAY’. You must say it loudly and walk away immediately. Practice this in the mirror.
  4. Stay with friends when playing – you are most likely to be bullied if you are on your own.

What is bullying?

Bullying is

  • Following someone around all the time;
  • Name calling;
  • Hitting, kicking, punching;
  • Telling someone they are useless at something;
  • Taking things without asking;
  • ‘Ganging up’ on people;
  • Saying you’ll do something to someone if they don’t do what you want;
  • Ignoring people or deliberately turning away from someone;
  • Trying to take peoples’ things away from them, e.g. toys, money, sweets;
  • Saying hurtful things about how someone looks, dresses or speaks;
  • Saying hurtful things about someone’s family;
  • Making up/or spreading stories about someone;
  • Picking on someone because they have different interests or beliefs from you.

Bullying is when someone does any of these things to another person more than once.