Thornham St. James’ C.E. (controlled) Primary School

Anti- Bullying Policy

                                         Reviewed and updated September 2018 

Bullying affects everyone, not just the bullies and the victims; it also affects those other children who watch.  No one person or group, whether staff or pupil, should accept bullying behaviour.  Only when all issues of bullying are addressed, will a child best be able to benefit from the opportunities available at school.

 

Rationale 

Thornham St. James School believes that its pupils have the right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without the fear of being bullied.  Our school has a strong, clear behaviour policy where it is made clear that bullying is a form of unacceptable behaviour which will not be tolerated.  Any bullying complaints will be dealt with firmly, fairly and promptly.

 

What is Bullying?

There are many definitions of bullying, but most have three things in common:

  • It is deliberately hurtful behaviour.
  • It is repeated often over a period of time.
  • It is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves.

Bullying can take many forms, but the main types are:

a)      PHYSICAL -  hitting, kicking, spitting, taking belongings.

b)      VERBAL -      verbal abuse can take the form of name calling.  It may be directed towards gender, ethnic origin, physical/social disability, or personality, etc

c)      INDIRECT -   spreading nasty stories about someone, excluding someone from social groups, having possessions taken, hidden or destroyed.

 

A useful quotation to be read to the pupils is:

“A pupil is being bullied, or picked on, when another pupil or groups of pupils say nasty things to him or her.  It is also bullying when a pupil is hit, kicked, threatened, sent nasty notes, has unkind rumours spread about them, is called names, is not allowed to join in and things like that.  These things can happen frequently and it is difficult for the pupil to defend him/herself.  It is also bullying when a pupil is teased repeatedly in a nasty way.”  (Bullying – Don’t Suffer in Silence, DFE funded Sheffield University Project).

  

Preventative Measures in School

As a school we will:

  • Minimise opportunities for bullying e.g. increased supervision at problem times.
  • Use any opportunity to discuss aspects of bullying and the appropriate way to behave towards each other, e.g. PSHE, Circle Time, Assemblies, Drama. (see appendix1)
  • Deal quickly, firmly and fairly with any complaints, involving parents where necessary.
  • Continue to have a firm but fair discipline structure.
  • Encourage pupils to discuss relationships, positive attitudes towards others, friendship etc in order to promote good citizenship.
  • Encourage pupils to treat everyone with respect.
  • Review the School Policy and its degree of success.
  • Treat bullying as a very serious offence and take every opportunity to eradicate it from our school.

 

Action to be taken when bullying is suspected: 

If bullying is suspected, the suspected victim, the suspected bully, and any witnesses will be interviewed.  Whatever the outcome of the investigation all parties will be left in no doubt as to the effects of bullying and the school’s policy.

If any degree of bullying is identified, the following action will be taken:

Help, Support and Counselling will be given as appropriate to both the victims and the bullies.

 

We support the victims in the following ways:

·         By offering them an immediate opportunity to talk about the experience with their class teacher, or another teacher if they choose.

·         Informing the victims’ parents/guardians.

·         By offering continued support when they feel they need it.

·         By taking one or more of the disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying.

 

We also discipline, yet try to help the bullies in the following ways:

  • By talking about what happened, to discover why they became involved.
  • Informing the bullies’ parents/guardians.
  • By continuing to work with the bullies in order to get rid of prejudiced attitudes as far as possible.
  • By taking one or more of the disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying.

 

Disciplinary Steps

1.      The bully/bullies will be warned officially to stop offending.

2.      Informing the bullies’ parents/guardians.

3.      The bully/bullies may be excluded from the school premises at lunchtimes.

4.      If bullying does not stop they will be suspended for a minor fixed period (one or two days).

5.      If the bullying still continues they will be recommended for suspension for a major fixed period (up to five days) or an indefinite period.

6.      If the bully/bullies will not end such behaviour, they will be recommended for permanent exclusion (expulsion)

 

Conclusion

The object of this policy is to create a safe, happy, caring and considerate community in which children learn to value others (see Behaviour Policy). The school will regularly review its practices to ensure the effectiveness of this policy.

 

Appendices

  1. Exploring Bullying through the curriculum
  2. What Can You Do if you are Being Bullied – Information for Pupils,
  3. Information for Parents.

 

APPENDIX 1

Through the curriculum schools could explore issues such as

  • What is bullying?
  • What causes people to bully each other?
  • How does it feel to be bullied or to bully?
  • What are the effects of bullying behaviour on bullied pupils; on pupils who bully others; on bystanders?
  • What would our school (our society) be like if bullying behaviour was acceptable?
  • Why should we try not to bully each other?
  • What can we do to stop bullying?
  • What moral dilemmas do we face when we are confronted with bullying behaviour?

 

APPENDIX 2

Information for pupils

When you are being bullied

DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE! FEAR IS A BULLY’S GREATEST WEAPON AND YOU MUST NOT BE AFRAID OF TELLING.

  • Be firm and clear – look them in the eye and tell them to stop
  • Try not to show you are upset.  It is hard, but bullies thrive on fear.
  • Get away from the situation as quickly as possible.
  • Stay with a group of friends if possible.  There is safety in numbers.
  • Tell an adult what has happened straight away.

Teachers will take you seriously and will deal with bullies in a way which will end the bullying and not make things worse for you.

After you have been bullied

  • Tell a teacher or another adult in your school.
  • Tell your family.
  • If you are scared to tell a teacher or an adult on your own, ask a friend to go with you.
  • Keep on speaking up until someone listens.
  • Don’t blame yourself for what has happened.

When you are talking about bullying with an adult, be clear about

  • What has happened to you
  • How often it has happened
  • Who was involved
  • Who saw what was happening
  • Where it happened
  • What you have done about it already.

If you know someone is being bullied:

  • TAKE ACTION!  Watching and doing nothing looks as if you are on the side of the bully.
  • If you cannot get involved, tell an adult IMMEDIATELY
  • Do not be, or pretend to be, friends with a bully.

REMEMBER: Don’t suffer in silence!  If we don’t know then we can’t do anything about it.

 

APPENDIX 3

Information for parents and families

All schools are likely to have some problem with bullying at one time or another.  It is important that your child’s school takes steps to reduce and prevent bullying, as many schools have already successfully done.

Bullying behaviour includes:

  • Name calling and teasing.
  • Physical violence.
  • Threats.
  • Isolating individuals from group activities.

Parents and families have an important part to play in helping schools deal with bullying.

As a parent:

  • Discourage your child from using bullying behaviour at home or elsewhere.  Show them how to resolve the difficult situations without using violence or aggression.
  • Watch out for signs that your child is being bullied, or is bullying others.  Parents and families are often the first to detect that a problem exists.  Don’t dismiss it.  Contact the school immediately if you are worried.
  • Make sure your child is fully aware of the school policy concerning bullying and that they must not be afraid to ask for help.

If your child has been bullied:

  • Calmly talk with your child about his/her experience.
  • Make a note of what your child says – particularly who was said to be involved; how often the bullying has occurred; where it happened and what has happened.
  • Reassure your child that he/she has done the right thing to tell you about the bullying.
  • Explain to your child that should any further incidents occur he/she should report them to a teacher immediately
  • Make an appointment to see your child’s class teacher or form tutor.
  • Explain to the teacher the problems your child is experiencing.

Talking with teachers about bullying:

  • Try and stay calm – bear in mind that the teacher may have no idea that your child is being bullied or may have heard conflicting accounts of an incident.
  • Be as specific as possible about what your child says has happened – give dates, places and names of other children involved.
  • Ask if there is anything you can do to help your child or the school.
  • Stay in touch with the school; let them know if things improve as well as if problems continue.

If you are not satisfied:

Families who feel that their concerns are not being addressed appropriately by the school might like to consider the following steps:

  • Make an appointment to discuss the matter with the Headteacher.
  • If this does not help, write to the Chairman of governors explaining your concerns and what you would like to see happening.
  • Contact local or national parent support groups for advice.

If your child is bullying other children

Many children may be involved in bullying other pupils at some time or other.  Often parents are not aware that their child is involved in bullying.

Children sometimes bully others because:

  • They don’t know that it is wrong.
  • They are copying older brothers or sisters or other people in the family whom they admire.
  • They haven’t learnt other, better ways of mixing with their school friends.
  • Their friends encourage them to bully.
  • They are going through a difficult time and are acting out aggressive feelings.

To stop your child from bullying others

  • Talk with your child; explain that what he/she is doing is unacceptable and makes other children unhappy.
  • Discourage other members of your family from bullying behaviour or from using aggression or force to get what they want.
  • Show your child how he/she can join in with other children without bullying.
  • Make an appointment to see your child’s class teacher or form tutor; explain to the teacher the problems your child is experiencing; discuss with the teacher how you and the school can stop him/her bullying others.
  • Regularly check with your child how things are going at school.
  • Give your child lots of praise and encouragement when he/she is cooperative or kind to other people.