St Francis Catholic Primary School Policy for Anti Bullying
A community Growing in Love for Learning and Life Rooted in God’s Love
St Francis Catholic Primary School is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff.
The Education and Inspections Act 2006 states that every school must have measures to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils. The Act also gives Headteachers the ability to ensure that pupils behave when not on school premises or under the lawful control of school staff. This can relate to bullying incidents occurring anywhere eg at local shops or cyber-bullying. The Equality Act 2010 provides for a Public Sector Equality Duty which requires public bodies, including schools, to have due regard to the need to : · Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act. · Advance equality of opportunity · Foster good relationships between people. The measures taken by schools with regard to behaviour and bullying prevention MUST be communicated to all staff, parents and pupils
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of any form of aggression – verbal, physical or emotional – with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
- Emotional – Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)
- Physical – Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Racist – Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual – Unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic – Because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality
- Verbal – Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
- Cyber – All areas of internet ,such as email & internet chat room misuse
Mobile threats by text messaging & calls
Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera &video facilities
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
We aim to:
- Put in place a whole school approach to combating bullying
- Reduce the number of reported incidents of bullying in the school
- Monitor the incidence of reported bullying so that we know if our policy is being effective
Objectives of this Policy
- All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
- All governors and teaching and non-teaching staff should know what the school policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
- All pupils and parents should know what the school policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
- As a school we take bullying seriously. Pupils and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
- Bullying will not be tolerated.
Signs and Symptoms
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
- Is frightened of walking to or from school
- Doesn’t want to go on the school / public bus
- Begs to be driven to school
- Changes their usual routine
- Is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)
- Begins to truant
- Becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- Starts stammering
- Attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
- Cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- Feels ill in the morning
- Begins to do poorly in school work
- Comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
- Has possessions which are damaged or ” go missing”
- Asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
- Has dinner or other monies continually “lost”
- Has unexplained cuts or bruises
- Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- Is bullying other children or siblings
- Stops eating
- Is frightened to say what’s wrong
- Gives improbable excuses for any of the above
- Is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
- Is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated
The main ways to prevent bullying are to create an ethos of good behaviour where pupils treat each other and school staff with respect, and to teach children about the importance of understanding and tolerating differences between people. This may be done in discrete PSHE lessons and school assemblies or in class in order to respond to specific situations. We also believe it necessary to regularly teach about the dangers of cyber-bullying. Other strategies to prevent bullying are:
- During the Autumn term SEAL materials on “Say No to Bullying” are covered by each class.
- During Anti-Bullying Week in November the whole school spends time on considering the current theme. This is delivered through assemblies, displays and classroom-based activities using age-appropriate activities.
- The Pupils’ Golden Rules and Anti-Bullying Charter are displayed in each classroom and around the school and all pupils are aware of what is deemed acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
- Years 2 to 6 have an elected School Council member who can convey pupil ideas and suggestions for creating a caring and stimulating learning environment. The School Council meet with staff representatives half-termly to offer up pupil suggestions.
A child-friendly confidential post-box is provided in each classroom for pupils to write their concerns.
- Play leaders and peer mediators are visible in specific areas and assist the staff on duty at lunchtimes.
- Benches have been provided near the playgrounds for pupils wishing to sit and not play.
- A ‘time out’ area is available every playtime where pupils can be sent if they are not able to play appropriately or if they have not adhered to the Golden Rules.
- When the weather permits, playground and field games are available at lunchtime and playtime which encourage co-operative play.
- Lunchtime staff are given training on identifying bullying and how to deal with it.
- Staff encourage children to report bullying and create a positive and safe environment where pupils’ concerns can be expressed and problems solved without fear of victimisation.
- Anti-bullying campaign leaflets are given out to parents and copies are available in school.
- Report bullying incidents to staff and the SLT
- In cases of bullying, the incidents will be recorded by the headteacher or deputy headteacher in her absence
- In serious cases parents will be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
- If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
- The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
- An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
1) The bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologise. Other consequences may take place which may include:
- Removal from the group ( in class)
- Withdrawal of break or lunchtime privileges
- Withholding participation in a school trip or sports event that is not an essential part of the curriculum
- In school exclusion
2) If possible, the pupils will be reconciled using the following strategy:
- Holding brief, non-confrontational, individual ‘chats’ with each pupil in a quiet room without interruptions – the bullying pupils first
- Getting agreement with each that the bullied pupil is unhappy and that they will help improve the situation – if they cannot suggest ways to do this
- Chatting supportively with the bullied pupil – helping them to understand how to change if thought to have ‘provoked’ the bullying
- Checking progress a week later, then meet all involved to reach agreement on reasonable long-term behaviour – at this stage participants usually cease bullying
- Checking whether the bullying starts again or targets another pupil
- If bullying persists, combining the method with some other action targeted specifically at that child, such as parental involvement
This approach has the merit of opening up the issue and making the perpetrators aware of how the victim is feeling as a result of their actions. The aim is that the perpetrators will empathise with their victim, and the bullying will stop. However, this may well need reinforcing by tougher measures.
3) In serious cases, suspension or even exclusion will be considered
4) After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
We will research and use a suitable anonymous pupil survey that may provide valuable information on:
- How frequently pupils have been bullied
- In what ways it has happened
- How often they have bullied others
- Whom they tell
- What action was taken and by whom
- Where bullying takes place
The survey may be used across the whole school or with selected year groups. It will need to be carried out periodically so that we can monitor the effectiveness of our anti-bullying policy.
The curriculum can be used to:
- Raise awareness about bullying and the anti-bullying policy
- Increase understanding for victims, and help build an anti-bullying ethos
- Teach pupils how constructively to manage their relationships with others
Through the PSHE curriculum and use of SEAL material it is possible to explore such issues as:
- Why do people bully each other?
- What are the effects of bullying on the bullied, on bullies, and on bystanders?
- What can we do to stop bullying?
We will use videos, interactive CD-ROMs and visiting theatre-in-education groups to support our curriculum work. We will hold an annual anti-bullying week in November.
Staff training, including Teaching Assistants and Midday Supervisors, will be planned to take place periodically, as a means of keeping the policy active, and updating it where deemed necessary.
Midday Supervisors will be included in training on how to identify and deal with aggression and bullying. We will continue to improve the play environment to provide quiet areas and retreats as well as improved play facilities.
Year 6 Children will be trained to provide mediation and support for younger children during playtimes and lunch times. They will assist the Midday Supervisors in their role of keeping everybody happy and safe.
Time is set aside for teachers and pupils to sit in a circle and take part in enjoyable activities, games and discussion. The positive atmosphere generated in the well-managed circle usually spreads into other areas of class activity. Circle Time:
- Creates a safe space to explore issues of concern
- Explores relationships with adults and peers
- Enhances effective communication
- Affirms the strengths and enhances the self-esteem of each member
Circles last for 20-30 minutes, at the beginning or end of a session. Participants listen carefully, making eye-contact with one another and address particular problems – for example, relationships, anger, fighting and bullying.
The teacher and pupils agree on simple, positive rules which encourage the group to:
- Focus on their own feelings and those of others
- Listen to one another and tolerate others’ views
- Learn to take turns
- Discuss difficult issues using a problem-solving approach
Parental support is often a key to success or failure in anti-bullying initiatives. Though not always apparent, parental approval is important to children and young people of all ages, and some schools have learned to build on this. The majority of parents support anti-bullying measures and are keen to participate. Consultation is important, helping create an ethos in which positive behaviour is encouraged, and bullying considered unacceptable.
- Regular consultation and communication ·
- providing information about the nature and effects of bullying, by means of posters displayed in the school and information packs presenting the findings of surveys
- Advising parents of possible consequences of their children bringing valuable items to school
Parents reporting bullying
Good practice includes:
- Recognising that the parent may be angry and upset
- Keeping an open mind – bullying can be difficult to detect, so a lack of staff awareness does not mean no bullying occurs
- Remaining calm and understanding
- Making clear that the school does care and that something will be done
- Explaining the school policy, making sure procedures are followed
When a case is referred to them, senior teachers should also:
- Ask for details and record the information
- Make a further appointment to explain actions and find out if it has stopped
- Follow up with staff to ensure that appropriate action has been taken and that the school policy has been implemented
BULLYING OUTSIDE SCHOOL
Headteachers now have the power to try and regulate pupils’ conduct when they are not on school premises. Bullying outside school will be investigated and acted upon. In these cases the parents of victim and perpetrator will be involved as may members of the local community, Community Support Officer.
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) 0808 800 5793
Children’s Legal Centre 0845 345 4345
KIDSCAPE Parents Helpline (Mon-Fri, 10-4) 0845 1 205 204
Parentline Plus 0808 800 2222
Youth Access 020 8772 9900
Bullying Online www.bullying.co.uk