Why we Must Deal with Bullying Behaviour
· “When pupils are bullied, their lives are made miserable. They may suffer injury. They may cease to attend school. They will lose self-confidence and self-esteem and this can continue into adulthood.
· In such a state, such pupils are likely to be affected in their concentration and learning, assuming that they continue to attend school.
· Unchallenged bullying may suggest to others that bullying is a quick and effective way of achieving what they want, whilst those bullied feel let down by adults, who seem to condone unacceptable behaviour.
· Whilst no school can eliminate bullying, both parents and pupils will be reassured by a school which demonstrates that it responds quickly, positively and effectively to bullying.”
Taken from DFE Guidelines on bullying behaviour-“DFE: Bullying Guidance for Schools “Don’t Suffer in Silence”.
Definitions of Bullying
Bullying is the wilful, conscious desire to hurt or threaten or frighten someone else, by a pupil who has some sort of power over the victim. This power might be due to greater physical strength (abused when an older child bullies a younger one), or greater number (abused if a gang of pupils bully a single child).
a. deliberately hurtful behaviour
b. repeated often over a period of time
c. when it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves
It can take many forms
a. physical -hitting, kicking, taking belongings
b. verbal -name calling, insulting, racist or homophobic remarks
c. indirect - spreading nasty stories about someone, excluding someone from social groups
d. cyber bullying – texts, emails, social network sites, MSN messenger
The following definition is meant to be read out to children-
“A child is being bullied, or picked on, when another pupil or group of pupils say nasty things to him or her. It is also bullying when a pupil is hit, kicked, threatened, locked inside a room, sent nasty notes, when no-one ever talks to them and things like that. These things can happen frequently and it is difficult for the pupil being bullied to defend themselves. It is also bullying when a pupil is teased repeatedly in a nasty way.
However if two pupils of equal power or strength have an occasional fight or quarrel, this is not bullying.”
School Aims and Objectives with regard to Bullying Behaviour
1. To provide a school environment where all members of the school community feel safe and valued.
2. To involve all members of the school community (including parents) in promoting this safe environment.
3. To engender a “Speaking out” culture that encourages the reporting of bullying incidents by victims, and others who are aware that it is happening.
4. To ensure that all incidents are promptly followed up in a fair and consistent way.
5. To ensure that there are clear, understood and known procedures for both reporting incidents and for following them up.
6. To overtly teach and promote strong anti-bullying values and strategies for dealing with bullying incidents.
7. To help victims of bullying behaviour through counselling and support in relation to the specific incident, and also ways to avoid becoming the victim of bullying incidents in the future.
8. To help bullies modify their behaviour and to avoid being involved in bullying behaviour in the future.
Strategies to Prevent Bullying Behaviour
1. Promoting a positive school ethos that:-
· Values all pupils
· Engenders a “speaking out” culture that encourages the reporting of bullying incidents by both victims and others who are aware that bullying is taking place.
· Listens to pupils concerns
· Listens to parents concerns and works in partnership with parents to resolve difficulties
· Ensures that reported incidents are taken seriously.
· Developing a “speaking out” culture is essential- bullying works through a fear to tell. Silence and secrecy undermine the power of the school and affirm the power of the bully.
· It is also essential that the school is seen to act against the bullying and everyone is confident that action will always follow the reporting of an incident. (Action in relation to the bully, the victim and the confidentiality of the person reporting the incident.)
2. Publicising the policy
· Making the school policy public and well communicated to all involved in the school community.
· Including the policy in induction programmes for all staff.
3. Through the curriculum (SEAL work)- the curriculum will be used to-
· Raise awareness about bullying behaviour and the schools anti-bulling policy
· Challenge attitudes about bullying behaviour, increase understanding for victims of bullying and build an anti-bullying ethos.
· Increase personal and social skills which promote positive attitudes, build self-esteem and develop empathy
· Teach children how to respond when they see bullying behaviour and how to report such incidents.
· Teach children strategies for avoiding becoming victims of bullying behaviour.
· Teach children how to keep themselves safe on line and what to do if they are a victim of cyber bullying
4. Through the school organisation-
· Using assembly times to look at bullying behaviour and how the school will respond and how pupils can respond.
· Participating in National Anti-Bullying week each November and by revisiting it as a whole school SEAL ant-bullying themed week later in the year
· Using the school learning mentor to respond proactively and reactively to bullying
· Pupils have access to anonymously report any incidents of bullying through the School’s Toot Toot system
· Ensuring adequate supervision levels during all the parts of the day.
· Raising awareness of possible areas where bullying may occur in school and ensuring good supervision in those areas.
5. Through staff training-
· Ensuring all staff, teaching and support staff, have access to high quality training on all issues relating to bullying behaviour
· Maintaining regular dialogue between all staff about particular concerns and particular actions
· Ensuring all staff have access to the policy and procedures for dealing with bullying behaviour.
Procedures for Dealing with Incidents of Bullying Behaviour
1. Dealing with the bully
· All reported incidents are followed up immediately by the teacher involved or the Head teacher as appropriate
· Detailed investigations are instigated as a fact finding exercise
· When it is ascertained that bullying has taken place, the bully is confronted with evidence and an explanation is sought.
· The bully is taken through the incident to illustrate why the behaviour is unacceptable, what alternative behaviour they could have taken, and what steps need to be taken to put right what has happened
· The bully apologises to the victim and makes a commitment not to repeat the behaviour (including behaviour contracts as relevant)
· An appropriate punishment is set in place
· Parents are contacted to come into school to discuss the incident
· The incident proforma is completed and the incident is recorded in the bullying log
· All relevant staff informed and asked to monitor the behaviour of the bully
Over the longer term
· The relationship between the bully and the victim is closely monitored to ensure that the behaviour is not repeated.
· The behaviour of the bully is monitored to ensure that other bullying incidents with other children do not take place
· All bullying incidents will be recorded on the School’s Toot toot system.
· The learning mentor will follow up with 1-1 sessions as appropriate with the bully to talk about bullying behaviour and look at alternative ways of dealing with problems
· Should the problem persist or become intractable, then help from external agencies will be sought (Pupil Referral Service, Educational Psychologist, Child and Family Services etc.)
2. Dealing with the victim
· All reported incidents are taken seriously and an immediate fact finding investigation is put into effect by the teacher involved or the Head teacher as appropriate
· Once the facts have been established and the bully has been dealt with, the victim and bully meet with the teacher who is dealing with the incident and an apology is sought from the bully together with a promise not to repeat the behaviour
· The victim’s parents are contacted and asked to come into school to talk about the incident and the follow up by school
· The victim is reassured that they have done the right thing by telling and not to be afraid- that silence is the friend of the bully
· The victim us reassured that the bully is being closely monitored
· Any unseen repeat of the behaviour must be reported immediately so that it can be followed up if necessary
· Appropriate arrangements are made for the victim to help make them feel safe
· All staff are informed and asked to monitor that the behaviour is not repeated.
· Referral to the learning mentor to request support for the victim
Over the longer term
· The relationship between the victim and bully is closely monitored to ensure that the behaviour is not repeated
· The victim is monitored to ensure that they do not become the target of other bullying behaviour from other children
· The learning mentor will follow up with 1-1 sessions as appropriate with the victim to talk about strategies to take if bullying behaviour occurs again, how to avoid potential bullying situations, how to develop assertive strategies
· If the problem is causing major trauma/distress to the victim, then help from external agencies will be sought (Pupil Referral Service, Educational Psychologist, Child and Family Services etc.)
Recordign and Reporting Procedures
1. Standard school forms are to be used to record all incidents of bullying-
· Incident form
· Responding to complaint from a parent
· Behaviour contract
2. All incidents must be reported to the Head teacher and recorded in the bullying log
3. All incidents must be reported to the parents of both the bully and the victim.
4. The number and type of bullying behaviours are reported to the Governing Body in the Headteacher termly report.
5. The number and type of incident is monitored to look for any emerging patterns that may need an overall response in terms of school organisation, curriculum, involving external agencies with particular children etc.
6. All incidents must be recorded on the school’s Toot Toot System
7. All reporting and recording procedures to be kept under review.
Monitoring and Evaluating the Effectiveneness og the Policy on the incidense of Bullying Behaviour
· All records to be regularly checked to monitor :-
o types of incident, locations, children involved
o that records being kept and updated
o that all staff induction includes this policy
o that all staff use the procedures
o that parents being kept informed
o that all complaints dealt with
· Pupil and parent attitude questionnaires to include questions on bullying
· Are the number of incidents increasing or decreasing
· Is the policy giving a clear message about preventing bullying behaviour
· Are pupils more skilled in problem resolving, assertiveness etc?
· Is there good communication between all parties e.g. teaching and support staff, parents etc.
· Do the procedures work well for both bullies and victims
· Has the school environment become more safe for pupils
· Are parents and children reassured by the implementation of the policy
· Do any aspects of the policy need updating?
3. Monitoring and evaluation to be undertaken at least once each year by the Head teacher and Deputy and learning mentor.
The aims of curriculum approach
1. To raise awareness about bullying behaviour
· Personal Social and Health Education lessons (SEAL)
· Anti- Bullying assemblies
· Pupil and parent attitude questionnaires
· Defining bullying behaviour
· A code of conduct for the playground, school, classroom
· Circle time sessions/quality circle process
· Suggestion box
· School Council
· Liaison/visits between Primary and Secondary Schools
2. To increase personal and social skills by SEAL lessons which promote
· How to be a friend
· The give and take of relationships
· Saying and asking for what you want
· Dealing with anger
· Expressing feelings
· Practising negotiation
· Diversion techniques
· Give and take
· Feeling and responding to need
· Making decisions
· Presenting and reviewing solutions
· Learning strategies to cope with teasing
· Learning to say no
· Learning strategies to manage aggression
· Practising relaxation techniques
· Learning to cope with stress
· Listening to others
· Practising verbal skills
· Learning about non-verbal signals/body language
· Extending literacy skills (identifying and expressing feelings and emotions, developing empathy)
Dealing with anger, learning and practising
· Assertiveness skills
· Problem solving
· Conflict solving
· Communication skills
· Listening skills etc.
Examining Spiritual and Moral Values
· What do I value and why
· Who do I value and why
· Respect for individuals
3. To build and maintain self-esteem by:
Circle Time activities
· Who I am
· What I like
· What I am good at
· Promoting feelings of worth and value
School Rewards policy
Good Behaviour policy
4. To build empathy through
· The culture in the school
· School policies
· Response to poetry and literature
· Drama and role play
· Circle Time, discussion
· Working with others in pairs and small groups
· Listening and responding
· Art work
· Story telling
· Creative writing and personal and imaginative accounts
5. To increase the understanding of the person who bullies and the person who is bullied by:
· Empathy (see above)
· Drama and role play
· Developing tolerance
· Learning friendship skills
· Examining conflict
· Developing problem solving skills
· Developing and enhancing communication and listening skills
· Increasing emotional literacy
· Examining attitudes and values
SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Leaning)
The SEAL curriculum is a spiral curriculum that revisits each theme and associated skills. It aims to teach a range of personal and interpersonal skills. Some of the skills that are explicitly targeted through SEAL are:
· To be effective and successful learners
· Make and sustain friendships
· Deal with and resolve conflict effectively and fairly
· Solve problems with others or by themselves
· Manage strong feelings such as frustration, anger and anxiety
· Recover from setbacks and persist in the face of difficulties
· Work and play cooperatively
· Understand and value the differences between people, respecting the right of others to have beliefs and values different from their own.
The pupils are taught to use thinking skills and feelings together to guide their behaviour. There are 5 main skills that are used as a basis for teaching;
· Managing feelings
· Social skills
The resource is intended to supplement effective work that is already undertaken in schools to support social and emotional skills. It provides links to the foundation subjects as well as strong links to PSHE. It has been designed so that schools can implement it in line with the school setting and existing practice.
The materials are organised into the following themes:
- New Beginnings
- Getting On and Falling Out
- Going for Goals
- Good For Me
The themes are designed to be taught one each half term, with the whole schools teaching a theme together. The assembly supports each theme and there are ideas for links to a range of curriculum areas and Circle Time.
For a copy of this policy and to download the incident form please see the 'DOCUMENTS' page