Anti-Bullying

St Joseph’s Primary School recognises there is a need to safeguard the welfare of all those within the school community and to encourage a culture of co-operation, acceptance and harmony both within and outside of school.

We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. We have high expectations of all pupils, staff and parents and strive to create a school community in which all children can fulfil their potential.

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at St Joseph’s Primary School. If bullying does occur, all incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. The school actively implements its Anti-Bullying Policy and has clear pathways for reporting, which are known to all members of the school community.

Please click here to see a copy of the school's Anti-Bullying Policy.

Information for children

What can you do if you or someone you know are being bullied?

The first thing you need to do is tell an adult you trust.

It is really important that you do this as soon as possible. If anything, or anyone is worrying you, speak to an adult as soon as possible. Don't just hope it goes away.

If the adult is a member of our school staff, we will work with you, your parents and carers and the people who have upset you to make sure this stops.

If you don't feel you can speak to someone in school, speak to someone else you can trust. This might be a friend, parent, carer or other family member - maybe even a sports coach/dance teacher. If the adult is not a member of our school staff, ask them to speak to us at school. We will work with them, you, your parents and carers and the people who have upset you to make sure this stops.

If there isn't an adult who you feel you can trust - there's lots of support online. Click the 'Childline' box below. There are lots of ways to contact adults who can help you.

The most important thing is - TELL SOMEONE YOU TRUST.

 

If the bullying doesn't involve you - it is still VERY important you tell someone. Even if you aren't sure.

Use any of the ways described above to report bullying you have seen or heard. The adults you report this to will investigate what you have seen and heard fully to make sure all children are safe and happy.

What is Bullying?

 We define bullying as: “Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.”

 Bullying can be physical or emotional and it can take many forms (for example, cyber-bullying). Immediate physical safety and stopping violence are a priority; however, bullying can also occur because of prejudice against particular groups.

 We consulted with pupils to ask their view and opinion about bullying. These are some of the responses we received:

 “It’s like when someone is hurting someone else and they carry

on doing it, the next day, the next day and the next day after that”

 

 “Bullying is not treating people how you want to be treated. Bullying is constant and repetitive.”

  

Bullying may occur due to issues related to:

  • Race, religion or culture
  • Special Education Needs or disability
  • Appearance e.g. being over-weight or health conditions
  • Some circumstances and lifestyles   

 

Some of the reasons pupils may be bullied link to the above areas covered by the Equalities Act 2010 and are as follows:

The following are examples of bullying behaviours:

    • Verbal e.g. name-calling, making offensive comments, taunting
    • Physical e.g. kicking, hitting
    • Emotional e.g. spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours, excluding people from groups
    • Cyber e.g. inappropriate texting/emailing, inappropriate use of MSN/Facebook e.g. sexting
    • Written e.g. ridicule through drawings and writing e.g. on planners/PC’s
    • Incitement e.g. encouraging others to bully
    • Extortion e.g. demands for money or personal property
    • Damage to Property e.g. theft of bags, tearing clothes, ripping books

 

This is by no means a comprehensive list of reasons and behaviours and some evolve at different times.

 

Impact of Bullying

Research confirms the destructive effects of bullying on young people’s lives.      

Some of the effects are:

  •  Poor school attendance
  • Lower academic achievement
  • Low self-esteem and poor self-worth
  • Lack of confidence
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of identity
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Long term mental health difficulties   

Some Signs of Bullying

  • Reluctance to attend school
  • Poor school performance
  • Behaving out of character
  • Missing or damaged belongings
  • Self-harm
  • Increased episodes of illness (real / imaginary)
  • Having unexplained cuts and bruises
  • Refusal to say what is wrong
  • Becoming aggressive and bullying other children
  • Become quiet and withdrawn.    

 

These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be  considered as a possibility and investigated

 

What we will do about Bullying as a school

  • Ensure the whole school community has an understanding of bullying and its consequences.
  •  Appoint a designated member of staff as anti-bullying officer. (Headteacher)
  •  Appoint an anti-bullying Governor.
  •  Ensure that there are clear and consistent pathways for reporting incidents of bullying which are known to all members of the school community.
  •  Implement a consistent system for recording incidents of bullying in line with DMBC guidelines.
  • Develop a preventative approach to bullying. Students will be encouraged to recognise that not only do they have rights; the choices they make bring responsibilities.
  • Review the anti-bullying policy annually in consultation with the whole school community.
  •  Identify and make safe, areas in school where bullying could/has been known to occur.
  •  Be aware of factors which may cause some children to be more vulnerable than others.
  •  Work in partnership with the police should there be bullying incidents where a crime has been committed.

 

  • Foster a clear understanding that bullying, in any form, is not acceptable. This can be done by:
  • Regular praise of positive and supportive behaviour by all staff.
  • Work in school which develops empathy and emotional intelligence.
  • Any incidents are treated seriously and dealt with immediately.  

 

 Cyber Bullying

What is cyber bullying?

  • Cyber bullying includes sending or posting harmful or upsetting text, images or other messages, using the internet, mobile phones or other communication technology.
  • It can take many forms, but can go even further than face to face bullying by invading
  • home and personal space and can target one or more people.
  • It can take place across age groups and target pupils, staff and others.
  • It can include threats and intimidation, harassment, defamation, exclusion or peer rejection, impersonation and unauthorised publication of private information or images.
  • It can include messages intended as jokes, but which have a harmful or upsetting effect.

 

 

Cyber bullying may be carried out in many ways, including: 

  • Threatening, intimidating or upsetting text messages;
  • Threatening or embarrassing pictures and video clips via mobile phone cameras;
  • Silent or abusive phone calls or using the victim’s phone to harass others, to make them think the victim is responsible;
  • Threatening or bullying emails, possibly sent using a pseudonym or someone else’s name;
  • Menacing or upsetting responses to someone in a chat-room;
  • Unpleasant messages sent during instant messaging;
  • Unpleasant or defamatory information posted to blogs, personal websites and social networking sites (e.g. Facebook) 

In some cases, this type of bullying can be a criminal offence.

If this is the case, the incident will be passed to the police.

 

Prevention of Cyber Bullying

 

Understanding and information

  • The Head will act, as an e-Safety Officer, to oversee the practices and procedures outlined in this policy and monitor their effectiveness.
  • The e-Safety Officer will ensure that the school maintains details of agencies and resources that may assist in preventing and addressing bullying.
  • Staff will be trained to identify signs of cyber bullying and will be helped to keep informed about the technologies that children commonly use.
  • A Code of Advice (see Appendix 1) will be developed, periodically reviewed and communicated to help pupils protect themselves from being caught up in cyber bullying and to advise them on reporting any incidents.
  • Pupils will be informed about cyber bullying through curricular and pastoral activities.
  • Pupils and staff are expected to comply with the school’s Acceptable Computer Use Policy.
  • Parents will be provided with information and advice on cyber bullying.

 

Practices and Procedures

  • Positive use of ICT will be promoted and the Acceptable Computer Use Policy will be kept under review as technologies develop.
  • CPD and INSET may be used to help staff develop their own practices and support pupils in safe and responsible use of ICT.
  • The school will encourage safe use of ICT, emphasising, for example, the importance of password security and the need to log out of accounts.
  • The school will promote the message that asking for help is the right thing to do and all members of the school community will be informed how cyber bullying can be reported.
  • Confidential records (Usually using CPOMS) will be kept of all cyber bullying incidents.  

 

Responding to cyber bullying

 

Cyber bullying will generally be dealt with in the same way as other bullying incidents as described in this policy. A cyber bullying incident may include features different to other forms of bullying, prompting a response.

 

Key differences may be:

  • Impact: possibly extensive scale and scope
  • Location: the anytime and anywhere nature of cyber bullying
  • Anonymity: the person being bullied might not know who the perpetrator is
  • Motivation: the perpetrator might not realise that his/her actions are bullying
  • Evidence: the subject of the bullying will have evidence of what happened

Reporting and Recording of all bullying incidents

 

All negative behaviour, comments and derogatory remarks are recorded on the school’s Child Protection Online Management Systems (CPOMS) as an on-going record of behaviour. If a parent has requested a non electronic record, all incidents will be recorded on paper and stored in the Head teacher’s office.

 

Informal Procedure

  1. Stress that watching and doing nothing is supporting
  2. Be aware and tackle any racist, homophobic, transphobic or sexist language
  3. Give support to both victim and bully. The Victim needs self-esteem and self value. Bully needs to work with others (cooperation rather than competition). Do not bully the bully - find out why they are bullying.
  4. Reward non-aggressive behaviour in school.
  5. Follow up, to support victim and prevent re-occurance.
  6. Make clear to parents the unacceptability of bullying i.e. no 'hit him back' attitude.
  7. Help children to see other point of view… “How would you feel if....... ?" Make them aware of newcomers loners or shy children.
  8. In service training/discussion/staff meetings.

 

 

Formal Procedure

  1. All complaints to go initially to class teacher, then Deputy Head then Headteacher.
  2. A record of all incidents and discussions with children involved may be kept if the teacher and Headteacher decide this would be useful. This will be kept on CPOMS, unless parents have asked for non electronic records to be kept
  3. Teachers and the Deputy Head will involve parents and explain action taken, where appropriate, and in consultation with the Headteacher. Communication with parents, when deemed necessary, will involve either speaking personally, sending a report, or telephoning the parents after the matter has been dealt with.
  4. Where the Headteacher becomes involved, it will normally be his / her responsibility to inform parents of both the victim and the bully.
  5. If further action is required reference will be made to the School's Complaints Policy

 

How we approach the victims of bullying.

 

  • Ensure that there are clear pathways for reporting bullying
  • Ensure that victims are listened to
  • Ensure that strategies are put in place to support individual needs.
  • Ensure victims are consulted, and kept involved and informed  

How we approach those accused of bullying

  • Ensure that perpetrators are listened to acknowledging that they are sometimes themselves victims of bullying and abuse.
  • Ensure that strategies are put in place to support individual needs.
  • Ensure perpetrators are consulted, are kept informed and involved.
  • Implement appropriate sanctions and learning programmes for example:
  •      counselling/instruction in alternative ways of behaving
  • Rewards/positive reinforcement for young people in order to promote change and bring unacceptable behaviour under control
  • Adult mediation between the perpetrator and the victim
  • Fixed periods of exclusion
  • Permanent exclusion   

Strategies we may use include

 

  • Circle time
  • Assemblies
  • Peer mediation
  • Circle of friends
  • Anti bullying focus days
  • Support from external agencies
  • Sharing good practice with other schools

How we will educate the community

  • Emphasise through all aspects of the curriculum that bullying will not be tolerated.
  • Ensure that the anti-bullying officer and governor attend appropriate training and development
  • Ensure that students learn to recognise, respect and value the difference between groups of people within the school community.

How we will work with parents and carers

By ensuring that;

  • there are clear pathways for parents/carers to report incidents of bullying, including who to actually report the concern to
  • every opportunity is given to parents/carers to share their concernsWhere a parent/carer is dissatisfied with the schools handling of a situation then the Head teacher will seek to resolve the situation informally. In the event of a formal complaint then the schools agreed complaints procedure will be invoked.

 

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Anti-Bullying Policy will be reviewed annually by the Governing Body involving consultation with the School Council.

The following performance indicators are used to evaluate the policy within the context of the pastoral support given to all students and staff.

  • Behaviour on the school site
  • Levels of punctuality and attendance
  • Evidence of self-discipline
  • Good manners and consideration for others
  • Levels of exclusion
  • Police referrals
  • Referrals through the pastoral support programme for agency involvement
  • Feedback from student council and parental questionnaires

 

Involving the Police and Other Outside Agencies

 

If the Headteacher is concerned that a crime may have been committed, the police will be contacted as soon as possible for a consultation with them to determine the next steps. The police can advise the school on whether the incident is a criminal matter or a case for the school to investigate and resolve. If the school has concerns that there may be child protection concerns with an incident, the school's child protection policy will be adhered to and relevant agencies will be contacted as

 

For further advice and information, please see the links below:

 

 

Anti-bullying Alliance   www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk

 

Kidscape   www.kidscape.org.uk

 

Childline     www.childline.org.uk

 

Parentline Plus www.parentlineplus.org.uk

 

Anti- bullying network info@antibullying.net

 

NSPCC     www.nspcc.org.uk