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Anti-Bullying Policy

 

Last Reviewed:Autumn 2020Next Review:Autumn 2021
Approved By:Headteacher & Governing Body

 

 

Bullying is an act that is deliberate and hurtful to the person/people being bullied. The action can be emotional, verbal, non-verbal or physical. It is undermining, threatening, distressing and intimidating to the person/people being bullied. Bullying is usually an act where one person or group is perceived as more powerful than other/s.

 

Introduction

Bullying affects everyone, not just the bullies and the victims. It also affects those other children who watch, and less aggressive pupils can be drawn in by group pressure. Bullying is not an inevitable part of school life or a necessary part of growing up, and it rarely sorts itself out. It is clear that certain jokes, insults, intimidating / threatening behaviour, written abuse and violence are to be found in our society. No one person or group, whether staff or pupil, should have to accept this type of behaviour. Only when all issues of bullying are addressed, will a child best be able to benefit from the opportunities available at the School.

 

(DCSF) Aims St Mark's School believes that all its pupils and staff have the right to learn and work in a supportive, caring and safe environment without the fear of being bullied. All institutions, both large and small, contain some numbers of people with the potential for bullying behaviour. A well-disciplined and organised school can minimise the occurrence of bullying. St Mark's School has a clear policy on the promotion of good behaviour, where it is made clear that bullying is a form of anti-social behaviour. It is wrong and will not be tolerated. The School has a clear written policy to promote this belief, where both pupils and parents/guardians are made fully aware that any bullying complaints will be dealt with firmly, fairly, promptly and confidentially.

 

What is bullying?

Bullying can occur through several types of anti-social behaviour. It can be:

 

Physical

A child can be physically punched, kicked, hit, spat at, subjected to rude gestures, etc. Verbal Verbal abuse can take the form of name-calling. It may be directed towards gender, ethnic origin, physical / social disability, or personality, etc.

 

Exclusion

A child can be bullied simply by being excluded from discussions / activities, with those they believe to be their friends/peers.

 

Damage to Property or Theft

Pupils may have their property damaged or stolen. The bully may use physical threats to coerce the pupil to hand over property to them.

 

Indirect

This may be spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours, sending malicious e-mails or text messages on mobile phones. We explain to pupils that: ‘I am being bullied when a person or persons deliberately use words, strength or actions to hurt me or make me unhappy and they know that I cannot stop them.’ ‘I am a bully when I deliberately use words, strength or actions to hurt someone or make them unhappy when I know they cannot or will not stop me.’ Silence is the bully’s greatest weapon!

 

We tell children :

  • They do not deserve to be bullied, and that it is WRONG!
  • To be proud of who they are. It is good to be individual.
  • To try not to show that they are upset. It is hard but a bully thrives on someone’s fear.
  • To stay with a group of friends / people. There is safety in numbers.
  • To be assertive – shout ‘NO!’ Walk confidently away. Go straight to a teacher or member of staff.

To find an adult in school that they are happy to talk to. A child will be given immediate support. What the adult will do:

1. Listen to a child carefully to find out what happened Ask the child how he/she might help and resolve the problem together

2. Follow up within a week of the reported incident and regularly thereafter.

 

How we help to stop bullying?

 

We tell children

  • ‘If you see or hear someone being bullied, tell an adult immediately. Teachers have ways of dealing with the bully without getting you into trouble.
  • Watching and doing nothing looks as if you are on the side of the bully. It makes the victim feel more unhappy and on their own.
  • Do not be, or pretend to be, friends with a bully.    

 

We suggest to parents that they:

  • Look for unusual behaviour in their child. For example, they may suddenly not want to attend school, feel ill regularly or not complete work to their normal standard.
  • Always take an active role in their child’s education. Talk to their child about their day at school.
  • If they feel their child may be a victim of bullying behaviour, they should inform the School IMMEDIATELY. Their concerns will be taken seriously and appropriate action will follow.
  • It is important that they advise their child not to fight back but to talk to an adult at school.
  • Tell their child that they do not deserve to be bullied and that bullying is wrong.
  • Make sure their child is fully aware of the school Anti-bullying Policy, and that they must not be afraid to ask for help.

 

As a School:

  • We will take every alleged incident of bullying seriously.
  • We will speak in confidence to the child who believes they are being deliberately hurt or made unhappy by bullying.
  • We will speak in confidence to any other children who could help establish what happened.
  • We will act in accordance with our Behaviour For Learning Policy:

 

Poor behaviour will result in the following sanctions, in this order:

1. Reminder of appropriate behaviour

2. Verbal warning of sanction

3. Time out of playtime.

4. Further inappropriate behaviour is referred to the headteacher.

 

Children are expected to apologise, where appropriate. Poor behaviour will be discussed with parents as necessary.

 

Playtimes

Children may be given the first two sanctions by playtime/lunchtime supervisors. Further inappropriate behaviour should be referred to the child’s classteacher and the playground behavior slip completed and given to the Headteacher.

 

Persistent misbehaviour

The Headteacher and classteacher will make the decision as to whether or not an individual behaviour record is appropriate. Where a serious behaviour problem occurs the headteacher and class teacher will consult with parents to discuss how poor behaviour is affecting their child’s learning. A course of action will be determined.

This will always be monitored and future meetings will be arranged.

 

Occasionally there are pupils whose behaviour may not be addressed by the 5 sanctions outlined in this policy; in cases of severe persistent misbehaviour or a severe incident, exclusion may be used in line with current DFE regulations.

 

We will implement the following as appropriate: Buddy systems, PSHCE lessons, Specific assemblies, Circle of friends Mediation, Involve outside agencies.

 

The Headteacher will complete all necessary paperwork relating to an alleged bullying incident, and will monitor outcomes.

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