Saint teresa S r.c. Primary SChool ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

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1 Saint teresa S r.c. Primary SChool ANTI-BULLYING POLICY RATIONALE As a Catholic school we are committed to helping every child to grow and develop in their love of God and others. Everyone at our school has the right to a caring, friendly and safe environment so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere free from oppression and abuse. All children and young people have the right to go about their daily lives without the fear of being threatened, assaulted or harassed. No one should underestimate the impact that bullying can have on a person s life. It can cause high levels of distress, affecting young people s well-being, behaviour, academic and social development right through into adulthood. Bullying is an anti-social behaviour and affects everyone. All types of bullying are unacceptable at our school and will not be tolerated. If bullying does occur, all pupils should feel confident that they will be listened to and that anti-bullying procedures will be activated promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who is aware of any type of bullying that is taking place is expected to tell a member of staff immediately. What Is Bullying? Bullying behaviour abuses an imbalance of power to repeatedly and intentionally cause emotional or physical harm to another person or group of people. Isolated instances of hurtful behaviour, teasing or arguments between individuals would not be seen as bullying" (Torfaen definition 2008) Bullying generally takes one of four forms: Indirect - being unfriendly, spreading rumours, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding bags or books) Physical - pushing, kicking, hitting, punching, slapping or any form of violence Verbal - name-calling, teasing, threats, sarcasm Cyber - All areas of internet misuse, such as nasty and/or threatening s, misuse of blogs, gaming websites, internet chat rooms and instant messaging Mobile threats by text messaging & calls Misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera and video facilities Although not an exhaustive list, common examples of bullying include: Racial bullying Homophobic bullying Bullying based on disability, ability, gender, appearance or circumstance Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying? Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be bullied. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. Schools have a statutory duty to develop procedures to prevent bullying amongst pupils and to bring these procedures to the attention of staff, parents and pupils.

2 OBJECTIVES All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is. All governors, teachers 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 would be supported when bullying is reported. Bullying will not be tolerated. PROCEDURES School Staff The following steps should be taken when dealing with reported incidents: 1. All reported incidents of bullying will be investigated and taken seriously by the adults in school. The member of staff who has been approached will deal with the incident immediately. 2. A clear and precise account of the incident will be recorded by the member of staff on an Incident Report Form. The form will be given to the head or deputy. 3. The head or deputy will interview all concerned and make further notes about the incident. The bullying must be stopped quickly. 4. Parents will be kept informed. 5. Punitive measures will be used as appropriate and in consultation with all parties concerned. 6. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted. Pupils Pupils who have been bullied will be supported by: 1. Being given an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with an adult of their choice. 2. Being reassured. 3. Being offered continuous support. 4. Supported to restore self-esteem and confidence. Pupils who have bullied Pupils who have bullied will be helped by: 1. Being given an opportunity to discuss what happened.

3 2. Exploring how it happened. 3. Establishing the wrong doing and the need to change. 4. Informing parents or guardians to help change the attitude of the pupil. Upon discovery of an incident of bullying, we will discuss with the children the issues appropriate to the incident and to their age and level of understanding. If the incident is not too serious, a problem-solving approach may help. The adult will try to remain neutral and deliberately avoid direct, closed questioning which may be interpreted as accusatory or interrogational in style. Each pupil must be given an opportunity to talk and the discussion should remain focused on finding a solution to the problem and stopping the bullying recurring. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT The parents of bullies and their victims will be informed of an incident and the action that has taken place and asked to support strategies proposed to tackle the problem. The bully will also be reminded of the possible consequences of bullying and the sanctions for repeated incidents will be clearly explained to him/her. Parents are reminded regularly through letters and newsletters to inform their children that they must tell someone should they ever be bullied. Keeping information from the school, or from their parents, will never help a problem to be solved, and will prolong the period a victim has to suffer. Whilst there is little history of bullying at Saint Teresa s, we believe that one case is one case too many and we believe it is essential to constantly review this policy to ensure we are in a position to strengthen our approach to this issue. Where necessary we will call on outside service providers such as the Behaviour Support Service and Kidscape. This policy is seen as an integral part of our Behaviour and Discipline Policy. OUTCOMES The bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologise. Other consequences may take place. In serious cases, suspension or even exclusion will be considered. If possible the pupils will be reconciled. After the incident/s have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place. PREVENTION We will use KIDSCAPE methods for helping children to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:

4 writing a set of school rules signing a behaviour contract writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying reading stories about bullying or having them read to a class or assembly making up role-plays (or using KIDSCAPE role-plays having discussions about bullying and why it matters. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS A child may not speak out when being bullied and 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 ; begins truanting; becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence; starts stammering; cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares; feels ill in the morning (headache, stomach ache etc.); 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; comes home starving (money / lunch has been stolen); becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable; is bullying other children or siblings; changes their eating habits (stops eating or over eats); 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 and jumpy when a text message or is received; attempts or threatens suicide or runs away. These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

5 HELP ORGANISATIONS: Ad.visory Centre for Education (ACE) Opening Hours: Mon,Tue 9am-5pm; Wed-Fri 10am-5pm General advice line: Exclusion information line (24hr answer phone): Exclusion advice line: ChildLine : Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, talk to a counsellor online, send ChildLine an or post on the message boards. KIDSCAPE (Parents Helpline, Mon-Fri 10-4) For a copy of Kidscape's free booklets "Stop Bullying", "Preventing Bullying" and "You Can Beat Bullying", send a large (A4) self-addressed envelope with two 1 st class stamps to: Kidscape 2 Grosvenor Gardens London SW1W 0DH

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