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Anti-Bullying Policy

 

Introduction 

This policy outlines the school’s views on bullying in line with the school’s Behaviour Policy.

 

Blue Coat CE Junior School offers a caring, sharing environment where all children are valued. The development of maturity and self-esteem are paramount to providing the best learning environment.

 

Bullying is a problem for everyone. The victims of bullying are not the only ones damaged by bullying. Those who watch and are aware of bullying are also harmed. Organisations that put up with bullying do not work as well as they could and people within such organisations are often unhappy.


Head teachers have a legal duty under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 to draw up procedures to prevent bullying among children and bring these to the attention of staff, parents and children. 

This document has been informed by:

·         Every Child Matters Agenda

·         The Disability Discrimination Act (2005)

·         Durham County Council Anti-Bullying Policy and Guidelines.

 

Aims

 ·               At Blue Coat, we aim to provide a stimulating, well-ordered, secure and caring environment in which each individual is valued, feels personally and emotionally secure and where learning can flourish.

·               Our Behaviour Policy outlines, in clear and straight forward terms, our whole school approach to encourage all children to demonstrate positive behaviour whilst at school and in the wider community.

·               Positive action is taken to prevent bullying within SEAL, PSHCE lessons, Family Groups and through cross curricular learning opportunities as well as e-safety in ICT.

·               Bullying is wrong and damages individual children. We therefore do all we can to prevent it, by developing a school ethos in which bullying is regarded as unacceptable.

·               We aim to make all those connected with the school aware of our opposition to bullying, and we make clear each person’s responsibilities with regard to the eradication of bullying in our school.

·               We have children who are trained as Buddies and who aim to help everyone have happy and problem-free break and lunchtimes.

·               If bullying does occur, all children should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.

 

Scope

This policy applies to all adults and children within school and all aspects of school life.

 

Entitlement

Everyone at Blue Coat has the right:

·         To work and play in a safe and secure environment, free from aggression and abuse.

·         To express their attitudes and feelings constructively and have these respected by others.

·         To have an uninterrupted education.

·         To have personal property respected.

Everyone at Blue Coat has the responsibility:

·         To behave acceptably in all situations.

·         To accept the consequences of their actions.

·         To understand their responsibilities in the learning process.

·         To be polite and co-operative with everyone, respecting their rights and feelings.

·         To respect school and public property and other children’s personal property.

 

SEN/Disability

Blue Coat School is fully committed to complying with Every Child Matters agenda and the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (DDA), including:

·         Promoting equal opportunities

·         Eliminating discrimination

·         Celebration of difference

·         Eliminating harassment related to SEN/disability

·         Promoting positive attitudes towards SEN/disabled children

·         Encouraging SEN/disabled children pupils to participate fully in the life of school

·         Raising awareness of disability

In order to further raise pupils’ awareness of disability, successful links have been established with a local charity entitled, ‘Integrating Children’ (Spring 2010). Children who attend this group are invited to a range of events within school, such as fairs and PTA activities. The charity leaders have also ran a workshop this year with Y4 pupils, with an aim to run further workshops for remaining year groups at Blue Coat. 

 

Definition of Bullying 

Blue Coat CE Junior School has agreed the following definition of Bullying:

Bullying is deliberately hurtful behaviour, repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. The main types of bullying are: 

·         Physical (hitting, kicking, theft)   

·         Emotional (being unfriendly, tormenting, excluding)

·         Racist  (racial taunts, graffiti, gestures)

·         Sexual (unwanted physical contact or abusive comments)

·         Homophobic (focussing on sexuality)

·         Verbal (name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours)

·         Cyber (e-mails, text messaging or misuse of technology) 

Blue Coat has a children’s leaflet which explains bullying in simple terms which pupils will understand. It explains what bullying is and what to do if it happens. This leaflet was produced by the Buddies in consultation with School Council and PSHCE Co-ordinator. It has recently been up-dated to link with ‘Taking Action Together’ theme for 2010. Leaflets are distributed to pupils during Anti-Bullying Week and are also made available on a hall display or on request.

 

What is Cyber-Bullying?   - Mobile Phone/E-Mail Bullying

Some guidelines for children at Blue Coat

Mobile Phone Bullying:-

·         Do not reply. Save incoming numbers/text messages to show an adult.

·         Tell an adult straight away. Ask the adult to contact your network provider who may be able to change your number/block incoming calls/texts from that number.

·         Do not tell everyone at school/home your mobile phone number, tell only close friends and family.

·         Do not use a phone at school. If a phone is required after school, or brought in by mistake, our policy is to leave your phone in the office safe until the end of the school day.

·         Do not take photographs or video footage on mobile phones to pass around. If you receive any footage, save it and inform an adult, this practice is illegal and must be stopped.

 

E-Mail Bullying:-

·         Again, do not reply, save e-mails to show an adult. Keep your e-mail address private, tell only close friends and family.

·         If it occurs in school, make sure you tell a member of staff immediately.

Social Networking:-

·         As many networking sites have a minimum age requirement, Blue Coat encourages children and parents NOT to sign up.

·         At Blue Coat children are educated on how to remain safe while networking on child-friendly sites.

·         Through the Durham Learning Gateway (DLG), children have access to safe networking with fellow year group members. This is regularly monitored by class teachers and the ICT

Co-ordinator. 

 

Signs of Bullying 

The behaviour of children, young people and adults is not always easily understood. Changes in behaviour may have many causes. Being bullied can be one reason why a child or young person’s behaviour changes.

Parents and teachers need to be able to recognise the signs which may indicate that a child is being bulled:

·         Cuts, bruises or aches and pains that are not adequately explained.

·         Clothes or possessions are damaged or lost.

·         Child requests extra money or starts stealing.

·         Child starts going to school, or returns from school, at earlier or later times.

·         Child uses a different route to school.

·         Child starts to refuse to go outside at break times, or refuses to stay at school for dinners.

·         Child requests to change classes or school.

·         Reluctance or refusal to attend school or after school clubs.

Any marked change in a child’s behaviour may indicate that the child is under stress:

·            Behaviour may become immature (reverts to thumb sucking or tantrums).

·            Child may become withdrawn, clingy, moody, aggressive, unco-operative or non-communicative.

·            Deterioration in school performance and ability.

·            May have sleep or appetite problems.

 

SOME VICTIMS OF BULLYING DO NOT APPEAR TO REVEAL ANY OUTWARD SIGNS.

THESE SIGNS CAN ALSO BE AN INDICATION OF OTHER PROBLEMS AND MAY NOT ALWAYS BE LINKED TO BULLYING.

 

Children must be encouraged to report bullying in school.

All school staff must be alert to the signs of bullying and act promptly and firmly against it in accordance with school policy.

 

The Role of the Staff Member

·         At Blue Coat School children are encouraged to talk about friends, how to be a good friend, what is not acceptable and to tell others if they are being hurt or upset in any way.

·         Staff in our school take all forms of bullying seriously, and intervene to prevent incidents from taking place. Teachers keep records of bullying incidents that happen in their class and pass this information on to the head teacher, if the problem persists.

·         If a member of staff witnesses an act of bullying, they do all they can to support the child who is being bullied. If a child is being bullied over a period of time, then, after consultation with the head teacher, the teacher informs the child’s parents.

·         If a staff member becomes aware of any bullying taking place between members of a class, they deal with the issue immediately. They spend time talking to the child who was bullied in order to provide reassurance and support to help restore         their self esteem and confidence.  They also spend time talking to the child who has bullied.  They discuss what has happened and explain why the action of the child was wrong, and they endeavour to help the child change their behaviour in future. If a child is repeatedly involved in bullying other children, they discuss the situation with the head teacher. They then invite the child’s parents into the school. Sanctions are used, as appropriate, in consultation with all parties following the flow chart of procedures.  In more extreme cases, for example where these initial measures have proven ineffective, the head teacher may contact external support agencies, such as the behaviour support team.

·         Staff members attempt to support all children in their care and to establish a climate of trust and respect for all.  By praising, rewarding and celebrating the success of all children, we aim to prevent incidents of bullying.

 

The Role of the Head Teacher

·         It is the responsibility of the head teacher to implement the school anti-bullying strategy and to ensure that all staff (both teaching and non-teaching) are aware of the school policy and know how to deal with incidents of bullying. The head teacher reports to the Governing Body about the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy on request.

·         The head teacher ensures that all children know that bullying is wrong, and that it is unacceptable behaviour in this school. The head teacher draws the attention of children to this fact at suitable moments. For example, if an incident occurs, the head teacher may decide to use assembly as a forum in which to discuss with other children why this behaviour was wrong.

·         The head teacher and PSHCE Co-ordinator arrange (with Durham Anti-Bullying Service if appropriate) targeted lessons and assemblies/performances on an anti-bullying theme (usually to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week).

·         The head teacher and PSHCE Co-ordinator also arrange training with Durham Anti-Bullying Service to prepare children in Year 5 who are chosen as Buddies for Y6. 

·         The head teacher sets the school climate of mutual support and praise for success, so making bullying less likely. When children feel they are important and belong to a friendly and welcoming school, bullying is far less likely to be part of their behaviour.

 

The Role of Governors

·         The Governing Body supports the head teacher in all attempts to eliminate bullying from our school. This policy statement makes it very clear that the governing body does not allow bullying to take place in our school, and that any incidents of bullying that do occur are taken very seriously and dealt with appropriately.

·         The Governing Body monitors the incidents of bullying that occur, and reviews the effectiveness of the school policy regularly. The governors require the head teacher to keep accurate records of all incidents of bullying and to report to the governors on request about the effectiveness of school anti-bullying strategies.

 

The Role of Parents/Guardians

·         Parents/guardians are expected to help their child behave properly; work co-operatively with their child’s teacher in assisting his/her learning and in building positive attitudes towards learning and school; and instil in their child a respect for others, and others’ property, and to help develop a positive feeling about themselves.

·         Reassure your child that they are loved and important. Children who are bullied often feel worthless and helpless. Try to find out when and why the bullying happened – is it bullying or just rough games or a child’s squabble? Remember children do not always tell the teacher or the parents. Sometimes they confide in a friend, another relative, or a friend’s parent.

·         Parents/guardians who are concerned that their child is being bullied, or who suspect that their child may be the perpetrator of bullying, should contact their child’s class teacher immediately.

·         Parents have a responsibility to support the school’s anti-bullying policy and to actively encourage their child to be a positive member of the school.

 

Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Bullying

·         See Appendix 1:  Procedures for dealing with allegations of bullying at Blue Coat School.

      Staff at Blue Coat follow the steps on the ‘Pathways of Help’ flow chart.

      (Rate of progression through these steps will be dependent on the severity of the incident).

·         See Appendix 2: Incident Sheet.

 

Strategies for the Prevention and Reduction of Bullying:

 

·         Buddies are recruited and trained by the Durham Anti-Bullying Service, to support staff at break and lunch times. Buddies are ‘on duty’ on a rota basis. They watch for children who are on their own (often indicated by children sitting on the ‘Friendship Bench’) and try to find them friends to play with. They watch for squabbles and disagreements and try to resolve them.  They alert staff to more serious problems through a Buddy Book stored in Miss Pickersgill’s classroom and know what to do if another child confides in them.

·         The School Council monitors the views of all children through their Suggestion Boards and class discussions.

·         The “Smiley Blues” are trained to welcome and support new starters in their first few weeks at Blue Coat. They are also responsible for providing guided tours for new parents and pupils visiting Blue Coat. From 2009 they have also had the responsibility of welcoming Y2    

      pupils’ parents during our ‘New Parents Evening’.

·               As part of PSHCE lessons, SEAL resources are used.  One of the SEAL units of work focuses on bullying.  Children discuss the issue and are given skills to tackle and prevent bullying.

·               Special events are planned throughout the year to promote awareness of bullying and allow children to discuss the issue.

·               The Family Group system is also used to deal with any issues and encourages all year groups to look after each other. A series of Family Group sessions are now planned and linked with PSHCE lessons to reinforce Anti-Bullying strategies, making contributions to displays during Ant-Bullying Week.

·               Comprehensive transition arrangements are in place with Newton Hall Infants School and Framwellgate School Durham to support KS1/2 and KS2/3 transition.

·               E-safety training is provided for pupils and parents linked with ICT.

 

Review

 ·         This policy is monitored on a day-to-day basis by the head teacher, who reports to governors about the effectiveness of the policy on request.

·         The policy is reviewed annually by the Every Child Matters (ECM) Committee of the Governors. The Governors review this policy by examining the school’s records (see appendices) and by discussion with the head teacher. Governors analyse information with regard to gender, age and ethnic background of all children involved in bullying incidents.

·         The annual pupil and parents surveys are used to provide data to monitor the effectiveness of this policy.

·         This policy is now also reviewed in consultation with Upper School pupil representatives from the School Council, Buddies and Smiley Blues.

 

If you require support or any further clarification of this policy, please contact the Head Teacher, Mrs Twidle or the PSHCE Co-ordinator, Miss Pickersgill.

 

Appendix 1.

 

PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS OF BULLYING AT BLUE COAT.

 

PATHWAYS OF HELP  (NB. Rate of progression through steps will be dependent on the severity of the incident).

Child is bullied

Step 1

Child personally approaches one of the following:

Buddy

Class Teacher

Support Staff /LSA

Non Teaching trusted member of the school community

 

 

 

Step 2

Child meets with class teacher

Discussion on the facts / Notes recorded

Suggested ways forward

Short review time

 

 

 

If problem persists

 

Step 3

Head Teacher

Discussion/Interview with all parties

Will use: suggested and agreed actions/strategies

Parents informed

Short term review

 

 

 

If problem persists

 

Step 4

Head teacher and Chair of Governors and inform/seek advice from

County Hall / Durham Anti-Bullying Service or other appropriate agencies.

 

 

 

Appendix 2.

  Incident Sheet 

Name of Pupil:

Name of Adult:

Date:                                                 Time:

Record of incident

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Record of discussion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action to be taken

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussed/Not discussed with parents (Delete as applicable)

 

Parents Comments (if applicable)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOME USEFUL CONTACT DETAILS

 

Durham Anti-Bullying Service

Manager – Tom Cunningham

     Anti-Bullying Service

     Copelaw Education

     9 Orchard Lane

     Copelaw

     Newton Aycliffe

     Co Durham

     DL5 6UT       (Tel: 01325 372812)

http://www.durhamantibullying.co.uk/

 

·               The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) North East Regional Co-ordinator -

 Val McFarlane 

 val@antibully.net

 

Parents Resources 

  NSPCC

·               Behave yourself! A free guide which provides advice on positive ways of

encouraging good behaviour in children.

·               Parenting: A rough guide written to encourage parents to work out positive ways of dealing with their children’s difficult behaviour.

·               Stop the Violence A short booklet produced by the NSPCC for parents on keeping children safe. Covers violence in the home, violence at school and in the community. Gives some suggestions for how parents can make a difference.

·               Contact: - NSPCC Publications (Tel: 0207 825 2772)

 

Bullying Online 

·               A useful website with information and advice –  http://www.bullyonline.org/  

Helplines 

·               Anti-Bullying Campaign operates a helpline offering advice for parents and counselling for children who are being bullied.  (Tel: 0207 378 1446)

 

·               ChildLine Children can write or phone free of charge if they have a problem of any kind. Write to: Freepost 1111, London N1 OBR. (Tel: 0800 11 11).

 

·               Kidscape for parents of children who have been bullied. (Tel: 0207 730 3300).

·               (Mon – Fri 10 – 4)

 

·               NSPCC Child Protection Helpline Free 24-hour service which provides counselling, information and advice to anyone concerned about a child at risk of abuse.

(Tel: 0800 800 500 or text phone 0800 056 0566).

 

·               Parentline A national help line for anyone who is parenting a child and who is in need of guidance, information or emotional support. (Tel: 08088 002222).

 

·               Women’s Aid Federation of England Services for women and children experiencing domestic violence. (Tel: 0345 023468).

 

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