At Durham Blue Coat CE (Aided) Junior School we are a welcoming, caring school, inspiring a Christian ethos. We value each individual and learn together to achieve our full potential.
School ethos statement
A person has the right to be treated with respect and has the responsibility to treat others in the same way. Children are given the confidence and strategies to speak up and tell of any bullying experiences, knowing that positive action will be taken.
Aims and objectives
To promote a secure and happy environment free from threat, harassment or any type of bullying behaviour.
To create a school ethos in which bullying is regarded as unacceptable.
To produce a consistent school response to any bullying incidents that may occur.
To inform pupils and parents of the school’s expectations and to foster a productive partnership which helps maintain a bullying–free environment.
What is bullying?
Bullying is a conscious and wilful repetitive act of aggression and/or manipulation by one or more people against another person or people. It is also an abuse of power by those carrying out the bullying, which is designed to cause harm. If bullying is allowed it harms the perpetrator, the target and the whole school community and its culture of safety and wellbeing in the school.
The Nature of Bullying
Bullying is considered to be:
deliberately hurtful (including aggression)
often difficult for individuals who are being bullied to defend themselves against
Bullying can take many forms:
physical: hitting, kicking, taking belongings
verbal: name calling, insulting, making offensive remarks
indirect: spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours
pupils may use the tool of cyber-bullying (e.g. text messages, e-mail or social networking sites)
People may bully others because of varying perceived differences:
sexism, racism, religion or belief, academic ability, gender identity, homophobia, disability, perceived characteristic (e.g. hair colour or weight) or because of an associate (family member or friend)
Our Approach to Bullying
We believe that if children are encouraged to be good citizens in an environment where they feel stimulated and excited by their learning, it will minimize the occurrence of bullying. We feel it is important to create an atmosphere where our children know that they will be listened to and where their problems and worries are taken seriously and responded to with sensitivity.
Bullying is always unacceptable and always serious. We are committed to creating a safe environment where children can learn and play, can talk about their worries, confident that an adult will listen and will offer help.
Through a variety of planned activities across the curriculum such as circle time, role-play, class performances, sharing assemblies etc., our children gain in self-confidence and develop strategies to speak up for themselves and express their own thoughts and opinions. Encouraging children to take responsibility by becoming a member of the School Council or becoming a Buddy, SNAG member, School Council leader, ECO Warrior, Safety Team and Worship committee promotes children’s self-confidence; we have a strong and effective pupil voice at Blue Coat Juniors. In having this approach we believe this helps to reduce a code of secrecy where children feel too scared to speak up and tell of any bullying experiences.
Our Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum will ensure that each Year Group addresses issues related to bullying. This may take the form of an explicit approach or maybe implicit, in terms of looking at friendships and valuing each other, appreciating differences, to develop individual self-confidence. In addition to this, the issue of bullying in its many forms is the focus of circle time discussions.
Incidences of bullying brought to the attention of the staff are investigated as soon as possible. Information is gathered from pupils and any staff concerned. Any relevant observations are recorded on the School Incident Log and the Headteacher is kept informed.
We have two aims when reacting to incidents of bullying:
In order to achieve this we use a range of strategies appropriate to the nature, severity and history of the bullying.
If the bullying is a recently established behaviour by an individual or a group which involves regular name-calling, intimidation or social exclusion (but not gross physical violence) a problem solving approach is adopted. The underlying intention is to change the dynamics of the situation, to raise the awareness of the participants about bullying, and to support the peer group in taking responsibility for bullying. It is a seven-step approach (see appendix 1).
If the bullying involves an individual or group, who have been involved in bullying on a previous occasion and the school has previously implemented the above problem solving approach, then the following procedure will be followed:
exclusion from the school premises at lunchtime
exclusion from the playground at lunchtime
move out of current class
arrangements for parent to supervise pupil to and from school daily
The Role of the Governing Body
The governing body monitors the incidents of bullying that occur and reviews the effectiveness of the school policy regularly. This will be done through review of the online behaviour Log and associated analysis. The governors require the Headteacher 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.
Monitoring the Policy
This policy is monitored on a day-to-day basis by the Headteacher, who reports to governors about the effectiveness of the policy on request. To discover the extent to which bullying exists in school and to monitor the extent to which our anti-bullying policy is effective, behaviour records and strategies will be reviewed on a half- termly basis.
The anti-bullying policy is the governors’ responsibility. They review this by examining the school’s behaviour records and by discussion with the Headteacher. Governors analyse information with regard to gender, age and ethnicity, perceived sexual orientation and any other characteristic/ background of all children involved in bullying incidents.
Chair of Governors:
Appendix 1 Problem Solving Approach
Step 1: The child who has been bullied is interviewed
Once it has been established that a child has been bullied, the child is interviewed. The main focus of the interview is to understand the effect the bullying has had upon the child. He or she is asked if they want to pursue the issue. If appropriate the child may be asked to draw a picture or write a poem to describe the effect the bullying has had on them. The child is then asked who he or she would like to attend a meeting who might help to make their lives much safer at school.
Step 2: A meeting is convened with people involved
A small group of pupils is asked to meet with the teacher or the person who is handling the incident. This will include those who have displayed the bullying behaviour, others who have witnessed it but have not taken part, and other members of the peer group who may not have been involved at all but who could make a positive contribution.
Step 3: The problem is explained to the group
The bullying is explained to the children and is emphasized that the bullying makes the person being bullied feel really bad. The others are read the child’s poem or shown the picture; either is used as the basis for discussion. No one is blamed for the bullying but solutions are sought.
Step 4: The responsibility is shared
The group shares the responsibility for the bullying. Although blame is not attributed and punishments are not meted out, the act of bullying has to be acknowledged so the group can move onto the next stage.
Step 5: The group is asked for its ideas
The group is asked what they feel should be done. After brainstorming, individuals suggest solutions - how they feel they can help and what they will do. Good, positive suggestions for making things better are sought.
Step 6: It is left up to the group
The responsibility for carrying out their suggestions is left up to the group. They go away feeling they will do something positive that is supported by the teacher who has conducted the session and in conjunction with the effects of the peers.
Step 7: A review meeting with the child who was bullied
A week or so later the teacher meets up with the child to find out what improvements have been made.
Step 8: The group meets again
The group meets again to discuss what they have done and what effect they have had and have some feedback from the meeting the teacher has had.