BULLYING

 

Ofsted 2014:

Pupils typically describe the school as ‘A big family’. There are many opportunities for pupils to think about and express their feelings and to reflect on their learning and behaviour. This does much to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development which is a real strength of the school.

Pupils have a good understanding of the different forms of bullying and are certain that if any bullying occurred it would be swiftly challenged by the staff.’

The behaviour of pupils is good. Behaviour is good both in and out of class. The records kept by the school confirm that behaviour is typically of a high order.

The school has an effective system for encouraging pupils to behave well. All teachers follow this system consistently, and pupils say that they know how to behave well both in and out of lessons and that they expect others to behave equally well.

 

Understanding Bullying

Clavering Primary School is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for its pupils, so they can learn and play in a secure environment. The school treats all reported incidents of bullying-type-behaviour and bullying seriously.

Clavering Primary School is committed to being a ‘telling school’: all pupils and adults should be able to tell someone they trust and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell someone they trust.

 

Clavering definition of Bullying

Consultation with all stakeholders has resulted in the following definition of bullying being adopted at Clavering Primary School:

Bullying is repeated behaviour by an individual or group that deliberately hurts another individual or group physically or emotionally.

 

Types of bullying

Bullying-type-behaviour, which can lead to bullying if it is repeated, includes:

Emotional (being unfriendly, name calling, making offensive comments, teasing, spreading hurtful rumours, inappropriate sarcasm, excluding, mocking, taunting, tormenting, using threatening gestures);

Physical (pushing, kicking, hitting, punching, spitting or any use of violence; plus taking other physical-bullying-actions such as tacking, hiding or damaging belongings);Racist (racial taunts, gestures);

Sexual (unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments);

Homophobic (focussing on the issue of sexuality);

Other prejudice-based bullying (e.g. religious beliefs, physical appearance, disability, perceived intelligence, perceived economic status);

Cyber (sending abusive or nasty e-mails; sending computer viruses; sending inappropriate images or videos by e-mail; using instant messaging and chat rooms to send threatening or abusive messages to someone else and asking others to join in; using another person’s account, without their permission, to send abusive messages to others; writing nasty or upsetting comments on someone’s profile on social networking sites; making jokes or comments about people on their own profiles; writing comments underneath other people’s bullying posts; setting up a fake profile dedicated to bullying someone else; abusing or harassing someone through online multi-player gaming sites; sending abusive texts, video or photo messages, or sharing videos of physical attacks on individuals (for example ‘happy slapping’ or ‘blue jacking’); ‘sexting’, which is encouraging someone to share intimate pictures or videos of themselves and then sending these on to other people; posting photos, personal information, fake comments and blogs, or pretending to be someone online without that person’s permission).

 

For Children

Are you being bullied?

It's not you, it's them!

Bullies bully because they have a problem. They need a victim. It isn’t your fault!

Although it's hard to feel sorry for bullies, it might help to understand that happy people don't need to make others feel unhappy or small. It's the bullies who have a problem, not the people they target.

 

Why do bullies do it?

  • bullies may be jealous of you;
  • they may feel bad inside and want you to feel bad as well;
  • they may be scared nobody likes them;
  • they may bully people so no one will bully them;
  • they may be bullied at home and think it is OK to bully you;
  • they may think they are being clever.

 

What to do:

Remember: Clavering Primary School is a ‘Telling School’. Speak out. You have the right to live without being tormented.

If you don’t immediately feel able to tell someone, keep a diary of what happens. It will help you decide what to do. It should also stop you missing out anything important and help show that you are telling the truth.

If you are being bullied through texts or phone calls, save messages and call records if you have space in your phone. If not, write down the time of the call/text, what was said/written and the caller/sender's number if you have it. And don't reply to any texts – it's just what the bully wants.

If you're being bullied in a chatroom, don't respond to nasty comments. Name and shame the bully: make it clear to everyone in the room who is bullying you so other users can support you. Good chatrooms are moderated, so e-mail the moderators/hosts and complain, using examples from the chat.

 

Who should I tell?

As many people as you can!

Sometimes just having things out in the open can be enough to make bullies stop.

Remember: Clavering Primary School is a ‘Telling School’. The school has a Behaviour & Bullying Policy which makes it clear that bullying is not tolerated at Clavering and what staff members will do to deal with any cases of bullying or bulling-type-behaviour.

The most obvious adult in school to tell is your class teacher. However, if, for whatever reason, you don’t feel comfortable telling your class teacher, think about who else you can tell:

  • is there a teaching assistant that you would rather tell?
  • is there a teacher who you had in the past that you would rather tell?
  • would you prefer to speak directly to Miss O’Brien or Mr McAvoy?

Every member of staff takes bullying seriously and will listen to you.

Of course you can/should also tell your family.

If you are really struggling to tell an adult, ask a close friend who you trust to help you speak to an adult.

 

Are you a bully?

Remember:

  • nobody really wants to be friends with a bully;
  • people are nice to bullies because they are scared of them, NOT because they like them;
  • think how sad the person you have bullied is feeling;
  • think how nice it is to have friends who really like you;
  • tell your family and any member of staff at school who you trust that you want to stop being a bully and ask for their help.

 

For Parents and Carers

How can I tell if my child is being bullied?

Your child may not tell you that he or she is being bullied. However, you may notice some changes in his or her behaviour, including he/she:

  • doesn’t want to go to school;
  • is unwilling to go to school (school phobic);
  • is frightened of walking to or from school;
  • begs to be driven to school;
  • changes their usual routine;
  • begins to truant;
  • is alone all the time (or a lot more than previously);
  • doesn’t want to talk to anyone;
  • is frightened to say what’s wrong;
  • becomes depressed, withdrawn, anxious, or lacking in confidence/self-esteem;
  • starts stammering;
  • attempts or threatens suicide or runs away;
  • cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares;
  • feels ill in the morning;
  • begins to do poorly in school work;
  • comes home with clothes torn or property damaged;
  • has possessions which are damaged or “go missing” (e.g. lunch box, PE kit);
  • asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully);
  • has dinner or other monies continually “lost”;
  • has unexplained cuts, scratches or bruises;
  • comes home very hungry because his/her packed lunch has been stolen or hidden and he/she is too afraid to report this;
  • becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable;
  • begins to demonstrate bullying-type behaviour towards siblings, other children, pets or others;
  • lacks appetite or even stops eating;
  • is afraid to use the Internet or mobile phone;
  • is nervous and jumpy when a cyber message is received;
  • gives improbable excuses for any of the above.

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

 

What should I do if my child is being bullied?

If you suspect your child is being bullied, don’t ignore it.

Find a quiet time to talk to your child. Explain that bullying is unacceptable and that no one should have to put up with it. Promise to do all you can to stop it.

Make an appointment to see your child's class teacher as soon as possible.

Useful tips for the meeting:

  • decide what you want to say and what you'd like to achieve from the meeting before you go;
  • try to stay calm even though you may feel angry and emotional;
  • don't blame the teacher - he or she may be unaware of the bullying if no one has reported it;
  • give specific examples of how your child is being bullied;
  • discuss what action the teacher will take;
  • arrange to meet again within two weeks to discuss progress.

If you are unhappy with how the situation progresses, you can arrange to speak to a member of the Senior Leadership Team (Miss O’Brien, Mr McAvoy or Mrs Corr).

 

What should I do if my child is a bully?

If you suspect your child is bullying another child or other children, don’t ignore it.

A child who is bullying others often has problems of his/her own. Try to understand what may be causing this behaviour and think about what is going on in your own home. Bullying can be subtle, so watch your child’s behaviour closely.

Consider the following:

  • Is your child going through a difficult time?
  • Does your child feel overlooked or overshadowed?
  • Could your child be copying someone else's behaviour - maybe an adult or older sibling at home or a character from a TV programme or computer game?
  • Do other members of your family use aggression or force to get what they want?
  • Are you allowing your child to use aggression or force to get what they want from other people?

Make sure your child understands that bullying is unacceptable. Encourage your child to be friendly, understanding and kind to others. Try to bolster friendships by inviting other children over to your home, but watch out for any signs of bullying.

Arrange to speak to your child’s class teacher and/or a member of the Senior Leadership Team (Miss O’Brien, Mr McAvoy, Mrs Corr and Miss Leighton). We will happily support you and your child to resolve this situation.