At Atlas Community Primary School we are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Staff should be aware of and follow local authority competency route if they have concerns re bullying adult to adult. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
- Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)
- Physical- pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual- unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality
- Verbal- name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
- Cyber- All areas of internet ,such as email & internet chat room misuse
Mobile threats by text messaging & calls
Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera &video facilities
Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. Schools have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this Policy
- All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents/ carers should have an understanding of what bullying is and that it may occur in pupil and staff settings.
- All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff should understand the school anti bullying policy and follow it when bullying is suspected / reported.
- All pupils, parents/ carers should know what the school anti bullying policy is, what they should do if they suspect bullying may be happening and, if bullying is reported, understand how school will implement the policy.
- As a school we take bullying seriously. Pupils and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
- Bullying will not be tolerated.
Signs and Symptoms
A child 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 (school phobic)
- begins to truant
- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- 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 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
- stops eating
- 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 & jumpy when a cyber message is received
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
- Report concerns and / or incidents of bullying to a member of staff who will ensure this is shared with the senior management team
- In cases where serious bullying is suspected, the incidents will be recorded by written record by staff
- In serious cases parents/carers will be informed and asked to attend a meeting to discuss the problem
- If necessary and appropriate, police and / or child protection team will be consulted
- All bullying behaviour or threats of bullying will be investigated as a priority and the bullying stopped quickly
- An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
- The bully (bullies) will be asked to genuinely apologise. Other consequences may also take place.
- Whilst every attempt will be made to resolve the issues maintaining attendance, in serious cases, suspension or even exclusion will be considered.
- Where at all possible the pupils will be reconciled.
- After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place. Careful consideration must be made to prevent ‘labelling’ of pupils either as victims or bullies.
We will use evidence based methods for helping our pupils and staff to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:
- writing a set of school rules
- signing a behaviour contract in the home school agreement.
- writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying
- reading stories about bullying or having them read to a class or assembly
- using drama techniques such as role-plays
- PHSE curriculum and pastoral support will include discussions about bullying, school’s anti bullying policy and why it matters
- Accessing additional help / guidance from local authority and / or external agencies
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) 020 7354 8321
Children’s Legal Centre 0845 345 4345
KIDSCAPE Parents Helpline (Mon-Fri, 10-4) 0845 1 205 204
Parentline Plus 0808 800 2222
Youth Access 020 8772 9900