Aims of the policy
At Meadowdale Primary School our primary aim is to prevent bullying from occurring but, where it does, we deal with it decisively and promptly.
We believe that all of our children should be able to learn in a safe, secure and respectful environment where initiative, responsibility and sound relationships can flourish. To ensure this happens, our Promoting Positive Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies will provide a robust framework so all children, staff and governors understand what behaviour is expected; how to encourage good behaviour and how to deal with unwanted behaviour.
This policy will outline how our children learn to develop a sense of self-worth and to respect similarities and differences – through various teaching methods and environmental features. In addition, it will show how we help children to develop self-discipline and to understand how their actions impact on others and how to be sensitive to others children’s situations.
Further details on our Ethos and Atmosphere is included in our Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy.
What is bullying?
Meadowdale Primary School agrees with the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s view of bullying. The ABA states:
‘Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online.’
Bullying behaviour can include, but is not limited to:
- Physical: Pushing, poking, kicking, hitting, biting, pinching etc.
- Verbal: Name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, threats, teasing, belittling.
- Emotional: Isolating others, tormenting, hiding books, threatening gestures, ridicule, humiliation, intimidating, excluding, manipulation and coercion.
- Sexual: Unwanted physical contact, inappropriate touching, abusive comments, homophobic abuse, exposure to inappropriate films etc.
- Online/cyber: Posting on social media, sharing photos, sending nasty text messages, social exclusion
- Indirect – Can include the exploitation of individuals.
Prevention of Bullying
At Meadowdale Primary School we have high expectations of behaviour; teaching children social skills and active promotion of good behaviour are the key elements to ensure bullying does not occur. Using government research (1) to inform our decisions, the following methods are used to achieve these aims:
- Meadowdale Primary School’s Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy is available on our website and outlines how good behaviour is praised and encouraged so children understand what is expected of them and can learn from good role models.
- There is regular and focused teaching of Personal, Social and Health Education as this is a key factor in ensuring children know how to treat each other well and are able to discuss feelings. (More details on this are available on the Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy under ‘Curriculum’.)
- Children are taught about appropriate use of the internet and social media through ICT lessons, including what it is and how to deal with cyber bullying.
- Training is given to lunchtime staff on games and activities for children as well as use and implementation of the Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy.
- Regular assemblies are given to ensure children know what bullying is; what to do if it happens; who to ask for help and that they are all responsible, even if they are not actively bullying.
- All school staff actively listen to children about behaviour issues and respond with tailored learning, where appropriate, before issues escalate into bullying. Incidents of unwanted behaviour are recorded to help identify patterns of behaviour.
- Governors regularly review the policy’s effectiveness.
What to do if bullying occurs
If a child is the victim of unwanted behaviour they can talk to any adult at the school who will listen to the child and always take their concerns seriously. In addition, children are encouraged to understand they are responsible for preventing bullying by telling adults about incidents they witness.
How we deal with bullying
Full details on reporting unwanted behaviour are in our Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy. This includes the recording of unwanted behaviour on our Unwanted Behaviour Incident Report Form. These are recorded centrally – including which children are involved. Consequences are clearly outlined and include keeping a record of behaviour, missing playtimes, informing senior management and talking to parents about personal behaviour plans. In this way, persistent unwanted behaviour is highlighted and consequences and/or teaching can be targeted.
All parties affected by bullying, starting with the victim and including parents where necessary, will have the time and space to talk to a senior member of staff about how the incident or incidents have affected them. The school will then decide whether further support is needed to both prevent recurrences and ensure the well-being of everyone involved.
Disseminating the policy
The Anti-Bullying Policy will be available on the school’s website and will be shared with teaching staff annually at staff meetings and with support staff at a meeting at the beginning of each school year.