At Pluckley Church of England 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. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff – whether they are directly involved or not.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying differs from teasing / falling out between friends or other types of aggressive behaviour.
There is a deliberate intention to hurt or humiliate,
- There is a power imbalance that makes it hard for the victim to defend themselves,
- It is usually persistent
Guidelines from the Department of Education and Skills (DfES) define bullying as 'Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.'
The Anti-bullying Alliance (made up of members of the NSPCC and NCB) define bullying as:
the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person by another(s), where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.
With the children, we will talk about bullying as:
hurtful or unkind behaviour which is deliberate and repeated.
Children will know that bullying can be carried out by an individual or a group of people towards an individual or group. We will share the STOP acronym to help define bullying – Several Times On Purpose.
The nature of bullying can be:
- Physical – such as hitting or physically intimidating someone, or using inappropriate or unwanted physical contact towards someone;
- Attacking property – such as damaging, stealing or hiding someone’s possessions;
- Verbal – such as name calling, spreading rumours about someone, using derogatory or offensive language or threatening someone;
- Psychological – such as deliberately excluding or ignoring people;
- Cyber – such as using text, email or other social media to write or say hurtful things about someone.
Bullying can be based on any of the following things:
- Race (racist bullying);
- Religion or belief;
- Culture or class;
- Gender (sexist bullying);
- Sexual orientation (homophobic or biphobic bullying);
- Gender identity (transphobic bullying);
- Special Educational Needs (SEN) or disability;
- Appearance or health conditions;
- Related to home or other personal situation;
- Related to another vulnerable group of people.
No form of bullying will be tolerated and all incidents will be taken seriously.
At Pluckley Church of England Primary School if any pupil feels uncomfortable or is unhappy with something they are encouraged to use the phrase:
“Stop it, I don’t like it. If you do that again I will tell somebody!”
If a pupil is being bullied they are encouraged to not retaliate but to tell someone they trust about it such as a friend, family member or trusted adult. They are also encouraged to report any bullying incidents in school:
- Report to a teacher – their class teacher or any other teacher they feel comfortable talking to;
- Tell a student ambassador who in turn can help them tell a teacher or staff;
- Tell any other adult staff in school – such as Teaching Assistants or Mrs Loader;
- Tell an adult at home;
- Call ChildLine to speak with someone in confidence on 0800 1111.
Responding to Bullying
When bullying has been reported, the following actions will be taken:
- Staff will record the bullying incidents that have been reported (via CPOMS).
- Designated school staff will monitor incident reporting forms and other relevant information recorded, analysing and evaluating the results;
- The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying will be thoroughly investigated.
- Staff will offer support to the target of the bullying in discussion with the pupil’s class teacher. Individual meetings will then be held with any target of bullying to devise a plan of action that ensures they are made to feel safe and reassured that the bullying is not their fault. Action plans will make use of peer mediators and buddy classes;
- Staff will pro-actively respond to the bully who may require support. They will discuss with the target’s class teacher to devise a plan of action; Staff will decide whether to / when to inform parents / carers of reported bullying incidents and, where necessary arrange a meeting to involve them in any plans of action. Staff will also assess whether any other authorities (such as police or the local authority) need to be involved – particularly in incidences of cyber-bullying or when actions take place outside of school.
We will use KIDSCAPE methods for helping children to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:
- writing a set of school rules
- signing a behaviour contract
- writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying
- reading stories about bullying or having them read to a class or assembly
- making up role-plays (or using KIDSCAPE role-plays)
- having discussions about bullying and why it matters