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 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. Students who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
At Christ's we are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for everyone so that students can learn in a positive and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our School. If bullying does occur, all students 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 will feel able to tell staff. As a school we will aim to respond promptly and effectively to all issues of bullying.
If you are being bullied, or you know that someone else is, please tell us straight away, and it will be dealt with. Not telling means the victim will continue to suffer and the bully will carry on, probably with others too. We all have a responsibility to make sure that bullying is not allowed to continue in our school. If you feel unable to talk to someone you can email our wellbeing mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org. All emails are treated with the strictest confidence.
- As a Church of England School Christ’s promotes the Christian Values of Love, Justice and Peace – and this pervades all that we do
- Christ’s Behaviour for Learning Policy focuses on students being ‘ready, respectful and safe’ at all times
- Through Citizenship lessons and PSHE sessions during Personal Development Time students are taught to understand what constitutes bullying in its different forms, its impact and the roles of those involved in bullying behaviour including bystanders
- Students are helped to develop the personal, social and emotional skills that will help to protect them from bullying
- The school also promotes Anti-Bullying Week each year in November. Through these lessons and through year group and whole school collective worships we recognise and celebrate diversity
- Online safety is taught through Computing lessons and with specialist input from the Borough’s E-Safety Advisor, who also delivers information sessions annually to staff and parents/carers
- Staff ‘meet and greet’ their students at the door of their classroom and so monitor corridor behaviour throughout the day
- The Pastoral Support Co-ordinator (supported by a member of the Senior Leadership Team) is on duty throughout the day patrolling corridors to ensure everyone is safe between lessons
- During break and lunchtimes there is a staff duty rota to ensure all areas of the school site are supervised
- The Library and the SEN Department are always open to all students, as is the Chapel when the Chaplain is in school.
Encouragement to tell
Our ethos as a Church of England schools aims to create an atmosphere in the school where students who are being bullied, or others who know about it, know that they will be listened to and believed, and that action taken will be swift but sensitive to their concerns.
We must ensure that students feel safe to tell and understand that by not telling the bully or bullies are protected and gives them the message that they can continue, perhaps bullying others too.
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
- Student/parent reports an incidence of bullying to a member staff
- The member of staff should make it clear to the victim that revenge is not the solution
- The member of staff will record the details of the incident and discuss it with the student to ensure accuracy
- The bullying behaviour or threats will be investigated
- Witness statements may be taken from other students
- Every effort will be made to resolve the problem through behaviour management counselling of both parties
- A restorative meeting will take place between the students involved so that the both students can understand the behaviour. The outcome will include agreed strategies for ensuring there is no further occurrence of bullying and to improve the working relationship between the individuals involved
- Following the restorative meeting a contract of behaviours may be put into place to support both the victim and the student(s) leading the bullying
- In all cases parents will be informed and there will be an opportunity to discuss the problem
- Actions will be taken to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
- A review meeting will take place to assess how successful initial intervention has been and to decide whether any further action needs to be taken.
- If there is no significant change in behaviour of the bully a further restorative meeting will be arranged. The outcome will include a contract of behaviour
- Parents will be updated regarding interventions and will be informed of future actions which may need to be put into place
- Further actions will be taken to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour. This could include the ‘bully’ being placed on a report to their Head of Year to monitor interactions both within the classroom and in external settings
- If the bullying behaviour continues, and behaviour management counselling has not worked, then sanctions follow. Using the school BFL policy appropriate sanctions will be applied to the bully and if necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted.
- It is important that counselling is maintained for both parties, even when sanctions have been applied.
- The bully (bullies) will be asked to genuinely apologise and must engage in the restorative process with the victim(s) in order to reconcile the students
- Appropriate consequences will also be put into place to sanction the behaviour and to educate the bully regarding appropriate behaviours. In serious cases, internal or fixed term exclusion will be considered. Permanent exclusion will also be considered in serious and persistent cases in line with the school’s Behaviour for Learning Policy 3) After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
Information for parents
If you think your son/daughter may be being bullied, or s/he tells you that s/he is, please let us know straight away. Please reassure him/her that we will deal with it sensitively but firmly. If your son/daughter tells us s/he is being bullied, or we discover that s/he is bullying others, we will contact you, and will discuss together how the situation can be improved. In the first instance please contact your child’s Form Tutor either by emailing them directly or by telephoning them via Reception.