Unfortunately in all schools, to a greater or lesser degree, incidents of bullying will exist. As a community of students, staff and parents we are committed to making our school a safe and caring environment for all children and so we have a very positive approach to behaviour management. We know that without good discipline, teaching and learning cannot effectively take place and so we make good behaviour an integral part of our curriculum and take a very pro-active approach to training staff and students to recognise the signs of bullying and to be confident to deal quickly, sensitively and effectively to put a stop to it.
With our younger students, incidents of deliberate bullying are fortunately quite rare, but children do have to be taught to recognise what we mean by bullying and what they can individually and collectively do to ensure that we quickly put a stop to any negative behaviour. We very much promote an ethos of respect, refusing to tolerate bullying of any kind. We are a “telling” school and any allegation of bullying is treated most seriously and fully investigated.
Through our PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) curriculum, assembly programme and focus on BSGs (Behaviours and Social Graces), we try to work in sensitive, supportive ways and actively teach all children social problem-solving skills. We establish clear behavioural expectations so that children know what is considered appropriate, respectful behaviour and conversely what we mean by bullying behaviour - one sided and unfair behaviour when someone keeps hurting, threatening, frightening or leaving someone out on purpose. We teach children strategies to prevent bullying and support them to;
- Treat each other respectfully
- Refuse to bully others
- Refuse to let others be bullied
- Refuse to watch, laugh or join in when someone is being bullied- don’t be a bystander!
- Try to include everyone in play, especially those who are often left out
- Report bullying to an adult
We also continually work with staff to ensure that we minimise opportunities for bullying to take place by ensuring close and active supervision of children in all areas of the school and playground. Staff watch for any negative behaviour and respond quickly and sensitively to all behavioural issues. However, children are still young and learning, and so they have to be supported to understand what they have done wrong. We will work with the child to explore the root cause of the negative behaviour and support the children to come up with a plan for success, in case they find themselves in a similar situation in the future.
We recognise that parents have a huge influence on children’s behaviour and so we work in partnership with home to both promote positive behaviour and address negative behaviour. We will always talk with you when we have concerns but also ask for your help to curtail any by asking that you;
- Let us know if there are problems or situations at home which might affect your child’s behaviour in school.
- Discuss any concerns about significant behavioural changes involving your child with their class teacher.
- Contact the class teacher if you have concerns about something that has happened.
- Work with school to solve any student conflicts rather than trying to deal directly with other children or their parents.
Our staff are skilled with dealing with behavioural issues but it is important that we continually review our practices and keep up to date with best practice in this area. Our Year Leaders will be attending the Anti-Bullying training with Robert Pereira, an International Educational Consultant and author of “Why We Bully”, on the 29 and 30 of October and will then be sharing their learning with the staff team. We also hope that parents will take advantage of the session that is being run by Mr Pereira for Primary parents on the evening of 30 October. If you would like to attend, please let us know by printing off the letter linked to below and returning the reply slip to either the Primary or Secondary reception desk by 24 October.
Children need to feel happy and safe before they can learn well and so we will continue to work hard as a community to ensure we are providing the best learning environment for our children. If you have any questions about these issues, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or to come and speak with me.
Thanks for your support.
- Niki Meehan, Head of Primary