“Find one person who does what is right and tries to be faithful to God...
the Lord will forgive”.
This Policy has been approved and adopted by the Governing Body in November 2023 and will be reviewed in November 2024.
Ten Key Principles
At St John the Baptist Catholic Primary school, we adhere to the Anti-bullying Alliance 10 key principles to preventing and responding to bullying in school.
What is bullying?
Not all situations in which children and young people are involved in conflict or relationship difficulties can be understood as bullying. ‘Relational conflict’ is one way of describing such non-bullying situations.
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 be
- Face to face
- In school
- Outside of school
Bullying may be direct or indirect:
The imbalance of power can manifest itself in several ways:
- are in a smaller group than those experiencing it
- are part of a minority group, e.g. a minority gender, race, or faith group
- are a smaller stature or physical strength
- are younger
- have communication difficulties or a disability
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.
What is the difference between relational conflict and bullying?
An incident which doesn't have all of the elements of bullying, must still be addressed. For example:
- A relational conflict that goes unresolved can easily turn into bullying so will be monitored.
- A one-off verbal or physical attack, whilst not bullying, would still need involvement from adults in the form of sanctions and/or support.
Just because something doesn't constitute bullying, it does not mean that school involvement is not needed.
What are the roles within bullying?
Research shows that the traditional view of bullying where there is a 'victim' and a 'bully' is much more complicated in reality. There are key roles identified in bullying incidents that help us to understand the group dynamics.
By understanding that bullying involves a power imbalance and then by looking to apply pressure to the source of that imbalance, we are in a good position to stop the victimisation of individuals of groups.
Sometimes this may mean working very differently with ‘assistant’, ‘reinforcer’ and ‘ringleader’ roles, for example by seeking restorative or empathy-based interventions with some, whilst applying sanctions to others.
In this way, we can disrupt both the group and their individual behaviour, remembering that the safety of the ‘victim’ is paramount at all times.
The Whole School Approach
- Ready, Respectful Safe
- Catholic Social Teaching principles underpin the curriculum
- ABA Ten Principles Charter adopted by every member of staff
- Anti-bullying charter written in consultation with children annually during Mission fortnight. Mission fortnight is held during the first two weeks of the academic year
- Celebrating difference and diversity through the whole curriculum,:
- Planning opportunities to identify, discuss and celebrate differences.
- Challenging stereotypes
- Ensuring positive representations of all people
- Annual Anti-bullying week in November using the Anti-bullying Alliance resources.
- Creating Positive Relationships
- Playground Friends
- Buddy System
- ELSA friendship groups
- Circle time
- RHSE curriculum explores the features of positive and abusive relationships
- ABA CPD for all new members of staff
- ABA CPD for governors
- ABA refresher training annually
The Classroom Approach
Classroom strategies are delivered through the curriculum and use time in class to support children to explore issues related to bullying.
Alongside curriculum delivery, they include specific activities which operate on the social fabric of the classroom, including interventions such as circle time and class Thrive targets.
- Foster in our pupils self-esteem, self-respect and respect for others
- Demonstrate by example the high standards of personal and social behaviour we expect of our pupils.
- Discuss bullying with all classes, so that every pupil learns about the damage it causes to both the child who is bullied and to the bully
- Discuss with all classes the importance of telling a teacher about bullying when it happens.
- Be alert to signs of distress and other possible indications of bullying.
Staff will monitor for:
- Social Isolation: Socially isolated children and young people may have fewer supportive peer relationships in the wider groups, and therefore may be more easily isolated if rejected by peers.
- Social Rejection: Both language and communication and behavioural ‘norms’ adopted in the classroom may exclude children and young people, acting as a further barrier to their safety. For example, if discriminatory language goes unchallenged in school, it could lead to ‘othering’ of groups of pupils where they are seen as less accepted as other pupils.
Staff will revisit anti-bullying learning throughout the year through:
- RHSE curriculum: TenTen, Against Hate, Anti-bullying Alliance, NSPCC, Safe4Me, cyber bullying
- Computing Curriculum: Google internet safety units, Internet Safety Week
- Using ABA assembly and lesson resources during Anti-bullying Week
- Literacy Spine supports positive representation and celebration of difference
- Discussing bullying and discrimination through History learning
Peer Buddy Scheme: targeted social and emotional support to vulnerable children: bullied and bullying children, newcomers to the school.
- Children are assigned a buddy from their class to provide friendship and support during playtimes and lesson times
- The buddy is supported by the class teacher
Responding to Bullying
If an incident of suspected bullying is reported, the following procedures are adopted:
- The member of staff to whom it was reported or who first discovers the situation, will control the situation, reassure and support the pupils involved. They will inform the key stage leader and SLT as soon as possible – verbally, and then followed by a CPOMS record.
- The staff member who is leading the investigation should inform the all staff of any other pupils involved in the incident as soon as possible so that they may be involved in the interview process.
- The victim will be interviewed on their own and invited to write an account of events or dictate to an adult who will scribe their account. The alleged bully, together with all others who were involved, will be interviewed individually and asked to write an immediate account of events. These accounts will be scanned and attached to the CPOMS record within 24 hours
- The victim will be supported by an ELSA, separately from the alleged perpetrator. It will be made clear to them why revenge is inappropriate. They will be offered support to develop a strategy to help them.
- The alleged bully will be supported by an ELSA, separately from the victim, and it will be made clear why their behaviour was inappropriate and caused distress. They will be offered guidance on modifying their behaviour. If appropriate a disciplinary sanction will be given as set out in the school’s Behaviour Management Policy; for example, withdrawal of privileges or internal inclusion. In particularly serious and/or persistent cases, the bully should expect fixed-term or permanent exclusion.
- The parents/guardians of all parties should be informed and invited into school to discuss the matter. Their support should be sought. A record of this meeting will be recorded on CPOMS within 24 hours unless there are exceptional circumstances meaning this is not achievable.
- A way forward, including disciplinary sanctions and counselling, should be agreed. This should recognise that suitable support is needed both for children who are being bullied and for pupils who bully others.
- A monitoring and review strategy will be put in place and recorded on CPOMS.
- In very serious cases, and only after the Head has been involved, it may be necessary to make a report to the Police or to the Social Services. In line with Keeping Children Safe in Education a bullying incident will be addressed as a Safeguarding concern where a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.
- In line with KCSIE all child-on-child abuse will be treated as a Safeguarding matter
Our staff will:
- Listen to children who have been bullied, take what they say seriously and act to support and protect them.
- Report suspected cases of bullying to (key stage leader, Deputy Head teacher and Head teacher) both verbally and by making a written record using CPOMS.
- Follow up any complaint by a parent about bullying, and report back promptly and fully on the action which has been taken. The complaint, a record of the meeting and the action taken is then recorded on CPOMS and monitored by the named member of staff.
- Deal with observed instances of bullying promptly and effectively, in accordance with agreed procedures.
- Regularly monitor the bullying trends to identify any areas to target to situations requiring intervention, including a review of the entries into the worry box.
- To survey parents annually
- To survey children and staff annually
The Responsibilities of Pupils
We expect our pupils to:
- Refrain from becoming involved in any kind of bullying, even at the risk of incurring temporary unpopularity.
- Intervene to protect the pupil who is being bullied, unless it is unsafe to do so.
- Report to a member of staff any witnessed or suspected instances of bullying, to dispel any climate of secrecy and help to prevent further instances.
- To use the worry box to speak out
Anyone who becomes the target of bullies should:
- Not suffer in silence, but have the courage to speak out, to put an end to their own suffering and that of other potential targets.
The Responsibilities of Parents:
We ask our parents to support their children and the school by:
- Watching for signs of distress or unusual behaviour in their children, which might be evidence of bullying.
- Advising their children to report any bullying to (key stage leader, Deputy Head teacher and Head teacher) and explain the implications of allowing the bullying to continue unchecked, for themselves and for other pupils.
- Advising their children not to retaliate violently to any forms of bullying.
- Being sympathetic and supportive towards their children, and reassuring them that appropriate action will be taken;
- Keep a written record of any reported instances of bullying
- Informing the school of any suspected bullying, even if their children are not involved;
- Co-operating with the school, if their children are accused of bullying, try to ascertain the truth. And point out the implications of bullying, both for the children who are bullied and for the bullies themselves.
Bullying of adults:
All members of our school community, including staff, have a right to feel safe in our school.
If a parent or child is verbally or physically abusive to any member of staff inform them that you will have to fill in a violent incident monitoring form for the DCSF. This form can be obtained from the School Office.
Any adult who feels threatened in the workplace is deemed to be suffering from bullying.
Incidents should be taken to the Head teacher who will resolve the situation as speedily as possible.
Outside agencies who can offer support are:
- ChildLine: 0800 1111
- NSPCC: 0800 800 5000
- Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90
- Connexions: 080 8001 3219