Anti-Bullying Document

This document is an integral part of our Behaviour Policy

The Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in school (DCSF 2007) policy document states that:

 Every child should be able to learn in a school environment free from bullying of any kind and in which they feel safe and supported. There is no place for bullying in our schools and communities and each of us involved in education has a role in creating a culture in schools where bullying is not tolerated. No child deserves to suffer the pain and indignity that bullying can cause. We recognise the negative impact it has on the educational experiences and wider development of so many of our children and young people. 

Bullying has no place anywhere in the school community, and this applies both to the bullying of pupils and teachers. Providing safe and happy places to learn is essential to achieving school improvement, raising achievement and attendance, promoting equality and diversity, and ensuring the safety and well-being of all members of the school community.

At Verulam we take Bullying very seriously. Our aim is to ensure that all members of the school community feel welcome, safe and are happy to learn and make progress. Bullying severely hampers this from happening.

Ensuring our community is free from bullying is a fundamental part of the expectations of the Every Child Matters Agenda.

What is Bullying?

Bullying may be defined as “Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally”. It may include some of the following behaviours:

  • Emotional Bullying – Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures).
  • Physical Bullying – Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence.
  • Racist Bullying – Racial taunts, nicknames, graffiti, gestures, comments about religion.
  • Sexual Bullying – Unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments.
  • Homophobic Bullying – Because of, or focussing on, the issue of sexuality.
  • Verbal Bullying – Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.
  • Cyber Bullying – All areas of internet, such as email and internet chat-room misuse; mobile threats by text messaging & calls; misuse of associated technology , e.g. camera & video facilities.

     .   Prejudiced Based Bullying – Relating to SEN, sexual orientation, sex, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment or Disability.

The aims of our anti-bullying strategies and intervention systems are:

  • To build and maintain an anti-bullying ethos.
  • To ensure all members of our community have a clear understanding of what bullying is.
  • To prevent, de-escalate and/or stop any continuation of harmful behaviour.
  • To react to bullying incidents in a reasonable, proportionate and consistent way.
  • To safeguard and support a pupil who has experienced bullying.
  • To apply disciplinary sanctions to the pupil causing the bullying and ensure they learn from the experience.

Verulam’s Approach to Preventing Bullying

  • Our school leadership promotes an open and honest anti-bullying ethos.
  • We use curriculum opportunities such as PSCHE, Curriculum Enrichment Days to discuss issues around diversity and draw out anti-bullying messages. There is a whole-school and whole curriculum approach to developing social and emotional skills in areas such as empathy and the management of feelings, which is relevant to reducing bullying.
  • Use of opportunities throughout the school calendar and at certain times of the school day to raise awareness of the negative consequences of bullying (e.g. Anti-Bullying Week in November of each year; and whole-school assemblies).
  • Promoting open and honest reporting, as well as awareness that bullying will be dealt with sensitively and effectively.
  • Improving the school environment, looking in particular at staff supervision patterns; the physical design of the buildings and looking for ways to boys to pass their break times calmly.
  • Developing an ethos of looking after the younger boys. E.g. Welfare Mentors for Yr 7 students, Canteen rota moves the younger boys in first,
  • Verulam Pupil Charter highly visible and promoted.

“Time to talk”

All Form Tutors give their students a time in the week where they are available to talk to.

The aim is to break down the barriers students might have in going to seek help and/or have a private chat about something difficult. The set time gives the opportunity for the Form Tutor to know there is something wrong without the student needing to say “can I talk to you in private”.

Verulam’s Approach to Responding to Bullying

All pupils should have 5 people they feel comfortable confiding in they are experiencing Bullying or harassment. We call it the “Five Fingers of Faith”. E.g.-

5fingers

 

Whoever is the chosen Finger of Faith will inform the pupil’s Head of Year. From that point we will act immediately using the Verulam Bullying protocol.

  • Pupils feeling hurt by harassment will be treated in a caring and understanding way.
  • Pupils who are found to be bullying or harassing others will be given one chance to change their behaviour towards the person feeling bullied or harassed.
  • Should they choose not to take this chance they will be subject to the B4L system.
  • Parents of pupils on both sides will be informed as a matter of urgency.
  • Pupils on both sides will be given support if needed.

This process completely relies upon quick communication of the problems.

Verulam’s Approach to Reporting Bullying

All incidents of Bullying and harassment are logged onto the System. This will help to allow us to monitor patterns and trends.

Verulam’s Approach to Monitoring Our Anti-Bullying Document

Our Anti-Bullying document is reviewed every 2 years by the governors. The school council review and develop the document every year.

This document has been developed using advice from the Local Education Authority and the Department for Children, Schools and Families publication Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools (2007).                                                  

Resources that parents and pupils might find useful

Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA)

Brings together over 60 organisations into one network with the aim of reducing bullying and creating safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.

Tel 020 7843 1901

www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk

National Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)

NSPCC aims to end cruelty to children. Works with children and families, as well as influencing public policy and attitudes.

Tel 0207 825 2500

www.nspcc.org.uk

Parentline Plus

Offers help and support through a range of free, flexible and responsive services by working for and with anyone who is parenting a child.

Tel 0808 800 2222

www.parentlineplus.org.uk

Victim Support

Staff and volunteers offer free and confidential information and support for victims of crime. Operates via a network of affiliated local charities, the Witness Service and the Victim Supportline. Currently developing specialist and outreach services for children and young people affected by crime and bullying.

Tel 0845 3030900

www.victimsupport.org.uk

Leap Confronting Conflict

Provides opportunities, regionally and nationally, for young people and adults to explore creative approaches to conflict in their lives.

Tel 0207 272 5630.

www.leaplinx.com

Beatbullying

Aims to reduce and prevent the incidence and impact of bullying by devising anti-bullying strategies for young people by young people.

Tel 0845 338 5060

www.beatbullying.org

Bully Free Zone

Provides a peer mediation service, written and telephone advice, and provides training for children and young people, parents, teachers, youth workers and other professionals.

Tel 01204 454958

www.bullyfreezone.co.uk

Bullying Online

Provides an email advice service for children and young people as well as online help and information, for schools as well as pupils.

www.bullying.co.uk

ChildLine

Offers a free, 24-hour helpline and counselling service for children in distress or danger.

Tel 0800 1111

www.childline.org.uk

Children’s Legal Centre

Provides legal advice, information, assistance and representation to children, parents/carers and professionals working with children.

Tel 0800 7832187

www.childrenslegalcentre.com

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