‘Happy and respectful, we aim high.’
At Golftyn we endeavour to ensure that the secure and caring environment created and the general atmosphere within the school actively discourages bullying. Within the ethos of the school the value of individuality and the nature of the emotional life of the pupils is catered for.
1.2 Objectives The Governors, Head teacher and staff of the school are keen to promote good behaviour and discipline and there are four major elements to those disciplinary rules:
- To promote self-discipline and proper regard for authority amongst pupils
- To encourage good behaviour and respect for others to ensure the prevention of all forms of bullying
- To ensure that pupils’ standard of behaviour is acceptable
- Regulate pupils’ conduct and record incidents
A whole school approach to the theme of bullying is covered by the recognition and implementation of an Anti-Bullying Week. This is planned as part of our SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) curriculum. Further coverage is ensured through KS2 PSE and Collective Worship and Foundation Phase planning for PSWC.
- Definition of Bullying
In defining bullying at Golftyn we have considered the following:
Welsh Government Respecting Others Guidance Circular 050/2011, which states:
‘There are many definitions of bullying, but most consider it to be:
- Deliberately hurtful (including aggression)
- Repeatedly often over a period of time
- Difficult for victims to defend themselves against’
Tackling bullying in schools: A survey of effective practice, Estyn 2006:
“Bullying is aggressive or insulting behaviour by an individual or group, often repeated over a period of time that intentionally hurts or harms.”
Although there are many definitions of bullying, we consider it to be deliberately hurtful behaviour, targeting an individual or group that is often repeated over a period of time (although we recognise that a one off incident which leaves a victim traumatised could be categorised as bullying).
- Bullying Behaviour
Bullying can take many forms, but the principal forms of bullying are verbal, physical and manipulative.
Verbal bullying may involve:
- Name calling (make use of written notes, emails or mobile telephone messages)
- Threats of physical violence
- Often consists of deliberate jostling, bumping, pushing or shoving. Those responsible may easily maintain that it is accidental when detected for the first time. It is a criminal offence where it involves assault, actual bodily harm or wounding.
- May involve theft or damage to property (accompanied by the threat of violence). Not all theft or damage is bullying, but it is where the intention is to create fear and use power improperly.
Manipulative/ Cyber bullying:
- Manipulates social networks with the intention of excluding, ostracising or marginalising individuals from their friends and normal relationships.
- Spreads rumours or malicious accusations.
- Bullying by text messages on mobile phones and malicious emails.
Research commissioned by the Anti-Bullying Alliance from Goldsmiths College, University of London, defines cyber bullying as follows:
“Cyber bullying is an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself.”
The research identifies seven categories of cyber bullying:
Text message bullying involves sending unwelcome texts that are threatening or cause discomfort.
Picture/video-clip bullying via mobile phone cameras is used to make the person being bullied feel threatened or embarrassed, with images usually sent to other people. ‘Happy slapping’ involves filming and sharing physical attacks.
Phone call bullying via mobile phone uses silent calls or abusive messages. Sometimes the bullied person’s phone is stolen and used to harass others, who then think the phone owner is responsible. As with all mobile phone bullying, the perpetrators often disguise their numbers, sometimes using someone else’s phone to avoid being identified.
- Email bullying uses email to send bullying or threatening messages, often using a pseudonym for anonymity or using someone else’s name to pin the blame on them.
- Chat room bullying involves sending menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in a web-based chat room.
- Bullying through instant messaging (IM) is an Internet-based form of bullying where children and young people are sent unpleasant messages as they conduct real-time conversations online.
- Bullying via websites includes the use of defamatory blogs (web logs), personal websites and online personal polling sites. There has also been a significant increase in social networking sites for young people.
This is an increasing problem and is difficult to trace, requiring schools to be particularly vigilant and innovative in finding solutions. The school has a Charter for Safe Internet use which is signed by all KS2 pupils. Children should be careful who they give their phone number and email
address to, and should keep a record of the date and time of any offensive message received. Teachers need to encourage victims to save messages they are concerned about and let a member of staff see them. When pupils report bullying text messages the school needs to take the complaint seriously; the child’s family might also need to contact the police. If such bullying has been carried out by one or more pupils on a persistent basis, or there has been a threat of violence, it will need to be dealt with firmly.
This is referenced in more detail in Respecting Others: Cyber bullying, p.16-22.
Bullying may also fall into the following categories:
- Racist bullying
- Sexual bullying
- Gender-based bullying
- Bullying on the basis of sexual orientation
- Bullying on the basis of special educational needs or disabilities
- Bullying of those with long-term health conditions.
- Cyber bullying
- Prevention – Reducing the Frequency of Bullying
Whole School Prevention Measures
All preventative strategies operate within a school ethos founded on equality, fairness and respect for others in which individual differences are celebrated and seen as a source of enrichment. In order to help children learn and develop appropriate responses to others, all staff at all times will treat each other and children, parents with courtesy and respect and will model appropriate and acceptable behaviour. We strongly believe that to tackle bullying effectively we need a consistent whole school approach, working with appropriate outside agencies.
Anti bullying education in the Foundation phase will focus on developing the skills needed to build positive, respectful relationships and keep ourselves safe. It will be taught within the context of Personal and Social Development, Well being and Cultural Diversity. As in all aspects of learning in the Foundation phase, anti bullying education is delivered through a balance between structured experiential learning, pupil initiated activities and those directed by practitioners.
Key Stage 2 (KS2):
The main focus will be on raising awareness of bullying and the effects maintaining personal safety and continuing to develop the personal and social skills necessary to build positive relationships. The PSE coordinator will be responsible for coordinating the delivery of anti bullying education and providing support to class teachers. ICT lessons will also make a valuable contribution to preventing cyber bullying through promoting understanding about E-safety. Class teachers will usually be responsible for providing the programme, together with a substantial contribution from the School Community Police Officer.
Bullying will also be raised at a number of levels including:
- At Whole School level – whole school and key stage assemblies, Anti-bullying week, School Rules developed by pupils, Golftyn Government developed leaflets for pupils, Playground Buddies.
- At Classroom level – Worry Box, Calm Room, Pupil posters, Class rules developed by pupils, Circle Time, class discussions, and cross-curricular activities.
- At an Individual Pupil level – children who are felt to be at risk of bullying will be offered additional support and guidance via Nurture groups, Family Engagement Worker and Learning Coach.
- At a Parent level – Parent information evenings, Parent network – behaviour management, advice available on school website, leaflets created by the Golftyn Government providing advice for parents, Open door policy
- At a Teacher level – In-house training for staff.
The school recognises that there are particular times and locations when children may be more vulnerable to bullying e.g. lunch and break times and the beginning and end of the school day.
Arrangements are in place to ensure that at key times and places there is sufficient supervision available to reduce the risk of bullying incidents. Furthermore, the communication of incidents between midday supervisors, support staff and teachers are recorded in the behaviour log.
- Reaction – Responding Effectively to Reported Incidents
5.1 Clarification of Roles
The role of Governors
The Governing Body supports the Head Teacher in all attempts to eliminate bullying from Golftyn C.P School. This policy statement makes it very clear that the Governing Body does not allow bullying to take place in our school, and that any incidents of bullying that do occur are taken very seriously and dealt with appropriately.
The Governing Body monitors the incidents of bullying that occur, and reviews the effectiveness of the school policy. The Governors require the head teacher to keep accurate records of all incidents of bullying and to report to the Governors on an annual basis about the effectiveness of school anti-bullying strategies.
The Governing Body responds within ten days to any request from a parent to investigate incidents of bullying. In all cases, the Governing Body notifies the Head Teacher and asks him/her to conduct an investigation into the case and to report back to a representative of the Governing Body.
The role of the Head teacher
It is the responsibility of the Head Teacher to implement the school anti-bullying strategy and to ensure that all staff (both teaching and non-teaching) are aware of the school policy and know how to deal with incidents of bullying. The Head Teacher reports to the governing body about the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy and ensures that all staff receive sufficient training to be equipped to deal with all incidents of bullying.
The Head Teacher ensures that all children know that bullying is wrong, and that it is unacceptable
behaviour in this school. The Head Teacher draws the attention of children to this when appropriate e.g if an incident occurs, the Head Teacher may use an assembly as a forum in which to raise bullying and reinforce key messages.
The Head Teacher sets the school climate of mutual support and praise for success, so making bullying less likely. When children feel they are important and belong to a friendly and welcoming school, bullying is far less likely to be part of their behaviour.
The role of Teachers
All staff involved in the education and supervision of children at Golftyn are made aware of the issue of bullying and will apply the school’s policy consistently when episodes of bullying are witnessed or reported. Staff will undertake appropriate training in order to tackle bullying and will reinforce the message that bullying is unacceptable and will take positive action to prevent and control it.
All staff at Golftyn take all forms of bullying seriously, and intervene to prevent incidents from taking place. They record incidents that happen in their own class or to children from their class or those incidents that they become aware of in the school in general. These incidents are recorded using the Flintshire Respecting Others Incident and Review documentation (Appendix 1-3).
Teachers will support all children in their class and to establish a climate of trust and respect for all. By praising, rewarding and celebrating the success of all children, we aim to prevent incidents of bullying.
The role of Parents
Golftyn is firmly committed to working in partnership with parents/carers and believes that the best outcomes emerge when professionals and parents are able to work together when bullying occurs.
Parents/carers who believe their child is the target of bullying should share their concerns with school at the earliest opportunity. All expressions of concern will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.
If a child is involved in a single serious incident of bullying or there is evidence that the same child is involved repeatedly in less serious incidents (either as a targeted individual or a perpetrator) the school will inform parents/carers and invite them to become involved in the management of the problem and the prevention of further incidents. Isolated and less serious incidents will be managed by school staff and parents/carers informed.
In the event where parents/carers are unhappy with the way the school has investigated an alleged incident of bullying, then they have the right to complain to the head teacher / Governing Body through the Chair of Governors, in accordance with the schools Complaints Policy.
Parents/carers have a responsibility to support the school’s anti-bullying policy and to actively encourage their child to be a positive member of the school.
5.2 Management of Bullying Related Incidents
Golftyn is committed to creating a safe environment and will ensure that this policy is applied
rigorously. All staff involved in the teaching and supervision of children will take responsibility for addressing incidents which fall with the school’s definition of bullying and ensure that the target receives support. All incidents will be recorded on appropriate forms and referred to relevant staff (see Appendix 1-3).
All children need to be aware that they need to tell staff of any incidents or concerns and that action will be taken when bullying is reported. The exact course of action will vary with each situation but the main objectives should be that bullying incidents are brought into the open, discussed and strategies agreed to help resolve the problem.
It is always important to make clear that:
- The bully’s behaviour is unacceptable and the bullying must stop
- Everything that happens is carefully recorded
- The application of sanctions will depend on the individual circumstances of each incident
- Revenge is not appropriate for the victim
- The school will work with the parents of both the victim and the bully
- Support will be available for the victim
- Support will be available for the bully to help change his/her behaviour
Support for the Targeted Individual
Golftyn will offer a proactive, sympathetic and supportive response to children who are
the targeted individuals of bullying. The exact nature of the response will be determined by the
particular child’s individual needs and may include:
- Immediate action to stop the incident and secure the child’s safety
- Positive reinforcement that reporting the incident was the correct thing to do
- Reassurance that the targeted individual is not responsible for the behaviour of the bully
- Strategies to prevent further incidents
- Sympathy and empathy
- Assertiveness training/raising self esteem
- Extra supervision/monitoring
- Creation of a support group
- Peer mediation/peer mentoring
- Informing/involving parents/carers
- Adult mediation between the perpetrator and the targeted individual (provided this does not
increase the targeted individual’s vulnerability)
- Arrangements to review progress
Support for the Bully
Golftyn takes bullying behaviour very seriously and will adopt a supportive, pragmatic,
problem-solving approach to enable bullies to modify their behaviour, which may include:
- Rewards/positive reinforcement for the child in order to promote change and bring
unacceptable behaviour under control
- Immediate action to stop an incident of bullying in progress
- Engagement with the bully to reinforce the message that their behaviour is unacceptable
- Loss of lunch/break time privileges
- Removal from class/group (Time-out) – removing the pupil from the group, not so much as a
punishment, but rather as a time when he or she can think about their behaviour and often a solution.
- Individual Behaviour Management Plan
- Parents/carers informed
- Counselling/instruction in alternative ways of behaving
- Referral to appropriate outside agency
- Mediation between the perpetrator and the targeted individual (if agreeable)
- Fixed periods of exclusion
- Permanent exclusion (in extreme cases which may involve violence)
5.3 Recording of Incidents
Records will be maintained for ALL bullying related incidents using the Flintshire Respecting Others Incident and Review forms (Appendix 1-3) as recommended by the Flintshire Respecting Others Steering Group.
We will utilise the following forms to record incidents of disrespect or bullying and to review any outcomes of the support given to children and young people. Children and young people are likely to report incidents to a teacher or adult they trust. Therefore, the forms have been designed so that anyone can complete them.
- Respecting Others Incident form:
This form enables the teacher/ adult to whom a young person reports the incident to, to gather information and to develop strategies to resolve the situation. This form will be completed with the input of both the complainant and the perpetrator, although not necessarily at the same time. A copy of the completed form will be passed to the Anti-Bullying coordinator.
- Respecting Others Review of Incident form:
This form assists with looking back at the situation to see if any change has taken place and if any further interventions need to be put in place. This follow-up should take place within two weeks of the original incident to ensure the bullying has not persisted. If pupils expect follow-up they are less likely to start bullying again. Further follow-ups could be scheduled if needed.
5.4 Confidentiality and Safeguarding
It may be necessary to invoke local Child Protection Procedures if a pupil’s safety or welfare (or that of another pupil) is under threat. A duty is placed upon those professionals involved to exchange
information in order to safeguard a “child” adhering to the All Wales Child Protection
Procedures 2008. Teachers and professionals cannot offer unconditional confidentiality to pupils in bullying incidents and this should always be made clear at the outset.
If a pupil discloses information which is sensitive, not generally known and which the pupil asks not to be passed on, it will be discussed with the head teacher/safeguarding coordinator. The request will be honoured, however confidentiality will be broken against the wishes of a pupil when:
- there is a safeguarding issue
- the life of a person is at risk of serious harm to others
- criminal offences are disclosed
However, we will make every effort to inform the pupil first, explain why this needs to happen and secure the pupils agreement to the way in which the school intends to use any sensitive information.
This policy has been developed with reference to the following Welsh Government documents:
- Respecting Others: Anti Bullying Guidance Series (2011):
- Bullying around race, religion and culture
- Bullying around special educational needs and disabilities
- Homophobic bullying
- Sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying
- Cyber bullying
- Personal and Social Education Framework (2008)
- The Framework for Children’s Learning for 3 to 7 Year Olds in Wales (2008)
- School Crime Beat Policy – A Protocol for Police Supporting Schools with Incidents for Crime and Disorder. A Reference Document for School Staff (2012)
- All Wales Child Protection Procedures (2008)
- Development and Review
- This policy was developed in November 2014, in conjunction with the development of an Anti-Bullying booklet aimed for pupils and parents, on how to deal with issues of bullying, created by the Golftyn Governors.
- The PSE coordinators and Anti-bullying coordinator are responsible for reviewing anti-bullying education regularly to ensure that programmes are responsive to the needs of pupils and that a supportive learning environment is maintained for all.
- The Head teacher and governing body are responsible for monitoring incidents (e.g. the number, nature, outcomes of incidents and how many referrals were made to outside agencies) and reviewing incident management procedures.
- The Head teacher will ensure that the findings from staff, parent/carer and pupil evaluations contribute to our school’s self-evaluation process and to the policy review process.