At Manifold Church of England Academy, we think it is important that all pupils have a Christian, caring, friendly and safe surroundings so that they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Our school’s mission statement is: ‘Love Jesus, Love Others, Love Learning, Love Life’.
We believe that all bullying is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does happen, all pupils should be able to speak about it and know that what has happened will be sorted out quickly and properly. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening should tell an adult working in school.
- To explain exactly what we mean by bullying.
- To make everyone aware of bullying by making sure that all governors, staff, pupils and parents should understand exactly what bullying is.
- To make school a place where there is less chance of bullying happening in the future. We will do this by making sure that all governors and staff know what our bullying policy says about bullying and what we should do if bullying happens.
- Everyone in our school takes bullying seriously. Pupils and parents should feel happy that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
- We will not tolerate bullying.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is a cruel or nasty way of behaving on purpose that upsets or hurts someone. This upset or hurt can either be physical or hurting the feelings of one person by another person or a group of people. Bullying is when this happens more than once and happens over some time. At Manifold Church of England Academy, we use STOP to support children’s understanding of what bullying is:
What does bullying look/sound like?
Many different kinds of behaviours can be considered bullying. Bullying can be related to almost anything. Teasing another pupil because of their appearance, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual-orientation, home life, culture, disability or special educational needs are just some of the types of bullying which can occur.
Types of bullying
Verbal – name calling, mimicry, teasing, insulting, spreading rumours, swearing, and making threats.
Physical – any unwanted or inappropriate touching, physical intimidation, hitting, pushing, kicking, pinching, poking, damaging or taking of belongings, deliberate pushing and shoving, threats of violence and extortion.
Emotional – spreading rumours, deliberate exclusion from groups, tormenting, ridiculing, isolating, and refusing to work with another pupil, revealing personal information, threatening, inciting or coercing others to treat an individual in a manner that could be considered bullying.
Cyber – threats and intimidation, harassment/’cyber-stalking’, defamation, exclusion or peer rejection, impersonation and unauthorised publication of private information or images. (It can include messages intended as jokes, but which have a harmful or upsetting effect.)
Racist – bullying someone because of their skin colour, race or what they believe in.
Homophobic – bullying someone because of their gender or sexuality; calling someone gay or lesbian or any other derogatory term would be homophobic.
Disability or Special Educational Need – bullying someone because they have a disability or special educational need.
What does cyber bullying mean?
‘Using information and communication technology (ICT), particularly mobile phones and the internet, on purpose, to upset someone else.’ (Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools, DCSF 2007)
As more and more people are using mobile phones and the internet, people may use these to bully. As a result of this, Manifold Church of England Academy actively discourages pupils bringing mobile phones to school. If it is absolutely essential that a pupil needs to bring in a mobile phone, it must be switched off as soon as the pupil is on the school site, must be kept at the school office as soon as the pupil gets to school and is only switched on when the pupil leaves our school site. This is done to remove the risk of cyber bullying at school using mobile phones.
We understand that cyber bullying can happen at any time and can happen in places that you consider to be safe or personal. Sending a rude or hurtful text message, for example, means that cyber bullying could take place anywhere and at anytime of the night or day and the person receiving this may be at their home.
Sometimes cyber bullying may happen because someone did not think about or did not understand the consequences. Online actions are generally different to actions or things said face to face with a person. Because of this, we must think about the following things:
- The distance between the bully and the person being bullied means we do not know the situation that has caused this. The message may have been intended as a joke but not understood and seen as hurtful and nasty. The person sending the message cannot see that their message has upset someone and so they can’t sort out the misunderstanding.
- Sending a single message or image that may be embarrassing or upsetting, to the sender may be seen as a one-off, but because of technology this message or image could be sent on to others or posted online for other people to see.
Digital equipment, computers, mobile phones and the internet are now common parts of a child’s environment and learning. Many children rely on technology to keep in touch with people and to learn, communicate and socialise with groups. Technology can play a positive, productive and creative part in the activities and social development of young people. If staff and parents/carers are not aware of the technologies being used, and how these are being used by children, they may be used in the wrong way. If staff and parents/carers understand children’s online activities, it can help them to respond to situations in the right way. Adults need to talk to children about what they do with technology and what they are worried about so that being safe online can be discussed.
Types of Cyber bullying:
- Threats sent by mobile phone, email, via comments on websites, social networking sites or message boards;
- Repeated, unwanted texting or texting over a long period that is not wanted;
- Posting upsetting or cruel remarks about someone online, or name-calling using a mobile device;
- Online exclusion by refusing to return or acknowledge messages, deleting from friendship lists or using ‘ignore’ functions deliberately to cause harm and upset;
- Identity theft, unauthorised access & pretending to be someone else;
- Publicly posting, sending or forwarding personal or private information or images.
Anti-Cyber bullying Code:
Children will be taught the seven key messages in the anti-cyber bullying code as follows:
- Always respect others.
- Think before you send.
- Don’t let anyone, other than parents/carers, know your passwords.
- Block the bully – responsible websites & services allow blocking and reporting someone who is behaving badly.
- Don’t retaliate or reply.
- Save the evidence – this will help to show others what is happening so that action can be taken.
- Make sure you tell!
Why it is 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.
- Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
At Manifold Church of England Academy, we accept that we have a responsibility to respond quickly and properly to issues of bullying.
Preventing, identifying and responding to bullying
To encourage co-operative, non-aggressive play we have introduced these ways, which we hope will reduce the amount of bullying behaviour in our school. These are as follows:
- Personal, Social, Health Education & Citizenship sessions taught in every class. In addition there is a planned programme of Sex & Relationship Education. Within these areas, friendships, peer pressure, making choices, respect, tolerance, reflecting on the views and opinions of others and bullying are covered. Units in Year 6 also cover Child Sexual Exploitation.
- The Computing curriculum contains on-going work on Staying Safe on the internet.
- Circle time can be used as a time to concentrate communication and reflection.
- Role play in English, Drama, PSHE is used to explore issues, thoughts and feelings.
- Collective Worship and RE are used to explore issues related to friendships, relationships, values, respect and tolerance.
- The seeking and respect of children’s views and opinions through the operation of the School Council and use of questionnaires.
- The promotion of positive attitudes by the use of posters, books and the manner in which staff deal with all issues.
- An open climate with strong trusting relationships so that children can openly discuss worries and concerns.
- School reward system.
- Work with staff and outside agencies to identify all forms of prejudice-driven bullying.
- Ensure that there is good communication between staff in managing and monitoring bullying incidents.
- Actively provide systematic opportunities to develop pupils’ social and emotional skills, including their resilience.
- Consider all opportunities for addressing bullying including through the curriculum, through displays, through peer support and through the School Council.
- Encourage the view that reporting incidents of bullying is taking responsible action rather than ‘tale-telling’
- Train all staff including lunchtime staff, learning mentors and support staff to identify bullying and follow school policy and procedures on bullying.
- Have a learning mentor who children and parents may turn to for assistance.
- Ensure that adequate supervision is provided at all times in key areas of the school buildings and the playgrounds.
- Use a ‘no blame approach’, following the LA preferred approach.
- Offer counselling using the Seven Steps Approach.
- Set up procedures for investigating incidents.
- Follow guidelines for listening to the victim.
- Actively create “safe spaces” for vulnerable children and young people.
- Ensure that anyone who works in school actively models non bullying behaviour.
- Publicise the details of helplines and websites.
- Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies in preventing bullying.
Our school also encourages co-operative behaviour through:
- Play leaders/Buddies;
- Play equipment on the playground;
- Our Learning Mentor who has responsibility for pastoral support;
- Using a Restorative approach;
- Training all lunchtime staff to lead co-operative games/activities at lunchtime;
- An ‘open door’ policy and social events throughout the year that promotes partnership with parents/carers.
Procedures for dealing with bullying at Manifold Church of England Academy
All incidents of bullying are recorded on the school’s bullying log held in the Headteacher’s office. All incidents of bullying are reported to the Governing Body. All incidents of bullying are treated very seriously and dealt with promptly by the Headteacher.
The Headteacher will be responsible for looking at incidents of bullying and will follow the stages below:
When bullying is reported the ‘Seven Steps Approach’ will be used. This approach tries to support the victim by seeking to change the behaviour of the bully and so reach the best possible outcome for the person being bullied. If the bully feel they are being ‘punished’ this will often make things worse for the person being bullied and can lead to secrecy rather than a solution. Using the ‘Seven Steps Approach’ is the way our Local Authority suggests we work and our pupils, staff and governors agree that this is the best way of solving the problem.
The ‘Seven Steps Approach’:
- The Learning Mentor talks to the victim (person being bullied) about his/her feelings. The Learning Mentor will not question the child about the incidents but does need to know who is involved.
- The Learning Mentor arranges to meet with the pupil/group of pupils involved, this may include some bystanders, or even friends of the victim, who joined in but did not start the bullying. Ideally, this will be a group of 6 to 8 pupils.
- The Learning Mentor tells the group about the way the victim is feeling (this is done with his/her permission) and might use a poem, a piece of writing or a drawing to help explain the victim’s distress. At no time does the Learning Mentor discuss the details of the incidents.
- The Learning Mentor does not blame individuals but explains that she knows that the group can do something about it.
- Each member of the group is encouraged to suggest a way in which the victim could be helped to feel happier. The Headteacher gives some positive answers but does not mention improved behaviour.
- The Learning Mentor ends the meeting by asking the group to make sure they will help to solve the problem. A meeting is arranged to see how things are going.
- At this follow up meeting, the Learning Mentor discusses with each child, including the victim (person being bullied), how things are going. This allows the Learning Mentor to monitor the bullying and keep the children involved. Further meetings will be arranged if they are needed.
All actions will be recorded and carefully evaluated. All staff will be informed of the action taken. Parents will be informed at the appropriate time. (See below). If the Learning Mentor is absent, her role will be taken over by a member of the Leadership Team or class teacher as appropriate. If the ‘Seven Steps Approach’ does not work for a particular pupil or group of pupils and the bullying continues, then the following procedures will be worked through:
The parents/carers of the victim and the bully/bullies will be informed.
A referral will be made to outside agencies (contact will be made) e.g. Targeted Educational Support Service, Educational Psychologist. Such referral may lead to the initiation of a Pastoral Support Programme. A PSP is a required step before any permanent exclusion can be made.
- Fixed term exclusion may be necessary.
- The child will be placed on the special needs code of practice at School Support The Governing Body will be made aware of the disciplinary action taken.
Involvement of children
- Regularly canvas children and young people’s views on the extent and nature of bullying.
- Ensure children know how to express worries and anxieties about bullying.
- Ensure all children are aware of the range of sanctions which may be applied against those engaging in bullying.
- Involve children in anti-bullying campaigns in schools.
- Publicise the details of helplines and websites.
- Offer support to children who have been bullied.
- Work with children who have been bullying in order to address the problems they have.
- Through SEAL we will encourage children to use calming down and peaceful problem solving techniques.
Liaison with parents and carers
- Ensure that parents/carers know whom to contact if they are worried about bullying.
- Ensure parents know about our complaints procedure and how to use it effectively.
- Ensure parents / carers know where to access independent advice about bullying.
- Work with parents and the local community to address issues beyond the school gates that give rise to bullying.
- The Headteacher/Deputy Headteacher/Learning Mentor will record their discussions with both parties.
- The parents/carers of pupils involved will be informed by letter and further discussions may take place.
- All racist incidents will be recorded on the schools Racist Incidents Log. All racist incidents are reported to the Governing Body each term.
- All homophobic incidents will be recorded on the schools Homophobic Incidents Log. All homophobic incidents are reported to the Governing Body each term.
Commitment to equal opportunities
We are committed to equality of opportunity for all our children, irrespective of race, gender, religion or disability. The effectiveness of our policy is monitored and any issues dealt with immediately.
Monitoring and Evaluation
All staff, teaching and support staff, will be made aware of incidents and pupils involved. The leadership team will review the policy in practice by monitoring incidents of bullying. The Headteacher will evaluate the number, type and time/location of incidents occurring, with any patterns of behaviour being considered in relation to particular school routines. The policy will be reviewed annually by the Governing Body with the above monitoring information informing this review.
Role of the Governors
Governors monitor and check that the school policy is upheld annually and can also offer guidance where a member of the body has particular expertise in this area.