Regrettably, we cannot claim never to have any incidents involving bullying behaviour at Devonshire Primary School. What we can say is that whenever an incident of bullying behaviour comes to light the staff work very hard with the children involved to resolve the conflict. In the past year, special leaflets have been sent home to families, Anti-bullying week has taken place whilst displays and posters have adorned our walls. Whole school assemblies have been planned on the theme of what can be done in school to combat bullying. These are all examples of how we try to address behaviour which has a negative impact upon our children's self esteem.
As part of the Anti-bullying week the following guidance is issued to parents and carers.
Anti bullying guidance for parents
Bullying is not a behaviour we accept at Devonshire. It can have a major impact on a child's emotional health and well being. This in turn may lead to impact on physical health and attainment in school. Bullying is a common cause of school absence and can therefore lead to a child falling behind in academic performance and social relationships.
All agencies working with children have a duty to safeguard and promote welfare. This includes dealing with issues such as bullying.
What is bullying?
- Repetitive, wilful or persistent (although this does not exclude a one off serious incident)
- Intentionally harmful, carried out by an individual or group
- Based on an imbalance of power.
Bullying falls into four main groups physical, verbal or written, cyber bullying and indirect bullying.
What does not count as bullying?
The normal friendship difficulties that children and young people have may not in themselves involve bullying, although they may lead to bullying behaviour.
How is bullying dealt with at Devonshire?
All incidents of bullying are dealt with in line with the school's pdf Anti-Bullying Policy (289 KB) .
When a child feels he/she is being bullied in any way, they must feel able to go to any member of staff and tell them as soon as possible.
If a child becomes aware of the bullying of others he/she should tell any member of staff knowing that this information will be treated in confidence.
When a parent is aware of a case of bullying they should inform the class teacher immediately and the case will be dealt with in line with the school policy as stated below and the relevant parent(s) kept informed.
When any non-teaching member of staff is aware of bullying, they should also inform the class teacher immediately.
As soon as a teacher becomes aware of a case of bullying, they will:
- ensure that the Headteacher is informed and that a record is made
- ensure that both/all children involved are talked to and the incident is thoroughly investigated
- ensure that parents of all children are contacted explaining the incident and the subsequent actions
- ensure an apology is made to victim
- help both children to avoid the situation in future in a way that is that is appropriate to the maturity of the child
- agree a behaviour contract with both children (either formal or informal)
- arrange for the situation to be monitored by all adults involved.
If bullying reoccurs it may lead to:
- removal of privileges/time out
- temporary/partial/permanent exclusion.
The Headteacher will report bullying incidents to the governing body and the Local Authority on an annual basis.
How do we support our Anti-bullying policy?
We support our policy both through the curriculum and the school's ethos, encouraging a feeling of security so the children feel able to talk to adults and know that if someone is being bullied action will be taken straight away.
The Golden Rules are an important part of Devonshire and are displayed prominently around the school. All members of the school community are expected to follow these rules. This promotes a caring community where everyone feels valued. In addition to these each class, together with their teacher, devise their own set of class rules which are displayed in the classroom.
A variety of approaches that support our policy are built into the curriculum e.g. Circle Time, role play, discussion, stories, assemblies and operation activities which will foster a caring attitude towards one another. Such activities reinforce the message that bullying is unacceptable and provides good examples of appropriate behaviour towards one another. The school promotes the use of positive role models.
The children are encouraged to think about bullying issues within class and assembly time e.g. the role of the by-stander, the feelings of the victim/bully, having the courage and self confidence to tell someone about bullying incidents. Such activities are promoted within and beyond the formal curriculum. The school holds an Anti-bullying Week on an annual basis.
Adults encourage the children to take part in structured games and activities during the playtimes to ensure that all children have the opportunity to engage in meaningful activities at playtime.
Good behaviour will be rewarded.