At Town Farm Primary School, we believe that all pupils have the right to learn in a supportive, inclusive, safe and caring setting without the fear of bullying or harassment. The school aims to provide a happy environment where there is mutual respect, an emphasis on good manners and a school community that embraces individuality and celebrates those qualities that make us all unique. To this end, all members of the school community are encouraged to develop into responsible citizens.
Bullying is wrong and in recognition of this, we have robust measures in place, including a clear Anti-Bullying Policy and strategy on how to prevent, identify and respond to bullying behaviour, in all its forms.
Developing the PSHCE curriculum using SEAL materials throughout the school to develop the five ‘aspects’: self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills as a basis for planning.
Online Safety taught through the Computing curriculum
Involving the whole school community in writing and reviewing the policy.
Circle time on bullying issues.
Assemblies (whole school and Key Stage) at targeted times during the year and in response to arising issues.
Raising awareness of Bullying for all stakeholders during initiatives such as Anti-Bullying Week.
Raising awareness of Bullying through the website and Parent information workshops.
Publishing useful links on the school website focussing on anti-bullying and how to deal with bullying effectively.
Buddy system / peer mentors and peer mediation to support younger children.
Establishing Online Safety rules and ensuring they are displayed
Information leaflets/ Digital Parenting magazine
Bully Busters- a child led anti-bullying team who meet termly to discuss any bullying issues in school and ways to improve.
Using drama activities and role play to help children become assertive in dealing with bullying situations.
Promotion of a positive playground ethos using traditional games as a proactive strategy to anti-bullying.
Everyone in the school community to model appropriate behaviour to each other.
Providing Anti-Bullying training for all staff on a regular basis.
The use of restorative practices across the school to ensure empathetic proactive approaches.
Active participation with outside agencies including the pursuit of the Restorative Services Quality Mark.
To ensure the allocation of an Anti-Bullying and Behaviour Governor role.
Consultation with the Local Authority and Outside Agencies in the pursuit of External Accreditation to validate successes.
Children bully for various reasons. It could be they want to be ‘in’ with a cool gang or that it feels like fun but they don’t realise how much it hurts. It could be that they dislike or are jealous of someone or that it makes them feel powerful or respected. Sometimes they feel it gets them what they want (sweets or money) or they are bullied themselves and are taking their hurt and anger out on someone who won’t fight back. It could also be that they are having problems in their lives that are making them feel bad.
There are ways of changing bullying behaviour by helping bullies to understand their victim’s feelings and the effect their behaviour has on them (developing their empathy, by teaching them to stand up to peer pressure and by giving them support to manage the problems they are facing in their own lives) – all of these things can change bullying behaviour for good.
At Town Farm Primary School, we aim to deal with the problem and try to stop the child from bullying altogether. As such, we work in partnership with parents, the school community and our Bully Busters to provide:
Parents with anti-bullying strategies.
Pupils with lessons to equip them with skills to improve peer relationships, increase self-esteem and self-confidence, and reduce bullying behaviour.
Staff with bullying prevention strategies and the knowledge and best practice to ensure that they can recognise, prevent and reduce bullying.
Parents are often surprised when schools don’t automatically exclude pupils who are bullying others. Of course, as parents, our first concern will always be for our own child’s safety and happiness so it is natural to ask why the school seems to want to work with their tormentors instead of getting rid of them.
There are many reasons. It is important to note that a number of children have been bullied, seen bullying and even bullied at some time. There is no evidence that children are born ‘bullies’ or ‘victims’ – they change roles according to where they are and who they are with. If schools simply move the problem children to another school, others will continue to suffer.
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a ‘TELLING’ school. This means that anyone, including a bystander, who knows that bullying is happening is expected to report the bullying incident at the earliest opportunity.
All children are taught the STOP, WALK and TALK method of informing the school about bullying. Any instances of bullying can be reported by a child, parent or trusted adult from the school community to the school through:
TELLING the class teacher.
TELLING a Bully Buster.
TELLING the ‘Worry Eaters’, anonymously or named.
TELLING any member of staff or a trusted adult.
TELLING a member of Senior Leadership.
TELLING the Lead for Anti-Bullying: Mrs Waters.
If you are told that your child is bullying others, stay calm. Don’t immediately dismiss the idea (‘what? My John – never!’) or rush into severe punishment. Try not to call your child a ‘bully’ (labels can stick) – we are all capable of inadvertently bullying at times.
Your child is not a monster! When you talk, stay calm and explain that you still love him/her and that it is simply the current behaviour that you do not like or approve of. Listen to what your child has to say and arrange to see the teacher.
Stay calm and listen to what the teacher has to say and then talk to your child about how the other person feels. The perpetrator rarely understands the extent to which the victim has been hurt and upset and is frightened by the bullying. Help your child to develop confidence and make friends and remember that people who are happy in themselves rarely feel the need to bully others.
When children who are being bullied are asked what they want to happen, they very rarely mention punishing the other child or revenge, they almost always say: ‘I just want it to stop’.
Maybe we should think the same way!
Listen to your child
Reassure your child
Avoid retaliation but don’t ignore it
Seek support from the school
The following webpages may be of help:
Childline – free 24-hour counselling service provided by the NSPCC for children and young people.
Kidscape – London-based charity focussing on children’s safety.
Bullying UK – UK charity to help pupils, parents and schools deal with bullying.