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ANTI-BULLYING POLICY   

The overarching aim of this policy is to ensure our school is a calm, safe, happy, welcoming, inclusive, accessible and positive environment for all. We continually aim to ensure positive relationships within the school and in the wider community beyond. This reflects the ethos and vision of our school and helps us to achieve the five outcomes of Every Child Matters, which are:

    ·         To be healthy

    ·         To stay safe

    ·         To enjoy and achieve

    ·         To make a positive contribution

    ·         To achieve economic well-being

Definition

The Government defines bullying as:

Behaviour by an individual or group usually repeated overtime, that intentionally hurts another individual
or group either physically or emotionally.

Bullying can also be described as being ‘a deliberate act done to cause distress solely in order to give a feeling of power, status or other gratification to the bully. It can range from ostracising, name-calling, teasing, threats and extortion, inappropriate text messaging and emailing, sending offensive or degrading images by phone or via the internet, producing offensive graffiti, through to physical assault on persons and/or their property. It can be an unresolved single frightening incident, which casts a shadow over life of the victim, or a series of such incidents. Although sometimes occurring between two individuals, it quite often takes place in the presence of others.

Specific types of bullying include: 

·         Bullying related to race, religion or culture

·         Bullying related to special educational needs or disabilities

·         Bullying related to appearance or health conditions

·         Bullying related to sexual orientation

·         Bullying of young carers or looked after children or otherwise related to home circumstances

·         Sexist or sexual bullying

At Middle Street Primary School staff, parent/carers and children work together, to create a happy, caring and safe learning environment. The ethos of the school is one of inclusion, openness and honesty. Bullying, either verbal, physical or indirect will not be tolerated. All forms of bullying are taken equally seriously and dealt with appropriately. It is everyone’s responsibility to take action to prevent occurrences of bullying and to deal with any incidents calmly, quickly and effectively.

Bullying can be brought to the attention of staff either by the victim(s), their friend(s), their parent(s) or other interested people.
 

How we work to prevent bullying at Middle Street Primary School

·      Through the PSHE and SEAL curriculum children are provided with opportunities to explore and develop empathy, self reflection, vocabulary to label feelings and emotions, strategies for dealing with difficult situations, friendships, communicating etc.

·       All staff are made aware of children with particular issues or worrying behaviours either at home or in school during the weekly Thursday Pastoral meeting. Actions are agreed on how to further support the child. This early intervention strategy has prevented many situations from escalating as all staff take responsibility for the child’s safety and happiness.

·       Vulnerable children are identified early and referrals can be made to Learning Mentors, Nurture group or School Counsellor.

·       Children with SEN are identified early and intervention strategies put in place to support the child. There is regular liaison between staff and SENCo.

·       A group of Year 6 children are trained as playground Buddies. They work on a rota covering playtimes.

·       Playtimes and lunchtimes are staggered to avoid overcrowding on the playground. There are a high number or adults supporting and supervising on the playground during playtimes and lunchtimes.

·      Staff supervising on the playground, also work in class with the children. So know the children well and are well known and familiar to the children.

·       Learning Mentors support on the playground.

·      One member of staff has a responsibility for building up resources and developing activities for use during playtimes. All staff on the playground are expected to interact positively with the children and initiate games etc.

·      Toilets and other ‘blind spots’ are monitored during playtimes. During lesson time visits to the toilet are monitored and no more than 2 children are allowed to go at any one time.

·      There is a playtime club at playtimes and lunchtimes for those children who for whatever reason may feel vulnerable at any time on the playground.

·      All staff members follow the school behaviour protocol for dealing with negative behaviour

·      By taking part in the yearly ‘Safe at School’ survey. The data informs future actions and strategies

·     By staff taking part in appropriate training as part of their continuing professional development.

·      The school council and pupil voice play an active role in developing strategies for the prevention of bullying and upholding the positive and inclusive ethos of the school.

·      Parent/carer voice informs our practice

·      We have a positive working relationship with the local community police officers.

·      The school has a safeguarding children statement and information, which is on display throughout the school. It also includes suggested adults the child can speak to if they have any worries or concerns.
 

Strategy for dealing with bullying

The following is a list of actions available to staff. The emphasis is always on a caring, listening approach for both the victim and the presenting with the bullying behaviour. These children are often victims too, that is why they turn to bullying, themselves.

How a bullying situation is dealt with very much depends on who is involved and what has taken place. However, every report of bullying will be taken seriously and action. The following provides a broad outline of how a bullying situation will be dealt with but it must be kept in mind that there will be additions to the process depending on what has taken place.

·    Discussions at length with the victim. This will require patience and understanding. Remember – Listen, believe, act. They child may choose who the wish to discuss the events with. Advise the Headteacher and Lead Behaviour Professional.

 

·     The Learning mentors / teachers and TA, where appropriate, will undertake the following:

 

·      Identify the child or children presenting with the bullying behaviour. Obtain witnesses if possible   and investigate the incident thoroughly.

 

·     Discussions with those involved in the bullying. Confront them with the details and ask them to tell the truth about the situation/incident. Make it clear that bullying is not acceptable at Middle Street Primary School

 

·      If they do not own up, investigate further. If it is clear that they are not telling the truth, continue to work patiently with the child ensuring they understand the seriousness of the situation. Children usually own up if presented with all the facts

 

·      Agree actions to support the victim and keep the child safe.

 

·      Agree sanctions to take place immediately and actions, which will more often than not require longer term intervention depending on the needs of the child to prevent further bullying behaviour in the future.

 

·      Discuss issues with parents/carers of both children involved. As far as possible parent/carers should be involved throughout the process.

 

·     Sanctions for the bully may include withdrawal from favoured activities, loss of playtimes, Golden Time, exclusion from school during lunchtimes, Fixed Term exclusion from school, depending on the perceived severity and repetition of the incident(s)

 

·     Use of restorative justice or some form of reparation.

 

·     Continue monitoring the situation by observing at playtimes/lunchtimes and having discussions with victim to ensure no repetition

 

·      Bullying incidents are recorded and formally reported to the Local Authority.

 

 

In Brief the Support Available for Victim and Bully
 

·      Referral to School Counsellor

·      Referral to Learning Mentor

·      Circle of friends

·       Peer Mentoring

·      Use of Playtime/Lunchtime Clubs

·      Discussion at PARMS (termly multi agency meetings) 

·         If appropriate referral to outside agencies

·      Both children involved raised at weekly Pastoral Care meeting so that all members of 
     staff are aware.

·      If appropriate (presented in a subtle way to avoid naming and shaming bully or causing
     discomfort to victim) a class mini PSHE/SEAL project on friendships.

·      Identification of possible SEN or other issues that have resulted in bullying behaviour or
     vulnerability of either child.


In order to identify incidents of bullying and the identities of bullies, at Middle Street Primary School we have agreed to carry out the following strategies:

·      All staff watch for early signs of distress in pupils.
 

·       All staff to watch out for early signs of bullying behaviours.
 

·       To raise those children considered to be vulnerable at the weekly pastoral meeting.
 

·      All children have access to Bubble Time with class teacher and senior members of staff.

 

·      Teachers/TAs to be vigilant during Circle Time/PSHE/SEAL sessions and activities.

 

·      All staff listen, believe, act 

Please read this policy in conjunction with the Middle Street Culture for Learning Policy . Please also refer to Equality Information & Objectives.

Finally, if it is felt by anyone involved dissatisfaction with how a bullying situation has been dealt with they may wish to make a complaint. If this is the case the school follows the Brighton and Hove City Council complaint procedures. The complaint procedure’s document can be obtained from the school office.