We recognise that the values we promote within the school play an important part in the spiritual, moral and social development of the children for whom we hold a responsibility. These values include: care, respect and concern for oneself and others, care and respect for property and for the environment. Whilst values are sometimes explicitly expressed, they are more often implicit in the ways we behave ourselves and in the ways we expect others around us to behave. For this reason it is important to provide clear guidelines for a consistent and coherent approach to behaviour and discipline within the school.
Our behaviour strategy is aimed at improving educational outcomes for all pupils by promoting and supporting their engagement in education. We aim to develop a more positive focus on improving children’s engagement, motivation and well being.
We believe that self-esteem affects all thinking and behaviour and impacts on learning and performance. We aim to provide positive everyday experiences so that our children are self confident and secure, with a strong sense of belonging, and so more likely to reach their full potential.
This policy has been developed through a consultative process involving children, parents, staff and governors. It therefore reflects a common and agreed view. To ensure that this continues to be the case it will be reviewed annually and comments will be regularly invited through parent surveys, the newsletter and meetings of the School Council, staff and governors.
- for every member of the school community to feel valued and respected, and for all persons to be treated fairly
- provide an ethos and environment within which everyone feels safe and which enables everyone to learn effectively
- teach children behaviour that is appropriate to different situations
- raise awareness amongst children of the need to recognise and manage their emotions and reactions
- support children whose behaviour within the school environment is challenging or who may find friendship and co-operation difficult
- provide clear expectations for a range of situations that children will meet within the school day and/or on the school premises
- have clear strategies for regulating conduct and promoting good behaviour, self discipline and respect
- reinforce good behaviour so that children feel good about themselves
- for all staff to focus on de- escalation and preventative strategies rather than reactive
- all staff know how to manage difficult or dangerous behaviour, and to have an understanding of what challenging behaviour might be communicating
- prevent bullying
EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR – The Behaviour Curriculum (see Appendix A)
All groups within the school community have thought carefully about the behaviour we should expect of children in different situations. These include working together as a whole class, working together in groups, working alone, in the playground, in the hall at lunch time, in assembly, on trips or at competitive events and with visitors to school.
ROLES, RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
In order to achieve our aims and objectives we recognise that different groups of people need to work together. These groups include children, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents and governors. Individual members of these groups play different roles and have different rights and responsibilities.
The role of pupils
- discuss the school code and class rules within their class
- understand the consequences of breaking the school rules
- vote for members of their class to represent them on School Council
The role of teachers
- agreeing a classroom code of behaviour with each new class that will allow the teacher to teach and the learners to learn and that will ensure a safe environment for all
- ensure the school code and class rules are understood and enforced in their class, and that their class behaves in a responsible manner during lesson time
- have high expectations in terms of behaviour, and strive to ensure that all children work to the best of their ability
- arrive in class in time
- know the children as individuals, recognising their characters, identifying their learning styles and taking this knowledge into account when planning lessons
- inform parents about expected behaviour and seeking their support
- avoid use of confrontational language – see Appendix (i) Emotional Containment Phrases
- use proximal praise to reinforce expectations
- ensure all children are noticed and receive attention in class -see Appendix (v) Toolbox 1 and 2
- treat each child fairly and enforce the rules consistently. Treat all children with respect and understanding
- ensure all adults working with children with SEMH are informed of individual challenges and strategies
- organise the classroom in a way that encourages successful learning by giving attention to:
- space for working and movement
- seating arrangements
- access to materials and equipment
- noise levels
- plan activities appropriate to the ability, maturity and special educational needs of the children
- be aware of safety issues when planning activities
- establish procedures for giving directions about tasks
- teach children about behaviour skills
- plan and respond to individual needs to learn behaviour skills and self regulation
- provide opportunities for children to develop different kinds of relationships with one another
- allow children to express their views and feelings and seeking to extend their understanding of relationships through the PHSE curriculum
- be consistent and fair when giving rewards and relevant and proportionate when imposing sanctions
- liaise with external agencies, support teachers, mid day staff, parents and the headteacher as necessary to support and guide the interests of the child
- ensure that all adults working with children are aware of the expectations regarding behaviour and of the strategies used to teach and reinforce that expected behaviour
- when a child with a specific behaviour management plan transitions to another class ensure that information is passed on. A meeting with the current class teacher, the new teacher and SENCo is set up.
Non teaching staff
The role of the Learning Support Assistants
- being aware of relevant and accepted expectations and reinforcing them
- being consistent and fair when giving rewards and relevant and proportionate when sanctions
- knowing the children as individuals, recognising their characters and taking this knowledge into account when working with them
- being aware of procedures for giving directions about tasks and reinforcing them
- teaching children about behaviour skills and self regulation
- reassuring, re-focusing and reaffirming tasks set for children
- fulfilling roles identified within SEMH plans for children
- having high expectations of children
- providing opportunities for children to develop different kinds of relationships with one another by encouraging involvement in, for example, playground games and conversation
- allowing children to express their views and feelings and seeking to extend their understanding of relationships through discussion
- responding to children’s needs swiftly
- observing children and informing class teachers and/or the head teacher about specific incidents or trends in behaviour
- encouraging respectful attitudes for others, the environment, property and equipment
The role of MIDDAY staff members
- being friendly and approachable
- being aware of relevant and accepted expectations and reinforcing them
- being consistent and fair when giving rewards or imposing agreed sanctions
- knowing the children as individuals, recognising their characters and taking this knowledge into account when working with them
- support children’s development of behaviour skills and self regulation
- having high expectations observing children and informing class teachers and/or the head teacher about specific incidents or trends in behaviour
- encouraging respectful attitudes for others, the environment, property and equipment
- support children with SEMH using agreed strategies
The role of parents and carers:
- the school work collaboratively with parents that children receive consistent messages about how to behave at home and at school
- we explain the school rules at our introductory parents’ meeting and expect the parents to support the school in implementing these
- we build a supportive dialogue between school and home and inform parents appropriately if we have concerns about their child’s behaviour or welfare. If the school has to use reasonable sanctions, parents Should support the actions of the school. If a parent has any concerns about the way their child has been treated, they should initially contact the class teacher. If the concern remains, they should contact the Head Teacher. If their concern remains they should contact the Chair of Governor
- inform the school of any medical or social circumstance that might affect the behaviour of their child
- provide their child with the opportunity to discuss school so that any worries or concerns are recognised at an early stage
- inform the school of any concerns about their own child’s behaviour
- keep in touch with their child’s teacher both formally and informally so that their child’s interests can be discussed whenever necessary
- support and co-operate with the school in implementing the behaviour policy
- respect the staff of the school and valuing their professional opinions
- promote positive attitudes towards school
- provide a good example of behaviour
The role of Governors
- responsibility of setting down these general guidelines on standards of discipline and behaviour, and of reviewing their effectiveness. The governors support the Head Teacher in carrying out these guidelines
- the head teacher has the day to day authority to implement the school behaviour policy, but governors may give advice about particular disciplinary issues
- be involved in the development of the policy in accordance with the stated aims of the school
- be informed about the successes of the policy in maintaining high standards of behaviour
- ensure that the school has a behaviour and discipline policy
- support staff in implementing the policy
- monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of that policy in bringing about its stated aims and objectives
- report on the effectiveness of the policy to parents
- provide opportunities for dialogue with children, staff and parents
WHOLE SCHOOL STRATEGIES
Code of Conduct:
We have an agreed code of conduct for the school community.
The school’s ‘Golden rules’ are:
- We are kind, caring and helpful
- We are respectful of ourselves, others and our school
- We are honest, truthful and fair
- We are polite
- We are good friends
- We keep ourselves and others safe
These are displayed in pictures and texts around the school.
In addition to this each class has agreed its own rules which are displayed in the classroom.
As well as the ‘Golden Rules/school code every member of the school community should apply the following principles:
- We do not condone inappropriate behaviour
- You own your own behaviour
- We are a no shouting school
Children can be supported in behaving as we expect through the following means:
- Playleader Scheme
- Friendship Bench
- House groups
- Learning Mentors
- Worry Box
- Parental involvement in support programmes
- SENco/Headteacher involvement in support programmes
- Educational Psychologist and Assessment Service
- Use positive rather than negative phrasing eg. stand next to me, walk beside me to… stay seated in your chair
- Limited choice eg where shall we talk, here or in the library?
See also Appendix (i) Emotional Containment Phrases
Appendix (ii) De-escalation script
Appendix (iii) Zones of Regulation (Key Stage 1/Lower Key stage 2)
We recognise children’s efforts to behave as expected by:
- Praise for appropriate behaviour
- Drawing the attention of others to their good behaviour
- Superhero learning behaviour awards
- Rewards including merits, credits, golden points, class dojo, stickers, house points, stars of the week, ‘It Didn’t Go Unnoticed Award’, play leader awards and the ‘good news wall’, midday ‘something special’ book, postcards home
- Rewards are given in accordance with individual support plans when necessary
- Visit to the head teacher
- Recognition of children who are strong role models/ always make the right choices -Friday activity session
Sanctions:in the classroom see Appendix B /Appendix (iv) recording sheets
Unfortunately there are times when agreed rules are not complied with. It is important that children know that unacceptable, disruptive behaviour or a poor standard of application are not tolerated.
These steps outline an approach for within the classroom:
- A blue ‘think’ card is placed in front of a child to indicate to them that their behaviour is unacceptable (with no teacher interaction). The child is given 5 minutes ‘take up time’ to rectify the behaviour.
The card is removed once the behaviour is meeting expectations.
- Should the behaviour continue, the child is given a yellow ‘respect’ card as a second warning (with no teacher interaction). The child is then given up to 5 minutes ‘take up time’ to rectify the behaviour.
The card is removed once behaviour is meeting expectations.
- Should the behaviour continue, the child is given a red ‘restorative’ card. As a result of this they will miss 15 minutes of their next lunch break, (or last 15 minutes of the day if in KS2 in the afternoon) writing a reflection log or talking through with an adult (preferably their class teacher).
- It is the class teacher’s responsibility to inform parents/carers about any red ‘restorative’ cards they have implemented. If a child receives 3 red cards in a week, this will result in a meeting being set up with their parents, class teacher and a member of the leadership team or SENco to discuss any additional support measures that are required (eg a behaviour support plan). There is an option for the child to also receive an internal exclusion for a full or half day (age and incident dependent).
This may not be appropriate for some children with SEND or a SEMH plan and a separate programme will be in place
When working with challenging behaviour staff use the agreed ‘we’ script reminding of expected behaviours and verbalising when such behaviours are noticed so as to positively recognise and enforce
Ie …..……….., we expect…………………………. thank you
Peter, we expect everyone to speak politely to one another, thank you.
Jane, we expect everybody to line up quietly, thank you’
(staff do not shout and avoid phrases such as ‘why are you?’, ‘don’t’, ‘you are…’)
Behaviour Response: Stepped Approach
- Tactically ignore poor behaviour (blue/yellow card system, private signals perhaps, catch children being good)
- ‘We’ statement
- Clear choice: that can either go into your pocket or onto my table… then walk away
- Follow up consequence
If the consequence is refused then no issue is made of this, simply a calm reminder that if the child refuses the consequence then there is a clear consequence that will be followed up at a time convenient to the teacher, who then remains calm and continues to teach the children in the class. Language of choice always used so that child is not backed into a corner.
Steps 1 and 2 may be skipped when presented with unsafe behaviours.
See also Appendix (ii) de-escalation script and Appendix (v) Toolbox 1 and 2
Sanctions: play and lunch times see Appendix C behaviour incident report/Appendix (iv) child’s record sheet
This positive management behaviour system is followed through at play times. Red ‘restorative’ times may be taken in a variety of places (lunch hall, a bench). A reflection log will be written by the child/recorded by adult
As a means of monitoring playtime behaviour any behaviours will be noted in an incident book. These books are monitored by the head teacher and a log of recorded incidents kept. If a child has seriously breached the code of conduct they will be sent in to discuss with by a member of SLT or the SENCo or Head Teacher.
Repeated or serious incidents of unacceptable playtime behaviour will lead to a loss of outdoor play, the writing of a reflective log and/or alternative provision.
Parents will be informed if playtime behaviour repeatedly or seriously breaches the code of conduct.
Dealing with serious misconduct
Serious misconduct, in or out of the classroom will be referred to the Head Teacher.
Serious misconduct includes stealing, hurting other children, swearing, blatant rudeness, deliberate disobedience or defiance, vandalism, behaviour which persistently impedes others from working, racism or bullying.
Incidents will be recorded on a star analysis form/behaviour incident report and investigated by the SENco and/or Head Teacher. Consequences may include loss of play or privileges or withdrawal from class activities and will be dependent upon the nature of the misconduct.
Repeated incidents of behaviour which contravene the code may mean the school seeks the advice of external agencies such a s the educational psychologist. A support plan may be drawn up.
Serious one off breaches or repeated breaches of the school rules may lead to a suspension (fixed term exclusion).
If property has been damaged, then school may ask parents to provide replacements.
Children who persistently breach the school rules will have individual support plans and drawn up and may follow different steps of interventions and sanctions.
Please refer to our Child on Child HSB policy.
Physical restraint/reasonable force
Physical contact may be used by all members of the school staff to control, restrain or direct children without the use of force. Physical restraint (the positive use of force/safe handling) may be used in order to protect a child from hurting her or himself or others, or from seriously damaging property. In all cases, members of staff are guided by the advice provided by Essex County Council and Essex Steps training; children’s dignity and rights are respected at all times. The decision on whether or not to physically intervene is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned and should always depend on the individual circumstances.
Parental permission may be sought in advance if deemed necessary
Refer to our intimate care policy:
Statement on the use of Physical Interventions
There are occasions when staff will have cause to have physical contact with pupils for a variety of reasons, for example:
- to comfort a pupil in distress (so long as this is appropriate to their age);
- to gently direct a pupil;
- for curricular reasons (for example in PE, Drama etc);
- in an emergency to avert danger to the pupil or pupils;
If hand holding is being used by an adult as a method of control to move children, this can become a restraint. We encourage the use of the ‘offering an arm’. This is done by the adult holding their arm out, and the child is encouraged to wrap their hand around the adult’s lower arm. The adult’s other hand can then be placed over the child’s for a little extra security if it is required
The following list is not exhaustive but provides some examples of situations where reasonable force can and cannot be used.
Reasonable force can be used to
- remove disruptive children from the classroom where they have refused to follow an instruction to do so;
- prevent a pupil behaving in a way that disrupts a school event or a school trip or visit;
- prevent a pupil leaving the classroom or school site where allowing the pupil to leave would risk their safety or lead to behaviour that disrupts the behaviour of others;
- prevent a pupil from attacking a member of staff or another pupil, or to stop a fight in the playground; and
- restrain a pupil at risk of harming themselves through physical outbursts.
Reasonable force cannot be used
- as a punishment – it is always unlawful to use force as a punishment.
Any occasions when reasonable force is used will be recorded.
The school will speak to parents about serious incidents involving the use of force and keep a detailed record of such serious incidents.
Confiscation, banned item and Searching Pupils
The head teacher and teaching staff have the right to confiscate any item from a pupil which is deemed inappropriate to be in school.
Only the headteacher, and two members of the senior leadership team – Miss Allsop, Ms Crosby and Miss Morton respectively, have the right to search any pupil or pupil’s belongings, without consent, if they believe they are hiding any items which should be confiscated or are on the banned list. If the pupil needs to be searched, two members of staff, from the ones named above, will seek cooperation from the pupil and both will be present for the search. This will only be outer clothing and a staff member of the same gender will be actioned.
Any items found on the banned list will be handed directly to parents or police, depending on the seriousness of the confiscation. Items on the banned list include:
- illegal drugs
- stolen items
- cigarettes, tobacco paper, e-cigarettes and vapes
- pornographic images
- anything else perceived to pose a threat to pupils at the school
any article that the member of staff reasonably suspects has been, or is likely to be used:
- to commit an offence, or
- to cause personal injury to, or damage to property of; any person (including the pupil).
Discipline beyond the school gate
When there is a case of poor pupil behaviour beyond the school gate (travelling to or from school, taking part in any school organised or school related activity, wearing school uniform or in some way identifiable as a pupil at the school), the school may enforce its right to apply a consequence to a pupil in school. Examples of this may include:
- continued bullying of a pupil outside of school
- use of cyber bullying outside of school
- inappropriate behaviour taking place close to the start/end of day when pupils are in school uniform
- behaviour that poses a threat to another pupil or member of the public
- behaviour that could have repercussions for the orderly running of the school
- behaviour that could adversely affect the reputation of the school
Exclusion see appendix D
In cases of severe and persistent misbehaviour, the Head Teacher may exclude a child from school for either a fixed period of time, known as a suspension or permanently. If such action is taken, the head teacher will inform the Chair of Governors and seek advice from the Planning and Admissions Adviser of Pupil Services, Essex County Council, Learning Services. A committee of unnamed governors for exclusion will be put together if and when the need arises in line with statutory requirements (see Pupil Discipline Committee Constitution and procedures). The school will consider whether a pupil’s SEND has contributed to the misbehaviour and if so, whether it is appropriate and lawful to sanction the pupil. Reference will be made to the Equality Act 2010 and schools guidance.
Examples of types of behaviour which may result in exclusion:
- physical assault against an adult
- physical assault against a pupil
- verbal abuse or threatening behaviour against a pupil
- verbal abuse or threatening behaviour against an adult
- cyber bullying
- possession of illegal drugs
- possession of weapons
- racist abuse
- abuse relating to disability
- serious breaches of this behaviour policy
- in such a case as when allowing a pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school
Focus Weeks/ behaviour hotspots
From time to time we will have a week when there will be a focus on one particular type of behaviour, eg coming into assembly quietly, playing with someone you don’t usually play with, leaving the cleanest table, saying please and thank you. This will be positively reinforced by all staff naming and acknowledging children who demonstrate that behaviour.
Pass and alert cards
Staff will send a red card to a member of the office staff who will get a member of the SLT or SENCo team to alert them to a need for immediate support and also check that the site is secured. Use of the walkie talkies is also available when necessary.
- The Head Teacher monitors the effectiveness of this policy on a regular basis. She also makes reports to the governing body on the effectiveness of the policy and. If necessary, makes recommendations for further improvements
- The school keeps a variety of records of incidents of misbehaviour. The class teacher records minor and major classroom incidents where a child is giving cause for concern. The Head teacher records incidents where a child is sent to her on account of seriously bad behaviour. We keep a record of any incidents that occur at break or lunch time. Lunch time supervisors give written details of any incident in the incident books kept in their MDA bags.
- The Head teacher keeps a record of any pupil who is internally excluded, suspended or permanently excluded
- It is the responsibility of the governing body to monitor the rate of exclusions and to ensure that the school policy is administered fairly and consistently
- The governing body reviews the policy every year. The governing body may however review the policy earlier than this, if the government introduces new regulations, or if they receive recommendations on how the policy might be improved
CLAVERING PRIMARY SCHOOL
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is a continuous pattern of behaviour by one person or a group of persons towards another person which is designed to hurt, injure, embarrass, upset or discomfort that person. It is premeditated and persistent. There is an imbalance of power making it hard for those who are being bullied to defend themselves.
Forms of bullying
- Physical – punching, pushing, kicking, hurting; demanding money or property; damaging property; forcing a person to do things against their will
- Verbal – malicious teasing; insults about race, religion or culture; offensive name calling or comments
- Indirect – spreading rumours or stories about a person; being left out, ignored or excluded from groups
- Electronic/cyber bullying – via text;via social media sites; via email; via images/videos posted on the internet or spread by mobile phone
Types of bullying
Although anyone can be bullied for almost any reason or difference, some children may be more vulnerable to bullying than others. Research has identified various different types of bullying experienced by particular vulnerable groups of children.
These include bullying related to:
- ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
- gender identity
- sexual identity
- special educational needs and disabilities
- being gifted or talented
- appearance or health conditions
- home circumstances e.g. young carers or looked–after children
Bullying is a complex type of behaviour occurring between individuals and groups.
Different roles within bullying situations can be identified and include:
- The ring-leader, who through their position of power can direct bullying activity
- Assistants/associates, who actively join in the bullying (sometimes because they are afraid of the ring-leader)
- Reinforcers, who give positive feedback to those who are bullying, perhaps by smiling or laughing
- Outsiders/bystanders, who stay back or stay silent and thereby appear to condone or collude with the bullying behaviour
- Defenders, who try and intervene to stop the bullying or comfort pupils who experience bullying.
Some children can adopt different roles simultaneously or at different times e.g. a bullied child might be bullying another child at the same time, or a ‘reinforcer’ might become a ‘defender’ when the ringleader is not around.
Recognising Signs and Symptoms
Some children are more vulnerable to bullying than others and our staff are sensitive to the changes of behaviour that may indicate that a child is being bullied.
Children who are being bullied may demonstrate physical, emotional and behavioural problems. The following physical signs and behaviour could indicate other problems but bullying will be considered as a possibility:
- Being frightened of walking to or from school
- Losing self confidence and self-esteem
- Being frightened to say what is wrong
- Developing unexplained cuts, bruises and other injuries
- Unwilling to go to school, development of school phobia and unusual patterns of non-attendance
- Failing to achieve potential in school work
- Becoming withdrawn, nervous and losing concentration
- Becoming isolated and disengaged from other children
- Developing changes in physical behaviour such as stammering and nervous ticks
- Regularly having books or clothes destroyed
- Having possessions go ‘missing’ or ‘lost’ including packed lunch and money
- Starting to steal money (to pay the perpetrator)
- Becoming easily distressed, disruptive or aggressive
- Developing problems with eating and food
- Running away
- Developing sleep problems and having nightmares
- Developing suicidal thoughts or attempting suicide.
Where children are exhibiting extreme signs of distress and changes in behaviour, the school will liaise with parents/carers and where appropriate, relevant health professionals and agencies such as the school nurse/G.P. and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (EWHMS).
Recognising Why Children Might Bully Others
Children may bully for a variety of reasons. Recognising why children bully supports the school in identifying children who are at risk of engaging with this type of behaviour. This enables the school to intervene at an early stage to prevent the likelihood of bullying occurring and to respond promptly to incidents of bullying as they occur.
Understanding the emotional health and wellbeing of children who bully is key to selecting the right responsive strategies and to engaging the right external support.
Possible reasons why some children may engage in bullying include:
- Struggling to cope with a difficult personal situation e.g. bereavement, changes in family circumstances
- Liking the feeling of power and using bullying behaviour to get their own way
- Having a temperament that may be aggressive, quick tempered or jealous
- Having been abused or bullied in some way
- Feeling frustrated, insecure, inadequate, humiliated
- Finding it difficult to socialise and make friends
- Being overly self-orientated (possibly displaying good self-esteem) and finding it difficult to empathise with the needs of others Being unable to resist negative peer pressure
- Being under pressure to succeed at all costs.
Our aim is to involve the whole school community in developing and promoting whole school anti-bullying ethos and culture. We work hard to create and ensure a friendly and secure environment in our school; a climate where children can tell others how they feel.
Children are taught to know that they have the right to respect, to safety and to their own space and that if they feel threatened or ‘unsafe’ they must tell someone.
We strive to:
make clear to everyone within our whole school community that no form of bullying is acceptable and to prevent, de-escalate and /or stop any continuation of harmful behaviour
- encourage and equip the whole school community to report all incidents of bullying, including those who have experienced being bullied and bystanders who have witnessed an incident
- respond quickly and effectively to incidents of bullying using a restorative approach and /or sanctions where necessary
- apply reasonable and proportionate disciplinary sanctions to children causing the bullying
- support children who are bullying in recognising the seriousness of their behaviour and to offer support and counselling to help them to readjust their behaviour
- safeguard and offer support and comfort to children who have been bullied and provide longer term support where necessary to reduce the likelihood of negative effectives on their behaviour and self-esteem
- address the emotional and behavioural needs of children who bully others to reduce the likelihood of repeated incidents of bullying
- ensure all staff are trained and supported to enable them to model positive relationships
- regularly monitor incidents of bullying and harassment and report to responsible bodies e.g. governors
- provide a curriculum framework for Personal Social and Health Education and Citizenship that includes learning about bullying, diversity, discrimination and personal safety.
All incidents, which are reported to school staff, will always be dealt with and recorded. The head teacher will keep a record of all incidents. Each incident must be handled individually once the problem and the children have been identified. The school uses the ‘No Blame Approach’ and each adult is committed to recognising and putting an end to acts of bullying or harassment.
- All staff to be informed
- All action to be recorded
- Full investigation including monitoring to be carried out
- Reported to the parents of the children involved if necessary
- Name of the child committing the bullying will not be disclosed except under exceptional circumstances
- A behaviour modification programme will be implemented in extreme cases
- Persistent occurrence will necessitate the involvement of outside agencies
Responding to Incidents of Bullying
The procedure and stages in responding effectively to bullying at our school are:
Monitoring and recording behaviour and relationship issues
The school follows a clear behaviour management system, which enables challenging behaviour and relationship problems to be identified, recorded and addressed. This process is part of the school’s overall Behaviour Policy. It supports the detection of bullying and allows for intervention at an early stage.
Making sure the person being bullied is safe and feels safe
When a child reports being bullied, the school will acknowledge their concerns and the incident will be taken seriously. Incidents of bullying reported by witnesses are treated in the same manner and will always lead to a conversation with the targeted child.
Establishing and recording what happened by listening to the targeted child
After listening to the views and feelings of the targeted child and their account of what has happened to them, the school will record the incident appropriately by completing Section A of the Bullying Incident Report Form (see Appendix A Sample Bullying Incident Report Form) where bullying has occurred.
Section A includes:
- Date, time incident reported
- Member of staff to whom the incident was reported
- Date, time, location of alleged incident
- Nature of the alleged incident from the perspective of the person being bullied
- Date, time when parents/carers were informed.
When an incident of bullying is reported the school will endeavour to make a written record of this incident within 24 hours of the incident occurring. Written records are factual and where opinions are offered these will be based on factual evidence. Recording incidents helps to build a picture of behaviour patterns in school e.g. who, when, how, what action taken. It enables the school to manage individual cases effectively and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of strategies.
Deciding upon a response
After listening to the account of the targeted child, the school will discuss an appropriate course of action with them. All incidents of bullying will be responded to seriously and the behaviour of those who have been bullying will be challenged. Parents will be consulted.
A Restorative Approach
Where appropriate and in most cases of bullying the school will initially consider the use of a Restorative Approach to resolve the situation. A Restorative Approach involves perpetrators of bullying, focusing on their unacceptable behaviour in an emotionally intelligent way and ensures children causing harm are held to account for their behaviour by enabling them to:
- Accept responsibility for the harm caused to the individual being bullied
- Accept responsibility for the harm caused to others (for example staff, friends or family) Recognise the need to take action to begin to repair the harm caused
- Agree a range of helpful actions to repair the harm caused, which will be monitored over an agreed period of time.
We believe that all bullying is unacceptable but that many children who display anti-social behaviour and lack empathy for others can be helped to understand the consequences of their actions and change their behaviour for the long term.
In certain cases of bullying, the use of sanctions will be considered e.g. in cases of serious bullying such as where violence has been used or where a restorative approach has been unsuccessful in preventing further incidents of bullying.
Sanctions will be applied fairly and proportionately in accordance with the school’s Behaviour Policy, taking account of any special educational needs or disabilities that children may have and taking into consideration the needs of vulnerable children. Bullying by children with disabilities or SEN is no more acceptable than bullying by other children. However, for a sanction to be reasonable and lawful the school will take account of the nature of the children’s SEND and the extent to which they understand and are in control of what they are doing.
Disciplinary sanctions are intended to:
- Impress on the perpetrator that what he/she has done is unacceptable
- Deter him/her from repeating that behaviour
- Signal to other children that the behaviour is unacceptable and deter them from doing it.
The consequences of bullying should reflect the seriousness of the incident. The school takes verbal and indirect bullying as seriously as physical bullying. When deciding upon appropriate sanctions for bullying the school will ensure that the sanctions address bullying behaviour in a way which does not lead to an escalation of the behaviour but instead supports a resolution to the problem.
Like the school’s restorative approach, sanctions for bullying are intended to hold children to account for their behaviour and ensure that they face up to the harm they have caused and learn from it. They also provide an opportunity for the children to put right the harm they have caused. Where appropriate the school may use sanctions in conjunction with the school’s restorative approach. The school will draw upon the school’s Behaviour and Discipline Policy for Positive Behaviour and follow the system for sanctions.
In the case of more serious and persistent bullying, where the perpetrator has not responded to the school’s restorative strategies (see above) or sanctions, the school may consider excluding the perpetrator from the school.
Some children who have been subjected to bullying can be provoked into violent behaviour. Where an attack has been provoked after months of persistent bullying, the school will view this behaviour differently from an unprovoked attack and will ensure that sanctions are proportionate to the circumstances.
Responding to incidents of cyberbullying
The school will follow the above procedures alongside the school’s E-Safety policy which provides guidance on responding to different forms of cyberbullying and the safe and responsible use of technology.
Responding to incidents of bullying which occur off the school premises.
Bullying can and does happen outside school and in the community. Bullying is a relationship issue and its occurrence reflects the ways in which children socialise in school and in the wider community. We believe that bullying is unacceptable wherever and whenever it happens.
When an incident of bullying is reported and has occurred off the school site and out of school hours e.g. walking to and from school, on the school bus, the school will follow the guidance in the Behaviour Policy for Positive Behaviour.
We encourage children to seek help and to tell us about incidents of bullying that happen outside the school so that we can:
- Raise awareness among the whole school community of possible risks within the community e.g. gangs/county lines
- Make contact with local police officers and representatives from the Youth Service, Locality Teams and other organisations (including sports clubs and voluntary organisations)
- Offer children and parents/carers strategies to manage bullying off the school premises e.g. guidance on how to keep safe on the internet and when using technology.
Working with Parents /Carers
Where we have become aware of a bullying situation, parents/carers of the child/young person who is being bullied will be informed. Parents/carers will be contacted via a phone call/ email and may be invited to the school to discuss their child’s situation. We will endeavour to involve parents/carers of children who have been bullied constructively at an early stage to support the process of working together to find ways of resolving the situation and bringing about reconciliation.
The outcome of the meeting and agreed actions/responses will be recorded by the school on the school’s Bullying Incident Report Form (see Appendix A Sample Bullying Incident Report Form).
We will work alongside those parents/carers whose children have been bullied to support them in developing their children’s coping strategies and assertiveness skills where appropriate. Parents/carers are initially encouraged to refer their concerns to the class teacher. Senior members of staff will be involved where appropriate. Parents/carers are encouraged to note details of the incident to share with the class teacher. Again, a record of the incident and the agreed actions/response made at the meeting will be recorded by the school and added to the school’s Bullying Incident Report Form (see Appendix A Sample Bullying Incident Report Form). The school will discuss the possible responsive options with the parents/carers and the bullied child and agree a way forward.
Where a Restorative Approach has failed to modify the behaviour of a perpetrator and the bullying is continuing or when sanctions are to be used, the parents/carers of the perpetrator will be invited to the school to discuss their child’s behaviour. The outcome of the meeting and agreed actions/responses will be recorded by the school on the school’s Bullying Incident Report Form (see Appendix A Sample Bullying Incident Report Form). A problem-solving approach will be adopted with parents/carers e.g. ‘It seems your son/daughter and (other child) have not been getting on very well’ rather than ‘ your son/daughter has been bullying…. ’ While we firmly believe that all bullying is unacceptable and that the perpetrators should be made to accept responsibility for their behaviour and make amends, we understand that a cooperative ethos is desirable when trying to reach a resolution that is effective and long lasting. Parents/carers of those causing the bullying will also have support to come to a balanced view of what is happening and appreciate their role in helping their children to learn about the consequences of their actions and adopt alternative ways of behaving. We will ensure that staff and all parents/carers remain fully aware of the measures that have been put into place to prevent the occurrence of further incidents. Follow up appointments are made with parent/carers to share these agreed measures and to monitor their success in preventing further bullying.
Following Up / Supporting and Monitoring
After following the school’s procedures for responding to an incident of bullying we will consider employing further longer term measures/strategies to minimise the risk of bullying occurring in the future and to ensure that children feel safe. Strategies include longer-term support for all parties including the person being bullied, bystanders and the person who has perpetrated the bullying.
Our strategies include:
- Providing opportunities for class Circle Time where children can explore the needs of their peers. These are planned sessions in which the teacher facilitates a safe and positive environment for children to take turns, if they choose to talk about an issue of concern. The whole group is encouraged to listen carefully and discuss ways to help the individual in a problem-solving way
- Accessing support from external agencies and professionals including educational psychologists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service ( EWMHS), Specialist Teaching Services, Race Equality and Diversity Services.
- Providing opportunities for children who have been bullied or are bullying to attend social skills groups to develop emotional resilience and learn skills in assertiveness, listening, negotiating and empathising with others.
- Providing supportive and nurturing structures such as a ‘Circle of Friends’ or ‘bubble’ groups for identified vulnerable individuals.
Our whole school community works together to reduce bullying as part of our efforts to promote a positive and inclusive whole
school ethos and create a safe, healthy and stimulating environment. Alongside responsive strategies for dealing with incidents of bullying, we promote a whole school approach to implementing proactive and preventative interventions to reduce bullying. These interventions are implemented at a school, class and individual level.
Our approaches include:
- Implementing an effective school leadership that promotes an open and honest anti-bullying ethos
- Adopting positive behaviour management strategies as part of the school’s Behaviour Policy
- Implementing a whole school approach to the teaching of PSHE and Citizenship
- Ensuring that the school’s anti-bullying statement is actively promoted in assemblies and other formal occasions, as well as displayed around the school
- Providing training on behaviour management and anti-bullying for all relevant staff including midday supervisors
- Providing a school council and regular Circle Time, enabling children to talk about their feelings and concerns in a safe environment and to enable them to share concerns about bullying
- Providing peer support systems such as playground buddies/Friendship Benches and peer mentors
- engaging children in our annual Friendship Week and supporting learning on bullying though whole school activitiesand projects
- Reviewing the development and supervision of the school inside and outside including the outdoor areas and playground to ensure provision is safe, inclusive and supports children’s emotional wellbeing.
- Providing confidential communication systems such as Worry Boxes and access to Learning Mentors
- Working with children to identify key individuals with whom they can confide
- Providing social skills groups for vulnerable individuals and groups as appropriate
- Providing mixed age house systems to allow children from different age groups to socialise and support each other
- Providing a transition programme to support children moving across year groups and key stages
- Providing information on support agencies such as ChildLine including telephone numbers for help lines and addresses for supportive websites
Delivering the Curriculum for Positive Relationships and AntiBullying
The PSHE and Citizenship curriculum plays a valuable role in preventative work on bullying. The PSHE and Citizenship curriculum supports the development of children’s self-esteem and their emotional resilience and ability to empathise with others. The curriculum provides opportunities for children to learn and develop the skills to identify manage and challenge incidents of bullying as well as providing opportunities for children to learn about bullying in relation to the wider context of diversity and inclusion.
Work on bullying as part of the PSHE and Citizenship curriculum is taught through:
- The Essex Primary Toolkit Programme for PSHE and Citizenship in which learning related to bullying, diversity and difference is covered within themes such as Myself and My Relationships, Citizenship and Healthy and Safer Lifestyles
- Designated lessons
- Other curriculum areas such as Religious Education and History
- Enrichment activities such as visits from drama groups / outside agencies
- Work on British Values which includes focus on tolerance, diversity and respect
Children’s Consultation and Participation
We consider listening to the voices of children and actively seeking their views and opinions regarding bullying as an important part of our preventative work. Ways in which we audit how bullying is being addressed include, listening to children and ensuring they are given the opportunity to speak out, and have their voices heard on their experiences of bullying. Children are actively encouraged to participate in identifying both the problems and solutions to bullying; reviewing and developing the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy and practice and engaging in initiatives to support an anti-bullying ethos in school.
Children actively participate in:
- Class and school councils, house groups
- Focus groups and face to face discussions
- Active learning and interactive learning techniques included in PSHE and Citizenship such as mind mapping sessions, role play, puppets, group work and creative arts
- Surveys including questionnaires, Draw and Write and research designed and carried out by children
Involving Outside Agencies
The school seeks the support and guidance from relevant local and national agencies and organisations that work collectively to ensure that those who work with and support children are equipped with the skills and knowledge to address bullying effectively.
Monitoring and Evaluating the Anti-Bullying Policy
The school’s Anti-Bullying Policy and practice is regularly monitored and evaluated to ensure its effectiveness. This process includes reviewing the school’s definition of bullying and identifying new types and forms of bullying as they emerge. The Policy review involves monitoring and evaluating anti-bullying preventative and responsive strategies to ensure the school’s practice is effective and successful in fostering an ethos that inhibits bullying and promotes inclusion and respect for diversity.
The review process involves collecting data on the prevalence of bullying at the school and gathering the views and different perceptions of the whole school community including staff, governors, children and parents/carers using a range of methods such as:
- Surveys and questionnaires
- Focus groups and interviews
- Whole school audit tools. The head teacher regularly analyses behaviour records and records of bullying incidents to identify patterns of behaviour regarding individuals and groups of children, and places and times where bullying may be occurring.
Last reviewed: November 2021 and October 2022