Bullying

At Birklands Primary school we are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so that they can learn and progress to their full potential, in a relaxed and secure atmosphere.

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, we would want all pupils to feel confident to seek support from an adult and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We would expect that anyone who knows that bullying is happening will feel safe and confident to tell an adult.

Definition of Bullying

Bullying is the repeated use of any action or behaviour with the intention of hurting another person (child or staff member) either physically or emotionally. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.

How does bullying differ from other types of aggressive behaviour?

  • There is a deliberate intention to hurt or humiliate
  • There is a power imbalance that makes it hard for the victim to defend themselves
  • It is usually persistent.

Bullying can be in the form of:

  • Direct Verbal Bullying (e.g. name calling, threats, insults and nasty teasing)
  • Physical Bullying (e.g. hitting, kicking, damage to belongings)
  • Relational Bullying (e.g. rumours, social exclusion, offensive graffiti)
  • Cyber-Bullying (e.g. text messaging, emailing, chatlines, Facebook, Messenger services)
  • Bullying can also take place in the presence (virtually or physically) of others who become ‘bystanders’ or ‘accessories’

Specific types of bullying might include:

  • bullying related to race, religion or culture
  • bullying related to special educational needs or disabilities
  • bullying related to appearance or health
  • bullying related to sexual orientation.
  • bullying of young carers or looked after children or otherwise related to home circumstances
  • sexist, sexual or transphobic bullying

There is no hierarchy of bullying and all forms of bullying are taken equally seriously and dealt with appropriately.

Reporting and Responding to Bullying

Our school has a clear system to report bullying, this includes those who are victims of bullying or have witnessed bullying behaviour (bystanders).

Children

If a child feels that they are being bullied, they will need to take the following actions;

  • Report the incident to their class teacher or an adult they can trust (all adults will then talk with the class teacher).
  • The teacher will talk to the children involved to find out the severity of the incident.
  • If necessary, restoration work will take place with the children involved (social groups, letter writing etc.).

Follow up conversations will take place between the class teacher and the children involved a week after the incident.

In cases of severe bullying, the incident will be logged on a Bullying Incident form, placed in the ABC file (kept by the class teacher) and parents will be informed. If the bullying persists then the head teacher will be informed by the class teacher and then the head teacher will take the necessary actions (see Behaviour Policy). If a criminal offence has been committed, the police may be informed.

If someone thinks they have seen a bullying incident then they are to take the following actions:

  • Report the incident to the nearest adult.
  • The adult will then report the incident to the class teacher and the class teacher will then investigate and take necessary actions (see above).
  • If the bystander sees it happen again then they are to report it to an adult who will then contact the class teacher again (necessary actions will then be taken).

Actions for a parent/carer who feels their child is a victim of bullying

If a parent/carer feels that their child is a victim of bullying then they need to take the following actions:

  • Discuss the incident with the child’s class teacher.
  • The class teacher will then investigate and take necessary actions (see above).
  • The class teacher will then contact the parent/carer about the outcome of the investigation.
  • If the parent/carer feel that the incident has not been investigated thoroughly then they are to talk the class teacher once more.
  • If they feel it is still not resolved then they are to contact the head teacher and they will investigate and take further necessary actions.

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