Our anti-bullying policy was most recently updated in July 2019 and can be viewed here.
Everyone at Riverside School has the right to feel welcome, secure and happy. Only if this is the case will all members of the school community be able to achieve to their maximum potential. Bullying of any sort prevents this being able to happen and prevents equality of opportunity. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent this happening and this policy contains guidelines to support this ethos.
Where bullying exists the victims must feel confident to use the anti-bullying systems within the school to end the bullying. It is our aim to challenge attitudes about bullying behaviour, increase understanding for bullied pupils and help build an anti-bullying ethos in the school.
Bullying is: targeted, repetitive and intentional and is:
- Deliberately hurtful or upsetting behaviour
- Usually repeated, often over a period of time but is sometimes an isolated incident
- Behaviour that makes it difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves
- Excluding someone
It is not considered bullying if children exclude someone on the playground now and then or don’t invite someone to a party. Repeated and deliberate exclusion, however, can be bullying.
- Disliking someone
Even if someone is not a friend, children may verbally or nonverbally communicate their opinion of another child. If they start rumours or verbally abuse the other child then this would be considered bullying.
- Accidental physical harm
A child might unintentionally bump into or trip another child. This is not bullying if it is not deliberate.
- Being “bossy”
It is natural to want friends to play a certain way, and some children take the role of being the director. Learning to lead skillfully is a lifelong process, and some children need support to master this.
- Telling a joke about someone (once)
While this is may be upsetting, it is not considered bullying unless there are repeated instances.
We all argue, and arguments will inevitably happen at school.
While the above behaviours may hurt feelings and be upsetting, they are not bullying. We have a duty to work with children, parents and external agencies to proactively teach children how to refrain from acting in ways that may hurt another. It is important to understand the difference between bullying and general conflict or unskilled behaviour.
Bullying can take many forms:
- PHYSICAL - hitting, kicking, pushing, taking belongings
- VERBAL - name calling, sarcasm, insulting remarks, racist remarks, teasing, spreading rumours
- EMOTIONAL - excluding, tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating
- CYBER BULLYING- where images or words are used over text, email or on social media (such as Facebook) which cause hurt or upset
- SOCIAL BULLYING, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes: Leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors about someone, embarrassing someone in public
- It includes ‘Bullying by Proxy’ where a perpetrator acts through others to the detriment of the same victim(s)
The effects of bullying:
As well as the children directly involved, bullying can affect:
- other children and their parents
- the class teacher and other staff in school
Parents are often the first to be aware of a change in the child’s behaviour — reluctance to attend school, complaining of sickness, headache, stomach pains, and anger or crying. It is important that parents contact the class teacher quickly if a concern arises:
Together we must be aware that persistent bullying can result in: -
- a lowering of self esteem
- children becoming withdrawn
- reduced academic achievement
- irrational behaviour
- depression and at its most serious, forms of ‘self-harm’
We help prevent bullying by: -
- Creating a positive school climate where praise is given high priority
- Building an anti-bullying ethos in school
- Adopting a whole-school approach to positive behaviour management, where good behaviour is modelled and praised, where self-esteem is fostered and the positive ethos of the school is linked to our Mission Statement
- Children, parents and staff are clear about what counts as bullying and why everyone should care about bullying
- Personal, social and health education including bullying is addressed in the curriculum through lesson content, circle time and assemblies; we also link into national events such as Anti-Bullying Week
- Being pro-active in recognising and addressing potential problems
- Ensuring all incidents of poor behavior and bullying are appropriately logged such as detailed records can be analysed for trends including perpetrator, victim and to be aware of bullying by proxy
Our guiding principles
- We recognise that bullying can occur in any school and at any age
- We teach pupils to report and challenge bullying behaviour
- We teach cyber safety
- Pupils and parents are encouraged to inform a member of staff immediately
- We take reports seriously, investigate and respond
- All reported incidents are appropriately recorded, regardless of outcome
- We actively share information around the staff team through pastoral meetings
- We aim to solve situations that arise so that further instances are prevented
- We are vigilant to any reported incidents of bullying related to Protected Characteristics
- Where appropriate, we use restorative practice to identify issues, resolve conflicts, agree a positive way forward, generate a contract and sign to agree. review impact.
- remain calm
- gather information
- take action, privately or publicly
- reassure the victim, offer the victim help, advice and support
- make it plain to the bully that you disapprove
- discuss the incident as appropriate to age and level of understanding
- explain clearly to the perpetrator how sanctions and preventative measures will be appplied.
- ensure all details, actions and outcomes are recorded
If a situation persists
- record the incident on school behavior log; monitor closely
- inform a member of senior staff or head teacher
- inform all staff to be vigilant
- usually the class teacher will inform both sets of parents calmly, clearly and concisely, whilst at the same time, maintaining appropriate confidentiality
- reassure both sets of parents that the incident has been dealt with appropriately
- offer parents a constructive plan for the future
- look for trigger factors, eg, who, what, where, when. Think ahead to prevent a recurrence of the incident
In some cases:
- if a situation persists a member of senior staff or the head teacher will become involved with parents
- all instances of bullying involving racist abuse must be reported appropriately
If necessary, outside agencies are contacted to provide support for families and school.
Policy Created: November 2008 Reviewed: July 2019
This policy links to the school’s Positive Behaviour Policy
Riverside School Anti-Bullying Charter- revised September 2019
We at Riverside School are working together to create a community where bullying is not tolerated.
We understand that bullying is when someone makes us feel frightened by hurting us or our feelings, over a period of time.
How can we keep our school a safe and happy place?
- Ask people to join in so they are not lonely
- Respect all our differences – everyone is important
- Cheer people up if they get upset
- No name calling or whispering
- Think before we use our phones or computers
- Take no notice of rumours
- Make new children welcome
- Take responsibility for our own actions and words
- Don’t be afraid to report bullying
If we have a problem we can talk to:
- Our teachers and teaching assistant
- MIss Woodward
- Parents/carers and family
- Our friends
- Mid-day supervisors
- Mrs. Wyatt/Mrs. Brown-Bolton