Before children, parents and teachers can start to prevent and tackle bullying ,it is important that the terms related to bullying and online safety are understood. Children are very quick to use the term 'bullying' when there has often been a minor falling out or misunderstanding which the children resolve themselves very quickly. At The Manor School we work hard to teach the children the difference between getting on and falling out and real incidents of bullying.
So what is bullying?
Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or a group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace.
Verbal: Name calling, persistent teasing, mocking, taunting and threats.
Physical: Any form of physical violence, intimidating behaviour, theft or the intentional damage of possessions. This includes hitting, kicking and pushing.
Emotional: Excluding, tormenting, ridiculing, humiliation, setting people up and spreading rumours.
Cyber: cyber bullying is the misuse of digital technologies or communications to bully a person or a group, typically through messages or actions that are threatening and/or intended to cause offence, anxiety or humiliation.
What is NOT bullying?
One-off incidents: Bullying is persistent and repetitive, and generally fits a pattern of behaviour. However, there will be occasions when a one-off incident is so significant that it causes long term effects, and is therefore categorised as bullying. One example may be extreme public humiliation that deters someone from engaging in discussions or social events.
Mutual conflict: A disagreement, argument or fight in which both parties have equally participated and where there is no imbalance of power.
How do we manage bullying?
When any behaviour incidents occur in school our pastoral manager completes an investigation. The investigation includes the 'victim', the 'perpetrator' and any 'witnesses'. The pastoral manager reviews the evidence and puts in place restorative intervention. This may involve giving the children time to speak to each other about the incident, sanctioning a child (lost house points to exclusion), changing playtimes/lunchtimes so that the pupils are not together during unstructured times etc. The pastoral manager will contact both the victim and perpetrators parents in incidents which are deemed as bullying or involve challenging behaviour.
The investigations are retained by the school and analysed for patterns of behaviour. If a child is highlighted to have regular poor behaviour their parents will be contacted and the child may be put on pastoral support. This will involve parents working in partnership to monitor and address poor behaviour. Help from outside agencies may be sought if this is not successful.
We also work in partnership with the victims of bullying and their parents. We reassure the family that the situation is being dealt and we encourage them to explore options and to agree a course of action - the last thing we want to do is make it worse for the child.
We do not promote retaliation or aggression but we also do not dismiss their experience. Instead we try to build the victims resilience and assertiveness to help them become less vulnerable to bullying.
Every year week take part in 'Anti-Bullying Week'. The week enables us to shine a spotlight on bullying and encourages us all to take more action against bullying throughout the year.
This years theme was 'Power for Good' which had the following aims