All forms of bullying are unacceptable and can have significant and long-lasting impacts on children’s emotional and physical well-being and on their educational outcomes and life chances. We therefore aim to do all we can to prevent it happening and deal swiftly and effectively with any bullying that does happen within our school community.
Basic Behaviour Principles
As is clearly set out in our behaviour policy, positive relationships and the reward and reinforcement of positive behaviours are at the core of how we manage behaviour at Brook Street School. These strategies will make a significant contribution towards reducing any incidents of bullying. However, we can never guarantee that bullying will not happen and so it is important that we have robust measures in place to deal with these when they arise.
A definition of Bullying
Bullying is a subjective experience which can take many forms. Various definitions exist but they tend to include three common aspects
At Brook Street we use the acronym STOP POP to define bullying part of which is embedded within Kidsafe.
Several Times On Purpose from a Position Of Power
Types of Bullying
Bullying behaviour can take many forms and guises, these include but are not limited to:
Physical – Being punched, kicked, pushed etc or being made to hand over something (e.g. money or a possession) or being forced to do something they don’t want to do.
Verbal – Being subjected to comments or names that are nasty and unwanted. These can include comments about race, religion, gender, culture etc.
Indirect – Having nasty stories told about them or being intentionally left out or excluded from a group.
Electronic/Cyber Bullying – Similar to Verbal or indirect but via an electronic medium. This form of bullying can be particularly upsetting for an individual as it can reach into their homes after the school day.
Involvement in Bullying
Bullying is a complex behaviour and when it occurs there are a range of different roles in any circumstance. We have defined these into five areas.
Different children can take on different roles at different times but it is important that individuals take responsibility for their behaviours and for any consequences.
Preventing, Identifying and Responding to Bullying
Prevention – This can be both passive in the fostering and encouragement of good relationships between pupils and through the teaching of PSHE and active in the form of specific teaching opportunities to raise awareness of bullying and its impact. These occur throughout the school year at all times and with specific events.
Identification – Focused teaching through Jigsaw, Kidsafe and Assemblies help children to understand what bullying is. This policy and its application also supports staff in having a clear and shared view of bullying at our school. The sharing or STOP POP as a simple view of bullying also helps children to identify when bullying is taking place. All children should be encouraged to talk openly with adults or peers if they feel they are a victim of bullying or if they feel they have witnessed bullying and it is incumbent on all adults to take these concerns seriously so as to reinforce the child’s view that they can talk to adults about their concerns.
Response – All incidents of bullying should be responded to but each incident needs to be considered carefully and the response measured and appropriate.
The response by Children
Children do have a vital role to play in preventing, identifying and responding to bullying but they will almost always need adult support and intervention.
Prevention – Children have a role to play in the prevention of bullying by always seeking to behave appropriately with their peers, reflecting on their actions if they have behaved inappropriately and taking steps to change their behaviour if they become aware that their behaviour is unacceptable. They also have a role to play in being honest with other children when they feel somebody is being unkind to another child or if they become aware that a falling out between children is becoming more serious.
Identification – Through engagement with our various PSHE programs children have a role in developing their understanding of what is and isn’t bullying and reflecting on the behaviours they see around them that may cause them concern. They need to develop their understanding of STOP POP and what this can look like between children
Response – If children see, or think they see somebody being bullied they do have a responsibility to act. They may feel confident to call this behaviour out to the bully and peer intervention has been shown to reduce incidents of bullying, but children are not obliged to do this and should consider their actions very carefully before intervening. However, there are 3 simple actions that all children must take if they think they have witnessed bullying:
If a child is the victim of bullying themselves they also have 3 simple things they must do:
The Response by Adults
All adults who are aware of bullying or have potential bullying reported to them are required to act. Our school policy sets out clearly what members of staff are expected to do. However, this responsibility extends to all adults within our community and we expect and encourage parents and carers to contact us if they are aware that a pupil is being bullied.
If further support is needed, in addition to contacting school, the following websites can offer advice. Click on the text to go to the website.
You can also see below for a powerpoint presentation by former Brook Street pupils.