Bullying

 

 

Preventing and Managing Bullying Policy

 (2009)

 

This policy forms part of the Settlers Behaviour management Policy (2007)

 

 

 

 

 Rationale

At Settlers Primary we believe that the environment for students, staff and parents should be safe and free from violence, victimisation, harassment and bullying of any kind. We are all responsible for respecting others.

Collaborative support from the whole school community is vital in establishing and maintaining an environment in which everybody feels valued and safe, where differences are genuinely accepted and the esteem of individuals is promoted.

 

Whole-school Community Rights and Responsibilities in Relation to Bullying

Students, staff, parents, caregivers and the wider community have the right to a safe and supportive learning environment in schools. For this to occur all  school community members have a responsibility to prevent and respond to reports and observations of bullying.

 

Rights and Responsibilities of Students, Staff and Parents

(Extract from Settlers Behaviour Management Policy 2007)

 

Students have a right to

 

Students have a responsibility to

  • respect, courtesy and honesty
  • learn, grow and achieve our best
  • be able to have a fair go
  • feel safe and happy
  • learn in a harmonious and caring school
  • be valued and respected

 

  • be a kind, caring and sharing person at all times
  • be peaceful and respectful to everyone in our school
  • learn and allow others to learn
  • be honest
  • celebrate efforts and achievements
  • let others have a fair go

 

Staff have a right to

 

Staff have a responsibility to

  • respect, courtesy and honesty
  • teach in a safe, secure and clean environment
  • teach in a purposeful and non-disruptive environment
  • cooperation and support from parents in matters relating to their children’s education
  • make students and parents aware of these policies
  • model respectful, courteous and honest behaviour
  • ensure that the learning environment is kept neat, tidy and safe
  • establish positive relationships with students, staff and parents
  • ensure good organisation and planning
  • report students’ progress to parents

 

Parents have a right to

 

Parents have a responsibility to

  • respect, courtesy and honesty
  • be informed of course and curriculum material, behaviour management procedures and decisions affecting their child’s health and welfare
  • be informed of their child’s progress
  • be heard in an appropriate forum on matters related to the rights of their child to an appropriate education
  • co-operation and support from teachers in matters relating to their child’s education

 

  • ensure that their child attends school regularly and punctually
  • ensure that the physical and emotional condition of their child is appropriate for effective learning
  • ensure that their child is provided with the correct materials to make effective use of the learning environment
  • support the school in providing an appropriate education for their children

 

 

Common Understandings About Bullying

Definition of Bullying

Bullying is when an individual or group REPEATEDLY misuses power to target another individual or group to intentionally threaten or harm them on more than one occasion. This may involve verbal, physical, relational and psychological forms of bullying.   

 

Types of Bullying

Bullying takes many forms and can include:

Verbal Bullying:  This involves the repeated use of words to hurt or humiliate another individual or group. Verbal bullying includes using put-downs, insulting language, name-calling, swearing, nasty notes and homophobic, racist or sexist comments.

Relational Bullying: This usually involves repeatedly ostracising others by leaving them out or convincing others to exclude or reject another individual or group from their social connections, making up or spreading rumours and sharing or threatening to share others personal information.

Psychological Bullying: This includes repeated stalking, threats or implied threats, unwanted email or text messaging, abusive websites, threatening gestures, manipulation, emotional black-mail, and threats to an individual’s reputation and sense of safety. 

Physical Bullying: This includes repetitive low level hitting, kicking, pinching, pushing, tripping, “ganging up”, unwanted physical or sexual touching, and damage to personal property. High levels of physical assault may be classified as violence.

Cyber Bullying: This involves the use of information and communication technologies such as e-mail, text messages, instant messaging and websites to engage in the bullying of other individuals or groups.  This technology provides an alternative means for verbal, relational and psychological forms of bullying.

 

Terminology

The Department of Education and Training promotes the use of affirmative language that supports the values of the Curriculum Framework. The terms “bullies” and “victims” are not recommended as appropriate terminology to use when identifying, reporting and recording and responding to bullying incidents. More appropriate terms to use may include “bullied students’, “students who are bullied”, “victimised students”, “ students who bully”, “students who engaging in bullying behaviour’ and “ students who bully others”. This will ensure that the unacceptable behaviours are separated from  the students involved. This allows the behaviours to be addressed in a manner that remains respectful of the individuals.

 

School Strategies to Prevent and Manage Bullying

 

Whole-School Prevention Strategies

 At Settlers Primary we aim to facilitate the development of acceptable standards of behaviour to create a safe and supportive learning environment and encourage all students to take increasing responsibility for their own behaviours and the consequences of their actions.

 

Whole school structures and strategies implemented at Settlers Primary include:

  • promoting a whole school community approach to pastoral care
  • focus on Values articulated in the Curriculum Framework
  • a school culture that seeks to be proactive, that teaches pro-social behaviours and restore relationships damaged through conflict
  • professional learning for staff and parents; awareness-raising and planning to deal with specific forms of bullying in particular cyber-bullying and racism
  • collaboration, and development of relationships with parents and the wider community on to address bullying
  • buddy / club activities, rewards, outings and incentives for appropriate behaviour;
  • collecting appropriate information so that preventative strategies can be monitored for success and changed if ineffective 
  • All students will be able to recite the “Power of One “pledge at assemblies. “I will not bully others. I will not stand by while others are bullied. I will report bullying whenever I see it because I have the POWER of ONE.”

 

 Classroom strategies include:

  • use of cooperative learning strategies with students
  • effective classroom behaviour management methods that encourage empathy, social problem solving and positive action
  • developing trusting and inclusive classroom environments
  • use of evidence-based programs such as Kids matter, Virtues Programme, Quest 4 values, Friendly Kids Friendly Classrooms, Point Peron Experience, Constable Care etc.
  • encouraging and supporting help-seeking and effective bystander behaviour
  • reinforcing good examples of communication and conflict resolution
  • restorative approaches to resolve peer based conflicts
  •  whole school prevention curriculum which starts in the early years and includes:
  • understanding what behaviours constitute bullying;
  • why bullying is unacceptable
  • the development of effective bystander behaviour
    • understanding the school’s processes for preventing and managing bullying
    • awareness raising of cyber-bullying and strategies to deal with it

 

Playground strategies include:

  • a coordinated, highly visible and active approach to playground supervision
  • providing safe places for students with different needs
  • identification of and supervision adjustments to high-risk situations
  • recognising and reinforcing positive playground behaviour and positive social relationships
  • recording and managing playground bullying incidents
  • providing equal access to developmentally appropriate outdoor activity areas and equipment for all students

 

 

Targeted Early Intervention Strategies

 Targeted early intervention strategies include:

  • the development of effective bystander behaviour through the curriculum 
  • identifying early signs of relationship issues within year groups and across the school (e.g. class meetings and social problem solving) 
  • proactive teaching of pro-social behaviour to identified students 
  • actively providing other options for individual students experiencing unsafe areas or times at the school 
  • referring identified students to appropriate specialist support staff 
  • assisting in repairing and rebuilding trust and relationships between identified students and others 
  • providing students at risk of being targeted or those who demonstrate bullying behaviour with access to specialist/pastoral care staff 
  • setting up buddy systems for vulnerable students  
  • using whole school behaviour management strategy methods for identified students eg friendly reminders of appropriate cooperative behaviours
  • identifying cohorts of students and year groups who are either engaging in bullying behaviours or who are being bullied (or both) that require targeted programs

 

 

Intervention for Bullying Incidents

 Bullying is effectively managed by practices that resolve conflicts, restores relationships and promotes tolerance. 

At Settlers Primary there are clearly articulated procedures for:

  • identifying bullying incidents
  • reporting bullying incidents
  • recording bullying incidents
  • responding to bullying incidents
  • the case management of students involved in bullying incidents

 

Planning, Monitoring and Review

 An effective whole-school plan requires an ongoing process of planning, monitoring and review resulting in modifications to the plan through a collaborative process.  Settlers Primary School as part of the planning, monitoring and review process will:

a)                  Evaluation of Effectiveness

 Assess the effectiveness of the structures, strategies and programs in place to address bullying including:

  • the use of appropriate assessment tools to measure bullying issues in the school ie SIS
  • use existing data (Behaviour Management, student and parent surveys etc) and monitor over time the effectiveness of their structures, strategies and programs

 

b)                 Modifications of School Plan

The review of the whole-school plan for addressing bullying will involve:

  • monitoring the whole-school plan including input from the school community and a timeline for review and modification
  • maintaining awareness raising activities to periodically reaffirm the school’s commitment to address bullying
  • identifying resources (including staff and time) committed to the review and maintenance of the policy

 

c)                  The provision of professional learning opportunities

The provision of professional learning opportunities in the prevention and management of bullying for all school staff and parents is planned for and documented in the operational plan. 

 

ACTION PLAN: HOW TO EMPOWER STUDENTS WHO ARE BULLIED

 If you do not feel safe you can:

 Ignore the bullying behaviour and show that it is not upsetting you

IF BEHAVIOUR CONTINUES

 

If you feel comfortable, tell the person how you feel and that you want them

to stop immediately

IF BEHAVIOUR CONTINUES

 

Talk to someone you can trust to help you

  • Parents
  • Friends
  • Teacher
  • Student council members

 

IF BEHAVIOUR CONTINUES

 

Talk openly about the unwanted behaviour with staff members. Share

what you have already tried and an action plan will be implemented

with the person/s involved. Continue to monitor the situation.

IF BEHAVIOUR CONTINUES

 
Go to a Deputy Principal or the Principal. Talk openly about the problem

and allow the school to take action  eg:

  • Counselling for the bully
  • Family involvement
  • Disciplinary action

 

If your child reports being bullied, treat the concern seriously and talk about it.

HOW CAN A PARENT HELP

As parents you are the most influential models for your child.

 

 

TAKE AN ACTIVE INTEREST

 

  • In what your child does at school
  • In their cultural, social and sporting life

 

 

FOSTER A TOLERANT HOME LIFE

 

 

  • Encourage your child to bring friends home
  • Accept and tolerate differences within others
  • Set firm but fair boundaries with your child’s input
  • Demonstrate care and consideration for others

 

 

 

ENCOURAGE YOUR CLASS

 

  • Nurture your child’s positive qualities and interests
  • Value your child as they are

 

 

DISCUSS BULLYING

 

  • Talk about the school’s expectations
  • Advise that retaliation does not solve the problem
  • Report all incidences to class teacher and Administration
  • Explain what to do if your child is a witness ie: Witness must affirm that bullying must stop to the bully

 

If your child reports being bullied, treat the concern seriously and talk about it.

 Go to a Deputy Principal or the Principal. Talk openly about the problem and allow the school to take action.