Anti Bullying Policy

Date adopted – January 2022

Review – January 2024

This policy is written in conjunction with the Positive behaviour and relationships policy

Langley First School

Anti-Bullying Policy

Our Statement of Intent:

At Langley First School, we work to ensure that each person, in all their uniqueness, can thrive in our school, irrespective of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic background, physical appearance, disability or the actual or perceived sexual orientation of themselves or of their parents/carers.

We endeavour to create a safe and stimulating environment where everyone knows that they are a part of a community and are valued. Every person has the right to be treated with respect and each person has the responsibility to treat others in the same way. Our mission statement is lived out so that children are empowered to have the confidence and strategies to speak up and tell of any bullying experiences, knowing that positive and fair action will be taken.

Our Mission Statement

“We learn, build friendships and shine”

Our school is a welcoming community; centred around learning, building friendships, and creating a secure, enriching place where all are inspired and empowered to develop their talents and skills, achieving their true potential as unique individuals so that each child can “shine.”

We foster positive relationships with home and the wider community, to create an environment where kindness, justice, tolerance, forgiveness and friendship are unconditional and inclusive. Langley First School is a safe place where we can all belong, feeling confident, equipped, and excited to embrace the future.

Aims and Objectives of this policy:

  • To provide a secure, safe, and positive environment free from threat, harassment or any type of bullying behaviour, where children and adults can grow and develop.
  • To create a school ethos in which bullying in all its forms is regarded as unacceptable.
  • To produce a consistent whole school response to any bullying incidents that may occur.
  • To work with all members of the school community (staff, children, parents/carers, and governors) to foster productive partnerships which help maintain a bullying–free environment.
  • To celebrate diversity and the uniqueness of individuals.

What is bullying?

Bullying can take many forms and can be experienced in many different ways.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance defines bullying as ‘The intentional repetitive or persistent hurting of one person by another, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.’

DFE ‘Preventing and Tackling Bullying’ July 2017 defines bullying as follows: ‘Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, special educational needs or disabilities, or because a child is adopted, in care or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences.’ Bullying is defined by Langley First School as ‘Intentional, repeated behaviours, over a period of time, that cause another child emotional or physical hurt.’

Types of Bullying

Typically bullying will fall into the category of Cyber-bullying, prejudice based or discriminatory bullying.

Cyberbullying is the use of phones, instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms or social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to harass, threaten or intimidate someone for some of the reasons outlined below. It is important to note that cyberbullying can very easily fall into criminal behaviour under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and is also supported by the Communications Act 2003.

Prejudice based or Discriminatory bullying refers to a range of hurtful behaviour, physical or emotional or both, which causes someone to feel powerless, worthless, excluded or marginalised, and which is connected with prejudices around belonging, identity and equality in wider society – in particular, prejudices to do with disabilities and special educational needs, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, gender, home life, (for example in relation to issues of care, parental occupation, poverty and social class) and sexual identity (homosexual, bisexual, transsexual)

Bullying related to race, religion, or culture

Racist, faith-based, or cultural bullying is bullying based on a person’s background, colour, religion or heritage. This form of bullying has a negative impact on a child’s sense of identity, self-worth, and self-esteem. It also can be negative about the child’s family, and about their ethnic or faith community.

Bullying may fall into the following categories:

Bullying related to home circumstances

The home circumstances of children can make them vulnerable to bullying. This may include obvious signs of affluence or lack of it, being a looked after child, being a young carer or having a family member with a disability or special need.

Bullying related to appearance or health conditions

Children with health or visible medical conditions, or perceived physical characteristics, such as size and weight may be vulnerable to bullying. Bullying related to special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. Children with SEN and disabilities are vulnerable to bullying. Their differences can be used by bullies to isolate them from friendship groups.

Bullying related to sexual orientation

Homophobic bullying involves the targeting of individuals on the basis of their perceived or actual sexual orientation. Homophobic bullying includes all forms of bullying but in particular it can include homophobic language. This is terms of verbal abuse used towards lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual people or those who are perceived LGBTQ+. It can be used as an insult or to refer to something or someone as inferior eg derogatory use of the word ‘gay’.

Bullying related to gender

Sexist, sexual, and transphobic bullying affects both genders. Sexist bullying is based on sexist attitudes that, when expressed, demean, intimidate, or harm another person because of their sex or gender. Both sexes may be victims, and each may be a victim of their own sex. Children who feel that they belong to another gender or do not conform with the stereotypically defined roles often ascribed to genders, can also become a target of bullying.

Bullying related to gifts and talents

Children and young people who are gifted and talented can be vulnerable to bullying. Their achievements and abilities can set them apart from their peers. This may lead to resentment and jealousy among their peers which may make them targets for bullying behaviour.

Forms of Bullying

Different forms of bullying can be experienced including:

Physical

This can include physical harm such as punching or pushing, being made to give money or belongings, or forcing a child to act against their will.

Verbal

Verbal bullying can include being teased in a nasty way, being called ‘gay’ in a derogatory way, being insulted about race, religion, or culture, being called names or being the subject of offensive comments.

Indirect

This can include being deliberately excluded from groups or ignored or being the subject of tales or rumours.

Electronic /Cyberbullying

The rapid development of, and widespread access to, technology has provided a new medium for ‘virtual’ bullying, which can occur in or outside school. Cyber-bullying is a different form of bullying and can happen at all times of the day, with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as people forward on content at a click. This form of bullying includes verbal or indirect bullying via text message, email, instant messenger services or social network sites or images spread via the internet or mobile phones.

Signs and Symptoms of Bullying

A child may display behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be vigilant in spotting these possible signs. At Langley we pride ourselves on our open communication with our families and we work together to help the children in our care. We will work together to discuss any issues or changes to behaviour at home as well as at school to support the child. If a child is a victim of bullying, they may:

  • Be frightened of walking to or from school
  • Change their usual routine
  • Behave differently, be withdrawn, quiet, lack concentration or act differently to usual.
  • Be unwilling to go to school on repeated occasions (school phobic)
  • Be truant or give reasons why they should not attend school
  • Become withdrawn anxious, or lack confidence
  • Stammer or have difficulty speaking and articulating their thoughts
  • Attempt to run away from school situations
  • Cry themselves to sleep at night or have nightmares
  • Feel ill in the morning with no symptoms
  • begin to find academic progress more difficult through lack of concentration
  • Have person items damaged or lost
  • Have unexplained cuts or bruises
  • Become aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
  • Bully other children or siblings
  • Stop eating
  • Be frightened to say what’s wrong
  • Give improbable excuses for any of the above
  • Be afraid to use the internet or mobile phone or find it difficult to stop using their device and become irritable when asked to
  • Be nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received

These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

Responding to Bullying:

When responding to incidents of bullying we aim:

  • to make the child who has been bullied feel safe
  • to find out what has actually happened by talking to all children involved to reassure the child who has been bullied that we have taken steps to ensure that the bullying will stop
  • to ensure that if there is any further bullying behaviour towards the child, they know what to do
  • to encourage better behaviour from the child who has displayed bullying behaviours keep parents of all children, the bullied and the bully, fully informed of allegations, outcomes, actions and sanctions.

Our Response to Incidents of Bullying

  • Discussion with the pupils concerned to listen to and record their views
  • Investigate any incidents with all parties to ascertain an accurate recount of the events and add a report to school’s reporting systems
  • Inform senior members of staff or parents when necessary
  • The child accused of bullying will be made aware of the impact of their behaviour on another pupil through discussion, SEMH groups and through our curriculum. Other consequences may take place (see sanctions in Behaviour Policy including missing playtimes, Reflection Time, or attendance to additional sessions)
  • Where appropriate, a verbal or written apology will be shared with those involved
  • Pupil may be removed from a lesson to another classroom or a senior member of staff
  • If possible, the pupils will be reconciled through carefully planned groups or discussions.
  • After the incident/incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
  • Time will be spent with the victim to explore their feelings following the resolution
  • The victim will be supported by agreeing clear procedures to follow if there is a recurrence and adults available to help. Class teachers, support staff and lunch time supervisors will support.
  • In line with Langley’s strong relationships with parents/carers and open communication, where incidents are seen to be upsetting or concerning a child, these will be reported to parents by the class teacher, although may not be categorised as bullying.
  • Each case will be individual and be treated as such. Staff members will work together to discuss best suited action e.g. Social group intervention, individual discussion with class teacher or head teacher
  • In serious cases, fixed term exclusion will be considered

Staff Training:

All adults working in the school know the anti-bullying policy and the procedures and systems used for reporting of incidents. Training on anti-bullying is part of the induction of new staff.

All staff receive training about being sensitive to the changes of behaviour that may indicate that a child is being bullied. Those being bullied may demonstrate physical, emotional, and behavioural problems or changes.

Staff are expected to take preventative measures. This includes being aware of where and when bullying might take place. This awareness is informed by discussions with children and from pupil voice questionnaires completed by children. The staff training includes equality training to raise awareness among staff of potential prejudicial behaviour and how not to reinforce stereotypes.

Our Curriculum:

We adopt a whole school approach to implementing the PSHE and Citizenship curriculum through our teaching of our Jigsaw programme. We believe that many aspects of school life influence children’s development in these areas. This policy is linked to our school’s Behaviour; Safeguarding/Child Protection, Relationships Education, Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco, Health and Safety and Early Years Policies.  The whole school approach requires different forms of curriculum provision including:

  • Discrete curriculum time
  • Teaching PSHE and Citizenship through and in other curriculum subjects
  • PSHE and Citizenship activities and school events
  • Whole school / phase assemblies

Monitoring

To monitor the success of the policy the children will be regularly asked for their opinions through the school council. Feedback will be sought from parent and pupil questionnaires, classroom monitoring, lunch time and break time monitoring and feedback. This policy will be reviewed every two years by the Governors’ Staffing Committee Meeting.

SHE / Health and Well-being provides a detailed and comprehensive scheme of learning for ages 3-1