At Kilmorie children are encouraged to be kind and respectful to each other at all times. This philosophy is enshrined in our school ethos, school rules (appendix 1) and our behaviour policy.
Staff encourage children to treat each other with respect, they model this behaviour towards one another and with children.
When children are unkind towards one another they are reminded of the expectations of a ‘Kilmorie Child’ (see appendix 2) and asked to reflect on how they made the other person feel.
At any school there are sometimes incidents of bullying, where children are deliberately and repetitively hurtful towards others, it is important for all concerned that this is dealt with swiftly and firmly.
What is bullying?
There are many definitions of bullying, but most consider it to be:
- Deliberately hurtful (including aggression)
- Repeated often over a period of time
- Difficult for victims to defend themselves against
Bullying can take many forms, but the main types are:
- Physical – hitting, kicking, taking belongings
- Verbal – name calling, insulting, making offensive remarks – including those about race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and special educational needs
- Indirect – spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours
- Cyber bullying – this 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
All children at Kilmorie Primary School have the right to be safe and happy both in class and in the playground. Bullying can cause great distress and both adults and children need to know what to do when this occurs. Bullying can be addressed in a number of ways including 1:1 support for victims, through assemblies and class discussions and through the curriculum. Parents and children should know that they can share their worries with the class teacher, a member of the senior leadership team or a trusted adult in the school. Bullying will not be tolerated at Kilmorie and allegations of bullying are taken very seriously. This policy has been read and contributed to by our children, through the school council.
Objectives of Policy
- To describe school systems for dealing with bullying
- To have strategies in place to support victims and bullies
- To ensure that parents know who to approach if they are worried that their child is being bullied
- To ensure that children know what bullying is and know what to do when it occurs
School systems for reporting and monitoring bullying
At Kilmorie we believe it is important to listen to children when they have concerns. Children can fall out with each other or say things that other children do not like. We encourage them to tell each other when they do not like something that is happening. Children also have the opportunity of sharing concerns through the ‘box of worries’ that can be found in every classroom.
When it is reported that a child is being bullied (either by themselves or someone else) then action will be taken promptly and firmly. The allegation will be thoroughly investigated by the member of staff to whom it has been reported, or where judged necessary, by a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). Both victim and alleged bully will be interviewed and a record of the incident completed (see appendix 3 – incident form) and filed. Where children have completed a written record of events these can be attached to the incident form. A member of staff responsible for supporting the victim will be named on the incident form. The bully will be informed that such behaviour is unacceptable and be made aware of the consequences of their actions (in line with the behaviour policy). They will also have a named member of staff to support them.
In most cases once bullying has been reported and the children involved spoken to, there will be no further incidents. Parents of both bully and victim will be informed and encouraged to work with the school to stop this happening again. The children involved will be highlighted to all staff to help monitor and prevent the bullying.
Sometimes the investigator will judge that the behaviour reported was unkind but not bullying. If this is the case the investigation will be filed and a member of SLT will check the bullying file to monitor for reoccurrences of such behaviour. The bullying file is regularly monitored.
Who bullying can be reported to
All members of staff take bullying seriously. Children are encouraged to tell someone straight away if they think they are being bullied or if one of their friends is being bullied. In assemblies and lessons they are told they can tell any adult including:
- A member of staff in the playground
- Their class teacher
- The Learning Mentor
- A member of SLT
- The head teacher
- Their parents
Parents should approach the class teacher in the first instance if they have concerns about their child being bullied. If their concerns continue they can speak to a member of SLT.
Support for children involved
Victims will be:
- Encouraged to confide in a named member of staff if the bullying continues
- Helped to develop positive strategies and appropriate assertive skills (usually with the support of the learning mentor)
- Monitored in class by the teacher or teaching assistant (TA) and in the playground by meal supervisors
- Told how the bullies have been dealt with
- Encouraged to share feelings during class circle times
- Supported through restorative justice methods if bullying persists
Sometimes victims may need help to develop a friendship group. This can be done by nominating ‘befrienders’ or by using ‘Circle of Friends’ strategies
Bullies will :
- Be made aware of the seriousness of their actions and possible consequences
- Be monitored in class by the teacher or TA and in the playground by meal supervisors
- Receive support from the learning mentor where necessary
- Where behaviour does not improve have their own personal behaviour plan
- Receive sanctions in accordance with the school behaviour policy
If bullying persists parents of victims and bullies will be informed and involved in the restorative justice process.
Helping children to talk about and deal with bullying
Our ‘personal, social and emotional’ (PSE) curriculum is based on the model of ‘The Kilmorie Child’ (Appendix 1) and is used as a basis to promote respect, tolerance and kindness towards others. In lessons children are given the opportunity to discuss strategies to deal with bullying. We actively encourage children to tell when others are being unkind to them. Children are made aware of the steps that will be taken by staff if they report bullying. They also discuss what constitutes bullying and what is not bullying behaviour.
The curriculum can be used to:
- Raise awareness about bullying and the anti-bullying policy
- Increase understanding for victims, and help build an anti-bullying ethos
- Teach pupils how constructively to manage their relationships with others
At Kilmorie opportunities for children to discuss bullying and relationships are found through the following means –
- Class assemblies
- Anti – bullying month
- Direct teaching through PSE
- Circle time
- Cooperative group work
- Class sessions led by the Learning Mentor
The use of assertiveness training and ‘Circle of Friends’ to help support and give strategies to victims of bullying where this is appropriate.
Care is taken to include SEN pupils in curriculum work about bullying in an appropriate way for their individual needs.
Other policies to be referred to in relation to this policy:
Lewisham’s Equal Opportunities Policy
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
Useful websites for parents, staff and children: