Collegiate Girls’ High School created this policy because we believe that bullying is undesirable and unacceptable. We believe that everyone in our community has a right to enjoy and achieve in an atmosphere that is free from fear. By tackling the issue of bullying, in all its forms, we are encouraging an environment which celebrates individuality and respects the rights of every member of our school community.
Because, as a school community, we all have a duty to work together to protect vulnerable individuals, we will encourage our young people to talk to any adult if they are worried about being bullied or about someone else being bullied. We have a duty to assist those in our care with seeking help. We will ensure that these young people are involved in decision making about matters that involve bullying. Every learner’s concerns will be listened to and will be treated seriously. We encourage learners to speak about what concerns them.
2. BULLYING DEFINITIONS
For the purposes of this anti-bullying policy, Collegiate Girls’ High School will define “Bullying” as follows:
Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Once-off incidents, whilst they may be very serious and must always be dealt with, do not fall within the definition of ‘bullying’.
There are various forms of bullying, which include:
Physical e.g.hitting, kicking or taking belongings.
Verbal e.g. name calling, using insults or making racist remarks.
Indirect e.g. spreading malicious rumours, excluding individuals from social groups or bringing family feuds into school.
Cyber e.g. using email, social networking sites or mobile phone messaging to spread rumours (“innocent” or derogatory) or make malicious comments.
A bully is a person behaving in a way which might meet needs for excitement, status, material gain or group process but which does not recognise or meet the needs and rights of the other people/person who are/is harmed by the behaviour.
The victim is a person or group that is harmed by the behaviour of others. Victims often do not have the resources, status or ability to counteract or stop the harmful behaviour.
Through this anti-bullying policy, Collegiate Girls’ High School aims to create an ethos at our school that facilitates a positive experience for all members of our community. We aim to make it clear that all forms of bullying are unacceptable. We will encourage pupils and parents to report incidents of bullying so that everyone will feel safe and valued at our school. We aim to deal with each incident of bullying as effectively as possible so as to consider the needs of all parties, all members of our school community and ultimately to reduce the incidents of bullying. We aim to support and protect the victims of bullying and to make sure that both the bully and the victim are listened to. We aim to help and support learners who display bullying behaviour so that they are able to change. We aim to liaise with parents and other appropriate stakeholders of our school community, thus ensuring that all members of our community feel responsible for helping to reduce bullying.
In order to prevent bullying we will promote a common anti-bullying approach through:
- being supportive of each other
- providing positive role models
- conveying a clear understanding of what we believe is unacceptable behaviour and that we do not approve of such behaviour
- being clear about the ground-rules of Collegiate Girls’ High School and showing a commitment by all stakeholders to follow these rules
- Raising awareness of bullying and promoting positive relationships based on mutual respect.
All members of the school community are expected to report incidents of bullying.
All Staff have a vital role to play as they are at the forefront of behaviour management and supporting children’s sense of well-being. They have the closest knowledge of the children in their care, and should build up a relationship involving mutual support, trust and respect. Staff will be involved in providing young people with a framework of behaviour including rules which support the whole school policy and must emphasise and behave in a respectful and caring manner to young people and colleagues, to set a good tone and help create a positive atmosphere in the classroom.
Through the development and implementation of this policy, Collegiate Girls’ High School trusts that all young people, parents/carers and staff will:
- Feel confident that everything is being done to make Collegiate Girls’ High School a safe and secure environment
- Know who can be contacted if they have any concerns about bullying
- Feel supported in reporting incidents of bullying
- Be reassured that action regarding bullying will take place
4. RECORDING OF INCIDENTS
All incidents, either in or out of class will be recorded by the school on an incident report form. A senior member of staff will take responsibility for ensuring that the incident is properly recorded and that the record is updated as necessary throughout an investigation.
Parents of all young people involved will be informed of what has happened, and how it has been dealt with. All discussions and actions relating to the incident/investigation will be documented and added to the incident log.
5. DEALING WITH AN INCIDENT
Whenever a bullying incident is discovered, the school will go through a number of steps that could include:
- Talking the incident through with all parties involved
- Supporting the person who has been bullied to express their feelings
- Supporting the person displaying the bullying behaviour to express their feelings
- Discussing which rule(s) have been broken
- Discussing strategies for making amends
6. MEASURES WILL BE IN LINE WITH THE SCHOOL’S BEHAVIOUR AND DISCIPLINE POLICY, AND MAY INCLUDE:
- Explanation why the inappropriate behaviour is unacceptable
- Reparation of damaged relationships
- Time away from an activity
- Meeting with staff, parent and child
- Missing another activity
- Formal letter home from the senior staff member expressing concerns
- Time out from the classroom
- Pastoral support plan
- Detention after school
- Fixed term exclusion
- Permanent exclusion
- Mediation / Restorative approaches
- Referral for counselling / victim support
- Written or verbal apology
- Continued monitoring of victim/bully individually
- Referral to external agencies e.g. Social Services, Educational Psychologist
All disciplinary actions will be in line with school, district, provincial and national schools’ policy and laws.