ACCRINGTON BENJAMIN HARGREAVES CE (VA) PRIMARY SCHOOL
We, at Benjamin Hargreaves, strive for excellence in education by providing a safe, secure, caring family environment, where all are valued and respected as individuals, enabling them to reach their full potential, whilst growing in their love and understanding of the Christian Faith.
Bullies do not come in standard shapes and sizes, and a policy based on stereotyped assumptions will fail. Luckily, here at Benjamin Hargreaves we are in a small school environment where we get to know each child’s individual character in great depth and are therefore, in a good position to recognise and respond to incidents.
This School has always had a set of clear rules on acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour based on our Christian beliefs. Bullying is clearly unacceptable behaviour and all pupils and staff know this. The School Policy is that bullying will be dealt with on each and every occasion. As far as we are concerned bullying is a serious incident to be dealt with at the highest level, wherever necessary.
Pupils are reminded regularly in Collective Worship about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. All pupils know that they MUST tell if they are being bullied. All pupils know that teachers will act, that we mean what we say, and that our intentions are long term.
We have a good comparative record on the incidence level of bullying because:
- all staff act consistently;
- bullying is included as a topic in the PSHE Curriculum and addressed through Circle Time;
- access to traditionally “difficult areas of School” e.g. toilets, is limited, so that pupils feel safe around School;
- we reinforce the message to pupils that bullying is unacceptable and that “telling” is vital;
- we recognise that bullying is a serious matter and that we must take action when it does occur.
- causing deliberate harm (aggression);
- invariably repeated over a period of time;
- difficult for victims to defend themselves against;
The three main types of bullying:-
- Physical – hitting, kicking, taking belongings etc;
- Verbal – name calling, insulting, making offensive remarks;
- Indirect – spreading nasty stories, exclusion from groups, spreading malicious rumours, sending malicious emails or text messages.
Name calling is the most common direct form. Pupils may be called nasty names because of their ethnic origin, nationality or colour, sexual orientation or some form of disability. Whilst the behaviour is wrong within the social context of Benjamin Hargreaves, regrettably, it is often accepted behaviour out of school for some of our pupils. However, we expect the behaviour of our pupils to conform to our stated values and policies regarding discipline.
It is not bullying when:
- there is no intention to hurt or harm i.e. behaviour is thoughtless or accidental;
- pupils are misbehaving/responding/reacting to one another in retaliation (Although this is not bullying, the misbehaviour is serious and will be dealt with immediately in School);
- there is a one off fight/argument between pupils of equal stature or strength;
- there is a good reason why others cannot be included in a group activity;
- a pupil is called a nickname with which she/he is happy.
Recognising a bully:
This is sometimes difficult. Bullies may:
- be assertive, or aggressive;
- lack empathy;
- lack guilt or remorse.
Recognising a victim
- Bullies have no regard for the victim they choose.
- This may be the shy, small, anxious and uncertain child, but not necessarily.
- In some cases children seen as “different” are bullied.
- New children to a class or school can be bullied.
- Staff must be on their guard to look out for vulnerable pupils – particularly the quiet, self-contained pupil who may suffer in silence.
Responses to bullying
Incidences of bullying will be taken seriously:
- Remain calm.
- Take action as quickly as possible.
- Offer concrete advice, help and support and reassurance to the victim.
- Punish the bully whenever this is needed;
- Encourage the bully to see the victim’s point of view.
- Do not “overplay” minor incidents.
- if it is a serious incident, involve a member of the Senior Leadership Team who will take the necessary steps to inform parents and apply appropriate sanctions according to the circumstances.
- Inform colleagues so that everyone can be vigilant whilst on supervision.
- Try to anticipate and prevent a recurrence if a trigger factor is discovered.
- If necessary, inform parents, with a constructive plan.
- The School has an array of sanctions it might use in response to bullying behaviour.
- Where persistent and violent bullying takes place, tougher sanctions will be necessary.
- Each incident will be judged separately as appropriate.
- Bullying incidents are recorded formally and reported to the Governing Body.
- January 2014 School achieved the Lancashire Anti-Bullying Charter and followed this award with an assembly on bullying led by Class 5.
Review date: May 2017