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Spring Meadow

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Anti-Bullying Policy

 This policy is in support of the School’s Relationship Policy and the aims of the school as set out in the school prospectus.

 

We start from the view that anyone can be bullied.  Bullying should always be taken seriously.

 

Aims

We aim to create an ethos in this school in which aggression of any form is not tolerated.  To this end we have a whole-school policy that contains both long and short term strategies involving school organisation and curriculum.  Advice and guidance is provided to all pupils with particular support being given to the victims of bullying.

 

Our aims in dealing with and preventing bullying are set so that each member of the school community will:

  • Know that there is someone they can talk to and that they will be listened to.
  • Know that something will be done and that the issue will be dealt with discreetly and sensitively.
  • Work towards preventing bullying using activities carried out in class through PSHE and citizenship, drama and other class based activities.
  • Be aware of the rules and behaviour principles which when followed will reduce bullying.
  • Be encouraged to behave in a way that is considerate and respects the rights of others.

 

Principles

An anti-bullying policy is important because bullying is a problem which exists and it can affect the emotional well-being, mental health and school achievement of individuals if it is not addressed with a clear policy and procedure for dealing with reported or seen incidents of bullying.

 

At Spring Meadow Primary School & ‘School House’ Nursery we are continually developing preventative methods to create a safe climate and reduce school bullying.  We also recognise that there will always be bullying, it is part of school life, albeit a very undesirable part.  What we aim to achieve through an improved school climate and our ‘No Blame Approach’ to bullying is a decrease in incidents and an open honest approach that encourages discussion and empowers all to resist the bully.

 

Definitions

 

Bullying is a deliberate, persistent, intentional victimisation of one person or group of people by another in order to hurt, upset and control them, giving the bully the feeling of power.

 

Bully – a person or group of people behaving in a way which might meet needs for excitement, status or material gain and that does not recognise or meet the needs or rights of other people / persons who are harmed by the behaviour.

Victim – a person or group that is harmed physically and / emotionally and / mentally by the behaviour of others and who does not have the resources, status, ability to counteract or stop the harmful behaviour.

 

Acts that are considered to be bullying

Any behaviour which harms others who do not have the skills or resources to counter this behaviour could be seen as bullying.  It may be seen as:

  • Physical harm
  • Threat of physical harm
  • Nasty name calling or teasing
  • Extortion, demand for money or favours
  • Exclusion, deliberately leaving someone out of an activity
  • Mental or emotional harm

 

With reported cases of Cyberbullying on the increase any of the above carried out via mobile phone, internet or other technologies will be considered as bullying in the same way and treated with equal seriousness and follow up Procedures as for other types of bullying.

(see E safety policy)

 

 A number of preventative measures and ‘Keeping Safe Anti Bullying Strategies’ are now in place around the issue of Cyberbullying and built into the PSHE and Computing curriculum. We use and teach the CEOP recommended Code of - Zip it! Block it! Flag it!

 

We need to be aware that not all aggression is bullying, nor all name calling.  It becomes bullying when it is exercised through the use of power rather than something which happens between equals.

 

Bullying is not a term used for a one-off incident of nastiness.  Bullying refers to a repeated or persistent use of the behaviours noted above.

 

Strategies used in dealing and preventing incidents of bullying

We seek to create a caring, co-operative ethos through both personal and social education, and cross-curricula themes, teaching social behaviour by example and drawing on incidents as they occur in the daily life of the class.  We also teach social skills such as how to treat equipment, or approach a group and ask to play.

 

Opportunities are given to discuss bullying in class, perhaps in PSHCE lessons, circle time or in role play.  These activities are devised so that all pupils can learn to cope better with bullies.  Similarly bullies are placed in situations where they are required to see things from the point of view of the victims.  We endeavour to raise the esteem of the victim by improving their social skills and giving them support to counterbalance any feelings of inferiority.  Bullies are helped to see that they can satisfy their needs through working with others.

 

Evidence shows that telling off bullies or punishing them does not work and is counter-productive.  It makes the bully feel put upon and leads to more bullying rather than less.  It can also give credibility to the behaviour.

 

Bullying very rarely happens between two people.  In almost all cases there are observers or others who go along with and support the bullying.  In some incidents it is the observers or ‘colluders’ who provoke incidents.  For this reason we involve them in finding the solution to the problem.

 

At Spring Meadow Primary School & ‘School House’ Nursery we believe in discussing the problem with a group of peers and using this peer group working together to reduce the incidents of bullying.

 

Our Stepped Approach to Dealing with an Incident

Often this meeting is led by a learning support assistant or / and member of the Inclusion Team but it can be conducted by the class teacher or the Head or Deputy Head Teacher.

 

STEP 1 Talking and Listening to Victims

At Spring Meadow Primary School & ‘School House’ Nursery we believe in listening and talking to the victim to find out what has been happening.  He/she is not questioned in depth about the incidents but will be asked who was involved and, more importantly, how it is making him/her feel.  All of this is recorded.  The victim will be asked if they are willing to be present for a meeting with the group involved in the bullying and any onlookers or friends of the victim.  That meeting will take place as soon as is reasonably possible, the same day if this is practical.

 

STEP 2 Meeting those involved

This will include some onlookers, those involved and some friends of the victim.

 

STEP 3 Explain the problem

This meeting will emphasis that the school community has a problem and that it was hoped they could solve it.  A ‘No Blame Approach’ is adopted where the feelings of the victim are shared with all.

 

STEP 4 Share responsibilities

The adult does not blame anyone but states she/he knows that the group are responsible and that they can do something about it. Where any attempts to blame others in the group occur, these are played down. This is in order to develop a group approach to resolving the problem.

 

STEP 5 The group are asked for their ideas

The question of what the group can do to stop the victim from feeling the way he /she feels is explored and all are encouraged to suggest a way that the victim could be made to feel happier.  These are recorded.

 

STEP 6 Leave it up to them

The meeting is ended by passing the responsibility over to the group to solve the problem.  Another meeting is arranged for the following week.

 

STEP 7 Second meeting

About a week later the adult discusses with each member of the group how things are going.  This allows the adult to monitor the bullying and to keep the group involved in the process.  (The adult will have had a number of opportunities to ask the victim how things are going in between).

 

Being Observant

All staff at the school are encouraged to be observant and watch out for changing patterns of behaviour; pupils who are reluctant to go out at break times or are wanting to help in class all the time; pupils who seem isolated etc. Attendance changes are reported as these could be an indication of a child who is reluctant to come to school because of bullying.  Good communication is encouraged between the SLT, teachers, learning mentor, LSA’s and the Inclusion Team.

 

Reporting concerns

We encourage all to report concerns to the class teacher whether it be a chance observation or an actual incident.  All incidents should be recorded on CPOMs.  Parents are also encouraged at their meetings with teachers and when their child first starts school, to inform teachers if they are concerned about their child’s happiness at school or if these are issues that are bothering them.  Parents and carers are also encouraged to contact the Inclusion Team if they wish to discuss any issues regarding their child not wanting to come to school or change of emotional behaviour.

 

Training pupils

We believe strongly in the power of training pupils to reduce the incidents of bullying by:

  • Examining their own behaviour and to identify times when they, maybe without intent, have bullied others.
  • Standing up to bullies with assertive body language, clearly asserting that they don’t like what they are doing and keeping eye contact.
  • Forming part of a group who can support problem solving activities.
  • Acknowledging that some victims may display behaviour that appears to provoke bullying.  Pupils with poor social or friendship skills are offered training or support to help them learn appropriate social skills.  The Stepped Approach will be used in the same way so that others can appreciate how the victim feels.
  • Training them to use playground games.  These are shared by teachers, LSA’s and the Inclusion Team to aid pupils who find it difficult to interact.
  • Educating them on how people all have different lives including Young Carers and how we must not judge anyone. Please see the Equality policy for further details.

 

Serious Incidents of Violence

If a pupil is seriously assaulted by another then the usual procedures must apply (see the Relationships Policy).  This does not mean that the peer support group would not be used as it may be the way forward once the procedures have been followed.

 

Racial and Sexual Bullying

The same procedure will be adopted.  All incidents of racial abuse are recorded on CPOMs and the frequency of these are monitored by Governors.

 

Training for staff

Training on behaviour management and emotional well-being along with dealing with specific issues such as bullying forms part of the School Improvement Plan.  Training can also be offered to new staff or as part of a wider training focus on a specific element of improvement.

 

Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing of the policy

This policy forms part of the whole school’s approach to behaviour management and is monitored through the school governor community and curriculum committee system.  This forms part of the two-year cycle of policy review.  The views of the pupils of Spring Meadow Primary School & ‘School House’ Nursery will be sought when the next review takes place through our Pupil Parliament system. 

 

Reviewed:  Autumn 2021

Next Review:  Autumn 2023

You can download our Anti-Bullying Policy here

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