Statement of belief
At Columbia School we believe that all pupils have the right to be safe, valued and not physically or verbally abused. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable in our school and will not be tolerated. If bullying does occur pupils should be able to tell someone and should feel assured that it will be dealt with promptly and effectively.
- To promote a safe and secure environment free from all kinds of bullying behaviour
- To create a caring community where we all have a responsibility to respect ourselves and others
- To make the members of our school community aware of the kinds of behaviour that constitutes bullying
- To make the members of our school community aware of the strategies and procedures to follow if bullying does take place at school
Definitions of Bullying
Bullying is actions or behaviours by a person or group of people that deliberately hurt, threaten, frighten or cause anxiety to another individual or group. These actions or behaviours constitute bullying if they are repeated over a period of time. A factor of bullying is that the victim finds it difficult to take action to defend themselves, often because they fear their actions will increase the bullying.
Such actions or behaviours might include:
Physical: pushing, hitting, kicking, taking belongings, demanding money or possessions as payments for safety or friendship
Verbal: name calling, insults, sarcasm, persistent teasing, making offensive remarks
Emotional: threatening harm, humiliation, exclusion from social groups or activities, spreading malicious stories or rumours, ‘ganging -up’
Discriminatory: exclusion or teasing because of special educational needs, particular aptitude or physical difference
Racist: racist name calling or insults (e.g. against food, music, dress or custom) offensive mimicry, racist jokes, refusing to co-operate in work or play
Sexual: looks and comments about appearance or attractiveness, inappropriate touching or physical contact, abusive comments concerning sexual orientation
Bullying will not be tolerated at Columbia School and all known incidents will be investigated and dealt with by a member of staff. Incidents cannot be dealt with if they are not known, so ANYONE who knows that bullying is happening has a responsibility to tell the staff. We want to be a TELLING school. Everyone at Columbia should know that they have a duty to help stop bullying. They are expected to tell about bullying behaviour and understand that this is the way to keep everyone safe. If the child cannot tell for themselves, other pupils or parents should tell a teacher.
Staff at Columbia will:
- Listen to what children tell us
- Investigate incidents thoroughly
- Take action to prevent further incidents
- Use appropriate sanctions (see behaviour policy)
- Encourage and support the bullied child to be assertive and express their feelings to the bully (see 3-steps in behaviour policy)
- Reassure bullied children that it is not their fault
- Discuss with parents of both bullying and bullied children.
- Monitor incidents of bullying
- Report all incidents of bullying to a member of the Senior Leadership Team for monitoring purposes.
Incidents that cannot be satisfactorily resolved, or that recur, should be referred to a member of the Senior Leadership Team for further action.
Most children experience the use of new technologies as a positive thing. Unfortunately, these technologies are also being used in a negative way. Cyberbullying is the use of Information Communications Technology (ICT) and social media, particularly mobile phones and the internet, to deliberately upset someone else. Some features of cyberbullying are different from other forms of bullying:
- the invasion of home/personal space.
- the audience can be very large and reached rapidly.
- people who cyberbully may attempt to remain anonymous.
At Columbia we believe the best way to deal with cyberbullying is to prevent it happening. We do this by increasing awareness of the impact of cyberbullying across the whole school community. Children and their parents/carers are made aware of pupils’ responsibilities in their use of ICT. This is done through discussions and activities in school, home-school agreements and by encouraging children and parents to tell. If cyberbullying does take place, we provide parents and children with support and take firm action to sort it out.