“Bullies are found in every age group and they learn that their behaviour gets them what they want. Like aggression, bullying is a learned behaviour.” [Besag 1989]
Definition of bullying Bullying is the intention to hurt, frighten or intimidate another person.
Bullying can manifest itself in many forms and can be difficult to identify because serious sustained bullying is very secretive. It is also deliberate and persistent. It is not isolated incidents.
Common forms of bullying
Physical intimidation: pushing, poking, tripping, punching, kicking, hair pulling, pinching. Verbal intimidation: name calling, threats of violence.
Social isolation: no participation in games or friendship groups, no partners in school activities. Emotional abuse: withdrawal of affection, taunting with affections, emotional isolation, “no one loves you” (predominantly family members).
Abuse of property: hiding items, destroying items, ‘trashing’ items.
Cyber intimidation: bullying by e-mail, text, on line communication (Face book, MSN, My Space). Homophobic bullying: bullying motivated by prejudice against a persons sexuality; against a person who may not act like other boys and girls; verbal abuse e.g. “those trainers are so gay”.
Signs that a child is being bullied
Our Policy for Behaviour and Discipline states that at Silver End we aim to provide a structured, stimulating and secure environment where all children feel safe, respected and free to learn. Bullying will not be tolerated at Silver End Academy because a child who is being bullied does not feel safe, respected or free to learn. We take all reported cases of bullying type behaviour very seriously. All staff are very vigilant and the Behaviour Team, is responsible for all procedures dealing with this. Pupil voice is given a very high priority at Silver End and this is very apparent in all systems and procedures, including those in place for bullying. PSHE lessons for all year groups tackle bullying and children are consulted when formulating an anti-bullying policy.
Information for Parents/Children A ‘Who can help’ information leaflet identifies members of staff who have responsibility for dealing with behavioural issues, including bullying. A Behaviour improvement sheet outlines procedures within the school and encourages the parents to come in. Information is also included in the school prospectus and newsletters.
Procedures used in the management of bullying at Silver End Academy. During Establishment at the beginning of each academic year the procedures for all behaviour issues are explained to the children so they are aware of where to go and who to talk to if they have concerns. Children will be taught to understand the definition of bullying and will be taught to understand that it refers to persistent incidents not one off friendship disputes. The school has become part of the Peer Mediation Scheme, whereby children in year 5 undergo 2 days training by the Behaviour Lead in dealing with minor friendship issues. Very often children find it easier in the first instance to share concerns with their peers.
‘The Victim’ When a child informs us they are experiencing difficulties with a certain child or children:
Talk sessions with members of staff These are vitally important in helping children cope with bullying because they:
During these sessions the member of staff will work on raising the child’s self -esteem by re-enforcing their strengths and talents. The taunts and abuse are discussed and the child is made to believe they are irrelevant and must be rejected. It is explained that if the bully sees a ‘submissive’ reaction to his/her taunts it gives the message that even the ‘victim’ in a way believes the taunts. Once the victim is able to reject them the bully has lost his/her weapons. The ‘victim’ is also offered the opportunity to ‘face the bully’, to express face to face how they feel (This is very carefully supervised by experienced staff).
‘The Bully’ When a child has been identified as a bully:
At the interview the bully will:
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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