Anti-bullying work

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As we do every year we use our value of kindness to look at why we must not bully.

When we discuss bullying here are some of the key messages we give:

  • The most important thing is that children are safe.
  • This means being emotionally safe as well as physically safe.
  • Bullying is repeated unkind behaviour (physical, verbal, emotional, online).
  • (unkind behaviour that is not repeated and would not be called bullying can still be very serious and would be treated as such)
  • We discuss direct bullying, more subtle bullying and the role of bystanders in bullying.
  • We look at discriminatory behaviours as part of our work on anti-bullying
  • If children are aware of unkind behaviour towards themselves or others the most important thing they can do is to tell an adult (we also discuss other ways of handling situations assertively in the moment).
  • We tell children this is because adults have the power to stop bullying but it is also because there are far more children than adults so adults need their help in finding out if unkind things are happening.
  • We tell children that no school can guarantee that bullying will never happen but we can guarantee that we will always take it very seriously.
  • We remind children we have zero tolerance for children calling each other ‘snitch’ or equivalent as such phrases make children less likely to get help from adults.

We look at stories such as ‘Something Else’ to help children understand how a lack of empathy can lay behind bullying. Part of taking bullying seriously is working out where it is coming from so that someone who is bullying gets the support they need to stop. Firm consequences will be part of this support but so will other approaches.

(See image above) As part of our work on discriminatory language and behaviour we look at what parts of people’s identities can lead to discrimination: whether they are male or female, disabled, poor or rich, young or old; whatever religious beliefs they have (or don’t have); who they love; where they live; what part of the world their family is from; the colour of their skin, etc. We do separate work on racism and equality through the year, especially in Black History Month.