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Anti Bullying

As a school we are committed to providing a caring, friendly atmosphere in which all our pupils can learn and work free from intimidation and fear in a relaxed and safe environment.  Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  We believe that all members of the school community has the right to feel safe, comfortable and at ease both in the school environment and when travelling to and from school.

All bullying that the school is made aware of will be investigated thoroughly and action taken.

Our aims are two-fold:

  • To prevent, as far as possible, bullying taking place.
  • To respond quickly and effectively to particular incidents.

As with all bullying, we will not tolerate cyber-bullying and would encourage young people and their parents to report any such issues to the school, either to their form tutor or  the schools safeguarding officer. 

WHAT IS BULLYING? 

Bullying is a problem in all schools, but it will vary in the form it takes.  Bullying is any kind of hurtful behaviour which may be intended to intimidate or which may do so unwittingly.  It may be repeated over a period of time.

Any action which is perceived by the individual concerned as bullying will be taken very seriously.  Bullying can include:

Physical:

Hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting, tripping/pushing, making mean or rude hand gestures, taking or breaking someone’s things.

Verbal:

Name-calling, racial/homophobic taunts, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing, taunting, threatening to cause harm,falsely accusing someone of bullying.

Emotional/Social bullying:

Excluding someone on purpose, spreading rumors about someone, telling others not to be friends with someone, embarrassing someone in public.  

Extortion:

Demanding money, books, food, homework, etcetera.

Cyber bullying:

Takes place online or through smartphones and tablets.  Social networking sites, messaging apps, gaming sites and chat rooms such as Facebook, XBox Live, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat etc

PREVENTION 

We are an honest and open school. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to report it to her Form Prefect, to a sixth former who is part of the Peer Support Scheme, to a teacher or to her parents. To remain silent does not help the person being bullied as it is secrecy which allows bullying to flourish.

Everyone must be aware that bullying will be dealt with very seriously.

WHEN AN INCIDENT OCCURS 

At Woodford it is the experience that minor incidents can be resolved by using a non punitive approach. This approach is valued because it enables relationships to be reconstructed without lasting damage. Whenever possible, the pupils should be reconciled. 

A meeting will be held at which the Form Tutor or Key Stage Co-ordinator will talk to the individual(s) concerned, starting with the girl(s) making the allegations of bullying. The girl(s) will be reassured that she/they will be fully involved in whatever action is taken. For example, permission will be asked before speaking to the alleged bully or bullies.

If permission is given, a meeting will be held at which the alleged bully or bullies, colluders and friends of the alleged victim discuss how they feel about what has happened and what they are going to do to make the situation better. 

If permission is refused, other strategies may be used including giving advice to the girl being bullied.

A written account of the incident will be made by the teacher dealing with the situation and the Form Tutor, Key Stage Co-ordinator, Assistant Headteacher (Mrs Greenfield) and/or Headteacher (Ms Pomeroy) will be informed as appropriate.

Depending upon the seriousness of the incident the parents of both victim(s) and bully (ies) will be informed. Parents may be brought into school to discuss the problem with the Key Stage co-ordinator and the Assistant Headteacher.

NB.     If the first incident is a very serious one, the pupil will be removed from the situation, contact with parents will always be made, school sanctions will be applied as appropriate and a temporary or fixed term exclusion may be considered as will informing the police.

FOLLOW UP 

Where bullying is admitted both parties will be given support and counselling.  Ways of building up their self-esteem and confidence will be encouraged. The Form Teacher, the Form prefects or sixth formers in the Peer Support Scheme will suggest ways in which the alleged individuals concerned could handle situations more effectively in the future. 

Where bullying is not admitted there should be follow-up interviews with both parties.  The girl(s) accused of bullying should be told that the incident has been recorded and that it is there, on their file, for future reference if another similar incident is reported.

MONITORING BULLYING  

All bullying incidents will be recorded.

Detail of incidents will be recorded on the files of those pupils involved, and will be available for future reference if another similar incident is reported.

Where bullying incidents are repeated, the situation will be regarded with great seriousness and the full range of school sanctions will be applied.

 

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