At Gurnard Primary School, we take all concerns or allegations about bullying very seriously. We are proactive in meeting our duty to prevent, identify and tackle bullying to ensure that all children in our school feel safe and well-supported. We are a ‘talking school’ where all children are given a safe space to discuss concerns about bullying and are supported to report all forms of bullying. Every year we raise awareness of bullying during Friendship Week and train pupils as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors to give them the skills, knowledge and confidence to raise awareness of bullying and support other children.
Click here to see our school's Anti-Bullying Policy.
Click here to see our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.
Click here to see our Behaviour Policy.
Click here to see our school Complaints Procedure
The designated safeguarding officer for our school is Mrs Lynn Torrance.
We have developed the following guide for parents and carers to help explain what bullying is and how the school deals with bullying incidents:
What is bullying?
The Anti-Bullying Alliance defines bullying as:
“The repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. It can happen face to-face or through cyberspace.”
Bullying can happen anywhere, at any time, and can be verbal, physical or psychological. Bullying can take many forms, including hitting, shoving, poking, taunting, mocking, humiliating, threatening, bribing, name-calling, making offensive comments, stealing or taking and hiding personal possessions, sending unkind messages, throwing things, telling untrue or unkind tales about people, ostracism and spreading malicious rumours (this is not an exclusive list).
What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is any bullying behaviour that takes place ‘virtually’ via mobile devices like phones and tablets, through online social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and is also common on gaming sites. Cyberbullying can happen in or outside school – whenever and wherever children have access to phones or the internet. Examples of this kind of behaviour include inappropriate text messaging, e-mailing or blogging, sending offensive or degrading images by phone or via the internet, excluding individuals from group chat and creating false personas to mock or humiliate others.
I am worried that my child is vulnerable to bullying
- It is natural to worry about your child and bullying but you have a key role in supporting your child as they face challenges through childhood and adolescence. If you are worried that your child might be vulnerable to bullying it is important that you maintain an open and trusting relationship in which your child feels confident to share concerns with you. Make sure you listen to them at all times and agree the action you will take. Often children are terrified that parents will act without their permission and make the situation worse.
- Depending on your child’s age and development you may want to alert school staff to your concerns. Ask them to keep a discrete eye on your child and their interactions with others.
- Don’t panic or become over protective – your child must be allowed to experience life and form new relationships – safe in the knowledge that you are always there for them. It also helps to encourage your child to develop friendships outside school and to take part in activities that build confidence and resilience (e.g. Brownies, Scouts and Guides, drama and dance, martial arts, team sports, local youth groups). It is also important to encourage your child not to spend all their time on social networks and to have a healthy attitude to relationships online. This includes discussing issues of friendship and trust online – and the sharing of personal information.
What should I do if I think my child is being bullied?
- Talk to your child, explain to them what bullying is and what it makes people feel like. Ask your child if anything like this is happening to them and what it makes them feel like. If your child discloses that they are being bullied speak calmly and reassuringly to them and discuss what steps should be taken going forward. Ask your child what they have already tried to do to stop it. Bear in mind many children do not tell their parents because they are frightened that they will approach the school about the matter, make a fuss and make things worse, so it is a good idea to ask your child what they think could be done to stop the bullying.
- Make notes of what your child says, particularly names, dates, what happened and where it happened.
- If your child has obvious physical injuries such as a cut, bruises, a prick/stab wound or is displaying signs of mental distress take them to your GP so that there is a record of the injuries or take photos that are dated. If your child’s injuries are serious, you should also report it to the police.
- Tell your child's class teacher what what your child has told you has been happening and what your child has tried to do to stop it.
- This may be the first time that your child's class teacher becomes aware of the problem so they will need a reasonable period of time to look into the allegations.
- If necessary they will take steps to stop the bullying and protect your child. Ask the teacher for a reasonable timeframe for action to take place.
- If you are not satisfied with the class teacher’s response, you should make an appointment to speak to the Headteacher or the Deputy Headteacher. The school will ensure that you have a copy of the Anti-Bullying Policy, Positive Behaviour Policy and Complaints Procedure.
- If you feel that the Headteacher has not addressed the bullying problems, you need to make a formal written complaint to the school’s Governing Body.
- The Governors will respond to your complaint within seven days and a sub-committee may be appointed to consider your complaint and determine what action should be taken. You may be invited to attend and present evidence to the sub-committee. Usually you are allowed to take a friend or representative along with you to the meeting.
- If you are not happy with the response you receive from the Governing Body you can then make a complaint to the local authority.
Click here to see Information for Parents and Carers on Bullying produced by Anti-Bullying Alliance. This guide includes advice on supporting your child with bullying issues, information on bullying and the law, and guidance on how to make a complaint about bullying.