Behaviour and Bullying
Managing and Supporting Excellent Behaviour
The children at Hill West have excellent behaviours and demonstrate this through their learning but also at break and lunchtimes when they play cooperatively with each other. Occasionally some children require some additional support to ensure they maintain the very highest standards of behaviour. At Hill West Primary, we aim to work in partnership with our parents in order to support pupils who may require additional support and intervention in school. The Assistant Head Teacher in charge of each phase is responsible for overseeing all aspects of behaviour in school. Parents will be given the opportunity to attend meetings in school and to discuss issues for concern and how they can be supported both in school and at home. In order to support children with specific behavioural difficulties we may seek help from external agencies and support services including an educational psychologist.
The emphasis of this work lies in addressing the social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in order to for the pupils to succeed in school.
By working in partnership we aim to:
- Create a supportive and safe environment in which teaching and learning can flourish
- Create an environment which encourages and reinforces good behaviour.
- Help pupils gain an understanding of the expectations of the wider community with respect to behaviour and the way we interact
- Ensure adults and pupils can work together in a safe, calm environment
- Develop in pupils a sense of self discipline and an acceptance of responsibility for their actions
- Create a climate of mutual respect
The staff at Hill West are:
- Aware of their influence as role models
- Create an expectation of success
- Engender a positive and welcoming atmosphere
- Treat all pupils with respect
- Support each other in the management of pupil behaviour
Young people are more secure and successful when the adults who support them work together with a common purpose. The educational psychologist and school behaviour lead will:
- Have regular contact with families
- Inform parents/carers about the positive behaviour of the pupils but also keep them informed with regard to poor behaviour
- Welcome parents onto the premises through a variety of formal and informal parents/carers meetings
- Give and expect respect in dealings with parents/carers
All children have the right to learn and work in an environment where they feel safe and which is free from harassment and any bullying. Bullying is action taken by one or more children with the deliberate intention of hurting another child, either physically or emotionally. It is usually unprovoked, persistent and can continue for a long period of time.
Bullying behaviour can include:
- Physical aggression such as hitting, kicking, taking or damaging possessions
- Verbal aggression such as name calling, threatening comments, insults, racist remarks, homophobic remarks, teasing, sending nasty notes or making nuisance calls.
- Indirect social exclusion such as deliberately leaving someone out, ignoring someone, spreading rumours about someone or their family.
- Cyber bullying such as the use of ICT, mobile phones and the internet to deliberately upset someone else.
Bullying can be difficult to identify because it is often subtle, covert and rarely witnessed by adults. There are many possible warnings signs of bullying, both for individual pupils and whole school.
The role of the Teacher
As a school there are five key things we remember when responding to a bullying situation
- We never ignore suspected bullying
- We do not make assumptions
- We listen carefully to all accounts
- We adopt a problem-solving approach
- We follow-up shortly after intervention (one week) and some time later (six weeks) to check the bullying has not resumed.
Teachers in our school take all forms of bullying seriously, and intervene to prevent incidents from taking place. If a teacher witnesses an act of bullying, they do all they can to support the child who is being bullied, including consulting the Head Teacher / Senior Leads. If a child is being bullied over a period of time, the Head Teacher informs and meets with the child’s parents. The Senior Leaders and or Head Teacher will also inform and meet with the parents of the child or children who have initiated the bullying.
When a bullying incident is identified, it is important to make a record of who was involved, what happened and how it was followed up. Keeping records makes it easier for patterns of bullying behaviour to be identified and effective action taken. Incident Logs are kept electronically by the school. Children who report bullying are encouraged to keep a “Bullying Diary”.
If a teacher becomes aware of any bullying taking place between members of a class, the teacher or Phase Leaders will deal with the issue as soon as is practically possible. A problem-solving approach should be initially adopted in such incidents, as it is not always possible to arrive at the definite version of events. As a school we try to focus on the issue that pupils have fallen out with each other for whatever reason. This enables pupils to move beyond justifying and defending themselves, and allows all concerned to try to work out an effective solution.
Teachers receive INSET training, which enables them to be equipped to deal with incidents of bullying and behaviour management.
Challenging Inappropriate Language
Racist language can sometimes be used in Primary School naively e.g. ‘you are black’ however, at other times it can be used in a derogatory manner to offend. This language is challenged immediately and the children are told that what they are saying is ‘racist’. Their comments are recorded formally and their parents are informed. Homophobic language in Primary Schools is often used to refer to something or someone as inferior. Phrases such as, ‘those trainers are gay’, for example, may be used to insult someone or something, but without referring to actual or perceived sexual orientation. Intervening when young people use homophobic language, including the use of the word gay to mean inferior, creates a school culture where homophobia and homophobic bullying are not tolerated. At Hill West the staff recognise that they have a duty to safeguard the wellbeing of all young people in their care.
Challenging Cyber Bullying
Cyber bulling is particularly invasive and can be very difficult to eliminate. It can begin as a joke or a relatively innocent comment and can quickly escalate into a very destructive and upsetting means of targeting individuals. At Hill West we have an acceptable use policy that outlines our approach to internet and mobile phone use. Cyber Bullying is taken very seriously and the PHSE curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to discuss their use of the internet and some precautions they might take. Pupils know that if cyber bulling is taking place they should notify their teacher immediately. Incidents that occur outside of school but impact on school life should be reported to the Head or Assistant Head Teacher who will investigate. If necessary the school will
- Confiscate equipment such as mobile phones
- Withdraw access to the internet for a set amount of time
Limit the use of the internet or only allowing it to be used under close supervision