Athersley North Primary School
The Behaviour Policy of our school reflects the aims and ethos of the school. It is to be applied to all areas of school life.
It is important that we try to remain as positive as possible at all times. We have a supportive school with a caring ethos. In order to make the most of this it is expected that there will be a number of means within the school of rewarding and celebrating achievement and good behaviour.
The rapid development of, and widespread access to, technology has provided a new medium for ‘virtual’ bullying, which can occur in or outside school. Cyber-bullying is a different form of bullying and can happen at all times of the day, with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as people forward on content at a click.
The wider search powers included in the Education Act 2011 give teachers stronger powers to tackle cyber-bullying by providing a specific power to search for and, if necessary, delete inappropriate images (or files) on electronic devices, including mobile phones.
Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages or the internet), and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or because a child is adopted or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences. Stopping violence and ensuring immediate physical safety is obviously a school’s first priority but emotional bullying can be more damaging than physical; teachers and schools have to make their own judgements about each specific case.
Many experts say that bullying involves an imbalance of power between the perpetrator and the victim. This could involve perpetrators of bullying having control over the relationship which makes it difficult for those they bully to defend themselves. The imbalance of power can manifest itself in several ways, it may be physical, psychological (knowing what upsets someone), derive from an intellectual imbalance, or by having access to the support of a group, or the capacity to socially isolate. It can result in the intimidation of a person or persons through the threat of violence or by isolating them either physically or online.
A school’s response to bullying should not start at the point at which a child has been bullied. The best schools develop a more sophisticated approach in which school staff pro actively gather intelligence about issues between pupils which might prevent conflict and develop strategies to prevent bullying occurring in the first place.
This might involve talking to pupils about issues of difference, perhaps in lessons, through dedicated evens or projects, or through assemblies. Staff themselves will be able to determine what will work best for their pupils, depending on the particular issues they need to address.
Schools which excel at tackling bullying have created an ethos of good behaviour where pupils treat one another and the school staff with respect because they know that this is the right way to behave.
Values of respect for staff and other pupils, an understanding of how our actions affect others permeate the whole school environment and are reinforced by staff and older pupils who set a good example to the rest.