Information - Mt Burr Primary School

Student Wellbeing and Anti-Bullying Behaviour Policy

School Value Statement

We, the staff, students and school community of Mount Burr believe that all children have the right to learn and all teachers have the right to teach. We believe the following values and expectations will help our school be a safe and supportive learning environment that focuses on each individual reaching his/her optimum potential in the pursuit of excellence.

Our School vision is:
"Learning for Life - Aiming for Excellence"

Definition of Bullying Behaviour

Bullying is any behaviour that deliberately hurts others with words or actions. It is an abuse of power.

Bullying behaviour can be displayed in a variety of forms. It includes...

Physical

  • Hitting/Punching/Kicking/Pinching/ Scratching
  • Pushing/Shoving/Spitting
  • Rude gestures
  • Taking or damaging others' belongings
  • Forcing others to hand over food, money or something that belongs to them
  • Coercing or manipulating others to do something that they don't want to do

Verbal

  • Name calling
  • Teasing
  • Making offensive remarks
  • Threatening
  • Making fun of someone due to their appearance, physical characteristics or cultural background
  • Making fun of someone's actions
  • Inappropriate phone calls

Indirect / Emotional / Psychological

  • Excluding others from a group - e.g. by using clubs and gangs
  • Spreading rumours
  • Inappropriate use of computer / SMS messages to intimidate or offend
  • Chain mail
  • Standing by / encouraging others to bully

Harassment

  • Any behaviours that are uninvited, unwelcome and unwanted that cause another person to feel hurt or uncomfortable

Strategies we use to deal with Bullying Behaviour

At the beginning of each year at Mount Burr during our "Learning to Learn" programme students and staff in each class negotiate values and responsibilities in order to establish a safe and supportive learning environment.

  1. Communication: everyone has the right to speak and be heard using appropriate oral / body language with other members of the school community.
  2. Movement: we all have the responsibility to move around the school in a safe and appropriate manner.
  3. Treatment: we all have the right to be treated with respect and have our property respected.
  4. Safety: we all have the right to feel free from intimidation and to feel safe and secure.
  5. Conflict Resolution: we all have the right to a non-violent, rational settlement of issues where all parties are listened to.
  6. Care of our Environment: we will care for our school environment and keep it clean.
  7. Learning: all students have a right to learn and all teachers have a right to teach.

What we do at Mount Burr Primary School to reduce bullying behaviour

Prevention Strategies

  • Openly talk about bullying behaviour, what it is and what we can do about it e.g. Say how you feel - I don't like it when you...please stop.
  • Newsletter reports
  • Through classroom programmes targeting improved self esteem behaviours e.g. the Bounce Back Programme, Keys to Success, Child Protection
  • Teach about diversity and valuing differences
  • Involve older students in the role of Junior School Coaches and provide them with appropriate training
  • Provide T & D opportunities for staff where appropriate
  • Annually review the policy
  • Incorporate aspects of anti-bullying activities at the beginning of each year as part of our "Learning to Learn" programme

Intervention Strategies

  • Provide counselling to students who have been bullied
  • Talk to parents / caregivers about the situation as required
  • Counsel those who bully, negotiate consequences that are restorative and then follow up with counselling
  • Educate students to take a proactive role when witnessing bullying behaviour
  • That staff consistently apply the same standards to all students and address issues of bullying behaviour effectively and respectively
  • Use Randall Clinch questioning techniques to engage and empower students and negotiate logical consequences
  • Use of Junior School Coaches to assist with minor issues in the yard to maintain a safe and happy playtime

Post-Intervention Strategies

  • Monitor the situation between students to ensure their safety and wellbeing are maintained
  • Discuss strategies with parents / caregivers when necessary
  • Reflect and review classroom programs to ensure their effectiveness
  • Review and evaluate behaviour codes and policies

Areas of Responsibilities

We all have the right to be treated fairly and equitably and to work, play and learn in a friendly, safe and helpful school, which is supported by the community.

Staff

  • To model appropriate behaviour at all times
  • To deal with all reported and observed incidences of bullying behaviour as set out in this policy
  • To ensure that students are well supervised
  • To report incidences of bullying behaviour to the principal
  • To document all reported incidences
  • To keep parents informed and up to date (as per our three-step process for dealing with bullying behaviour)

Students

  • To report if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied
  • To help someone who is being bullied e.g. seek adult assistance or utilise learnt strategies
  • To encourage fairness

Parents

  • Be aware of signs that their child may be a victim of bullying behaviour
  • Speak to someone on the school staff if their child is being bullied, or if they suspect it is happening, by following school Grievance Procedures
  • Encourage your child to report any incidences of bullying behaviour
  • Support the school Anti-bullying policy
  • Be responsible for incidents that happen outside the school grounds

Reporting and Dealing with Bullying Behaviour

When a bullying incident is reported at Mount Burr Primary School staff will proceed through the following levels.

Level 1:

  • Mediation with children involved (where victim is willing), resulting in some form of restorative consequence and acceptable apology - written or verbal
  • Student using bullying behaviour is warned of consequences of further incidences
  • Record incident and action taken

Level 2:

  • If mediation is unsuccessful and the bullying behaviour continues, provide support for the victim
  • Immediate "time out" for student using bullying behaviour from yard and class
  • Inform parents / carers and record that both parties have been informed. Highlight to parents / carers that if the incident continues the child may be involved in "take home".
  • After "time out" the child is to participate in counselling with Principal and/or teacher before re-entering yard or classroom. (What will it look like.....?)
  • Other staff members will be kept informed of the recorded incident and actions/consequences.
  • Monitor behaviour of the children involved. Give the student using bullying behaviour the opportunity to be seen making better choices by providing tasks and responsibilities that encourage positive behaviour.

Level 3:

  • If the bullying behaviour continues the student using bullying behaviour will be involved in "take home" where they are required to continue their learning at home for a designated period of time. Parents will be notified and asked to collect their child from school.
  • If none of these steps succeed in stopping the child from displaying bullying behaviour, he/she will be suspended from school for a longer period of time with increased counselling, interagency support and re-entry processes.

Evaluating the Policy

This policy will be evaluated at future dates to be decided by staff and Governing Council.

It will be evaluated by...

  • Repeating the "School Bullying Survey" to compare responses and note if there has been a reduction of reported or observed incidences of bullying behaviour.
  • Noting if there has been a change in yard behaviour and the way children interact with their peers.
  • Following up with parents / carers of victims /bullies to discuss any changes in behaviour since the previous year.

Promoting and Acknowledging Positive Behaviours

Mount Burr Primary School will promote and acknowledge positive behaviour in the following ways:

  • Regular newsletters
  • Special bulletins
  • Assemblies/Special awards for students
  • Class awards/incentives
  • Learning to Learn program
  • Keys to success
  • Providing opportunities to practise positive behaviours e.g. Bounce Back activities
  • Include Child Protection in the curriculum
  • Staff modelling appropriate behaviours

Useful Websites / Agencies