At Onslow St Audrey's School we are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our students to learn within. We want to develop reflective, self-disciplined learners who have grit and perseverance, and who can monitor their own behaviour. Our ethos is the core foundation of everything we do: "Achieving Success Together".
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school, whether it is in the school or in off-site activities. We have a zero tolerance for bullying or harassment of any kind and will always take reports of bullying very seriously.
We want all parents and students to feel that they are able to tell someone and feel confident that their concern will be taken seriously and prompt action taken.
If you know that bullying or harassment is happening to someone please do not hesitate to contact a member of staff.
Students can also use one of the two ‘worry’ boxes around the school.
Definition of Bullying
The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) identifies three characteristics that are included in most definitions:
The behaviour is intended to cause distress.
The behaviour is repeated.
There is an imbalance of power between the perpetrator/s of bullying and the target/s.
Bullying may take many forms but the main types are:
Physical e.g. hitting, punching, pushing, kicking, theft.
Verbal e.g. name calling, offensive language, unpleasant comments about appearance, ability or family, threats.
Non-verbal e.g. looks, facial expression, gesture, bodily stance, intimidation.
Indirect e.g. spreading rumours or threats, excluding from social groups.
Misuse of new technologies – sending texts or images on mobile phones, sending hurtful messages or images by email/social media.
Single or unintentional incidences of any of these acts are not necessarily bullying but they are inappropriate and not in keeping with the respectful behaviour expected of an OSA student. They will be dealt with accordingly.
Cyber-bullying is when a person or group of people use modern technology, such as the internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies, to deliberately cause upset to someone by threatening, harassing, abusing or teasing them.
Dealing with cyber bullying:
If cyber-bullying takes place in school, this will be dealt with in the same way as any other form of bullying in line with the school’s Safe to Learn/Behaviour for Learning policies.
If cyber-bullying is happening outside of school through, for example, texts, calls, or social networking communication, then it would still be helpful for the school to be aware. If those involved are known/suspected, we would contact the parents of the other children and let them know what has been alleged. We would also explain that cyber-bullying is a form of harassment and thus a matter that can be passed to the police. The police would be the correct contact for concerns of ongoing harassment when children are out of school and in the care of their parents.
This is a matter which the school takes very seriously and therefore we educate students about the damaging effects of this type of behaviour. Bullying and cyber-bullying are issued that are covered in How to Thrive, Extended Learning Days, Form Time activities and assemblies throughout the year.
What if your child is a perpetrator?
Although it may be uncomfortable to accept, you should be aware that sometimes children get caught up in cyber-bullying simply by not thinking about the consequences of what they are doing. You may find that your child has been involved in cyber-bullying others. It is therefore important that you talk with your children and understand the ways in which they are using the internet and their mobile phone. The internet is a ‘faceless’ area where people sometimes say or write things that they would not during face-to-face conversations. They need to understand that the consequences of what they say or write online or by text are just as serious as those that they say directly to a person.
E Safety (For Students/Parents)
Below are some useful links to support students and parents with E-Safety advice:
http://www.ceop.gov.uk/ - UK Government Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
www.thinkuknow.co.uk - The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre has set up its own educational website which has been designed and written specifically for children, young people, teachers, parents and carers.
www.childnet.com – A non-profit making organisation working directly with children, parents and teachers to ensure that the issues of online child protection and children’s safe and positive use of the internet are addressed. Childnet International produce an online CD guide specifically for parents - KnowITAll – http://www.childnet.com/resources/kia/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/ The BBC Webwise is a beginner’s guide to using the internet. There is a good section on children’s online safety.
http://www.internetmatters.org This website contains lots of information about staying safe online, with tips about games, social networking, mobile technology and more.
http://www.getsafeonline.org/ A beginners guide to using the Internet safety, including a quiz and some video tutorials about how to ‘stay safe’ on-line.
www.kidsmart.org.uk/ – Kidsmart is an award winning internet safety website for parents and those working with children. It has been developed by the children’s internet charity Childnet International and has excellent information on many of the technologies used by children, with guidance on how to ‘stay safe’ online.
www.bullying.co.uk – One in five young people have experienced bullying by text message or via email. This web site gives advice for children and parents on bullying.
http://www.chatdanger.com/ – This website is about the potential dangers with interactive services online like chat, IM, online games, email and on mobiles. It provides information, advice, true stories and games. The resource page also contains a number of links to other useful websites.
http://parents.vodafone.com/ – Vodafone have developed this website in conjunction with mumsnet. It is very accessible and provides information and guidance to parents with understanding their child’s digital world and get more involved. There is even an on-line test to see how much you know!
http://www.net-aware.org.uk/#– O2 have worked in conjunction with the NSPCC and Mumsnet to develop this site. It provides a guide to the social networks that children might use.
The internet is an exciting and fun place for adults and children to use and explore educationally and socially. The challenge for parents, carers and teachers is to make sure our children are aware and understand how to be safe when using the internet and related technologies.