Statement of Intent
At St. Mark’s Catholic Primary School, we are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our children so that they can learn and grow in a relaxed and supported atmosphere underpinned by Gospel values.
Children are encouraged to tell any adult if they feel they are experiencing bullying.
Regular assemblies take place which focus on bullying issues and the means of dealing with them. We are committed to educating our children about bullying behaviour, so they understand what it is, how to identify it and its effects, and how to report it.
We believe that bullies are not wholly responsible for their behaviour and need support, as do the victims of this behaviour. We endorse that bullying is not and never will be accepted at St. Mark’s and therefore strive with aid of children, staff and parents to deal successfully and quickly with any issues that arise.
What is Bullying?
‘Bullying is abuse over time which causes only distress in the victim and gives gratification and power to the bully.’ (Definition agreed by CaB: Campaign against Bullying.)
The abuse of power is at the heart of bullying behaviour. Children have a right to be safe and happy within the school environment. They have a right not to be bullied or abused in any way. Nobody has the right to bully.
Our school motto is:
Lend a HAND, take a STAND, STOP BULLYING NOW!
Every child learns about bullying and makes an anti-bullying pledge
We are all committed to providing a caring, friendly, respectful and safe learning environment for all of our pupils. We promote an inclusive, Catholic ethos that focuses on respecting one another and celebrating difference and diversity.
Bullying and prejudice-based language of any kind, involving pupils, adults towards pupils, staff or parents are unacceptable and will not be tolerated at St. Mark’s.
We understand the devastating and lasting effect being bullied can have on some children and we are committed to dealing with all incidents equally seriously, quickly and effectively, whether it has taken place in or outside of school.
Preventing and tackling bullying is part of our work to support pupils’ social, moral, spiritual, cultural and emotional development at St. Mark’s. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING school here at St. Mark’s. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff. All members of staff receive safeguarding training in school annually.
However, very often, children and young people are reluctant to tell adults that they’re being bullied. This might be because they are scared of an over-reaction, they don’t want to burden parents/carers if there are other things going on in the family, they’re embarrassed, or they are worried that telling might make the situation worse.
But there are a number of things you can look out for if you’re concerned your child is being bullied. Potential signs are:
- They become withdrawn
- They have scratches and bruises that can’t really be explained
- They don’t want to go to school or they are having trouble with school work
- They don’t want to go out or play with friends
- Their online behaviour changes
- Changes to how and when they’re using their mobile
- Changes are made in the route they take to school
- They complain of headaches, stomach aches and other pains
- They become easily upset, tearful, ill-tempered or display other out-of-character behaviour
Staff are always alert to signs of bullying – for example – deterioration in a child’s work, significant change in a child’s well-being, reluctance to go out at playtime, tearfulness and/or a reluctance to come to school. Every effort is made to find the underlying cause and to deal with it effectively. (The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all things that affect children. RRSA Article 3)
Bullying can take many forms and it is important that staff and parents of St. Mark’s Catholic Primary School work together to STAMP OUT any bullying that may occur.
In the first instance, that you are concerned that bullying is taking place at St. Mark’s, please immediately speak to your child’s class teacher or a designated safeguarding lead.
How we deal with bullying at St. Mark’s
Children at St. Mark’s learn about bullying through the curriculum. In particular, the catholic social teaching objectives we follow as a school, support children to recognise the signs of bullying and understand why we do not tolerate this behaviour at St. Mark’s and in society. We also encourage children to have confidence in themselves to report any kind of poor behaviour or bullying as we know confidence and self-esteem are crucial to every child’s development.
We also participate in the annual campaign of ‘Anti-bullying Week’ that happens every year in the Autumn term. All school staff receive training on recognising the potential signs of bullying and children are encouraged to speak to school staff in the first instance if they witness or are a victim of any bullying.
At St. Mark’s, we raise the awareness and understanding of bullying behaviour through the curriculum.
- School assemblies
- Citizenship activities
- Circle time
- RE – focus on respect and dignity of individual
- Workshops from outside professionals
- Pupil voice groups discuss and review anti-bullying strategies in school
- Use of questionnaires
You can find out more information about anti-bullying at St. Mark’s by reading our policy on anti-bullying. You will find this on our Policies and Documents page.
Further support for you as parents about bullying can be found on the following websites:
Whole school anti-bullying assembly
Anti-bullying workshop by Malachi on the different types of bullying
Group discussions about bullying
Year 1 sorting cards about bullying
Year 6 delivering presentations on anti-bullying
Activity from Key Stage 1 on friendship
Every class at St. Mark’s has an Anti-Bullying Ambassador.
This is a very important role as these children are responsible for meeting with Mrs Linley every half term to review the school’s approach to bullying.
Children at St. Mark’s school are encouraged to tell an adult if they experience any form of bullying but they can also speak to their class anti-bullying ambassador.