At Woodend Primary School we expect that everyone is safe, valued and respected and that individual differences are appreciated, understood and accepted.
Our Anti-bullying policy defines bullying this way:
Bullying occurs when somebody who is less powerful than another person or a group is deliberately and (typically) repeatedly hurt. Bullying can take many forms and can be direct or indirect, including the following behaviours:
- Physical – hitting, pushing, spitting, throwing things, getting another person to harm someone
- Social- exclusion
- Verbal – teasing, harassing, name-calling
- Emotional or psychological – rumour spreading, threatening
- Cyber –This includes pretending to be someone else to gain information, posting or sending nasty or threatening messages, posting pictures without permission, threatening using technology
At Woodend we use the ‘Method of Shared Concern’ approach to deal with incidents of bullying in line with the School Behaviour Management Policy. Research has shown that this approach is very effective in changing student behaviour when compared to an approach of blame and punishment.
Briefly, the Method of Shared Concern Approach consists of the following:
- Students involved in the bullying situation are first interviewed individually (those doing the bullying, the person being bullied and any bystanders)
- Each student is asked about the problem and to suggest ways they could personally help to improve the situation.
- Follow up meetings or check-ins provide students opportunities to discuss, reflect and plan how their actions can improve the situation.
- Bullying can be a complicated problem, which takes time and patience to resolve.
Twice a year, we conduct a bully audit with our students to gain a clear perspective on how well our students understand what bullying is and isn’t, the types and level of bullying behaviours occurring within the school and to provide students with an additional opportunity to report bullying and seek help.
We have completed and followed up from our T3 bully audit with the following results:
- In general, most of our students can define what bullying is and isn’t but there is still a significant number of students who are not clear about this.
- A relatively low number of students reporting ongoing bullying
- There has been an increase in the number of students reporting being pressured to do things they don’t want to do.
- Being left out, made fun of in a way that wasn’t fun and being teased were the other behaviours identified as being problematic for more than 5% of students.
- There has been an increase in the number of students reporting hearing inappropriate language in the school yard, which they do not like to hear.
- 35 students reported to have been bullied this term
- Teachers have followed up with these students. Most of these reports were about once off incidents or bullying behaviours that have now stopped. There are 9 incidents of friendship issues and/or bullying behaviours that teachers are now aware of and monitoring.
- Students who continue to bully after these initial conversations will be referred to leadership and parents involved in behaviour planning to ensure these situations are resolved.
Throughout term 4 teachers will focus on improving the following behaviours with our students:
- Resisting peer pressure
- Being inclusive
- Treating others respectfully
- Appropriate and inappropriate teasing
- Appropriate school language
We would appreciate parents reinforcing these messages with students at home.