Part 1 of 2: Why Anti-Bullying Matters in School & How to Create a Safe & Productive Learning Environment
Anti Bullying Week runs from 14 -18 November this year so this is a good time to remind ourselves that all students have the right to expect a positive & safe school environment that enables learning.
Having run numerous anti-bullying workshops in schools up and down the country we thought it might be useful, let alone timely, to share what we’ve learned about how to contribute to one…
Prevention is better than cure so
- Implement a positive school culture by celebrating and rewarding success.
- Promote an inclusive and respectful environment where differences between individuals and family situations are openly discussed and therefore accepted, whether that be culture, religion, ethnicity, disability, SEND, LGBT or gender
- Acknowledge that bullying happens and encourage a culture of talking about it in your school thereby encouraging colleagues and students to confront and report it.
- Encourage your school to regularly update their approach to the use of school computers and student’s own phones/tablets especially as social media and apps targeted at young people develop faster than adults can keep up with them.
- Participate in regular staff training so that your use of sanctions is consistent with school policy and be aware of the school’s legal responsibilities, who to turn to on the SLT should you need support/advice in dealing with any particular bullying incidents.
- Contribute to regular assessments of your school policy in the light of recent incidents. Did you all learn anything from recent incidents? In light of them does your school’s policy need tweaking to better manage future ones?
- Colleagues and students alike need to be reminded that bullying is not gender specific; it’s not true that ‘girls are bitchy’ and that ‘boys just like a fight’. Both genders are capable of all kinds of bullying behaviour which can have serious impacts on both.
- Do students in your care know how your school defines bullying? Ensuring they do will give them a clear understanding of what school considers acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. This will help everyone involved in bullying behaviour whether they be perpetrators, victims or witnesses. You can use school assemblies, tutoring session, PSHE, the school website, noticeboards and classroom walls as well as quizzes and competitions to communicate the school’s values and code of conduct.
REMEMBER – if a criminal offence has been committed or bullying behaviour becomes persistent, report it to your Line Manager/SLT as it may be necessary for your school to work with outside agencies such as the police/children’s services.
TES has some free anti-bullying resources you may find useful
We’ll have a nother blog later this week about Anti-Bullying Top Tips for Teachers and you can read all our other Anti-Bullying blogs here.
How does your school maintain a safe and positive environment for staff to teach and students to learn? Do you have any advice / top tips you’d like to share with the Prospero Community on how you contribute to anti-bullying in your school? Maybe you have specific strategies or tactics you think others might find useful? Please do share them here