Last Updated: June, 2017

 

Next Update: June, 2018

* Only Appendix 11 & Appendix 12, p.20 & p.21, need to be signed annually

 

Mission Statement

To strive to help our pupils learn in a happy, caring and Christian environment.

 

Introduction

 

In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the Code of Behaviour Guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Drimnagh Castle Primary School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.

 

Key Principles of Best Practice

 

Our Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and staff, and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour.

(a) A positive school culture and climate which:

  • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
  • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment;
  •  promotes respectful relationships across the school community;

 

(b) Effective leadership;

(c)  A school-wide approach;

(d) A shared understanding of what bullying is and the  impact it has;

(e) Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness- raising measures) that:

  • build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils;
  • explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying, including homophobic and transphobic bullying;

(f) Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;

(g) Supports for staff;

(h) Consistent recording, investigation and follow- up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies);

(i) On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

 

Definition of Bullying

 

In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

 

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

  • Deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying;
  •  Cyber-bullying ;
  • Identity -based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

 

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

 

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum, where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

 

Examples of Bullying Behaviour:

 

Physical

 

 

Punching, kicking, hitting, spitting, intimidating etc.
Verbal Name calling, slagging, harassing, taunting, etc.
 
Relational Excluding, ignoring, spreading rumours, etc.

 

 

 

Damage to Property or Theft Damaging property, stealing, extortion, etc.

 

 

Cyber-bullying   (Appendix 1) Using the many and varied forms of I.T. and social networks to denigrate, harass, exclude or stalk another person, etc.

 

 

Homophobic and Transgender Name calling, spreading rumours, taunting, physical attacks, threats, etc.

 

 

Race, nationality, ethnicity and Travelling community membership Discriminating, slagging etc. of a person with regard to their nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background.

 

 

Sexual Harassment, inappropriate sexual comments or touching, etc.

 

 

Special Education Needs, Disability Name calling, taunting, mimicking or taking advantage of a person because of their disability or learning difficulties, etc.

 

 

 

A School-Wide Approach

 

On August 27th 2014, Sean Fallon from the Anti-Bullying Campaign made a presentation to all staff members. We agreed to adopt and implement the approach he outlined in dealing with and preventing incidents of bullying in the school.

 

This includes:

 

  • A school- wide approach to fostering respect for all members of the school community.

 

  • The promotion of the value of diversity to address issues of prejudice and stereotyping, and highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour.

 

  • The fostering and enhancing of the self-esteem of all our pupils through both curricular and extracurricular activities. Pupils will be provided with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth through formal and informal interactions especially through our curricular approaches ie. Walk Tall, Stay Safe etc.

 

  • Whole staff professional development on bullying to ensure that all members of staff develop an awareness of what bullying is, how it impacts on pupils’ lives, and the need to respond to it-prevention and intervention.

 

  • Professional development with specific focus on the training of the relevant personnel.

 

  • Supervision and monitoring of classrooms, corridors, school grounds, school tours and extra- curricular activities. Non-teaching and ancillary staff will be encouraged to be vigilant and report issues to relevant teachers. Supervision will also apply to monitoring student use of communication technology within the school.

 

  • Involvement of the students in contributing to a safe school environment, particularly through the implementation of our Playground Leadership.

 

  • Encourage a culture of telling, with particular emphasis on the importance of bystanders. In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.

 

  • Guidelines will be distributed to parents at the beginning of the school year (Appendix 2).

 

  • It is our practice to invite guest speakers who are experts in the field of anti-bullying/ cyberbullying to give presentations to both students and parents as is felt to be necessary.

 

  • Ensuring that pupils know who to tell and how to tell
    • Administer a confidential questionnaire to pupils at the beginning of the school year and as deemed necessary ( Appendix 3: Regular Class Survey )

 

  • Speak to the teacher at an appropriate time
  • Hand note up to teacher
  • Make a phone call to the school or to a trusted teacher in the school.
  • Anti-bully or Niggle Box.

 

 

 

The School’s Programme of Support

The school’s Programme of Support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows:

 

  1. An anti-bullying campaign is implemented at the beginning of each term. This consists of: Raising Awareness, Interviewing and
  2. A talk for parents of the incoming 2nd classes is given by the anti-bullying co-ordinator. This talk raises awareness of bullying and the way in which it is dealt with in our school.
  3. The School Completion Service provides an anti-bullying programme for all second class pupils for one hour per week from September to Christmas every year.

 

  1. The Friends Programme helps children develop resilience and positive life-coping skills in a ten-week module designed for 5th and 6th

 

 

  1. Through the means of curricular and extracurricular activities to develop positive self- worth.

Green schools and gardening. Social Skills groups, Art, Gardening, Cookery.

 

  1. Developing pupil’s awareness of identity-based bullying through our SPHE programmes such as Walk Tall and Stay Safe. Particular account will also be taken of the important and unique role pupils with Special Educational Needs have to play in our school.

 

  1. Homework clubs.

 

  1. School Sports.

 

  1. Rainbows club.

 

  1. Art Displays.

 

Procedures for Investigating and Dealing with Bullying

 

 

The primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame). ‘Reform Not Blame’ is our Anti-Bullying Campaign’s Approach.

 

The school’s procedures are consistent with the following approach:

Every effort will be made to ensure that all involved (including pupils, parent(s)/guardian(s)) understand this approach from the outset.

 

Our Procedures Regarding  Bullying Behaviour

 

At the beginning of each school year we set aside a week per term during which pupils are made aware of.

  1. What bullying is;
  2. The effect that bullying has on the victim;
  3. What we can do to bring about change i.e. Tell in a “No Shame, No Blame” environment.

 

  • The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows:
  • All the pupils in each class are given a confidential questionnaire to establish if they have been bullied or if they are aware of any other boy who they believe is being bullied Regular Class Survey (Appendix 3).

 

  • A reported incident of bullying is taken note of by the relevant teacher (Incident Report Form- Appendix 4).

 

  • The relevant teacher will conduct an interview, Alleged Bullying Interview Sheet (Appendix 5) & Bullying Behaviour Checklist (Appendix 6).

 

  • The boy is given an opportunity to change and to sign a promise to this effect Pupil Behaviour Promise (Appendix 7). This is kept on file by the teacher assigned this duty (Ms. N. Martin).

 

  • Should another bullying incident occur involving the same aggressor the principal will be informed and he may decide to notify parents if deemed necessary.

 

  • Since the failure to report bullying can lead to a continuation or an escalation of bullying, the school and parents encourage children to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour. This can be with the class teacher, the teacher on yard duty at the time, SNAs , the principal or with parents. This is a “telling school” as defined in the Stay Safe Programme. Children will therefore be constantly assured that their reports of bullying either of themselves or peers will be treated with sensitivity.

 

  • An incident of bullying behaviour will be noted and recorded by the class teacher or the teacher on duty/yard duty.(Incident Report Form – Appendix 4)

 

  • The incident will be investigated – What? Who? When? Where? Why? and the action taken in response will be recorded on the Action Taken in Response to Incident Report Form (Appendix 8)

 

  • An effort will be made to stop the bullying behaviour and to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as practicable, the relationships.

 

  • The teacher will exercise professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how it can be resolved.

 

  • Parents and pupils are required to cooperate with any investigation

 

  • If a group is involved, they will be met both individually and as a group. Each member will be asked for his account of what happened to ensure that everyone is clear about what everyone else has said. This account will be recorded and kept on file by the co-ordinator (Joining-In Promise – Appendix 9).

 

  • Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way, and will be expected to assist the investigation.
    Children should understand there are no innocent bystanders if they remain passive where bullying is concerned—all bystanders must report bullying (Pupil Incident Observer Report –Appendix 10).

 

 

  • The situation will continue to be monitored to ensure that the problem has been resolved. Actions taken will be recorded. Records will be reviewed and analysed.

 

  • The Code of Behaviour will be invoked in circumstances where it is deemed prudent by the relevant teacher and school principal. Should the bully reoffend especially against the same person the principal will be notified and will decide when to involve the parents of the child.

 

  • If a case remains unresolved the matter will be referred to the school’s Board of Management. The Board will also be briefed in relation to the number, if any, of templates which have been completed.

 

  • Additionally, where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, to the Board of Management.

 

  • In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

 

 

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:

 

 

Anti-Bullying Coordinators:  

  • Eugene Duffy (School Principal);
  • Declan Sheerin (Deputy Principal).
  • Noirín Martin (S.D.T-Anti-Bullying Campaign Co-ordinator)

 

  • Brendan Gillespie

Responsibility for supporting teachers in relation to Social Personal Health Education (SPHE), Stay Safe and RSE programmes.

 

  • Yard Monitor: SNA Liaison

Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) will assist teachers in monitoring pupils and activities on yard.

 

  • All Teaching Staff, with the support of SNAs
    All Teaching Staff, with the support of SNAs, will investigate and record incidents of bullying behaviour.

 

 

  • The Anti-Bullying Committee
    This committee reviews the policy annually and monitors its implementation regularly, including the creation and implementation of annual Action Plans.
    Its members are Eugene Duffy, Noirín Martin, Brendan Gillespie, Colm Donnellan.

 

 

Note: The “relevant” teacher is normally the class teacher.

 

 

Policy Ratification and Availability:

This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website, and provided to the Parents Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the DES and the school patron if requested.

 

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on:

 

Date: ________________

 

 

Policy Review and Communication:

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year.

Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website, and provided to the Parents Association.

A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

 

Signed: ____________________                   Signed: ___________________________

(Chairperson of Board of Management)                    (Principal)

 

 

 

Date: ______________________                  Date: __________________________