“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils as far as possible, so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at Derby Cathedral School. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to speak about it and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening should always report the matter to a member of staff.
What is bullying?
Bullying is defined as the repetitive, intentional harming of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship can involve an imbalance of power. It is important to note that bullying is not a one-off incident, but rather a sustained pattern of behaviour(s) over time.
Bullying is therefore:
- Deliberately hurtful
- Repeated, often over a period of time
- Difficult to defend against
Bullying can include but is not limited to:
- Emotional: Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting
- Physical: Hitting, kicking, pushing, taking another’s belongings, any use of violence
- Racial: Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual: Explicit sexual remarks, display of sexual material, sexual gestures, unwanted physical attention, comments about sexual reputation or performance, or inappropriate touching
- Direct or indirect verbal: Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
- Cyber-bullying: Bullying that takes place online, such as through social networking sites, messaging apps or gaming sites. This may also involve the misuse of mobile phones e.g. sexting.
*If you feel your child has experienced or is experiencing bullying at school, please tell us immediately. You can inform any member of staff, but your child’s Form Tutor or Head of Year will be best placed to deal with the matter swiftly.*
You may also find our Parent Information Leaflet on Anti-Bullying useful.
Why is it important to report bullying?
Bullying hurts and affects its victims in a number of ways. Statistics show that pupils who are bullied often fail to achieve their potential, be it in terms of examinations or indeed in other aspects of their development i.e. social interactions. The school continues to develop strategies which prevent bullying from occurring as well as dealing with the bullying should it occur.
However, it does need remembering that the school has no control over activities on social networking sites outside of school hours and this is often a catalyst in bullying issues. Secondly, it needs noting that the school is dealing with teenagers, many of whom make and break friendship groupings on a regular basis. A temporary breakdown in friendships is not necessarily bullying although strategies may need to be implemented before this happens.
Prevention of bullying:
The school is committed to preventing bullying from occurring in the first instance and to this end has a number of measures in place:
- Pupils are regularly reminded through PSHE lessons and during collective worship of what is, and indeed what isn’t acceptable behaviour, this includes highlighting issues pertaining to bullying.
- All pupils are informed and reminded of the need to report incidents of cyber bullying that occur outside of school. This occurs at regular intervals during this school year, usually as part of the PSHE programme or during collective worship.
- Parents are requested to monitor the use of social networking sites by their children and to report concerns to the police as and when appropriate.
- The school will promote a culture of tolerance and an absence of prejudice through collective worship, displays, role modelling and the overall ethos of the school.
- Social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter are not accessible in school in a direct attempt to prevent cyber bullying, during school hours.
- School uniform is a significant tool in preventing bullying. When all students are dressed the same it removes opportunities for individuals to become victimised because they cannot afford the latest “designer wear”. By having a sole supplier of uniform, the school again removes the possibility of pupils being singled out simply because they have a less acceptable “label”.
- The same policy applies to PE uniform where victimisation based upon football allegiances could otherwise be a problem. Branded wear is not permitted within the PE uniform as this also be used as a divisive tool amongst students.
- The biggest crime committed against teenagers in the UK is the theft of their mobile phones. The school attempts to prevent such incidents by strictly controlling the use of mobile phones in school. The use of mobile phones is similarly not permitted during school hours (without staff consent), in order to prevent possible cyber bullying and theft.
- Jewellery, make-up and hair colour are also closely controlled in a direct attempt to prevent unwanted competition and potential bullying.
Signs and symptoms of bullying or intimidation
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
- is frightened of walking to or from school
- doesn't want to go on the school / public bus
- changes their usual routine
- is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)
- asks to be taken to school
- begins to truant
- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- starts stammering
- attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
- cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- feels ill in the morning
- begins to under perform at school
- comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
- has possessions which are damaged or " go missing"
- asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
- has dinner or other monies continually "lost"
- has unexplained cuts or bruises
- comes home starving (money / lunch has been stolen)
- becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- is bullying other children or siblings
- stops eating
- is frightened to say what's wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
- is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
- is nervous and jumpy when a cyber message is received
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
If any parent/carer is concerned about any of the above and/or suspects their child is being bullied, they should contact their child's form tutor or head of year as soon as possible.