Allestree Woodlands School’s Commitment to Anti-Bullying

The school has a ‘duty of care’ towards its pupils with regard to bullying in that the Head Teacher and staff stand in loco parentis (in place of the parents). This duty of care includes protecting pupils from harm of bullying.

This link aims to give parents the reassurance that all staff at Allestree Woodlands School are working together to ensure that every student has a voice that is heard against bullying. Allestree Woodlands School aims to empower students to understand, recognise, and say no to bullying, violence and harassment by giving them the tools to transform their lives and the lives of their peers.

What is bullying?

At Allestree Woodlands School we follow the Department of Education guidance which defines bullying as : ‘Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally”.

This can come in many forms:

  • Verbal bullying – name-calling, taunting, mocking, making offensive comments and teasing.
  • Physical bullying – kicking, hitting, punching, pushing and pinching.
  • Emotional bullying - producing offensive graffiti, excluding people from groups, spreading hurtful and untrue rumours, being forced to do things against own will and taking belongings or money.
  • Cyber bullying – offensive text messaging, voice messaging, social media posts, e-mailing and sending degrading images by phone or the internet.

I am a parent and I am concerned my child is being bullied?

  • Keep calm! If your child tells you they are being bullied always keep calm, sometimes the thought of a parent contacting school can frighten your child further.
  • Praise your child for telling you – it’s not easy telling someone, often the child is embarrassed about what is happening and it’s a big step to tell an adult.
  • Try to find out all the facts and establish if it is bullying.
  • Remember that if you tell your child to fight back or say something ‘clever’ to the people bullying them, they may end up feeling worse. They might get into trouble themselves, they may get hurt, they may get laughed at more and then they will feel a double failure, having first been a victim of bullying and then by secondly failing to resolve it.

Above all else remember that bullying destroys confidence and your child will be feeling vulnerable.

Who to contact at school

If you are aware of any issues that your child/children may be experiencing within school, please do not hesitate to contact the school and speak to the child’s form tutor. This will then be passed on to the appropriate members of staff. Parents can either do this by phone, via email or come into school directly.

We are here to work alongside parents to ensure all students feel valued and enjoy their education.

I am a parent and I am concerned my child is being a bully?

  • If you are told your child is bullying others, don’t immediately dismiss the idea or rush into punishing them severely. Try not to label them as a bully either.
  • When you talk stay calm and listen to what they have to say.
  • Talk to them about how the other person may feel and that it can be upsetting, frightening and hurtful.
  • If the accusation comes through school make an appointment to discuss it further with their Head of House.
  • Help your child to develop confidence and build their self-esteem in other ways.
    Above all else be clear that you will not tolerate them being aggressive and bullying others and discuss what punishments / rewards will follow.

All the staff at Allestree Woodlands School believe that:

  • Bullying is undesirable and unacceptable
  • Seeking help and openness are regarded as signs of strength not weakness
  • All members of the school community will be listened to and taken seriously
  • Bullying prevents pupils achieving to their full potential and affects standards of achievement and aspirations
  • Everyone has the right to work and learn in an atmosphere that is free from fear.

Cyber Bullying

What is Cyber bullying?

Technology is a part of our everyday life and it offers us some amazing advantages. It helps with our school work, helps us to keep in touch with friends and family and enables us to access information that we otherwise would struggle to discover. However, there are downsides to this technology and one major one which is affecting young people in today’s society is cyber bullying.

Cyber bullying is when someone is targeted in a negative way using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones by another person or group of people. Cyber bullying is just as harmful as bullying in person and should be reported and dealt with as soon as it happens. Below are some examples of the tools which might be used to facilitate this bullying.

  • Mobile Phones
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Online Gaming
  • Chat Rooms
  • Facebook
  • MSN Messenger
  • Twitter
  • Laptops/PCs

Some examples of cyber bullying include:

  • Instant messaging (e.g. MSN)
  • Text messaging
  • Offensive posts on social media
  • Stealing passwords to personal accounts and making unwanted changes to profiles and posts
  • Accessing someone’s blog or posting negative comments about someone on a blog
  • Sending inappropriate/offensive pictures via email or mobile phones
  • Creating an online poll about another person
  • Sending abusive messages to someone else via online gaming
  • Sending malicious codes (e.g. virus’s)
  • Impersonating someone else online/via mobile phone

Advice to Parents

There are a number of ways in which we can help to keep young people safe when they are using the Internet/Mobile Phones. It can be harder to spot cyber bullying than with ‘traditional’ bullying but there are steps you can take to minimise the risks. Talking to young people and making them aware of the dangers that are associated with technology is an important step. Trying to make yourself familiar with the websites and ‘apps’ your child is using can also be helpful in identifying potential bullying issues. There are certain privacy settings and built in safety features available on the internet and various computer software packages which can be switched on and used. These ensure that you are able to monitor your child’s usage of the Internet & ensure that certain websites and applications are blocked.

At Allestree Woodlands School, we take cyber bullying as seriously as we do all other types of bullying and understand the effects can be just as damaging.

There are various places you can visit for further advice which can also provide support and advice for children and young people. There are parent guides to several social media sites on our Safeguarding Page. There are also two useful links below.

Racist and Homophobic Bullying

Racist and homophobic bullying is an offensive action against someone based on their skin colour, cultural or religious background, ethnic origin, gender or sexuality. This can include:

  • Physical, emotional or verbal bullying
  • Insulting or degrading comments, name calling, gestures, taunts, insults or ‘jokes’
  • Offensive graffiti or damage to property
  • Humiliating, excluding, tormenting, ridiculing or threatening
  • Making fun of the customs, music, accent or dress of anyone from a different culture
  • Refusal to work or co-operate with others because they are from a different culture or of a different sexuality

Sometimes racism and homophobia are unintended and people make ill-considered remarks without realising they are hurtful to another person. However, nobody has the right to call anyone names or treat them in an inappropriate manner on the basis of colour, race or religion or sexuality.

Racial and homophobic discrimination is being treated differently because of race, colour, sexuality or belief, for example not being allowed to wear a turban if you are Sikh.

How do we deal with racist and homophobic bullying at Allestree Woodlands School?

We strongly believe that everyone has the right to have their culture, religion, sexuality and identity respected by others and we will not tolerate bullying on these grounds. Racist or homophobic incidents are classed as hate crimes and may be reported to the police.

Advice for Parents

If you are concerned your child is experiencing racist or homophobic bullying then please contact the school so it can be dealt with appropriately. It is important to be open with your children about diversity and help them to understand that if someone is different to them it does not make them any better or worse.

At Allestree Woodlands School we take racist and homophobic bullying very seriously and understand that its effects can be very damaging to young people. We do our best to educate our students about diversity and difference and aim to have a school environment which is accepting of everyone.

Further information and advice can be found in the following websites: