Carlton Road Academy takes allegations of bullying very seriously; as such there is a dedicated section of our Behaviour Policy (section 5 page 7) which specifically deals with this behaviour. Thankfully any incidents of bullying are very rare and should they occur they are swiftly and sensitively dealt with.
Any child who is worried about bullying, in school, out of school or online (cyberbullying) should talk to an adult in school straight away.
Bullying is discussed in school and the children are supported to understand the difference between conflict and bullying - they can feel similar, but one is not the same as the other.
There are several ways to identify peer conflict. When a conflict occurs, everyone involved has equal power in the relationship. Both individuals might be emotional and upset, but neither is seeking control or attention. They also may also be respectful of each other even though they disagree.
When people experience conflict, they often feel remorse and take responsibility for their actions. Children in conflict often want to solve the problem so that they can start having fun again. They are intent on reaching an agreement so that the relationship feels restored. Conflict is not a pleasant experience for anyone, but it does not make anyone feel upset about who they are.
Lastly, conflict happens occasionally and is usually not serious or emotionally damaging to either person.
Bullying looks and feels different;
It is a deliberate act. The goal is to hurt, insult, or threaten another person. There is also an imbalance of power. A bully exerts control over others by intimidating, harassing, threatening, or humiliating them. Bullying is also repeated and purposeful. While the tactics vary from incident to incident, the bully is targeting the same people repeatedly with the purpose of hurting them.
Bullying also poses a threat of emotional or physical harm. While a bully feels little remorse, the target is usually visibly upset. Bullies might get satisfaction from hurting people. There is also no attempt to resolve anything. Bullies are not interested in having a relationship with the intended target.
However, not every hurtful action is bullying, sometimes it is simply unkind behaviour.
(With thanks to Sherry Gordin's site "Very Well Family" for this helpful explanation).
At Carlton Road we aim to support children to understand what constitutes friendship, its joys and challenges! This is covered in both everyday conversations in class but also in Jigsaw our PSHE scheme of work. Our school values of resilience and self-respect help illustrate how sometimes we have to persevere to overcome difficulties presented by conflict or differences of opinion. One of the aspects of cultural capital we aim to build in our children is that of being able to make considered and balanced judgements and choices.
Children are also taught about protected characteristics and the consequences of conflict and bullying if behaviour is directed towards these.
To reinforce these messages, each year the school participates in "Anti Bullying Week", this year we all wore odd socks to demonstrate not everyone is the same and differences are accepted!
We would ask all parents to contact their class teacher swiftly if their child raises bullying worries at home.
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