Statement of Intent
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all the children in our care so that they can play and learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our setting. If bullying does occur, all children should be able to and know that any incident will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING club. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the colleagues.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person.
Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
- Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding possessions or threatening gestures)
- Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence, racial taunts, graffiti or Racist – racial taunts or gestures.
- Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments.
- Homophobic – because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality.
- Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.
- Cyber – all areas of internet, such as emails & internet chat rooms misuse. Mobile phone text messaging & calls. Misuse of camera phones & video facilities.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO RESPOND TO BULLYING?
Bullying HURTS. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Children who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. The Club has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
- All Playworkers, children and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
- All Playworkers involved in the care of children should know what the club policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
- All children and parents should know what the policy is on bullying and what they should do if bullying arises.
- Kids’ Club takes bullying seriously. Children and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
- Bullying will not be tolerated.
Signs and Symptoms
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 the Club
- changes their usual routine
- does not want to come to the Club
- attendance becomes erratic
- becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking in confidence
- starts stammering
- attempts or threatens to self-harm or run away
- cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- feels ill in the morning
- begins to do poorly in school work or in the Club
- comes to the club with torn clothes or damaged books or possessions
- has possessions which are damaged or go ‘missing’
- has dinner or other monies continually ‘lost’
- has unexplained cuts or bruises
- comes to the club starving (money or lunch been stolen)
- is bullying other children or siblings
- stops eating
- is frightened to say what is wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
- Report bullying incidents to colleagues who should record in an incident log.
- In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by colleagues and discussed with the Kids’ Club Director
- In serious cases parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
- If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted.
- The bullying behaviour or bullying threats must be investigated and be stopped quickly.
- An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour.
- The bully or bullies may be asked to genuinely apologise. Other consequences may take place.
- In serious cases, suspension or even exclusion will be considered.
- If possible the children will be reconciled.
- After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
We will use KIDSCAPE methods for helping children to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include;
- Writing a set of club rules
- Writing stories, poems or drawing pictures about bullying
- Reading stories about bullying or having them read to children individually and in groups
- Making up role play
- Having discussions about bullying and why it matters
- Encouraging values such as respect
- Model fair and respectful behaviour and leadership.
- Challenge all forms of prejudice and promote equality.
- Discourage children and young people from colluding with bullying.
Help children and young people to develop positive relationships and choose not to bully or discriminate.