National Anti-Bullying Week

13th – 18th November 2017

During this week we have many activities taking place within the College, such as:

  • Pledge Cards – students can write on these how they intend to support others and stop bullying behaviour.
  • Odd Sock Day’ (Monday 13th November) – all students can wear ‘odd socks’ to school on that day to show support for the Anti-Bullying theme of ‘All Different, All Equal’.
  • Anti-Bullying Assemblies – run by the Anti-Bullying ‘Be Strong Online’ Ambassadors.
    Poster Competition for Key Stage 3 students on a specified anti-bullying theme.
  • Tutor group and circle time activities.
  • Cake sale and sweet shop (Wednesday 15th November) to raise money for the Diana Award.

I wish to share with you some information on how we combat bullying in College. You will be aware that we take bullying very seriously and that we have a detailed policy which indicates what steps we take to reduce its effects. You can view the complete policy by clicking here.

It is important to be aware of how bullying is defined:

  • Bullying is a repeated behaviour which causes emotional or physical harm to another person.
  • Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.’
  • Some students may experience distress from name calling etc, as they progress through their school life but it is the repeated nature of this type of abuse which categorises it as bullying.

At John Henry Newman Catholic College, we believe that that the most important way of combating this type of behaviour is by developing a culture of kindness and respect – traits that reflect our Heart Values. We want every child to feel safe and also to trust that if they talk to an adult about a problem it will be acted on and resolved quickly. To this end, we do several things that we hope reduces the chances of your child experiencing bullying:

  • All students are placed in a tutor group where they have the support of a member of the teaching staff. In the time they spend in these groups they experience a ‘Tutor Programme’ where they experience elements of Citizenship, British Values, Prevent, Restorative Justice and PHSE. They are taught the importance of respect for others, tolerance and empathy for others.
  • Our ‘Heart Values’ underpin everything that happens in our college.
  • All students are keenly aware that bullying, in any form, is not tolerated. Data shows that bullying incidents are declining.
  • The college environment is clean and conducive to learning.
  • Security cameras allow close monitoring of the grounds and buildings.
  • All behaviour incidents including different categories of bullying are centrally recorded by all staff on the college management information systems. This data is constantly monitored and scrutinised by Year Co-ordinators, Learning Mentors and members of the Leadership Group.
  • Professional development for all staff in safeguarding including e-safety, anti-bullying and protection of students in vulnerable groups, takes place weekly.

Even with such robust systems in place, bullying will take place in any school or college. The Anti-Bullying Policy states the procedure staff in the college will follow when an incident is reported. I would encourage you to read this policy as also identifies the signs and symptoms a child may display if they are experiencing bullying.

As a parent/carer, we would also ask that you monitor your child’s social media accounts and mobile phone / iPad use. There has been an increase in incidents out of school during family time. Although the college is keen to support families, incidents out of college on mobile phones are the responsibility of parents and carers to resolve, through tighter mobile phone monitoring and use. Should students be bullied as a result of this then parents/carers are advised to contact the police.

I hope that you feel a little more informed about what your college is doing to reduce this type of unwanted behaviour. It will not be tolerated at John Henry Newman Catholic College under any circumstance.

Mrs Webb
Director of Student Services