Preventing and Responding to Bullying and Prejudice Behaviour Among Children and Young People

City of Edinburgh Council updated their anti-bullying guidance in session 2020-21. As an authority, we are committed to equalities and the wellbeing and protection of children and young people from bullying and prejudice.  We work to prevent bullying and prejudicial behaviours and attitudes, and to develop positive relationships with all members of our school communities and wider partners.  This work is part of our approach to Getting it Right for Every Child, creating communities that allow children to be Safe, Healthy, Active, Nurtured, Achieving, Respected, Responsible and Included.

Pupil-led equalities groups, which reflect the diversity of the school community, are working to ensure that all children have access to support, are listened to and are involved in the decisions that will continue to make their school a place to which feels safe, happy and nurturing.

Our approaches to building, maintaining and restoring relationships are detailed above and more information can be found at the Restorative Practice Hub: http://rathoprimary.org.uk/restorative-practice-hub/

As a school, we are committed to equalities and the wellbeing and protection children and young people from bullying and prejudice.  Our school procedure is informed by the overarching ‘Preventing and Responding to Bullying amongst Children and Young People’ procedure.  We recognise that policy and procedures alone will not address the prevention of bullying; through our core practices (Relationships, Rights Respecting, Resilience, Restorative) we aim to build positive relationships and a culture and ethos which ensure respect, equality and inclusion.   We promote an actively anti-bullying and anti-prejudice culture in our school through preventative, pro-active and responsive approaches.

Bullying and prejudice-based behaviours are not tolerated.  The school will put in place appropriate support for all children and young people involved in a bullying or prejudice-based incident.  We will support children who display bullying or prejudiced behaviour to identify the feelings and views that have caused them to act in this way. We will challenge these views and support children, through education and learning, to develop alternative ways of behaving.  Working together with parents is an essential part of our approach to preventing and responding to bullying.  When bullying or prejudice happen it is important that all parents involved work with the school to resolve the problems in the best interests of their child.

Relationships: Restorative Practices

Relationships are at the heart of what we do at Ratho Primary School. We aim to build strong relationships between all in order to help children become Successful Learners, Confident Individuals, Responsible Citizens and Effective Contributors.

We wish to encourage a partnership with parents and carers to ensure the best possible standards of pupil attainment, achievement and behaviour.  At Ratho Primary, we have high expectations of all our pupils. We expect that our staff, parents and families will always support their children and also the school, in order to help their child demonstrate our school values.

Class teachers use a variety of positive behaviour approaches and strategies to ensure that a warm, safe and happy ethos is created across the school and good choices are recognised and celebrated. Our values set the standards for behaviour and conduct at our school within the classroom and within the playground. They are:

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Being Caring
  • Friendship
  • Honesty

We use Restorative Practice at Ratho Primary School. Restorative Practices are all the ways in which we, as a school community, build, maintain and restore relationships.

As a school We do this in a number of ways: class and playground charters, restorative conversations, teaching about resilience and our emotions, relaxation techniques, opportunities for play

Our approaches to supporting children’s emotional and mental well-being can be found on our school website and further details of Restorative Practice can be found on the website’s Restorative Practice Hub. http://rathoprimary.org.uk/restorative-practice-hub/

Anti-bullying policy

Bullying is both behaviour and impact; the impact is on a person’s capacity to feel in control of themselves. This is what we term as their sense of ‘agency’. Bullying takes place in the context of relationships; it is behaviour that can make people feel hurt, threatened, frightened and left out. This behaviour happens face to face and online.
(respectme, 2015)

Bullying behaviour impacts on children’s and young people’s well-being and can affect their participation, attainment and inclusion. (Respect for all 2017) https://www.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00527674.pdf

Respect for all is the Scottish Government’s national approach to anti-bullying for Scotland’s children. It promotes communities working together towards the vision of:

  • every child and young person in Scotland will grow up free from bullying and will develop respectful, responsible and confident relationships with other children, young people and adults;
    • children and young people and their parent(s), will have the skills and resilience to prevent and/or respond to bullying appropriately;
    • every child and young person who requires help will know who can help them and what support is available; and
    • adults working with children and young people will follow a consistent and coherent approach in dealing with and preventing bullying from Early Learning and Childcare onward.

This is underpinned by the values of: Fairness, Respect, Equality and Inclusion.

Whilst many believe that children who bully must be punished for their behaviour, it is widely accepted that this type of response can at times be ineffective, dangerous, breeds resentment and can make the situation worse.

Punishment can make a person resentful instead of reflective. Children who bully must be given the opportunity to hear about and face up to the pain, hurt, distress and anger they have caused to others. Punishment does not help to restore relationships and can result in further retaliation.

Whilst appropriate action will be taken by the school, it is also important that all parents involved, work with the school to resolve the problems in the best interests of their child or young person.

Our approaches to building, maintaining and repairing relationships are detailed above and more information can be found at the Restorative Practice Hub. http://rathoprimary.org.uk/restorative-practice-hub/

More information can be found here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/bullying