Ajuga School Our School Anti-Bullying Plan




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Ajuga School


Our School Anti-Bullying Plan

Our School Anti-Bullying Plan



This plan outlines the processes for preventing and responding to student bullying in our school and reflects the Bullying: Preventing and Responding to Student Bullying in Schools Policy of the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities.

The Ajuga School community has developed a shared expectation that our students will be Safe, Respectful Learners. The expectation for student behaviour at Ajuga School is fundamentally the same or similar to the expectations of their home school. This plan was developed as a shared approach with the school community including school staff, executive, students, parents and home schools.

Statement of purpose

At Ajuga School our philosophy is ‘Together We Achieve’. Bullying is not an accepted quality of a caring and concerned citizen. It is socially unacceptable and contrary to the Ajuga School Welfare and Discipline Policy. Bullying is therefore not tolerated at Ajuga School.

Protection

Every student has the right to come to school secure in the knowledge that their safety will be protected. As children and adolescents have a variety of coping styles, bullying affects them in different ways. It is our aim to increase students’ capacity to cope with being bullied by helping them to develop resilience, making them aware that they must seek assistance if they are being victimised, and assisting them to begin developing the strategies required doing this. Similarly, we need to help those who resort to bullying to understand the effects it has upon others and to develop more positive methods of social interaction.


Bullying is an act of aggression causing embarrassment, pain or discomfort to another. It can be in the form of:

Physical Bullying:



  • Such as hitting, kicking, throwing objects, taking or damaging property

Verbal Bullying:

  • Being non-physical and includes insults and name-calling as well as taunting and teasing (setting up), frequently regarding a person’s physical appearance, clothing and sporting or academic ability

Nonverbal/emotional bullying:

  • Being non-physical behaviour such as threatening and/or obscene gestures, the sharing of knowing or sneering glances, offensive notes, emails or graffiti, excluding peers from groups, spreading rumours, stalking, interference with or damage to personal property

  • Humiliating, offensive, intimidatory or distressing actions or comments related to a person’s disability are considered bullying. Similar comments or actions made to a student about their associate who has a disability is also considered bullying and will not be tolerated.

Parents have a right to expect that their children will be educated in a secure environment in which care, courtesy and respect for the rights of others are encouraged. Parents are asked to support the school in its efforts to maintain a positive teaching and learning environment by reinforcing to their child the expectation to be a Safe, Respectful Learner and reporting incidents of bullying behaviour directly to school staff. Teachers have the responsibility of maintaining a positive climate of respectful relationships in preventing and responding to bullying behaviour.

Ajuga School has developed and implements our Welfare and Discipline Policy and Procedures to maintain a positive climate of respectful relationships where bullying is less likely to occur.
Prevention


  • Ajuga School promotes our Anti-Bullying Policy (updated 2011), Welfare and Discipline Policy (updated 2010) and school rules to set an appropriate code of behaviour for all students, through relevant reminders, assemblies and school newsletter

  • Staff continue to promote positive student behaviour through weekly recognition in assembly and in class, including the Aboriginal Respect Award

  • When necessary, staff organise recess and lunch time play areas to promote flexible student groups and activities. Staff facilitate play as required

  • Regular and relevant professional development for staff

  • Promotion of the Anti-Bullying Policy and it’s implementation by parents through discussion of its meaning and implications for their children

  • At Ajuga School we actively work through classroom and playground activities to break down the barrier of silence. Bullies can only operate by promoting the idea that telling someone about their bullying is ‘dobbing’. Informing others about a bully is NOT dobbing. It is everyone’s responsibility to report bullying, regardless of the circumstances. To say nothing sends a message to the bully that they can keep bullying

  • Staff are always vigilant and aware in the classroom and when on duty in the playground. They report issues and students of concern to daily staff meetings to ensure a whole school approach to problems of bullying

Early Intervention

Ajuga School implements early intervention strategies and programs for students who are identified as being at risk of developing long-term difficulties with social relationships and those students who are identified at or after enrolment as having previously experienced bullying or engaged in bullying behaviour.

Strategies may include individual behaviour goals focussing on targeted behaviours, daily social skills lessons and regular sessions with the school counsellor.

Response


To empower the whole school community an awareness and prevention program was developed by school staff and targeted at all ages of students. The program has four modules which run for one school term: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 and a high school component. The program is taught across the school once a year. The program focuses on student education -

If you are bullied:



  • Tell the person/s that you don’t like it and that you want them to stop and leave you alone

  • Talk it over with friends, parents, teacher – someone you trust who will help you

  • If confronted, stay calm and walk away from the person or area

  • Look for support from those nearby

  • Talk about bullying openly

  • Make an effort to be with people who don’t bully

  • Make an effort to avoid high risk places

  • Speak to the school executive staff

  • Stay calm and try not to react as this can make you a more interesting target

If you observe bullying behaviour you should:




  • Refuse to participate in the behaviour

  • Support the person being bullied and encourage them to tell someone

  • Speak to a teacher on their behalf if necessary

  • Tell the bully to stop, let them know their actions are unacceptable

  • NEVER obey a bully

  • Not support a ‘code of silence’ and should report the incident

If you are being bullied you have a right to:


  • Be taken seriously

  • Be helped to feel safe; this may be assisted by the presence of a support person when discussing unwanted behaviour

  • Have your privacy and confidentiality observed

  • Have the policies and procedures in circumstance of bullying explained to you

  • Be kept informed of the investigation’s process

  • Be included in any resolutions arising out of an investigation of the complaint

If you have been accused of being a bully you will:




  • Be informed of the complaint made against you

  • Have the policies and procedures in circumstances of bullying explained to you

  • Be invited to make a response

  • Be supported and advised by people of your choice

  • Have your privacy protected and confidentiality observed

  • Be treated fairly

Parents/carers are provided with information on how to respond if they know or suspect their child is being bullied:




  • Encourage your child to talk it through as far as he or she wants to so you can get the facts straight; listen to your child

  • Keep an open mind, remembering you are only hearing one side of the story

  • Ask questions gently and involve your child in making decisions about what to do

  • Contact the school once you have established a clear picture of the situation and how you and your child would prefer to handle it

  • Discuss with school staff the strategies you and your child have already developed and record ideas and new strategies the school may have for you

  • Make a follow up date to review progress

Ajuga School Welfare and Discipline Policy and Procedures outline the procedures for responding to incidents of bullying:




  • Intervention by a staff member – the child’s behaviour will be discussed with him/her individually

  • Student and/or parent meeting with relevant teachers or executive

  • Group or individual sessions with the school counsellor

  • Privileges may be withdrawn from those children continuing to demonstrate unacceptable behaviours

  • Department of Education and Communities Suspension and Expulsion Policy will be implemented accordingly

  • Involvement of external professional, counselling, referral to anger management

  • If a child persists in causing disruption, danger to himself/herself or others, parents may be requested to temporarily withdraw their child from school. Return of the child will occur upon consultation between staff and parents involved. Each incident involving parent consultation will be documented in detail and kept on the students file.

Any serious incident involving assaults, threats, intimidation or harassment are referred to the Principal who, on examination of the seriousness and the facts, is required to act in accordance with the Department of Educational and Communities policies and procedures. This may result in notifications to authorities such as the Police, the Child Wellbeing Unit or Department of Community Services and the School Safety and Security Unit.

If a report to the Child Wellbeing Unit or Department of Community Services is being considered the Principal will use the Mandatory Reporter Guide, professional judgement and/or seek specialist advice to make this decision. The Mandatory Reporter Guide will help determine:



  • if a report is required to the Community Services Child Protection Helpline

  • if contact with the Child Wellbeing Unit is required

Should parents or students consider that correct procedures have not been followed, and/or that an unfair decision has been made by the Principal an appeal can be made. Parents or students requiring assistance to lodge an appeal will be referred to Glenfield Regional Office. While most complaints will be resolved informally, formal procedures as outlined in the Department’s Complaints Handling Policy will be adhered to.

The Ajuga School Anti-bullying Plan will be available to the school community on the school website. The Plan will be reviewed every year along with the School Plan. The Plan will be reviewed in consultation with the school community and an evaluation of school data. Parent evaluation surveys will be sent out to collect information regarding the schools response to bullying incidents and the provision of provided relevant and update information to parents and carers. The effectiveness of the Ajuga School Anti-Bullying Plan will be reported yearly in the Annual School Report.

Additional Information

South West Metropolitan Region

School Liaison police

Macquarie Fields Police Station

Telephone 02 9605 0499
Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800
Parentline NSW
Phone: 1300 1300 52 (cost of a local call)
24 hours a day, seven days a week
www.parentline.org.au

Principal’s comment

Bullying affects everyone, not just the bullies and their victims. It also affects those who may witness violence and intimidation of the victim. It can damage the atmosphere of a class and even the climate of a school. Bullying is the misuse of power, position and privilege. It is done to intimidate, coerce, frighten and control. Bullying is not accepted at Ajuga School and our Anti-Bullying Plan reflects our commitment to preventing and responding to student bullying.

Natalie Armstrong Principal

Amanda Kowalczyk Relieving Assistant Principal

Christine White Assistant Principal

Adrian Lania School Counsellor

School contact information

Ajuga School

Quarter Sessions Road, Glenfield 2167

Ph: 02 9829 1050

Fax: 02 9829 1768

Email: ajuga-s.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Web: http://www.ajuga-s.schools.nsw.edu.au/





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