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School sets example in tackling bullies

PUBLISHED: 13:13 10 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 March 2010

BULLYING is an age-old problem that possibly every head teacher will have to deal with at some time.

Last week, Ruth Hart, head teacher of Castle Hill Junior School was in the spotlight after two parents came forward with allegations that their children had been bullied.

BULLYING is an age-old problem that possibly every head teacher will have to deal with at some time.

Last week, Ruth Hart, head teacher of Castle Hill Junior School was in the spotlight after two parents came forward with allegations that their children had been bullied.

She was accused of not doing anything to prevent the continuous bullying of two of her pupils.

But as Mrs Hart today reveals, the school has a myriad of things in place to try and nip bullying in the bud before it can even start–and if it does get that far she said the measures are in place to stop it happening again.

Since she has been at Castle Hill she said she has seen changes take place in the children because of the initiatives.

To try and prevent bullying Mrs Hart said the school tries to do positive things to make sure the children respect one another and also involve parents with positive things rather than only contacting them if their child has been naughty.

As part of the curriculum they have to study Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE).

Mrs Hart said: "We look at how we need to listen to peoples points of view and respect their opinion.

"We also work with some pupils to develop individual behaviour plans so that they have achievement targets.

"If they feel they are going to lose their temper or something like that we make sure they have a time out area – sometimes children just need to take themselves out of a certain situation for a while."

She said that some children also have prompt cards in their pockets to take out when they are feeling angry telling them to count to ten or talk to a friend for example, whatever they find calms them down.

But if it bullying does happen there are things in place as punishments.

Mrs Hart said: "We have sanctions such as missing break times and then missing lunchtimes.

"If that does not work it will then go to temporary exclusion and eventually permanent exclusion and we do bring the parents in to discuss it all."

Initiatives include:

SCHOOL COUNSELLOR– works small group of children who appear to be low in confidence or not be able to interact well with others.

NUTURE GROUPS – members of staff help develop strategies for some children on how to cope when things go wrong.

PLAYGROUND SQUAD - Year 6 children make sure that pupils are not alone at play times.

BOOK OF THE WEEK – record of children who have been polite or helpful. SCHOOL COUNCIL – children's council which asked for playground equipment to keep people occupied at breaktimes.


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