Due to our pupils’ wide range of complex needs, we understand that bullying in this context can have additional subtleties and raise issues that are in themselves complicated to resolve.
Not all pupils will recognise bullying behaviour if they experience it; equally not all pupils would recognise their own behaviour as bullying towards another individual. Cognitive understanding and communication impairment are strong factors in how/what the children and young people communicate.
In addition, not all aggressive behaviour is bullying; behaviour which appears to be bullying, may be exhibited by some children without the intention or awareness that it causes distress. Some individuals may feel they are being bullied, even when there is no intention from others to cause them distress. Such perceptions of bullying should nevertheless be taken seriously as a reflection of the individual’s vulnerability.
As such, the school uses a range of strategies to support the children/young people to understand what is meant by bullying and how to resolve any bullying situation.
Pupils who are being bullied may show changes in behaviour, such as becoming shy, nervous, feigning sickness, refusing to come to school, clinging to adults, refusing to remain in class. It is important that all school staff are alert to the signs of bullying and act promptly and firmly against any form of bullying in line with their roles and responsibilities. If we can successfully tackle bullying, we can have a significant impact on the emotional health and well-being of all pupils and staff.
Being emotionally well is just as important as being physically fit. In the same way as keeping fit physically can help to prevent illness, being emotionally resilient helps prevent emotional difficulties and mental illness, and it can increase the capacity of a child or young person to learn.