Head’s Blog: United Against Bullying

Elmhurst School for Boys

27th November 2020 | Heads Blog

Head’s Blog: United Against Bullying

Whether it is verbal, physical, online or in-person, bullying has a significant impact on a child’s life well into adulthood. This year, more than ever, we’ve witnessed the positive power that society can have when we come together to tackle a common challenge. This week we celebrated Anti-Bullying Week, which is no different. Bullying has a long lasting effect on those who experience and witness it but by channelling our collective power, through shared efforts and shared ambitions, we can reduce bullying together. From parents and carers, to teachers and politicians, to children and young people, we all have our part to play in coming together to make a difference.

“It is a basic entitlement of all children that they receive their education free from humiliation, oppression and abuse. Education is compulsory in our society and therefore it is the responsibility of all adults to ensure that it takes place in an atmosphere which is caring and protective.” D P Tattum author of ‘Management of Disruptive Pupils in Schools’ 1989.

This quote sits at the top of our Anti-Bullying Policy and clearly outlines a collective responsibility of all adults to ensure that we work together to do everything we can to prevent bullying in our school. It is fair to say that every school in the land has elements of bullying going on within it and it has always been my view that how you deal with bullying is the key to making sure that children do not suffer. Every school will have an Anti-Bullying Policy, however it is the effective implementation of this policy which is the key to success. This is where the relationship between teachers and pupils can influence the outcome of how bullying is dealt with in schools. Pupils need to be able to trust teachers to listen to them and respond to their concerns. At Elmhurst we pride ourselves on our close knit community and I would like to think that this is reflected in the relationships we have with our pupils. I would hope that Elmhurst Boys do feel able to talk to their Form Tutors and specialist teachers if and when they have any concerns. 

‘Our Space’, the recently established wellbeing room, provides a safe space for boys who are experiencing difficult times, whatever they may be, to talk to someone and to be listened to. Mrs Gogineni starts every new academic year with a Unit of Work on e-Safety which covers Cyberbullying. Anti-Bullying Week also goes a long way to raising awareness of how wrong bullying is. PSHCE lessons, Form Tutor Periods, PE lessons and many other areas of the curriculum help to support a positive culture against bullying. However, our Policy also states:

‘This policy only works if it ensures that the whole school community understands that bullying is not to be tolerated and understands the steps that will be taken both to prevent and to respond to bullying.’

This is why we must all be ‘United Against Bullying’.

Mr A J Padfield


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