Caring for students

Anti-Bullying Policy

Bullying must be taken seriously and is not acceptable in any form at Canterbury Vale School.  Students have the right to expect that they will spend the school day free from the fear of bullying, harassment and intimidation. Bullying de-values isolates, frightens and affects an individual’s ability to achieve. It has long term effects on those engaging in bullying behaviour, those who are the subjects of bullying behaviour and those around them. Teachers, students, parents, caregivers and members of our school community have the responsibility to work together to address bullying.

Our definition of bullying:

  • Bullying can be defined as intentional, repeated behaviour by an individual or group of individuals that causes distress, hurt or undue pressure.
  • Bullying involves the abuse of power in relationships. Bullying can involve all forms of harassment, humiliation, domination and intimidation of others.
  • Bullying behaviour can be verbal, physical, social or psychological.

Canterbury Vale School as a NSW Department of Education and Training facility considers the following behaviours to be examples of bullying:

Physical:

  • Hitting, kicking, punching, scratching;
  • Pushing, shoving, spitting;
  • Forcing others to hand over food, money or something that belongs to them;
  • Sexual assault and unwanted ‘touching’ and
  • Making someone do something they don’t want to do.

Verbal:

  • Name calling;
  • Teasing, insults, put-downs, verbal abuse, sarcasm, insults;
  • Threatening of any kind;
  • Making fun of someone because of their appearance, physical characteristics or cultural background; sexualised comments or innuendo and
  • Making fun of someone’s actions.

Indirect (social and psychological):

  • Excluding others from the activity or the group, ignoring, ostracizing or alienating others;
  • Spreading untrue stories or slander about others;
  • Making inappropriate gestures;
  • Taking, hiding or damaging something which belongs to someone else;
  • Sending nasty emails, SMS, instant messages or other public slander; and
  • The inappropriate use of websites, chat-sites or camera phones.

 

Statement of Purpose

All the members of the school community have a shared responsibility to create a safe and happy environment, free from all forms of bullying.

Canterbury Vale School aims to help students learn to better manage their approach to learning and successfully integrate back into regular schools or alternate settings. The emphasis is to provide students with a safe and caring environment in which they can access quality teaching and learning and be supported in making positive informed choices.

Any inappropriate behaviour that interferes with the teaching, learning and well being of Canterbury Vale School students is unacceptable.

Students can expect to:

  • know that their concerns will be responded to by staff;
  • be provided with appropriate support;
  • take part in learning experiences that address key understandings and skills relating to bullying and harassment, guided by the PDHPE syllabus;

 

Responsibilities of Members of the Canterbury Vale School Community

All members of the Canterbury Vale School community have a responsibility to promote positive relationships that respect and accept individual differences and diversity and actively work together to resolve incidents of bullying behaviour when they occur.

Students have a responsibility to:

  • Behave appropriately, respecting individual differences and diversity;
  • Reinforce the message that bullying is not accepted or tolerated;
  • Refrain from bullying others;
  • Assist someone who is being bullied;
  • Inform Canterbury Vale School staff if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied – both at school and on the way to and from school.
  • Follow Canterbury Vale School’s anti bullying policy;

 

Parents and caregivers have a responsibility to:

  • Be aware of the school’s anti bullying policy and assist their children in understanding bullying behaviour;
  • Support their children in developing positive responses to incidents of bullying consistent with the Canterbury Vale School anti bullying policy.
  • To model appropriate behaviour, respecting individual differences and diversity;
  • To reinforce the message that bullying is not accepted or tolerated;
  • To instruct their children to tell the appropriate authorities if they are bullied;
  • To watch for signs that their child may be bullied;
  • To speak to the Principal or Assistant Principal if their child is being bullied, or they suspect that this is happening.

Canterbury Vale School has the responsibility to:

 

  • Provide students with strategies to respond positively to incidents of bullying behaviour;
  • Provide parents, caregivers and students with clear information on strategies that promote appropriate behaviour and consequences of inappropriate behaviour;
  • Follow up complaints of bullying, harassment and intimidation.

 

Staff at Canterbury Vale School have a responsibility to:

  • Model appropriate behaviour;
  • Respond in an appropriate and timely manner to incidents of bullying according to the Canterbury Vale School anti bullying policy;
  • Respect and support students in all aspects of their learning.
  • To model appropriate behaviour, respecting individual differences and diversity;
  • To reinforce the message that bullying is not accepted or tolerated;
  • To treat seriously all reports or observed incidences of bullying;
  • To report incidences of bullying to the Principal or Assistant Principal;
  • To be observant of signs of distress or suspected incidents of bullying;
  • To ensure that students are actively supervised at all times.

 

Strategies to Deal with Bullying

At Canterbury Vale there is a strong school spirit where effective and systematic programs communicate to all students the message that bullying is not accepted or tolerated.

Students can expect that their concerns will be responded to by the school staff and that they will be provided with appropriate support (for both the subjects of and those responsible for the behaviour).

Students who bully others may face one or more of the following consequences:

  • Involvement in a mediation process;
  • Referral to the school counsellor;
  • Parents may be contacted by the school;
  • Privileges may be withdrawn (eg exclusion from the playground);
  • Sanctions outlined in the School’s Discipline Policy such as detention and suspension;
  • Serious incidents of bullying may require Police involvement.

Canterbury Vale School provides a range of effective programs to ensure a safe and secure environment promoting personal growth and excellence in all students. We aim to develop confidence and self esteem to empower students to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. As part of this, the anti-bullying message is consistently communicated to students.

These programs include:

  • A proactive social skills program;
  • Anti-bullying programs;
  • The PD/H/PE program;
  • The role of the school counsellor.

This policy is communicated to staff via staff meetings and the staff intranet; to students via assemblies, and to parents via the school newsletter, enrolment meetings and the school website.