School News 18/03

Bullying. No way! – This Friday our school will be participating in a range of activities to promote the national initiative of preventing any forms of bullying in schools. At Bellbrae we emphasise our values of Aspire, Responsibility, Respect......

Bullying. No way! – This Friday our school will be participating in a range of activities to promote the national initiative of preventing any forms of bullying in schools. At Bellbrae we emphasise our values of Aspire, Responsibility, Respect and Resilience, and are fortunate to have a supportive and well-behaved student community. However, we would be foolish to assume that students never experience bullying at some stage of their schooling. As such, we try our hardest to educate staff and students with strategies to prevent bullying from happening, and also an action plan if they are ever exposed to it. Bullying. No way suggest the following six steps if your child talks to you about bullying:

· Listen calmly and get the full story.

· Reassure your child that they are not to blame.

· Ask your child what they want to do about it and how you can help. · Visit www.bullyingnoway.gov.au to find some strategies.

· Contact the school.

· Check in regularly with your child. To find out more about the program, please access: www.bullyingnoway.gov.au

The flow chart below outlines how we at school will respond to student bullying:

School response flow chart: student bullying

1. Listen carefully and calmly, and document what the student tells you

Ensure a private place to talk. Do not dismiss their concerns or make them feel they are at fault. Listen to their account fully first and then ask them (and maybe others) questions to get more detail. Avoid the terms 'bully' or 'victim' and instead talk about the behaviour of everyone involved, including bystanders. Clarify if there are immediate safety risks and let the student know how you will address these. Write a record of the conversation.

2. Collect additional information

Ask for any evidence from the student. Speak with all students involved, including bystanders. Be alert to your legal responsibilities regarding evidence if the incident may constitute a crime. Keep records. Ensure you have information that answers who, what, where, when, how, why. Students views on why bullying is happening can suggest ways the school can respond.

3. Discuss a plan of action with the students

Once you are confident you have a comprehensive picture of the situation, discuss a plan of action with the student/s. Refer to your school's policy in terms of expectations and implications.

Invite suggestions from students as appropriate.

Inform all students involved of your intention to inform their parents/guardians. Involve the parents and other caregivers in developing the plan of action if appropriate.

4. Inform the students what you intend to do

Provide as much information as you can without violating the privacy of other students or parents. Also inform them about when you are planning to follow up with them after implementing the plan. Explain that you will look at immediate and short term responses as well as other long term preventative measures or efforts to promote a positive school climate.

5. Provide suggestions about what to do if the bullying occurs again

Have information on hand to share with students or set up a meeting for them to talk about strategies with an appropriate staff member. If this is not viable (due to the nature of disclosure), refer to the appropriate guidelines and processes.

Outdoor Learning/play space – A big thanks to Tony who has now completed the construction of new bench seats in the new playground area. These were designed to seat a whole class of students for outdoor learning, as well as to be used as a recreational space. Tony will now move on to the construction of additional play equipment.

Grade Five and Six Disco – Due to Covid restrictions we are unable to hold our regular disco up in the Bellbrae Hall. As an alternative, our School Council is running a local disco just for our kids next Friday evening. Please check Compass for further information and ticket purchasing. A big thanks to two of our School Council members, Jacquelle and Krysten for organising the event.

Cross Country – Well done to all the Grade Three-Six students who competed in today’s cross country. The conditions were perfect and the event certainly showcased how fit and healthy our students are. We are very fortunate to live in an area that is conducive to outdoor activity, and to have parents who promote healthy lifestyles. Thanks to all the staff and volunteers that made the event a huge success.

Enjoy this wonderful run of great weather and let’s hope it lasts a bit longer. The East Coast has certainly been copping a bit of rain while we have been enjoying glorious sunshine. For those who have been waiting patiently for the footy season to begin, the time has finally arrived. Good luck to the team that you support, and West Coast looks forward to meeting them in the Grand Final!

Adrian Waters

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