St Francis Church of England Aided Primary School and Nursery

Living our High Five Values as we learn and grow together in our Christian School.

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What is bullying?


Bullying can be defined as repetitive, intentional harming of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It is usually conscious and wilful and commonly consists of repeated acts of aggression and/or manipulation.


It can take a number of forms – both physical and non-physical, either in combination or in isolation. Any bullying, whether physical or non-physical, may result in lasting psychological damage to the individual.


Bullying generally falls into one or a combination of the following categories:

• Physical Bullying – Unprovoked assault on a person or group.

• Psychological – Reduction of a person’s self-esteem or confidence through threatening behaviour, taunting or teasing about race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, family circumstances, appearance, or any other feature of their lives which can be used to wound or humiliate them.

• Social- Ostracism/rejection by peer group.

• Verbal – The use of language in a derogatory or offensive manner, such as swearing, racist or sexist abuse, sexual innuendo, spreading rumours, etc.

• Cyber bullying – Using mobile phones or the internet to deliberately Upset someone. This include child-on-child abuse. Being subjected to Harmful online interaction with other users.

• Homophobic/transphobic/biphobic – Any hostile or offensive action against lesbians, gay males, bisexuals or trans-gender people, or those perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans-gender.

• Child-on-child abuse - any abusive behaviour that involves sexual harassment/violence, cyberbullying, physical abuse, ‘upskirting’, ‘sexting’ or initiation (see Safeguarding and Child Protection, Online Safety policies

Signs and symptoms of bullying


A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied.


Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:

• is frightened of walking to or from school

• is unwilling to go to school (school-phobic) or regularly feels ill in the morning

• becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence

• starts stammering

• attempts or threatens to self-harm or runs away

• stops eating

• cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares

• begins to do poorly in school work

• comes home with clothes torn or books damaged

• has possessions which are damaged or “go missing"

• asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)

• has unexplained cuts or bruises

• becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable

• is bullying other children or siblings

• is frightened to say what's wrong

• gives improbable excuses for any of the above

• is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone

• is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.