We know that a concern for children and parents is the potential for bullying when they move to the unknown in a secondary school. It is usual for children transferring to a large school, that has much older and larger pupils, to feel worried. We are well aware of these general concerns and have much in place to help our new pupils to quickly settle in and feel comfortable. As well as support from staff, older pupils provide help and look after the younger children. We pride ourselves on supporting our new children to settle in and our anti-bullying ethos and our effective response to any issues which arise help our new pupils feel safe and secure.
Our school’s REACH ethos (Respect, Enthusiasm, Attitude, Co-operation and Hard Work) makes it clear that bullying will not be tolerated.
As Gladesmore pupils will soon tell you, Gladesmore Community School views itself as more than a school, we are a family. Families look after each other and the school community is no different. One example of this strong community approach is the Stepping Stones programme in which Year 10 mentors volunteer to work with Year 7 as they transition to secondary school. All pupils in Year 7 have the opportunity to work with a mentor if they wish.
We have a number of high-profile anti-bullying events during the year. Our annual BLUE day (Be Lovely and Understanding to Everyone Day) offers pupils the opportunity to show their support for anti-bullying by accessorising their uniform with blue. Since 2019, we have also supported Odd Socks Day as a way of showing our appreciation of the differences within our community.
Our Year 7 PSHE curriculum has a strong anti-bullying focus with an explicit unit studied by all Year 7 which looks at bullying in its widest form including cyber-bullying. We also explore the characteristics of positive friendships so that pupils are able to identify issues if they are less than explicit.
However, we know that issues can and do occur. We survey parents in Year 8 annually to find out how effective our anti-bullying interventions have been. Typically, the vast majority of parents have never contacted us with an issue related to bullying. Of the small proportion who have, they describe themselves as totally or very satisfied with our response. We therefore ask parents/carers to contact us immediately if you have any concerns so that we can intervene to support the members of our community.