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Following a student voice survey, we are increasing our commitment to address unkind behaviour. This type of behaviour occurs in every school and can range from a one-off comment to a conscious effort to repeatedly bully a victim. Behaviour of this sort can impact a child significantly if not tackled as soon as possible and with clarity about what happens after it is reported. Unkind behaviour will not be tolerated in our school, but in order to challenge this effectively we need to hear about it from the students it is affecting as soon as possible.

We already have a huge range of people for students to approach if they need support. This includes their Form Tutor, Head of Year, School Counsellor, Education Welfare Officer, key workers, student council members, student senior leadership team and amazing team of Y11 peer mentors. We are committed to listening to all students, recognising when they are affected by unkind behaviour and supporting them through its impact on them. Sometimes, however, young people do not wish to speak to someone face-to-face or the person they wish to speak to may be absent or unavailable when they need them. At times this leads to a student not reporting information at all. This is where our new ‘#ListenToMe’ strategy comes in. This includes the following:

  • Introducing a #ListenToMe email address so that students can feel safe recording their thoughts in a private place or so that parents can report information to the school. Any emails to this address will be followed up by a member of staff within two days and the student or parent will be informed of the outcome. The email address
  • Adding ‘unkind behaviour’ to our sanction system. Students being unkind towards others will be issued with a behaviour point or ‘C1’ and this will be logged so that we can track patterns in student behaviour. Currently we log persistent bullying, but this will now include one-off unkind comments as these can also impact on students. Too often we hear about it weeks after it has happened.
  • Monitoring how students and parents feel we are tacking unkind behaviour through a simple survey.
  • Increasing visibility of the #ListenToMe strategy across the school using our screensavers, central messaging screens and website.
  • Reminding students who they can speak to through a simple display of staff names and email addresses.
  • Running a series of assemblies for students so they know about this strategy. This allows us also to remind students that we do not ignore unkind behaviour or how if makes others feel.
  • Continuing our PSHE curriculum about positive relationships.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We would now encourage you to discuss this with your child for three reasons. The first is so that if they are experiencing unkind behaviour aimed at them, they know how to get help. The second is so that they start to realise that throw-away comments or even ignoring others can be unkind, even if not meant to be taken seriously (eg ‘banter’). The final reason is so that they start to report unkind behaviour that they may see or, even better, have the courage to challenge others and let them know that it is not OK to be unkind.