Anti-Bullying Quality Mark

At Deansfield we are very proud of the wonderful community we have established.  Our children are very responsive to work with and the vast majority of behaviour in school is consistently outstanding, with children feeling secure and safe.  However, we are always looking to improve our practice and we continually work on developing our procedures and strategies for the prevention of bullying, which our staff and pupils have jointly defined as:

“The persistent and continued intimidation and abuse, either verbal, physical or via social media, carried out deliberately by an individual or group with the intended purpose of harming another individual.”

After a lengthy process and a rigorous assessment we were very pleased to be awarded the Bronze Anti-Bullying Quality Mark in 2017, in recognition of the work we have done to make our school a safe community for all our children.  This was achieved with the support of representatives from across our school community, including our Pupil Anti-Bullying Committee, members of teaching and support staff and parents. ABQM stated that, “Deansfield Primary School developed some innovative practice in the process of establishing a whole school approach (to the prevention of bullying) that complemented its values”.

Major developments that supported this achievement include the following:


We have reviewed and re-designed our Anti-Bullying Policy to ensure it is fit for purpose and effective and to ensure it has a clear impact on safety and well-being in school.  Our Policy reflects our conviction that we need to make the prevention of bullying our core priority, outlining the key procedures in place in school to ensure this happens.  At the same time, it also provides clarity about procedures in place to deal with any bullying concerns that may arise and the support available to pupils and parents involved in these instances.

After consultation with the Pupil Representatives on the Steering Group, it was felt that it was important to provide a children’s version of the Policy which would be more accessible for pupils in school.  As a result, we have also published a “Children’s Charter", with slight variations for EYFS and Key Stage One pupils, outlining our key commitments and procedures for keeping children safe in school.  Teachers refresh these with pupils regularly and they are displayed in classes and around the school to ensure they remain high profile for children.

The school Anti-Bullying Policy is available for parents to read in the Policies section on our school website.

Curriculum Development

Our curriculum overview now includes clear PSHCE programmes of study which promote the development of children’s social skills across the school.  Our PSHCE Subject Leader has produced a specific anti-bullying strand, “Developing Positive Relationships”, which will provide a whole school focus during one term in each school year.  Our Computing Curriculum has also been revised to include a major focus on E-Safety, an issue which is also followed up in school assemblies.

Improvements to Playground Provision

We continually strive to ensure that playtimes provide the best opportunities possible for purposeful play and to support children to form positive relationships and friendships within a culture of mutual respect.  To this end, we have increased the range of playground equipment available to the children, as well as the range of lunchtime clubs on offer, which now ensures that Key Stage 2 children, as well as our younger children, have access to indoor provision .  In addition to this, School Council members were involved in a project looking at the School Garden area and investigating ways to ensure it provides a space for children wanting peace and quiet, or an opportunity to sit and read with friends.

Pupil Involvement:

Regular pupil surveys provide us with an invaluable source of information and a chance to get children’s viewpoints on safety in school and any issues they may have.  It is encouraging that the overwhelming majority of pupils tell us that they feel safe and happy at school.  However, any issues which arise (such as use of the garden) are then followed up so that improvements can be made. 

In Summer Term 2015 we introduced our Peer Mentors to provide an additional layer of support at playtimes for any vulnerable children.  The Peer Mentors are a group of Year 6 pupils who share the responsibility, on a rota basis, for being available at playtimes in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to offer support for any child who needs it. 

This could, for example, be because they are experiencing friendship issues, having difficulty playing successfully with other children or may have more significant concerns about inappropriate behaviour or even bullying from another child, but would prefer to communicate this initially to a peer rather than an adult. 

Peer Mentors are distinguishable by the lanyards they wear and in Key Stage 2, two of the Mentors remain in the garden area so that children know where to find them should they need help.

Of course, the Peer Mentors do not replace the need for adult support for children, particularly where more significant issues may be identified.  To this end, all the Mentors have received training so that they know when to refer concerns to an adult and when to seek further support for any children they speak to.

Peer Mentors also have regular feedback meetings with senior members of staff to support them and to ensure they feel confident in their role.

The response of pupils in school to the Peer Mentors is overwhelmingly positive; they really appreciate their presence and acknowledge the difference this makes to their feelings of safety and well-being in school.

Restorative Approaches

Consistency in the way behaviour incidents are dealt with is essential to their effectiveness.  Adam Wilson, Deputy Head Teacher, attended comprehensive training in restorative approaches to behaviour management, a process which directly supports children to take responsibility for their own behaviour and seeks to repair relationships, where necessary, and change behaviour for the future.  This training was shared with all members of staff, including members of support staff and Midday Meals Supervisors.  It has enabled us to build on practice already in place and really tighten up our procedures for dealing with issues and has already proved to be very effective in practice.


Parent Involvement

As a school we believe that an effective relationship with parents is crucial in establishing a safe and happy community.  We have worked hard to ensure that there are clear communication channels for parents with any concerns about their child, including potential bullying. We publish a home-school communication map to facilitate this and also offer parent workshops and meetings on issues including e-safety for children.