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13 May 2016

posted 12 May 2016, 15:06 by Carolyn Brett
Next week is NZ's first bully prevention week. At this time, a new interactive website will be launched as a resource for schools and communities: www.bullyingfree.nz.

Teachers have planned a number of different activities for next week to reinforce expectations and strategies for speaking up. This is one of the most important things - the ongoing development of a 'culture of telling'. Much of our work in the health space - wellbeing/positive education proactively works on what we call 'pro social' behaviours. It's ongoing and having the first ever spotlight for NZ on a bullying prevention week shines the light on these programmes.

It is important to be really clear about what bullying is and isn't. For this reason, I thought it timely to highlight the 'behaviour' section in the school website.

Behaviour

The school has very clear expectations regarding behaviour. Aiming for full engagement in learning, an inclusive collaborative culture and strong home/school partnerships certainly goes a long way to minimising negative behaviours.

Modelling and rewarding pro-social behaviour and encouraging a ‘culture of telling’ is first and foremost.

What we do know, however, that things never go entirely smoothly. We are in the people business and there is always an element of unpredictability! While we always focus on the positive, we also have consequences for negative behaviours. Teachers and your child/ren will be able to explain the ‘colour chart’. Although very rarely utilised, it serves a useful purpose.

It is extremely important to act on negative behaviours quickly. Most incidences occur in the playground, usually out of eyesight or hearing of duty teachers. Please help us by encouraging your child to speak up - then teachers can deal with things at the time. Please don’t wait for a month for things to build up. This isn’t helpful.

It is useful to also be mindful of the use of the term ‘bullying’ and be very clear as to what it is. It has 4 defining characteristics:
  • Bullying is deliberate
  • Bullying involves a power imbalance
  • Bullying has an element of repetition
  • Bullying is harmful
In a nutshell, it is not a word to be thrown around lightly!

Developing resilience in our children, supporting them to have the ability to bounce back, to stand up for themselves, to be flexible, to show courage and make good decisions, to deal with things for themselves, to really understand who they are and what they value can never be underestimated.

Ultimately, we have one value = one rule and that is of respect.

We are looking forward to the launch of this new resource and are sure there will be some great ideas for us to chat about and work together on at home and school.

See you sparkling tonight at the Disco!! 
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