Bullying behaviour is defined as – “the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. It can happen face to face or through cyberspace.”

If it does not contain one of the four highlighted words it is not bullying.

(Anti-Bullying Alliance 2014)


For a pupils it can be said in child speak ‘Bullying is when someone hurts you on purpose, it keeps happening and you cannot get it to stop’.

 Bullying can be:

  • Verbal Bullying – hurting someone’s feelings
  • Physical Bullying – hurting someone’s body
  • Indirect Bullying – hurting someone’s friendships
  • Cyberbullying – hurting someone virtually
  1. Emotional –being unfriendly, excluding others, tormenting (e.g. hiding belongings, threatening gestures)
  2. Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
  3. Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
  4. Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
  5. Homophobic – because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality
  6. Verbal – name calling, put downs, threats, spreading rumours, teasing, ridiculing, belittling, excessive criticism or sarcasm
  7. Cyber – all areas of the internet, such as email, internet chat room/social networking sites misuse, mobile threats by text messaging, picture/video clips and calls, misuse of technology
  8. Relational: relational aggression is manipulation calculated to hurt or control another child’s ability to maintain rapport with peers. Relational aggression is not typical bullying but a more subtle form of aggression that uses relationships to damage or manipulate others

Pupils who are being bullied may show changes in behaviour, such as becoming shy and nervous, feigning illness, taking unusual absences or clinging to adults. There may be evidence of changes in work patterns, lacking concentration or truanting from school. Pupils must be encouraged to report bullying in schools.

Bullying can take place in many forms.  All of them are wrong.  Bullying is not acceptable in any form. It may be carried out by a group or one person and it will be over a period of time.  It may involve hitting, kicking, threats, name calling or less obvious ways, such as ignoring or excluding someone. 

It is similar to harassment and other forms of abuse, such as racism and the abuse of children by adults.  The person or people doing the bullying (both sexes bully and are bullied) maybe the same age or older or younger than the person they are bullying.

It does not only take place between children.  Parents, teachers and other adults sometimes bully children.  If a teacher persistently humiliates a child, his/her self-esteem will be damaged. Children may bully parents, teachers and other adults.  A concern is that adults may be reluctant to admit this. A more positive, open, approach should help all members of our school to develop the necessary skills to deal confidently with all aspects of bullying.

Investigation may take time.  Feelings of guilt, shame, anger, frustration, fear and foolishness may lead people to deny that they have been bullied.

Similarly, the people who are bullying are unlikely to have the skills of self-control and unable to control their behaviour as yet and therefore, are likely to rationalise their behaviour.  They may deny that they have been bullying {e.g. “it was only a joke}; they may minimise the seriousness of it {e.g. “I didn’t really hurt him}; they may attempt to justify the behaviour {e.g. “he asked for it”}; they may deny personal responsibility {e.g. “I was in a bad mood – I couldn’t help it”}.  These rationalisations need to be exposed.  Everyone is always responsible for their own actions and bullying is never acceptable. 

These days people (adult and children) often use the term ‘banter’ – which is to speak in a playful or teasing way.  However, banter could easily turn into bullying behaviour – it goes through 3 stages:

  • Friendly banter – there’s no intention to hurt and everyone knows the limits
  • Ignorant batter – crosses the line with no intent to hurt, will often say sorry
  • Malicious banter – done to humiliate person, very often in public

 Please inform the school if you think your child is being bullied.

 Anti-Bulling Policy