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St Mark’s Primary School

"'Let Your Light Shine' Matthew 5:16"

Anti Bullying

St Mark’s Primary School is an Anti-Bullying School. Bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.



Before we can discuss ways to prevent bullying in school, we need to properly define what bullying is, how it comes to be, and the diverse ways in which it manifests itself.


Bullying refers to the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing, or threats to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate another person. Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages, social media, or gaming, which can include the use of images and video). While bullying can happen to anyone at any age, it is typically experienced most often during childhood and adolescent years.  Bullying is different from simple disagreements or fights; a power imbalance must exist for a situation to be considered bullying.


What exactly is bullying, you might ask? Well, it is defined by the following three characteristics:


  • Repeated: A bully bothers the same victim repeatedly.
  • Intentional: A bully hurts someone on purpose, not accidentally.
  • Power Imbalance: The bully has more power (through characteristics such as size, popularity, age, etc.) than his/her victim.


Acts of bullying can take many forms, for example: 


  • Physical - pushing, poking, kicking, hitting, biting, pinching etc.
  • Verbal - name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, threats, teasing, belittling.
  • Emotional - isolating others, tormenting, hiding books, threatening gestures, ridicule, humiliation, intimidating, excluding, manipulation, and coercion.
  • Sexual - unwanted physical contact, inappropriate touching, abusive comments, homophobic abuse, exposure to inappropriate films etc.
  • Online / Cyber - posting on social media, sharing photos, sending nasty text messages, social exclusion.
  • Indirect - can include the exploitation of individuals.


The Department of Education states ‘Bullying, especially if left unaddressed, can have a devastating effect on individuals. It can be a barrier to their learning and have profound consequences for their mental health. Bullying which takes place at school does not only affect an individual during childhood but can have a lasting effect on their lives well into adulthood. By effectively preventing and tackling bullying, schools can help to create safe, disciplined environments where pupils are able to learn and fulfil their potential. The full guidance can be found here: Preventing and tackling bullying (

Preventing Bullying


As part of our ongoing PHSE programme we:


  • Give children guidance making the right choices.


  • Give children strategies to deal with friendship issues.


  • Focus on the importance of respecting others, even when they are different from them (for example, physically, in character, personality or backgrounds).


  • Create a safe space for children to discuss problems and support solutions.


  • Reinforce the rules and principles for keeping safe online, how to recognise risks, harmful content, and contact, and how to report them.


  • Provide practical steps that can be taken in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships.
  • Inform about diverse types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders (primarily reporting bullying to an adult) and how to get help.
  • Explain what a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative, or destructive.


How we address bullying at St Mark’s

  • Offer 1:1 and group sessions through our ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) and learning mentor sessions, focusing on positive friendships, behaviour, and bullying
  • Hold assemblies reinforcing behaviour expectations
  • External organisation visits promoting Anti-Bullying
  • Take part in national Anti-bullying campaigns
  • Provide a lunch time group to support friendships
  • Have open conversations about the effects of bullying and how to report
  • Provide a school culture through our values of respecting others

St Mark’s school culture

Our five core Values, Hope, Honesty, Friendship, Forgiveness and Perseverance, under-pin all the social and emotional aspects of learning that we help to support your children.


Should your child ever need some extra support in this area please make sure they do not keep quiet but do indeed come and share their concerns with school staff. We work extremely hard to create an environment where children can discuss their feelings and seek support. Class teachers, support staff, lunchtime staff and the Senior Management Team, all work together creating a culture of anti-bullying at St Mark’s and believe that bullying (including cyberbullying) has a negative and often lasting impact on mental wellbeing.

We ensure that children are aware of where and how to seek support (including recognising the triggers for seeking support), including whom in school they should speak to if they are worried about their own or someone else’s mental wellbeing or ability to control their emotions (including issues arising online).

If you have any concerns regarding bullying, please contact the school and speak to your child’s teacher or a member of the pastoral team.





Reporting Bullying  



How can parents/carers report bullying?


  • Tell a staff member. This could be your child's class teacher, a member of the senior leadership team or a member of support staff.
  • You can speak to a staff member face to face or contact us via phone or email.


How can a child report bullying?


  • They can talk to any adult in school.
  • Pupils can place a note into the worry box located in each class and each Key Stage corridor.


What happens once bullying has been reported?


  • The school will provide appropriate support for the target of the bullying - making sure that they are not at risk of immediate harm and will involve them in any decision making, as appropriate. 
  • A member of the senior leadership team will speak and listen to all parties involved.
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) will be informed of all bullying issues where there are safeguarding concerns. 
  • The school will inform other staff members, and parents/carers, about any bullying. 
  • Where the bullying takes place off school or outside of normal school hours (including cyber bullying), the school will ensure that the concern is fully investigated. Appropriate action will be taken, including providing support and implementing sanctions in school in accordance with the school's behaviour policy.


St Mark’s Anti-bullying and Behaviour policy can be found here School Policies.