September 17, 2021
With the new school year now underway, the IBSB Pastoral Care System is now is full swing there to help child settle into the new school year, to ensure children feel safe, valued, and grow in confidence and maturity both academically and socially as the school year progresses.
by Ms Cristina Latcu
IBSB Student Counsellor
Being a school with many students, there will of course be instances where bullying behaviour is brought to light and addressed. The way that we approach the issue of bullying is from a multidisciplinary perspective, acting proactively to reduce the level of bullying both within school and outside school, and reactively to resolve issues quickly when they arise.
As a school fully committed to maintaining student wellbeing, we take the time to teach our children from a young age how ‘to behave’ and how ‘not to behave’. We also teach them what bullying is and what bullying isn’t, so that they each know how to identify bullying if they experience it personally or see it happening to someone else. Just to be clear, bullying is not a single incident of one student being unkind to another student, or for example pushing them while in the playground out of anger or frustration. This is certainly inappropriate behaviour, but it is not bullying.
Bullying is the deliberate and intentional behaviour of one student or group of students intended to cause harm and suffering to another over an extended period of time.
Students at IBSB are made aware in no uncertain terms that IBSB maintains a no tolerance approach to bullying, but one that is also educational toward this issue seeking to help those who are doing the bullying to understand why it is wrong, whilst empowering those who may on the receiving end of bullying to know how to best address this issue if it arises.
Thankfully the level of bullying at IBSB is very low, with just minor level incidents happening on a less frequent basis, so we are confident that our pastoral care system is working well.
Having in mind that children spend more time with their peers than with their parents, it is very important for parents to know what signs to look for in order to identify if someone is being bullied. You can find all the signs explained here, along with some other useful information: statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/35910.
Childhood bullying can have serious effects on a young person’s health: physical, psychological, and social. There can also be serious long term effects, which may include low self-esteem, social anxiety and agoraphobia, decreased performance, suicidal thoughts, night terrors, addiction, and poor interpersonal relationships. You can find an informative article on the possible long-term effects of bullying here: adc.bmj.com/content/archdischild/100/9/879.full.pdf
It is of the utmost importance that we work together as a whole school community to provide a safe environment where our children can enjoy the experience of growing up and maturing into young adults.
If you have any concerns about an issue relating to bullying as the year progresses, please write to your class teacher and the relevant Head of School to inform them of your concerns. You can also arrange a time to speak with a student counsellor to ask for advice, as we are always happy to help.
Have a great year, with many happy memories collected along the way!