Promoting Acceptance, Respect and 'Being Kind'
We would like to provide some practical advice on how to keep your child safe both on and offline and outline the academy’s views and approaches to dealing with bullying and unkind behaviour.
What we believe
Everyone in our community from students to staff have the right to come to school and feel happy, safe and respected regardless of their ethnicity, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.
The HAOC Charter encompasses the ‘Work Hard’, ‘Be Kind’ and ‘Take Responsibly’ culture that we want to instil within our school community. As an academy, we will continue to work with students to teach them what this means and help them to exemplify it in everything they do. We actively use the phrase “more kind” when we are correcting student behaviour to ensure this becomes part of the everyday language students use and recognise when interacting with each other.
How do we promote acceptance, respect and ‘being kind?’
At HAOC, we take a four-step strategy:
- Education: all students within the academy attended a workshop at the start of the academic year, dedicated solely on what we mean by ‘Be Kind’. Throughout the year we have led several assemblies and personal development lessons based on specific ways that we can be more kind and have raised awareness of the perils and consequences of cyberbullying and other peer-on-peer abuse. Our KS3 curriculum has been specifically designed to highlight some of the unkind prejudices that exist in the world and everyone’s personal responsibility to ‘Be Kind’.
- Promote: we also believe strongly in promoting awareness of diversity within our community and our hope is that through this, we will help students understand and appreciate our similarities and shared beliefs as opposed to bringing attention to our differences or focusing on negative ideas.
- Report: we want all students to feel confident to report any incidents of unkind behaviour, particular that which is deemed prejudicial or discriminatory. It is only by having our awareness raised that we can deal with incidents as and when they emerge.
- Challenge: we want all staff and students to feel empowered to challenge injustice, prejudice, discrimination or unkind behaviour as and when it emerges. The academy will challenge views, attitudes and opinions that do not match our values and work with all students to educate and correct behaviours that do not meet our expectations.
However, despite our best efforts, we know that there will be times when students have disagreements and make the mistake of being unkind towards each other or share views that may be unconsciously bias. When such instances arise, as well as the re-education of students outlined above, we will have a restorative justice conversation between students facilitated by a member of staff.
This process involves listening to the perspective of each party and then understanding what each party needs to do to ensure the problem does not occur again. Students may also receive a sanction in accordance with the severity of their actions, but the most important part of the process is the re-education of what students need to do to ‘Be Kind’. This resolves virtually all issues within the academy as they are isolated incidents.
What is our stance on bullying?
Bullying is behaviour that is intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally and is repetitive rather than an isolated incident. It is characterised by an imbalance of power which is used to insult, harass, intimidate, or upset another person over a sustained period of time.
The difference between bullying and unkind behaviour is that the unkind behaviour continues over a period of weeks or months and is separate from a ‘falling out’. Conflict is unkind behaviour over a period of days due to an issue between peers being unresolved.
The academy has a zero tolerance policy of bullying, which can be found here.
All members of the academy community are encouraged to respect each other, and students are encouraged to talk about problems they may encounter. The issue of bullying is taken very seriously and is addressed within the academy’s personal development curriculum. We will deal with accusations of bullying swiftly and severely and will always provide support. When any accusation is made, be it bullying or otherwise, an investigation will always take place and where necessary, the academy will distinguish and explain the difference between a conflict or unkind behaviour and bullying.
What is our stance on unkind behaviour committed outside the academy or online?
We are unable to control or be responsible for the language and actions of students outside of the academy. However, we still take the behaviour of our students outside the academy and online very seriously and will always intervene either personally or report to relevant agencies depending on the severity. We really want to support our wider community to ‘Be Kind’ therefore we would like to provide the following practical advice to all our parents, carers and students.
- Do not say or do something that you would not like someone to do or say to you
- Do not do or say anything unkind either in person or online; instead, be actively kind
- Be mindful that unkind behaviour online creates a negative digital footprint that can remain online forever and never be fully deleted or removed
- If someone is being unkind to you in person, then walk away without responding, then tell an adult immediately if you are in school, or your parents or carers if you are outside of school
- If someone is being unkind online, then block them without responding. Immediately tell your parents, carers or an adult in school
- Do not join or be a part of large group chats in which there is unkind or prejudice behaviour and attitudes being shared
- Only communicate online with people that you speak to face-to-face
- Do not do or say anything that you will not be happy to show or say to your parents or carers
- If you feel unable to report an incident face-to-face, report it via the anonymous school email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Remember you can also talk to your Pastoral Manager or Achievement Leader
Parents and Carers:
- Talk daily to your child about their day, who they interacted with and how they were actively kind
- Actively monitor your child’s use of electronic devices and social media. You should have access to all of their passwords and accounts. Further advice and support can be found here
- Do not let your child interact with anyone online that they do not speak to face-to-face
- Stop your child from joining large group chats but where they do, monitor these regularly
- Do not allow your child to use electronic devices after a certain time in the evening
- If another student has been unkind to your child outside of the academy’s premises, then after ensuring your family has followed all of the above points, the first port of call is the police.
Our ambition is to support all within our school community to be actively kind towards others regardless of their differences and past experiences. We will continue to educate our students on what it means to ‘Be Kind’ and support them in reflecting on how their actions can be more kind in the future.
We have prepared the below video about staying safe and shared this with all our students in school.