27th January 2015
Building Positive Relationships
Dear Parent/Guardian of 2nd, 3rd and Transition Year students
I wish to update you on a number of anti-bullying strategies that we are using in Lucan Community College. Bullying behaviour is considered totally unacceptable in the college and our code of behaviour and anti-bullying policy clearly outlines what kind of behaviour is and is not acceptable. We reinforce expected standards of behaviour in assemblies, in classroom management, as part of our SPHE and RSE programmes and through our co- and extra-curricular programmes. We also run an anti-bullying week and offer support through our pastoral care and guidance systems for students.
In addition we have been piloting a programme designed to educate students to recognise, report and prevent bullying behaviour and build positive relationships. This involves teachers familiar with the programme running anti-bullying surveys with class groups and holding follow-up interviews with a selection of students during which the findings of the surveys are explained and students are invited to sign a statement agreeing to treat others with respect.
In our piloting of this programme to date we have found that this approach serves to:
– explain to students how unwelcome words or actions can be upsetting for others;
– give students an opportunity to change their behaviour at an early stage without recourse to strict punishment;
– identify students who may need counselling support as they have experience bullying behaviour or have engaged in bullying behaviour;
– encourage bystander students to identify bullying behaviour and to refuse to accept it;
– involve parents/guardians at an appropriate stage;
– provide a safe environment in which students can be more confident about disclosing concerns.
If a student who has participated in this process displays bullying behaviour at a later stage, their parents/guardians will be invited for an interview to discuss the matter and both students and parents will be invited to sign the anti-bullying statement. We will continue to roll out this pilot programme across various year groups. If you have any queries in relation to our anti-bullying policy or procedures please contact me at the school.
Our code of behaviour is something that we are proud of and that serves the needs of the school community well. We believe that the addition of this pilot programme will further complement the high standard of behaviour and mutual respect shown by our students. We appreciate your ongoing support in ensuring that our students – your sons/daughters – are educated in a supportive, safe and friendly environment where each person is valued and respected for who they are.
P.S. This letter will be sent home with students (2nd years received it during the week of 26th January and 3rd and TY students will receive it after Mock exams and Work experience).