St Mary’s is committed to the provision of a safe and supportive environment. Our school is built on Gospel values. Bullying is not a part of our culture and is not tolerated. Procedures have been put into place so that children in our school are protected from bullying. St Mary’s seeks to provide a safe and supportive environment which:
- Minimises risk of harm and ensures students feel secure
- Supports the physical, social, academic, spiritual, and emotional development of students
- Provides student welfare policies and programs that develop a sense of self-worth and foster personal development
St Mary’s Primary School bases its Anti-Bullying Policy on the Diocese of Maitland Newcastle Anti-Bullying Policy. The students are taught an explicit approach to bullying.
The National Safe Schools Framework (2011) defines bullying as repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons.
“…any form of bullying that utilises technology such as instant messaging, online chat rooms, online bulletin boards and email. In many ways this is a more insidious form of bullying since it may reach into a victim’s home.” In other words, technology now allows the bully to inflict psychological harm on his or her victim anywhere and anytime without respite. (Schools and the Law – Des Butler and Ben Matthews, p. 46).
Restorative Practices form the basis of our discipline procedures for times when students do not behave in a way that displays respect, responsibility and concern for the safety of self and others. The focus is on personal accountability and restoring the broken relationships rather than retribution and punishment. This means that we seek to help students learn from their mistakes, reconcile and resolve problems with others.