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Continuing on the theme of bullying, here's the second part of our blog that we launched last month on how to combat bullying in the classroom.
Encourage pupils to help find solutions
Consult with children who engage in bullying and those who have been victimised to learn about their experiences – and seek recommendations of how bullying should be resolved.
Most children in my research experienced cyberbullying through gaming, but were primarily concerned with face-to-face bullying, which they felt was harder to avoid and ignore. In consulting with students, encourage them to talk about how they feel and reflect on how they can react to hurtful interactions more productively, rather than becoming extremely angry or upset. One pupil we worked with told us how these conversations helped to make a difference. “I used to scream and shout,” they said. “But I’ve learned to be calm.”
“All students in my most recent study were encouraged to write in diaries regularly to provide a positive outlet for their emotions. The impact was stark. Rather than report every incident to teachers, we saw pupils speaking respectfully to those who engage in bullying, and could reflect on the bully’s perspective. Some children commented that they learned how to resolve bullying in their school and their lives outside of school”
Bring students together
After we worked individually with children who were in conflict with one another, they were brought together in a meeting. This was particularly revealing in the case of two boys who were perceived as bullying each other. The popular boy was seen as engaging in bullying the most because his friends were aggressive to the boy who was ostracised. However, the other boy often responded violently.
In the meeting, the ostracised boy explained how he was taking medication to improve his behavioural problems. The popular boy asked: “What do you want from me?” to which he replied, “Your friends”. Consequently, the more popular boy included him in social activities such as football and encouraged his friends to speak to him – as a result, the fighting stopped.
Create respectful staff-student relationships
Teachers and students must work together to tackle bullying. Some of the children who participated in our study said they felt sorry for a child who was forced to sit at the front of his class by his teacher – a number of them even offered to sit next to him and support him. Many teachers have said they’ve been surprised by children’s efforts to understand other pupils and stop bullying.
Strategies of how to resolve bullying between pupils and educators are being written into anti-bullying policies, although more research is needed to investigate bullying between pupils and teachers so that interventions can effectively identify and resolve the problem.
Teachers should consistently speak to children respectfully, listen to children, respond to their views and take time to understand their perspectives. Pupils are then more likely to then do the same with their peers.
McGinley Education regularly interact with schools & teachers to consult on common issues, helping to identify common consensus and to continue to promote best practice. Should you wish to discuss any issues with our team, please give them a call on…. Or email them on and a member of the team will get back to you.