At Gorse Hill School, we believe that every child should feel safe, valued, supported and happy in school.

As part of our values curriculum, we aim to provide a safe, caring and friendly environment for learning for all our pupils to allow them to improve their life chances and help them maximise their potential.

We expect pupils to act safely and feel safe in school, including that they understand the issues relating to all forms of bullying and that they feel confident to seek support from school should they feel they or others are unsafe.

We also want parents/carers to feel confident that their children are safe and cared for in school and that incidents when they do arise, are dealt with promptly and well.

Definition of Bullying

The repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace.

How does bullying differ from teasing/falling out between friends or other types of aggressive behaviour?

  • There is a deliberate intention to hurt or humiliate.
  • There is a power imbalance that makes it hard for the victim to defend themselves.
  • It is usually persistent.
  • Occasionally an incident may be deemed to be bullying even if the behaviour has not been repeated or persistent – if it fulfils all other descriptions of bullying.  This possibility should be considered, particularly in cases of hate crime related bullying and cyberbullying.  If the victim might be in danger then intervention is urgently required.

What does bullying look like?

Bullying behaviour can be physical, verbal or emotional and includes:

  • Physical assault
  • Taking or damaging belongings
  • Name-calling
  • Taunting
  • Mocking
  • Making offensive comments
  • Cyber bullying – inappropriate text messaging or e-mailing; sending offensive or degrading images, impersonating and hacking into accounts online using internet enabled devices
  • Producing offensive graffiti
  • Gossiping and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours
  • Excluding people from groups.

Although bullying can occur between individuals it can often take place in the presence (virtually or physically) of others who become the ‘bystanders’ or ‘accessories’.

Where does bullying take place?

Bullying is not confined to the school premises. It also persists outside school, on the journey to and from school and in the local community and may continue into Further Education.

The school acknowledges its responsibilities to support families if bullying occurs off the premises.


The increasing use of digital technology and the internet has also provided new and particularly intrusive ways for bullies to reach their victims.

Cyberbullying can take many forms and bullying online can often start in school and then be progressed online or start online and influence behaviour in school.

Whilst most incidents of Cyberbullying occur outside school, we will offer support and guidance to parents/carers and their children who experience online bullying and will treat Cyberbullying with the same severity as any other forms of bullying.

Cyberbullying can include:

  • Hacking into someone’s accounts/sites
  • Posting prejudice / hate messages
  • Impersonating someone on line
  • Public posting of images
  • Exclusion
  • Threats and manipulation
  • Stalking

We will ensure that our children are taught safe ways to use the internet (see our e-safety policy) and encourage good online behaviour.

Bullying can take place between

  • Young people
  • Young people and staff
  • Between staff
  • Individuals or groups

For further information on the schools procedures for dealing with incidents of bullying please refer to the schools Anti-bullying policy on our policies page.

Useful websites


Gorse Hill School
Avening St,

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The White Horse Federation, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 08075785. Registered office: Plymouth Street, Swindon, Wiltshire SN1 2LB. The White Horse Federation is an exempt charity.

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