Improve the physical environment

The school needs to identify the 'hot spots' where bullying occurs and re-design them, provide extra supervision, install surveillance cameras/metal detectors or employ guards. Although school facilities vary, any attempt to improve the school environment - such as wider laneways, student posters in corridors, attractive gardens, extra seating, a friendly classroom design, making it generally more attractive and welcoming - will help students feel valued.

• Use peer support, senior students, parents or teachers on yard duty to increase supervision and student safety. Bright vests or caps increase their visibility for small children.

• Provide safe havens for vulnerable students, e.g. a shady area near the staffroom.

• Provide extra sporting or other noncompetitive activities at lunchtimes: students will have better social experiences, be less bored and less likely to bully.

• Change classroom cliques and separate bully gangs by constructive involvement in school activities.

• Turn off library computers and create games for shy, sensitive students, or encourage them to participate in yard activities rather than remain isolated in the computer room/library the whole week.

• Create the means for frightened children to anonymously report the bullying, e.g. a school telephone, email address or sealed report box.

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