Children and young people should have a safe environment to grow up and learn in. We do not accept bullying and we will intervene in it.
We work in schools actively and in many ways to prevent bullying. Every school has procedures for crisis and bullying situations. We have compiled the schools’ procedures into an anti-bullying programme that includes 13 measures. You can read about them below.
Our Anti-Bullying Programme, the Helsinki ABP13 programme
1. A positive school culture prevents bullying
We monitor the pupils’ everyday life and management at the school and class level through the school health survey and the wellbeing profile. We use the results to prevent and intervene in bullying.
We practise emotional skills and interaction skills regularly. We use reliable and researched materials from organisations and universities in our teaching. We maintain the competencies of teachers and other professionals.
We make the rules for each class together. They help us prevent and identify bullying and support interventions if problems arise.
We support the pupils’ grouping regularly, which reinforces the sense of unity. We have the pupils work in groups throughout the school year: especially when a new class comes together, pupils move to lower secondary school, after holidays, and when someone is transferred to a new class.
Our pupil welfare staff hold discussion sessions for 7th-graders in small groups. The sessions are about mental health and things that can harm it, such as bullying.
We develop pupil mentor activities by training instructors and pupil mentors in anti-bullying work in cooperation with the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare and Folkhälsan. Even though the adults at a school are responsible for intervening in bullying, pupils are needed to contribute to community spirit and a safe atmosphere and to uphold anti-bullying norms. The pupil mentor activities play a role in anti-bullying work in terms of preventing, identifying and intervening in bullying and supporting the victims.
2. Identifying and intervening in bullying
We intervene in bullying systematically. We investigate cases of bullying and record a report in a template on Wilma.
Bullying can also be hidden and occur on social media, for example. Not a single bullying incident should stay hidden. Pupils can also use an online reporting form to report bullying via Aula (the digital desktop for learners). You can submit the report anonymously or in your own name.
We use restorative relationship methods in conflicts at school. A restorative approach is about interacting, listening, restoring relationships and supporting social skills. Our school social workers and some of our psychologists are trained to use these methods.
Putting a stop to prolonged bullying requires all available help. Sometimes, an outside perspective can help with a problem. An external party can look at the situation as a whole. This is called the B-0 method, which is implemented in every Helsinki comprehensive school as necessary. The B-0 method has been developed by the Children of the Station organisation.
If necessary, we involve external operators from outside the school in our work. Such operators may include the youth services, the third sector, Child Welfare or the police.
3. Support for recovery
Sometimes more extensive support is needed. In this case, the pupil being bullied can name a safe adult who can help and support them moving forward.
Peer groups offer an opportunity to share your experiences with others who have gone through the same. We offer information about the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare’s peer groups for children and young people who have experienced bullying and their guardians.
Emotional and interaction skills as a part of anti-bullying activities
We support pupils’ wellbeing and teamwork by systematically practising emotional and interaction skills. In all our schools, we teach and learn emotional and interaction skills. The learning methods vary by school. The skills can be learned systematically as a part of a subject, or the skills can be a subject of their own.
Through emotional and interaction skills, children and young people learn to identify, verbalise and regulate their emotions. The skills help pupils work in a group and listen and pay attention to others.