Classroom Level

Compulsory elements on the classroom level are:

  • Class meetings
  • Class rules against bullying
  • Participatory student activities
  • Films and multimedia
  • Class parents / caregivers colaboration

 

Class meetings

Class meetings in the Olweus program have a specific structure and specific aims. The class teacher has an active role of guidance in these meetings. A pre-planned topic is presented, exemplified and discussed. Sometimes multimedia material will be used, sometimes topics are brought up by the students and discussed there and then.

For the students, taking part in the class meetings is their main activity within the program. They wll talk about their own social situation in the class and the school, learn to listen to and appreciate eachothers thoughts and feelings. They learn about bullying and they are introduced to the school values that abuse is not tolerated. Actual cases of bullying are however never to be discussed in class meetings.

Class meeting in an Olweus School (Landro skole in Hordaland, Norway)

Most classes need time to develop their ability to hold class meetings. The Olweus program holds instructions and tools to help the class teacher to develop this competence in their classes.

The OBPP has adopted much from the tradition of Classroom Management. This tradition regards the teacher as much more than a provider of school subjects. The teacher should be a good leader for the students, knowledgeable about their life situations and their individual needs. Recent studies have shown that there is no contradiction between this focus and academic achievements.

Olweus style class meetings on a regulra basis represents one fo the criteria in the Olweus Standard and is a requirement for the school to be recognized as an Olweus School according to the OQAS.

 

Class rules against bullying

Most classes have general class rules about student behavior. The OBPP class rules against bullying are four pre-defined rules targeting the four most effective strategies for students to stop or counter bullying.These rules are learned by the students in all grades, and are focussed at the start of each school-year.

Classroom rules against bullying serves several purposes and are prooven usefull

Classroom rules against bullying are usefull for both younger and older students

The rules are well known by the students, and they give the class teacher a good point of reference when discussing unacceptabe behavior and promoting the basic values regarding abuse in the school.

Consistent use of the class rules against bullying represents one of the criteria in the Olweus Standard and is a requirement for the school to be recognized as an Olweus School according to the OQAS.

 
 

Participatory classroom activities

Students learn better when they have a chance to actively participate in the learning process. Use of role-playing is one effective way for the students to learn about bullying and harassment on a deeper level. The Olweus Staff Handbook contain sample role-plays, some with pre-defined and others with open endings. Either form has its targeted learning objectives.

When the students are more knowledgeable about the phenomenon of bullying, they are encouraged to develop and perform their own role-plays. Other expressions of their understandings can be the making of short videos or creating their own songs and music on the topic.

It is of paramount importance that no student experiences any such activity as humiliating, threatening or as a repetition of a previous traumatizing experience. Therefore all these activities are supervised with great care by the class teacher.

Constructive and carefull use of participatory activities like these represents one of the criteria in the Olweus Standard and is a requirement for the school to be recognized as an Olweus School according to the OQAS.

 

The use of films and multimedia

The OBPP comes with a selection of multimedia (films, audio material) to be used with the students in the OBPP class meetings. This material has been selected to ensure it depicts bullying generally as it happens. The material is not particulatily dramatic, nor does it reveal "exciting" new forms of bullying, in order to avoid training effects or an increased urge to try out bullying. Nor does the material provide unrealistic or ineffective solutions or strategies for stopping or avoiding bullying.


The material is used to raise the awareness of the phenomenon, always as an introduction to a discussion between the students where also the class teacher takes part when appropriate. The staff members get a good understanding through the SSG work how detrimental the use of literature and multimedia can be without good, adult-guided discussion afterwards.

When the class have become more experienced and have been through all the basic material in the OBPP, other material may be selected by the class teacher and in some instances also by the students themselves. The class teacher supervises the selection of such material to ensure its suitability, and will be responsible for the discussions following its use.

 

Collaboration with class parents/caregivers

The class teacher will meet with the class parents / caregivers on regular class parent / caregivers meetings at least once a year. During these meetings the class teacher and the homes exchange knowledge and ideas in order to syncronize their rules for behavior and the values communicated to the students.Parents / caregivers meet with teaching staff at least once a year 

The homes are also encouraged to maintain open communication with the school in case of worrying developments concerning the students. Class teacher informs the homes about the school's procedures for handling information concerning possible or actual bullying and other problem behavior or distress the students may experience. The aim of this colaboration is to ensure an open line of communication if difficulties should arise.