(a) In devising the code, consideration has to be given to the particular need and circumstances of this school. The aim is to create an orderly environment in which pupils can, through developing self-discipline, feel secure and make progress in all aspects of their development.
(b) Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school.
(a) The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to tolerate these differences.
(b) It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co-operation among staff and between staff, parents and pupils.
(c) Every effort will be made to ensure that the code of discipline is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner.
Board of Management:
The Board of Management has a role to play in the maintenance of desirable standards of behaviour in a school. It encourages parents to become involved in the process of drawing up a code of behaviour and in supporting its implementation. It aims to be supportive of the teachers in the application of the code of behaviour.
It is the responsibility of the teaching staff to ensure that a school’s code of behaviour is administered in a manner which is consistent and fair.
We recognise that parents play a crucial role in shaping the attitudes which produce good behaviour in school. Parents will be made aware of the aims, values and behavioural requirements of the school on enrolment.
Rewards and Sanctions:
The balance between rewards and sanctions is necessary to maintain good standards of behaviour. The ideal is where rewards are intrinsic and virtue is its own reward.
It is accepted that there is a need for sanctions to register disapproval of unacceptable behaviour. We have our own set of graded sanctions suited to particular needs and circumstances. These contain a degree of flexibility to take account of individual circumstances.
The requirement in the Education Welfare Act is that a Board of Management, after consultation with the principal, the teachers, the parents, would prepare a code of behaviour. Within the context of the requirements of the Education Welfare Act, the following principles underpinned our code of behaviour and its main elements.
The Education Welfare Act requires that our code of behaviour should specify:
- The standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each pupil,
- The measures that may be taken when a pupil fails or refuses to observe those standards,
- The procedures to be followed before a pupil may be suspended or expelled,
- The grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a pupil,
- The procedures to be followed relating to notification of a child’s absence from school.
We aim to ensure that there is a concentration on the behavioural expectations of pupils, but there is a requirement that parents should make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance by a child with a code of behaviour. To supplement this outcome the Education Act (1998) states that the principal and teachers have responsibility for the instruction provided to students and for the education and personal development of pupils.
Aims of Code of Behaviour:
The following are the aims of our code of behaviour:
- The promotion of self – discipline
- The importance of listening to all members of the school community
- To encourage and recognise good behaviour
- State clearly the sanctions of unacceptable behaviour
- Rules should be applied by all with consistency and fairness
- To develop pupils self esteem
- To promote positive behaviour and in doing so foster the development of a sense of responsibility and self – discipline in pupils based on respect, consideration and tolerance for others.
- To facilitate the education and development of every child.
- To promote a caring attitude to one another and to the environment.
- To enable teachers to teach and children to learn without disruption.
- To recognise that every member of the school community has a role to play in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour.
Rights and Responsibilities:
Board of Management:
The Board of Management has a duty of care for the children attending the school and are fully aware of its obligations towards all members of the school community under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (1989)
In this regard, a board of management has a responsibility to ensure that the school is safe for pupils, teachers and all members of the school community. The Board ensures that the code of behaviour is known to parents through the supply of the code and signed acceptance of same prior to enrolment.
All pupils have the rights to:
- Expect to be treated fairly, consistently and with respect
- Be able to learn and be educated in a relatively disruption free environment, safe from bullying and abuse.
- Have the expectation that their individual differences will be recognised and provision be made for them.
- To be listened to, and to question, at appropriate times
- Be allowed to make mistakes and to learn for them
- Have confidence that their positive behaviour will be affirmed.
- That misbehaviour will be dealt with appropriately
Our code of behaviour requires of pupils that:
- They attend school regularly and punctually
- Work quietly and safely when requested, and to the best of their ability at all times.
- Listen to their teachers and act on instructions/advice
- Listen to others and await their turn to speak
- To show respect for all members of the school community
- To respect the rights of other pupils to learn
- To care for their own property
- To respect all school property and the property of other pupils
- Have a duty to avoid behaving in any way which would endanger themselves or others
- They are required to remain seated at all times if and when their teachers not in the room
- Stay within designated areas during break time
- Treating others with dignity and respect and therefore, they must avoid nasty remarks, swearing or name calling.
- Be inclusive of other pupils in games and activities
- To keep the school clean and tidy is essential.
- Pupils have an age appropriate responsibility to bring the correct materials and books to school.
- Follow school and class rules.
Teachers have the right to:
- Expect to be treated with respect and dignity
- Be able to teach in a safe, well maintained, physical environment, relatively free from disruption
- To the support and co-operation of teaching colleagues, other school staff and parents in order to achieve the school’s aims and objectives
- The expectation that appropriate support services to cater for the psychological, emotional and physical needs of the pupils should be available
- To be listened to, and participate in decision making which affects their own work and that of the school in general.
- To work in an atmosphere that encourages professional development.
- To support and professional advice from boards of management, Department of Education and Science, National Educational Welfare Board, National Council for Special Education and National Educational Psychological Services.
- To appeal in accordance with agreed procedures if decisions are taken that affect the teacher adversely
Teachers are expected to:
- Support and implement the schools code of behaviour
- Be cognisant of their duty of care and create a safe, welcoming environment for each pupil
- To develop and nurture a sense of self esteem in each pupil and in this regard the praising of desirable behaviour is essential.
- Should facilitate pupils to reach their full academic potential which will entail recognising and providing for individual talents and differences among pupils
- To be courteous, consistent and fair
- To keep opportunities for disruptive behaviour to a minimum and to deal appropriately with misbehaviour
- Listen, at appropriate times, to pupils explanations for behaviour
- Record incidents of misbehaviour and to communicate this data to relevant education partners
- Communicate with parents
- Provide support for colleagues
Parents and Guardians Rights
- To ensure that childrens basic needs are met
- To expect to be treated with respect
- To have a safe and welcoming environment provided for their child
- To expect that there will be a recognition of individual differences among pupils, having due regard for the resources available.
- To expect that there will be fairness and consistency in the manner in which the pupils are treated
- To communicate with teachers on matters of mutual interest or concern
- To expect contact at an early stage to discuss difficulties/problems
- Progress reports at the end of year
- Information on the schools code of behaviour
Responsibilities of Parents and Guardians
Parents are expected:
- To encourage children to have a sense of respect for themselves, for others, for their own property and that of others
- To ensure that their children attend school regularly and punctually
- To show interest in their childrens school work
- To ensure that their children have the correct books and other materials
- To be familiar with the code of behaviour and other school policies such as a healthy eating policy and support their implementation
- To co-operate with teachers in instances where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties
Clar Ama na Scoile
School begins: 9.20a.m.
School closes: 2.00p.m.Junior Infants
School closes: 2.00p.m. Senior Infants
School closes: 3.00p.m. other classes
It is the policy of the school to assign homework on a regular basis. Parents are strongly advised to take an active interest in their child’s homework and to sign their homework notebook each night, ensuring that the homework is completed.
Strategies for promoting good behaviour in our school:
Praise and encouragement may be given by means of any one of the following;
- A quiet word or gesture to show approval
- A comment in a pupil’s exercise book
- A visit to another member of staff or to the Principal for commendation
- A word of encouragement or praise in front of the class
- A system of merit points
- Homework Pass
- Comment / stickers on childs exercise book
- A mention to parent – written or verbal communication
In the case of overall class efforts the following awards may be given to the entire class:
- Class treats
- Reduced homework on an agreed night
- Exhibition of work
Strategies for Disapproval of unacceptable Behaviour
- Reasoning with pupils
- Reprimand(including advice on how to improve)
- Prescribing extra work
- Communication with Parents
- Temporary separation from peers and / or loss of privileges
- Referral to Principal
- Note to Parents
- Write out
- Suspension / expulsion (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular 7/88 Education Welfare Act 1999
Undesirable Behaviour in Pupils
The degree of misdemeanours i.e. minor, serious or gross, will be judged by the teachers and / or principal based on a common sense approach with regard to the gravity/frequency of such misdemeanours, as follows
Examples of minor misdemeanours:
(1) Interrupting class work
(2) Arriving late for school
(3) Running in school building
(4) Leaving litter around the school
(5) Being discourteous/unmannerly
(6) Not completing homework without a good reason
(7) Not having homework signed by parent
(8) Being unkind to any member of the school community
(9) Preventing others from learning
(10) Speaking out of turn, interrupting others and being inattentive
Steps to be taken by teachers when dealing with minor misdemeanours:
- Verbal reprimand / reasoning with pupil
- Noting instances of yard misbehaviour
Steps to be taken when dealing with regular occurrences of minor misdemeanours:
Phase 1 (Within the Classroom)
- Write a story of what happened or one copy of the school rules or relevant rule to upper limit of 20 times – all to be signed by parents
- Note in homework notebook to be signed by parents
- Temporary separation from peers
- Denial of participation in some class activity
- Lunchtime detention to be used for repeated failure to complete homework without a reason, so as to complete the work
- Note to parents concerning further misbehaviour in yard
[Misbehaviour in yard consists of any action that puts the safety of self/other pupils at risk]
Parents will be notified as soon as it is perceived that difficulties are developing with regard to their child’s behaviour.
- Send to principal
- Class teacher meets one/both parents
- Principal meets one/both parents concerning behaviour.
Examples of serious misdemeanours:
(1) Constant deliberate disruption in class
(2) Telling lies
(4) Deliberately damaging other pupil’s or school property
(6) Back answering a teacher
(7) Leaving school premises during a school day without appropriate permission
(8) Using unacceptable language
(9) Bringing weapons to schools
(10)Deliberately injuring a fellow pupil
Steps to be taken when dealing with serious misdemeanours:
- Send to principal
- Principal sends note to be signed by parent
- Principal meets with one / both parents
- Chairperson of Board of Management informed and parents requested to meet with Chairperson and Principal
- Circular 20/90 states that pupils may be suspended for repeated instances of serious misbehaviour.
Examples of Gross Misdemeanours
(1) Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards teachers or pupils.
(4) Verbal abuse/offensive language against teachers or pupils
(5) Supply or use of illegal drugs
(6) Stealing persistently
(7) Persistently disruptive behaviour or repeated instances of misbehaviour
Steps to be taken when dealing with gross misdemeanours:
- If illegal substances are found on premises then Gardai are to be notified
- Chairperson/Principal to sanction immediate suspension pending discussion with parents and in keeping with the requirements of the Education Act ‘98
- Expulsion will be considered in an extreme case in accordance with Rule 130 (6) i.e. “No pupil can be struck off the rolls for breaches of discipline without prior consent of Patron and until alternative arrangements are made for enrolment of pupil at another suitable school in the locality.”
- Rule 130 (5) authorises chairpersons or principals to exclude a pupil who has been continuously disruptive or who has committed a serious breach of discipline for a maximum initial period of three school days. A special decision of the Board of Management is necessary to authorise a further period up to a maximum of 10 school days to enable consultation to occur with the pupils parents or guardians. In exceptional circumstances, a Board of Management may authorise a further period of exclusion to enable the matter to be reviewed.
- Circular 20/90, states that pupils may be suspended for repeated instances of serious misbehaviour and/or for gross misbehaviour. However, in the case of gross misbehaviour, the board shall authorise the chairperson or principal to sanction an immediate suspension pending a discussion of the matter with parents.
- The Education Welfare Act requires that codes of behaviour specify the procedures to be followed prior to a suspension or expulsion. It obliges schools to notify in writing the Education Welfare Board of instances where pupils have been suspended for six or more days (cumulatively), and prescribes schools from expelling pupils until 20 days have elapsed following the notification to the Education Welfare Board of this course of action. This final stipulation is qualified by the acceptance in the Education Welfare Act of a Board of Managements right to take reasonable measures “to ensure that good order and discipline are maintained in the school concerned and that the safety of pupils is secured.”
- Fair and reasonable procedures to investigate incidents of misbehaviour are in place in our school.
Personal Accident Insurance for pupils
While the school distributes the information and application forms and collects the money, the Board of Management or anyone acting on its behalf is not party in any way to the policy which is strictly between you and the insurance company.
It is very important that you have names on all children’s belongings, coats, cardigans, jumpers, bags, books, lunch boxes etc. A significant number of coats, jumpers and cardigans are not named causing serious disruption in classrooms and in the school generally when they are mislaid or lost.
Contact with school:
- Parents can avail of informal contact with Principal or Teacher to pass on a short message when leaving children to school or collecting them.
- Through a note in homework journal
- Parent/Teacher meetings are arranged once a year where parents have the opportunity to meet teachers to discuss their childs progress
- At other times if you wish to discuss your childs progress with Teacher please make an appointment
For formal meetings or where there is a problem the following procedure must be followed:
- The parent discusses the problem with the teacher.
- If still not satisfied the parent may discuss the problem with the Principal.
- If there is still disagreement the parent may discuss the problem informally with the Chairperson of the Board of Management.
- If the problem is still not solved then the parent may make a formal written complaint through the Chairperson of the Board of Management and the Board will then take the matter up with both parties.
- A similar procedure will be followed where a teacher has a problem with a parent.
Any infectious illness should be notified to the school immediately
Absence from school and the Education Welfare Act
We wish to advise that under the above Act, we are obliged to report all absences of 20 days to the Education Welfare Officer. It is very important that the school is notified in writing re: your child’s absence. On his/her return to school after an absence, you should send a written explanation to the teacher stating reason for absence.
Our School Rules:
For their own safety and for the safety of others, children are required to:
- Be careful coming to and going from school
- Walk while in the school building
- Show respect for fellow pupils
- Not leave the school grounds unless permission has been granted by the Principal.
- Not wear jewellery during PE as it has proven to be a hazard.
Children are requested to:
- Respect themselves and their property, always keeping their school bag, books and copies in good order
- Bring a note of explanation following absences
- Be in school for 9.20p.m. every morning, unless for other circumstances
- Show respect for their school and wear the complete school uniform every day.
Boys-Grey pants, grey jumper and blue shirt
Girls- Grey pinafore/trousers, grey jumper/cardigan and blue blouse
- Be aware of personal cleanliness/hygiene
- Bring a sensible nutritional lunch to school. Chewing gum, crisps and glass bottles & cans are not permitted.
- Work to the best of their ability, to be attentive and co-operative and complete tasks are requested.
- Be kind and respectful to teachers and fellow pupils by being mannerly and polite, remain silent and orderly in class line
- Not disrupt the class by ‘shouting out’ etc.
- Keep the school clean by placing all rubbish in the appropriate bins.
- Be truthful and honest at all times
Review: The next review of this plan will take place in June 2017