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postheadericon Code of Behaviour and Discipline

Introductory Statement

Scoil Naomh Bríd aims to achieve a happy, secure environment where children can develop to their full potential. It is necessary to provide a framework within which this can be achieved. In this Code of Behaviour we pay particular attention to the needs and circumstances of our school. Consideration will be given to the individuality of each child. We acknowledge the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption – free environment. Teachers will be aware of children with special educational needs. They shall take cognizance of these needs and respond appropriately. Our school rules are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of our school community.

This policy was reviewed by the whole Staff during an in-service day in May, 2010 and updated in line with NEWB Guidelines, 2008.

Objectives

  • To provide a safe and stable environment for the children in our care.
  • To foster good relationships between parents, teachers and pupils based on mutual respect.
  • To promote the development of self – discipline and a sense of responsibility in each child as she progresses through the school.

These objectives are reflected in our Code of Behaviour and Discipline which consists of general school rules and rules governing pupil behaviour. General rules are necessary for the safety of pupils and for the efficient operation of the school. The rules governing pupil behaviour state clearly the standards of behaviour required to maintain an environment in which children can feel secure and participate fully in all aspects of school life.

General Guidelines / Expectations for Behaviour:

Discipline is supported by a policy of positive reinforcement. Good behaviour and achievement are recognised and rewarded. Inappropriate behaviour invites sanctions which are related to the gravity of misbehaviour.

Pupils are expected to be respectful and courteous to each other, to teachers and other adults with whom they come in contact.

Pupils are expected to have good manners, use ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’  and the habit of interrupting is discouraged.

 

Children in our school are expected to:

  • Take responsibility for own work and actions.
  • Take responsibility for own property.
  • Participate to the best of their ability in all school activities.
  • Respect the school environment.
  • Attend school daily and punctually.
  • Present themselves in the school uniform
  • Observe school rules as outlined in this Code.

 

School Rules

 

School Hours

Junior and Senior Infants            9.10 am – 1.50pm

First to sixth class                                   9.10 am – 2.50pm

Morning break                                      10.50am – 11.00am

Lunch                                                   12.30pm – 1.00pm

 

  • Children should assemble in schoolyard not later than 9.10am. Children remain in yard until 9.10a.m. In bad weather they may be allowed into classrooms when a teacher comes on duty. They go to their places and remain seated until class begins.
  • Parents should not remain with their child in the classroom as teachers will be on duty.
  • All classes are collected from the yard by their teacher at 9.10.

 

To allow pupils get safely to their classrooms:

 

  • We request that doorways are not obstructed by buggies.
  • Please allow class lines to walk unhindered from the yard.
  • At all times other children are the responsibility of their parents/guardians.
  • Children are not permitted to leave the school premises in the morning once they have come in through the gate.

 

Role of Teacher

 

Teachers are expected to:

  • Ensure that the school’s high expectations for the behaviour of all the members of the school community are widely known and understood;
  • As part of the School Community, apply the Code of Behaviour in a consistent and fair manner;
  • Through teaching a comprehensive SPHE programme, develop in the children skills, understanding and values that support the Code

 

 

Role of Parents/Guardians

 

Parents/Guardians are expected to:

  • Encourage children to have a sense of respect for themselves, for others, for their own property and that of others;
  • Ensure that children attend school regularly and punctually;
  • Be interested in, support and encourage to children’s school work;
  • Ensure that their children have the correct books and other materials;
  • Be familiar with the Code of Behaviour and other school policies;
  • Support the implementation of these policies;
  • Cooperate with teachers in instances where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others;
  • Communicate to the school problems which may affect a child’s behaviour

 

 

 

School Visits

  • Notes to teachers should be written in the class journal. This can be one means of communicating with a teacher and may save a trip to the school.
  • An appointment to see a teacher on any matter should be arranged through the office (secretary or principal), or by prior arrangement with the teacher.
  • Forgotten lunches – please leave into the secretary’s office, this avoids disturbing the class.

 

 

Written Communication

A written note signed by parent/guardian is compulsory for the following:

 

  • When a child has to leave school early (dental, medical other reason). Parents/guardians must collect and sign out the child from the classroom on these occasions.
  • If a child is to be collected at lunchtime they must be collected from the school office not the playground.
  • For unfinished homework
  • When a child for health reasons cannot go out to the yard at playtime.
  • To explain absence from school, please use the detachable note in school journal
  • Under no circumstances may children leave the school during school hours without written permission.

 

 

 

 

 

Sickness

 

It is essential to inform the school of any health disorder which may affect the child in school.

If your child is obviously sick in the morning, please do not send her in.  In case of sudden illness/emergencies during school, please ensure that the school has contact numbers for parent/guardians and one other personAlways inform the school if a number is changed. See also our Medical Emergency Policy.

 

Hygiene

 

As part of our SPHE programme personal hygiene and cleanliness will be covered. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that children and their clothing are clean and tidy coming to school. This is for their own comfort and that of those with whom they share a class.

 

All long hair should be securely tied back for tidiness and to prevent the spread of head-lice.    It is the duty of every parent to ensure that their child’s head is clean.  The school is not responsible.  Should the school notice an obvious problem with hair, parents will be notified. Please inform the school of hair problems so notices can be issued to the class.

 

Pupils are also encouraged to use bins provided to keep the school and grounds clean.  High standards of hygiene will be maintained at all times throughout the school.

 

Children are expected to have a toilet bag containing a small hand towel.

 

Uniform/General Presentation

 

  • All pupils must wear full uniform, i.e. (navy pinafore, white shirt, Royal blue cardigan and tie, white/navy socks or tights. Navy gabardine trousers may only be worn during the winter months – as defined by the clock change of time.
  • Safe, suitable footwear is essential. Flat, soft-soled school shoes with laces or Velcro fastenings are necessary. No slip-ons or boots allowed.
  • The school tracksuit must be worn into school on PE days and for other events when told by class teacher.
  • Jewellery should be restricted to a watch, one ring and one pair of stud earrings.
  • The wearing of studs in the nose or eyebrows is strictly forbidden.
  • The school cannot accept responsibility for lost jewellery.
  • Nails need to be kept clean, neat and short.
  • ALL items of clothing and footwear should be clearly labeled. The school cannot accept responsibility for misplaced items.

 

Lunch/break times

 

  • Children are not allowed crisps, chewing gum, peanuts, fizzy drinks or glass bottles in school.
  •    We encourage healthy lunches i.e. sandwiches, fruit etc., and we ask parents to support this policy, the responsibility lies with parents/guardians to provide a healthy lunch for their child.
  •    Milk can be bought through the school.
  •    All lunch and drink leftovers and wrappings must be brought home.
  •    Children have five minutes before morning break for a small snack.
  •    Children have 15 minutes eating time for lunch time before going out to the yard.
  •    Food or drinks may not be brought to yard at playtime.
  •    Children may not return indoors without permission from a teacher on duty.
  •    On wet days children remain indoors. They must remain seated but will have activities for play when lunches are eaten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pupils’ Responsibilities

 

Playground

 

Children are expected to:

  • Recognize the authority of all Staff members.
  • Play in agreed area (Junior Yard / Senior Yard)
  • Recognise the rights of others and avoid interference
  • Keep the yard litter free
  • Respond to the bell in a quick and orderly manner and walk quietly to the line
  • Walk to classroom in a single file.
  • Walk to and from their own play area
  • Children should not endanger themselves / others.
  • Children should not cycle, use scooters.
  • Children should not go on grass areas.
  • Children should not bring any food, drinks, personal toys or items to the yard.
  • Any injuries in the playground should be reported to the teacher on duty. The child will be referred to First Aid. Serious incidents will be recorded, class teacher notified, and note put in child’s journal for parent.

 

Classroom

 

  • Courtesy and consideration of others is the basis of behaviour in the classroom. Children must respect the right of others to work and learn without undue interruption.
  • Pupils will co-operate with teachers and participate fully with all aspects of class work.
  • Pupils will respect the property of other children.
  • Pupils will respect school property.
  • Pupils must ensure that they bring to school everything necessary for their day’s work.
  • It is the responsibility of each individual to take care of their own property.
  • Pupils must ensure that their desks and the areas they occupy are left clean and tidy.
  • Toilet areas must be kept clean and tidy.
  • Classrooms must be vacated promptly and in an orderly way when the bell rings at 10.50am, 12.45pm, 1.50pm and 2.50p.m.

 

Phone Policy

 

  • Pupils are not allowed to TAKE or MAKE personal calls during school hours. When urgent communication is needed with parents this will always be done through the office.
  • Parents/guardians may always phone the office with urgent messages.

 

Should parents /guardians decide their child needs a mobile phone for after-school use only, the following apply:

 

  • Phones must be switched off and kept in schoolbags until pupils are released from school by the teacher.
  • The use of mobile phones during school hours including break times is totally forbidden.
  • Breach of these rules means phones will be confiscated for the duration of the day and parents will be notified.
  • Continual breach of this rule may result in confiscation of the phone.
  • The school does not accept responsibility for the loss of phones.

 

Books

 

A booklist will be given to each student towards the end of June. All books should be covered and clearly labelled. We have some books which students have on loan each year (novels, extra workbooks, music books). Books obtained under the school rental scheme must be returned in good condition or replaced. Pupils are responsible for these books while they are using them and must take care of them. Any books lost or damaged must be replaced by parents/ guardians.

 

Sanctions and Rewards

 

Every effort will be made by all members of the staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school. The school places greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions in the belief that this will give the best results. The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences. A high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community and a high level of co-operation between staff pupils and parents.

Effort, achievement and good behaviour are acknowledged and praised. Verbal praise may be given in playground or classroom. Comments may be written on copies and journals. Other rewards may be given at the discretion of the teacher.

 

Examples of Misbehaviour

 

In Class:                                        Continuously talking/disruptive behaviour                                                                         Cheeky behaviour/distracting others

 

In Playground:                              Fighting/kicking/rough play/foul language/name calling/spitting/littering.

 

Serious Misbehaviour:                   Bullying/mitching/stealing/aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a member of staff or pupil/Deliberate damage to school property/leaving school grounds without permission/persistent ignoring of school rules.

 

Procedures to deal with Misbehaviour

 

Breach of discipline incurs sanctions, proportional to the degree of behaviour

Stage One

  • Minor misbehaviour is dealt with as it occurs in class or playground.
  • The class teacher/teacher on duty deals with it and may impose a sanction on the child.

Stage Two

  • If the problem persists the teacher shall consult the principal or parents, with a view to helping the child & solving the problem.

Stage Three

  • In the case of serious misbehaviour the principal, the teacher and the parents, may need to have ongoing discussions to monitor the situation.

 

At all Stages, teachers will advise children on behaviour required.

 

Responses to Inappropriate Behaviour

 

The following measures/approaches may be used to show disapproval of unacceptable of behaviour.

 

  • Reasoning with pupil
  • Verbal reprimands, including advice on how to improve
  • Temporary separation (Time Out) from peers, friends and others
  • Loss of privileges (e.g. Golden Time, Video Time, Homework Voucher, Deprived of POR)
  • Detention during a break
  • Recording of incident of misbehaviour by the teacher
  • Communication with parents
  • Referral to principal
  • Suspension (temporary)
  • Expulsion

 

Teachers shall keep a written record of all instances of serious misbehaviour as well as a record of improvements in the behaviour of disruptive pupils.

 

 

 

 

 

Although incidents of misbehaviour are recorded, the emphasis in on encouraging children to behave well and praise is given for commendable behaviour.

Parents will be informed at an early stage if problems occur and not simply at the point where a crisis has arisen.

 

FOR GROSS MISBEHAVIOUR OR REPEATED INSTANCES OF SERIOUS MISBEHAVIOUR, SUSPENSION WILL BE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED BY THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT.

 

 

 

Suspensions and Expulsions

(With reference to Chapters 10, 11 and 12 of NEWB Guidelines)

 

All suspensions and expulsions will be carried out with reference to “Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools NEWB 2008” and related documents.

 

Authority: (Ref P70 NEWB Guidelines)

While the BoM  has the authority to suspend, they may delegate this authority to the principal for periods of up to three days.

 

Grounds for Suspension (Ref P70-71 NEWB Guidelines)

Suspensions will be a proportionate response to the behaviour causing concern.  Usually other interventions will have been tried.

 

Grounds for suspension include:

  • Student behaviour that has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students
  • The student’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property

 

A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension.

 

Procedures in respect of Suspension (Ref p 77 NEWB Guidelines)

School will endeavour to ensure fair procedure to include the right to be heard and to impartiality.

The process will include the following stages;

  • Investigation of the facts to confirm serious misbehaviour.
  • Parents will be informed by phone or in writing about the incident
  • Parents will be given the opportunity to respond

 

If suspension is still decided upon

  • Principal notifies parent in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter should confirm:
    • The period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end
    • The reasons for the suspension
    • Any study programme to be followed
    • The arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student and the parents
    • The provision for appeal to the Board of Management or Secretary General of the DES. (Only where the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches 20 days.)
    • Where the cumulative total of days reached is 6, the NEWB will be notified.

 

 

In exceptional circumstances an immediate suspension may be necessary.  Fair procedure will still apply.

 

Period of Suspension: (Ref p75 NEWB Guidelines)

This shall not be for more than three days except in exceptional circumstances.

 

 

Records and Reports (Ref p78 NEWB Guidelines)

Formal written records will be kept of:

  • The investigation (including notes of all interviews held)
  • The decision-making process
  • The decision and rationale for the decision
  • The duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension

 

EXPULSION: (Ref P82 NEWB Guidelines)

 

Authority: The Board of Management has the authority to expel a student.

 

Grounds: (Ref NEWB Guidelines pp80-81)

Expulsion will be used in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour. The school will have taken other significant steps to address the misbehaviour except in exceptional circumstances.

Due process and fair procedure will apply in all circumstances.

 

Procedures in respect of expulsion (Ref NEWB Guidelines pp 83-86)

  • A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.
    • Inform parents in writing of alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion.
    • Give parents and students the opportunity to respond before a decision is made.

 

A recommendation by the BOM by the Principal (See p 84 NEWB Guidelines)

 

 

  • Consideration by the BoM of the Principal’s recommendation and the holding of a hearing. (see p84 NEWB Guidelines)

 

  • BoM deliberations and actions following the hearing. (p85 NEWB Guidelines)

 

If the BoM is of the opinion that the student should be expelled, the Board must notify the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) in writing, of its opinion and the reasons for this opinion.  The intention to expel a student does not take effect until twenty school days have elapsed after NEWB have received written notification.  The NEWB should be notified using a Notice of Intention to Expel form which is available on www.schoolreturn.ie or from NEWB Helpline (1890 36 36 66).  This form should be completed and sent to School Return Section, National Educational Welfare Board, 16-22 Green Street, Dublin 7.

 

  • Consultations arranged by the EWO
  • Confirmation of the decision to expel.

 

Appeals:

Parents will be informed of their legal right to appeal.

  • A parent may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the DES (Education Act 1998, Section 29)

 

Records and Reports (Ref p78 NEWB Guidelines)

Formal written records will be kept of:

  • The investigation (including notes of all interviews held)
  • The decision-making process
  • The decision and rationale for the decision

 

Review:  The Board will review this policy and procedures regarding suspension and expulsion at regular intervals.

 

 

Ratified by Board of Management on _________________________________

Date

 

Signed: __________________________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

 

 

 

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