Code of Behaviour

This policy was formulated in accordance with the Education Act 1998, Section 15, (1), (2) Section 21, (1), (2), (3), (4) Section 23 (2), (3) and in accordance with Circular 20/90 of the Department of Education and rule 130 of the ‘Rules for National Schools’ of the Department of Education, especially section (3) ‘The use of corporal punishment is forbidden’.

This code of discipline is based on rewards as well as on compliance and sanctions.

Aims

The aims of the code of behaviour are:

•    To allow for the smooth and harmonious running of the school.
•    To promote the safety and happiness of all children and staff in the school.
•    To facilitate the development and education of all the children.
•    To promote good behaviour and self-discipline among the children.
•    To promote equality and fairness among all.
•    To enhance the learning environment of the school by promoting a sense of mutual respect among all members of the school community.
•    To increase the co-operation between home and school.
•    To ensure consistency in the application of rules and sanctions.
•    To outline the structure of fair and agreed sanctions that will be available to teachers in response to negative behaviour.

Code of behaviour

Rather than listing all the possible behaviours that might be unacceptable, this policy instead aims to outline clear definitions of the differing roles and expectations of the people involved in the everyday life of the school.

The school expects that pupils will:

•    Attend school regularly and not miss days without good reason.
•    Record all absences with a note for the class teacher the following day.
•    Arrive on time (9.20 the bells rings).
•    Not leave during the day without permission.
•    Respect all school property.
•    Wear the correct school uniform.
•    Show respect for yourself and others.
•    Avoid swearing, fighting or name calling.
•    Listen to messages given and do as requested.
•    Participate in school activities.
•    Move quietly around the school and avoid causing disturbance.
•    Keep the school tidy and litter free.

The teacher expects that pupils will:

•    Show him/her courtesy and respect
•    Accept his/her authority and responsibility and his/her right to teach and impose sanctions on those who behave inappropriately.
•    Come to school on time and have all necessary materials.
•    Do your homework carefully and completely.
•    Listen when others are talking.
•    Avoid distracting behaviour.
•    Participate in all class activities.
•    Follow the rules drawn up by your own class.

Your fellow students expect that you will:

•    Not bully them.
•    Show acceptance and respect their differing personalities.
•    Never insult or belittle them because of differences.
•    Respect their property.
•    Listen to them and acknowledge them.
•    Share equipment and resources with them.
•    Allow them to be part of the group.
•    Speak to them with courtesy and respect.

Expectations of School:

Children expect that school will be:

•    Safe.
•    Happy.
•    Suited to their learning style.
•    Encouraging and supportive.
•    Affirming of children of all abilities.
•    Able to deal with bullying and supportive of victims.

Parents can expect that there will be:

•    A safe and happy environment for their child.
•    Recognition and provision for the individual differences of pupils.
•    Support for children who need it.
•    Fairness and consistency in the way children are dealt with.
•     No labelling of their child.
•    An atmosphere of support and inclusion rather than criticism.
•    A willingness to listen to their viewpoint.
•    Suggestions and support about problems in school.

Teachers expect that there will be:

•    Mutual support and encouragement.
•    Co-operation to achieve the schools aims and objectives.
•    A fair and consistent implementation of the school discipline policy.
•    A consistent approach to handling troubled children.
•    An atmosphere that encourages professional development and a willingness to learn and change.

Expectations of parents:

The school expects that you will:

•    Be familiar with the various policies and codes of the school and the expectation of pupils.
•    Show support for teachers in their implementation of the schools behaviour policy.
•    Support your child in his/her homework.
•    Ensure he/she has the necessary materials.
•    Ensure your child has a positive attitude to and abides by the school and class rules.
•    Never undermine the authority of the school or teachers.
•    Promote respect for teachers and other school personnel.
•    Give one emergency telephone contact number and two additional phone numbers if the pupil needs to be collected from school.
•    Be available to discuss a problem.

Your child expects that you will:

•    Look after his/her basic needs.
•    Be interested in, support, praise and encourage his/her work in school.
•    Show fairness.

Other parents expect that you will:

•    Support the school in implementing its code of behaviour.
•    Exert firm discipline in cases where your child’s behaviour is having a negative impact on the behaviours of others.

Rewards

What happens when pupils follow the school rules:
•    Verbal praise from the teacher.
•    A note is sent home when the pupils teacher feel that a piece of work merits extra recognition.
•    Student of the week trophy. Every week a member of each class gets nominated by the class teacher for a student of the week trophy. The pupil earns this award for extra effort or leadership shown in school. The pupil receives this award during Friday’s assemblies and keeps the trophy for the week.
•    A special mention during Friday’s assemblies in front of the whole school in the hall.

Responses and sanctions available to teachers and school:

In Class:
•    Quiet word.
•    Special mention.
•    Reminder of school or class rules.
•    Short instruction.
•    Seek an explanation.
•    Change position in class/ Temporary isolation from group.
•    Loss of class privileges.
•    Note in homework journal.
•    Parents called in to speak with the teacher.

Wider involvement:

•    Send to another class.
•    Loss of break time privileges.
•    Parents called in to discuss the problems with principal.

Final Phase:

•    A meeting between parents and school disciplinary committee (Chairperson and Principal).
•    Referral for assessment (if appropriate).
•    Parents are notified of date and duration of suspension.
•    Parents should take the responsibility to obtain and ensure the completion of all homework during the period of suspension.
•    The pupil returns with parent following suspension and a behavioural contract is agreed.

For serious negative behaviour a child need not proceed through the various stages. Appropriate action can be taken by the principal or by the board of management:

•    For serious confrontational behaviour the principal may choose to contact parents immediately, or to leave a child home.
•    The child will return with a parent the following day and a behavioural contract will be agreed.

Resources available to pupils:

The school has secured access to appropriate specialist child and family support services including:

•    Rainbows (a new programme undertaken in the school within school hours).
•    Educational Psychology service (NEPS).
•    School nurse visits (eyes and ears checkups).
•    After school club (12 pupils are chosen yearly in the junior classes to receive extra after school help with homework and play a wide variety of games.
•    North Tipperary intervention services.
•    Clinical psychologist.
•    Child and adolescence psychologist.
•    Social services.
•    Speech therapist.

The School Yard:

•    The school yard is always supervised during breaks. The teacher in charge deals with all problems that arise during play.
•    If a child misbehaves consistently in the yard he/she can be sent to the school colonnade for a time out. This can happen for interfering in other games, rough play, going outside the yard area.
•    The pupil’s actions will be recorded by the teacher on yard in the schools diary book.
•    For more serious misbehaviour such as name calling or fighting, the child will be removed from the yard and sent to the principal’s office where he/she will sit outside until the end of break.
•     If the child’s name consistently appears in the diary book for misbehaving he/she will be removed from the yard for an agreed period of time. The pupil’s parents will be notified of the problem and the period of time the pupil will be removed from the yard.

The emphasis in the school is on promoting good behaviour rather than on punishing misbehaviour. For most part of the school year it is trouble free. It is however important that both pupils and parents are aware of the procedures used in the school and work with the school in ensuring that all children are happy in school.

 


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