Code of Behaviour and Discipline
The preceding policy has been drafted/updated by the Principal, Deputy Principal, members of the teaching staff, parents and B.O.M. of Holy Family N.S. in April 2005. This policy was formulated in accordance with The Education Welfare Act 2000 and in accordance with Circular 20/90 of The Department of Education and Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools of the Republic of Ireland especially section 3.
In devising this code, consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school. The aim is to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption free environment.
Relationship to the Characteristic Ethos and Spirit of the School
At Holy Family N.S., all children are cherished equally. The school seeks to create a happy, tolerant, safe environment in which each child is encouraged to strive towards his/her unique potential. The school will do everything in its power to ensure that the schools Code of Behaviour and Discipline is administered in a manner which is consistent and fair to all pupils. The code offers a framework within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement are utilised by the staff.
Reports from teachers at staff meeting of behaviour in general when necessary.
Reward System – ongoing assessment. Each teacher has his/her own reward system to encourage good behaviour.
Content of Plan
The school has a strong sense of community and all staff will adopt a positive approach to fostering acceptable standards of behaviour.
In the School Environment
Pupils are expected to:
Come to school regularly and on time, rested and ready for work. School begins at 9.20 am and ends at 2.00pm for infants and 3.00pm for all other classes.
Remain on school premises until 3pm each day. They may not go outside school boundaries.
Bring a written explanation/medical certificate from parents to class teacher when they have been absent or arrive late or need to leave early. Oral explanations for all the above must be recorded by class teacher.
Be well mannered and show respect to everyone including themselves.
Wear the full uniform: Maroon jumper/cardigan, white shirt/blouse, grey pants for boys and grey skirts/pinafore/trousers for girls. School tracksuit to be worn for sports as instructed. Runners and low heel standard shoes are accepted only.
Remember that bad language and bullying will not be tolerated.
The bringing of mobile phones to school is strictly forbidden. (If they are found they will be confiscated and a parent/guardian must come to school to retrieve same.)
Wearing of jewellery or expensive objects to school is discouraged. Girls may wear one stud in each ear. Other forms of body piercing/jewellery are strictly forbidden. Wearing of make-up is strictly forbidden.
Walk on corridors throughout the school building.
Care for furniture, books, equipment, school building and grounds.
Co-operate in a respectful way with all school staff.
We encourage healthy eating. Junk food – chewing gum, crisps, fizzy drinks are not allowed in school. We operate a healthy eating policy. (See said policy)
Have all necessary books and materials.
Remain seated in class and while eating lunch unless otherwise directed by staff.
Adhere to class rules.
Do their homework carefully and completely.
Follow all instructions given by teacher on supervision duty.
Stay in school yard at all times unless they have permission.
Be kind and respectful to staff and fellow pupils by being mannerly and polite, by taking turns and by remaining orderly in class line.
Every child has the right to enjoy playtime and go home safely from school. Dangerous or threatening behaviour is unacceptable. It should be reported to the teacher on duty / class teacher and will be dealt with effectively as soon as possible and will be recorded in the incident book.
Pupils should do their best in school by listening carefully and working as hard as they can.
Emphasis on Positive Behaviour and Rewards
Every member of the teaching staff will have high expectations and will communicate these expectations with class. Class rules are generally negotiated at the beginning of the school year in September with each class. These rules are on display on the classroom wall. The following include some of the ways our staff promotes positive discipline. These may vary from class to class.
Look for the behaviour you want and reinforce when it occurs.
Praise the desired behaviour. Catch children “being good”.
Be specific when giving praise.
Send home “Good notes”.
Send pupil to another teacher or senior staff member for recognition.
Encourage effort as well as outcome.
Use of stickers, stars, record sheets, certificates …
Homework vouchers “earned time off “
Raffle tickets – Prize on Friday.
Student of the week.
Stretch between lessons.
There are three degrees of misdemeanour:
Examples of minor include
Incessant talking in class, interrupting class work, arriving late for school, running in the school building, leaving seat without permission, leaving litter around school, not wearing full uniform, being discourteous, being unmannerly, not completing homework without good reason, endangering fellow pupils in the school yard at break time and giving back chat.
Examples of serious include
Bullying (See Anti-Bullying Policy), verbal or physical assault on a fellow student or member of staff, use of offensive language to pupils or staff, continuous back chat to members of staff, stealing, damaging property, disrespect to teachers or other school staff –i.e. challenging school authority, leaving school/school based activities without permission , causing injury to another pupil through misbehaviour and smoking.
Examples of Gross include
Serious disruptive behaviour – i.e. when a student demonstrates a persistent unwillingness to comply with the teachers instructions or repeatedly violates the teachers classroom behaviour when a student commits an act of violence upon a school employee or colleague or attempts to do so or when a student knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of any school employee or anybody lawfully on school property.
The measures that may be taken when a student fails or refuses to observe the standards set down by the school
Outline of Sanctions
The following strategies are to be used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour:
Reasoning with the pupil.
Reprimand (Including advice on how to improve)
Temporary separation from peers, friend or others.
Detention during a break at the discretion of class teacher and Principal.
Prescribing additional work.
Referral to Principal Teacher.
A child will report for one week to the designated person for pastoral care.
Communication with parents.
Chairperson of the Board of Management informed.
Suspension ( Temporary )
A teacher should report repeated instances of serious misbehaviour to the Principal while at the same time keep a written record of all such instances. This record should indicate the warnings and/or the advice given to the child on the misbehaviour and the consequences of its repetition. Pupils should be informed when instances of serious misbehaviour on their part are being recorded. Parents should be kept fully informed from the outset of instances of serious misbehaviour on the part of their children.
Teachers will keep a written record of all instances of serious misbehaviour as well as a record of improvements in the behaviour of disruptive pupils. Before resorting to serious sanctions e.g. Suspension, the normal channels of communications between school and parents will be utilised. Parents will be involved at an early stage, rather than a last resort.
Communications with the parents will be verbal or by letter, depending on the circumstances. The parents concerned will be invived to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. For gross misbehaviour, or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, suspension will be considered. Aggressivie, threatening or violent behaviour towards teacher will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.
Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and the Principal. If the parents do not give and undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future, the pupil will have to be suspended for a temporary period. Suspension will be in accordance with the terms of Rule 130(5) of the Rules for National Schools.
In the case of gross misbehaviour, the Board shall authorise the Chairperson or the Principal to sanction an immediate suspension, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.
Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with Rule 130 (6).
Where the Board of Management deems it necessary to make provision in the Code of Discipline to deal with continuously disruptive pupils, or with a serious breach of discipline, by authorising the Chairperson or Principal to exclude a pupil or pupils from school, the maximum initial period of such exclusion shall be five school days. A special decision of the Board of Management is necessary to authorise a further period of exclusion up to a maximum of 10 school days to allow for consultation with the pupil’s or pupils’ parents or guardians. In exceptional circumstances, the Board of Management may authorise a further period of exclusion in order to enable the matter to be reviewed.
No, pupil shall be struck off the rolls for breaches of discipline without the prior consent of the patron and unless alternative arrangements are made for the enrolment of the pupil at another suitable school.
The procedures to be followed relating to notification of a child’s absence from school:
The principal will notify the educational welfare officer if a student is suspended from the school for a period of not less than 6 days.
Children with Different Needs
Many children with different needs present themselves in mainstream education. When dealing with these children, we, the staff, endeavour to brief ourselves as best as we can and take their needs into consideration. Many children have extra help from Resource Teachers and Special Needs Assistants.
If a situation arises, every effort will be made to have an emotionally disturbed child referred for psychological assessment without delay. Further to initial assessments and the habitual updating of psychological assessments, in cases where children are showing unacceptable behaviour the school may recommend further referral to psychologist, counsellor or a psychiatrist. Help too will be sought from support services within the wider community e.g. Community Care Services provided by the Health Boards. However, if the behaviour is in breach of the Code of Discipline and Behaviour and interfering with other children’s education or is putting a child or member of staff at risk, the same procedures as laid down above must apply.
Every teacher has an Incident Book, which is kept in their classroom. There is also an incident book for incidents in the yard. Repeated incidents of minor misdemeanours and all incidents of serious and gross misdemeanours are recorded, dated and signed.
Relevance to Other Policies
Roles and Responsibilities
It is the Principals responsibility to ensure that the school’s Code of Discipline and Behaviour is administered in a manner which is consistent and fair to all pupils. The overall responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the Principal.
Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom, while sharing a common responsibility for good order within the school premises.
Pupils are expected to keep the rules and to show respect for themselves and others.
Will implement the discipline policy as directed by class teacher. The SNA may comment on breaches of discipline but do not have the right to discipline the offender. The SNA will report breaches to the class teacher or teacher on suspension duty at that time.
Parents are expected to be familiar with the various policies and codes of the school. They are also expected to show support for the teachers in their implementation of the school’s policy on discipline.
Board of Management
The BOM has a role to play in the maintenance of desirable standards of behaviour in the school. It will be supportive of the Principal in the application of a fair code of behaviour and discipline within the school. The BOM may authorise the exclusion of a child who is in serious breach of the Code of Discipline.
If a parent has a grievance with a class teacher, they will be advised to make an appointment with the class teacher to discuss the matter, and if this is not satisfactory with the Principal. In the event of an unsatisfactory solution the matter will be brought to the chairperson of the BOM.
If a parent has a grievance or a query regarding an incident involving a child in the school, the parent will be advised to discuss the matter with the class teacher or the Principal. Under no circumstances will a parent approach such a child directly.
Any allegations of misconduct within the school will be investigated fully by school authorities in accordance with this policy.
This code will be implemented immediately.
The policy is communicated to pupils through the rules of the school. These are written on their homework journals and discussed in class assemblies. The school policy is communicated fully and clearly to all parents. They get a copy when they enrol their child in the school and get one each time the document is revised. This updated copy is sent to each home