Code of Behaviour

Code of Behaviour

Introduction

If the school is to achieve a happy, secure environment in which children can develop to their full potential, it is necessary to provide a framework which promotes constructive behaviour and discourages unacceptable behaviour. The aim is to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to an education in a relatively disruption free environment. The school code places a greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions, and the ideal is that pupils will acquire self-discipline. We recognise the importance of a strong sense of community within the school and the existence of a high level of co-operation among teachers, ancillary staff, pupils, parents, the Board of Management and the Parents’ Association.

This Code of Behaviour was discussed at a Staff Meeting on 12 March 2018. A draft was presented to the Board of Management on 10 April 2018 and it was discussed with the Parents’ Association.

Aims

The Code of Behaviour aims to achieve three things:

  1. a) The efficient operation of the school and the structuring of in-class discipline so that there exists an efficient and stimulating learning environment.
  1. b) The maintenance of good order throughout the school and respect for the    school environment.
  1. c) The development of self-discipline in pupils based on consideration, respect     and tolerance for others.

 Planning for Good Behaviour

It is necessary for teachers to plan for behaviour, and to teach school and classroom rules in the same manner as the school subjects are taught. Pupils have the right to be listened to at appropriate times agreed by the teacher, but not wrongly gained or inappropriately demanded by the pupil.

Framework for Code of Behaviour

The aim of the code is to encourage good behaviour and to discourage poor behaviour.  In keeping with this aim, the framework is:

  • Fair
  • Supported by all staff
  • Applies to all students, both in class and throughout the school
  • Respects the dignity of all students
  • Is task orientated – clear and helpful directions are given, not implied
  • Recognises good behaviour whenever and wherever it occurs

Expectations of Pupils

  1. Work quietly and safely
  2. Listen when expected to
  3. Respect all members of the school community
  4. Be helpful
  5. Produce your best work in class and for your homework

 PupilsExpectations of Teachers

  1. To be courteous, consistent and fair
  2. To prepare and mark work
  3. To listen, at appropriate times, to pupils’ explanations for behaviour
  4. To recognise good work and behaviour
  5. To deal with bad behaviour

 School Rules

  1. Pupils must be in time for school.
  2. Wear the correct uniform
  3. Complete all homework. (Parents are requested to sign Journal each day)
  4. Pupils walk quietly around the school, and leave and enter the school building in single file.
  5. Keep the school clean and litter free.
  6. All absences of the pupils must be explained to the class teacher by a parent /guardian (by note).
  7. Any form of behaviour which interferes with the rights of others is unacceptable
  8. Follow the school’s healthy eating policy.

 Classroom Rules (Senior Classes)

  1. Follow instructions straight away
  2. Do your work well and on time.
  3. Speak only with permission during lessons.
  4. Sit properly, and you must always get permission before leaving your place.
  5. Have the proper school materials always and use them only when needed
  6. Allow others to do their work without interruption.
  7. Keep your classroom tidy at all times

Classroom Rules (Infant and First Classes)

  1. Do what you are told straight away
  2. Do your work well and on time.
  3. Put your hand up for attention and wait quietly.
  4. Sit properly, and you must always get permission before leaving your place.
  5. Have the proper school materials always and use them only when needed
  6. Be nice to others.
  7. Keep your classroom tidy at all times

Rules for Outside Play Areas

1. Follow directions from all staff immediately

  1. Walk in the yard and when leaving or coming into school grounds
  2. No rough play in yard or on the field.
  3. Do not re-enter the school building during the breaks.
  4. Keep away from the areas that are out of bounds (Shelters, outside toilets- without permission)
  5. Food and drink are not to be brought to the yard
  6. Lining up: all pupils walk to their class line, line up in Aladdin roll order and await their teacher. Note: the pupils should line up in the order of the roll on Aladdin at all times, with the exception of 8.50 a.m.

Merit Book (Procedures)

The main emphasis of the Code of Behaviour will be on affirming good behaviour. It is recognised that the procedures will be time-consuming, but constantly reprimanding pupils is also time-consuming, and does not appear to produce the desired effect.

  1. Children can receive up to 4 stamps daily. With an additional 2 stamps per week awarded for good behaviour on yard (1) and homework completed well (1)
  2. Stamps are awarded on the following basis:
  • 1 stamp is to be awarded for good behaviour and effort at 10.40 a.m. for the morning session.
  • 1 stamp is to be awarded for good behaviour and effort at 12.25 p.m. for the midday session
  • 1 stamp is to be awarded for good behaviour and effort during the afternoon session
  • One bonus stamp may be awarded at teacher’s discretion
  1. Each stage in the day gives the pupil a fresh start. This means that even if a pupil gets a yellow card or other sanction in Stage One, he can still get a stamp in Stage Two.
  2. It is recommended that stamps be given before the end of each stage. It is more effective in reinforcing positive behaviour than giving out stamps en bloc at the end of the day. In instances where by it is not feasible to stamp merit books at the end of each period, they may be stamped at the end of the day.
  3. If homework is not done fully, it must be done for the next day and a note is entered in the ‘Homework’ column of the merit book. If it is not done the following day, the child moves straight to Sanction 5 (Note in Journal from teacher).

Rewards

If pupils follow the rules, they may earn as:

Individuals and as a Class

Daily

  • Public praise
  • Star stamps on merit pages
  • Gold Card – this is awarded for excellent work / behaviour / kindness / helpfulness etc. When a child receives a Gold card, his name is to be written on a Gold Ticket. All gold tickets will be entered in a monthly class draw. One child from each class will be receive a prize awarded by the principal.

Weekly

  • Time on PC or special activity (game)
  • Student of the week certificate (each class)
  • Letter of commendation to parents
  • Individual /group credits
  • JI, SI and 1st Class – pupils who have earned all their stamps in a week are given a sticker in their merit books and a jelly / chocolate sweet.

Termly

The following aggregates of stars are required:

  • Subject Pass: 50 stars
  • Homework Pass: 100 stars (note: a pupil must request permission to use this homework pass on a particular day)
  • 1st and 2nd Class – Lucky Dip at end of term. (target number is set based on the number of days in the term)
  • End of term treat (3 terms) this is usually a trip or party. *Parties are not held during Lent.
  • Infant classes receive prizes at the end of each week

Behaviour Checks and Sanctions

* Children should never be put outside door as a sanction.

The entire focus of the Code of Behaviour is on encouraging a positive classroom climate and rewarding good behaviour. However, when a class rule is broken, there is a clear and unambiguous sequence of steps to be followed.

All Classes

Step 1: Verbal Warning – and / or initials put on Whiteboard

Step 2: Second warning – place yellow card in front of pupil. Teacher takes back the card when the child returns to the correct behaviour and / or returns to the appropriate task. (No definite time limit)

Step 3: Third incident/ breach of rules in a period = Red card. No stamp is given for this period.

Step 4: JI –> 2nd – Child is deprived of some activity for a limited period.  3rd -> 6th – Child receives a penalty sheet for homework. If this is not done, child moves to Step 6.

Step 5:  Temporary separation from peers – pupil works on own at separate desk (20 minutes – ½ hour). Each classroom should have a table and chair where a child may be sent to work.

Step 6: Note in journal from teacher to parents /guardians.

Step 7: Official letter sent to parents (co-signed by principal) requesting that          parents make an appointment to meet with teacher

Step 8: a) If parent does not make contact with school, principal sends for parent ; b) Principal meets with parent (s)

Note: if a pupil receives two red cards in the same day, he is given a penalty sheet to complete and have signed by his parents.

Yard

Step 1: Isolation from the other pupils (at the wall). The length of time a pupil spends at the wall should be determined by his age and/or developmental stage. The teacher who sent the child to the wall should return to the wall and speak to the child after a short period (approx. 5 mins). The child should apologise for his behaviour. He may then return to the yard. If he repeats the behaviour, he returns to the wall and remains there for the remainder of the break.

In cases of extreme misbehaviour, where it is deemed to be unsafe to allow the child to return to the other children, he will remain isolated from his peers at the wall, until collected by his teacher.

Step 2: If child is at the wall at end of break, a note is written in his merit book in the ‘Yard’ column.

Step 3: Note in journal

Step 4: Official letter to parents (co-signed by principal) requesting that parents make an appointment to meet with teacher

Step 5 : Letter from Principal to parents. Principal meets with parents.

Homework

Step 1: If homework is not done fully, it must be done for the next day and a note is entered in the ‘Homework’ column of the merit book. If it is done the following day, the child moves straight to Sanction 5 (Note in Journal from teacher).

Step 2: In addition, the teacher may use his/her discretion in imposing one of the following sanctions in cases where homework is incomplete or unsatisfactory on a regular basis. Teachers will take the developmental stage, ability and individual needs of the pupils into consideration :

– pupil may be requested to completed the homework during the school day Note: if work is to be done during lunchtime, pupils ideally complete the work 12.30 p.m. – 12.45 p.m. and if outdoors, work at picnic benches.

– pupil may be required to complete an additional punishment exercise

– pupil may be excluded from an activity for a period

Step 3: If a problem persists, an official letter will be sent to parents (co- signed by principal) requesting that parents make an appointment to meet with teacher

Step 4: If parent does not make contact with school, principal sends for parent ;                     b) Principal meets with parent (s)

Arriving late for school

Step 1: The time of arrival at school should be noted in the merit book.

Step 2: If the problem persists, despite it being pointed out in the merit book

(Which is signed weekly by the parent/ guardian) move to Sanction 6

(Note in Journal from teacher).

Step 3: Younger pupils tend not to be at fault and should not be punished for the lateness of their care giver. However, if a pupil is known to be intentionally late coming into class, his teacher may impose one of the following sacntions:

– pupil may be required to complete an additional punishment exercise

– pupil may be excluded from an activity for a period

Step 4:  Official letter to parents (co-signed by principal) requesting that parents make an appointment to meet with teacher

Step 5 : Letter from Principal to parents. Principal meets with parents.

Uniform

Step 1: Determine whether there is a reasonable explanation for not having the correct uniform / a note from parent / guardian.

Step 2: If the problem persists, note in journal

Step 3: Official letter to parents (co-signed by principal) requesting that parents make an appointment to meet with teacher

Step 4 : Letter from Principal to parents. Principal meets with parents.

Procedures at each Behaviour Check

  1. When a class rule is broken, each teacher needs to be clear about what happens at each behaviour check.
  2. Continued misbehaviour may warrant moving up a number of steps
  3. Move straight to final step for very serious misbehaviour
  • Deliberate continued defiance
  • Verbal and /or physical abuse
  • Deliberate damage to property
  • Continued fighting
  • Stealing
  • Smoking

Other sanctions

  1. Pupils may be detained in class during lunch break. If this sanction is utilised, pupil must be supervised at all times. A teacher should never be alone with a single child.
  1. Pupils who misbehave frequently may not be allowed to participate in school  outings for their own safety and that of the other pupils.
  1. Referral to Principal. This sanction should only be used as a last resort
  2. Suspension.

 Procedures for dealing with serious misbehaviour

  1. The class teacher fills out an incident report form.
  2. The pupil is sent to the principal. If the principal is unavailable, the pupil should see the Deputy Principal or one of the Assistant Principals.
  1. The pupil’s name is entered into the Serious Misbehaviour Book and the incident form is kept on file.
  1. Parents / guardians are informed in writing of the incident.
  2. A note confirming that this procedure has been followed is sent with the pupil to the class teacher.
  1. The pupil returns to the classroom and does punishment work at the isolation desk.
  1. A second appearance in Serious Misbehaviour Book within a month may lead to suspension.

 Suspension

 Principles

A decision to suspend a pupil is based on one of the following grounds:

  • The pupil’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other pupils
  • The pupil’s continued presence in the school at the particular time constitutes a threat to safety
  • The pupil has been responsible for serious damage to property
  • In the case of a very serious misbehaviour, a pupil may be suspended for the first incident however fair procedures will still be applied

Suspension as part of a behaviour management plan

  • The suspension enables the school to set behavioural goals with the pupil and his parents
  • It gives the school staff an opportunity to plan other interventions
  • It impresses on the pupils and his parents the seriousness of the behaviour

Procedures for the suspension of a pupil are as follows:

  1. Parent(s) are invited to discuss the matter with the class teacher and the principal.
  1. If suspension is being invoked, the parent is informed, and then confirmation of the duration of the suspension is provided in writing.
  1. The maximum period of an initial suspension is three school days, and the Board of Management has given the authority in writing to the Principal to impose this sanction.
  1. The Board of Management has also given the authority to the Principal to impose a suspension for up to 5 days in circumstances where a meeting of the Board of Management cannot be convened in a timely fashion
  1. A special decision of the Board of Management is necessary to authorise a further period of exclusion up to a maximum of ten school days to allow for consultation with the pupils’ parents. In exceptional circumstances, the Board of Management may authorise a further period of exclusion in order to enable the matter to be reviewed.

Appeals

The Board of Management will make parents aware of the facility to appeal the Principal’s decision.

If a Board’s decision is appealed, the Patron provides an appeals mechanism.

Where the total number of days for which a pupil has been suspended reaches or exceeds 20 days, a parent may appeal the suspension under Section 29 of the Education Act

Implementing the Suspension

The Principal will notify the parents in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter of suspension will confirm the following:

  • 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 a commitment to be entered into by the pupil and parents with regard to reaffirming their support for the Code of Behaviour
  • If parents do not agree to meet with the Principal, written notification will serve as notice to impose a suspension

Grounds for removing a suspension

A suspension may be removed if the Board of Management decides to remove the suspension or if the Secretary General of the DES directs that it be removed following an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998

After Suspension Ends

When a suspension has been completed, a pupil is given the opportunity and support to make a fresh start.

Records and Reports

Written records will be kept of:

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

Report to the Board of Management

The Principal will report all suspensions to the BOM with the reasons for and duration of each suspension

Report to NEWB

The Principal will report suspensions to the NEWB in accordance with the guidelines in the Education Welfare Act, 2000, section 21 (4)(a)

Review of use of suspension

The BOM will review the use of suspension at regular intervals to ensure that its use is consistent with school policies, and to ensure that use of suspension is appropriate and effective

 Expulsion

 Authority to expel

The Board of Management of St Colmcille’s BNS has authority to expel a pupil. This authority is not delegated to the Principal.

Prior to expulsion

The following steps will be taken prior to making a decision to expel a pupil.

  • A meeting will be held with parents and pupil to try and find ways of helping the pupil to change his behaviour
  • The possible consequences of misbehaviour will have been pointed out to pupil
  • Other options such as counselling will have been used
  • The assistance of other agencies such as NEPS, HSE, NCSE will have been sought

Grounds for expulsion

Expulsion is a proportionate response to a pupil’s behaviour. The grounds for expulsion are as follows:

  • The pupil’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others
  • The pupil’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to safety
  • The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property

Expulsion for a first offence

There may be exceptional circumstances where the BOM decides that a pupil should be expelled for a first offence. The kinds of behaviour to merit this sanction are:

  • A serious threat of violence against another pupil or member of staff
  • Actual violence or physical assault
  • Supplying illegal drugs to other pupils
  • Sexual assault

Procedures in respect of expulsion

Schools are required by law to follow fair procedures when proposing to expel a student. The procedural steps are as follows:

  • A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal
  • A recommendation to the BOM by the Principal
  • Consideration by the BOM of the Principal’s recommendation and the holding of a hearing
  • BOM deliberations and actions following the hearing
  • The BOM notifies the Education Welfare Officer in writing of its opinion and the reasons for its opinion
  • The pupil cannot be expelled before the passage of 20 school days from the date on which the EWO receives written notification
  • The BOM informs the parents in writing about its conclusions
  • Consultations arranged by the Education Welfare Officer
  • Confirmation of the decision to expel after the 20 day period following notification of EWO will take place if the BOM remains of the view that the pupil should be expelled.
  • Parents will be told of right to appeal and supplied with standard form on which to lodge an appeal
  • A formal record will be made of the decision to expel the pupil

Appeals

The appeals process under section 29 of the Education Act 1988 begins with the provision of a mediator nominated by the Appeals Committee.

Review

The BOM will review the use of expulsion in the school at regular intervals to ensure that its use is consistent with school policies and to ensure that expulsion is used appropriately

Implementation of Code of Behaviour

The key to the effective implementation of the Code of Behaviour is consistency among teachers. There should be no doubt in pupils’ minds with regard to the implementation of rewards and sanctions. Constant vigilance is required and in this regard, it is important to supervise children until they have left the school premises. At each break, teachers escort the pupils to the exit doors.

 If a pupil’s misbehaviour is brought to the attention of the class teacher, the pupils in question should at least receive a verbal reprimand because it undermines the effect of a colleague correcting a pupil if it is then ignored.

This Code of Behaviour applies to all of our pupils. In reviewing this Code of Behaviour, we have considered the variance in the abilities and needs of our pupils. In its implementation, teachers will be mindful of the developmental stage and ability of each pupil.

The aim of this Code is to achieve a happy, secure environment in which children can develop to their full potential. It aims to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to an education in a relatively disruption free environment.

Assemblies

Assemblies will be convened regularly so that pupils can be commended publicly and issues of common concern addressed. Assemblies will be time-tabled as follows: September, Christmas, as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge and at the end of the school year. The Gold Book will be displayed in the Glass Case and details of meritorious achievements will be recorded.

Appendices

 Samples of Certificates / Letters of Commendation

Teachers may use their own certificates, designed by their own pupils or general certificates may be produced.

Certificates may cover the following areas

  • Overall best student of the week /month
  • Best behaviour / effort / homework done
  • Best row (credits)
  • Punctuality
  • Improved Attendance

Materials

Each teacher will receive the following

  • A set of merit books
  • 1 self-inking stamper with a design of a star
  • Set of yellow cards
  • Set of red cards
  • Set of gold tickets / raffle tickets? And a gold box?
  • Copies of suggested certificates / merit awards
  • Letters of commendation
  • Letter of censure
  • Penalty sheets. (For not doing homework /for breaking school rules, 4th, 5th, 6th Class pupils will be asked to write out a one page essay on the rule they have broken; 2nd, 3rd Class pupils will be given the school rules to write out; Pupils in J. Infants, S. Infants and 1st Class will be given a “time-out” or excluded for a short period from some activity. Penalty pages are to be signed by parents and retained by teachers)

 Serious Misbehaviour / Incident Report Form

Name: __________________________________ Class: _____________

Date: _________________________________     Time: _____________

Dear Principal / Deputy Principal / Assistant Principal,

This pupil has been very un-cooperative during class time /in the yard. I am reporting him to you as part of the agreed disciplinary procedure.

Signed: _______________

Details of Serious Misbehaviour / Incident:

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

For staff use only:

Feedback to Class Teacher on Serious Misbehaviour

To: _________________________           Date: _______________

From: __________________________

(Principal / Deputy Principal / Assistant Principal)

Re: ________________________

(Pupil)

_________________________________________________________

Further to your reporting of the above named pupil for serious misbehaviour, the following action (s) have been taken.

1. His name has been placed in the Serious Misbehaviour Book. [ ]

2. He has been suspended from school for _______ days.        [ ]

3. Other action:

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Individual Behaviour Plan and Report

Dear Parent /Guardian,

Your child has been placed on an individual plan /report to improve his daily behaviour. Please check and sign the report each day. The report will also be checked by the Principal.

 

Name:

 

1 2 3 Parent (s) Signature
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday

 

Targets

  1. To respond to any reasonable request made by a member of staff
  2. To remain acceptably on task
  3. To avoid `shouting out’

 

Details of any problem behaviour

 

Date /Time What led up to incident ? What happened ? Consequences? Signature of teacher

 

 

 

Contract for Behaviour Management

 

Date of Commencement:_________

 

Date of first review:__________

 

Pupil’s Name:__________________  Class: _______ Date of birth:____

 

 

 

Reasons for contract:

 

 

 

The school will:

 

 

 

 

 

_______________ (Parents /Guardians) will :

__________________ (pupil) will:

Signed:        _________________ (Teacher)     Date: ___________

________________    (Parent)     Date: __________

___________________ (Pupil)      Date: __________

 

Dear ____________________,

 

I regret to inform you that ________________ has broken a number of School Rules, and has reached Step 6 of the behaviour checks. He has been given a penalty worksheet to complete for tomorrow. I would like to discuss this matter with you as soon as possible. Please contact me by note or by phoning the Office at 8405132 to make an appointment to discuss this matter.

 

Yours sincerely,

_____________________

Class Teacher

 

 

Dear ____________________,

I am very pleased to inform you that _________ has put great effort into his school work, and he deserves praise.

 

Well done __________, keep up the good work !

 

Yours sincerely,

________________

Class Teacher

 

 

 

Letter from SE Teacher

 

 

Dear _____________,

 

____________________ has worked very well today. I am reporting this to you as part of the School’s Code of Behaviour. He should be given Stamp for this stage.

 

________________________

 

SE Teacher

 

 

 

 

Letter from SE Teacher

 

 

 

Dear ____________________,

 

______________ _________ has not been co-operative today. I am reporting this to you as part of the School’s Code of Behaviour. He should not be given a stamp for this stage.

_____________________

SE Teacher

Details of misbehaviour:

 

Merit Page (SAMPLE A)

Name: ___Séamus Mac Donncha____________

Week starting: ____1 Márta 2018__________

 

Day Time of arrival at school Homework Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Break- & Lunchtimes
Monday

 

 

9.06  

 

 

Homework incomplete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed:Kicked  another pupil

 

 

 

 

Fri: Chasing in yard

Tuesday

 

 

9.16 Poor effort made
Wednesday

 

 

Distracting others by making noises repeatedly
Thursday

 

 

Hit another pupil
Friday

 

 

 

Please ensure that this page is signed each weekend.

 

Signed: _________________________ (Teacher)

_______________________________ [Parent (s)]

________________________________              Weekly Total: _____

Merit Page (SAMPLE B)

Name: ___Séamus Mac Donncha____________

Week starting: ____8 Márta 2018__________

 

Day Time of arrival at school Homework Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Break- & Lunchtimes
Monday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday

 

 

Wednesday

 

 

Thursday

 

 

Friday

 

 

 

Please ensure that this page is signed each Monday.

 

Signed: _________________________ (Teacher)

_______________________________ [Parent (s)]

________________________________              Weekly Total: _____

Penalty Page

Pupil’s Name: __________________ Class: ________  Date: ____

Offence: _____________________________________________

Teacher: ___________________

You are in breach of the School Code of Behaviour, and you must complete neatly the work below.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Dear Parent,

_____________ has been given a penalty sheet because he was in breach of the School’s Code of Behaviour. Please sign the exercise when it has been completed.

Work to carry out:_____________________________

Parent’s Signature:__________________________

Pupil’s Signature: ___________________

Review and Evaluation

The policy was reviewed at a staff meeting on 12 / 04 / 18.

The policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 10 / 04 / 18.

This policy will be reviewed by July 2020.

Signed Mrs Veronica McDermott,  Date 10/04/2018

Chairperson, Board of Management