Code of Behaviour Policy

Fossa National School.

(February 2014)
 
1. Aims:
1. In devising the code consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances, in which pupils can, through devising self-discipline, feel secure and make progress in all aspects of their development.
2. Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school.
 
2. Principles:
1. The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to tolerate these differences.
2. 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.
3. Every effort will be made to ensure that the code of discipline is
implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner.
 
3.0 School Rules:
 
3.1 Safety: For my own safety and the safety of others.
1. I should be careful coming to and going from school.
2. I should always walk while in the school building.
3. I should remain seated at all times in class and while eating lunch.
4. I should never run in the schoolyard and always show respect for my fellow pupils.
5. Bring in a note of explanation following all absences.
6. I should never leave the school grounds without the permission of the Principal.
 
3.2 Caring for myself:
1. I should respect my property, and myself always keeping my school bag, books and copies in good order.
2. I should always be in school before the bell rings at 9.05am.
3. I should show respect for my school and be proud to wear the complete uniform/school tracksuit each day. I should always be aware of my personal cleanliness.
4. I should always bring a sensible nutritional lunch to school each day in line with the school healthy lunch policy. Fizzy drinks, sweets or chewing gum are not allowed.
5. I should always do my best in school by listening carefully, working as hard as I can and by completing my homework.
 
3.3 Caring for others:
1. I should be kind and respectful to my teacher and fellow pupils by being mannerly and polite, by taking turns and by remaining silent and orderly when moving about as a school/class group.
2. I should behave well in class so that my fellow pupils and I can learn in a pleasant environment.
3. I should always help to keep my school clean by placing litter in a bin and by respecting the school’s property and the property of my fellow pupils.
4. Be truthful and helpful at all times.
 
3.4 Children with Special Needs
All children are required to comply with the code of behaviour. However the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules. Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and the Special class teacher, learning support/ resource teacher, and or Principal will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given. Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times. Professional advice from psychological assessments will be invaluable.
The children in the class or school may be taught strategies to assist a pupil with special needs adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support. This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the difference in all individuals.

4. Bullying:
I should never bully others. I should never allow others to bully me and if it happens I should tell my parent(s) and my teacher. Bullying is always unacceptable.

5. Clár ama na scoile.
Arrive in school: 9.00am. School begins: 9.05am. School closes: 1.45pm Junior and Senior Infants. 2.45pm. All other classes.

6. Homework.
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 supervise and sign homework each evening.

6.1 Strategies.
Praise may be given by means of any one of the following: A quiet word or gesture to show approval. A comment in the child’s Homework Copy/Journal. A visit to another teacher’s class or to the Principal for commendation. A word of praise in front of class group or class. A system of merit marks. Delegating some special responsibility or privilege. A mention to parents, by means of written or verbal communication.

7. Disapproval of unacceptable behaviour will be dealt with as follows: (The nature of the behaviour will determine the strategy.)
Reasoning with the pupil. 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. Recording of misbehaviour in class/school incident book. Referral of incidents to Chairperson/ BOM for discussion. Suspension/expulsion of pupil (in accordance with Rule 130 of Rules for National Schools as amended in Circular 7/88). Exclusion (Suspension or Expulsion) from school (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular and Education Welfare Act 2000) See Point 9.

8. Procedures: The degree of misdemeanours whether minor, serious or gross will be judged by the teachers and Principal based on a common-sense approach with regard to the gravity /frequency of such misdemeanours as follows:

8.1 Examples of minor misdemeanours: Interrupting class work.
Arriving late for school. Running in the school building. Talking in the class line. Leaving seat without permission at lunch time. Placing unfinished food/drink cartons in class bin. Leaving litter around the school. Not wearing the correct uniform. Being discourteous to others. Not completing homework without an adequate explanation. Not having homework signed by a parent/guardian. Endangering self or fellow pupils in the schoolyard at break time.

8.2 Examples of steps to be taken by teachers when dealing with minor misdemeanours:
Verbal reprimand/reasoning. Noting instance of yard misbehaviour in class/school incident book. Commenting on the attitude adopted by the child while receiving the reprimand.
Examples of steps to be taken when dealing with regular occurrences of minor misdemeanours.

8.2.1 Phase 1 (within the classroom).
Write out a story of what happened. Put (five, ten, twenty) words from spelling book into sentences. Write out a number of mathematical tables, do extra Maths Homework. Give the child a domestic task to be completed at home, i.e. wash the dishes, and tidy a bedroom. Children will generally be required to write an apology for their behaviour and this must be signed by a parent.
A teacher may wish to send the child temporarily to another class or deny the child permission to participate in a class activity. If a child’s name appears in the class incident book three times within a three week period, a note will be sent to parents concerning future behaviour. Children consistently misbehaving on the yard will be excluded from playing games and
may be required to remain in a supervised area in the entrance hall for a predetermined number of days during lunch time. Parents will be informed of these sanctions.

8.2.2 Phase 2.
Behaviour discussed with the Principal. Behaviour discussed with Parents, Teacher and Principal. Class teacher should keep notes of these meetings. The Principal may consider the participation of a child in after-school activities and/or school outings if a consistent pattern of inappropriate behaviour emerges during the course of the year. Behaviour discussed with the Chairperson and/or BOM. If unresolved, school authorities in accordance with procedures laid out in Rules for National Schools will consider suspension/expulsion of the pupil.

8.3 Examples of serious misdemeanours:
Constantly disruptive in class. Telling lies. Refusal to complete school or homework assignments. Stealing. Damaging other people’s property. Bullying. Back answering a teacher. Engaging in non-verbal behaviour, which is intended to be discourteous towards fellow pupils, staff or teachers. Frequenting school premises after school hours without appropriate permission. Leaving school premises during the school day without appropriate permission. Not working to full potential. Using unacceptable language. Bringing weapons to school. Deliberately injuring another pupil.

9. Suspension and Expulsion
Before serious sanctions such as detention, suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised. Where it is
proposed to detain a pupil after school hours, the parents or guardians will be notified. Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances.
For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour suspension may be considered. Parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher or pupil 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 an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future the pupil may be suspended for a period. Prior to suspension, where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information. Suspension will be in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000. In the case of gross misbehaviour, where it is necessary to ensure that order and discipline are maintained and to secure the safety of the pupils, the Board may authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.
Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rule for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000. Before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board shall notify the Local Welfare Education Officer in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act.

Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)
Following or during a period of suspension, the parent/s may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The parent/s must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code and the Principal must
be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan for the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class.

10. Comment.
At times incidents recorded in class notes may seem trivial. However, it is the cumulative effect of breaches in rules which seriously undermines school discipline and morale.
A motto to guide our behaviour at school could be:
Respect for Myself, Respect for others and Respect for Property.

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