Aims of the Code:
- To create a positive and safe learning environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour.
- To promote self-esteem and positive relationships.
- To encourage consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour.
- To foster a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils and to support good behaviour patterns based on consideration and respect for the rights of others.
- To facilitate the education and holistic development of every child.
- To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment.
- To enable teachers to teach without disruption.
- To ensure that the school’s expectations and strategies are widely known and understood through the Parent’s Handbook, availability of Policies and an ethos of open communication.
- To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy.
Responsibility of Adults:
The Adults encountered by the children at school have an important responsibility to model high standards of behaviour, both in the dealings with the children and with each other, as their example has an important influence on the children.
As adults we should aim to:
- Create a positive learning environment with realistic expectations.
- Promote, through example, honesty, respect and courtesy.
- Provide a caring and effective learning environment.
- Encourage relationships based on kindness, respect and understanding of the needs of others.
- Ensure fair treatment for all regardless of age, gender, race, ability and disability.
- Show appreciation of the efforts and contribution of all.
- All pupils are expected to treat all Staff, Parents/Guardians, other pupils and visitors with courtesy.
- School opens at 8.40am. Children may be brought into the hall where they will be supervised. This is to facilitate children being dropped to school before formal class begins.
- Pupils are asked to listen to and to follow all teachers’ instructions, as soon as they enter the school premises.
- Pupils are encouraged to do their best and to present their class work and homework neatly.
- Any behaviour that interferes with the rights of other pupils, or their families, is unacceptable.
- Staff, Parents/Guardians and pupils are expected to keep the school clean and litter free and to respect school property.
- When entering or leaving the school, pupils and adults are to do so in single file using the pedestrian gate. Pupils must be guided by the lollipop lady when crossing the road.
- Children will only be permitted to leave the school premises with adults whose names have been provided. Parents/Guardians must notify teachers of the names of any adults permitted to collect their child at the beginning of the school year.
- Parents/Guardians must inform the class teacher, in writing, when a pupil has been absent and give reasons for the absence.
- Pupils must have permission to leave the school premises during school hours. This includes all after school-activities. Permission slips are provided in the office and they must be signed by Parents/Guardian.
- Mobile phones should be turned off, labelled and left into the office in the morning and collected in the afternoon. The B.O.M is not responsible should mobile phones be lost or stolen.
- The wearing of full school uniform is obligatory from September to June inclusive. Pupils should be proud of their uniform and should wear it when in school or representing the school all uniforms should be marked with the child’s name.
- Suitable hair styles are required. Long hair should be tied back neatly. Please check your child’s hair every Friday. Pupils are not allowed to dye their hair.
- Watches, not more than one flat ring and one pair of studs only will be allowed at any time. In the interest of health and safety, hooped or dangling earrings are not allowed. In the interest of health and safety, no other facial or body piercings are permitted. In the interest of safety we ask that children do not wear watches or rings on P.E. day.
- Nail varnish and make up is forbidden.
- The school will not be responsible for the loss of any valuables.
- Chewing gum is forbidden at all times.
At the beginning of each academic year, the class teacher will draft a list of class rules with the children.
- Pupils are always supervised by Teachers in the playground, at P.E. and break times. Pupils must obey the supervisor at all times.
- Pupils must remain in the playground unless given permission to leave it by the teacher on duty.
- Pupils may not talk to adults, even Parents/Guardians, through the railings.
- Pupils are to play safely, showing consideration and respect for others.
- Only authorized school equipment is allowed in the playground at playtime.
- When playtime ends children should.
- Stop playing.
- Walk and wait quietly in their class line.
- Walk in single file to class.
Examples of Strategies to Affirm and Promote Positive Behaviour:
- Verbal praise.
- Pupil of the week.
- Note in homework journal.
- Stars, stickers, stamps or points.
- Good conduct chart.
- Night off homework.
- Dalta Na Seachtaine.
- Fun time/Golden time.
- Good attendance award.
- Home visit affirmation.
Three levels of misbehaviour are recognised: Minor, Serious and Gross. All everyday instances of a minor nature are dealt with by the Class Teacher. In cases of repeated serious misbehaviour or single instances of gross misbehaviour, Parents/Guardians will be involved at an early stage and invited to meet the Teacher and/or the Principal to discuss their child’s behaviour.
Examples of Minor Misbehaviour:
It is important to emphasise that the list in the policy is not exhaustive and that other types of misconduct may require correction or disciplinary action.
- Interrupting class work (e.g. walking around the classroom without permission, throwing objects, talking at the wrong time, making noise, fiddling, eating at the wrong time)
- Leaving litter in and around the school.
- Disruptive behaviour in the bathroom.
- Lack of compliance with school policy on hair, makeup, jewellery and uniform.
- Being discourteous or unmannerly.
- Not completing homework without good reason.
- Name Calling.
- Gestures of defiance.
- Unruliness in the classroom, on the stairs or in the hall.
- Bad language.
Examples of serious misbehaviour:
- Bad language.
- Behaviour that is hurtful. Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning.
- Threats or physical hurt to another person.
- Damage to property.
- Disrespect, answering back or verbal assault towards staff.
Examples of gross misbehaviour:
- Assault on a member of staff or pupil.
- Serious theft.
- Serious damage to property.
- Bullying and Discrimination.
Strategies for dealing with misbehaviour:
Teachers will use their professional judgement and their knowledge of the child and the particular circumstances of the behaviour or incident in selecting the appropriate sanction. The sanction will be proportionate to the behaviour or incident in question.
- The teacher will remind the child of the rule or emphasise the behaviour expected.
- If the behaviour is repeated, the student is reminded of the behaviour required and informed of the consequence associated with continued misbehaviour. They are given a choice – a sanction or change/improve their behaviour.
- The student may be separated from other pupils in the classroom (“time-out”) – either by changing places with another student or moving to an isolated desk. During this time they still partake in class work.
- The child may be asked to discuss their behaviour with the teacher.
- The child may also be asked to meet with the principal.
- The child may be asked to write an account of their behaviour to be signed by his/her Parents/Guardians
- Letter/note from teacher in homework diary to be signed by Parents/Guardians.
- If misbehaviour continues, the student may be removed to another classroom for a ‘cool down’ period (15 minutes). The student is given an assignment/class work to complete during this time and will be encouraged to reflect on their behaviour.
- Detention at break-times may be used for minor and serious misbehaviour. Pupils will sit in their classroom or in the school kitchen for up to fifteen minutes at lunch time. Detention is supervised by a teacher. Pupils may be required to complete a time-out sheet (2nd to 6th only).
- Parents/Guardians will be informed as soon as it is perceived that difficulties are developing with regard to their child’s behaviour. Teachers may write a note in the homework journal to be signed by Parents/Guardians. Parents/Guardians may also be informed by phone.
- If the misbehaviour continues in the case of a serious incident, the Parents/Guardians will be requested to meet the class teacher.
- In the event of ongoing incidents of serious or gross misbehaviour the Parents/Guardians will be invited to a meeting with the Principal. A meeting may also be arranged with the Parents/Guardians, Principal and the Chairperson of the Board of Management.
- In the case of a serious or gross misbehaviour the pupils may be kept in detention at all/some breaks for a specified period. Parents/Guardians will be informed of such detention.
- In the event of a gross incident of misbehaviour or where a pupil is continuously disruptive he/she may be suspended by the Principal/Board of Management for a minor fixed period of one to three school days. The procedures for suspension are outlined below.
Orange Card Behaviour Record:
A Behaviour Record Card will help to track the behaviour of certain children and to have concrete consequences for negative behaviour. These strategies for dealing with misbehaviour are set out in a staged approach which the children are aware of. The placing of these strategies into a staged approach on a Behaviour Record Card will make it easier and clearer for all involved in monitoring children whose negative behaviour warrants them being tracked and put on the behaviour Card System. The children know this as an ‘Orange Card.’
Certain children may be put on the school Behaviour Record Card when the route of sanctions is necessary. Teachers will use their professional judgement, their knowledge of the child and the circumstances of the behaviour before informing the child that he/she will be on an Orange Card.
It is also essential that children are taught the appropriate behaviour and respect, in class and throughout the school and are aware of what happens when they choose not to follow this.
This is in line with the NEWB Guidelines.
A copy of the Behaviour Record Card can be viewed at the back of this Policy.
Suspension and Expulsion:
Normally, other interventions will have been tried before suspension. Suspension can provide a respite for staff and the pupil, give the pupil time to reflect on the link between their action and its consequences and give staff time to plan ways of helping the pupil to change unacceptable behaviour. The decision to suspend a pupil will follow from serious/gross misbehaviour.
- The pupil’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students.
- The pupil’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a possible threat to safety.
- The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property.
The Board of Management and Staff of Dominican Convent Primary School will follow the procedures for suspension and expulsion outlined in the Guidelines for Schools on Developing a Code of Behaviour.
Fair procedures (i.e. the right to be heard and the right to impartiality) will be applied at all times. Accordingly, pupils and their Parents/Guardians will be fully informed about the alleged misbehaviour and the processes that will be used to investigate and decide the matter and they will be given an opportunity to respond before a decision is made and before a serious sanction is imposed. In exceptional circumstances, the Principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary when the continued presence of the pupil in the school at any time would represent a serious threat to the safety of pupil or staff of the school, or any other person. Automatic suspension will apply in the event of a student engaging in very serious/gross misbehaviour.
In determining the appropriate action for expelling a pupil, the Staff and the BOM, will refer to the factors to be considered before proposing to expel a student. These factors include, the nature and seriousness of the behaviour, the context of the behaviour, the impact of the behaviour, the intervention tried to date, whether suspension is a proportionate response and the possible impact of suspension.
Procedures in relation to suspension:
- Communication to Parents/Guardians regarding the suspension of a pupil or the possibility of suspension will be in writing and copies of all correspondence will be retained. In some circumstances it may be necessary to contact Parents/Guardians by phone.
- The Parents/Guardians and the pupil will be invited to meet with the Principal and/or Board of Management to discuss the proposed suspension.
- The Board of Management has delegated responsibility for suspension to the Principal in the event that immediate suspension of a pupil is warranted. The Parents/Guardians and child will be invited to discuss the matter with the principal and the procedures governing suspension will be applied.
- Where Parents/Guardians do not agree to meet with the principal, written notification will serve as notice to impose a suspension.
- A written statement of the terms and date of the termination of a suspension will be given to Parents/Guardians. A Suspension will not be for more than three days, except in exceptional circumstances where the principal considers that a period of suspension longer than three days is necessary in order to achieve a particular objective.
The letter will confirm:
- The reason for the Suspension.
- Any programme of study to be followed.
- The arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student and the Parents/Guardians (for example, the pupil and Parents/Guardians might be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the Code of Behaviour)
- The provision for an Appeal to the Board of Management and the right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills (Education Act 1988 Section 29).
- The suspension will be recorded on the NEWB ‘Student Absence Report Form’ (when applicable).
- When a period of suspension ends, the pupil will be re-admitted formally to the class by the class teacher or principal. The school will help the pupil to catch up on work missed and the pupil will be given the opportunity and support for a fresh start.
- Where a satisfactory resolution of a problem is achieved, a pupil may be readmitted to school with a suspension period at the discretion of the Principal and/or the Chairperson of the Board of Management.
- If a pupil continues to misbehave he/she may be suspended for a major fixed period (up to ten days) to allow for consultation with both the pupil and the pupil’s Parents/Guardians to address the issue.
- As outlined above, Parents/Guardians and pupil will be given the opportunity to discuss the issues with the Principal/Board of Management.
- The Education Welfare Officer will be informed when a student has been suspended for six days or more cumulatively.
- Section 29 Appeal: When the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches 20 days the Parents/Guardians may appeal the suspension under Section 29 of the Education Act and will be given information about how to appeal.
Procedures for Expulsion:
- Subsequent to the above suspension procedures and meeting with Parents/Guardians, if serious incidents of misbehaviour continue, the pupil will be recommended for permanent expulsion by the Board of Management. The ground for expulsion include the following:
- The pupils behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process.
- The pupils continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to safety.
- The student is responsible for serious damage to property.
Authority to expel is reserved to the Board of Management.
In determining the appropriateness of expelling a pupil the BOM will refer to the factors to be considered before proposing to expel a student. These factors are similar to those mentioned above in relation to suspension.
In exceptional circumstances, a pupil may be expelled for a first offence.
Procedures in respect of expulsion – six steps:
- A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.
- A recommendation to the Board of Management.
- Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation, and the holding of a hearing.
- Board of Management deliberation and actions following the hearing.
- Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer.
- Confirmation of the decision to expel.
Note: A detailed outline of each of these in available in Chapter 12 of the Guidelines for Developing a Code of Behaviour. This is available in the school office or can be accessed on the NEWB Website – www.newb.ie
Section 29 Appeals: A parent may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills (DES). A form for such an appeal is available from the DES.
Signed: Dr. Caoimhe Frain Date: 17th Nov 2015
Chairperson, Board of Management
|PUPIL BEHAVIOUR RECORD||NAME:|
|ORANGE CARD GIVEN
Communication with parent/guardian
|Temporary separation in room
|Movement to other room (SHORT)
|Movement to other room (1 Day)
|Parents/Guardians meet teacher
|Referral to Deputy Principal
|Referral to Principal
|Parents/Guardians meet Principal
|Behaviour Contract Initiated
|Parents/Guardians meet Chairperson
|Suspension (In accordance with School Policy and NEWB Guidelines)|