Code of Behaviour Policy

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Scoil Mhuire Junior

Blakestown,

Dublin 15

Telephone/Fax: (01) 8216916

 

Email: smjblakestown@gmail.com                                                  www.scoilmhuirejunior.ie

Scoil Mhuire Junior Code of Behaviour Policy

 

Rationale

The Board of Management of Scoil Mhuire Junior is involved in an on-going process of reviewing all school policies in light of current legislation. A school Code of Behaviour is an essential element in the smooth running of a school. The school had a Code of Behaviour that is reviewed regularly, with the last review completed in March 2014. This more comprehensive review has been on-going in light of new guidelines for developing a Code of Behaviour from the National Educational Welfare Board. The guidelines were used as a tool to evaluate our existing policy and amend it where necessary. This task was delegated to the Principal, Deputy Principal and school staff.

 

Mission Statement

 

We in Scoil Mhuire Junior strive to create an inclusive environment which cherishes the diversity and individuality of all members of our school community while upholding the Catholic Ethos.

“Explore, learn and succeed together”

Student Motto

Do my best.

Honour the crest

Treat each other with respect

 

Aims:

  • To enable the child to live a full life as a child and to realise his or her potential as a unique individual
  • To enable the child to develop as a social being through living and co-operating with others and so contribute to the good of society
  • To prepare the child for further education and lifelong learning.
  • To promote self-esteem and positive relationships.
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others.
  • To ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the school community
  • To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, and sanctions are clearly understood and implemented in a fair and consistent manner throughout the school
  • To provide guidance for pupils, teachers and parents on behavioural expectations.

 

Promoting Positive behaviour

In Scoil Mhuire Junior, we adopt a positive approach to discipline by having high expectations and encouraging the development of self-discipline. The focus of the whole school approach is the promotion and recognition of positive behaviour.

  • Positive reinforcement: Friendship bench, Good News Bulletin Board, Principal’s Awards, Compliment board in every classroom, Badges / Wristbands from principal, Good Behaviour Certs for the classroom and the playground.
  • All staff members endeavour to praise good behaviour wherever they observe it –a quiet word or gesture to an individual or a word of praise to a group or whole class.
  • Children are sometimes sent to another class or to the Principal for commendation (Principal’s Award)
  • Children are rewarded by being given a special task to carry out.
  • All class teachers devise reward systems appropriate to their class.
  • Pupils are involved in creating a set of rules for their class.
  • At the monthly Assembly, we celebrate recent events and achievements.
  • Parents are informed when their child’s behaviour has improved.
  • Ongoing communication with parents is an essential element in promoting and sustaining positive behaviour. This can take the form of notes home for individuals and items on the Website or in the school Newsletter.
  • Where individual children have difficulty in adhering to the rules of the classroom or the school, the teacher will devise a reward system tailored to the needs of the child. This may form part of the Classroom Support Plan or the School Support Plan for that child, if one is required. (See Educational Support Policy)

General guidelines for Positive Behaviour

The school rules in Scoil Mhuire Junior are designed to support the maintenance of a safe, happy and orderly environment for all members of the school community. The underlying principles of our Code of Behaviour are;

  • Respect for themselves
  • Respect for others and
  • Respect for property

See Appendix A for specific school rules

This code of behaviour applies both in the school and its environs and to all school-related activities.

Sanctions

The purpose of sanctions and other strategies is to promote positive behaviour and discourage misbehaviour. Here in Scoil Mhuire Junior, we will endeavour at all times to ensure that discipline is applied in a fair and consistent manner, with awareness of the age of the child and of individual difference.

Sanctions will be applied according to the gravity of the misbehaviour and with due regard to the age and emotional development of the child. These may include (not in rank order):

  • Reasoning with the child
  • Verbal reprimand, including advice on how to improve
  • Temporary separation from peers within the class and/or temporary removal to another class (Time out)
  • Loss of privileges
  • Time out while in the yard
  • Referral to Block Mentor
  • Communication with parents
  • Referral to the Principal
  • Note sent from Principal
  • Principal communicating with parents
  • Shortened or reduced day
  • Exclusion (Suspension or expulsion) from school, in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular and the Education Welfare Act 2000). Procedures are outlined below.

In cases where the school has serious concerns in relation to the managing of consistent/ disruptive /aggressive behaviour, the school under the guidance of the school principal may seek the advice of the appropriate external agencies (NEPS, EWO, SENO, SESS, Tusla) with the aim being to manage the behaviour more effectively.

Complaints or concerns about a child’s behaviour should be brought, in the first instance, to the attention of the class teacher.  They can further be referred to the Mentor followed then by the Principal. Serious concerns would, of necessity, be brought to the attention of the Board of Management. Parents / Guardians will be directed towards the complaints procedure if this is required. (See Appendix B for examples of extreme misbehaviour)

Suspension

  • If the parents/guardians do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future, the pupil may be suspended for a temporary period to a maximum of 3 days.
  • In the case of an incident of gross misbehaviour the Board of Management authorises the Chairperson to sanction an immediate suspension to a maximum of 3 days pending a discussion of the matter with the parents/ guardians.
  • A special decision of the Board of Management is necessary to authorise a further period of suspension up to a maximum of 10 school days
  • In this case the Education Welfare Officer will be informed by letter of the intention to do so
  • Parents/ Guardians may meet with the Board of Management prior to the authorisation of this second period of suspension.
  • In exceptional circumstances the Board may authorise a further period of suspension in order to enable the matter to be reviewed.
  • A suspension may be lifted under exceptional circumstances as so deemed by the Board of Management.
  • A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension.

 

Expulsion

  • Under the Education Welfare Act, 2000, “A student shall not be expelled from a school before the passing of 20 school days following the receipt of a notification under this section by an Educational Welfare Officer”. (Section 24 (4)).
  • It is the right of a Board of Management to take “…such other reasonable measures as it considers appropriate to ensure that good order and discipline are maintained in the school concerned and that the safety of students is secured.” (Section 24(5))

Appeals

Under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998, parents (or pupils who have reached the age of 18) are entitled to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills against some decisions of the Board of Management. The Board of Management will advise parents of this right if it has been decided to suspend (for more than 20 school days in a school year) or permanently exclude a pupil.

The Secretary to the Board will prepare a response to any such appeal, which is under investigation by the Department of Education and Skills.

  • Notwithstanding the above, in the case of any pupil behaving in a manner likely to be a danger to him/herself or others and where every reasonable effort made to address the matter has failed, the Principal shall request the parent/guardian to withdraw the pupil from Scoil Mhuire Junior until such time as the Board of Management deals with the matter. This shall be done as soon as is practicable. (c.f. Health and Safety Statement)
  • Aggressive or violent behaviour is that behaviour that puts a pupil himself or herself, other pupils or staff members at risk
  • The Board of Management may request that the pupil be withdrawn while a programme can be agreed or resources put in place in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the school community.

 

 

 

 

 

Record Keeping

Class Level

Teachers keep a record of misbehaviour, which is on-going, disruptive or serious. The type of misbehaviour is listed along with the date and a brief factual account.

When required, a Classroom Support Plan is devised to support a child with particular behavioural difficulties.

School Level

The Principal also keeps factual reports of particular incidents, communication between school and home, with outside agencies and Board of Management. These are stored in the office.

When required, a School Support Plan is devised to support a child with particular behavioural difficulties.

End of Year Report – The end of year report includes references to behaviour, which is standardised.

Yard Behaviour

  • Instances of misbehaviour in the yard are recorded and referred when necessary to the class teacher or the Principal.
  • The Post holder/ block mentor monitors these records and works with children who are shown to misbehave in the yard on a regular basis.

Procedures for Notification of Pupil Absences from School

The Education Act 2000, Section 23 (2)(e) states that the code of behaviour must specify, “the procedures to be followed in relation to a child’s absence from school.” Section 18 stipulates that parents must notify the school of a student’s absence and the reason for this absence.

Parents/Guardian’s can notify the school of a pupil’s absence in the following ways:

  • The school may be contacted by telephone by the Parent/Guardian.
  • On the morning of the pupil’s return to school, parents may tell the teacher at the door, of the reason for the pupil’s absence from school
  • On the morning of the pupil’s return to school, parents may give the teacher at the door, a note explaining the reason for the pupil’s absence from school
  • All absences and the explanations for them are recorded by class teachers
  • These records are stored in the school administration system (Aladdin)

 

  • Automatic texts are sent from the administration system when a child misses 10 days and 15 days.
  • Tusla, Child and Family Agency are notified once a pupil misses 20 days

 

 

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

Board of Management

  • Work with other members of the school community in drawing up and reviewing the Code of Behaviour.
  • Provide a comfortable safe school environment.
  • Support the Principal and staff in implementing the Code of Behaviour

The Board of Management of Scoil Mhuire Junior reserves the right to amend the code of Behaviour as it sees fit in order to maintain proper standards of conduct and in the interest of the Health, Safety and Welfare of all persons who use this school.

The Principal

  • Facilitates the involvement of members of the school community in drafting and reviewing the Code of Behaviour.
  • Make the Code available to all members of the school community.
  • Promote a positive climate in the school
  • Supports staff in implementing the Code in a fair and consistent manner.

The Principal, as instructed by the Board of Management, may have to act on certain Health and Safety issues which may have implications for our Code of Behaviour. The Principal reserves the right to do so and make any decisions necessary to uphold the Health, Safety and Welfare of all persons who use this school at her discretion.

Teachers

  • Be familiar with and implement the Code of Behaviour.
  • Promote positive behaviour and recognise and affirm good work.
  • Help to develop and uphold an atmosphere of mutual respect, kindness and inclusion.
  • Deal appropriately with misbehaviour.
  • Keep opportunities for disruption to a minimum
  • Maintain records of repeated and/or serious misbehaviour.
  • Communicate effectively with parents.
  • Work with colleagues to devise specific behaviour supports when required by a child with behavioural difficulties.

Pupils

  • Know, understand and follow the school Code of Behaviour
  • Be honest, respectful and kind.
  • Work quietly and safely to the best of their ability at all times
  • Stay on the premises and within the designated areas during school times

Parents

  • Help their children to know, understand and follow the school Code.
  • Ensure that their children attend regularly and punctually.
  • Be supportive of staff in their work with their child, in a partnership to promote the best interest of the children.
  • Co-operate with teachers in instances where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others.
  • Communicate with the school in relation to any issues which may affect the child’s progress and/or behaviour.
  • Ensure that their child is provided with any materials necessary for school.

Communication

The policy is part of the Scoil Mhuire Booklet and will be issued to all parents of pupils enrolled in Scoil Mhuire Junior. Each parent must sign the form attached to the enrolment application and return it to the office.

All parents/guardians will be advised in writing of any amendments to the Code of Behaviour.

 

Review and Ratification

The Board of Management on the 15th November 2016 ratified this Code of Behaviour policy. The policy will be reviewed regularly.

 

Timetable for Review

The policy is reviewed and amended if necessary on an annual basis.

 

Reference to other Policies

The following policies have a bearing on the Code of Behaviour Policy and are all available from the office on request

  • Enrolment Policy
  • Health & Safety Policy
  • Anti-bullying Policy
  • School Tours and Outings Policy
  • Support Policy
  • SPHE Policy

 

Chairperson:  ____________________

 

Date:              ____________________

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix A

School Rules

In order to achieve a happy, healthy and safe working environment, where a sense of mutual respect is fostered, every pupil is expected to keep the following rules.

 

  • Respect and Courtesy
    Pupils are expected to treat themselves, all adults and fellow pupils with respect and courtesy. Behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable. Bullying, aggressive or intimidating behaviour will not be tolerated from anyone and will be dealt with in conjunction with the Anti-Bullying Policy.

Pupils are expected to obey the instructions of teachers and SNAs and to work to the best of their ability.

Pupils are expected to show respect for all school property and to keep the school environment clean and litter-free. Damage to, or theft of, school property is strictly forbidden.

  • Before / After school

Parents / guardians are reminded that the staff of the school does not accept responsibility for pupils before 8.50 or after 1.30 (Infants) or 2.30 (1st & 2nd) except where pupils are engaged in extra-curricular activity organised by the school and approved by the Board of Management. Children involved in these activities are expected to behave in accordance with the school code of behaviour. Children may not leave school early without being signed out from the office. Proof of appointments may be requested.

  • Opening time

The school opens at 8.50. Formal teaching begins at 9.10. We encourage the children to be in a line outside the classroom door for 8.50. There must be an adult present with the children when in their lines. Latecomers are noted by the class teacher. Notes are sent home to encourage good timekeeping or a phone call / meeting with parents may be required.

  • Attendance

Pupils are expected to arrive in time every morning (8.50 am) and to be collected promptly at the end of their school day (1.30 pm or 2.30pm). Pupils are expected to be present every day. Pupils are marked officially late on Aladdin from 9am. See ‘Procedures for Notification of Pupil Absences from school’ mentioned earlier.

  • Dress Code
  • Tracksuit only for Early Start, Junior & Senior Infants
    1st & 2nd Class pupils are required to wear the complete uniform every day except on the designated P.E. day (tracksuit & runners)
    Stud earrings and watches are the only jewellery allowed
  • Healthy Lunches
    The children can avail of the school lunch which is supplied by Glanmore. Healthy eating is encouraged. Every child must bring an empty, decent sized lunchbox every day. This must be emptied and cleaned daily. Children must not share lunches.

 

  • Break Times

Orderly behaviour is considered particularly important when children are proceeding to and from classrooms and to and from the yard. Running is strictly forbidden in classrooms and on corridors.

As part of their social training the children eat their snack/lunch and tidy up properly afterwards under the supervision of the teacher on duty. All rubbish is placed in their lunchbox and taken home.

The children do not have permission to enter the school during break time without consent from the teacher on duty. During inclement weather pupils remain indoors in their classrooms and may play with the games provided or may watch a programme/dvd as selected by the teacher. Children are not allowed to walk around the room or leave their seat unless permission is granted.

  • The school environment

Parents/guardians are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner while on the school premises. The principal may request a parent/guardian to leave the premises if their manner or behaviour is unacceptable or aggressive. Parents / guardians are expected to respond positively to any request made by the principal.

  • Homework

Homework must be completed by the child every night and signed by parents/guardians.

See homework policy for more detail.

  • Mobile Phones

The children are not permitted to bring mobile phones to school

  • Phone Numbers

It is extremely important that you provide the school with up to date phone numbers (and addresses) in case of sickness or an emergency.

  • Illness

Children who are ill should not be sent to school. If a child presents with a contagious condition, parents/guardians will be contacted to take him/her home immediately.

  • Special Occasions ex. Birthdays

Children are not allowed to distribute cards/invitations/sweets/cake in school.

  • School Tours / Outings

The children must have permission to go on a tour or an outing organised by the school.

Appendix B
Examples of extreme Misbehaviour

  1. Deliberately hurting another child/adult
  2. Disobeying the staff
  3. Acts of aggression ex. pushing, kicking, fighting, spitting, biting
  4. Name calling
  5. Leaving the yard/school without permission
  6. Consistently wasting class time
  7. Bullying
  8. Causing damage to school or personal property belonging to others
  9. Persistent infringement of school rules.

This code of behaviour applies both in the school and its environs and to all school-related activities.