Code of Behaviour

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Code of Behaviour St. Louis Infant School Monaghan

Introductory statement

The staff, parents and Board of Management of St. Louis Infant school were involved in formulating this policy and in a review which took place in 2006. A review of the existing policy was conducted in 2010 and amendments were made using the template provided by the N.E.W.B.

Rationale

The school decided to revise the Code of Behaviour because
It is a priority area identified by the staff and parents.
The existing policy is due for review and amendment.
It is a requirement under D.E.S. circular 20/90 on School Discipline.

Vision

The Code of Behaviour is established to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption free environment.
Relationship to characteristic Ethos of the School
This policy helps promote the school's ethos in that it places emphasis on:
The holistic development of the child, in a happy environment where he/she feels valued and included and is able to live in harmony with the staff and other children.
The development of a high level of respect and co-operation between staff, parents and children.
Aims
To allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious way.
To create an atmosphere of respect and tolerance for others based on consideration and respect for the rights of others.
To enhance the learning environment where children can make progress in all aspects of their development.
To ensure that the school`s expectations and strategies are widely known and understood through the parents handbook, availability of policies and an ethos of open communication.
To ensure that the system of rules, rewards and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner.
To assist parents and pupils in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the Code of Behaviour.
To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy.
To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment.

In St. Louis Infant school we expect parents to:

Treat all school staff and other children with respect, courtesy and polite language.
Ensure children come to school on time and are collected promptly at hometime.
Send a written explanation if a child is absent from school.
Inform teacher if the child is to be collected early (appointments)
Inform teacher of changes to collection of child at hometime.
Ensure that child is wearing the correct uniform and is clean and tidy.
Ensure that child wears appropriate footwear and clothes on P.E. days.
Provide a healthy lunch.
Label all property.
Help with homework and sign any reading activities set for child.
Attend meetings when requested to.
Make an appointment through the secretary /teacher if they wish to meet teacher to discuss concerns or problems.

In St Louis Infant school we expect teachers to:

Treat children, parents and other staff members with respect, courtesy and polite language.
Create a positive, happy and encouraging atmosphere in the classroom.
Be punctual for school each day and at end of break.
Be prepared for class so that the revised curriculum is covered comprehensively.
Be aware of the various needs and ability levels of all children in their class and adapt their teaching accordingly.
Co-operate with each other and work as part of a team.
Be fair and consistent.
Inform parents promptly on any health and safety or behavioural issues involving their child.

In St Louis Infant School we expect children to:

Obey the school/classroom rules.
Accept correction from all staff and ancillary staff concerning Code of Behaviour.
Treat all staff, visitors and other children with respect, courtesy.
To use polite inoffensive language in school and in the playground.
Be considerate and kind to other children.
Take responsibility for their actions and to admit and apologise when they are wrong.
Treat school property and other children`s property with respect.
Listen carefully in class and do their best at schoolwork and homework.
Have a high standard of behaviour in all school areas e.g. playground, P.E. hall, corridors.
Have a high standard of behaviour when engaging in school related activities e.g. drama festival, library, museum, school outings.
Attend school on a regular basis.
Take pride in their appearance by wearing a neat and clean uniform.

Promoting Positive Behaviour

Teachers will promote good behaviour in the following ways:
Through the S.P.H.E. curriculum we will teach the children the skills to enable them live up to school expectations. The Stay Safe programme is taught to promote high Self-Esteem.
Staff have a common understanding of expectations and a common approach to sanctioning. Through their daily contact staff will promote an atmosphere of mutual respect.
Children will be involved in drawing up school/class rules.
Teachers will regularly praise good behaviour both in the classroom and in the playground
Children will be taught that rough play/ mock fighting is unacceptable.
Age appropriate reward systems will be used in all classes.
Teachers will model good behaviour.
Children will be given responsibilities within the school.
Stickers and positive comments on pupil`s work.
School reports will comment on behaviour and attitudes as well as academic achievement.
Parents can promote good behaviour in the following ways:
Try to nurture a positive attitude towards school.
Model good behaviour in their relationship with teachers and staff.
Support the work being done in school by teaching the Code of Behaviour.
Co-operating with the school by helping the children keep the school rules.
Purpose and content of school rules
The school sets rules to ensure that children have a safe environment in which to learn and play. In order to achieve this the following rules apply:
Respect others and be nice to everyone.
Bullying will not be tolerated.
Respect the property of others.
Be kind and give help to others.
Walk quietly in the school at all times.
Always be courteous and have good manners.
Do your best in class.
Take responsibility for your own work and property.
Use kind words.
Swearing and bad language will not be tolerated.
Stay safe. Climbing on steps or walls is not allowed.
Pupils must stay in school between 8.50 and 1.40. Pupils leaving early must be collected from classroom by an adult nominated by parents.
Chewing gum is forbidden.
Mobile phones are not allowed.
Children are encouraged to eat healthy food and so fizzy drinks and crisps are not allowed.
If at any time a pupil is found to have an item that could be considered dangerous to him/herself or to others, it will be taken from them.
Children will remain in their classrooms during inclement weather supervised by the teacher on duty.
These can be summed up as six main rules.
Respect/Be nice
Do your best
Be tidy
Be safe
Walk
Listen

Meeting the standards

Staff, students and parents can help each other to meet these standards in the following ways:
Staff will teach the Code as part of the S.P.H.E. programme.
The school and class rules will be displayed in the classrooms.
Staff will model good behaviour.
Parents will accept the code and discuss it with the children .
Good behaviour will be modelled at home.
Students will help each other maintain the standards.
Incentives
Merit stickers /certificates/star charts/reward album.
Lollipops/sweets at end of week or for special effort.
Prizes such as pencils/erasers/hair bobbles etc.
End of week treats like Polo/Cara where children get to bring home toy for weekend.
Activity sessions e.g. computer session, reading corner, golden time at favourite activity
Praise in front of group or class.
Sent to another class/Principal`s office to report good behaviour.
Verbal praise.
Delegating some special responsibility or privilege.
Star of the Week
Mention to parent.

Unacceptable Behaviour

Three levels of behaviour are recognised Minor, Serious, Gross.
Minor incidents will be dealt with by classroom teachers and Principal on a daily basis. Where there is repeated serious misbehaviour or a single incident of Gross misbehaviour parents will be involved at an early stage.
Examples Minor Misbehaviour
Not keeping school rules/class rules.
Disobedience.
Disrupting class. Shouting out/swinging on chair/interrupting teacher or children/fidgeting or inattention/sulking/distracting others/walking around the classroom.
Pushing others or leaving children out.
Going into classroom during break.
Minor damage to property e.g. scribbling on book.
(These examples are not exhaustive)
Continuous minor misbehaviour automatically becomes a serious misbehaviour.
Examples of Serious Misbehaviour
Hurtful behaviour including bullying, discrimination, racism.
Behaviour that impinges on teaching and learning.
Threats or physical hurting of another person kicking, biting, spitting
Damage to property including defacing walls/furniture/books/displays.
Theft. Stealing books or property from other pupils/teachers
Insolence/giving cheek/abusive language.
Throwing things especially dangerous objects or ones likely to inflict injury.
Telling lies.
Examples of Gross Misbehaviour
Assault on a pupil or teacher.
Serious damage to property.
Serious theft.
(List not exhaustive)

Sanctions

When choosing a sanction certain considerations should be made;
It should be made clear why the sanction is being imposed.
It should try to diffuse the situation.
Be appropriate to the nature and seriousness of the offence.
Be appropriate to the age and understanding of those involved.
Must be applied in a fair and consistent way.
Group punishment should be avoided as it breeds resentment.
Preserve the dignity of all involved.
The focus should be on the behaviour rather than the individual.
The purpose of sanctions
Help pupil to realise that their behaviour is inappropriate.
Recognise the effect the behaviour has on others.
Understand that choices have consequences.
Help take responsibility for own behaviour.
Sanctions in St Louis Infants School (Not in order of severity)
Reasoning with pupil.
Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve.
Temporary separation from peers within class and or temporary removal to another class.
Removal of shoes ( for kicking).
Loss of privileges.
Loss of job or special responsibility.
Detention during breaktime.
Referral to Principal. (For serious incidents where the safety of other pupils/staff is at risk parents may be contacted by phone and asked to collect the child from school for the remainder of the day.)
Prescribing extra work.
Communication with Parents.
Suspension.
Expulsion.
Recording of serious misbehaviour.
Detention at breaktime does not require prior notification to parents and will be conducted under supervision in Room 6 or in such place as full time supervision is available.

Suspension and expulsion.

The B.O.M. has the authority to suspend or expel. They have however delegated authority to the Principal for periods of up to three days suspension.
Suspension
An investigation of the facts to confirm that serious misbehaviour has occurred.
Before sanctions such as suspension and expulsion are used the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised.
Parents will be informed by phone or in writing to arrange a meeting about the incident/incidents.
A meeting will be held with the parents, child, teacher and principal to discuss the incident.
Parents will be given the opportunity to respond.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident and the response of the parties involved a decision regarding suspension will be made.
If suspension is decided upon Principal notifies Parent in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter should confirm.
The period of the suspension including the date on which it will begin and end.
The reason for the suspension.
Any study programme to be followed.
Arrangements for returning to school including any commitments entered into by the student and parents.
The provision for appeal to the Board of Management or Sec. General of the Dept. Education and Science.
Appeals to B.O.M. when total days suspension is under 20. Appeals to Dept. Education and Science where total days suspension is over 20. Suspension days totalling 6 must be reported to National Educational Welfare Board.

Recording

Formal written records of the following will be kept.
The investigation (including notes of all interviews held)
The decision making process.
The decision and rationale for the decision.
The duration of the suspension and any condition attached to the suspension.
These records will be signed by all parties.

Expulsion
A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.
Inform parents in writing about alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion.
Give parents and student the opportunity to respond before a decision is made.
Recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal p.84 National Educational Welfare Board Guidelines.
B.O.M. consider the Principal`s recommendations and hold a hearing p.85 National Educational Welfare Board Guidelines.
If B.O.M. is of the opinion that the student should be expelled the B.O.M. notifies the Education Welfare Officer in writing of its opinion and the reasons for it. Use Notice of Intention to Expel Form www.schoolreturn.ie. The intention to expel the student does not take effect until 20 school days have elapsed after National Educational Welfare Board have received written notification. Return form to School Return Section, National Educational Welfare Board, 16-22 Green St., Dublin 7.
Appeals
A parent can appeal a decision to expel to the Sec. General, Department of Education and Science. (Education Act 1998 Section 29)

Special Needs

All children are expected 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 class teacher, parents, resource teacher and principal. Professional advice may be sought from psychologists etc. if needed. Children in the class may be taught strategies to assist these children acknowledging and respecting their differences.

Absence from school
Under the Education Welfare Act 2000 Section 23 & section 18 Parents must send a written note on the day the child returns following the absence explaining why the child was absent. If a note is not received the school will record this as an unexplained absence on the National Education Welfare Board return.

Procedures for raising concerns or bringing a complaint about a behavioural issue.
Parents are encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant development in a child`s life which may affect the child`s behaviour. Parents should make an appointment through the school secretary/teacher to meet the class teacher or Principal at a convenient time.
This Policy compliments other school policies:
Health and Safety Policy
Child Protection Policy
Attendance policy
Enrolment Policy
Anti-Bullying Policy
Inclusion Policy

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