Code of Behaviour and Discipline
The Principal and the teaching staff in consultation with the Board of Management have formulated this code. Having been approved by the Board of Management, it is being issued to you for your information as requested by the Department of Education.
The Board acknowledges that the primary responsibility for the behaviour of pupils rests with parents and appreciates the important role which parents play in supporting good standards of behaviour in school. Parents can co-operate with the school by encouraging pupils to abide by school rules, by visiting the school when requested to do so by the Principal or other member of the staff and by ensuring that homework is allocated due time and effort by the child.
The school endeavours to ensure that the individuality of each child attending the school is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to an education in a relatively disruption -free environment.
The over-riding emphasis of the code is based on the School’s ethos, which states that the school is a community where moral values such as honesty, truthfulness, fairness, sensitivity to others, self respect, self discipline and civic responsibility, along with the need to recognise right and wrong behaviour, are nurtured and protected. In the interests of good order and safety, it is most important that clearly defined guidelines for behaviour be known and understood by all of our pupils and that pupils see parents and teachers engaged in a co-operative enterprise on their behalf
In school pupils have to learn to live with crowds, to share adult attention and to accept the authority of teachers who act “in loco parentis.” Pupils who find it difficult to accept classroom conditions or who do not develop self-control are said to present the school with discipline problems.
The Aims of Primary Education may briefly be stated as follows:
- To enable the child to live a full life as a child.
- To equip the child to avail himself / herself of further education so that he/she may go on to live a full and useful life as an adult in society.
The school is committed to the realisation of these goals and endeavours to create a stimulating and happy environment for all our pupils in which there is good order and a reasonable approach to discipline.
The Aims of this Code are:
- To help create a positive learning environment in which all pupils can benefit from the educational services provided by the school.
- To help pupils to become self-disciplined and to encourage good standards of behaviour.
- To help organise large groups so that the school can operate smoothly and safely for the benefit of all.
- To develop respect for fellow pupils, adults, the school, its equipment and environment.
- To help to appreciate differences which exist between pupils and to learn to tolerate these differences.
Pupils are expected to behave in a responsible manner towards themselves and others, showing consideration, courtesy and respect for other pupils and adults.
The property of the individual and of the school must be respected.
Pupils are expected to uphold school standards with regard to dress and language.
Pupils should be punctual and regular in attendance. A written explanation for absence must be given to the class teacher on pupil’s return. The school will notify Tusla when a pupil’s absences total 20 days in a school year. School opens at 9.10 a.m. His/her parent must supervise any child on the school grounds prior to this. School finishes at 2.00 p.m. for Junior and Senior Infants and 2:50p.m. for 1st – 6th classes. Parents should endeavour to collect their children on time and all pupils should have vacated the school premises 10 minutes after school ends.
The School Code of Discipline and Behaviour covers:
- Behaviour in Class
- Behaviour in the Playground
- Behaviour in the School Environment
- Homework- see Homework Policy
Behaviour in Class
Courtesy and respect are fundamental requirements in the classroom. Disrespectful behaviour towards other pupils or towards a teacher e.g. defiance, cheek, insolence or disobedience cannot be tolerated.
Behaviour problems are to some extent situation specific. Because a child’s behaviour will vary somewhat according to where or with whom the child is with, teachers and parents do not always “see” the same child.
Pupils must respect the right of other pupils to learn. Discipline is a matter for every pupil. A minority of disruptive pupils can adversely affect the educational progress of an entire class. Any behaviour that interferes with this right e.g. constant disruption of the class or persistent distraction of others is considered unacceptable behaviour. In order that pupils may derive benefit from the work in class, full co-operation is required from pupils at all times. Pupils must co-operate with instructions given by the teacher.
Pupils must remain seated in the classroom when the teachers are absent from the room and during recreation periods or days when playing outside is not possible.
Behaviour in Playground
Any behaviour, which endangers one-self or others, is not permitted. Rough behaviour e.g. fighting, kicking, spitting, pushing, shoving is forbidden.
Pupils may not leave the playground for any reason during breaks without the expressed permission of the supervising teacher. This includes re-entering the school building.
Behaviour in the School Environment
Respect for others is a basic rule. Any kind of verbal or physical abuse of other pupils is strictly forbidden. Bullying or intimidation of other pupils will not be tolerated and is always regarded as a serious matter.
Pupils must show respect for school property
For reasons of safety and in order to avoid accidents, pupils must move about the school in an orderly manner. Pupils must walk in the corridors. Chewing gum is forbidden in the school as it sticks to floors and to school furniture.
Praise and Rewards
Encouraging high standards of behaviour among pupils and creating and maintaining an orderly atmosphere for learning in the school will include the use of praise and rewards for good behaviour. It will entail matching the curriculum to the aptitudes of the pupils, the use of effective techniques for motivating pupils and the promotion of sound relationships between pupils and teachers.
It will also involve, in some instances, the application of sanctions to register disapproval of unacceptable behaviour. When sanctions are involved pupils should understand that what they have done is not acceptable and that it is the misbehaviour that is rejected and not the person.
Misbehaviour in Junior Classes is normally overcome by a verbal reprimand and/or by referring the matter to parents.
The following strategies may be used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour. The strategy / strategies used in any given situation will be determined by the seriousness of the misbehaviour:
- Reasoning with the child
- Reprimand (including advice on how to improve)
- Temporary separation from peers, friends or others
- Prescribing additional work
- Referral to Principal
- Communication with Parents
- Pupil Report System
- Detention during break
- Loss of privileges e.g. school outings
Before resorting to serious sanctions e.g. suspension, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised. For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, suspension will be considered. Communication with parents will be verbal or by letter, depending on circumstances. The parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss and appeal their child’s case. A procedure for appeal of suspension/expulsion is as follows:
- Parents may request an appeal by writing to the Board of Management within 3 days of notification of suspension/expulsion.
- A meeting between parents, principal, teacher and chairperson will be arranged at which the case may be pleaded.
- The decision of the Board will be given within 3 days. If the decision to the Board of Management is not to the satisfaction of the parents they may appeal to the Department of Education and Science under section 29 of the Education Welfare Act. This appeal only refers to (1) permanent exclusion from a school and (2) suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year (See Circular 20/02). Accordingly, schools should advise parents of this right of appeal and associated timeframe if it has been decided to suspend or permanently exclude a pupil. Appeals must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent or student.
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 have to be suspended for a temporary period. Suspension will be in accordance with the terms of Rule 130 (5) of the Rules of the National Schools.
- Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.
In the case of gross misbehaviour, the Board shall authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents. A suspension shall normally consist of 3 days. However, if a parent gives an undertaking in writing that the child will behave in an appropriate manner, the suspension may be lifted.
Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with rule 130 (6).
Every effort will be made to have an emotionally disturbed child referred for psychological assessment without delay. Help will be sought also from support services within the wider community e.g. Community Care Services provided by Health Boards.
Parents are earnestly requested to: –
- Become familiar with the school’s policy document in relation to discipline.
- Co-operate with the school with regard to the implementation of its policy on discipline.
- Communicate regularly with the school about factors likely to affect the behaviour of their children in school.
This code will be subject to revision at intervals.
The Board of Management wishes to thank you for your co-operation and to enlist your continued support in ensuring that pupils attending Charleville National School will benefit from the excellent educational service provided by the school in a stimulating, happy and safe environment.
SCHOOL DISCIPLINE: SANCTIONS
Examples may include:
- Talking – interruptive
- Nuisance-annoying others
- Poking each other
This may be dealt with by verbal reprimand and/or removal from peers.
More Serious Offences
Examples may include:
Destruction of other’s property
- Showing lack of respect to staff
- Constantly interrupting and back-answering
- Use of bad language
This may be dealt with by withdrawal of minutes of Golden Time, completion of Behaviour Reflection Form, send to Principal.
Examples may include:
- Destruction of school property.
- Bad language.
- Assault on other.
This may be dealt with by retaining a child in the classroom, withdrawal of privileges, communication with parents, meeting with parents, and referral to Board of Management to deal with the problem with view to possible suspension.