Code of Behaviour
The policy was formulated following a whole school audit of behaviour in accordance with the guidelines of the National Education Welfare Board. Staff, students, parents and Board of Management were involved in the audit. A facilitator from the PPDS co-ordinated the audit in May 2009. A team continued the development of the code as part of a school planning day in October 2009. The policy was presented to the Board of Management in September 2010.
Scoil Phádraig Naofa na gCailíní deemed it necessary to devise this Code of Behaviour as
- The existing policy is due for review
- To ensure an orderly climate for learning in the school
- It is a requirement under the Education Welfare Act, 2000, Section 23 which refers to the obligation on schools to prepare a Code of Behaviour in respect of students registered at the school.
The Code of Behaviour reflects the school’s philosophy and vision as stated in our mission statement to provide a learning environment where we include, encourage and respect each other.
The aims of the Code of Behaviour of Scoil Phádraig Naofa na gCailíní are:
- To provide an educational environment that is guided by our mission statement
- To provide guidance for pupils, staff and parents on behavioural expectations
- To provide for the smooth and harmonious operation of the school
- To facilitate the education and development of all our pupils
- To develop pupils’ self-esteem and to promote positive behaviour and self-discipline in pupils
- To foster caring attitudes for one another and to the environment
- To enable teachers to teach without disruption
- To ensure consistency in the application of rules and sanctions
Every member of the school community has a role to play in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour. Rules are kept to a minimum and emphasise positive behaviour. These are applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard for the age of pupils and to individual differences. Good behaviour is encouraged and rewarded. Where difficulties arise, parents/guardians will be contacted at an early stage.
General Guidelines for Positive Behaviour
- Pupils are expected to treat all adults and other pupils with respect and courtesy at all times. Behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and feel safe is not acceptable.
- Pupils are expected to show respect for all school property.
- Pupils are expected to wear the correct uniform/tracksuit.
- Pupils are expected to follow a teacher’s instruction and to work to the best of their ability.
- Pupils are expected to attend school every day unless there is a genuine reason for absence in which case the school must be informed in writing stating the reason for absence. This note must be given to the teacher on the day the pupil returns to school following absence.
Promoting Positive Behaviour
Positive reinforcement of good behaviour leads to better self-discipline. We place greater emphasis on rewards, incentives and affirmation than on sanctions.
Strategies for promoting good behaviour
- At our weekly assembly, each teacher nominates a worker of the week. The teacher stated the reason this pupil has been chosen. Qualities such as kindness and helpfulness may be cited as well as academic achievement. The girls come to the stage where they receive a ‘bualadh bos’. They are photographed in a group and this photograph is displayed on the computer monitor near the office (This is organised on a rota basis by the SEN Team).
- Samples of pupils’ work is chosen to be displayed on the WOW board near the office (The Deputy Principal will arrange this).
- From time to time, a system may be put in place where a pupil may earn three stars over a period of time by fulfilling a number of criteria eg. Full attendance, correct uniform, completed and signed homework etc. Teachers’ discretion has a big part to play. “mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí”.
- The Student Council meet monthly and a meeting is arranged with the Principal to discuss suggestions which arise from these meetings.
- Teachers write positive comments in pupils’ copies.
- A visit to another class or to the Principal for commendation.
- Praise in front of the class group.
- From time to time, well done tickets are given out for good behaviour at yard time and a raffle is held each month where holders of well-done tickets may win a prize.
- When a class/group has made a special effort or has been best on a number of occasions, a special privilege may be given by the teacher e.g. Extra art, PE, Golden Time.
The purpose of sanctions and other strategies is to promote positive behaviour and discourage misbehaviour. Sanctions are applied according to the seriousness of the misbehaviour, with due regard for age and emotional development. These may include
- Reasoning with pupil
- Rule reminder
- Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve
- Use of Behaviour contract to identify goals and consequences
- Temporary removal from group within class and/or temporary removal to another class to complete unfinished work.
- Interview away from class group -Ask pupils to write down their version of events
- Prescribing extra work
- Loss of privileges
- Detention during break
- Communication with parents/guardians
- Referral to Principal
- Principal communicating with parents/guardians
- 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).
Pupils will not be deprived of engagement in a curricular area, except on the grounds of health/safety.
Discouraging misbehaviour in the school yard at break times
Bullying is repeated verbal, psychological or physical aggression by an individual or group against others. Bullying will not be tolerated and parents/guardians are expected to cooperate with the school at all times in dealing with instances of bullying in accordance with our Anti-Bullying policy. As per our Anti Bullying policy, a special focus is placed on restorative practice.
Before serious sanctions such as suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels for communication between school and home will be used. Communication with parents/guardians may be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances. The parents/guardians concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case.
For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, suspension may be considered. Parents/guardians will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. Aggressive, threatening or violent misbehaviour towards a staff member or pupils will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour. Other serious grounds for suspension are that the pupil’s behaviour has had a serious detrimental effect on the education of other pupils or that the pupil is responsible for serious damage on the education of other pupils or that the pupil is responsible for serious damage to property.
Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents/guardians will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and the Principal. 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. 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 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 with the parents/guardians.
Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.
School rules are kept to a minimum and are positively stated in terms of what a pupil should do. 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, pupils and parents.
The rules and expectations are communicated to pupils in the following ways
Devising class rules in September
The pupils discuss and sign the rules
The senior classes also read and discuss the rules in the school journal.
Reference to rules is made at Assembly.
The rules and expectations are communicated to parents through the enrolment booklet, the class meeting held in September, the school journal and notes in the journal.
Parents/Guardians are reminded that the staff of the school does not accept responsibility for pupils before the school doors open and pupils enter the school building at 8.30 a.m. Supervision is provided within the school building only between 8.30 a.m. and 8.50 a.m. which is the start of the school day. The staff of the school does not accept responsibility for pupils after the official closing time of 2.30 p.m. except where pupils are engaged in an extra-curricular activity organised by the school and approved by the Board of management. Pupils engaged in such activities are expected to behave in accordance with school behaviour policy during these times.
Pupils are expected to
- Attend school regularly and arrive on time
- Listen to their teachers and act on instructions and advice
- Respect all school property and the property of others
- Show respect for all members of the school community
- Wear the correct uniform/tracksuit
- Avoid all nasty remarks, swearing and name-calling
- Include other pupils in games and activities
- Follow school and class rules
- Participate in school activities
- Move quietly around the school
- Ensure that pupils attend school regularly and on time.
- Be interested in, support and encourage their children’s school work
- Check and sign homework
- Be familiar with the code of behaviour and support it
- Co-operate with teachers where their cchild’s behaviour is causing difficulties.
- Communicate with the school in relation to any problems which may affect their child’s progress/behaviour.
- Support and implement the school’s code of behaviour
- Recognise and affirm good work
- Recognise and provide for individual talents and differences among pupils
- Be courteous, consistent and fair.
- Deal appropriately with misbehaviour
- Keep a record of instances of serious misbehaviour or repeated instances of misbehaviour
- Provide support for colleagues
- Communicate with parents when necessary
- Promote a positive climate in the school
- Provide guidance and support in the implementation of the school code of behaviour
- Ensure that the code of behaviour is implemented in a fair and consistent manner
- Arrange for review of the code, as required.
Responsibilities of all staff members
- Support the school’s code of behaviour
Board of Management’s Responsibilities
- Provide a comfortable, safe environment
- Support the Principal and staff in implementing the code
- Ratify the code.
Ratified by Board of Management on 22/11/2010
Reviewed by the Board of Management in 2018
Next Review in the school year 2021/ 2022
A signed copy is in the office.