St. Peter’s N.S. is dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing educational environment that will enhance the development of the whole child. This will foster a life long process of learning and development resulting in a happy responsible citizen.
The Staff of this school want to create a climate of physical, emotional, social and intellectual safety for the students, teachers and parents so that teaching and learning can occur within relationships of mutual valuing and respect.
High standards of behaviour are encouraged by a clear code of behaviour, backed by a balanced combination of rewards and sanctions, which are enforced fairly within a positive school atmosphere.
The long term aim is to help pupils, as they grow older, to move away from an externally imposed discipline to becoming self disciplined and mature.
Role of Parents and Guardians
The Code of Behaviour requires the support and co-operation of parents/guardians and its success depends on teachers and parents/guardians working together. The school will keep parents/guardians informed of problems before they escalate. Also, it is important that parents notify class teacher/principal if they become aware of a problem.
The Homework Journal is an important means of 2-way communication between parents/guardians and teacher. Parents/guardians should keep in contact with the school regarding all aspects of their child’s progress. It is essential that parents/guardians regularly discuss the Code of Behaviour with children.
The aims of the code of Behaviour are:
- To facilitate the development and education of all the children.
- To promote good behaviour and self discipline among the children.
- To promote the safety and happiness of all the children and staff in the school.
- To promote equality and fairness among all.
- To enhance the learning environment of the school by promoting a sense of mutual respect among all members of the school community.
- To increase the co-operation between home and school.
- To allow for the smooth and harmonious running of the school.
- To ensure consistency in the application of rules and sanctions.
- To outline the structure of fair and agreed sanctions that will be available to teachers in response to negative behaviour.
This policy covers:
a) General behaviour.
b) Behaviour in the school yard/field.
c) Behaviour in the classroom.
d) Positive re-enforcement of good behaviour.
e) Sanctioning misbehaviour.
(A) General Behaviour
Parents and teachers can help develop good behaviour:
- By making themselves aware of School Rules and being consistent in following them.
- By teaching children to respect all people.
- By teaching good manners.
- By encouraging children towards shared responsibility and self responsibility.
- By teaching children right from wrong.
- By encouraging children to behave politely and be nice towards each other.
- By respecting other people’s property.
- By encouraging a sense of co-operation.
- By encouraging children to speak respectfully.
- By helping children to feel positive about themselves.
Developing good behaviour is a shared responsibility. Parents and teachers should support each other in this regard.
Each child has a right to an education free from fear and intimidation. Bullying interferes with this right and breaks the rule of mutual respect and therefore is not acceptable (see Bullying Policy).
(B) Behaviour in School Yard
- Pupils are requested to enter and leave the school building in an orderly fashion.
- Children must stay in designated areas in break times.
- Children who need to enter the school building during break time must get permission from the teacher on the yard.
- Rough play is not permitted.
- At the end of the break pupils must respond immediately to bell and stand quietly in line.
- Instructions of teacher on yard duty must be obeyed.
- When weather does not permit outdoor activities children will assemble in the school hall.
(C) Behaviour in the Classroom
The management of classroom behaviour is primarily a matter for the Class Teacher who will draw up rules for her/his class appropriate to the age levels of the children. However, the following apply in all classrooms:
- Each child is entitled to a proper working environment and therefore interference from other children will not be tolerated.
- Children should work quietly.
- All instructions from teachers are to be followed straight away.
- If a teacher has to leave the class for any reason, pupils must work silently and remain seated.
- Pupils are expected to complete to the best of their ability the homework assigned. A note form parent/guardian is expected when work is not completed.
- Classrooms should be kept tidy and everything should be put in its proper place.
- Litter must be put in the bins provided.
(D) Positive Reinforcement of Good Behaviour
Encouragement is vital to success and achievement in pupils lives. The school aims to promote and encourage good behaviour, effort and the development of a healthy lifestyle, and to marginalize bad behaviour.
Good behaviour is learned through positive reinforcement and therefore it is essential that good behaviour is affirmed. This may be done in the following ways;
- Affirmation of good behaviour – in written of verbal form and specific to the particular behaviour.
- Friendly gestures of acknowledgement – handshake, smile or round of applause.
- Pupil of the week/regularly selected on basis of behaviour.
- Certificates of good behaviour.
- ]Extra privileges – granted to those who behave well e.g. extra time on computers, team captain, class leader, special activity or task.
- Extra free time on yard awarded occasionally to class line up in orderly fashion.
- Competitions/whole class reward system organised to promote good behaviour.
- Awarding of stars, stickers and other prizes as appropriate.
(E) Sanctioning Misbehaviour
Distinctions will be made between minor and serious misbehaviour and the aim of the sanctions is to nip problems in the bud. It is important that children know in advance what the sanctions are and that it is behaviour (actions) not children that are criticized. As far as possible sanctions will be related to the misbehaviour and that they will be swift, reasonable and certain to occur when a pupil chooses to misbehave. Where disciplinary problems arise parents will be involved at an early stage rather than a last resort.
The following sanctions may be used:
- The pupil is made aware that his or her behaviour is unacceptable and advised how to improve.
- Children may receive a verbal warning from the teacher.
- Loss of minor privileges.
- Teacher may detain pupil to discuss his or her misbehaviour.
- Seating arrangements in class may be changed.
- A pupil may be temporarily separated from his class group for a set time.
- Incomplete work may have to be completed.
- Badly presented work may have to be redone.
- A pupil may be referred to the Principal.
- A pupil may be recorded in the Discipline Book.
- A note or comment may be written in child’s journal to be signed.
- A written assignment may be given re: inappropriate behaviour, to be signed by parents/guardians.
- If pupil’s behaviour is a source of danger/disruption to himself/herself or others, he/she may be removed from activities such as P.E., Art, and Play.
- Recompense may be sought from parents/guardians for damage, loss or theft of property.
- Parent/guardian may be asked to meet with class teacher and/or principal.
- Parent/guardian and/or pupil may be asked to sign a Contract of Behaviour.
Procedure for dealing with serious misbehaviour
- The principal will be informed immediately.
- The parents will be called to the school to meet with the principal and class teacher.
In cases or repeated incidences of misbehaviour and/or an incidence of serious misbehaviour the Chairperson of the Board of Management/Principal will request a meeting with parents. If the parents do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future and the behaviour does not improve the pupil may be suspended as per Department of Education guidelines. The Board of Management has authorised the school principal to sanction an immediate suspension as per Department of Education guidelines in cases of serious misbehaviour. Expulsion from school, the ultimate of sanction will be considered by the Board of Management in accordance with DES Guidelines.
In certain cases, with parental consent it may be necessary to refer a pupil for medical or psychological assessment.
This code will be reviewed at regular intervals and changes made in the light of new needs.
Reviewed and ratified by the Board of Management on the 16th September 2012.