Code of Behaviour

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE

CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

The Code of Behaviour was drawn up by a process of collaboration between the teachers, S.N.A.’s other school staff and the B.O.M. in consultation with parents. This policy reflects a project undertaken by the staff to develop a new programme for behaviour known as

Discipline for Learning.  Its development involved staff training, whole school planning, a pilot phase and review. A discipline committee, led by the postholder, met regularly and liaised with staff. Following the development of the Discipline for Programme the code of behaviour was drafted.

Rationale

The reasons for developing this Code of Behaviour;

  • Existing Discipline Policy incomplete and in need of review
  • Staff concern at the escalation of serious discipline issues
  • To provide a framework for a uniform and consistent approach to discipline
  • As required by DES circular 20/90 and in accordance with NEWB requirements

Relationship to the characteristic spirit of the school

This policy seeks to support the creation of a harmonious and caring environment when each person is enabled to achieve their true potential and enhance their self esteem.

Aims

The principal aims of the code of behaviour are as follows;

  • To communicate to pupils, parents and teachers the schools expectations of behaviour.
  • To allow the school to function in an orderly and safe way
  • To develop pupils’ self-esteem and to promote positive behaviour.
  • To foster the development of a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils.
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, consideration and tolerance of others
  • To facilitate the education of pupils in all aspects of their development
  • To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment.
  • To create a calm, safe environment where effective teaching and learning takes place.
  • To enable teachers to teach without disruption.
  • To assist parents and pupils in understanding the systems and procedures that form the code of behaviour and to seek their support and cooperation in its application
  • To ensure the system of rules, rewards and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner.

General Guidelines for Positive Behaviour

  1. Pupils are expected to treat all adults and fellow pupils with respect and courtesy at all times.  Behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable
  2. Pupils are expected to show respect for all school property and to keep the school environment clean and litter free.
  3. Pupils are expected to obey the instructions of school staff.
  4. Pupils are expected to do their best at all times
  5. Pupils are expected to attend every day unless there is a genuine reason for absence, in which case the school must be informed, stating the reason for absence.

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE,  CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

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Discipline for Learning Programme

The school has decided to adopt the Discipline for Learning Programme as the basis for it’s code of behaviour. Staff were inducted and trained in the principals behind this programme and subsequently all staff engaged in a process to adapt and develop the programme to suit the particular needs of this school and its pupils.

Principles of the Discipline for Learning Programme

A whole-school approach:   Discipline for learning is an approach to school discipline that is whole school based. As such it requires the commitment of all staff, the principal, the teachers, S.N.A s and all other staff. The programme invites the support and cooperation of parents and acknowledges their role as partners in their children’s education.

A planned programme:   All aspects of the D.F.L. Programme have been planned. This means that all rules, rewards and sanctions have been agreed in advance. Rules are firmly set and clearly stated.  Children feel safer in an environment where rules are clear and definite boundaries are set.  In this way a safe calm environment is created where children concentrate better and become more attentive. Through the Discipline for Learning Programme we hope to provide a safe and happy learning environment for all our pupils.

A consistent approach:  A planned discipline code ensures consistency in the way it is implemented. Rules are planned, state in detail and explained in terms of the specific behaviour required. Likewise sanctions and rewards have been decided in advance.  They are graded so that pupils know what to expect. Each element of the programme, the rules, rewards and sanctions are taught to children in detail and referred to frequently.

A positive approach:  The D.F.L. Programme places greater emphasis on the development of good behaviour rather than focusing on misbehaviour. Rewards are therefore an integral part of the programme. They are a powerful way of building self esteem.

Choice and responsibility:  One of the basic underlying principles of D.F.L. is that children are helped to make appropriate choices and take responsibility for their actions. With young children this concept of choice can only be developed over time.

Main elements

The Discipline for Learning Programme has three main elements:  Rules, Rewards, and Sanctions. All three elelments are taught systematically.  Rules will be kept to a minimum and will emphasize positive behaviour. They are clearly stated and will be applied in a fair and consistent manner.  Good behaviour will be encouraged and rewarded.  Where difficulties arise parents will be contacted at the early stage.

School Rules

1.  Be friendly, kind and polite                                               4.  Always do as you are told.

2.  Look after our school.                                                       5.   Listen carefully.

3.  Always do your best work.                                                6.   Walk quietly.

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE,  CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

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Classroom Rules:

These are the same as school rules but are taught in more detail and are stated in terms of the specific behaviour required.

Yard rules

1.  Kind hands, kind feet, kind words, kind face.        4.   Stay with lines.

2.   No fighting                                                            5.   First Bell:  All freeze.  Second Bell:

                                                                                          Infant Classes walk to line. Third Bell:

                                                                                          1st and 2nd classes walk to line.

3.  No running            

                                                                                    6.   Line up quietly. Keep hands by your

                                                                                           sides.

Rewards

Greater emphasis is place on rewards rather than sanctions. A planned system of rewards is in place to encourage children to follow rules and make appropriate choices.

  • Praise
  • Stars, stickers
  • Stamp Chart:  Each child has the chance to gain one stamp per day for good behaviour.
  • A system of rewards has been set up based on the number of stamps gained.
  • Award Certificates from the Principal
  • Mini Cert for positive communication with the home

Sanctions

Likewise a system of sanctions has been devised.  Children who break a rule will automatically have chosen a sanction. Sanctions are graded and uniform throughout the school.

Classroom Sanctions

1.   Verbal warning                             4.   Sent to another class room with work 15-30 mins

2.   Removal to another place within

      classroom                                      5.   Sent to Principal

3.   Name taken and loss of stamp.

Yard Sanctions

1.   Verbal warning                             3.   Name taken and time-out to end of recreation                                                                               period

2.   Time out  (10 mins.)                     

                                                            4.   Sent to Principal

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE,  CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

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Sanctions for Serious Misbehaviour:  Pupils are referred to the Principal for Serious Misbehaviour and the following steps are taken

First Time:   Name recorded in Serious Misbehaviour Book.  Letter sent to parents.

Second Time:   Name recorded.  Letter sent to parents.

Third Time:   Name recorded.  Principal meets parents.

Sanctions for Serious Yard Misbehaviour:   Pupils are referred to the Principal for Serious Yard Misbehaviour and the following steps are taken

First Time:   Letter sent home informing parents. Name recorded in Serious Misbehaviour book

Second Time:   Name recorded.  Letter sent requesting meeting between Principal and parents.

Third Time:   Parents will be requested to remove child from the yard for 3 days

Gross Misbehaviour

Repeated serious behaviour is considered as gross misbehaviour. All incidents will be referred to the Principal who will record the incident in the Incident Book and inform parents. An arrangement will be made for parents to meet the Principal to discuss any interventions that need to be taken. Every effort will be made to put in place any supports for the pupil that the school can provide itself or can access from other agencies.  Depending on the circumstances one of the following options may be chosen;

  • Pupil may be put “on report” so that parents can be informed of behaviour on a daily basis for a given period of time.
  • “In school placement” may be used as an option following consultation with relevant teachers, and with reference to the pattern of misbehaviour as recorded under various systems of record keeping outlined below. In this case the pupil will be placed in another classroom for a given period of time.
  • The option of indoor play may be considered as an intervention to support the needs of individual children in exceptional circumstances.  (Appendix 2)
  • When there are health and safety concerns if the pupil were to remain in school following an incident of gross misbehaviour a phone call will be made to parents to arrange for the pupil to be collected. An arrangement will be made for parents to meet the Principal as outlined under procedures for suspension (Appendix 3). An attack on any staff member is considered gross misbehaviour.
  • Where there are repeated instances of gross misbehaviour the Chairperson of the Board of Management may be informed and parents will be requested in writing to attend a meeting with the Principal and the Chairperson.
  • Suspension may be necessary in certain cases and will be carried out in accordance with the Education Welfare Act 2000 and National Educational Welfare Guidelines

(Appendix 3)

  • Expulsion will be carried out in accordance with the Education Welfare Act 2000 and National Educational Welfare Guidelines (Appendix 4)

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE, CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

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System of Record Keeping

Honours Book:  A record of all pupils who have been awarded certificates

Red Book:  Each class teacher keeps a record of behaviour as outlined in classroom sanctions.

Serious Misbehaviour Book:  A record of all children who are referred to principal as outlined in classroom sanctions or yard sanctions

Incident Book:  A record of all incidents of gross misbehaviour referred to principal in accordance with steps set out in classroom/yard sanctions

Yard Book:  A record of yard behaviour kept by teachers on yard duty for children on step 3 and for serious yard incidents. Yard book will be monitored weekly for persistent offenders. Principal will speak to children who are entered in yard book for the third time.

Record of Suspension:  A written record will be kept to include details of the incident and its investigation, the decision to suspend and the duration and conditions of suspension.

Categories of behaviour

Examples of minor misbehaviour:  Talking out of turn, not working, running

Examples of serious misbehaviour:  Repeated minor misbehaviour, violence towards others, violent temper tantrum, refusal to cooperate, defiance to staff, damage to property, cursing

Examples of gross misbehaviour:  Repeated serious misbehaviour, verbal or physical attack on staff, continued violence to peers when asked to stop, other very serious incidents.

Absence from school

1.   When a child is absent from school parents are expected to contact the school on the      

       first day of absence.

2.   Reason for absence must be given and any doctor’s note if available should be

       forwarded for a significant absence.

3.   When parents fail to furnish a reason for absence the school attendance monitor will 

       contact parents.

4.   It is very important that parents communicate to the school reasons for their child’s

       absence as under the Education Welfare Act 2000 all schools are obliged to submit to

       the N.E.W.B. the names of pupils who have 20 absences or more. Schools are also

       obliged to give a reason for each absence.  (Appendix 5)

Before / After School

Parents are reminded that the staff of the school does not accept responsibility for pupils before official opening time of 8.40a.m. or after the official closing time of 1.20p.m. (infants) and 2.20p.m. (other classes) except where pupils are engaged in an extra-curricular activity organized by the school and approved by the Board of Management. Students involved in such activities, and students on school trips are expected to behave in accordance with school code of behaviour during these times.

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE,  CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

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Bullying

Bullying is repeated verbal, psychological or physical aggression by an individual or group against others. The most common forms of bullying are aggressive physical contact, name-calling, intimidation, extortion, isolation and taunting. Bullying will not be tolerated and parents will be expected to cooperate with the school at all times in dealing with instances of bullying in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.  (Appendix 6)

Implementation Roles and Responsibilities

Every member of the school community has a role to play in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour.

  • The B.O.M. role is to support the principal and staff in implementing the code of behaviour and to ratify the code.
  • Principal has overall responsibility for the implementation of the Code of Behaviour, monitoring its effectiveness and arranging for review of the code.
  • Postholder under the direction of the Principal, has responsibility for the development and co-ordination of Discipline for Learning Programme, organization of classroom kits and the reward system, and coordinating the draft of the

Code of Behaviour.

  • A Discipline Committee comprising of the postholder, the principal and teaching staff representing all levels within school, has contributed to the development of the D.F.L. Programme and will participate in its review and ongoing assessment as necessary.
  • Teaching Staff will have responsibility for implementing the Discipline for Learning Programme in their own classrooms and in the school in general in a consistent and fair manner. They should be familiar with the basic principles and theories underpinning the Discipline for Learning Programme and be aware of how this will affect their style of teaching. They will contribute to any review and subsequent changes in the policy or programme and they will monitor its effectiveness within classrooms and in the school as a whole.
  • Other School Staff will support the implementation of Discipline for Learning Programme and will be informed of the Code of Behaviour and the D.F.L. Programme. They have participated in the development of the D.F.L. programme and will contribute to its on going development and review.
  • Parents’ role is of fundamental importance to the success of the D.F.L. Programme. Their responsibility is to support and encourage their children in following the rules and to reinforce at home the values of respect, kindness, and cooperation that this programme seeks to promote. Communication between home and school is essential and parents are encouraged to share with the school any information that might affect a child’s behaviour or progress. Parents can arrange to meet with the class teacher, H.S.C.L. teacher or the principal to discuss any concerns about a student’s behaviour and explore ways of helping the student. Parents have a responsibility to cooperate with teachers when their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others.

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE,  CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

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Communicating the Code of Behaviour to Parents

It is important that parents have an understanding of the principles underpinning the Discipline for Learning Programme and the code of behaviour. Parents will be informed of the programme, of the schools expectations for behaviour and the role parents can play in supporting their children. This will be done through an introductory meeting dealing with the Code of Behaviour and the D.F.L. Programme. The Code of Behaviour will be available to all parents as well as an information leaflet relating to the D.F.L. Programme. Parents will be requested to sign a form indicating their support and acceptance of the code of behaviour and Discipline for Learning Programme.

Implementation date:   November 2021

Time table for review:  Code of behaviour November 2021, Discipline for Learning Programme: review of aspects of the programme will be an ongoing process.

Ratified by Board of Management on                     ____________________

                                                                                                  Date

Signed ____________________________________

            Chairperson, Board of Management

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE,  CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

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Appendix 2  Indoor Play Session

This session was set up during the pilot phase of the D.F.L. Programme and may be considered as an option in the future if the need arose.

An indoor play session is organized for a small number of pupils for whom coping with yard proves very challenging and whose behaviour on yard causes concerns on the grounds of Health and Safety.

Pupils are involved in a structured play session with activities such as construction toys and jigsaws. Rules for behaviour during the play session have been drawn up. (Appendix 1)

Children will be reintegrated onto yard on a phased basis or for shorter periods of time as appropriate.

Selection for this group is not automatic and is based on a pupil’s individual needs.

Appendix 3  Suspension

Suspension or Expulsion will be carried out in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act. As access to education shapes the life chances of children in a fundamental way a proposal to exclude through suspension or expulsion is considered a serious step. Normally, other interventions will have been tried before suspension, and school staff will have reviewed the reasons why these have not worked.

Procedures

  • All matters leading to a decision to suspend will be dealt in a timely and confidential manner.
  • The investigation into the behaviour causing concern and the decision making process will be carried in a fair and impartial manner.
  • Parents will be fully informed of the details of the alleged behaviour and of the fact that it may lead to suspension.
  • Parents will be invited to respond.  A meeting will be arranged between parents and principal to allow both sides to explore the issues of concern.
  • A decision on whether or not to impose the sanction of suspension will be made following the meeting.
  • Parents will be informed in writing of the decision to suspend, the duration of the suspension, the reason for suspension, any arrangements for students return to school and the provision for an appeal.

A subsequent meeting may take place between parents and principal to  (a) explore further goals that may be set to help the student and parents with the behaviour causing concern (b) discuss other interventions the school staff may wish to plan as part of a behaviour management plan for the student and (c) impress on the student and parent the seriousness of the sanction.

Grounds for suspension

The decision to suspend will be based on serious grounds such that:

  • The students behaviour has had a serious detrimental effect on the education of other students
  • The student’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property

Factors to be considered before the decision to suspend

  • The nature and seriousness of the behaviour
  • The context of the behaviour
  • The impact of the behaviour
  • The interventions tried to date
  • Whether suspension is proportionate response
  • The possible impact of suspension

The Board of Management delegates to the principal the authority to impose a sanction of suspension of up to three day.

The Board of Management will be informed of any suspensions.

A proposal to suspend for more than three days must be referred to the Board of Management for approval.

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE,  CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

Record of suspension

Written records of suspension will be kept. This will include; Record of the incident and the investigation, the decision to suspend and the duration and conditions of suspension.

Appeals

An appeal against a suspension can be made by parents to the Board of Management. In the case of the Board of Management imposing the suspension the appeal can be made to the patron. In the case where a student has been suspended for a total of 20 days information regarding Section 29 Appeal will be provided to parents when they are being notified of the suspension.

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE,  CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

Appendix 4  Expulsion

Expulsion is a very serious step and only taken by the Board of Management in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour. The school will already have taken significant steps to address the misbehaviour and avoid expulsion.

Expulsion would be considered on grounds such that

  • The students behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others and to the teaching process.
  • The students continued presence in school constitutes a real and significant threat to safety
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property.

Procedural Steps for Expulsion

1.   A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal

2.   A recommendation for expulsion is made to the Board of Management by the Principal

3.   Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principals recommendation and the  

      holding of a hearing.

4.   Board of Management deliberations following the hearing and decision on expulsion

5.   Consultations arranged by the Education Welfare Officer

6.   Confirmation of the decision to appeal.

The steps above are in accordance within Education Welfare Act 2000 and are outlined in detail in the N.E.W.B. Guidelines  (appendix)

Step 1:  Parents will be informed in writing of the alleged behaviour and the proposed investigation to be carried out. Parents will be given an opportunity to respond as part of the investigation. A meeting will be arranged for parents to meet the Principal.

Step 2:   Parents will be informed in writing if a recommendation to expel is made to the Board of Management by the Principal. All records relating to the allegation and the investigation will be given to the parents and the same documents to the Board of Management

Step 3:   Parents will be invited to make an oral or written submission to the hearing of the Board.

Step 4:   Following the hearing the Board will decide if the allegation warrants expulsion and will notify the E.W.O. of the proposed expulsion. Parents will be informed of the Boards conclusions.

Step 5:   The Education Welfare Officer will arrange individual consultations with the Principal, the parents and any others who may be of assistance. This should result in a future plan for the education of the student.

Step 6:   After a 20 day period the Board of Management formally confirms the decision to expel and notifies the parents of the decision and of their right to appeal

OUR  LADY  IMMACULATE  JUNIOR  SCHOOL,  DARNDALE,  CODE  OF  BEHAVIOUR

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