CODE OF BEHAVIOUR
One of the primary aims of St. Brigid’s N.S. is that every member of the school community feels valued and respected, and that each person is treated fairly and well. All are expected to work towards creating a caring community based on mutual trust and respect.
The purpose of St. Brigid’s N.S. is to help pupils to discover and develop their talents and aptitudes in an environment permeated by Catholic values, so that they will be able to participate actively and responsibly in society now and in the future. All school activities are assessed against this objective and disciplinary decisions are informed by a concern for the individual pupils and the welfare of the whole school community.
The primary aim of the Code of Behaviour is the promotion of good relationships so that all can work together to advance learning in an effective and considerate way. The intention of this approach is to create an environment that assists mutual respect, self-discipline and self-development in pupils.
In the implementation of sanctions, we emphasise that it is the child’s behaviour and not the child that is unacceptable.
- To provide clarity for pupils, teachers and parents on behavioural expectations.
- To provide for the safe and effective operation of the school.
- To create an environment where everyone feels happy, safe and secure and where members of the school community treat each other with consideration and respect.
- To develop pupils’ self-esteem and resilience and to promote positive behaviour.
- To foster the development of a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils based on respect, consideration and tolerance of others.
- To facilitate the holistic education and development of every child.
- To enable teachers to teach without disruption.
- Discipline is based on respect – respect of pupils for themselves and for others.
- Our staff will strive to offer a model of respect in action. In our code, the individuality of each child will be taken into consideration while acknowledging the right of every child to education in a disruption-free environment.
- Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to behaviour in the school and to ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner.
- It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of mutual respect and co-operation among staff and between staff, parents and pupils. Parental support is essential for the code to be implemented successfully.
- Each teacher is responsible for discipline within her/his own classroom while sharing a common responsibility for good order within the school environment.
Rules are kept to a minimum, emphasise positive behaviour and are applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference. Good behaviour is expected and encouraged. Behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable. Pupils involved in after school activities or who are on tours or at competitions are expected to behave in accordance with the Code of Behavior.
Other Relevant Policies:
The Code of Behaviour has been developed in conjunction with the following policies: Anti- Bullying, Cyber Bullying, Yard Supervision and Procedures, School Rules, Homework , Uniform , Health and Safety Healthy Food and School-Home Communication Policies.
THE CODE FOR PUPILS
I will take care on my way to and from school.
I will be on time for school.
I will show respect for all others and myself.
I will do my best in school and I won’t waste time.
I will listen well and follow instructions.
I will do my homework and get it signed.
I will bring a note if I am absent, leaving early or am late.
I will be truthful and honest at all times.
I will look after property and I won’t damage things.
I will have good manners.
I will walk quietly in the school buildings and on the stairs.
I will wear the correct uniform.
I will follow the Healthy Eating Policy and bring my wrappers home.
I will not bully others and I will report any bullying I experience or witness.
I will not bring a mobile phone to school.
Affirming Positive Behaviour:
Positive reinforcement of good behaviour leads to better self-discipline and we place a greater emphasis on rewards and incentives than on sanctions. Each teacher is responsible for the implementation of the Code of Behaviour in his/her own classroom. Below is a sample list. Individual teachers use a variety of award systems and incentives in their classrooms to promote positive attitudes and behaviour. Class teachers draft their own classroom Code of Behaviour in conjunction with their pupils.
- A quiet word or gesture to show approval.
- A comment on a child’s copy.
- Stickers and stars.
- Class Dojo.
- A visit to another class or Principal for commendation.
- Praise in front of class group.
- Individual class merit awards, points or stamps.
- Delegating some special responsibility or privilege.
- Written or verbal communication with parent.
- Pupil of the week/month award.
- Homework vouchers.
- School postcards for targeted behaviour e.g. courtesy, inclusion, etc.
- Affirmation of exceptional behaviour at assemblies.
The degree of misdemeanours i.e. minor, serious or gross, and the appropriate sanctions will be determined by the teachers and/or Principal based on a common-sense approach with regard to the gravity/frequency of such misdemeanours.
- EXAMPLES OF MINOR MISDEMEANOURS
- Interrupting class work
- Arriving late for school
- Running in school building
- Messing in class line
- Leaving seat without permission at lunchtime
- Placing unfinished food/drink cartons in class bin
- Leaving litter around school
- Not wearing the correct uniform
- Being discourteous/unmannerly
- Not completing homework without good reason
- Not having homework signed by a parent
- Not bringing correct books and materials
Sanctions for Minor or Recurring Misdemeanours:
Pupils will not be deprived of engagement in a Curricular Area, except on the grounds of health and safety.
- A single occurrence is dealt with by discussing the misbehaviour with the child.
- Verbal warning
- Write an account of what happened or an explanation of how the code was broken. A Parent or Guardian should sign this.
- Note in homework journal to be signed by parent
- Temporary separation from peers
- Sending to another teacher
- Meeting between teacher and parent with or without pupil present
- Detention at break time (name should be given in advance to deputy)
- Note to parents concerning behaviour
- Send to Discipline-Committee
- Send to Principal
- Principal/Deputy Principal meets or phones parents
- EXAMPLES OF SERIOUS MISDEMEANOURS
- Constantly disruptive in class
- Telling lies
- Damaging property
- Bullying (see anti bullying policy)
- Being disrespectful to a staff member
- Leaving school premises during school day without appropriate permission
- Consistent refusal by pupil to try their best in class
- Using unacceptable language
- Bringing dangerous implements to school
- Deliberately hurting a fellow pupil.
Sanctions for Serious Misdemeanours:
- Parents/Guardians informed
- Send to Discipline Committee
- Send to Principal
- Principal phones and/or meets with parents.
- Chairperson of Board of Management informed and parents requested to meet with Chairperson and Principal
- EXAMPLES OF GROSS MISDEMEANOURS:
- Setting fire to school property
- Deliberately leaving tap/fire hose turned on
- Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher/pupil
- Repeated incidents of aggression, name calling or bullying (see anti bullying policy)
Dealing with Gross Misdemeanours: Suspension and Expulsion
- Before sanctions such as suspension or expulsion are used, the usual channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised. Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances.
- However, in cases of gross misbehaviour, repeated instances of serious misbehaviour or persistent breaches of school rules, suspension may be considered. Parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. One-off aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher or pupil will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.
- Where a decision has been reached to institute a suspension, 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
- Prior to suspension, where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved. Due regard will be given to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information. 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 the 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 of the matter with the parents.
- Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000. Expulsion will be considered in an extreme case in accordance with Rule 130 (6) i.e. “No pupil can be struck off the rolls for breaches of discipline without prior consent of patron and until alternative arrangements are made for enrolment of pupil at another suitable school in the locality.”
- Before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board shall notify the Local Welfare Education Officer in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act.
Reinstatement after Suspension:
Following or during a period of suspension, the parent/s may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The parent/s must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code and the Principal must be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan for the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class, maintaining on going contact with parents.
THE BREAK TIME CODE FOR PUPILS
- I walk to the yard ~ I do not run.
- I play well with others – I play by the rules – I don’t spoil other pupil’s games
- I am gentle ~ I do not hurt others.
- I always show respect. ~ I don’t taunt others, insult them, call them names or use bad words.
- I am honest. ~ I don’t cover up the truth.
- I am kind to others ~ I ask others to join games.
- I always ask permission to leave the yard or to enter the building.
- I stop when the bell rings ~ I walk to my line and I stand quietly.
- I stay seated and busy during wet breaks.
- I never bring food to the yard
Yard behaviour is monitored daily by the Deputy Principal. All incidents entered in the notebooks or reported verbally are recorded on the child’s Aladdin profile.
Dealing with minor or continual misdemeanours the yard:
- A verbal warning
- Sinbin for up to ten minutes
- Name entered in notebook and teacher informed by yard supervisor
- 3 times in notebook, parents are informed and warned that detention will follow
- 4 times, automatic detention
- Meeting with Teacher and Parents
- Meeting with Deputy or Principal
- Aggressive behavior, fighting, leaving the school grounds and being disrespectful to staff are considered serious misdemeanors which may warrant immediate removal from the yard and the Principal or Deputy informed.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- The BOM will provide a comfortable, safe environment, support the Principal and staff in implementing the code and ratify and review the code as necessary.
- The Principal will promote a positive climate in the school and provide a safe working environment for all staff and pupils. He will ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a fair and consistent manner and arrange for review of the Code as necessary.
- The Staff will implement Code of Behaviour in a fair and consistent manner. They will be inclusive, courteous, and supportive in their interactions with pupils and parents. They will communicate any concerns with the Principal and parents when necessary and keep records of serious or repeated misbehaviour.
- Parents or Guardians will encourage children to have a sense of respect for themselves and for property. They will ensure that children attend regularly and punctually, support and encourage their children’s schoolwork and co-operate with the teachers in instances where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others. Parents should be familiar with the Code of Behaviour and support its implementation. It is important that parents advise the Principal of any problems which might affect their child’s behaviour.
Monitoring and Review:
Each staff member is responsible for the implementation of the Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy. Within the classroom the teacher monitors his/her class. All staff have a collective responsibility to monitor the behaviour of children within sight or sound of them, to affirm good behaviour and to respond to any instance of unacceptable behaviour. The principal is responsible for monitoring and reviewing Policy at staff level on a regular basis and reports any review the staff deem necessary to the Board of Management.
The Code of Behaviour has been developed in collaboration with the staff, BOM, PTA, and the Student Council. It is available at reception and published on the school website. The Code for pupils is printed in the homework journals and distributed to class teachers.
The Board of Management (BOM) has ultimate responsibility for discipline in the school under its management and a duty to ensure that a fair Code of Behaviour applies therein. The BOM will ensure the Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policy is reviewed yearly or more often if the need arises.