Behaviour & Discipline Policy - St Mary's National School Enniskeane Co. Cork

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Behaviour & Discipline Policy

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In devising the code, consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school.  The aim is to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption-free environment.

1.   Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school.  The code offers a framework within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement are utilised by teachers.

2.   The school places greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions in the belief that this will, in the long term, give the best results.

3.   The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences.

4.   It is agreed that 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.

5.   The rules are being kept to a minimum and are positively stated in terms of what pupils should do.

6.   All efforts will be made to match the curriculum to the abilities, aptitudes and interests of each pupil.  This should help reduce boredom, lack of interest or lack of progress.

7.   The overall responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the Principal Teacher.  Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom while sharing a common responsibility for good order within the school premises.  A pupil will be referred to the Principal Teacher/Deputy Principal for serious breaches of discipline and for repeated incidents of minor misbehaviour.

8.   The following strategies may be used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour:
a)   Reasoning with the pupil.
b)   Reprimand (including advice on how to improve).
c)   Temporary separation from peers, friends or others.
d)   Loss of privileges.
e)   Referral to Principal Teacher
f)   Communication with parents.
g)   Suspension (temporary).

Teachers shall keep a written record of all instances of serious misbehaviour as well as a record of improvements in the behaviour of disruptive pupils.  Before resorting to serious sanctions, e.g. suspension, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised.  Parents will be involved at an early stage rather than as a last resort.

9.   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 their child.  For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour suspension will be considered.  Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher will be regarded as gross behaviour.

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 Principal Teacher.  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 for National Schools.

In the case of gross misbehaviour the Board will authorise the Chairperson or Principal Teacher to sanction an immediate suspension, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.

Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with Rule 130 (6)

10.   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.

All members of the teaching staff have been involved in devising the code.

As the elected body representing parents a copy of this code will be provided to the parents association for their consideration.

A copy of this code will be made available to all parents.

11.   In the belief that the most effective schools tend to be those with the best relationships with parents, every effort will be made by the Principal Teacher and staff to ensure that parents are kept well informed, that the school provides a welcoming atmosphere towards parents and that parents are told not only when their children are in trouble but when they behaved particularly well.

12.   The code will be reviewed at agreed intervals.

Discipline Policy

School Rules-

In order to create an ordered and orderly environment in which individuals can feel secure and learn effectively all pupils are expected to:

  • Be in school before the 9.25 bell.

  • Wear the school uniform.

  • Treat staff, fellow pupils and visitors with respect and courtesy at all times.

  • Remain at home when sick.

  • Parents to notify the school of infectious illnesses in their homes.

  • Be responsible for their own property and personal belongings.

  • Respect school property and keep the school premises free of litter.

  • Notify school of absences in writing.

  • Remain in school premises at all times unless a written communication allows an alternative arrangement.

  • Complete homework and present it neatly.

  • Be honest and truthful at all times.

The overall aim of the discipline policy is to ensure that good behaviour is learned and the code of discipline will reflect the Christian values promoted within the school.  We acknowledge that the support of parents is essential in the effective implementation of a code of discipline and thus are consequently encouraged to maintain close contact with the school with regard to all aspects of their child's progress.

The overall emphasis will be on preventative methods and good behaviour will always be recognised and affirmed but in the event of a serious break of inappropriate behaviour the procedure as laid out by the Department of Education and Science will be evoked.  These sanctions include:

  • Verbal reasoning

  • Reprimand

  • Extra work

  • Communication with parents

  • Loss of privileges

  • Separation from peers

  • Referral to Principal/Deputy Principal

  • Restitution in case of damage

  • Suspension in accordance with Rule 13 of the rules for national schools in cases of extreme misbehaviour or when the common good is seriously threatened.

Every effort will be made to ensure that the code of discipline is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner.

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