Code of Behaviour

The school has a central role in the children’s social and moral development just as it does in their academic development. In seeking to define acceptable standards of behaviour it is acknowledged that these are goals to be worked towards rather than expectations that are either fulfilled or not.

The children bring to school a wide variety of behaviour. As a community environment, in school we must work towards standards of behaviour based on the basic principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility. It follows that acceptable standards of behaviour are those that reflect these principles.

Children need limits set for them in order to feel secure and develop the skills for co-operation. Therefore our expectations will be age appropriate, with clear agreed consequences.

Parents can co-operate with the school by encouraging their children to understand the need for school rules, by visiting the school and by talking to the members of staff.

Our Code of Behaviour is established to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of each child to education in a safe, relatively disruption free environment.

 

Aims of our Code

  • To create a positive learning environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour.
  • To promote self-esteem and positive relationships.
  • To encourage consistency of response to both positive and negative.
  • To foster a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils and to support good behaviour patterns based on consideration and respect for the rights of others.
  • To facilitate the education and development of every child.
  • To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment.
  • To enable teachers to teach without disruption.
  • To ensure that the school’s expectations and strategies are widely known and understood through the availability of policies and an ethos of open communication.
  • To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy.

 

As adults we aim to:

  • Create a positive climate with realistic expectations.
  • Promote through example; respect, honesty and courtesy.
  • Provide a caring and effective learning environment.
  • Encourage relationships based on kindness, respect and understanding of the needs of others.
  • Ensure fair treatment for all regardless of age, gender, race, ability and disability.
  • Show appreciation of the efforts and contribution of all.
  • To discourage physical aggression and encourage ‘Kind Hands, Kind Feet & Kind Words’.

 

Staff in St Audoen’s NS have been trained in the Incredible Years Programme. The Incredible Years Programme was designed to prevent and treat emotional and behavioural difficulties in children aged 3 to 10 years. The Incredible Years Programme puts a positive approach into practice, the foundations being; play, praise, tangible rewards, limit-setting, ignoring, timeout, natural and logical consequences and teaching children to problem-solve.

We use a Restorative approach to resolving conflict and focus on ‘restoring relationships’ in a consistent, fair and respectful manner.

We promote firm but fair discipline that reinforces positivity in a non aggressive, non intimidating manner.  Teachers are ultimately responsible for the management of their students and it is the teacher who deals with class room situations. Serious issues are referred to the Principal.

 

School  Core Values:

  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Empathy
  • Encouragement
  • Appreciation
  • Belonging

 

Behaviour we Encourage:

  • Respect for self and others
  • Respect for other’s property
  • Respect other students and their learning
  • Kindness and willingness to help others
  • Follow instructions from staff immediately
  • Walk quietly in the school building
  • Courtesy and good manners
  • Readiness to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict
  • Ask permission to leave the classroom
  • Do your best in class
  • Take responsibility for your own work

 

Class Guidelines/Contract

At the beginning of each academic year, the class teacher will draft a list of class guidelines/contract with the children.  These reflect and support our school values and are presented in a way that is accessible to the children.  Class guidelines are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community.  They emphasise where possible, positive behaviour and are applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference.  Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.

 

Incentives

Part of the vision of St Audoen’s NS is to help children achieve their personal best – academically, intellectually and socially.  We recognise that there are many different forms of intelligence and that similarly children use a variety of approaches to solve problems. Children will be encouraged, praised and listened to at all times by adults in the school. Praise is earned by the maintenance of good standards as well as by particularly noteworthy personal achievements.  We recognise the place and value of tangible rewards, such as prizes & certificates, while also acknowledging the importance of personal motivation; praise can increase response rates by enhancing intrinsic motivation.

The following are some samples of how praise might be given;

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval
  • A comment in a pupil’s notebook/diary
  • A visit to another member of Staff or to the Principal for commendation
  • A word of praise in front of a group or class
  • A word of praise/award at weekly assembly
  • A system of merit marks or stickers
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
  • A mention to parent, written or verbal communication.

 

Levels of Misbehaviour

 

           Level 1               Level 2               Level 3
Negative Actions Physical Aggression/Fighting Stealing
Negative Words Disrupting class Vandalism
Attention seeking behaviour Refusing to follow directions Threatening behaviour
Homework not completed Disrespectful Violence
Showing frustration Refusing to work Destroying property
Dishonesty Jeering Harassment
Inappropriate language Repeated Level 2 Behaviour
Unsafe choices
Repeated Level 1 Behaviour

(This list is intended to be illustrative, not exhaustive)

A Behaviour Record is kept in the school when an incident occurs (the Pink Form).

Sanctions & Logical Consequences:

 

The use of logical consequences should be characterised by certain features;

  • It must be clear why the sanction is being applied
  • The consequence will relate as closely as possible to the behaviour
  • It must be made clear what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future sanctions
  • There is a clear distinction between the different levels of misbehaviour
  • It is the behaviour rather than the person that is the focus

 

Logical Consequences:

  • Quiet Word
  • Verbal Warning
  • Moved within class
  • Moved for a temporary period to Partnered Class (+)
  • Prescribing extra work/ writing out the story of what happened
  • Loss of privileges
  • Consequence Catch Up Time with DP (CC Time does not require prior notice to parents; where it is a logical consequence, it is an acceptable method of sanction)
  • Note Home/Phone Call Home/ Meeting with Parents
  • Principal communicating with Parents
  • 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).

 

Suspension and Expulsion

In cases of serious sanctions; suspension or expulsion, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised.  Communication with parents may be verbal, via phone call or by letter depending on the circumstances. The principles of fair procedure always apply, but the degree of formality required will depend on the gravity of the alleged misbehaviour and the seriousness of the possible sanction.

For instances of serious misbehaviour (level 3 or repeated level 2), suspension may be considered. Parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case.

Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher or pupil will be regarded as gross misbehaviour (level 3). Where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant information. Suspension will be in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000. 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 Principal to sanction an immediate suspension.

Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rule for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000. Where the Board of Management is of the opinion that a student should be expelled from the school it shall, before expelling the student, notify the Educational Welfare Officer to whom functions under this Act have been assigned, in writing, of its opinion and the reasons therefor.

Expulsion should be proportionate to the student’s behaviour and should only be invoked in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour. The school should take significant steps to address the misbehaviour and be satisfied that they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the student’s behaviour.

There may be exceptional circumstances where the Board of Management forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence, e.g. actual violence or physical assault.

Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)

Following or during a period of suspension, parents must attend a meeting of re initiation in order 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 of Behaviour 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 school will review and/or prepare a behaviour plan for the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil to the class.

 

Children with Special Needs

 

All children are required to comply with the school’s Code of Behaviour.

However the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules. Specialised Individual Behaviour Plans (IBP) will be put in place in consultation the class teacher and the Special Education Teacher (SET), parents will also be notified of goals/targets and approaches used. We will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given. Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times.

Professional advice from psychological assessments will be taken into consideration at all times.

Peer groups/children attending mainstream classes may be taught strategies to assist a pupil with special needs adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support (where it is safe and appropriate to do so).  This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the difference in all individuals.

 

Methods of Communicating with Parents

Communicating with parents is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with children. Parents and teachers should develop a joint strategy to address specific difficulties, in addition to sharing a broader philosophy which can be implemented at home and in school. A high level of co-operation and open communication is seen as an important factor encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Structures and channels designed to maintain a high level of communication among staff and between staff, pupils and parents have been established and are being reviewed regularly.

Parents are encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant developments in a child’s life, in the past or present, which may affect the child’s behaviour.

The following methods are to be used at all levels within the school:

  • Informal & Formal parent/teacher meetings
  • Through children’s homework journal (infants do not have a homework journal – note/phone/discussion at collection times)
  • Letters/notes from school to home and from home to school
  • School notice board
  • School Connect App
  • Monthly newsletter

 

Code of Conduct For Parents

Parents are expected to:

  • Ensure their children attend school and are punctual
  • Equip pupils with appropriate school materials, a sufficient healthy lunch and full uniform.
  • Respect school property and encourage their children to do the same.
  • Label pupils coats and other personal property.

 

We expect Parents to:

  • Be courteous and respectful towards pupils and staff at all times
  • Make an appointment to meet with a teacher/the principal through reception.

Any incident of escalated aggression, threatening behaviour and/or intimidation on school premises or towards a member of staff will not be tolerated.  Unacceptable behaviour against staff may be noted when frustrations escalate into potential episodes of verbal and physical aggression, at this point the relevant authorities will be notified and sanctions put into place immediately.

As the Board of Management is responsible for the Health & Safety of all staff and students, parents are requested not to approach or reprimand another person’s child on the school premises.

 

Updated in August 2018

 

 

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